expect more photos like this...

“Unless we see an advance on ambitious industrialised country targets and significant finance on the table, it is very difficult for negotiators in this process to continue their work in good faith” – that’s how Yvo de Boer summarised the current situation today.

But what’s frustrating de Boer (and I’m inclined to agree) is that most rich countries are letting negotiations go to the wire. They’re holding back their final positions, for fear of losing an advantage in the negotiations. And that’s despite poorer countries, most notably the BRICS+, putting lots of constructive stuff on the table. Here’s just a few:

  • Brazil – 80% percent reduction in deforestation by 2020
  • Indonesia – 26% percent by 2020 from “business as usual” levels
  • China – carbon intensity reduced “by a notable margin” by 2020 on 2005 levels.

It’s fine to keep your cards close to your chest during the fun and games a year before the summit, but now there’s only the Barcelona meeting to go before Copenhagen. That’s really not very much negotiating time left… and there’s still no consensus on emissions cuts or a serious commitment on finance on the table.

Admittedly Gordon Brown got the ball rolling a few months ago by putting a figure on it, but there is still no agreement on the size of climate funds or how to manage them.

And there’s no sign of things changing any time soon, especially with Waxman-Markey unlikely to pass through the senate before Copenhagen. So, I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more photos like above one over the next few months. But with initiatives like this currently rumbling back in the House of Representatives, perhaps that’s a good thing?

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