Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In subtle moves, great meaning: Canada and Russia resist move to tie rule changes to bigger emission reductions

Such is the nature of diplomacy that you don’t always notice when something significant is happening. In the closing session of negotiations on rule changes to the rules for carbon accounting for land use, land use change and forestry, a paragraph got deleted at the request of Russia and Canada.

The first sign that this move was significant was the fact that everyone else, including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan who often negotiate common positions with Canada and Russia wanted to keep it.

The paragraph said that, in making changes to LULUCF rules, Parties should consider the implications of these changes for the scale of emission reductions required to be achieved by industrialized (Annex-1) countries. Another way of putting this is that changes in the rules should be designed to help meet ambitious emission reductions, e.g. by requiring LULUCF emissions to decrease.

Even though I've been assured this isn't the case, it is hard not to conclude that the purpose of deleting this text was to avoid committing that the negotiation of new rules would be focused on achieving greater emission reductions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is great that you are there to interpret these subtle strategic moves by our country to negotiate itself out of a commitment. It is easy for Canadians to be unaware of the insipid ways our negotiators are sabotaging the Climate Change discussions on our behalf. Keep up the good work. .