Cool COP Morning: Entering-the-Stretch Afternoon Edition

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in Learn, The Wonk Room

With less than two days left of the UN climate talks in Mexico, country delegates appear close to agreement on at least one important area: forests. Work on the final text for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation appears to be nearing completion.

REDD is the lowest hanging fruit for a positive outcome in Cancun,” said Duncan Marsh, international climate change policy director for The Nature Conservancy. “There is an impressive level of consensus around a very solid agreement.”

An overarching agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions is a less likely outcome, but William Booth and Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post provide a fascinating glimpse of the inner workings of climate diplomacy.

A handful of country leaders are arriving to join the talks, carrying with them their nations’ political and economic considerations. They hope to avoid another disappointing outcome that would derail the international process.

“They pretend they won’t move on an issue, but they will,” said Marsh, who was quoted in the Post on the game of poker going on between negotiators. “They all want to hold their cards as close to their chests as they can.”

Meanwhile, even if the talks end without major deals, it is clear that climate change work in countries, states, and cities will continue in earnest.

Yesterday, Mexican President Felipe Calderón presented his country’s vision for REDD, including four project sites. One is a regional partnership between Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo, the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula, where The Nature Conservancy works with communal forests called ejidos.

And meeting nearby in Cancun, more than 60 state and regional governments at the annual Climate Leaders Summit renewed their commitments reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“A clean industrial revolution is not only possible, but it is well underway in the world’s leading states, cities, and regions,” said Steve Howard, chief executive of the host think tank, The Climate Group.

Photo by: Paul Mackie/The Nature Conservancy (Conference attendees gather around one of the hallway TVs in the CancunMesse to watch Bolivian President Evo Morales give his speech to delegates on Thursday morning.)

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