COP18: China negotiator warns 2015 global climate deal currently in balance

By John Parnell
RTCC in Doha

The 2015 global deal to reduce emissions will not be agreed if a controversial deadlock at the UN talks in Doha is not resolved positively, according to China’s lead negotiator.

Speaking to RTCC at the UNFCCC summit in Qatar, Su Wei said an acceptable conclusion to the Long term Cooperative Action (LCA) track of negotiations would be needed to progress work on a post-2020 agreement.

The LCA has been the source of increasing controversy in Doha with tempers flaring and frustration growing, all while the clock ticks down to Ministerial arrivals on Monday. Negotiatiors are now in a race to agree a draft agreement before they touchdown in Qatar.

“The successful and meaningful conclusion of the LCA and the Kyoto Protocol talks, will have a very positive impact on the discussion under the ADP process. If we can’t have an agreement on what we need in the near term, I can’t imagine how we would get an agreement on the longer term,” he said.

China’s lead negotiatior Su Wei says failure in the LCA is bad news for a longer term deal to cut emissions. (Source: Flickr/World Resources)

The Durban Platform (ADP) was established at last year’s talks to start discussions on a global deal that would see all nations take on binding emission reductions.

The LCA talks cover issues including financial and technological support for developing countries to help them respond and adapt to climate change.

The track is supposed to conclude in Doha but many issues remain unresolved and bitter divides are opening. The US is looking to walk away from issues that are not decided and saying only with those that have been finalised should be transplanted onto other areas of the negotiations.

This create a delay on a number of issues including technology support for developing countries and the issue of equity.

“It’s about trust and confidence building in the process. Putting issues to one side unresolved is a waste of time, a waste of energy and adds no value to the process,” said Su.

With no time to conclude all of the work of the LCA, Su said it was necessary to work on the next phase and “to make the necessary fallout arrangements”.

Though a complex issue to deal with, the LCA track of negotiations has emerged as one of the key battlegrounds at the Doha talks and a major hurdle for its Saudi Arabian chair Aysar Tayeb to navigate.

Tayeb produced an informal text in an attempt provide a basis to begin work towards a consensus.

Observers RTCC has spoken to say it bears little resemblance to an LCA text that was passed around at the Bangkok round of talks in August.

It was rejected out of hand by the US whose representative said a quicker route to consensus would be for the ideas to come from the Parties [countries] not the chair.

EU negotiators told RTCC they could not understand what the chair was trying to achieve by presenting what they described as a contentious text.

Some developing countries have accused the US and others, of trying to shelve existing work in an attempt to stall the process.

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