Policy Analysis

The Barcelona Negotiations on Climate Change: Where the Spirit is willing?

By John Drexhage on November 13, 2009
John Drexhage, IISD's Director of climate change and energy notes that although the November 2009 climate negotiations in Barcelona, Spain, ended on a more positive note, significant differences between Parties remain. While slow progress was made in Barcelona on issues such as the development of new market mechanisms and addressing deforestation, Drexhage observes that Parties remain far from resolving some of the critical "faults" in the negotiations. In particular, he highlights the challenge posed by the U.S. government's insistence on a "bottom-up" architecture and the potential for this approach to undermine the international greenhouse gas accounting system and thereby weaken the global climate regime. He also notes the real opportunity the U.S. position creates for China to play a strong leadership role in Copenhagen.