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Progress predictably slow in Poznan

The latest UN negotiations on a global climate deal taking place in Poznan, Poland are failing to make fast enough progress to secure a treaty by next December in Copenhagen, according to various media reports.

Reuters reported yesterday that even the eternally buoyant UN climate chief Yvo de Boer believes that it will only be possible to nail “the key political issues” by this deadline. But he still maintains that an overarching treaty must be signed with specific greenhouse gas reduction targets for developed nations, writes Jeff Tollefson on In the Field.

Over on the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ Jonathan Porritt, chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, says it’s time to press the panic button. He points out that the UN negotiations are acting as though the 2007 IPCC report still reflects the latest science, when in fact we’ve had three years of peer-reviewed research since – and a lot of it from the frontline of the eco-systems most directly affected by climate change.

His advice for Senator John Kerry, who is reportedly acting as incoming US President Barack Obama’s ‘eyes and ears’ in Poznan:

Suggest on behalf of the US Senate that the IPCC should be reconvened as early as possible in 2009 to undertake an emergency review of all the science that has emerged since 2005. It should be asked to report to the UN by the end of June, giving just enough time to inform the debate about appropriate policy responses before the Copenhagen conference in November.

In the meantime, Obama has met with Al Gore to discuss the state of the climate and has promised to treat climate change as a matter of urgency and national security.

Olive Heffernan

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