Bonn Climate Talks: Some Progress But Finances, National Political Stumbling Blocks Remain

wwf The latest round of UN climate change agreement negotiations concluded in Bonn today. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change delegates made some headway, but progress didn’t move ahead as fast as is needed for a strong, binding global successor to the Kyoto Protocol to be agreed upon at the UNFCCC’s 15th Conference of Parties meeting in Copenhagen this December, according to World Wildlife Fund observers.

How much financial support will be allocated to assist developing countries achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation goals and where this money will come from remains a key stumbling block, according to the WWF, as do national political disagreements regarding the need for strong action to be taken.

On the positive side, a growing number of countries now support the idea of instituting legally binding emissions reduction targets based on keeping mean global climate change below the 2ºC recently agreed upon at the recent Major Economies Forum in Aquila, Italy, according to the WWF’s report.

WWF’s Take on the Latest Round in Bonn

“We would have liked the Parties of the UNFCCC to use the opportunity and take initiative. But delegates spent too much time arguing over procedures and technicalities. This is not the way overcome mistrust between rich and poor nations,” said Kim Carstensen, the head of WWF Global Climate Initiative. “Delegates are kept back by political gridlock. The political leaders must now unblock the process.”

Climate change is the primary topic on the agenda of a series of high-level international political meetings in September, and attention is now shifting towards preparing for them, WWF notes. These include the UN General Assembly meeting, another meeting of the Major Economies Forum, and a G20 meeting.

WWF is urging G20 members to make a commitment to three to four “viable means of mobilizing resources at the scale of $160 billion per year, in order to set the stage for success in Copenhagen.

“If the meetings of the General Assembly, the Major Economies Forum and the G20 in September are successful in building the political momentum needed, the UN negotiations can progress much faster at the next meeting in October in Bangkok,” Carstensen said.

“Without commitments on funding, it is impossible to design a solid climate agreement. It is like asking a manager to run a company without telling him what his budget is.”

Andrew Burger
Andrew Burger
A product of the New York City public school system, Andrew Burger went on to study geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, work in the wholesale money and capital markets for a major Japanese bank and earn an MBA in finance.

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