Saturday, February 24, 2018

Unwritten Paris Rules Dominate As Tense Year of Climate Diplomacy Begins in Japan

Diplomats meeting in Japan focused heavily on the contentious rules for the Paris deal, which are due to be set by the end of this year.

Diplomats meet in Tokyo this week (Photo Credit: Japan foreign ministry) Click to Enlarge.
A critical year of climate talks began this week at a meeting in Tokyo, Japan, which was dominated by the contentious and unwritten rulebook for the Paris Agreement.

Negotiators who struck the landmark deal in the French capital in 2015, left a great deal of the detail to be sorted out later.  The rules that govern the agreement are yet to be written and loom as a huge political fight to be resolved, or not, in Poland at the end of this year.

To ensure a successful outcome, negotiators have scheduled a packed year of talks.  In the first major meeting of 2018, 30 countries came together in Japan this week.

That included the US.  Despite the administration’s insistence they intend to leave the Paris deal as soon as legally possible (in 2020) the state department has continued to engage with the talks.

In a statement Japan’s ministry of foreign affairs said the discussions had been “candid” and “fruitful”.  France’s climate ambassador Brigitte Collet called them “intense”.

The informal meeting, which is co-chaired each year by Japan and Brazil, was used as an opportunity to set up talks for the year.  It ran over two days, ending Friday.  By far the longest session was devoted to the contentious Paris rulebook, which will dominate discussions in Katowice.  These rules will set how the commitments made to the deal are measured and verified.

Differences between some negotiating teams, especially the EU and China, over issues such as transparency have to date been irresolvable.

Read more at Unwritten Paris Rules Dominate As Tense Year of Climate Diplomacy Begins in Japan

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