(AP) -- November 24, 2013
The world came together in a big way last week in Warsaw, Poland to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which are warming the Earth's surface. Emphasizing what humans have in common while disdaining trivial regional, cultural or racial differences, the climate talks ended happily on Sunday with delegations from every country on Earth joining together to sing a rousing version of Kumbaya. This reporter got goose bumps...
Sorry! Didn't happen! Never could happen! Never will happen!
Well, what did happen? The Poland talks were meant to set the stage for the real deal in Paris in 2015.
Governments around the world have just over a year in which to set out their targets on curbing greenhouse gas emissions from 2020, after marathon overnight climate change talks in Warsaw produced a partial deal.
Under the agreement, settled in the early hours of Sunday morning after more than 36 hours of non-stop negotiations, countries have until the first quarter of 2015 to publish their plans. This process is seen as essential to achieving a new global deal on emissions at a crunch conference in Paris in late 2015, for which the fortnight-long Warsaw conference was supposed to lay the groundwork.
"Warsaw has set a pathway for governments to work on a draft text of a new universal climate agreement, an essential step to reach a final agreement in Paris, in 2015," said Marcin Korolec, the Polish host of the conference, who was demoted from environment minister to climate envoy during the talks.
The talks were characterised by discord and acrimony, and by the emergence of a new and highly vocal negotiating bloc among developing countries that forced through the watering down of key aspects of the deal.
The Guardian report quoted here concludes with this text.
But all countries admitted that most of the preparation work for Paris still remains to be done. Politically, the battle between the like-minded group – which is separate from, but claims to lie within, the broader G77 group of the majority of developing nations – and the US and the EU will be key.
For both sides, gaining support from the rest of the unaligned developing nations – some of which are highly vulnerable to climate change and are desperate for a deal, but others who are courting economic investment from China – will be crucial.
The fragile truce reached after the marathon talks in Warsaw may not even last as long as the delegates' flights home.
And for the masochists among you, here is Amy Goodwin of Democracy Now! interviewing Alice Bows and Kevin Anderson of the U.K. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (video below).
I dissected the views of Anderson and Bows in Confusion In The Twilight Zone (September 17, 2013).