photo by adopt a negotiator (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

The UN climate talks taking place in Bonn, Germany this week are not proving to be a source of positive news for the global environment.

An binding agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently enough to avoid the risk of runaway global warming and climate change were meant to be the goal of last December’s climate talks in Copenhagen. But according to the outgoing UN climate chief, this will probably take at least 10 more years.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is quoted in an AFP report:

I don’t see the process delivering adequate mitigation targets in the next decade. Over the longer term, I think we will get this issue under control. Having said that, I do believe that it’s a longer journey.

The negotiators in Bonn are now favoring an ‘evolutionary process’ for making progressively deeper emissions cuts. They are also debating climate aid for developing countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. At Copenhagen, rich nations pledged $30bn for this purpose, rising to $100bn after 10 years. It has been decided at the talks that the aid will mostly come in the form of grants, not loans.

Meanwhile, wealthy nations have been the target of criticism from poor countries for trying to ‘cheat’ on their emissions accounting by not including logging, but counting tree planting.

From a report in the Guardian:

According to the Climate Action Network (CAN), a coalition of more than 500 environment and development groups around the world, the revision of the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) rules would falsely exaggerate emission reductions.

The rich nations attempting to take advantage of this loophole are led by Russia, Australia and the EU countries.

Additional resources:

Guardian – Bonn climate talks diary

Huffington Post – Update from Bonn: The Crazy Killing of the Kyoto Protocol