The negotiations for a world climate change treaty continue during the months between the annual COP conferences, the last of which (Conference of the Parties 18) was held at Qatar last November-December and the next to be held in Warsaw in November of this year. The difference is that these interim negotiations are attended by civil servants of the Kyoto countries, UN representatives, observers and NGO’s. These interim negotiations concentrate on the details necessary to flesh out any agreement on fundamental commitments. National leaders do not participate in these interim negotiations.
The bureaucrats did manage to produce some interesting concepts. The 2015 agreement on climate change that is to replace Kyoto cannot be cast in stone, or “frozen in time” but must be “dynamic”. Nobody outside of the participants has explained what such an agreement would look like.
They also discussed the apparently contradictory goals of “low emissions” and “high growth”, both of which are apparently to be facilitated by the 2015 agreement. Perhaps the high growth is a reference to the development of renewable energy, but the more likely interpretation is that it refers to the metric known as the gross domestic product.
Stephen Leahy comments on the interim negotiations recently concluded at Bonn. He quoted environmentalists attending these negotiations that world leaders are “in thrall” to the fossil fuel industry. Given the dominance of these special interests, one cannot expect that bureaucrats will accomplish anything. Read his commentary at “Rich Countries Drag their Feet at Climate Talks”.