As you may have noticed, this issue of Linkages Update looks different from other issues because it does not begin with reports from meetings that IISD RS has covered in the past two weeks.
Following the usual pattern, very few meetings related to the international environmental agreements that we cover convened in January, and so we did not field any teams to cover events. As the long list of upcoming meetings at this end of this Linkages Update issue indicates, this lull in activity will soon come to an end. We have four teams preparing to cover events from Trondheim, New York, Kuala Lumpur and Manila in the coming two weeks.
The end of this January break will coincide with the end of the lull after the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Analyses in the next month are likely to move from evaluating the December 2009 meeting to examining the content of commitments that governments submit to register their support for the Copenhagen Accord. Calculations of whether emission reduction targets will be adequate to limit the increase in global temperature to below 2°C, and whether submitted mitigation actions will be voluntary or based on support, with implications for the role that monitoring, reporting and verification will play, will offer more information on what was achieved in Copenhagen and how far negotiators have to go before they gather in Mexico at the end of 2010.
Meetings during the past week and next, including the Ministerial meeting of the BASIC Group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China), the Investor Summit on Climate Risk, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2010, will also set the direction that the climate change negotiations are likely to take in 2010. The BASIC Ministers affirmed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process and their commitment to reaching an agreed outcome in Mexico. The investors called for strong national policies to spur low-carbon investments.
Meetings in the next two weeks will likewise help set the direction that the biodiversity discussions are likely to take in 2010. The Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity will consider the status and lessons learned from the 2010 Biodiversity Target and seek to provide the CBD with a basis for developing post-2010 biodiversity targets. And the Group of Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress in the Context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will continue their discussions of a supplementary protocol on liability and redress.
After a well-deserved break, the sustainable development policy calendar is filling up quickly, and we look forward to reporting on the key events and highlights in 2010.