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Trading Carbon : November 2011
21 INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS is unclear whether that will be agreeable to the US and China, the world's two biggest GHG emitters. The US has said it will not sign up to a new legal agreement that does not apply "equal legal force" to those large developing countries whose emissions have grown as fast as their economies. "If we are going to have categories in a new legal agreement going forward, they have to reflect today's and tomorrow's economic and emissions realities -- not those of 1992," said Jonathan Pershing, the lead US negotiator, referring to the first UN climate summit. "But we see many parties taking a contrary point of view, so we do not see any meeting of the minds on these issues," he added. The UNFCCC's Figueres claimed the Panama talks, the last before the Durban summit, made good progress, but conceded that the big political questions were not solved. But the debate on the CDM, in particular, will not be easy, as some countries, such as Bolivia, have very strong opinions. "The EU will only consider the second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol because they want the CDM," said Erika Duenas, a senior negotiator with Bolivia. "Far from being a mechanism made to reduce emissions, it encourages corruption of our politicians and leads to the commodification of nature," the South American country said in a statement. On new market mechanisms outside of Kyoto, one delegate said that, while negotiators spent the week discussing "many very specific proposals on new market mechanisms," they will not consolidate them into a large proposal until Durban. The text contains two options: establish draft text on new market mechanisms in Durban or postpone the text until the next conference of parties in 2012. The goal would be to establish a framework that would recognise domestic emission reduction schemes that could be linked together through international standards. The Panama talks were also dominated by debate over efforts promised by rich countries at last year's climate summit in Mexico to mobilise $100 billion per year in aid by 2020 to help developing countries cut emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. Poor countries slammed the US, Japan and other rich countries for refusing to table specifics on how to fill a global climate fund with promised pledges. The US' Pershing said the world's second biggest emitter remains committed to the aid it pledged in the Cancun Agreement, despite facing domestic challenges in Congress. But he criticised developing country demands that the money be sourced purely from the public purse. "It is up to developed countries how to best raise this money," he told journalists. The US will adhere to its Cancun pledge through a combination of "public and catalysed private investment", he said. Pershing did not disclose whether the US would support a position tabled by the EU to raise cash from international shipping and aviation, as well as the private sector through market mechanisms. He said the US is studying those, as well as other proposals floated by the World Bank to be presented to finance ministers at November's G20 summit in France. l November 2011 It is up to developed countries how to best raise climate money Jonathan Pershing, lead US climate negotiator Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC chief: Panama made progress, but big political questions remain unanswered INA FASSBENDER/REUTERS
December - January 2011