Special Envoy Stern: Difficult Negotiations, But a Result Is Possible

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
December 8, 2010

Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern delivered remarks to the press at COP-16 in Cancun, Mexico, on December 7. He said, "Since we talked yesterday we are continuing to work on a very intensive basis as are so many other countries here, in our case trying to build on the progress that we made last year toward getting a balanced package. You've heard me talking about that during the last few times I have been here, covering all the core issues: mitigation, transparency, the so-called MRV/ICA issue -- ICA for International Consultation and Analysis -- financing, technology, adaptation and REDD. As I also have said I do think there is an agreement to be had and we are trying to make, we are very prepared to make progress on all of those issues.

"At the same time, if there's an agreement to be had, there are a lot of difficulties, so we'll have to see. We have made, as again I think I've said before, we made a good start on Fast Start funding which is an issue that has been raised by some delegations, something in the order of $1.7 billion or so for 2010, and obviously we hope more than that going forward -- as well as good pledges made by other donor countries. So I think that we made a very good start forward, after all just in the very first year.

"I would also note, by the way, there was a very encouraging announcement made by OPIC, the U.S. export credit agency, to the effect of OPIC looking to mobilize a billion dollars in the near term. OPIC will provide at least three hundred million dollars in financing for new private equity investments that could ultimately invest more than a billion dollars in renewable sources.

"So we have been, I have been, working closely with OPIC in recent months. We are very pleased about that, and that's over and above anything that's already in Fast Start, that's additional.

"I do not know exactly when all of that funding will kick in, so I'm not saying that's a 2010, or 11 or 12 funding per se, but it is funding that is going to start. OPIC is going to start raising that money and contributing that money to the private equity funds quite soon and that can be another important source of funding.

"Look, just in general, I think we are in a situation right now, it's Tuesday, we've got until Friday. In these types of negotiations, that's a long time, but I will say in a general sense the negotiations are still difficult, a result is still possible. The Kyoto Protocol issue continues to be very tough, it is not clear whether it's resolvable, we certainly hope so. It's the one issue that actually doesn't involve the United States directly, it's important that the mitigation pledges be anchored, and that they be anchored in a neutral way that's consistent with what happened in the Copenhagen Accord last year. We need, as we have said, adequate amount of detail, with respect to transparency in a way that is roughly comparable with what's going on in the other areas and we are -- we are working in all of these other areas, to try to make progress on establishing a Green Fund in the right way, and technology mechanism and so forth."

You can read the Special Envoy's complete remarks here.

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