Think politics is frustrating? Welcome to climate negotiations

● By Luke Kemp, Australian National University ● The latest climate negotiations in Bonn have been stalled for two full weeks and climate multilateralism is in crisis mode leading up to the next major gathering in 2015. So, what is the problem? There is an inconvenient truth that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been operating for almost 20 years without any official rules of procedure. This little known fact has repeatedly re-emerged to haunt the negotiations, including in the most recent round of talks. It is also a fact that could help save the climate talks and the atmosphere. The adoption of rules was vetoed by Saudi Arabia back in 1992 due to a dispute over voting measures. This left the negotiations in a legal void where consensus (which is undefined but generally seen as the absence of objection) is informally used as the main rule for decision-making. Some parties are now making use of this to veto and slow the talks. The Russian Federation is currently blocking the adoption of the agenda for one track of negotiations unless a discussion on rules and decision-making is included. Without an agenda, negotiations cannot unfold. Unfortunately, this is a conversation that many countries, like oil producing ones who favour consensus, don’t want to have. Others don’t want to set a precedent by caving in to Russia’s demands. The result is a stalemate and a process that is dead in the water. This strand of negotiations (the “Subsidiary Body for Implementation”) will now be closed after two weeks of delay, without ever having started. Progress is unlikely to occur until the next summit in Warsaw in December. Russia’s objections are political in nature. At the last climate summit in Doha the end document was approved and consensus declared despite the loud verbal dissent from Russia. The Qatari president of the summit ignored Russia in order to proclaim a fake consensus and prevent a collapse of talks ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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