Russia blocks the climate talks using procedural issues


The whole first week of the UN Climate Talks taking place here in Bonn, Germany, have been undermined by blocking tactics from Russia.

The actions of Russia have also highlighted the structural weaknesses of the UN climate negotiations, which often grind to halt due to the actions of just one country (or in this case, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus). This is because a ‘consensus’ is needed to make agreements.

Meetings under the ‘SBI’, which stands for the ‘Subsidiary Body of Implementation’, have been unable to take place all week, leaving negotiators and NGOs extremely frustrated.

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Bolivia at the UN climate talks: “We need to stop going in circles”


In the Bangkok session this week, developing countries expressed frustration at the slow progress of the UN ‘informal’ talks on climate change.

In Monday’s LCA (Long-term Cooperative Action) talks, Columbia asked the delegates to discuss the concerns of developing countries.  United States, however, said that discussion of these concerns this would “pre-empt” the discussions next week by the Adaptation Committee.  They then proceeded to read out the agenda.

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A slice of the broader narrow picture

Last night was UNfairplay’s first ever side event!

Side event = boring, dry, uninspiring? Not necessarily, I know I have been surprised at how engaging issues of participation have been for those involved in UNfairplay, and to those who we try to convey our findings too. Our aim was to draw attention to the report but also to highlight other schemes created to plug participation gaps at the UNFCCC. I think the reason our arguments are gaining traction and interest from all sides is very simply because they are issues of justice, and plain unfairness. My parents always hated my “its not fair” phase at the age of 7, well it’s back.

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Money, money, money

You may or may not know, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, but the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI), which is a stream of the talks, currently has on its agenda a number of important ideas for improving civil society participation in this process.

These ideas include setting up an online consultation system for every major agenda item that is being discussed. This would act as a means of gauging support, recieiving alernatives before they are discussed, and possibly during negotiations, but online so the proposer does not need to be in attendance of meeting (potentially); also for a larger number of meetings to be webcast (although this probably still excludes closed meetings); a voluntary trust fund to aid participation of observers from certain developing countries.

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Passionate Pragmatism


The UNfairplay team for week 1

Hello from Bonn, I’m Sophie and I’m new to Unfairplay.

Coming along to Bonn as my first involvement in the UNFCCC process has been a steep learning curve.

So what has my experience so far been?

This is a world of acronyms. At time it feels almost like learning a new language. It can be rather confusing, but as with learning a new language, it comes with a buzz as you realise you are slowly starting to get your head around it. On that note, here’s an update from Unfairplay and an insight into some of what the team have been up to this week.

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Christiana gets it…

Christiana Figueres reading the report 'Levelling the Playing Field'

I hope we haven’t left you waiting for an update from Bonn for too long. The lack of reporting fortunately does not mean we have been inactive, in fact, the opposite is the case. Conny has been in Bonn since Monday, and Isobel, Isabel , Lena and Sophie have joined her tuesday night.

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The key policy issues here at Bonn 2011

Just to give you a quick update on what the main issues at stake are here in Bonn, the UN climate talks 2011.

1. The extension of the Kyoto Protocol to a second commitment period after 2012.

Developing countries (LDC’s, AOSIS etc) are definitely in favour of a second commitment period, as they see the alternative being voluntary pledges with no legally binding obligations. This would mean we have no hope of reducing maximum temperature rise to 2 degrees C (or 1.5 degrees if we are being very hopeful).

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