by Matt Jokajtys, Student Guest Blogger currently at UNFCCC-Cancun
Week one has seen plenty of hard work on behalf of the negotiators, but there is still a lot of space between many countries’ positions on a wide variety of issues. Most of the meetings I’ve covered for my delegation so far have still been struggling to decide what text to use as the basis of negotiations. The issue has been complicated because a second text has been presented by the co-facilitators in addition to an existing text commonly known as the “13 August Text” (FCCC/AWGLCA/2010/14). At present, there is not yet an agreement on which paper to use as the basis of negotiations, so we are not yet closing in on any decision language nearly half way through the conference.
There have also been increasing grumbles on the so-called “green room” meetings being held by the Mexican presidency to help speed up developments in the negotiations. Originally a reference to a WTO practice where a small group of countries meets privately with the Secretariat to make decisions that are later distributed to the entire membership to endorse, the green room meetings here have been an attempt to make progress on certain key mitigation issues. But after Copenhagen, some parties are suspicious of anything that resembles the closed-door process used to create the Copenhagen Accord.
Update: COP President Reaffirms Mexican Commitment to Transparency in COP 16 Negotiations
The president of the COP reaffirmed Mexico’s commitment to maintaining transparency in the negotiations this afternoon in an informal “stock taking” meeting. She assured the plenary that there is no hidden text, and said that the arrival of the ministers this weekend would not lead to the creation of a parallel, high-level negotiating process that would supersede the existing negotiations. She said negotiations would not take place at a planned dinner for the arriving ministers, as some had speculated, and would continue on Sunday during the informal sessions. She reiterated this comment about one hour into the stock taking meeting, and received a rousing round of applause from the floor.