Four days into the global warming negotiations in Durban, South Africa countries are beginning to draw clear lines in the sand. The European Union has signaled that they are unwilling to back down from their position that Durban needs to adopt a clear mandate to negotiate a new legally binding agreement that covers all major players. The Guardian states:
“Europe is taking the toughest negotiating stand it has ever adopted on global warming. At this week's UN climate talks in Durban, the bloc will depart from decades of "dovish" practice by insisting stiff conditions must be met by China and other developing countries if a global climate treaty is to be arranged.”
Similarly, major environmental and development groups, including NRDC, sent a letter to Secretary Clinton urging that the U.S. change its position on two key pieces critical for success in Durban. The first piece was on the mandate to develop a new legal agreement that covers all major players. Basically the letter said the U.S. must show leadership by helping craft a path to get a new legal agreement, not throw up barriers at the outset. They need to ensure that they aren't allergic to the meal that is served, but they can't demand that everything on the menu meet their tastes at the outset. The second piece was ensuring that the Durban negotiations helped establish the new Green Climate Fund and begin a serious negotiation on means to raise meaningful revenue. The Washington Post and Bloomberg both have stories on the letter.
Check out my take on where things stand on Day 4.