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Editor’s Note No. 120
Thursday, 8 January 2009
Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Editor,
Linkages Update

and MEA Bulletin
The most recent official negotiations on the Bali Road Map took place in Poznań, Poland, in December 2008, but events outside of the negotiating halls could have a greater impact on the progress that climate change negotiators are able to achieve in the coming year.

Decisions taken at the international level will only be implemented after each negotiating State enacts legislation related to the agreed commitments. Therefore, negotiators in international fora must consider domestic preferences while responding to their international counterparts’ proposals. The European Council’s agreement on an energy and climate change package during the final two days of the Poznań Climate Change Conference, and its subsequent adoption by the European Parliament, could continue to influence negotiations in 2009.  The European internal agreement sets a baseline for that group’s negotiating position during the coming year, along with a framework for regional implementation. Likewise, the venue for US President-elect Obama’s first post-election statement on climate change – a November 2008 gathering hosted by “US Governors taking the lead on climate change” (as reported in a previous Linkages Update issue) – placed him before key domestic-level actors whose support will be valuable in efforts to reduce domestic emissions and formulate a ratifiable US negotiating position.

While the hope that the Poznań negotiations would contribute clarity on the “shared vision” for the talks did not materialize, our Earth Negotiations Bulletin analysis of the meeting indicates that some felt the emerging understanding that “ ‘a shared vision’ covers all the key building blocks of the Action Plan, namely mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance” was a positive sign. This understanding, along with a reported emerging consensus on the concept of monitoring, reporting and verifying, could provide the focus for climate negotiators’ expectations as they deftly consider their options, with each not wanting to make a commitment without assurances that their international counterparts will react in kind and their domestic constituents will support them once they return home.

As we enter the final half of the two-year Bali Road Map, the negotiating pace is expected to pick up. We are currently fundraising for the upcoming fiscal year, to ensure that we will be there to help you monitor progress towards the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Please contact our Managing Director, Langston James Goree VI “Kimo,” if you would like a copy of our funding proposal, and thank you for your support.
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