The Lima Climate Conference has been extended another day as countries are still unable to reach an agreement on how much to cut emissions and who has to pay how much. But there are mounting signs that the talks may have fallen apart.
This morning NTV German public television writes that German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks already left Lima Friday evening, even leaving an hour before the official end. The title of the NTV article: “Sobriety in Lima – Hangover mood at the climate conference.”
The NTV first reports on all the hope and optimism that had led up to the Conference, but that the realities of clashing national interests and responsibilities quickly dampened the mood as the conference wore on during the second week.
In Lima it was already clear on Friday that important questions still could not be resolved. ‘The road to success in Paris remains remains long,’ German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks observed. The Treaty’s bindingness will first be decided in Paris in any case.”
Already it appears that negotiators in Lima may be headed only to a watered down document full of intents, declaring that the parties agree to try to agree in Paris next year.
Hendricks’s early departure
There are no details as to why the German Environment Minister left already on Friday with the business unfinished. NTV writes:
The German negotiation leadership is now in the hands of State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth. The environmental protection organization Greenpeace criticized the Minister’s departure. ‘I find it already remarkable that the German Environment Minister has departed early, after Germany had played a spirited and progressive role,’ said Stefan Krug, head of the political representative in Berlin. ‘At such moments, when the negotiations are so precarious, it is extremely important that ministers remain engaged with their colleagues behind the scenes in order to strive for a solution.'”
NTV also writes of disappointment by German socialist EU Parliamentarian Jo Leinen: “Unfortunately it looks like we will be going home with a document that will contain many vague and soft formulations.”
That may very well be the case. But don’t expect the coming UN press releases to say so. Expect them to declare a breakthrough and success.
UN Climate Circus no. 20.