UN Climate Talks in Bangkok


I am here at a two-week UN climate meeting in Bangkok with CARE colleagues from around the world, including local partners from Nepal, Kenya and Tanzania. The Bangkok talks are the fourth of six lined up this year, with the goal of reaching a post-2012 global climate agreement by December in Copenhagen at the annual meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The year, 2012, is significant because it is when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.

We”re here to influence, as best we can, the global negotiations. Future prospects for people in extreme poverty hang on this deal. They are least responsible for, but most vulnerable to, climate change. And they are already feeling the negative impacts of climate change.

The agreement must deliver aggressive and scientifically-sound emissions reduction targets. It must deliver massive new and additional resources to help poor countries and people adapt to new climate conditions. And it should do so in a way that prioritizes especially vulnerable people and ensures their active and meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels.

The poorest and most marginalized people have a right to live a life of dignity and security. This includes access to resources and a say in what is needed to address climate change and how.

The expectation in Bangkok is for 192 Parties to reduce what is now a 180 page negotiating text to some 40 pages. If that doesn”t happen by the end of these two weeks, it will be difficult to close a deal in Copenhagen.

I am deeply worried. Signals from the past two weeks – the UN General Assembly meeting in New York and the G20 Summit in Pittsburg – are far from promising, particularly as talk arises of pushing back the deadline past December.

And I worry about the US in particular. On Monday, the US received the NGOs” “Fossil Award’ for blocking progress here in Bangkok, particularly as it relates to emissions reduction targets

Still, I am hopeful. It is, after all, only day two of the Bangkok talks. Much can happen over the next 12 days.Stay tuned.