photo: Sean Patrick Coon via flickr.
While it's true, as Brian just pointed out, that the media have been taking us on a bit of a rollercoaster ride regarding the will there-will there not be a new treaty at the end of COP15 speculation, The Financial Times splashes some cold water on the idea that 'anything can still happen'. Here it is straight from the mouth of UN climate negotiator Yvo de Boer:
A fully fledged new international treaty...I don't think that is going to happen. If you look at the limited amount of time remaining, it is clear.
Nations Must Set Out Clear Individual Targets
Mr. de Boer went on to say that what must be done at this point is to, "concentrate on the political imperatives that make it clear how countries are committed [to tackling climate change] and engaging in cutting emissions, and what cooperative mechanisms they need to put in place."
Meaning, that industrialized countries need to set out clear individual national targets for 2020, which is what the big developing nations are waiting on to take part in any future international agreement, and all in the context of a long-term 2050 emission reduction target.
Also, a deadline that would transfer those individual targets into a legally binding international treaty should also be established.
Grassroots Political Pressure Needed Now, More Than Ever
Before anyone gets worked up, thinking this is a failure, or dashing the chances of success while there's still time to negotiate, I wouldn't go that far.
In fact it's gives even more weight to grassroots action: More than ever pressure needs to be put on governments (wherever you happen to live) to enact strong national emissions targets, based in science not political expediency.
And if some surprise twist, some unexpected breakthrough happens in the next few weeks, all the better.
More of Yvo de Boer's comments: Financial Times
What Will Happen After COP15? Three Possible Scenarios
How the Media Take Us All On a Climate Treaty Roller Coaster Ride
COP15: What It Means If We Fail to Prevent Climate Change