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'Negotiation in Paris won’t be easy'

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - Members of the Philippine delegation to next week’s climate conference in Paris are expecting “long days and nights” during the negotiations, which they admit will not be easy due to some ticklish issues. 

Climate Change Commission Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco said several meetings would be held to thresh out the issues of a draft agreement designed to reduce emissions and to limit global warming.

“My expectation is we will have very long nights and very long days. Maybe won’t get any sleep at all because of several contact groups’ meetings, negotiations, and even up to the ministerial level,” Goco said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday.  

“Currently, our draft negotiating text or draft agreement is full of brackets. That means brackets and languages that will have to be negotiated during the Conference of Parties. The negotiation in Paris won’t be easy,” she added.

Among the contentious aspects of the draft agreement is the financing for developing countries that are vulnerable to changing climate patterns.

“Who will be the sources of finances? Who will provide them? At the same time, there are discourses stating that there should be no differentiation and that all parties should be treated alike,” Goco said.

The Philippines is pushing for a “common but differentiated responsibility” for parties, which means that the countries’ action on climate change will depend on their capacities. Such stance entails the giving of assistance to developing and vulnerable countries to improve their mitigation and adaptation capabilities.

Despite the divergent views that threaten to stall the forging of a climate deal, the Philippine delegation remains upbeat on the Paris talks.

“I think, definitely there will be a Paris agreement. The French government will really push that there should be a Paris agreement,” Goco said.

“I think that’s the reason also why they organized the leaders’ event on the first day, so that there could be some guidance already from the heads of state, there could be some leveling off by that time,” she added.

Goco noted that during the failed Copenhagen talks in 2009, the leaders’ event was held only on the last day of the climate conference. President Benigno Aquino III will attend the leaders’ event next week and is expected to push for a binding climate agreement that will be advantageous to vulnerable countries.

About 50 negotiators will represent the Philippines during the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) from November 30 to December 11.

The conference seeks to come up with a climate deal that will cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming below two degrees Celsius.

While the Philippines is not a major pollutant and is even regarded as a victim of climate change, it vowed to undertake an aggressive emission reduction program.

The Philippines aims to cut carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 if it gets assistance like financial resources, technology development and transfer and capability building.

“What is very important is the financing, because that will be the enabler,” Goco said.

“What is also very important for us is adaptation (because of) the fact that we are highly vulnerable and we are always affected,” she added. 

ACIRC

CLIMATE

CLIMATE CHANGE

CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOYCELINE GOCO

CONFERENCE OF PARTIES

GOCO

MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE

NBSP

PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION

WHILE THE PHILIPPINES

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