One problem besetting climate negotiations, both at Copenhagen and at Cancun, is a lack of trust. This is because there has been no consistent metric by which to measure progress globally. Each nation provides their own monitoring and reporting.
The solution, just launched this week at the Cancun climate talks by the World Resources Institute (WRI), is an independent network that will track countries’ progress toward cutting emissions and providing climate finance, by convening independent research institutes around the world to provide consistent and peer-reviewed information on major economies’ actions on climate change.
The new global auditing organization, the Open Climate Network (OCN) can provide a fair and equal assessment and comparison of every nation’s actions. This solves one major source of tension in the UNFCCC negotiations, that there is a lack of trust in a consistent metric.
It has been a key stumbling block between the US and China, in particular.
“Understanding where others are going is absolutely vital – that mutual trust is fundamental,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, speaking at the launch, at the Cancun summit.
“Major economies have made high-level commitments to tackle climate change, but it has been difficult to access information about their progress that is consistent and trusted at the international level,” said Jennifer Morgan, director of the Climate and Energy Program at WRI.
“OCN fills this gap by tapping the world’s leading research institutes to develop a highly credible source of information about countries’ progress.”
Drawing on national experts to shed light on what is working, what isn’t, and why, the OCN will publish the first assessments in late 2011.
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