Climate debt news
The end game in Durban? How developed countries bullied and bribed to try to kill Kyoto
Bullying and bribery are tried and tested techniques often employed by powerful countries in international trade negotiations, where short term economic interests tend to be the order of the day. It is disturbing to see that these same motivations and tactics have now been brought into the climate change negotiations, even though governments are supposed to be working collectively to bring the planet back from the brink of disaster.
Bullying tactics include overt threats, to remove financial aid flows for example, but can also be more subtle and hidden. In general, experienced intergovernmental negotiators, especially those adept at deploying the nuances of the English language, tend to be skilled in using and abusing procedural rules and linguistic niceties to advance their national priorities. But if necessary, some are clearly prepared to resort to outright deception to achieve their goals, as this report shows.
Tactics include the use of exclusive ‘green room’ type negotiations, more typically deployed in cut throat trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO). They often take place outside the parameters of the formal negotiations, with carefully selected groups of countries likely to reach agreement and create momentum behind particular proposals. Negotiations can be conducted in the corridors, in ad hoc meetings that not every country knows about, in alternative country ‘groupings’ or simply in alternative forums, also known as ‘forum shopping’. Informal meetings also tend to be conducted in English, often without translation, putting those who do not speak English.
Signup to emails
Get the latest campaign actions, events and news direct to your inbox.