Argyll News: Mather live from Cancun #Climate Change Conference

Posted on December 12, 2010

Mather in UK Chi=air at cancun

‘Cancun 9th December 2010: Jim Mather says: ‘Negotiations are at peak intensity now.

‘There are three tracks:

  • The Ministerial level informal conversations orchestrated by the Presidency where much of the real action is taking place;
  • The plenary statements by visiting Heads of States and Ministers; and
  • The more formal drafting groups on the key outstanding issues.

‘As can be seen from the photographs, I took the UK chair for the morning plenary session in the main auditorium and listened for example to an impassioned speech by Bolivian President Morales (below), who claimed he was speaking on behalf of the victims of climate change.

Mather listens to Morales at Cancun

‘As I write, the informal negotiations are still going on, as are the plenary statements – and the drafting groups are either making progress or giving up their work till next year. The Kyoto issue still seems like the hardest to crack and may only be put aside rather than solved this year.

‘We will know the outcome sometime tomorrow since the Presidency has made it clear that negotiations stop at midnight on Friday Mexican time – am Saturday in the UK.

‘Today (Thursday 9th Dec) was a solid day of achievement for Scotland. Following a useful bilateral with Jane Davidson, Welsh Energy and Climate Change Minister, I met President Moreno and his team from the Inter American Development Bank. The focus of the discussions was on what Scotland could do in practice to help the IADB deliver on its obligation to lend 25% of its $3 billion loan portfolio to low carbon projects.

‘President Moreno, who visited me in Scotland in 2008, preferred to see our Memorandum of Understanding as an ‘M O Do’ rather than an MoU that might end up as an inert piece of paper.

‘He saw renewables and rural electrification as being vitally important but also saw Carbon Capture and Storage as an early priority given the pressure to take action in the Americas. We agreed to take forward an early visit by a high level industry delegation from the region to Scotland to learn about the practicalities of CCS from a body such as the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage. They knew that Scotland is a world leader on CCS and were keen to take advantage. This outcome was the result of a fantastic piece of work by Scottish Development International, who deserve great credit for building up such a positive relationship.

Mather Malunga Cancun CC Conf

‘Later in the day I met Grail Mulanga (above), Malawi Minister for Natural Resources, Energy and Environment. Malawi had been asked to come up with ideas for cooperation with Scotland on climate change and this was a good opportunity to discuss the type of initiatives we might take under the Scotland Malawi partnership. Ideas discussed included mapping of their wind and small hydro resources, support on monitoring the climate and sun and wind resource, community renewables and twinning on climate change adaptation.

‘As a result, I will report this discussion to the Minister for External Affairs and will discuss with her and other colleagues as to how to take it forward.’


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Posted in: Climate Change