From the Indian website Live Mint, Sanjiv Shankaran and Padmaparna Ghosh have an interesting article speculating that the proliferation of non-UN forums to discuss global climate change may be impeding progress towards an international treaty.
Meetings like last month’s G-8 summit, the US-sponsored Major Economies Forum and the G-20 all have had climate change policy on their respective agendas. The problem with this, according to Shankaran and Ghosh is that many of the smaller, developing countries have no seat at the table. For many countries–such as small island developing nations–their interests can only get a hearing at the UN summits. The fear is that if the large countries set the agenda for an agreement outside of the UN, these non-represented nations will be forced to accept a treaty that ignores their real concerns.
This is a legitimate argument, since many of these countries are facing immediate issues relating to adapting to climate change with very little resources. The adaptation fund created under the Kyoto Protocol is woefully inadequate. With the large countries framing a long-term climate agreement, the fear is that this financing will, once again, be left on the back burner.