IUCN's head of delegation, Claire Parker outlines the latest developments as the meeting enters its final days.
The negotiations are now mainly taking part in ‘informal contact groups’ on the various issues. These informal groups involve only Parties to the Convention (Observers are not allowed to attend any longer) and are attended by a smaller number of delegates. This is supposed to achieve two aims: speeding up the further consolidation of the negotiating text on an issue-by-issue basis and (2) allowing compromises to be made. This, of course, makes it more difficult for us IUCN Observers to follow what is going on: we have to rely on corridor talk, on press briefings and on anything some people 'in the know' are willing to tell us.
There has been a lot of talk on finance in the last two days; the developing countries are expressing frustration at the lack of concrete proposals - meaning numbers - from the developed countries. The EU is not yet in a position to make such proposals, as its Council is to debate them at the end of this month; this is seen very late in view of the Copenhagen deadline. The US has made a proposal on finance, but it covers the establishment and governance of a fund rather than the amounts that would go into it. No other developed country has come up with the amounts it would be prepared to pledge. There are numerous proposals from the developing countries on finance; some of those contain the requirement that developed countries would commit amounts ranging from 0.5 to 2 % of their GDP. It is unlikely that this issue will be resolved until the very end, when all the pieces of the puzzle on the new regime will have fallen into place.
Yesterday, a report from the International Energy Agency was launched here, which showed that because of the economic slump in the past year, and the decreased industrial output, global greenhouse gas emissions are down by 3% this year, and the forecast to 2020 has been reviewed, 5% down. The latter also has to do with the fact that China is taking measures to reduce its emission, by investing in nuclear power and in wind energy.
However, the report warns that the right policies, and a global deal in Copenhagen, are crucial to avert a high risk scenario on climate change. The richer emerging economies like China, Russia and the Middle East should halt their CO2 growth by 2020. In order to secure a clean energy future, investments in renewable energies, biofuel and nuclear power are needed of around $10 trillion.
The IEA report can be found at