The monotonous story of the U.S. negotiating behavior and the climate change convention negotiations themselves finally took a different turn at the INC V sessions. Though the United States entered the negotiations with the exact same position—advocating flexible mechanisms with no binding targets—the United States did pledge $75 million in development assistance during the February INC V session.174 Though this gesture was not "grand" it signaled some flexibility in the U.S. positions, while it also leveraged the U.S. commitment to the GEF as the funding agency—the funds were earmarked for the GEF. Some flexibility, however, should not be confused with major flexibility. As Daniel Lashof of the NRDC noted:
When I testified on the global warming issue almost exactly a year ago before your sister Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, I said, "the Bush administration's continuing refusal to accept targets and timetables for reducing carbon dioxide . . . remains the largest obstacle to progress," and unfortunately that statement is just as true today as it was then.175
The United States remained the only Northern holdout. According the Reinstein, at this stage the "United States continues to oppose rigid, quantitative targets and timetables, whether for carbon dioxide or all greenhouse gases."176 In addition, in its "Statement on Commitments" at INC V, the United States recognized the need for development assistance (pledging $50 million to the Global Environmental Facility [GEF]), committed $25 million to help Southern states take climate change inventories, while it also failed to accept targets.177 Still focusing on costs and uncertainty, this was as far as the United States would budge.178
Even given continued U.S. reluctance, the 151 states that convened in February were able to agree on a negotiating text. This text enshrined the notion of global participation and affirmed the commitment to development assistance.179 However, the South was still not content with either U.S. actions or the current state of the negotiating text. The head of the Brazilian delegation made it clear that "[i]f the ones that are the main cause of the problem do nothing, other countries will not give up their development chances to solve a global problem that was not created by them."180 Thus, much work remained for the final negotiating session prior to the Earth Summit in June.
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