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NEWS: Canada’s chief climate negotiator questions UN process

The Globe and Mail reports that, “Some, including Canada’s chief negotiator (Guy Saint-Jacques), have begun to question whether the (United Nations) is really the best forum for such complicated (climate) discussions. …In a recent interview, he said the Canadian government prefers to keep holding climate talks under the auspices of the United Nations. …But Mr. Saint-Jacques also gave voice to a growing weariness around the negotiating table.”

“Mr. Saint-Jacques sees Cancun as a fork in the road. Progress would keep countries on the UN path. More problems could mean choosing another. ..Countries will take stock after Cancun, he added. …(Todd) Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, said this week he prefers to go the UN route over smaller forums such as the G20 or other ad-hoc groups. But he acknowledged people are losing patience with the UN process.”

“Practically no one expects a done deal in Mexico. China and the United States, the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, remain firmly deadlocked. A Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives effectively lowered the Obama administration’s ambitions for its climate agenda. Europe’s finances are in tatters. In Canada, the Conservative government has hitched its policy on reducing greenhouse gases to that of the United States, arguing a continental approach is required given the two countries’ tight trading relationship. Major policy moves are unlikely until after the next U.S. elections in 2012.”

These statements seem to be intended to prepare people for failure in Cancun and as a rationale to move climate negotiations to the less-democratic G20. It should be remembered that only two of the G20 countries are on track to meet their Kyoto Accord obligations, and G20 countries are responsible for 70-80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The full article is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-envoy-questions-un-climate-process/article1812252/.