Policy Analysis

Bangkok Talks on Climate Change: Matter over Form is the Only Way Ahead - An IISD Commentary

By John Drexhage on October 19, 2009
In this IISD Commentary, John Drexhage calls for a greater focus on discussing substantive issues within the 2009 negotiations on the future of the international climate change regime.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the climate negotiations in Bangkok in September/October 2009, IISD's Director of climate change and energy observes that constructive headway is being made in some areas. But several key issues, including emission targets and financing, remain far from being resolved. More critically, he draws attention to the continuing fractious debate between developed and developing countries over the legal form of a climate agreement. This debate—on whether the agreement will emerge out of discussions related to the future of the Kyoto Protocol and/or out of negotiations involving all countries under the climate Convention—has the potential to bring the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen this December to a full stop.