As the relatively slow Northern summer comes to an end, the “busy season” is once more upon us.
With negotiators moving toward the half-way point between the December 2007 adoption of the Bali Roadmap and agreement on a post-2012 climate change agreement in December 2009, it may be fitting that this semester began with a celebration of what has been accomplished along with reminders of what remains to be done. The 20th anniversary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), marked on 31 August 2008, brought speeches recalling the role that the IPCC’s four Assessment Reports have played in advancing international climate change policy, and highlighting the need for negotiations to move more quickly to ensure that a post-2012 climate change agreement is reached in Copenhagen in December 2009. The next official negotiating session for these talks will be in December 2008, in Poznan, Poland, although decision makers will have a number of chances to exchange positions and consider options before that meeting opens. The Southern Lights Dialogue will offer one such opportunity in the coming weeks, with ministers from twenty-five countries gathering in Argentina from 15-18 September, to informally exchange ideas on the evolving post-2012 climate change negotiations.
The coming four months will also find sustainable development decision makers focused on chemicals and biodiversity policy, among other issues. The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) Forum VI in September will be followed by a full month of chemicals discussions in October, beginning with the Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Mercury and concluding with the fourth Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention. The tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention and the ninth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species and associated meetings will bring attention to key elements of the biodiversity regime.
Our Earth Negotiations Bulletin
analysis of the recently concluded Accra Climate Change Talks highlights that “preparation and learning to communicate are essential parts of building a stable long-term agreement.” The negotiation processes may seem slow at times in these deliberative bodies, but the complexity of and seriousness with which governments must address the issues requires the investment of time. Events like the 20th anniversary of the IPCC, when we look back and see how far we have come, renew IISDRS in our efforts to track the preparations and communications related to these agreements.