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What Next -- Climate Watch

Ashton: There is no plan B

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Here's an op-ed/commentary from UK government representative, published in The Guardian 14 November 2011. Note the support for the Kyoto protocol as a principle, but also the way a Kyoto second commitment period is made conditional on agreement on a new treaty. This is however much less articulated here compared to the later speech by the UK Minister of Environment Chris Huhne on 24 November.

Some notable quotes from the piece below. Full article here.
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On the EU 2015 climate 'roadmap'

Below an AFP account of the EU 2015 climat 'roadmap'. When reading it, do note the following:

  • Although the EU has changed rhetoric/strategy to now endorsing a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol (contrary to the 'single treaty' line that what was pushed under the Swedish presidency ahead of Copenhagen), it is essentially a very similar strategy: EU says it will only accept a second commitment period if there are guarantees all major economies will be included with binding commitments in a new roadmap (essentially a 'single treaty'). However, this is clearly shifting the goalposts, and includes no guarantees for adequate financing and technology for enabling developing countries to meet the huge adaptation neeeds and move to low-carbon societies. EU needs to fulfill its obligations to enter a second commitment period with ambitious targets unconditional of what other countries do. Only then can it begin to legitimately discuss other arrangements for subsequent periods – which needs to be based on clear equity principles.
  • According to the AFP citation, Hedegaards says the "Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012". This is a blatant error that has been repeated innumerable times by Western journalists, politicians and even in official UNFCCC communications. The Kyoto protocol does NOT expire. Period. The first commitment period comes to and end, and should be followed by a second commitment period according to the legally binding provisions in the protocol.
  • See also the arguments around the "limited scope" ("only a third of global emissions") of the Kyoto protocol in this related post. The Kyoto protocol is part of a package of mechanisms that together cover 100% of global emissions. 
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What happened in Panama?

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What happened at the climate talks in Panama -- the last negotiation session before COP17 in Durban 28 Nov -9 Dec 2011? Check out the Third World Network detailed reports from the negotiations through their 18 (!) TWN Panama News Updates. Downloadable as PDF-documents from the TWN website.
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G77 Pushes USA To Be Honest

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PRESS RELEASE
4 October 2011

G77 Pushes USA To Be Honest -- Inaction at home and at UN climate talks
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA - Today - As UN climate talks continue, developing countries redoubled efforts to build bridges to find agreement in time for the annual UN climate summit in Durban this November (CoP 17).

Jorge Arguello, Chair of the Group of 77 and Chna (G77) said: "We want to stop hearing about red lines and start hearing about what the developed world are prepared to do."

"Climate change is not the kind of problem you can just wish away. The US and others have to stop explaining why they won't take action and face the consequences of what their inaction entails." Argüello said.
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Caught! EU business lobby funding climate legislation blockers in US Senate

Caught! EU business lobby funding climate legislation blockers in US Senate
Monday, 25 October 2010 10:12


Today CAN Europe [1] released a new report [2] based on an analysis of publicly available campaign finance records, definitively proving that polluting European companies are funding climate legislation blockers in US politics. Their overseas support is all the more galling because the same companies argue that additional emissions reductions in Europe cannot be pursued until the United States takes action.

“It’s disturbing that these European polluters fund anti-climate crusaders in the US while simultaneously fighting against strong climate legislation in Europe,” said Tomas Wyns, CAN Europe Senior Policy Officer. “This newly released data proves the anecdotal rumours about European companies that have been circulating for some time.” The report was created using information that became available throughout the month of October, based on data released by the US Federal Elections Commission and accessible via the Open Secrets database [3]. CAN Europe uncovered what appears to be a clear pattern of European polluters influencing United States climate and energy policies through targeted donations to candidates who oppose action on climate change.
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Can the EU lead?


Civil society assessment of EU's diminishing leadership in the climate negotiations, and what it needs to do to reclaim a role as leader.

According to the assessment this includes: Trust-building with developing countries, commitment unequivocally to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, to lead by example by unilaterally increasing its emissions reduction target, and to support the establishment of a financial mechanism under the authority of and accountable to the UNFCCC (COP).

Full 2-page assessment here.
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Climate Action Network-Europe on Tianjin negotiations

MEDIA RELEASE

After Tianjin, EU has work ahead for an ambitious outcome in Cancun


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – [Brussels, Tianjin - 9 October 2010] – This week in Tianjin, China, government delegates attended the last full session of climate negotiations before the 16th Conference of Parties (COP-16) to the UNFCCC [1] in Cancun in December, providing further clarity on what is necessary for a balanced package of decisions in Cancun.

This week, the EU put forward a proposal containing their own vision of what constitutes a balanced package in Cancun. [2] The EU proposal was helpful and, considering the difficult mandates the EU negotiators have from their Ministers and capitals back home, it did play a constructive role in Tianjin. Now we expect Ministers at next week’s Environment Council meeting to adopt ambitious policy positions to allow the EU to play an even more constructive role in these negotiations.

“The negotiations are at a critical juncture and while we can see a renewed efforts being made, the EU is still not putting forward positions that will help do its job to bridge the big divides that still exist on important issues. Simply identifying the issues is not enough to inspire a result,” said Ulriikka Aarnio, Senior Policy Officer for CAN Europe. [3]
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