U.S. hijacks climate talks, attempts to block rainforest conservation plan
December 11, 2007
As the two weeks of talks draw to a dramatic close, the US stood alone and forced the rainforest resolution into a frenzy. India relinquished its demand to seek credits for already having had reversed rates of deforestation. Papua New Guinea was able to insert language that could allow billions of dollars to begin flowing to developing countries that move early to stop deforestation.
At the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) the US introduced new text to water down the negotiations. All other countries objected to the last minute change, forcing the subject to the higher level negotiations of the Conference of the Parties (COP). Said Jeff Metcalfe, Director of the Tropical Forest Group, "We've seen this many times before. The US waits for other countries to grow weary and brings in some new confusing tactic at this last hour. Only this time they've gone too far - with UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon and other Heads of State scheduled to speak, the US will have no choice but to back down".
A few hotels away from the main negotiations, the World Bank announced a $350 partnership to funnel money to rainforests. Governments including Germany ($57 million), the United Kingdom ($30 million), Finland ($5 million) and Japan ($10 million) announced new monies to support the World Bank fund to control deforestation. The US was notably absent from the stage as World Bank president Robert Zoellick chaired the exciting new plans to save rainforest.
Meanwhile in Washington — in what looks like another deliberate slap-in-the-face — a US Treasury Bill would slash US funding for tropical forests.
U.S. contributes $0 to World Bank's new $300m forest carbon fund
At U.N. climate talks in Bali, the World Bank officially unveiled its $300 million Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a scheme that will offer tropical countries carbon offset credits to preserve forests.