Guest essay by Eric Worrall

You couldn’t make it up; Internet glitches, delegates too lazy to match timezones, and China objecting to the presence of observers at negotiations on transparency.

Climate change: UN virtual talks make little progress

By Matt McGrath
Environment correspondent

Exhausted delegates have concluded three weeks of virtual climate negotiations with little progress on key issues. 

The UN subsidiary bodies meeting was meant to clear the decks ahead of the major COP26 gathering in Glasgow in November. 

But technical glitches, and multiple time zones scuppered attempts to find common ground.

Developing nations are also concerned that a lack of vaccines may limit their ability to take part in the Glasgow conference. 

But the UK says it will ensure all accredited delegates will get their jabs ahead of the summit. 

The challenges of delegates in differing time zones with varying internet connections made these difficult negotiations a real struggle. 

“I think this was technically challenging for many parties, connectivity problems compounded and complicated the trust deficits that exist,” said Quamrul Chowdhury, a climate negotiator from Bangladesh.

“Even the low hanging fruits couldn’t be harvested,” he told BBC News.

As well as the technical challenges, there were issues with access for observers with China objecting to their presence at talks on transparency.

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I suspect COP26 will proceed anyway, despite this shambolic leadup. I mean, it is not like anyone expects genuine progress at a COP conference, even in a normal year.

via Watts Up With That?

June 20, 2021