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Climate Change

Informal French Conclave Moves Climate Talks Forward… Sort Of

Earlier this week, the French government hosted another round of a series of informal leadership consultations on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The climate talks helped prepare for November-December’s 21st UNFCCC’s Conference of Parties. Earlier this year, Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and President of COP21, organized the series of informal political conferences to support (not to replace) the UN negotiating process.

Ahmed Djoghlaf (left) of Algeria and US envoy Daniel Reifsnyder confer at the formal climate talks in Bonn (UNFCCC)

Ahmed Djoghlaf (left) of Algeria and US envoy Daniel Reifsnyder, ADP co-chairs, confer at the formal late summer climate talks in Bonn (UNFCCC)

The recent consultations drew together high-level diplomatic negotiators together on September 6 (Sunday), and senior environment officials on Monday, September 7. Sixty ministers attended in all. Over the weekend, delegations from 18 developed nations discussed climate financing, especially methodologies for before and after 2020, in the context of limiting average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above the levels occurring before the Industrial Revolution.

Several still developing countries—including South Korea, Mexico, and Colombia—have joined these industrial nations in pledging to the Green Climate Fund to help the least developed and most immediately threatened cope with climate change.

The meeting followed on the heels of last week’s round of official climate talks, where national UN delegates voted for the second time this year to pass the buck for creating a new draft for consideration in Paris. They appointed the co-chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria and Daniel Reifsnyder of the US, to produce a new synthesis of the draft agreement crafted at last year’s Lima meeting and redrafted three times this year. The co-chairs’ last draft was confusing, partly because of the different varieties of English in which they wrote it. The new one is expected by the first week in October.

A UNFCCC news release described expectations for the new draft:

“The draft… [will] present clear options and ways forward on all elements of the agreement and the decisions that will operationalize it.”

Djoghlaf adds:

“Countries have crystallized their positions, and have requested the co-chairs to produce a concise basis for negotiations with clear options for the next negotiating session in October. This means that we will arrive in Paris on time without too much turbulence—not before, not later.”

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Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."


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