Sunday, October 10, 2010

Climate talks going in the right direction?

Finally some optimism ahead of crunch climate talks in Cancun which are only two months away. According to the UN climate chief Christiana Figueres #this week has got us closer to a structured set of decisions that can be agreed in Cancun".

This week's talks were held in Tianjin, and the good news is the fact that several negotiators agreed there had been progress at the talks on one of the most controversial issues, namely how to transfer funds and technology from rich nations to developing countries.

Overall, there is a positive spirit among negotiators, which is good news, especially after last year's disappointing climate conference in Copenhagen, after which many felt all hope for new climate deal is gone.

The differences between China and US still exist, and the differences in opinions between these two countries will continue to be the biggest stumbling block towards agreeing new climate deal. US believes how very little has been done regarding emissions targets and how to measure and report reductions, and has accused China of backsliding on the Copenhagen accord.

On the other hand China is defending its current policy, and Su Wei, China's chief negotiator, said that "The US, whether on reducing emissions or on providing funds or technology to developing countries, has taken no tangible steps or actions. On the other hand China has actively taken measures."

These two top emitters need to find the mutual language as soon as possible, and not just maintain their positions, waiting for each other to move. There is definitely a lot of positive spirit ahead of Cancun but will this be enough for China and US to put their differences aside?

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