Ana Parente, a fellow at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and LLM at VLS, set up a great meeting for our delegation with Steve Porter, a climate change guru at CIEL. He is currently leading Climate Action Network (CAN). Wearing a “Lead or Go Home” ID holder, he discussed various aspects of the negotiations with us, and answered our many questions. Of especial interest, he informed us of what he sees as the three major sticking points for negotiations here:
1. The emissions reductions the U.S. has put on the table: 17% reduction from 2005 levels, which is only about a 5% reduction from 1992 (Kyoto) levels by 2020.
2. Assistance from wealthy countries to less developed ones
3. Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA), and Measurable, Reportable, and Verifiable (MRV) carbon emission reductions. More specifically, some developed countries, and especially the US, strongly oppose the fact that developing countries are generally against verification of carbon emissions reductions for non-assistance-funded projects.
There are certainly many other sticking points to be addressed in the next week and a half and beyond, but these three issues are major ones to watch as we see how COP15 unfolds. Thank you to Ana and Steve for making this meeting possible!