Obama and Wen signal subtle shift on MRV

After days of posturing both China and the United States signaled subtle shifts on how Chinese action on climate change would be monitored. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao talked about making China’s actions ‘transparent’ a sentiment echoed by United States President Barack Obama who said:

..we must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our obligations. For without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page.

This confirms what a number of people close to the US and Chinese delegations have told chinadialogue. Specifically that they were expecting a compromise between the United States and China on making Chinese actions ‘Measurable, reportable and verifiable’ (MRV).

Both speeches were otherwise rudimentary and predictable. Many other leaders expressed frustration with the United Nations process and the fact that they had been forced to discuss procedure not final details in the small hours this morning.

See Green Leap Forward for a great post on the US-China MRV issue yesterday.