Actually, the pause for reflection happened in the rather large plenary room as the Chair of the LCA convened a “taking stock” session. All of the text negotiation sessions have been closed to observers and press, so this was the first time the civil society had a formal glimpse as to how things were developing. The chair of AWG-LCA has divided the negotiation text into five tracks, which all seem to be making some progress. She hopes that by limiting the negotiations to parties only, that more progress will be made. So far, the chair believes that the possible outcomes for Cancun include: a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions; adaptation framework and approach to address loss and damage; economy-wide emission reduction commitments or actions by developed country Parties; readiness phases of activities in the forest sector (REDD+); reducing emissions from bunker fuels; reporting on fast-start finance; mobilization of long-term finance; capacity-building. Unfortunately, there were several parties who voiced their disagreement with her assessment. One of the sticking points is that there is still disagreement about whether it all needs to be a complete package, or whether portions can be worked out and set before moving forward on the remainder. And, of course, there’s always the issue that the U.S. isn’t doing enough. Until now, another complaint is that China isn’t transparent enough, but with the progress China has demonstrably made, there is less talk about that in the corridors. Moravian College will have a delegation of 11 students, alumni, and faculty members at Cancun – we’ll keep you posted!
As for the meditation room, it seems mainly used by the Muslims in their daily prayers. At the appropriate times of day, they wash their feet in the nearby bathroom and make their way to the meditation room down the hall.