News - 2nd December 2011
Day four of the Durban summit. At this point in a COP it is generally difficult to tell if substantial progress is being made. The summits tend to accelerate towards a conclusion in the second week, driven by the arrival of ministers and negotiators' increasing reliance on strong coffee.
Early progress is often hampered by disputes over the agenda for the meetings. There are 55 issues under negotiation, and countries and blocs have their own pet issues that they want to see discussed. Yet only 105 meeting slots are available for each summit.
In a closed meeting today, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said, "if there's one thing against us these two weeks it's time."
Add to this the particularly sticky issues being faced - the legal form of any agreement, the timeline for making one, who needs to make the required cuts - and the stalling tactics from nations that don't want an agreement, and you can see why expectations for the summit have been low.
Source and full article: businessgreen