We’re out of time here in Cancun and things have now run into extra time.
Earlier today the Mexican government presented text for both the Kyoto Protocol and the LCA to the 194 countries represented here – the product of 2 weeks of discussions/consultations and negotiation.
There is no doubt that the Mexican presidency has played an extremely constructive role in the negotiations Minister Espinosa, who has been presiding over this conference, was given a standing ovation twice tonight - a clear signal that the people gathered here recognise the huge effort that has been made to make the negotiations in Cancun a transparent and open process.
Countries were then given a chance to consult with each other in their negotiating blocks, and now there are a series of plenaries deciding whether or not to adopt the text that has been presented for each track into what is termed a ‘COP decision’ – which would adopt the text and operationalise certain elements (like the establishment of a fund to disburse financing).
Without the decision, you can’t operationalise anything. This means that I’m sitting in the moon palace at 3am on Saturday morning, watching the negotiators try to come to a consensus. A lot hinges on this, if there is no consensus, then potentially you lose the entire two weeks worth of negotiations.
But before I talk about that, it would be good to just outline the text a little. For both the Kyoto Protocol and the LCA, the text represents a major compromise for the countries represented here. It’s clear however, that developing countries have compromised the most, with countries like the USA seeming to have compromised very little.
Countries seem to be almost unanimously in favour of adopting the draft decisions – with one exception.
Bolivia has noted its objection to both draft decisions, and appears to be blocking the adoption on a number of principled issues (basically Bolivia believes that the proposed decisions do not nearly go far enough and that it’s too weak to adopt). The way that the UNFCCC process works is through consensus – so that means that all parties must agree. It’s unclear at the moment whether parties will get past the blockage and objections raised by Bolivia, if at all.