Friday, December 11, 2009

First Copenhagen Draft Released - Trade Section Conspicuously Blank

The first draft text of the Copenhagen climate summit's "long-term action plan" (aka draft negotiating text) was released today, and fellow trade geeks will be less interested in what's in the agreement and far more interested in what's missing: any text on trade measures.  The full text of the draft agreement is available here, and at Article 6 where the text on trade measures should be, it merely says:
[To be elaborated: provision on trade measures (reference to Art. 3, paragraph 5 of the Convention);]
In other words, the diplomats are so torn about how to handle trade measures (like carbon tariffs or domestic taxes on imports) can't even agree on draft (bracketed) text.

Ooooh, controversy!

As you'll recall, India proposed the following text, which would have essentially banned the use of carbon tariffs and other border measures by developed countries, to be inserted at Paragraph 6 of the draft agreement:
Developed country Parties shall not resort to any form of unilateral measures including countervailing border measures, against goods and services imported from developing countries on grounds of protection and stabilisation of the climate. Such measures would violate the principles and provisions of the Convention, including, in particular, those related to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (Article 3, paragraph 1), to trade and climate change (Article 3, paragraph 5), and to the relationship between mitigation actions of developing countries and the provision of financial resources and technology by developed country Parties (Article 4, paragraphs 3 and 7).

The United States summarily rejected the inclusion of that text, wishing (in my opinion) to maintain its negotiating leverage during the Copenhagen negotiations.  But here it is three months later - and a full week into the Copenhagen conference - and yet we still have no agreement on even a framework for final trade measures text.  Nada.  Clearly, there is a broad disagreement between the pro- and anti- border measures camps (as I've been discussing for a while now).

This is going to get verrrrrry interesting next week.  Stay tuned.

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