This weekend saw the first draft text emerging from the ad-hoc working group on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) for lead negotiators to discuss in the last week of the climate talks in Durban.
The LCA text appears to have made progress on forestry, finance, technology and capacity building (as predicted). The 131 page document (plus additional supporting papers) contains more unbracketed text than bracketed. It is the bracketed text that remains up for debate. So [this will be agreed in Durban] [this will not be agreed in Durban].
An accompanying letter from the chair sums up progress. On the opening chapter, on a shared vision, the chair notes one delegate's comments that “what we have here is neither a vision, nor is it shared.”
No more clearly is this demonstrated than in respect to the EU's roadmap, the timetable for making a global agreement on climate change. Today, the EU said the adoption of the roadmap would “wrap the gift” of the LCA text. EU negotiators have their work cut out. China today appeared to be standing side-by-side with climate talk allies, India, despite rumours to the contrary.
At a press conference, China's head of delegation Minister Xie Zhenhua confirmed China supported a post-2020 legally binding framework…but (like the EU) with conditions. Firstly, a second commitment period under Kyoto was a must. Secondly, developed countries needed to honour their commitments made in respect to the Green Climate Fund. Thirdly, there must be monitoring and supervision of promised technology transfer. Fourthly, there must be a consensus for the constitutional arrangements for issues such as technology and funding. And finally, that the world sticks to the UNFCCC principle of common and differentiated responsibilities and ensuring environmental integrity. Every country must undertake responsibilities in line with their capabilities.
It added that before this could be agreed there needed to be a review of progress and some scientific assessments. “When that is done we can consider the legal framework.”
So that's three of the world's biggest emitters – the US, India and China moving away from the EU's plan. Dismal hopes of – in the very least – a timetable for a global deal is diminishing by the hour.