Trade, human rights seen aiding UN climate deal

A planned U.N. climate deal might adapt systems for monitoring trade or human rights as models to check up on poor nations' curbs on greenhouse gases, Mexico's climate chief said.

Trade, human rights seen aiding UN climate deal

 

A planned U.N. climate deal might adapt systems for monitoring trade or human rights as models to check up on poor nations' curbs on greenhouse gases, Mexico's climate chief said on Tuesday.

Luis Alfonso de Alba, whose country will host this year's main climate talks in Cancun from Nov. 29-Dec. 10, said a review system could help the world towards a U.N. climate treaty after the 2009 Copenhagen summit fell short of a binding deal.

 

"We are starting to look into a system of what we call 'peer review'" for developing nations' climate plans, he told a news conference on the sidelines of talks among climate negotiators from 185 nations in Bonn, Germany.

"Such systems have proven to be quite successful, whether it's trade or human rights, to mention some examples," he said. De Alba is Mexico's special representative for climate change and a former president of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Rich and poor nations have long disagreed about how to monitor plans by developing nations to curb their rising greenhouse gas emissions as part of a world drive to avert more heatwaves, floods, desertification and rising seas.

 

Sovereignty

De Alba said the proposed "peer review" would satisfy rich nations' demands for better oversight while ensuring the poor do not feel it is interference in their domestic affairs.

Peer review "is not a police exercise, more a learning process. It forces you to make an additional effort," de Alba told Reuters. He said there would be no international sanctions involved for those not in compliance.

In U.N. monitoring of human rights, for instance, countries have to present reports about their performance. These are reviewed by three countries picked at random and debated publicly by all other nations.

And the World Trade Organisation reviews its members' policies for trade in goods and services under a 1989 deal.

"It's an effort in transparency," he said of such reviews. Many developing nations have only vague domestic plans so far for tackling climate change.

Developed nations, bound by the Kyoto Protocol for curbing greenhouse gas emissions until 2012, already face tougher international inspections of their commitments. Their pledges to cut emissions underpin carbon prices.

And developing nations receiving international funds will also face tougher monitoring. But there is a gap for checking programmes funded by developing nations themselves, for instance to save fuel through an efficiency drive at industrial plants.

De Alba said that expectations had been too high before December's Copenhagen summit, which agreed a non-binding deal to limit a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times. It did not say how.

De Alba said he wanted to be both ambitious and realistic for Cancun. He said Mexico was hoping for a full legally binding deal "but being aware that not necessarily everything is going to be solved in Cancun."

Most experts believe that a deal is out of reach for 2010.

Reuters

Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2010, 22:52
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