COP18 Doha UN climate talks Dec 1st/2nd

Saturday 1615: I know that we should be concentrating on the approaching ministerial stage of the Doha climate talks but I can’t resist sharing the Third World Network account of bad-tempered negotiations that took place last Wednesday.

Under the title: “AWG-LCA Heated Exchanges at Informal Consultations,” TWN’s Director of Programmes, Chee Yoke Ling, informs us:

Delegates and observers in the meeting room next door later remarked that they could hear US chief negotiator Jonathan Pershing’s distinctive voice that was raised on several occasions

It’s clear that the Saudi Chair received a sound handbagging by US, Japan, Switzerland and others in a manner described as “unbecoming of the Annex 1 parties.”

These detailed TWN accounts of negotiations are part of the furniture of UN conferences, a valued point of reference for participants. Like her colleagues, Chee Yoke Ling scrupulously adheres to a deadpan style in order to retain the trust of all concerned.

But there’s a hint of relish in this account, akin to the provincial hack covering a grisly murder after years of “granny’s purse snatched” headlines. After 3500 words of dutiful recording of the exchanges, Chee Yoke Ling reverts to her dispassionate self with the conclusion:

No substantive discussion took place

When the history of these troubled UN negotiations comes to be written, this document will be prima facie evidence that our national representatives have indeed been guilty of fiddling while Rome burned.


Sunday 1300: We’ve all heard about the Do The Math roadshow that’s been in full swing across the US, led by the campaign group and its founder Bill McKibben.

The tour winds up tomorrow and it would be fun if the folks there could target their Do The Math skills at a new question. Over the past week, who has achieved the greater pledges which will lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions….

….the Doha climate talks or the Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign promoted by the roadshow?

In Doha we’ve had a new pledge from Australia of 0.5%.


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