So we’re a full 24hours behind schedule, and the latest plenary- delayed since this morning- has just taken a break to allow all members states the chance to see the new texts being put forward for agreement. Earlier indications had led us to hope that this plenary was going to be straightforward, with countries approving strong, ambitious texts: agreeing the deal. But now we see that the texts are worryingly weak, so I’m glad they’re not agreeing these. but having said that, there is frighteningly little time left to not only strengthen them, but to get agreement from the parties.
Earlier, the President of the conference, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, gave an update- indicating we were on the point of agreeing an historic deal. However, the plenary has been full of objections and clarifications from member states. Even at this stage, really anything could happen.
Iy’s clear that decisions made at Durban by themselves were never going to do everything needed to keep global temperature rise below 2degrees. But it’s important that the key frameworks and forward plans are decided here, and that governments really agree the most ambitious package possible if we are to seriously tackle climate change.
There is still time for the current weak texts to be made stronger, and for them to be agreed. But not much.