The closing of COP17 was supposed to be last night, but ministers and negotiators are still working into the afternoon today, scrambling to keep the talks from failing. As is always the case, the final days of the two-week conference are the busiest – and this year with the fate of the Kyoto Protocol and Cancun Agreements still unresolved, the conference has moved into overtime.
Up-to-date and accurate information is hard to come by because meetings are closed to observers and the media, but here is some raw intelligence I’ve gleaned from chatter here in Durban. Due to the constantly changing nature of these talks, this information reflects only the current state of play.
Finance: The negotiation text on finance has been significantly weakened. Though the text calls for the creation of a work program and workshops on long-term finance prior to COP18, there is no mandate to arrive at any decision on the matter. Additionally, annexes to the text including a schedule of activities on sources of finance and measuring, reporting, and verifying finance have been deleted. Mention of innovative sources of finance and aviation and maritime fuel levies have also been deleted.
Green Climate Fund: Negotiations concerning the Green Climate Fund have resolved most of the concerns raised by parties. The issue of which international body will act as an interim secretariat, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) or UN Development Program (UNDP), remains contentious. Saudi Arabia has also blocked unanimous consensus on adopting the governing instrument as outlined by the Transitional Committee over the past year.
National Adaptation Plans: After a grueling few days of negotiations over National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), it appears that NAPs will have to wait until COP18.
On a positive note, the Adaptation Committee seems ready for operationalization.
I hope to update further as the day goes on.