This morning's Guardian has a gloomy update on COP20 from Lima which shows that all the usual fault lines are still in place – not enough cash and bad faith galore. The piece ends:
In addition to finance, one of the biggest areas of contentious is “differentiation” in UN parlance – which countries should bear the burden of cutting emissions that cause climate change. The US and other industrialised countries require all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. That would be a departure from the original UN classification of the 1990s – which absolved China, India and other developing countries which are now major carbon polluters – of cutting their emissions.
Developing countries are suspicious that the text being developed in Lima is an attempt to rewrite those old guidelines. “I am certain that developing countries the majority of them will have a problem with the way they framed responsibility. Most developing countries will be concerned about that,” said Tasneem Essop, head of strategy for WWF.
Countries are also divided over the initial commitments countries are expected to make on fighting climate change – known as “intended nationally determined contributions”. Rich countries, including the US, only want to commit to carbon cuts. Developing countries want those commitments to include finance for climate adaptation. The rich-poor divide also holds over the issue of monitoring the scale of those commitments – with China, India and other countries opposed to outside review.
If only they'd asked UNESCO to sort this out! Fresh from its triumph with ESD, it would surely have been a breeze for the boys and girls in Paris to bring all parties to agreement. Why does no one listen to them? Ironic, really, especially as ESD's historic role is the save the planet.