The EU has dismissed a key draft text that surfaced yesterday saying it was not acceptable in its current form as it failed to provide any certainty that it would lead to real emission reductions.
The draft text was circulated yesterday morning by Michael Michael Zammit Cutajar, chair of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action, the group tasked to set the future direction for collective action on climate change. It is one of two tracks of work at COP 15, the other is focusing on updating the Kyoto Protocol.
Developed countries, most vocally the EU and Norway, are not happy with the emission reduction proposals. The EU was blunt at this morning’s second meeting of the Conference of the Parties in saying that the framework for action by developing countries was too loose. It also condemned unequal obligations upon developed countries. The US seemed to agree. It said the document "doesn't work in its overall direction."
However most countries did agree that the document provides a useful reference point for future discussions. Indeed, the US commended the working group responsible for the paper for its "heroic work" in producing a "narrowly defined" paper which made "substantive progress" in reflecting the convergence of opinion in certain key areas - on adaptation, technology transfer and deforestation.
But the question of the legal architecture of any potential agreement is still uncertain and seems to be creating a rift. Most countries, including many developing countries want to strengthen the existing Kyoto Protocol. But the US, along with some other developed countries, want a new agreement to replace it. This is delaying work on updating the Kyoto Protocol. Developing countries today warned however that if progress isn't made swiftly on the Protocol they may walk away from talks on long-term cooperative action.