Week 2 at the Bali Climate Conference – The US is up to its old tricks …. again.
Well, Monday morning started with some excitement. The first bit of draft text that will be the basis for the conference’s Bali Mandate included several of the most important aspects that we are pushing for.
The text included both a 2009 end date for the negotiation process for the second commitment period, and also included the important developed country 2020 reduction range of 25-40 percent. This language is a crucial component that needs to be in the final version of the Bali Mandate. The 25-40 percent range is an important signal to the developing world that developed counties will step up their level of commitment post 2012.
However, after beginning the morning with some excitement that the ranges were included in the first draft text, we were quickly thrown back when we learned that behind closed doors the United States, Canada, Japan, and even Australia had insisted that any reference to the reduction ranges be stricken from the text. This is a very bad development that puts the Bali Mandate in question. This is completely unacceptable. We are now working with our international colleagues and NRO’s to pressure the delegations here in Bali. More on how this goes later in the week.
Yesterday brought Senator John Kerry to the conference center. He was here to talk about the other America. This is the America that is taking action on climate at the city, state, regional, and now with the Lieberman Warner bill, even the federal level. Senator Kerry had meetings with the EU, China, Germany, the Indonesian President of the COP, and also the President of Indonesia. His message was clear and an important one for delegates to hear. There is a sea change in the United States on climate, and increasing support from citizens, businesses, and now Members of Congress, is bringing the United States back to the table on climate change. Make no mistake; there is a lot of work to do. The Bush administration’s official delegation here in Bali is still trying to weaken the Bali Mandate in every way they can, but Senator Kerry’s message was received loud and clear in the conference, the tide is turning.