U.N. Climate Negotiators Facing Crucial Test

April 11, 2010


Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, +1-202-365-3237, apetsonk@edf.org
Tony Kreindler, National Media Director, 202-445-8108, tkreindler@edf.org

(Bonn – April 11, 2010) United Nations climate change negotiators agreed today to hold more sessions aimed at bridging differences left unresolved by last December’s contentious talks in Copenhagen. While some developing nations signaled support this week for the accord reached in Copenhagen, others questioned the role of the accord in future talks, according to U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“The U.N. climate negotiations are facing a crucial test over whether this process can serve as the global guidance system for tackling climate change,” said Annie Petsonk, EDF’s international counsel who is monitoring the talks here in Bonn.

“There is still momentum in the U.N. process, but it is fragmenting,” Petsonk said. “In the absence of U.S. legislation, and with the corresponding slow progress in the U.N., there is a new focus on national action as talks continue toward a global agreement.”

Petsonk said those actions include Brazil’s decision to reduce its emissions from deforestation, the voluntary emissions cuts that nations have accepted under the Copenhagen Accord, and state-level actions linking California and other U.S. states with provinces in Brazil, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

“This fragmentation presents challenges, but it also creates opportunities, as nations that move swiftly to embrace carbon regulation position themselves for economic growth in the 21st century,” Petsonk said. “That competition presents an even greater imperative for the Obama administration to make a serious push for a balanced energy-climate bill in the U.S. Senate.”