Filed by Erika Engelhaupt
The climate in Bali is appropriately sweltering for talks on global warming. Meeting rooms simmer with sticky crowds, and one packed side event took on the distinct aroma of a locker room. The mood here is heating up as well.
Despite repeated assurances from UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer that this meeting will lay out only a process for post-2012 agreements, leaving the negotiation of emission reduction targets for later, countries are already starting to jostle one another for position on the roadmap. Just days after Australia signed onto Kyoto, there’s concern about whether the country will support reduction targets that are in line with most other developed nations.
And developed and developing countries are lining up on opposite sides of a brewing debate over technology transfer projects that bring clean technologies to developing nations. Japan and the U.S. want to protect intellectual property rights, while many developing nations are eager to push forward with more of these projects as one way to maintain development goals under a post-2012 framework.
At the end of each day, one nation is singled out for really getting in the way of negotiations. The Fossil-of-the-Day Award is announced with great tongue-in-cheek fanfare each evening, complete with national flags planted in bags of coal. Winners are chosen by members of the Climate Action Network, a group of more than 400 non-governmental organizations. Members of a youth delegation, above, accepted awards on behalf of the winners.
Tonight, Saudi Arabia claimed first prize (as it has many times) for complaining in the morning session about an unfair focus on CO2, while maintaining that CO2-focused carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects (that clearly benefit an oil-producing nation) should be a high priority. Japan took second place for pushing to count CCS as a clean development mechanism, and the EU came in third for holding up changes in managing funds for adaptation to climate change.