Climate Feedback

UN climate conference sees diverse opinions emerge

Bali, Indonesia-

The second day of the UN conference on climate change has seen some diverse opinions emerge on what the immediate priorities should be for a ‘Bali roadmap’.

Environmentalists claimed today that a group of obstructionist nations, including Saudi Arabia, Canada, the US and Japan, was forming against binding emissions targets.

Steven Guilbeault of Environmental NGO Equiterre cited Canada’s “abandonment of it’s targets under the Kyoto Protocol” and Japan’s statement today that it is time to move away from a Kyoto approach to addressing climate change as reasons for their inclusion.

“Canada and Japan are saying nothing about legally binding emission reductions after 2012," said Guilbeault.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Yvo De Boer said that although Saudi Arabia had expressed concern about whether the time is right to enter formal negotiations, no other nation has openly backed this stance in Bali. Though that’s not to say that others don’t agree.

Describing the mood today in Bali as “mixed”, however, De Boer said that there was a clear divergence of opinion between industrialised and developing nations on where the focus should now lie. Whereas developed nations are honing in on the long term goals for addressing climate change, many developing nations are concerned that this will diverge attention from the need to address immediate priorities, such as establishing a sufficient fund for adapting to climate change and transferring technologies from developed countries, objectives which have not been realised under the Kyoto Protocol.

A open ‘special group’ was established today to address these issues and others that will shape the Bali roadmap, including whether the negotiations up until 2009 will include targets and measurable objectives, or will comprise a looser period of informal dialogue that could faciltate buy-in from major emitters such as the US, China and India.

One thing is clear: as of yet, there is no consensus on what shape the roadmap will take; for now the son of Kyoto is still gestating.

For direct live webcasts of the conference, visit the UNFCCC website.

Olive Heffernan


  1. Report this comment

    Brynmor said:

    Some see adaptation assistance as the poor relation of mitigation in the climate change policy mix. But it is morally right and possibly politically valuable, in that it could offer a way to engage certain vulnerable, developing countries on the climate change agenda. One would hope that these countries would then move on to effective mitigation once awareness has been raised via adaptation assistance.

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    Mike Parr said:

    The attitudes of Canada, Japan and the “usual suspects” will cut no ice with the EU. The EEA just published a report which shows that the EU-15 will exceed their Kyoto commitments. At a meeting in Bruxelles last week it was clear that if there is no binding emissions targets the EU will unilaterally impose them with a carbon levy on all imports at its borders. Thats what EU industry wants and it has support from some member states.

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