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U.N. climate talks intensify

By Juliet Eilperin

While it appears unlikely the nations of the world will be able to ink a climate treaty by the end of the year, U.S. special climate envoy Todd Stern said in an interview Thursday that negotiators have begun to intensify their discussions in the run up to this year's U.N. climate talks.

U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiators will kick off a three-day meeting in Bonn Friday, and many of the same players will reconvene in Washington on the 18th for a meeting of the Major Economies Forum, a meeting of the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitters.

Whether these talks will succeed in producing a meaningful accord, Stern said, depends on "the degree to which a critical mass of countries ...takes a position toward the pragmatic and away from the ideological. There is a lot of ideological posturing that has marked climate negotiations, basically forever. We're very much in favor of taking the pragmatic approach and taking things forward."

There's still plenty of drama and ideological warfare happening right now behind the scenes at the UNFCC negotiations. Several developing countries are upset that the "fast-start" money the industrialized world has promised -- $10 billion a year for three years --remains controlled by donor countries rather than those in a position to receive it. For the short term, Stern said, that won't change.

Stern said the U.S. is "supportive of a fund that's got balanced governance," but that's only over the long term.

"We would see the shape of funding going forward over time being different from what occurs now," he said. "But for the immediate, out-the-door money now, there's just not time to change that."

On a broader level, Stern said, countries are focused on reaching an agreement on the six key elements of a climate deal -- mitigation, transparency, financing, adaptation, technology and forest preservation -- by the end of the year, regardless of whether the deal is codified in a legal treaty.

"In the immediate future, people will try to make progress and try to push all of those issues forward, and build on what was considerable progress last year," he said.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  April 8, 2010; 11:00 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please report offensive comments below.

How's this for an unambiguous prediction:

There won't be another climate treaty because way too many people have figured out that CO2 has at most a minimal impact on global climate and that sending billions of dollars to countries like China and India is not going to make any difference in how the climate behaves.

Reforestation is probably beneficial in most cases, but collection millions or billions of dollars from people who work for their money because you planted trees is not very likely to happen now.

Sending less money to places like Venezuela, Russia, and the middle eastern dictatorships is a good idea.

Wind mills are making lots of money for companies like GE, so they can be expected to be highly in favor of replacing coal fired power plants with wind mills, at least until the Government subsidy money runs out. Wind mills are unlikely to ever be economically or environmentally justified, but why quibble when there are billions of dollars to be made.

In almost any case where third world countries stand to receive billions of dollars from the rest of the world, they will be in a big hurry to get the money.

Spending it on wind mills will be a tremendous waste while their people suffer from a lack of basic necessities. Spending it on coal fired power plants with stack scrubbers to filter out as much mercury, sulfur, and nitrous oxide would be extremely beneficial to many countries, but that won't happen right away because the AGW GHG folks would rather see the people in poor countries do without than admit that their CO2 based models are garbage. It is all about more money for me and my friends than science or benefit for humanity.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | April 8, 2010 12:21 PM
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