Dealing With Talks And Agreements Among Nations

The agreement provides a monitoring and reporting system on progress in reducing these national pollution reduction targets, a compromise on an issue on which China has negotiated hard. He is calling for hundreds of billions of dollars to be paid by rich nations to countries that are most comfortable with a changing climate. And it aims to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, resulting in deep reductions in climate change emissions over the next 40 years. The successor to the Kyoto Protocol is expected to be finalised at COP15 in Copenhagen, but the parties only present a non-binding document that will be « taken into account » and not adopted. The Copenhagen Agreement [PDF] recognizes that global temperatures are not expected to rise by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, while representatives of developing countries were aiming for a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. (A 2009 report by the American Meteorological Society predicts an increase of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees Celsius in less than 100 years). After leading the negotiations, US President Barack Obama told the conference that the agreement was « not enough. » Some countries later vow to follow the agreement – even if it remains non-binding – and make their own promises. The tripartite agreement negotiated by Obama with the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa, and then submitted to the conference, did not even meet the modest expectations of the heads of state and government for the meeting, including by failing to set a target in 2010 for the realization of a binding international treaty to seal the provisions of the agreement. Press reports at the Madrid climate conference, which was postponed on 15 December, describe them as a counter-attack in the face of calls for inspiration from youth activists and others for greater ambition. But based on the 25 years I have followed and analyzed with scientists and government officials around the world, I think the reality is more complicated. Many of those present were dissatisfied with the whole package, as it did not reflect the urgency of science. Serra, the Brazilian diplomat, said the process had alienated many people, especially smaller countries, which have little influence on a major international negotiation.

Many of those involved in this process felt that this would be the last time that 193 nations would meet in this way to negotiate such a complex agreement. On the other hand, the discussions have not achieved one of their main stated objectives: drafting useful rules to facilitate global carbon markets. As an economist, I see this as a real disappointment – even if it is not the fatal failure that some present as his own. Obama`s announcement came late in a day that began with his 11-minute speech to world leaders shortly after noon and was filled with brinksmanship and 11th-hour negotiations. Obama, whose speech referred to remarks highlighting China`s opposition to mechanisms to monitor emissions reductions, then met privately with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. But Mr. Wen did not attend two small spontaneous meetings during the day that Mr. Obama and U.S. officials had with the leaders of other world powers, an obvious ceremony that angered government officials and their European colleagues. Climate change: Anger is excluded from UN talks The Paris agreement is the culmination of a quarter-century of international climate diplomacy launched by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Here is a brief overview of the evolution of the global climate effort and the role of the United States. The Kyoto Protocol was threatened after the failure of the talks in November 2000 and the withdrawal of the United States in March 2001, with Washington saying that the protocol was not in the country`s « best economic interest. In July 2001, in Bonn, Germany, negotiators secured breakthroughs in green technology, emissions trading agreements and trade-offs on the consideration of carbon sinks (natural reservoirs

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