BONN, Aug. 6 - U.N. climate talks have moved backward rather than forward toward a hoped-for deal later this year as nations make slow progress on pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions and add more proposals to the working document.
As talks in Bonn on a new climate treaty draws to an end on Friday, there is still a lot of work to be done at remaining meetings in Tianjin, China and Mexico at the end of the year.
“I came to Bonn hopeful of a deal in Cancun, but at this point I am very concerned as I have seen some countries walking back from progress made in Copenhagen,” said Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. deputy special climate envoy.
A new climate text under discussion has increased to 34 pages from 17 as new proposals are added or old ones reinserted. The blueprint contains a set of draft decisions for final U.N. talks in Cancun, Mexico in November, including the impact on agriculture of emissions, carbon market mechanisms and the mechanics and impact of moving to a low-emissions future.
The European Union's co-lead negotiator, Artur Runge-Metzger, accused some countries of adding text in a “tit for tat” way and said, “It is important in Tianjin to turn that spirit around.” U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres said the text would not be allowed to grow further and that some progress had been made towards deciding on the shape of a future deal.
“If you see the bigger picture, we have progress here in Bonn. It is hard to cook a meal without a pot, and governments are much closer to actually making the pot,” she said.
But the Climate Action Network, a coalition of about 500 non-profit organisations, said heads of state need to give their representatives clearer direction to concentrate on areas where they can find convergence to make real progress in Cancun.