Doha Climate Change Negotiations

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 187
  • Published : March 25, 2014
Open Document
Text Preview
Doha Climate Change Negotiations: Moving Beyond the Dueling Dinosaurs to Bring Together Equity and Ambition The vast plenary hall was nearly empty. Nation after nation had ministers and negotiators stand up for their three minute statements on the progress of these 18th annual climate negotiations taking place in the cavernous Qatar National Convention Center in the desert near Doha. Slim and greying American lead negotiator Todd Stern mounted the steps to deliver what everyone assumed would be a defensive and rote portrayal of an administration doing all it could, the tired and totally debunked line about how the U.S. is showing leadership on climate action. But he didn't. Stern summarized the state of the first of four years of talks on the "Durban Platform for Enhanced Action," which is supposed to negotiate a long-term treaty by 2015, and then went on to surprise nearly everyone. Stern said, "Let’s provide a thorough opportunity for Parties to discuss all critical issues, including the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.  The United States would welcome such a discussion." He continued by explaining his logic, "because unless we can find common ground on that principle and the way in which it should apply in the world of the 2020s, we won’t succeed in producing a new Durban Platform agreement. And we have to succeed. So let’s have that discussion." Hallelujah. Stern is dead right on this: the past 20 years of negotiations since the initial 1992 Rio de Janeiro Framework Convention on Climate Change has been largely futile because there was no clarity and agreement upfront about the operational meaning of its core principle: "Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities." The phrase is referred to so often in these wonky circles that it is simply called CBRD, or more precisely, CBRD+RC. The problem is that different countries and individuals have had different ideas about...
tracking img