Star COP21 Episode 1 : The Phantom agreement

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles

Bannière CN

      For 21 years, the United Nations Parties have gathered to manage the climate crisis. The trading coalitions and big firms have successfully delayed action to decrease green house gases emissions and stop climate change.

      The Parties have not yet managed to find a common agreement and as the climate situation, the delegates meet once again in Paris.

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A battle of good vs evil will take place in the COP21 plenary room for the next two weeks

      As the milestone session, called COP21, opens, delegates have been joined by their Heads of State to tackle the climate crisis. 47,500 people came from all around the world for this special occasion. Everyone who matters is present at this session : the Parties of course, but also the infamous Trade Federation, and even civil society. And so the show begins today, and each player takes their rightful places in the game, stating their positions for two weeks to come. Speeches succeeds to speeches.

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Are the ADP co-chairs rather Hufflepuffs or Slytherins?

This article is part of the Climate Nerd chronicles.Bannière CN

ADP co-chair, what a job to do! The co-chairs are the two persons in charge of creating the best negotiation environment  to achieve an ambitious agreement in Paris at the end of 2015. Here we bring a little bit of our favorite psychology test:

The Hogwarts Sorting hat

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What’s the matter with the climate negotiations? At the end of the year, 195 countries, called Parties, should sign the Paris agreement, which will replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and define the international climate policy starting in 2020. However, the negotiating text is still too long and full of very different options. And the process to shorten that text is painstakingly slow.

How did we get there?  A 37-pages-long text came out of COP20 that was held in Lima, Peru. It was supposed to serve as a basis for the Paris agreement this year. But this text was heavily criticized by Parties because they felt that the co-chairs pretty much wrote it instead of them. There was therefore a clear lack of trust between the former co-chairs and the Parties. When new negotiations were held in Geneva, two new co-chairs were nominated: Ahmed Djoghlaf, from Algeria, and Daniel Reifsnyder, from the U.S. At the same time, a new approach of the dynamics between co-chairs and Parties was established. The latter were invited to add all the paragraphs they wanted to the text so that every possibility would be in the text coming out of Geneva. This process went smoothly with a clear gratitude from the Parties to the co-chairs for this new way to take into account what they had to say. Then came the difficult part: streamlining. What is streamlining? The Geneva text was 90-page long. The final text agreed upon in Paris should be around 15-page long. In between, negotiators need an intermediary text with different options in order to go back and forth between their national decision-makers and the negotiation room and actually choose the most satisfying options. This intermediary text should have been the outcome of the negotiations in Bonn held in June 2015. Easier said than done.  For anyone who has already been in the large plenary room of an UNFCCC negotiation, in Bonn, it was quite impossible to achieve an efficient streamlining process during the negotiations in June: only 5% of the text was trimmed in two weeks.

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