By Wendel, Bali project team leader, now in Brussels
The Bali meeting was an extra-ordinary one with final decisions being made more than 24 hours after its scheduled ending. The last couple of hours of the meeting were a bit of a drama with countries changing their positions at the very last moment, and the media thinking it was over while there were still some important discussions going on. There for the news that came out of Bali may have been a bit confusing. Allow me to clarify.
1. We have a Bali Mandate! Maybe not as clear and as coherent as we wanted it, but looking at where we were at the start of the COP/MOP, our team in Bali achieved a lot. The language could have been better, and it could all have been more coherent but if we look carefully at what has been decided, we got a lot out of Bali: we have a process and a deadline, we have recognition of ambitious targets (25 to 40 % by 2020), and we have all our major issues on the agenda (deforestation, adaptation, technology transfer and financing). So, in fact we can be proud of what we have achieved.
2. At our site you can find further info on what came out of Bali. For those wanting to see the full set of documents, please go to the UNFCCC site (especially look for the 'Bali Action Plan'). All the documents are there, except for one of the most important ones: the report of the Kyoto AWG. A draft of this one is to be found here.
Please note that in para 3 the second option (though with some changes) has been agreed to.
3. Though it is not listed under the main decisions of the COP/MOP one has to realise that for us the Bali Mandate is a combination of the "Bali Action Plan" and the programme of work of the AWG under the Kyoto Protocol.
4. So the documents might look good, and our team in Bali has done a tremendous job, but there is some frustration and anger. Frustration and anger because of the very difficult process to get to these agreements. Despite the science and the urgency and the public pressure, there were quite a number of countries including the US, but many more such as Japan, Canada and Australia, that really tried to block an ambitious agenda. While seeing that the first small step was so difficult, we now know that we will have a tremendous task before us to get a good agreement in 2009.
Fortunately, we have now a very good team in place, many strong allies in other environmental groups (and even some inside companies and governments). We have the science on our side, and the support of the populous. We are, to quote senior policy advisor Bill Hare, "unstoppable".
Thank you all for your support.