Copenhagen: Nearing The End #cop15

dec16 copenhagen2 Copenhagen: Nearing The End #cop15

Will they or wont they?

With only a few hours left to write and agree on a deal, that question is still largely unanswered. Or is it? The better question should be, will the deal be substantial, or as itis suggested be a “political deal” promising to meet and to furtherdiscuss the issue again in the future. There are many obstacles to still overcome, one of them being China’sreluctance on third party inspection, and United States position ofinsisting there has to be third party inspection.

The Danish Presidency has given up on its ambition to create consensuson a text that would form the basis of a global political deal tocombat global warming. 119 heads of state and government met onThursday and Friday to negotiate, the Presidency had hoped to presentthe world leaders with a text containing as few as possible openquestions on issues such as emission cuts, financing of climate aid todeveloping countries and other issues. However developing countriesrepresented by the Group of 77 blocked the initiative.

The strategy now is to try to make progress in some isolated areas,preparing the ground for the next UN climate negotiations which willtake place in Mexico next year.

The Guardian is reporting negotiators are now saying openly that “atbest” the conference will write “a weak political agreement that wouldleave no clear way forward to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions.That would mean the negotiations staying in limbo well into next year,increasing the damage caused by global warming”.

Adding to the overall negative tone in the conference was aconfidential UN draft marked “do not distribute” and “initial draft”obtained by The Guardian reveals emissions cuts offered so far at theCopenhagen summit will actually lead to global temperatures rising byan average of three degrees.

The report shows a gap of up to 4.2 gigatonnes of carbon emissionsbetween the present pledges and the required level of 44 gigatonnesrequired to stay below a two degree temperature increase.

“The UN is admitting in private that the pledges made by world leaderswould lead to a three degree rise in temperatures. The science shows itcould lead to the collapse of the Amazon rainforest, crippling watershortages across South America and Australia and the near-extinction oftropical coral reefs, and that’ just the start of it” says Greenpeacecampaigner Joss Garman.

So, will they or won’t they? With 120 leaders assembled in Copenhagen,there is one thing they all can agree on, none of them like topublically humiliated. That might just be enough motivation to draftsomething.