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What Next -- Climate Watch

Dale Wen om US WTO case in China Dialogue

Here is a comment regarding the US United Steelworkers complaint against China regarding clean tech subsidies. It was published at the China Dialogue web site:

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Pointing the finger the wrong way
By Dale Jiajun Wen

October 19, 2010

America’s largest union has persuaded Obama to investigate China’s cleantech subsidies – a protectionist move that will only hinder green progress and foster climate scepticism, writes Dale Jiajun Wen.
“If China is blamed no matter what it does on climate, what better evidence is there to convince people that climate change is merely a western conspiracy to constrain the growth of developing countries?”


On September 9, the biggest union in the United States, United Steelworkers, filed a 5,800-page petition under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, alleging that the Chinese government has violated international trade laws by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal subsidies to its green-technology producers and exporters.

The organisation asked the US government to initiate an investigation and bring this case before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – and on Friday last week (15 October), Barack Obama’s administration obliged, announcing the launch of a probe into the complaints.
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Feed-in tariffs as part of a global "Marshall plan" for climate and development

Here is material speaking in favour of a global system of feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, an ambitious public investment approach – a global "Marhall plan" – to simultaneously tackle the climate crisis and energy poverty. The idea has great potential and is being promoted both by UN DESA, a actors ranging from progressive CSOs to Deutsche Bank. Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has promoted the scheme over the last few years and compiled several publications that explains and prmotes the idea.


A series of four fact sheets outlining the scheme. All compiled into one pdf-file here.


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Cochabamba Proposals Will be Brought to Cancun

Communique by the Plurinational State of Bolivia

Cochabamba Proposals Will be Brought to Cancun

(October 10, 2010 - Tianjin, China) The proposals of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth have been maintained and expanded upon in the new negotiating text on climate change that emerged from the last round of negotiations in Tianjin, China.

Throughout the process in Tianjin, attempts were made to substitute the negotiating text, which contains the positions of all countries, with a text that would be limited to recognizing the principal elements of consensus for Cancun.

In some working groups, such as the one dealing with "various approaches for mitigation actions," a proposal was presented which only contained the pro-market option. Following a long debate in which the right of all countries to have their proposals reflected in the negotiating text until a consensus is reached ultimately prevailed, a new text was agreed upon. That text now includes, among various options, the position of Cochabamba against the carbon market, and a passage asserting that the rights of nature must be recognized in mitigation actions.
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TWN Tianjin News Update 12 and 13

Third World Network News updates from the Tianjin UNFCCC negotiations 4-9 October 2010.


Third World Network update no 12: "'Developing countries stress on Party-driven text for Cancun".

Third World Network update no 13: "BASIC countries set out expectations for Cancun conference".
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TWN Tianjin News Update 11

Third World Network News updates from the Tianjin UNFCCC negotiations 4-9 October 2010.


Third World Network update no 11: "'Parties voice concern over limited progress in Tianjin climate talks".
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TWN Tianjin News Update 10

Third World Network News updates from the Tianjin UNFCCC negotiations 4-9 October 2010.


Third World Network update no 10: "'Kyoto Protocol’s future still uncertain".
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Letter to negotiators from Climate Justice Now!


Here a 2-page letter to the climate negotiators gathered in Tianjin, highlighting the key points from the climate justice now network and the Cochabamba conference that were eventually included in the formal negotiating text following the previous negotiations in Bonn, August 2010. The letter urges the negotiators to ensure these options/positions – including more stringent targets for developed countries; equitable distribution of atmospheric space; the righs of Mother Earth, and more substantial financing for developing countries –– stay in the text for further negotiation in Cancún.

Download English version here; French version here.
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Tianjin Sends Out Signals of Climate Hope and Scepticism

Summary of the Tianjin negotiations by Hiroshi Nagai and Taro Ichikawa for the news service IDN-InDepthNews.
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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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TWN Tianjin News Update 8 and 9

Third World Network News updates from the Tianjin UNFCCC negotiations 4-9 October 2010.


Third World Network update no 8: "'Long way to go on fast start finance – says development NGO".

Third World Network no 9: "Divergent views remain over Kyoto Protocol second commitment period".
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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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What role for the US? A question for the rest of the world


Civil society assessment of US climate policy and arguments for why the rest of the world should reject the US led "new paradigm" of voluntary pledges and stick to the Bali Road map and the second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol.

"The world therefore faces a simple question: What to do with the United States? If developed countries opt for a Copenhagen Accord-type non-binding system of voluntary pledges, with no science- and equity-based aggregate target, then they will be dangerously backsliding from a legally binding system simply to secure a commitment by the United States to do whatever it was going to do anyway – nothing more and nothing less. If this is the case, then the “basic bargain” the US offers seems a bad one."

Full three-page assessment here.
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Todd Stern on US climate change policy: "A New Paradigm..."

Here is a statement delivered by Todd Stern, the US Climate Change Envoy, on 8 October entitled: "A New Paradigm: Climate Change Negotiations in the Post-Copenhagen Era", which outlines the US positions on the climate change negotiations.
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TWN Tianjin News Update 5, 6 and 7

Third World Network News updates from the Tianjin UNFCCC negotiations 4-9 October 2010.Third World Network update no 5, "'Stock-taking meeting' midway through Tianjin shows divergence of views on process and outcome for Cancun".Third World Network update no 6, "'Call for a permanent forum on potential consequences from response measures to climate change"Third World Network update no 7: "AWG-KP legal
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"A Challenge for the U.S. to match China's efforts to address Climate Change"

Here is a recent letter send to Todd Stern, US Special envoy on climate change, from a number of Chinese academics and civil society organisations, arguing that the US must stop using China as an excuse for inaction, and showing that the Chinese efforts on climate change are more serious and stringent those of the US, while China still is a developing country in many respects. See also this fact sheet
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