UNFCC Executive Secretary Talks of Expectations for Bonn Climate Talks

Thomas Schueneman

Current UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer addressed the press this morning (see video below) in advance of the first UN climate negotiations next week in Bonn. Soon to be succeeded by incoming Executive Secretary designate Christiana Figueres, de Boer may harbor some relief in not charged with shepherding the next major climate conference, COP16, later this year in Cancún, Mexico.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

I couldn't help but notice a slight resignation in de Boer's voice as he spoke of "a way forward in Cancún" at the outset of his message. He's been there before - we all have. Just replace "Copenhagen" with "Cancún." But my, perhaps unwarranted, cynicism notwithstanding, de Boer emphasized that the two-week negotiating session in Bonn should focus on a "common way forward towards a concrete, realistic goal and Cancún, referring specifically to a "full, operational architecture to implement effective, collective climate action."

The Bonn talks are also an opportunity to adopt provisions of the Copenhagen Accord into a new text to be presented by the Chair of the AWG-LCA (Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention).

It is disappointing for all involved - I'd guess most especially to Yvo de Boer - to see how little progress has been made in the past year, when hopes rode high on the promise of Copenhagen. But press on we must, and de Boer continues to cajole and persuade, in his somewhat understated manner, hoping to help point the way forward.

In fact, Copenhagen was a step forward, just much more of a halting baby-step than was hoped. There is a sense that with each passing opportunity crucial time is lost for any successful solution. And so I trade cynicism for hope.

The Road to Cancún begins.


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