On the first morning of week 2, negotiations began again here in Bonn, Germany.
In order to re-cap on the first week, we celebrated a collective monday-morning blues with an extended “stocktaking” session. Those facilitating the session thought there the first week had gone smoothly, if a little slowly.
But they affirmed that we have “achieved the expectations contained in the scenario note” and and reiterated that we won’t be making any big changes here in Bonn. Apparently the Geneva text is set to remain open until Paris.
Ater introducing the meeting, co-facilitator Ahmed Djoghlaf noted that he hoped “there will be no statements” that might delay progress.
For a second, the room was silent.
It felt like the session would end straight away; but then the EU rose the flag and stated:
“During the first days we have built trust, but we are concerned we spent a week engaging an exercise that should have done by Secretariat before we arrived”.
Moreover, they called for an updated version of the informal text to be issued, as
“we have ministerial meetings to attend and we need to present the progress we have made.”
By the time the EU had concluded, however, more than 20 different countries had raised their flags to speak.
EIG, G77, African Group, Arab Group, LMDCs, AOSIS, India, LDCs, China, AILAC, US, Russia, New Zealand and even the French Presidency delivered a statement, among others.
They generally agreed on three basic points:
1. A sense gratitude and trust in Co-chairs and Co-facilitators’ work and engagement shown with Parties so far.
2. The acknowledgment that the pace of work has been too slow.
3. The need to produce a new informal document reflecting the progress made, by tomorrow or by the end of the session at the latest.
Basically, countries have realized they are tragically late.
How could this happen again?
As I wrote a week ago, this perspective seemed extremely clear since the very first day of the session:
“As climate talks resumed in Bonn today, you would expect Parties to start making concrete progress in the streamlining process. However, this doesn’t really seem to be on schedule (…)”. 1 June, 2015
It’s a very old UNFCCC story.
Progress blocked by a process.
Sure, it we have to acknowledge the difficulties that Countries and the Co-facilitors are still experiencing in communicating with each other.
But in this regard, I think they should share the blame.
It still troubles me how the Co-chairs couldn’t have realized that Countries would get stuck with mechanical issues before ever diving into substance?
But on the same lines, countries have been demanding a party-driven process, and now that they have it. And guess what? It’s slooow.
By re-opening the text earlier in the year during negotiations in Geneva, they undertook an all-win but also all-loose process. We came out with a ballooned negotiating document that no-one wants pop.
That’s why postponing this discussion for the sake of maintaining trust and a good atmosphere seems way beyond our time-scales. We are going to have to make some jabs at this helium balloon before it gets so high none of us can reach it.
So what’s next?
Facilitated groups will keep going through tomorrow. Then, it will be back to the Co-facilitators for one last play here in Bonn.
Will they produce a new text and thus inject some real meaning to the last few days of talks? or will they leave it all to the August/September session?
The next ADP stocktaking will be convened on Wednesday 10. If we get a new text, expect nothing less than a wave of infographics to explain it