Finally! A session I can be happy about.

I spent my time, last night, at a session on aligning the assessments of the CTCN (the Climate Technology Centre and Network) and the “Technology Mechanism”. This is all about transferring climate-friendly technology to less developed nations with the “mechanism” being legalese for what’s in the various agreements whilst the Technology Centre houses the people who actually make it happen. Strangely, when these were set up, they had completely different schedules for being checked up on. Specifically, the Technology Centre is assessed every 4 years whilst progress of the “Mechanism” is assessed every 5 years. Aligning these makes sense, especially as the assessment of the Technology Centre obviously feeds into the assessment of the “Mechanism”.

I’m afraid this is the kind of mind-numbing detail that these negotiations are all about. It’s not about climate, it’s not about science it’s about who does what and when.

As I’ve reported in earlier blogs, this procedural nit-picking gives copious opportunities for mischief-making and foot-dragging and I fully expected to see this happen again. But it didn’t. Instead, there was a convergence on the view that both assessments should happen every 5 years and that the Technology Centre should be reviewed ahead of the “periodic assessment” of the technology mechanism. It’s going to take another 90 minute session to nail things down (and we’ve already had two of these) but it looks like this particular informal-meeting may actually have a recommendation for agreement at COP26. Hoorah!

You can probably detect my frustration at the snail’s pace of progress on what seem to be trivial no-brainers but, to be honest, microscopic examination of every nuance in the negotiations is probably vital to prevent things unravelling at a later stage.

But, as I’ve already said, I’m glad I’m not a diplomat.

Dave Waltham