Posted by: carbonara | October 9, 2009

Inappropriate new market mechanisms

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”.

baseline and credit in the new approach

baseline and credit in the new approach

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.



  1. Really liked your previous post, which a colleague sent me a link to, but count me totally unamused by this rape joke. Please see here for why many women find these jokes offensive. It’s especially not-funny in this case, given the gendered reality that climate change will hit women hardest – I suggest checking in with Gender CC and looking at the efforts they are making to ensure that the deal that comes out of Copenhagen recognises this.

  2. hi, sorry if this caused offence, that certainly wasn’t my intention and I hadn’t thought of it as a rape joke at all. It was intended just as a pun on sectoral approaches, a carbon market mechanism being proposed by the EU and others at the climate negotiations (eg )

    But thanks for pointing it out. I’ll be more careful with my subject matter in future.

  3. everyone in the plenary does a double take (titillation is hard to come by in the carbon market talks) when they hear “sectoral” with that particular developing country accent that makes it sound exactly like “sexual”! So thanks for putting the insight in writing even if it might be a bit obscure a reference to be amusing for those who haven’t actually heard those sectoral discusions in the flesh…

    • Thanks for the comment and yes I know what you mean. But in fact the original idea for this article arose because a speaker from a certain large central European country had a similarly misleading accent…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: