UN Climate Change Talks Start With Little Faith From Observers29/11/2010 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Today in Cancun, Mexico, the United Nations climate change conference opened with hopes of finding consensual solutions for the global environmental threat and its consequences. After the disappointing results of last year’s conference in Copenhagen, echoes of uncertainty on the outcome of the Cancun conference are being heard from many sides.The conference will be held from 29 November to 10 December. It encompasses the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and the thirteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the conference will encourage further discussions on future commitments for industrialised countries under the Kyoto Protocol. The AWG-KP was to deliver the results of its work for adoption in Cancun, and the mandate of the AWG-LCA was extended in Copenhagen to continue work and present the outcome to COP 16.Intellectual property rights have been intensively discussed in the AWG-LCA with elusive consensus on whether to mention IP rights in the text or not. The chair of AWG-LCA, Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe, provided a note to this week’s conference with “possible elements of the outcome.”In the note [pdf], item 71 “Recognizes the different views on intellectual property rights among Parties and the importance of continued dialogue among Parties in 2011 on ways to enhance technology innovation and access to technologies for mitigation and adaptation.”The AWG-LCA negotiating text [pdf], discussed at the Tianjin UN climate change conference, held in China from 4-9 October, contains references to IP rights, but mainly bracketed (reflecting disagreement). They appear in chapter IV on enhanced action on technology development and transfer, in particular in relation to barriers to technology development and transfer. Point 13 of the text is entirely devoted to IP rights and entirely bracketed. Two options are listed in this section, one with no reference to IP rights in the text, and the other one with a list of detailed measures to remove barriers to the development and transfer of technologies arising from IP protection.In previous discussions, developing countries insisted that IP rights references should be included in the text.One participant said today that there are possible concerns about the inclusion of proposals of importance to developing countries in the Cancun meeting. And the issue of IP rights may come up in the context of the technology group.The efficiency of the multilateral system was challenged by some after the failure to adopt a binding agreement in Copenhagen last year, but the recent relative success of negotiations on the Convention on Biological Diversity in October, gave new momentum to international negotiations, according to several sources (IPW, United Nations, 19 December 2010).Many stakeholders have voiced opinions on the possible outcome of the conference.The UN Environment Programme has released a report calling for pledges made in Copenhagen to be met. The report prepared in conjunction with the European Climate Foundation and the National Institute of Ecology-Semarnat, in Mexico, highlights the size of the “emissions gap” between “where nations might be in 2020 versus where the science indicates they need to be.”Keeping global temperatures below a 2 degree Celsius rise in the 21st century is essential, said UNEP. However, it will require parties to fully implement the Copenhagen accord pledges, and beyond. If all countries meet their pledge, there will still be a gap of about 5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent to reach the objectives. But “this is a good first step,” Aichim Steiner, UNEP executive director was reported saying. The gap could be bridged by higher ambition on CO2, he said.Industry, Civil Society ViewsThe International Chamber of Commerce for its part said it was “seeking enhanced channels for engagement to ensure that the process benefits from business dynamism and expertise,” according to a press release.“In its role as the official business and industry focal point in the UNFCCC process, ICC continues to work for closer cooperation between governments and business and strives to ensure that governments create an enabling framework for business to continue developing and implementing practical climate change solutions,” it said. The release also calls for a “workable” agreement on technology transfer, which respects IP rights.Meanwhile, Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said agriculture needs a “Green Marshall Plan”, referring to the post-World War II aid programme for Europe proposed by US Secretary of State George Marshall in 1947. Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could rise by 40 percent by 2030 if there are no policy changes, he said in a release.De Schutter warned against “current attempts to boost food production with chemical fertilisers and the development of heavily mechanised large-scale plantations” putting agriculture “on the wrong track.”La Via Campesina, a international peasant movement, said “COP 16 is doomed to failure,” in a press release. It said the trend was “to favour carbon market and REDD (the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries),” and “this mechanism supports global privatisation of forests, jungles and territories.”The World Wildlife Fund said it was “no time for dithering,” and called parties to agree to a “Cancun Package.”Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedCatherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."UN Climate Change Talks Start With Little Faith From Observers" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.