Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun

Chris Huhne has been doing a brilliant job at the UN climate negotiations in Cancun this week; he should stay there and not come back for the tuition fees vote.

The UK’s Climate Secretary Chris Huhne has been doing a brilliant job at the UN climate negotiations in Cancun this week. Huhne has rapidly formulated good relationships with other key countries, doing so well in fact that he has been tasked by the Mexican Presidency of the talks to be the main fixer in resolving the main obstacle to progress there – namely the question of whether to extend the Kyoto Protocol, or at least to continue negotiations around Kyoto.

In Cancun, Japan in particular has been very strident in attempting to kill the Kyoto Protocol – currently the only existing legal framework for reducing emissions in the most industrialised countries. If Japan refuses to compromise on this issue, it could collapse the talks.

As today’s Independent explains:

“Mr Huhne has been asked by the Mexican organisers of the conference to try bridging the “Kyoto Protocol gap”, between those countries that insist they will never sign up to a new period of Kyoto, the current climate treaty (such as the Japanese, Russians and Canadians) and those who insist that without a Kyoto extension, there can be no new climate deal (such as the Bolivians, the Venezuelans, the Chinese and the African countries).

“The increasingly polarised dispute between rich and poor nations threatens the talks with the same impasse that led to the breakdown of the previous UN climate conference in Copenhagen last December.

“Mr Huhne, who is leading Britain’s delegation at Cancun, has been asked by the Mexicans to join with Brazil’s Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira, in holding discussions with the countries that have taken entrenched positions on Kyoto – particularly the Japanese on the one side and the radical South Americans on the other. Their task is to find a compromise way forward.”

That’s why Chris Huhne has become one of the most important players in the negotiations – and why it’s so important that he doesn’t fly home for tomorrow’s vote on tuition fees.

It is usually diplomatic etiquette that under circumstances like this, the leader of the opposition agrees to pair up one of their MPs with the MP who is away. Pressure is mounting for Ed Miliband to do the statesman-like thing and agree to an arrangement like this in order that the UK’s key role in Cancun is not undermined.

However, there is also pressure on Cameron and Clegg not to call back Chris Huhne when it could have such a detrimental effect on the progress in Mexico towards a global deal. Whatever the solution – and whoever is at fault – the political gaming in Westminster must not undermine the very real possibility of progress towards a vital global climate deal this week.

Update 1820hrs

Aaron-Porter-tweets-to-Joss-Garman

NUS president Aaron Porter has joined the debate over whether Chris Huhne should remain in Cancun (see screengrab above), tweeting:

“Chris Huhne should only bother coming back from Cancun to honour the promise he made voters & vote against higher fees.”

And:

“Chris Huhne should stay at the important Cancun talks! Petty politics over this is outrageous.”

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15 Responses to “Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun”

  1. Joss Garman

    RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  2. Claire Spencer

    He should – but this is his call, not Ed's. RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  3. KatieCurtis

    RT @thedancingflea: He should – but this is his call, not Ed's. RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn w …

  4. James Graham

    RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  5. Duncan Stott

    Great article. RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  6. Mark Thompson

    RT @DuncanStott: Great article. RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  7. Mark Thompson

    @scarletstand @leftfootfwd seem to disagree with you: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn

  8. Jayu

    Ed Miliband has to do no such thing. It was the coalition that scheduled the vote for this time, knowing full well that Huhne would be in Cancun. Why should the Labour party be assisting LibDems in breaking personal pledges to the electorate? For you to suggest that miliband should enable Huhne to pair, just shows how out of touch you are.

  9. Duncan Stott

    Jayu, the Labour party are assisting the Lib Dems in breaking the personal pledge if they force Huhne back. Forcing him back means he personally must vote for fees to rise (thus breaking the NUS pledge) solely because Labour aren’t following normal etiquette.

  10. Mike

    Will no Lib Dem voting against pair with him?

  11. Toby D'Olier

    RT @DuncanStott: Great article. RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  12. Daniel Russell

    Come on Ed, be a grown up. RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  13. jakes

    MESSAGES CAN BE LEFT HERE DEMANDING FOR HUHNE TO REMAIN IN CANCUN!!
    0207 930 4433 PM Switchboard
    020 7276 1234 Cabinet Office

  14. Ben Hughes

    RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

  15. Mike O'Brien

    RT @leftfootfwd: Chris Huhne must stay in Cancun: http://bit.ly/fdBkHn writes @JossGarman

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