big trouble in little china

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting is currently being hosted in China to secure a post-2012 global treaty on tackling climate change. Little progress has been made since world leaders failed to broker a deal in Copenhagen last year and the delegates were told they had to break the stalemate ahead of another UN climate summit in Mexico starting next month.

The final goal of the process is a treaty aimed at curbing greenhouse gases, which could potentially be clinched late next year at a UN summit in South Africa, in time to replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires at the end of 2012.

The Chinese Government was one of the major roadblocks to reaching an agreement at Copenhagen last year. As host for this year’s convention it seems they may have changed their tune – “China said it wanted to foster a spirit of cooperation at this week’s conference” reported the Brisbane Times today.

However Dai Bingguo (China’s top foreign policy official) also indicated China would hold firm on some of the key disputes with the United States and other developed nations that have led to the current gridlock.

If discussion remains at a gridlock we will have an even further delay on action, and as Christina Figueres (UNFCCC executive secretary) point out it is in no-one’s interest to delay… “Quite the contrary, it is in everyone’s interest to accelerate action in order to minimise negative impacts on all” Figueres said.

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