European Union climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete complained this week about the pace of progress of climate negotiations in the run-up to the Paris conference this December. “In the negotiating rooms, progress has been painfully slow”, he said. “The technical talks are seriously lagging behind the political discussion.” Cañete described the draft text, which is still more than 80 pages despite weeks spent trying to pare down redundancies and technical language, as “far too long.” The Guardian reports:
Deeply-ingrained divisions have plagued negotiations in Bonn over issues such as financing for a $100bn-a-year climate finance pot due by 2020, and the distribution of emissions cuts between rich and poor countries.
The EU and US also disagree sharply over the legally-binding nature of any global pact, although Cañete stressed that the bloc’s alliances are evolving and provisional.
While Cañete said he was encouraged by last November’s joint emissions reductions announcement by China and the U.S., he reminded reporters that only 56 of 192 member countries had submitted their national plans for cutting emissions, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). That’s not even a 30 percent participation rate—and if members continue to drag their feet on INDC submissions, negotiations in France later this year will surely suffer for it.