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Editor’s Note No. 135
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Chris Spence
Chris Spence.
Deputy Director, IISD RS
“A week is a long time in politics,” said a former British Prime Minister reflecting on how quickly political fortunes can change. This phrase certainly rings true in the case of global climate change politics, where a series of recent events and announcements appears to have energized the diplomatic community.

As you will read in this issue of Linkages Update, the latest events to make waves include the UN Secretary-General’s Summit in New York on Tuesday, 22 September. Judging by some of the initial reaction, this event seems to have achieved its aim of strengthening momentum leading into the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. The Summit follows calls by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for governments to show renewed leadership to ensure an agreement, and new policy announcements by major players such as China, India and Japan, whose new government declared that it would take on more ambitious mid-term emissions targets. While none of this guarantees success in December and there is still plenty of uncertainty about the outcome, it certainly appears to have raised some people’s hopes.

As this issue of Linkages Update is published, another meeting, the Pittsburgh G20 Summit, is also expected to address climate and energy issues. This will be followed next week with the start of another round of talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – this time in Bangkok. The Bangkok talks will last for two weeks. With only one additional week of UNFCCC negotiations scheduled after this in the lead-up to Copenhagen (November in Barcelona), the Bangkok meeting will be extremely important. Currently, delegates have 280 pages of negotiating text on the table, which will need to be cut down in order to formulate a viable agreement. Our colleagues on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team will be in Bangkok, Barcelona and Copenhagen, providing detailed daily reports and a summary and analysis of each event at its conclusion. To keep up with their news, visit: or sign up to receive their ENB reports in your email inbox at:
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