he Conference of the Parties inCopenhagen was seriously oversold.There was a reason for this: without anagreement in 2009 on a new set ofemissions reduction targets, which could then beratified by Parties (a process taking some time), the chances of new targets being placed when the first commitment period expired in 2012 were very low. "Mind the gap" (between the end of the firstcommitment period and the start of the next one) wasthe slogan before Copenhagen. But it was very clearthat however much the gap needed to be minded, ifcountries were not ready to agree, there would be noagreement. And it was very clear from early in 2009that key countries were not going to be ready: thenegotiations can be nudged forward by the applicationof political pressure and brinkmanship, but only somuch. Yet the hype was allowed to build up: the UNSecretary General said: "Seal the Deal" and the mediaexcitement of Copenhagen was built up. But the truthwas there was no deal to be sealed. No-one told themedia, however, and the resulting let-down in thenegotiations was hugely exaggerated. The feeling that this was the last "hurrah" of theUNFCCC system was increased by the emergence ofthe Copenhagen Accord. This document appeared forthe first time to open up the possibility that largedeveloping countries would set down their emissionsreduction proposals alongside those of developedcountries, even if not expressed in the same format,and would acknowledge some degree of third partymonitoring and verification. The Accord may havebeen agreed, but it was not a document that belongedto the negotiations, and all the UNFCCC process feltable to do with it was take note of it. Many observers felt that the only hope of progress layin pushing the Accord forward somewhere else: theG8, the G20, the US-led Major Economies Forum, orone of the many bespoke discussion groups ofMinisters. Even those most despairing of the UNprocess feel that after agreement in one of theseexternal forums, the agreement will have to be broughtback to the UN negotiations for some sort of approval,if not for transformation into a new bindinginternational treaty.But two very serious problems are emerging with thismodel. The first is the key issue of substance, theCatch-22, that has divided the parties for some yearsnow. What is the level, nature and duration ofdeveloped country emissions reduction commitmentsthat would be accepted by the rest of the world? Andwhat actions will the larger developing countries taketo reduce their emissions, which would justify furtherdeveloped country commitments? The CopenhagenAccord hinted that some key developing countrieswould be prepared to bridge some of the gap. Butmuch, much more than that is required before a newglobal agreement can be reached. Precisely what willthey do, how much financial and technical support willthey need, and what counter-offer will that producefrom the developed countries? The most important andintractable part of that last question is what the US willdo. The halting progress through Congress of USlegislation suggests that the answer is not a great deal.The second problem is that there appears to be littlemomentum behind the job of getting seriousdiscussion of the Copenhagen Accord issues in thealternative, or supplementary forums. The CanadianPresidency of the G8 so far shows little inclination toput climate change high on the Agenda, despite high-level concerns expressed in the UN. The KoreanCLIMATE CHANGE: THE G8 THE UNFCCC AND THE SUBSTANCE062EMISSIONS TRADINGTHENRY DERWENT, PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE INTERNATIONAL EMISSIONS TRADING ASSOCIATION (IETA)" "THE ACCORDMAY HAVE BEENAGREED, BUT ITWAS NOT A DOCUMENT THATBELONGED TO THENEGOTIATIONS,AND ALL THE UNFCCC PROCESSFELT ABLE TO DOWITH IT WAS TAKENOTE OF IT,?
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