Geneva was Quick – but How Deep Will Paris Go?
In this blog, the climate negotiation process and following agreements were briefly discussed. Ideas on key areas by all delegates/negotiators were put on the table – on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity‐building and transparency of action and support. Also some important norm‐setting language in a preamble (not least for a long‐term goal), and equally significant final sections on the cycle by which commitments will be reviewed, and fun things like compliance. When the discussion turned to ‘stream‐lining’, actually removing text, things slowed down to the usual glacial pace. Even in cases where two paragraphs were identical, there was hesitation to remove anything. The good reason is that the text is “Party‐owned”, so there is agreement what to negotiate. The text created will now be translated into all official UN languages, and a negotiating text will be available. Having assembled some views on how this next step might be taken, perhaps things will move along similarly, when the negotiations convene again in early June (and Aug, and Sept), before moving to Paris in December. The challenge will become tougher, as the negotiations have to address deletions, changes to text – and eventually agreement. While Geneva was definitely a more positive mood, the concern remains that there will be an Agreement in Paris – but only because it may be very weak. A lowest‐common‐denominator agreement. One in which only that minimum acceptable to major players (the US, China, India, EU and perhaps a few others) will survive.