Bangkok Climate Talks

3 April 2008

This is the 1st meeting since the Bali talks last Dec. The parties are starting to thrash out the framework and workplan to deliver a 2nd comitment period under the Kyoto Protocol by 2009. There are about 1,000 or so delegates present here in Bangkok, a much smaller number than there was in Bali. Despite the much smaller number here, nothing much has changed. The game continues to be dominated by the big oil-industry backed nations. The discussions/negotiations are going in circles wherby, the countries who wish to stall the process continue to call for more workshops, more presentations by the IPCC and more studies. Studies of what? presentations on what? For small island nations and least developed countries, the reality of climate change is seen daily and they are adapting as best as they can. What other studies are needed and what purpose would it serve? The only purpose this serves is to stall and delay the process further. It is sad that even though Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, its negotiators are quite slow in truly delivering on this commitment by providing stronger and better leadership in this process. The USA, as usual, is being a bastard and it is insulting to the livelihoods of those at the forefront of the impacts of climate change that this country sends its negotiators to hijack such a process when they have not even ratified the protocol. If Katrina was not a wake up call for the US, I don't know what will? Already, the least developed countries and small island states are becoming less vocal, is it because they feel it is falling on deaf ears? Is it acceptance at some level that this process is about what suits the bigger, 1st world countries at the end of the day?