Climate negotiations still cloaked in secrecy
With four days left until the scheduled ending of the COP-15 meeting on climate change in Copenhagen, the shift continued moving away from negotiating positions to the more secretive ministerial level today.
As an inevitable result, business and industry observers are becoming less involved in the complex debate of how the world can reach a new, strengthened post-Kyoto agreement on limiting and then reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
Indeed, one industry official attending the UN conference today said “things are becoming more and more opaque as we progress” since observers are not able to access as many conference details as before.
What is apparent today is that, in many respects, negotiations towards finding a new emissions-reduction agreement appear to be near a confusing standstill.
“I have no idea what’s happening, quite frankly,” said Steve Sawyer, secretary-general of the Global Wind Energy Council, adding negotiations positions seem to be quite divided. “Someone has to blink or else we won’t have an agreement.”
Concurring, Remi Gruet, climate change advisor for the European Wind Energy Association, said today’s plenary sessions should be reporting there has been very little progress so far.
“A lot of the [outstanding] issues have been kicked back to the ministerial level,” Gruet said.
“We still expect to have a political agreement that will be non-legally binding but, obviously, this can not be considered a success. But, it’s also not necessarily a failure since the process will continue next year.”
Gruet also noted today marks the end of the Bali Action Plan process that began two years ago at the UN climate change conference in Indonesia.
The “four pillars” of the action plan, he said, include a shared vision on how to reduce between 2012 and 2050 greenhouse gases in order to avoid dangerous climate change; mitigation; adaptation; and finance and technology issues.
For the wind power industry, Gruet said, mitigation is the most important pillar because that is where future polices promoting wind energy, other renewables and energy efficiency will be applied.
It was also learned that a total of 7,000 business and industry observer NGOs would be allowed entrance into the Bella Centre today and Wednesday but that figure would drop to only 1,000 by Thursday as already heavy security continues to increase due to the arrival later in the week of Heads of State.