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Trust between parties has reached a historic low
No agreement about how to proceed
After nearly two weeks of negotiations parties have still not agreed on an agenda for how to take the Durban agreement forward. The dispute, which has led to new fronts in the climate talks, dividing developing countries, is focused on how to approach mitigation actions up to 2020. China, supported by a group of bigger developing countries want to ensure that the old north-south divide is preserved, while the US want to start off from a blank page. EU and a big group of smaller developing countries, are focused on how to move forward and try to find a compromise.
Discussions about how the talks are to be chaired have also turned out to be a big conflict. There are three nominated candidates, Norway, India and Trinidad and Tobago. Even since the beginning of the UN climate talks these elections have been made through consensus but now, for the first time, it seems like there may be a formal election.
Lack of trust foster protectionism
While negotiators are frustrated about the lack of constructive actions in the talks in Bonn, the explanation for the situation is to be found elsewhere. The fact that developed countries, led by the US and Canada, for a long time haven't shown any attempts to increase ambitions, has undermined trust.
The climate summit in Durban last year gave hope. However, that hope was built on a diplomatic success, and not concrete actions to increase ambition. Western countries are talking about ambition, but their mitigation ambitions and financial pledges remain low and uncertain. When US, in the current talks in Bonn, refuse to acknowledge old commitments made in the negotiation, many developing countries get fed up.
Without trust in the international process countries increasingly start to prioritise their national interests. As a consequence it is difficult to reach international compromises.
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