The polite world of international negotiation has been scandalised this week at the UNFCCC climate change talks in Bangkok. Sensibilities have been compromised by a proposal coming from the EU delegation that is understood to have been personally endorsed by the Italian Prime Minister. The furore surrounds unexpected new sexual approaches in the carbon market which some developing country negotiators feel have been forced upon them against their will. One shaken delegate explained the ordeal. “We were busy preparing our negotiating position based on our own independent actions when these EU delegates came over and forced their sexual approaches upon us. It is most inappropriate and really not a way to foster long-term cooperative action. They said the sexual approach can be measured by intensity but frankly I’d rather not know. And anyway I’ve heard that the European sexual mechanism is rather inadequate”.
As is customary with climate policy lingo, the term has been abbreviated and tends to be known amongst experts simply as “sexual”. “I’ve been closely analysing the EU’s proposed sexual position” said one, “and I just don’t think it’s tenable. I don’t see how you can get traction between the Parties for long enough to achieve the desired effect. Furthermore the correct way to mount this sort of campaign is to tackle it head-on from the front, not to try to slide in unnoticed through the back door “.
The EU remains adamant about the potency of its mechanism. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the approaches are finding a warmer welcome amongst other developed country delegations, although some remain surprised by this because sexual trading is in fact illegal in many countries.