As heads of state arrive in Copenhagen, the two main ad-hoc negotiating sessions (one on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the other on “long-term cooperative action”) worked late Tuesday night to finish their work. The delegates are looking exhausted today.
The report of the long-term cooperation action group, which was formed to negotiate a comprehensive long-term treaty text that could attract the participation of the United States, is now available online. There was a scramble until early Wed morning to eliminate as many of the brackets as possible in this document (representing areas of disagreement), but it wasn’t possible. The document in fact looks very similar to a draft that was issued last Friday. Not much progress has been made, and the real work (including putting emissions reductions numbers and finance commitments in the crucial appendices) remains for the high-level delegations in the next 48 hours. At 6:30 this morning, the negotiators in the LCA working group agreed to forward this entire package to the Conference of the Parties as “unfinished business.”
Director, Merhige Center for Environmental Studies University of Richmond School of Law Richmond VA, 23173