COP15 Climate Change Talks: COP President Resigns

KIRF Co-Founder Mark Kirwin is attending the United Nations sponsored COP15 Climate Change Talks in Copenhagen as a volunteer mediator for Mediators Beyond Borders. Today he was present at the plenary “Meetings of the Parties” to the Kyoto Protocol organized as the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). Here is his update:

At the high level segment plenary at the COP15 Climate Change Talks in Copenhagen, the chair for the AWG-KP announces no agreement based upon numbers. So, at this stage of the Climate Change Talks there is still a low consensus on the key issues and, thus far, there is no amendment to the Koyoto Protocol. The COP/CMP 5 President is trying to set in motion dialogue with the Party heads of state on the issue. In addition, security is so tight that Party heads of state are having problems getting into the Plenary sessions. Several major groups put forth that the text is not yet in the form to be considered by the high level conference as suggested by the COP chair. They request that the political aspects be considered by the high level, but the technical aspects be sent back to the AWG-KP for further work for a period of one day. Yet there are other major groups that recommend that the political bargaining to take place. Rather that reconvene the AWG-KP, there can be informal discussions on some of the remaining issues.

Today this meeting was suspended because the President of the COP resigned. She has been reassigned by the Foreign Minister as the special representative to conduct informal negotiations between the ministers of the Parties.

COP15 Climate Change Talks, Copenhagen: Two Treaties Now

MBB mediator Mark Kirwin, Esq. at COP15 in Copenhagen

MBB mediator Mark Kirwin, Esq. at COP15 in Copenhagen

We are now halfway through the second week of the COP15, climate change talks in Copenhagen. It appears that there is general acceptance that there will not be one treaty. Instead, the parties are working on two separate tracks, one under Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the other under Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA). As a result, there are discussions of two separate treaties.

As one can well imagine, the negotiations are very tough at this stage. The ministers of the countries are arriving and now working in the negotiations. The negotiators must answer to their countries. And, the world expects results at COP15. There are strenuous objections to certain text to the proposed documents and also concessions so that no particular party is pictured as the one stalling the negotiations. The contact group chairs are working very hard to build the bridges necessary for consensus by the Parties to the text.

As I write, negotiations are underway for the contact group on other issues for the AWG-KP on further commitments for the Annex I Parties. The Parties are discussing greenhouse gases, sectors and source categories; common metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks; and other methodological issues.

In the earlier session, the Draft decision -/CMP.5 for consideration of information on potential environmental, economic and social consequences, including spillover effects, of tools, policies and measures. This draft decision will now be sent to the Chair of the KP for consideration. This is one area where mediation can be used as a mechanism to resolve conflict under the potential consequences that will arise under the treaty and climate change from the local to international levels.

Promoting Mediation at Climate Change Talks, COP15

Mediator Mark Kirwin, co-founder of KIRF, is helping promote mediation as a resolution mechanism for accord at the UNFCCC Climate Change Talks with Mediators Beyond Borders. As the reality of global warming and it’s increasing impacts on food production, economies, poverty, human health and energy usage is becoming more widely understood, alternative dispute resolution tools such as mediation are important tools for peaceful resolution of climate change issues.

The climate change talks are progressing towards helping countries mitigate global warming and adapt to it’s impacts peacefully. Mark will be attending the upcoming COP15 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.