As negotiators await the delayed beginning of this morning's final plenary, the US currently stands alone in its adament resistance to the inclusion in the final negotiating text of "Loss and Damage" , a new mechanism which calls on developed nations to accept monetary responsibility for rehabilitating least developed nations which have suffered the most violent impacts of climate change. One campaign group tweeted they had overheard US Chief Negotiator Todd Stern declare: ""I will block this. I will shut this down.”
COP18 is in overtime and overdrive in Doha, Qatar, as chief negotiators worked through the night Friday to finalize the final negotiating documents. And diplomats from Small Island States are threatening to bail on the talks if the US does not come around to agreeing to rehabilitation of damages to least developed countries as a result of overuse of carbon and other greenhouse gasses by the industrialized nations.
Rumors are circulating that Qatar is hoping to continue the negotiations rather than face what they portend might be a total failure of COP18. The final plenary has still not begun, which signals highly contentious differences between negotiating blocs.
In his article, Doha climate talks: US faces dilemma over final text, BBC reporter Roger Harrabin writes:
If the US is left alone fighting against the chair's text, its negotiators face a dilemma - either to bow to the majority and accept that the nations which caused climate change bear a moral responsibility to other nations damaged by it, or to refuse to sign.Hold onto your hats! And while you're waiting, check out AJE's
If the US vetoes the text, President Barack Obama will be accused of hypocrisy and failure after re-committing himself to tackling climate change since his re-election.
If he agrees the text he will face criticism from Republicans, whilst he tries to negotiate his own deal over US government finances.
Interactive Infographic: The politics of climate change which outlines "the positions of key countries and political blocs on climate change measures before the COP18 in Qatar."
Some specifics of the new text:
• restricts use of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) credits to countries ready to take legal action under the Kyoto Protocol
• allows for the carry over of carbon credits
• proposes an an 8 year commitment period, with carry over on Assigned Amount Units AAU
• The KP second commitment period calls for voluntary commitments
From Climate Change Blog: Excerpts of Saturday morning text:
Text on Arrangements between the Conference of the Parties and the Green Climate Fund (FCCC/CP/2012/L.18) are to be drawn up by GCF Standing Committee. Green Climate Fund report (FCCC/CP/2012/L.17) only says it has about 10 billion USD tops and then only for administrative costs. No mention of money for disbursement.
Text on LCA (FCCC/CP/2012/L.14) uses 2 degree benchmark and includes reference to equity and common but differentiated responsibility in Shared vision.
Supports REDD+, but only through workshops and further call for comments by March 2013.
Calls for more market mechanisms in consideration of new market-based mechanisms, but nothing on non-market mechanisms. Non.market mechanism could be considered under general call for various approached (paras. 41-49).
Delays technology transfer action to COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, next November.
Calls for continued work of Cancun Adaptation Framework and for Adaptation Committee to "consider the establishment of an annual adaptation forum."
Extends, really delays, discussion on longterm finance for another year. Similar decision is in Work programme on long-term finance decision (FCCC/CP/2012/L.15)
Calls for next year's Durban Forum to consider capacity building.
Calls for vague review of ambition.
Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:26 PM PT: Policy meeting w/ @CANIntl going over new texts. Countries deliberating positions. Plenary still empty. #COP18
12:08 AM PT: US the bully refusing to accept Loss and Damage terms. Will the cheese stand alone?