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From London to Bonn – will Mexico consolidate its climate change leadership position on the road to Copenhagen? (1)

© EFE

© EFE

The G20 summit is in full swing and the world is looking to London for a whole range of solutions. The shouts of the protesters and the presence of high-level politicians eclipse the (admittedly less sexy) seventh session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 7) and the fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 5) that are currently taking place in Bonn, Germany. This meeting is the first out of three planned negotiating sessions before the important 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen in December 2009. In other words, these meetings will define the nitty-gritty parts of any future climate change commitments and will give actual flesh (or not) to the statements made by political leaders at the G20 summit. Ultimately, these meetings will show how prepared countries are to turn their grand words into actual responsibilities.

Mexico has moved into the spotlight of climate change negotiations. As first emerging economy announcing emissions reductions (50% by 2050), it caught international attention at COP-14 in Poznan. AND, it has reiterated this target in its long awaited and recently released second draft of its Special Programme on Climate Change. Of course, the realization of this commitment does not come unconditional. Yet, interestingly and in contrast to other countries, rather than making its emissions reductions conditional upon equivalent emissions targets from other (emerging) economies, Mexico demands an improved international system of climate change financing that sets the right economic incentives. In President Calderon’s words “The problem are the not the objectives themselves. The problem is that we do not have the right instruments for the job, meaning that there is no point wasting another five years discussing what the right objectives are.” In this respect, Mexico has repeatedly proposed a so called Green Fund, but for the first time, he actually specified details of this suggested mechanism on his visit to London: The fund would be financed through a system of quotas, similar to institutions like the International Monetary Fund, which would dictate how much each country paid into the pot. The size of a country’s contribution would be determined by factors such as income per capita, gross domestic product, total carbon emissions, or emissions per capita. Countries will then be able to draw money to cover costs of mitigation and adaptation programmes. Countries that lack environmental conscience will not get money back from their quota.

Taking this as starting point, subsequent blogs will focus on analysing Mexico’s determination to consolidate its leadership position in actual commitments, and its role and ability, as emerging economy, to move the international community towards a successful outcome in Copenhagen.

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