by Lauren Nutter
(Our bikers Juan Carlos Soriano and Lauren Nutter are currently attending the Bangkok Climate Change Talks 2009)
After waking up at 3:30 in the morning to head to the airport, and finding frost on my car already thanks to the lovely Maine climate, I was happy to arrive to the warmer weather of Bangkok. More importantly, I was excited to see some progress at the next negotiating sessions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) here in Bangkok. After an array of global summits and meetings this past month—G-20 meeting, the Major Economies Forum, UN General Assembly high-level on climate change—I hoped that there would be a renewed sense of urgency and commitment from countries to take the next steps needed to combat climate change.
Under this international negotiating framework, countries are set on a path to design what will hopefully be the next global commitment to stop climate change and deal with its current effects. They have been working up to this for almost three years now; and there is still much left to do. With an overwhelming 200 pages of varying ideas for how to tackle all of this, countries are voicing their concern to finish on time and pushing for full negotiating mode. However as one negotiator from the Philippines commented, “We are late, but not too late on our work: negotiation is the art of the possible”.
So far in my time here, I have been focusing on the discussion around technology transfer—how will we get developing countries the technology they need to mitigate and adapt to climate change? The chair of this discussion started of the session giving all the negotiators nutcrackers and referring to the challenges of reaching a consensus agreement said, “as we talked about in Bonn, we have hard nuts to crack, but I hope the outcome on technology transfer will be more then peanuts”. Hopefully, we can make progress here and crack some of these “hard nuts” from the divergence of country’s views.