Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update from the NWF international climate team from Copenhagen

From the National Wildlife Federation:

Team,
Here's today's "This just in" update from NWF Director of Global
Warming Policy Joe Mendelson:

" Hello NWF from Copenhagen! Here is a quick update from your
international climate team.

The negotiations are going slower than one would hope and have been
overshadowed, in part, by massive logistical problems at the Bella
Centre negotiation site. Many are standing hours in the cold and snow
today trying to get in to the conference only to be turned away.
Regardless, your team remains undaunted and is working hard to push the
U.S. to up its ambition to facilitate a final deal.

There has been a public rift between China and the U.S. over the low
U.S. offer on global warming pollution emission cuts and the failure of
the U.S. and other developed countries to offer long-term financing for
the impacted developing nations. In response, China is refusing to
allow any international verification of its recently announced actions
that would significantly reduce the growth of its emissions.

In response, NWF is spear-heading an effort to push the U.S. to change
its position. We’re working to get the Administration to offer a new
long-term finance package based upon the significant money pledged to
stop deforestation that is in the House and Senate legislation and
redirecting other money by phasing out fossil fuel subsidies - an offer
President Obama made at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh this fall. The
hope is that this offer would compel other developed nations to add
their own pledges of money culminating in a huge effort on deforestation
as a means to fight climate change led by the U.S.

Barriers remain to this effort. The State Department is reluctant to
put this forward because the legislation is not final and fear a
Congressional backlash. In contrast, Senate and House staff in
Copenhagen say putting this forward is okay and may actually help lock
the Administration into fighting for the legislation at home. So, one
effort is to get Congressional staff to push the Administration.

If we solve the finance issue, we then think the Chinese would submit
to some international oversight of its emission reductions efforts. Of
course, this is critical for the Senate battle back home.

Will this all happen? It is tough to say. We are trying hard. The
heads of states are starting to arrive so we hope that ups the pressure
to get a deal done. We will keep you posted on progress and expect
massive protests over the next several days about everyone being shut
out of the Bella Centre facility.

Joe

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