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UPDATE: Briefing by Canada’s chief climate negotiator

The morning briefing by Canada’s chief climate negotiator Guy Saint-Jacques for Canadian non-governmental organizations and unions has just ended. Ambassador Saint-Jacques made a number of points in his briefing and in response to questions, including:

1- The talks are going well (though he later said they are going slowly), there are lots of improvements in the areas of negotiation, meetings are being held to address the most contentious issues, no one wants no progress in Cancun;

2- There are no backroom deals happening, no secret text, no “green room” process, and there is a high-level of transparency and inclusiveness, but that said, the problem with this type of United Nations process is that anyone can block anything, the history of negotiation is not like this, and it makes it difficult if you want real progress (which would seem to signal a support for the type of negotiations that happen in trade bodies like the WTO);

3- Canada wants a single, legally-binding agreement, with clear rules for all major emitters, and common but different emission targets for developing countries, (by saying a single agreement that can be interepreted to mean no extension of the Kyoto Protocol);

4- Canada does not tie its foreign aid to those developing countries who have only signed the Copenhagen Accord, Canada has never done this, and any “arm-twisting” that may have happened by other countries in Copenhagen is ‘unfortunate” (the Wikileaks have highlighted that there was considerable bullying in Copenhagen and, as such, the Copenhagen Accord in many ways is a fraudulent document);

5- Canada supports the World Bank administering climate financing funds under the guidance (not under the authority) of the Conference of Parties; it supports an open-bidding process and administration of the fund could also be done by the Royal Bank or Scotiabank, it’s just that the World Bank has a “great track record” in this respect; if the fund is administered under the COP, there will be endless debates and the money won’t flow;

6- The “high level segment” of the meeting with ministers opens tomorrow (this includes federal environment minister John Baird), and 25 leaders are expected to arrive at the talks on Thursday (this does not include Prime Minister Stephen Harper).