June 14, 2011

Straight from Bonn, Germany : Day 1 at the COP 17 Preparatory Committee Meeting

The Intersessional of UNFCCC is currently going on in Bonn, Germany. As a part of the first day's events i.e.6th.of June 2011, few topics of discussion seemed to have remained of utmost significance. One of the most crucial ones being the structure, constitution, and operation of the Green Climate Fund that is supposed to provide the big money for both climate change mitigation, and adaptation. A noticeable point of in this discussion was that the sources and processes of raising this fund are still in ambiguity with 'talks' mostly pointing towards the carbon market being a primary provider, rather than the polluting nations contributing directly.

In terms of REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation & forest Degradation plus quality enhancement), the 'Official' position of 'parties' from the developed world is exclusive focus on REDD+ without taking in the entirety of Forest issues. Significantly countries like Bolivia and few others have taken a strong exception with this regard. The contentious issue remains the same as to whether Agriculture should or should not be brought to the climate negotiations. Some of the developed countries, like Canada, New Zealand etc. have repeatedly pushed for this including agriculture’s role in mitigation as well. This has been sought through the way of carbon markets and through the CDM (also claimed as Clean Development mechanism). However, this is being strongly opposed some of the developing countries as well as by most farmers, forest people, & other movement groups present. The real fear here is that farmers will lose out completely to the corporate agriculture lobby, in this new game of soil carbon sequestration. Looking at the history of CDM till date, that is a very strong possibility.

Another most alarming trend observed - which started in Copenhagen (2009 - COP-15) itself, was that of the superseding multilateralism of the UN process, by the unilateral agenda of pushing by powerful countries & lobbies. Much time has already been exhausted in countering this trend by the official working groups - while developing countries are trying to point out and block these unilateral 'actions' and their acceptance by the 'Chairs' of these groups.