UPDATED: Climate talks move at "glacial pace"
Time is running out for climate change talks, with another meeting of world governments ending on Friday, this time in Bonn, with little progress towards a new agreement on greenhouse gases.
There are at least two more important UN meetings planned before a crunch conference in Copenhagen in December. There, officials will attempt to hammer out an accord to replace the Kyoto protocol, whose main provisions expire in 2012.
China has reinforced the sense of discord by calling on developed countries to cut their emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 – far more than any plan to do – and to give 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent of their gross domestic product in assistance to the developing world.
The lack of progress so far on the big issues – the extent to which rich countries will cut emissions, the commitments poor countries will make and how these will be funded – was underlined this week when Japan unveiled a plan to cut its emissions by 8 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 – a level only 2 per cent below Tokyo's commitment under the 1997 Kyoto protocol.
More pointless gab-fests to come in the months ahead - oh joy.
Read it here.
UPDATE: The UN climate chief appears to be suffering from a touch of the old "cognitive dissonances" as reported in the ever-optimistic Brisbane Times:
Yvo de Boer, the top UN climate change official, said he was confident of reaching an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen, though it will lack details that will require further work [And there's the big get-out clause - Ed].
The latest round showed that governments "are committed to reaching an agreement, and this is a big achievement", he told reporters.
He's a kinda "glass half full" guy, ain't he?
Read it here.