The potential shift in the Chinese position about the nature of a future climate deal has had everyone at the Durban COP analysing what they meant – was it just legally binding but without obligations for them? Was it an idea with no text backing it up, and so simply a promise to consider it in the future? Predictably, the press cycle has gone from initial enthusiasm, to reports some are sceptical because they don’t see the follow up.
One would hardly expect crystal clarity from China now – this is a negotiation after all, and cards are held close to the vest. Further, all of this focus on China, and the reactions from the EU and the US, has deflected attention from other parties, who by all rights ought to be in well in the spotlight – namely Japan, Canada and Russia.
The Kyoto shipjumpers are trying to keep out of the wind whipping up around the ‘big three’, and hoping they can sail through this conference unnoticed, without picking up any kind of future obligation.
In Durban they’ve been saying in harmony that they don’t want any part of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (indeed in the case of Canada, they don’t really want any part of the first period), pinning that obligation entirely on the EU.
With the evidence pointing ever more towards the inadequacy of current Annex I commitments, and time running out to avert dangerous warming, it’s time to turn up the heat on the shipjumpers who studiously avoid facing facts.