After a dismal day at the Copenhagen climate talks on Wednesday, there was much more to be cheerful about on Thursday; for those hoping for a deal, at least. Tonight, though, while leaders gather in Copenhagen and dine with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, a deal still hangs in the balance.
Friday is going to be a very interesting day.
The climate change negotiations in Copenhagen are just too close to call at present.
Countries were on Thursday night engaged in a frantic last round of discussions as world leaders arrived.
A leaked document from the United Nations appeared to show that the commitments made on greenhouse gas emissions so far were inadequate and would lead to warming of about 3 degrees Celsius, well above what many scientists regard as the limit of safety. The document read: “Unless the remaining gap [between emissions pledges offered and those scientists say are needed] is closed and parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emisions will remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550ppm [parts per million] with the related temperature raise [sic] around 3 degrees.”
That caused a sensation.
FT Energy Source is posting a daily question for our panel of expert commentators. Below are replies from Vivienne Cox, chairman of Climate Change Capital, Robert Stavins of Harvard University, Jeremy Leggett of Solarcentury and Kyoto carbon markets architect Graciela Chichilnisky.
Do you expect the leaders’ presence at the Copenhagen negotiations to help or hinder the process of reaching a meaningful climate change deal?
Vivienne Cox: The presence of world leaders will of course help the process because, in reality, it can’t be done without them. It is imperative that they feel committed and responsible for delivering their own country’s commitments. They can also help with the politics of implementation if they are able to raise above the morass of the UN system.
After a terrible day in the Copenhagen climate talks on Wednesday, with the negotiations bogged down in procedural wrangling, a rare insight has emerged into the negotiating tactics of China, and India, the two most important developing countries.
A fascinating piece in India’s Business Standard gives a privileged insnight into the co-operation between the two countries.