The energy in Moon Palace today is high as we enter the thick of negotiations. Progress has been made in the general areas of finance, transparency, and technology transfer. Because these meetings are held as informal contacts (read: no trackers aloud), I spent my day in the corridors speaking with negotiators and policy wonks; the general sense is that small steps are being made toward next week.
Under the AWG-LCA (working group on long term cooperative action) finance negotiations are still underway. Many points of agreement have been reached but an over-arching governance structure is not yet agreed on. This is significant for the success of an outcome, which I talked about earlier here. I stopped down one delegate from Papua New Guinea who said “the conflicts we’re having today are more technical than political.” Another hallway expert said, “I think we’re making progress and I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that finance will not be the most difficult hurdle we encounter.”
Progress has also been made towards transparency in a balanced climate package and progress on how to measure, report, and verify greenhouse gas emissions.
I want to know where Canada stands on all these issues but, to be truthful, it is really hard to know. Not only does Canada give the floor to Australia for a lot of our speeches, but the meetings are now held behind closed doors. When we ask Mr. Saint Jacques about these more specific issues in negotiations, we often hear a more general rather than specific position on negotiating issues. Since I can’t watch Canada directly, I asked my friends in other country Delegations for their update. Papua New Guinea informed me that Canada is doing well this year, especially compared to Copenhagen. We are being constructive especially on technical pieces and working for agreement.
On the other hand, I also had a representative from a small island developing state approach me in exasperation, asking me to explain the psychology of the Canadian negotiator. She wants to know how Canadian’s think and what motivates our negotiators. According to her, our poker face was formidable – Lady Gaga would be proud.
I dedicate the Lady Gaga reference in this article to my fellow-tracker Alex Stark.
About the authorJoanna Dafoe
Joanna is an advocate for climate leadership on both the UN and community level. She attended the Montreal, Bali, and Copenhagen climate meetings with the Canadian Youth Delegation. Outside the UNFCCC, Joanna has been active in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development where she attended the 16th and 17th sessions as a youth representative. Currently living in Sweden on exchange, she calls Edmonton and Toronto her home.