Bangkok Climate Talks: Japan, USA, and agreement on an agenda

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Bangkok Climate Talks: Japan, USA, and agreement on an agenda

Three months after the landmark agreement on a road map towards strengthened international action on climate change reached in Bali, Indonesia, the latest round of negotiations shifted to the neighbouring country of Thailand and its capital, Bangkok.

The talks took place between 31 March to 4 April 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Jennifer Morgan, E3G’s Director of Climate and Energy Security, was in attendance, and helped the media to interpret the negotiations as they reached crunch point.

Speaking to the AP agency, she firstly highlighted the impact of the Japanese negotiating position:

The U.S. and Japan are playing hard ball”, said Jennifer Morgan with the E3G environmentalist group. “Because Japan has been so aggressive in its stance, it’s creating a very negative mood”, she said.

Later, once a final agreement had at last been reached, she then drew attention to the key role that the USA would play going forward:

Jennifer Morgan, a climate activist with the E3G environmental group, said the final work plan dropped a propose workshop on U.S mitigation action which she said showed the Bush administration was “not serious about the problem” of climate change. But she added that the lack of a workshop also provided an opportunity for the next administration.

“The decision sets it up for the new president to indicate what level of ambition the U.S. will take on this agreement”, Morgan said.

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