Little progress from Bonn climate talks

A weekend of international negotiation made little real headway beyond offering two extra meetings that will now be shoehorned into the schedule of UN meetings to discuss climate change.

Even that decision proved controversial, as some criticised the cost of the meetings – likely to be somewhere between $7m and $15m – that will take place ahead of the main event this year – COP16 in Cancun, Mexico this December.

The Bonn talks saw divisions along the predicted lines, with the developing world and industrialised states led by the US failing to see eye to eye.

The USA’s top delegate at the talks, Jonathan Pershing warned that those countries that failed to sign up to last December’s Copenhagen Accord, itself a fairly weak, non-binding document high on aspiration but low on legal obligation, would not benefit from the $30bn it promises to tackle climate change emergencies in the developing world over the next three years.

“It’s not a free rider process,” he said.

There was a sense of déjà vu as South American states reiterated their position from Copenhagen, attacking their northern neighbour for alleged heavy-handed tactics and commercial bullying.

The next round of talks will now take place in June, at a location yet to be agreed.

Sam Bond

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