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A New Climate Reality, An Old Negotiating Process

A New Climate Reality, An Old Negotiating Process. UN progress almost non-existent, meanwhile climate impacts continue to stack up. The third session of climate talks this year closed after five frustratingly slow days with world governments inching slowly towards a new global deal, due to be signed in Paris this December.

Talks began and continued with developing countries raising concerns over how the co-chairs had, in a negotiating “tool” developed since the last session, arranged issues-with many critical issues not being included in the draft Paris Agreement, but instead relegated to a lesser draft “decision.”

They ended after little progress in an almost identical position with the co-chairs being mandated yet again to produce a “non-paper” on both short term (pre-2020) and long term (post-2020) climate actions, based on their previous “tool,” as well as the original Geneva Negotiating Text, the discussions this week, and new proposals by countries.

This will form the basis for line-by-line negotiations at the next session-the last before Paris-although Ministerial meetings Sunday and Monday, a UN meeting on sustainable development in September, and a World Bank/IMF meeting in October will all touch on at least one key issue which was largely ignored in Bonn: finance.

“We deplore the fact that rich countries did not want to even speak about finance at this meeting,” said Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator at Jubilee South Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development.

“They have never fulfilled their obligations to provide support to developing countries and they have no clear plan to mobilize what is needed. How will any possible agreement be implemented without the money to do so? If they simply redefine or double count their official aid money as climate finance, as they did with the fast-start financing, they have doubled the injustice. This week we saw the conversation on getting developing countries to reduce emissions advance somewhat, but we did not see a similar concern for assessing the delivery of financial obligations.”

With any talk of urgency seeming like nothing more than hollow words given the inadequacy of European, North American, and Australasian pollution cuts, the world has entered a new climate reality.

“Poor short term targets mean devastating climate impacts such as those witnessed in the Caribbean even during these talks,” said Harjeet Singh, Climate Policy Manager at Action Aid International, speaking at a protest on the final day alongside Dominica Head of Delegation, LLoyd Pascal.

“Weak emission cut targets and wholly inadequate adaptation finance means we live with the reality of loss and damage. Yet we witness a refusal by those most responsible for these impacts, the historical polluters such as the US, to acknowledge the issue and anchor a loss and damage mechanism in the core agreement in Paris. While they drag their heels, climate change marches on, and communities are left to count the cost and the bodies.”

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