STATEMENT: CAP Fellow Andrew Light on the Global Partnership on Technology at the Major Economies Forum Leaders’ Meeting in L’Aquila, Italy
WASHINGTON, D.C. –“The most important thing in the final document from the Global Partnership on Technology, item 3, which not only has language of doubling the current commitments on technology assistance by developed countries by 2015 but sets a deadline for action plans by November 15th likely through bi-laterals. This is very important, and so far completely overlooked by media reports on the meeting, because it is the first concrete timed goal to come out of this process and it endorses what the US has been doing — trying to do specific bi-laterals with specific partners like Russia and China to induce them to do a better deal in Copenhagen. On top of that, it suggests that the EU is now finally comfortable with the US doing such things against the suggestions in early reports that everyone was jittery about the US going it alone with China. Finally the document signals continuation of the MEF with a goal of agreement in Copenhagen which is very good as we didn’t know if it would continue after this meeting.
On the discrepancy between the G8 document embracing the global goal of 50% reduction by 2050 and the lack of that language in the MEF document:
While China and India blocked better language for the MEF declaration my take on that is that absence of those targets in the MEF document will not have much of an impact on Copenhagen. The history of UNFCCC is that everyone, no exceptions, waits until the very last possible minute to agree to anything. Even though the MEF document is non-binding there isn’t enough incentive for China and India to even hint at accepting a goal that would require their participation until they see how much they can get in return in terms of technology transfer and financing. That’s why I think the specific establishment of a hard date on tech transfer in the MEF document is so significant. It’s an attempt to provide the key incentive to get China and India to accept more robust target language in Copenhagen. I would rather see a stronger MEF document just to show that everyone is considering the same numbers but there isn’t much here to be terribly disturbed about looking ahead to Copenhagen, especially given that everyone signed off on the 2 degrees Celsius language.”
To speak with CAP Senior Fellow Andrew Light, or other CAP experts on this topic, please contact Suzi Emmerling at email@example.com or 202-481-8224.