NGO Panel Provides Analysis of and Insight into Negotiations

NGO Panel w. Union of Concerned Scientists, World Wildlife Federation, Climate Action Network

The NGO panel faulted some familiar parties for “throwing spanners in the [gears]” of the negotiations, and pointed out some new targets of criticism. The U.S. was faulted on some things like Green Climate Fund negotiations and uncalled-for quarreling about MRVS, but Canada and Russia and particularly Japan were faulted for endangering prospects for Kyoto Protocol successor or second period.

Raman Mehta of Climate Action Network laments U.S. obstruction w. regard to the Green Climate Fund. The U.S. wants a GEF-like (Global Environmental Facility) arrangement, he said, not anything new. Why do the same-old-same-old? There are plenty of random funds that have been around the block, but the Copenhagen Agreement said a new form of fund should be established, he said. I’ve heard previous analysis at the COP that the U.S pushes for a dominant role for the WorldBank.

Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists reported the inside dope from negotiators that the U.S. and a few like-minded others have been playing a miserly bargaining game. “Holding hostages” he said, on the MRV (Measure/Report/Verify) terms, and causing problems on drafting a “Shared Vision” document. Meyer said decisions in one track are affecting the other tracks. How can the AWG-LCA go forward in the absence of AWG-KP agreements? The G-77 (large group of developing nations) won’t go along with it.

Masako Konishi of World Wildlife Fund and the others talked about the basis of recent strong criticism of Japan. They said it has taken a very hardline refusal on extending Kyoto, and it did this at a disastrously late date. If Japan had objected 6 months ago for instance, the other developed countries could have worked to overcome these difficulties. The surprise timing has poisoned the atmosphere. The Financial Times says Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan is “living in a fantasy,” Konishi said, holding up an orange-pink newspaper. The fantasy is that Japan can abandon the Kyoto Protocol without wrecking any global treaty overall. Japan’s position is that Kyoto only covers 27% of the world’s emissions, whereas Copenhagen Accord covers much more. “We need [both]” said Konishi.

Russia and Canada are also not going along with Kyoto Protocol negotiations. If the intention of any of this is to exert leverage on the United States, a panelist said, it will have the opposite effect. U.S. domestic politics will consider Japan’s refusal to continue Kyoto as just another excuse not to cut its own emissions