This morning, the mood music coming from Cancun was that China and America were working their way through the morass of obstacles to a meaningful agreement. A briefing yesterday by Jonathan Pershing (pictured), the head of the US delegation, and Su Wei, his Chinese counterpart, led to a host of positive headlines.
Washington claimed progress on Monday in easing rifts with Beijing on ways to fight global warming as U.N. climate talks got under way in Mexico with warnings about the rising costs of inaction.
“We have spent a lot of energy in the past month working on those issues where we disagree and trying to resolve them,” said Jonathan Pershing, heading the U.S. delegation at the talks in Cancun.
Traditional integrated, multi-national oil companies are increasingly worried about the way in which nationalised (or part-nationalised) rivals are encroaching onto their natural territory.
One example is the way in which national oil companies (NOCs) are beginning to take an interest in upstream activities, and acquiring the kinds of technical expertise they used to rely on internationals (IOCs) to provide. Now we also know that the NOCs are outstripping the IOCs in capital spending, thanks to a new piece of research from Evaluate Energy.
According to the report, which surveyed over 50 NOCs and the top seven major IOCs, capital spending by NOCs has grown by 131 per cent from 2005 to 2009, while that by the IOCs has increased only 59 per cent in that time.
Compromise, compromise, compromise – that is the watchword for the climate talks now going on in Cancun, according to the United Nations’ top climate change official, Christiana Figueres (pictured).
Her insistence was a clear reminder that the first objective of this year’s conference is to avoid scenes of the kind that marred the final days of last year’s summit in Copenhagen – when the debate degenerated into name-calling on the part of some countries, to the deep offence of many others.
It was impossible to predict yesterday whether her call for a constructive spirit would be heeded – on the first day, it’s easy for all the negotiators to wear winning smiles and to clap the anodyne speeches.