I’m in Barcelona, Spain for the last round of climate negotiations prior to the big show set for mid-December in Copenhagen. I just touched down, so pardon any poor grammar, I’m a little bleary eyed at the moment.
The goal of the Barcelona meeting is to whittle down the final document that will be presented to leaders at the Copenhagen international climate summit. This document will ultimately become an international treaty that will be the road map for worldwide greenhouse gas emission cuts over the coming decade.
The Barcelona meeting is also a time for political brinkmanship between nations to begin. First out the gate this morning was Yvo de Boer, the man in charge of the entire United Nations treaty negotiation process, who had choice words for the United States.
“We need a clear target from the United States in Copenhagen,” said de Boer. “That is an essential component of the puzzle.”
De Boer’s words were chosen carefully, as most are in such negotiations. By singling out the United States he is setting the tone for the week.
This isn’t surprising given that it is still unclear what the US is willing to commit to - either domestically with their clean energy bill currently making its way through the US Senate, or internationally with the US negotiating team continuing to waffle on the important issues of financial support for developing nations, and a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
Lofty rhetoric and no details is the name of the game for the US negotiating team.