Long-term deal talks wobble as G77 reject proposed draft

By John Parnell
RTCC in Durban

Progress on the draft text will be required before it is put before ministers. (Source: UNFCCC)

The G77 + China raised objections with the proposed discussions for a long-term climate deal on Monday morning.

The long-term cooperation track at the conference, as the name suggests, focuses on longer agreements between parties, including the Kyoto Protocol, and potential new deals on emissions.

A so-called “amalgamation draft” featuring a combination of parties’ suggestions was given to delegates to consider over the weekend. It is intended to be the basis for negotiations during the second week of the conference.

Saudi Arabia said: “There are many shortcomings in the document. We cannot except this document for negotiations.”

He then added that he felt that the talks were heading in an unproductive direction with mitigation talks being pushed forward. He suggested that the Cancun pledges should be sufficient and that other issues required attention in Durban to “ensure a balanced outcome”.

He also said that he did not wish to see issues deferred to the next COP and that negotiations should continue.

India echoed the disapproval of Saudi Arabia and added that it felt “there was no light at the end of the tunnel” for talks on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Australian delegate suggested that earlier bickering over the name of the document perhaps had an alternative motive.

“We welcome the text, we don’t care what it is called and neither should any other party that wants an outcome in Durban,” she said. “Transparent mitigation is a cornerstone of the process. We need to have some clear options available for ministers.”

The EU said it was disappointed by the level of ambition shown in the text but was happy to work with it through the high level segment of the talks this week. Colombia also said it was happy to proceed but raised concerns that items from the REDD agenda had not been included.

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