Bonn talks help pave path for global climate deal


Carbon-pricing may be off the table, but there is agreement to keep pushing after crucial Paris talks in December

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Climate activists are encouraged by some measured progress at recent talks in Germany, but said there’s still a long way to go to meet the ambitious goal of creating a global agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and slow the pace of global warming.

One of the most positive signs at the recent Bonn talks is that most countries seem prepared to keep talking after the COP21 conference in Paris — crucial because the Paris talks likely won’t deliver a deal that meets the make-or-break goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius.“We don’t have eons to tackle this,” said David Waskow, the international climate director at World Resources Institute. “Having countries agree that there will be an ongoing process (after Paris) to ramp up actions, and also to continue building up resilience is important,” Waskow said.

After the Bonn meeting this week, it also seems all but certain that a global carbon emissions trading program is off the table for now, Waskow said. Key things to watch for at the Paris conference include whether there will be a long long-term goal for global emissions reductions — not just a temperature target, he added.

Members of the global Climate Action Network who observed the Bonn talks said there’s an urgent need to step up the pace of negotiations in the next few months to ensure a good outcome in Paris.

“The clock is ticking, and country negotiators cannot just sit and wait until October,” said Jasper Inventor,  with Greenpeace. “They need to find compromises on the key outstanding issues between now and the start of the next session,” he said.
“It’s getting very clear that we will get a deal in Paris. The question now is what kind of a deal we are going to get and whether that deal will be a good deal,” said Christian Aid’s Mohamed Adow. “Right now, the country commitments won’t keep us under 2 degrees Celsius … A good deal will  create a framework for countries to continually increase their ambition, protect the most vulnerable, and prevent catastrophic climate change. This means the deal needs to provide support for poor countries to adapt and develop on a low-carbon path,” Adow said.





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