Thursday 08 December - Day 11: Life is not a bowl of
As expected, the pace of developments and sense of urgency
associated with the talks have increased in these final two days of
the negotiations. Like any raw material under pressure, the process
is showing evidence of high pressure breaking points and low
resistance malleability. At this point, it is unclear whether a
pure metal will emerge: As we say in East London, ignis aurum
probat, miseria fortes homines (which loosely translates as
"life is not a bowl of cherries").
The COP President reached out to civil society to communicate
the essential role of Non-Parties. In doing so, she affirmed the
fragile state of the negotiations and the need for openness, trust,
and the absence of brinkmanship that will be required to achieve a
deal. She candidly stated that success in Durban would, in South
Africa's view, be achieved if:
the process remained positive (in contrast to prior
there was agreement on financing through forward movement on
the pledges to, and implementation of, the Green Climate Fund;
a clear path forward on the Kyoto Protocol and a legally
binding agreement involving all emitters was achieved.
She generally remained positive that a deal could be reached in
The COP 17 President convened a Ministerial Indaba last night
(Thursday) at 10 p.m. The President was asked by ministers to
continue deliberations. It will reconvene later today (Friday).
Various papers have been made available, in respect of the
"bigger picture" and discussions under the KP and broader
The paper in respect of the "bigger picture" sets out
a series of options regarding a roadmap for further negotiations,
and the eventual adoption of a legally binding agreement, as well
as the forum for such discussions. Various options are presented in
respect of legal form, including another legally binding instrument
under the Convention, adoption of an Article 17 protocol or another
legally binding instrument and/or Decisions. Options for the KP are
much more complex and presented in
This sense of measured, but tentative optimism is supported by a
marked change in the Canadian negotiating position. In sharp
contrast to his Wednesday comments, Minister Kent indicated that
Canada was willing to take on legally binding targets and enter
into a new agreement effective 2015. In the corridors, this is
thought to be the workings and impetus of a new coalition among
Canada, US, and certain emerging economies with key roles in the
New market mechanism discussions under the AWG-LCA process
appear to be stalled on procedural and substantive issues. Parties
led by the US were disappointed that no new text was produced. The
parties have essentially arrived at the point where 3 main options
to proceed are being put forward for decision. The first is
agreement to new market mechanisms, through either a legally
binding framework on the rules and MRV, or a more flexible
structure. The second is no agreement on new market mechanisms. The
third involves agreement on a framework or work plan to consider
new market mechanisms. We anticipate that the parties will reach
agreement on the third option.
It was intended that the Guidelines for the CDM Executive Board
work would wrap up yesterday. This proved unachievable, with no
agreed guidelines resulting from the session which ran late into
Discussions will continue today. Progress appears to be blocked
on the issues of the CDM Executive Board reviewing its own conduct,
and the development of guidance on global and local stakeholder
consultation. There does not appear to be any forward movement on
the development of an appeal process through this stream of the
Nearby, the JI discussions took a surprising turn. 2011 is a
crucial year for JI in view of a potential absence of a second
Kyoto Protocol commitment period. In earlier sessions Russia, keen
to optimise its position, seemed to be playing a hard game in
relation to paragraphs 17, 18 and 19 of the draft text relating to
this question, but eventually folded to the disappointment of some
and satisfaction of others.
We'll send out our final blog on Monday with an overview of
what may be termed the "Durban Mandate".
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Two important principles of South African law collided head
on, with unsatisfactory consequences, when Chief Bareki (a
traditional leader acting on behalf of his tribe) and an
environmental concern group sued Gencor and certain
subsidiaries for the environmental clean up following
discontinued asbestos mining activities.
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