The June round of UN climate talks in Bonn, which had promised to be a mediocre "technical" meeting, has become with the efforts of the Russian delegation a “deeply layered blockade.”
Discussion of the proposal of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Ukraine to complete the agenda with the procedural and legal issues related to the process of decision-making completely destroyed the negotiation process: during two weeks the delegates could not even adopt the agenda. The work of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) in Bonn was not started at all.
The stumbling block was the events six months ago at the Conference of the Parties in Doha because of the procedure for adoption the agreement on extension of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013 to 2020. Then, representatives of some countries literally pushed through a non-consensus draft of the document, which was opposed by Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The proposal of the three countries immediately got an informal name "the Russian Amendment", and has led to confrontation from a rather large number of countries, especially G 77 and China. Recognizing the importance of procedural proposals, the opponents to the "Russian amendment" did not agree to make it a separate item on the agenda of the working group.
According to Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, all the negotiators agreed that the issue raised by Russia, Ukraine and Belarus is very important, and it deserves a formal discussion. "However, there is a certain irony in the fact that, having come to a complete agreement about what needs to be discussed, the countries do not agree on how to do it - and were not able to discuss it as a result."
Not all negotiations participants believed in the sincerity of "procedural" amendment. One of the versions was that Russia was displeased with the Doha results and intends to bargain for some preferences. The subject of bargaining could be the "right for hot air" - the use of unused carbon credits from previous periods. The conference in Qatar resulted, despite vigorous protests from Russia, in amending the agreement to allow the transfer of quotas for 2013 and beyond only for those who have not changed their minds to participate in the Kyoto-2.
Some negotiators saw the attempt to break up the entire process in the Russian actions. The representative of Tuvalu doubted that the proposal initiators are concerned with the observance of the procedures, and claimed that in fact it was just an excuse for blocking the work. "It is as if someone decided to deliberately break the car to show that its seat belts are not working," - said the Tuvalu representative.
Representatives of the Russian delegation called all versions about the "second bottom" of their proposals "insinuations" and said they were not going to revise Doha and do not want to disrupt the process.
"We have serious fears that if we do not hold such a discussion on the procedural aspects of the decision-making, we can again meet in 2015 a situation where all the efforts will go down the drain," said Oleg Shamanov, the representative of the official delegation of the Russian Federation.
In the near future, the requirements of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus that paralyzed the UN climate talks in Bonn will be discussed at the informal consultations in preparation for the November climate conference in Warsaw. This is done to ensure that the event is not ripped off because of procedural disputes.
Observers of the climate negotiation process regret that two weeks of negotiations have been lost. Important losses include, for example, the question of "losses and damages", which was to be work within the framework of this session. The future of the climate process depends on the good will of the participants - the initiators of the amendments and the opposing coalition. Time will tell how the story of this controversial issue ends.