A Bali Breakthrough? Only 36 hrs remaining

from Tony C. Anderson, Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) Senior

BALI, Indonesia, Dec. 13 “[T]here is a wrecking crew lead by but the Bush administration and its minions…” said Jennifer L. Morgan of Third Generation Environmentalism during the Climate Action Networks’ press conference today.

Her comment echoes the sentiment of many attending the UN Bail Climate Change Conference (officially known as the 13th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 3rd Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol), which is now being held Bali, Indonesia.

“The wrecking crew is working hard to derail negotiations…Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Canada are all falling in line” adds Morgan.

Inserting hostile language into legislation delays progress by requiring a vote of the full governing body, the Conference of the Party, this serves as the tactic of choice to derail advancement. For example, just two days ago, a working group adopted its final decision on reducing emissions from deforestation (REDD), ten minutes to midnight; consensus was blocked by the United States, which in the end, stood alone. The issue– the US delegation refused to compromise on three words — “land use within.”

Papua New Guinea proposed removing the “[land use within]” words in each paragraph, which was supported by New Zealand, Brazil, Ecuador and Panama. The US, however, refused to give in and ultimately, consensus was blocked. The draft decision will be sent to the COP with paragraphs 11 and 12 still bracketed, indicating lack of consensus.

“We still have some work to do today and tomorrow. We are hopeful …that we can find a way to bridge remaining differences and reach a consensus on a Bali Roadmap,” says Dr. Paula J. Dobrianshy, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and head of the U.S. delegation to Bali negotiations.

Yesterday, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary outlined three targets, the Bali Roadmap, that would lay the foundation of a post 2012 agreement.
– Formal launch of negotiations on a post 2012 climate change agreement
– Agreement on the main agenda items for these negotiations, and
– Establishing a timeline to finish these negotiations.

With the final 36 hours commencing many Parties to the Conference, the official delegates to the UN Climate Change conference (COP-13) stand on edge as the window for progress slowly closes.

There is hope, but will we actually see a Bali Breakthrough?

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