Wednesday, October 7, 2009

China and the Group of 77 Developing Countries Draw a Line in the Sand

The doors opened up today on the forestry and land use negotiations at the Bangkok Climate Change Talks! For the first time at this conference, observers were able to hear the positions of delegates and for the first time this week we heard the position from China and the Group of 77 Developing Countries.

After nearly two years of developed countries discussing different options for rule changes for this sector, and not getting much farther than more clearly articulating the options that suit each country best, G77 and China said enough is enough and drew a line in the sand:
  • Negotiations on this must be done by Barcelona (the next session in November);
  • All accounting should be mandatory;
  • All developed countries should use the same simple rules to account for forest; management: compare emissions in the commitment period with emissions in 1990;
  • Put a cap on credits from the entire sector (cropland management, grazing land management, revegetation, forest management, afforestation, reforestation, deforestation);
Developing countries sent the signal that they are through listening to specific proposals for adjustments to meet the circumstances of each country so they can generate credits from this sector, and I think it's the perfect time for this message.

If I were to change the proposal I'd say that a base period could be used, rather than a hard base year that could create strange and unfair results due to the annual variability in the forest management sector. I'd also try to do something to fix the problem of extraordinary natural disturbances that create a compliance risk for countries. But all in all, this statement was exactly what the negotiations needed!

You can check out my live tweets as the meeting unfolded by following biocarbonman on twitter!

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