Today, the delegates are going to leave Bonn and not return until June next year (for a new session of SBI and SBSTA), but one day still remains. The last day of negotiations is basically always the same, in the morning, the delegates use to finalize the documents they were working on during the week and in the afternoon they meet in plenary session to vote and express some concerns or comments.
However, and before this traditional last day of negotiations, the delegates still have a lot of work and still have a lot to negotiate. And since the talks in one of the working group (LCA) are closed to observers, we do not really know what the outcome of this week is going to be. Furthermore, this morning, the chair of this contact group was really vague and unclear when she met the civil society. Such a blurry situation!
The second working group chaired by John Ashe is still open to observers and the session we attended yesterday afternoon was just unbelievable. During the first hour, the delegates were negotiating on the substance of the draft text, but after this first hour, the rhythm of the talks totally changed, and a bracket war started.
At the beginning, it was a really intense discussion between the European Union and Brazil about an option that EU would like to get rid of in the text. After that, all the parties started to add brackets everywhere they could. European Union even asked to put asterisks into brackets, asterisks referring to the “economy in transition” status of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Of course and in order to preserve their interests protected by this status, the lead negotiator of the Russian federation came in the room to remind the parties of this importance of the derogatory status for these three countries. Straight after, the funniest statement was given by the delegate of New Zealand (actually, I am not sure that it was New Zealand…) who asked the chair to add “curly brackets” instead of “brackets”. Of course, some of them raised the question of the “curly bracket” and asked for more explanations, that nobody could really give!
Finally and in order to simplify the talks, the delegate of Saudi Arabia not surprisingly proposed to put a bracket before the title and a second one in the end of text. It is what we could call Saudi pragmatism!
About the authorFlorent Baarsch
Writing on adaptation to climate change. Sometimes blogger @lemondefr following #UNFCCC #climate negotiations.