Thursday, December 10, 2009

Draft Versions of Text on Potential Consequences of Climate Change

On occasion, I have been one of a group working on editing a single document. We all highlight our changes (in different colors) and insert our corrections. I don't enjoy this process. Can you imagine editing a document with over 100 parties in the room?

This afternoon, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties Under the Protocol resumed its ninth session. This afternoon, the group began where it left off previously -- Paragraph 7,(c). We spent nearly 30 minutes on this section:

"Information from [existing] work under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), [the results of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)] and work of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) and other UNFCCC bodies which may have relevance in considering potential consequences."

Unfortunately, the leader of the G77 group and China were not present (one wonders if they were still working on getting the AWG-LCA back on track after the the negotiations were suspended), so the G77 countries could only speak as parties. The only goal was to see if the text in the square brackets should be deleted or allowed to stay.

One party suggested that the second bracketed section, "the results ..." should be eliminated, and it was implicit in the later section "other UNFCCC bodies." Another agreed, and pointed out that the AWG-LCA was a short-term group, and that this language should be more long-term. But then another party suggested that the point was to say that the actual "results of the work" already completed needed to be included. Not reaching a consensus, we shifted to the discussion of the single word "existing." Well, at that point, Saudi Arabia objected strongly. The representative for Saudi Arabia said that we shouldn't make any decisions at this point with the G77 and China representatives not present. And so it went.

The entire text in the draft version is only 15 paragraphs long, but it's pretty easy to see that it will take a few days to get through it! And at this point, it's hard to see how a consensus will be reached.

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