Procrastination at Poznan

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poznan_dec3

Day 3 of the UN Climate Change Conference at Poznan

(Click picture to see photo in original context on Conference website.)

Nobody seems to be expecting very much to happen at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan. Though the BBC on-line news service does cover the Conference, the story not easy to find. It does not feature on its News Front Page RSS feed, giving way to stories of greater global importance such as Honda’s decision withdraw from Formula 1 motor racing or Terry Wogan’s decision to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Wall Street Journal argues that the global economic crisis has sapped the will of European countries such as Italy and Germany to support French President, Nicholas Sarkozy’s bid to get European nations to sign up to a 20% cut in their CO2 emissions by 2020.

Poland’s Puls Biznesu, a Polish language daily which covers business and economic matters has decided that it can safely ignore the Conference. There is nothing about the Conference on its on-line pages. There is, however, a story (Polish) that Regional Development Minister, Elzbieta Bienkowska, announced that she intends to increase the amount of EU funds devoted to road-building from 16 billion euro to 21 billion euro. Bienkowska presumably forgot that, for the period 2007-2013, EU transport funding should be allocated approximately as follows:

Roads and motorways: 52%
Railways: 30%
Public passenger transport (urban, suburban, regional): 10%
Inland waterways: 2%
Ports: 2%
Intermodal infrastructure: 1%
Airports: 1%

Perhaps the last word should to an American. Hugh Bartling writes on his blog:

Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky will be arriving in Poznan next week for the high-level ministerial negotiations that will be the culmination of the two-week UN process towards a post-Kyoto global climate change treaty. She and the chief White House environmental policy advisor, James Connaughton had a press briefing today in advance of their trip.

Dobriansky basically said that their participation in efforts to achieve anything substantial will be minimal:

In Poznan, our highest priority will be to set the stage for an effective outcome in 2009. And what this means specifically is that we hope that Poznan can produce a deeper understanding of parties’ priorities and expectations, and then also our objective there is to reach consensus on a practical work plan — a work plan that will guide us and the new team into intensive negotiations into the spring period of next year for agreement at Copenhagen in December in 2009.

This, of course, is essentially a replay from last year’s meeting in Bali. Nearly a year ago, Dobriansky explained what the US delegation wanted to accomplish in Bali:

First, we would like to see a successful outcome in Bali, and specifically, the United States is very committed to developing a new global post-2012 framework that is environmentally effective and economically sustainable. And toward this end, the United States will be working with its partners to reach consensus on a Bali road map that will advance negotiations

Over the past year we’ve moved from wanting to “advance negotiations” to an outcome that will “produce a deeper understanding of parties’ priorities”!

The United Nations Climate Change Conference comprising, the Fourteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14), the Fourth Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 4), the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 29), the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 29), the Resumed Sixth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (Resumed AWG-KP 6) and the Fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA 4) opened in Poznan on Monday 1 December.

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3 Responses to “Procrastination at Poznan”

  1. Michael Dembinski Says:

    Just back from five days in the Miserable Grey Little Island. And not A SINGLE WORD about COP 14 in the British Media.

  2. dyspozytor Says:

    Welcome back Mike. I guess that the UK government’s new ploy of terrorizing Tory MPs is keeping the UK press distracted from events in Poznan.

  3. Andy in Germany Says:

    I think if the economy was doing well, then it would still be an excuse not to push emissions back. If the four horesmen of the apocalypse had been sighted riding along the streets of Warsaw, it would be taken as a sign that we must look after the economy at the expense of the environment…

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