What Next -- Climate Watch

UNFCCC press release on Durban

UNFCCC Durban press release

Here's the UN press release immediately following the conclusion of the Durban COP17 negotiations. Quite a different conclusion than the many critical assessments of civil society.
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Naturskyddsföreningen om Durban

Läs Naturskyddsföreningens kommentarer om Durbanmötet.
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INDIA - 'Grim Reaper' of Durban -- Really?

As increasing pressure and preparations for a nasty blame game was mounted against India principled refusal to abandon the Bali Action Plan -- from both rich countries, several island states, as well as major parts of the mainstream environmental CSOs -- Stockholm Environment Institute's Sivan Kartha felt the need to set the record straight. Read this important and revealing note with facts that should constitute the basis for any conversation about India's role and responsibility in relation to other countries.

INDIA - 'Grim Reaper' of Durban -- Really?
By Sivan Kartha
The common wisdom is that we've come here to save Africa. Africa, we hear every day, is a continent populated with poor people on the front lines of climate change, where immediate adaptation is a priority and climate delay means death. India, we hear, is the grim reaper. And the purpose of COP17 is, in large part, to compel India to step back from the brink and help save Africa. India should stop being an obstructionist like the US, and should come to the rescue of Africa.
Well... some comparisons are in order.
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Globally funded Feed-in tariffs in focus at Durban COP17

The bold, visionary idea of establishing a system of globally funded feed-in tariffs to simultaneously tackle climate change and poverty/energy access gained lots of traction during the Durban COP17. Several side events highlighted the approach with numerous researchers, civil society activists as well as government representatives pointing to the unique effectiveness of feed-in tariffs to rapidly drive massive investments in renewable energy.

Flyer SSNC feed-in side event_shadow_186pxl
Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) organized a well attended side event on 2 December with the International Network for Renewable Energy (INFORSE) and Helio International. The INFORSE presentations provided a number of concrete, successful cases of renewable energy initiatives on the ground, while the SSNC presentation (by Niclas Hällström) focused on the idea of enabling local, bottom-up initiatives through global financing in line with common but differentiated responsibility.

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Here' are Niclas and SSNC's powerpoint presentation on the idea of globally funded feed-in tariffs.
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Climate justice policy briefs: Loopholes, pledges and the Bali Mandate

Below three One-page Climate Justice Policy Briefs that highlights key issues at stake in Durban:

CJ Policy Brief_pledges_shadow_186pxl
A comparison of pledges: Who plans to Act?

There is a serious lack of emissions reductions ambitions by the rich countries. There has so far been NO discussion or negotiation in Durban about increasing ambitions form the paltry Copenhagen "pledges" – which amounts to only 13-18% reductions by the rich, Annex 1 countries, compared to 1990. The Policy Brief "A comparison of pledges: who plans to act?" summarizes the Stockholm Environment Institute overview study from June 2011 which shows that four independent studies come to the same conclusions: Developing countries have committed to MORE reductions than the rich countries!

CJ Policy Brief_Loopholes_shadow_186 pxl
Targets could disappear into loopholes

On top of these shamefully low pledges by the Annex 1 countries, these countries refuse to remove the current loopholes from excess allocations to the former Eastern European countries ("hot air"), disingenuous accounting of forests, and double counting of off-sets. Research shows that all of the current Annex 1 pledges could be covered by loopholes, negating any pressure to really reduce emissions -- and possibly even allowing for net increase of emissions by the rich countries.

CJ Policy Brief_Bali_shadow_186 pxl
Building on the Bali Mandate
The controversy about whether to allow a new Durban Mandate or insist on the fulfillment of the current Bali Mandate through the Bali Action Plan constitute a fundamental crossroads.. At the core, this controversy is about the very nature of the climate regime: whether to open up for a voluntary "pledge and review" system with less clear equity concerns, or to keep a principled, top-down, binding approach with clear differentiation between developing and developed countries.

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Press release: African Group sets out key demands as talks enter final stages

African Group sets out key demands as talks enter final stages

COP17, Durban, South Africa - The African Group of negotiators have set out their five key demands as UN climate talks in Durban move into the high level stage of negotiations today.

The Group, which represents 54 African countries and is chaired by Mr. Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are demanding:
  • A multilateral agreement that respects the principles and provisions of the Convention, and matches the ambition and substance set out in the Bali Action Plan
  • A second and subsequent commitment periods under the Kyoto Protocol with ambitious, science-based mitigation targets for developed country Kyoto Parties and provisional application to avoid a gap in the legally binding regime; and comparable efforts by developed country non-Kyoto Parties (United States) under the Convention, including ambitious, legally binding, economy-wide emission reduction commitments;
  • Agreement on long-term sources and scale of finance commencing in 2013, including a process for determining the levels of finance necessary for implementation of the Convention in a predictable and identifiable manner;
  • Full operationalization of the outcomes and institutions agreed in Cancun including the Green Climate Fund
  • Agreement on a work programme on adaptation to establish an international mechanism on loss and damage from climate change for developing countries.
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Dale Wen: Reality Check on India and Climate Politics

Reality Check on India and Climate Politics

Dr. Dale Jiajun Wen

Martin Khor, the Executive Director of the South Centre, recently published an article titled “Is China still a developing Country?” After laying out all the facts and numbers in per capita terms of indicators including GDP, Human Development Index, and carbon emission, etc all of which unequivalently showing China is still a developing country, he finished the article with following sentence “China's fight to retain its developing-country status is of interest to other developing countries, for they will be next, if China loses that fight.” The politics of the ongoing Durban climate negotiation seems cannot wait to confirm his prediction.

Media reports are starting to portray India as the blocker. There are headlines like “Durban climate talks 'roadmap' held up by India”, “China readies big climate offer, India mulls support”. And some NGOs are calling leadership from India. Let us have some reality check.
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New report: Reclaiming Power -- An energy model for people and the planet

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Check out this new report speaking in favour of a system of globally funded feed-in tariffs to promote energy sovereignty and community empowerment in developing countries while simultaneously redirecting investments to fossil-free, renewable energy as a way of tackling climate change in a bold, transformative manner. The 16-page report is produced by Friends of the Earth England, North Ireland and Wales in collaboration with What Next Forum, and was released during COP17 in Durban.

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Brev till Lena Ek från Naturskyddsföreningen och dess internationella partners

Klicka här för brev till miljöminister Lena Ek med gemensamma synpunkter och krav inför Durban från Naturskyddsföreningen och fyra av dess internationella samarbetspartners i Syd: Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens, Brasilien, Third World Network, Centre for Science and Environment, India och Environmental Monitoring Group, South Africa.

Några citat:
"Principen om gemensamt men olika ansvar måste sättas i förhandlingarnas centrum. De rika länderna har överlägset högst utsläpp av växthusgaser, både per capita och historiskt. Det är därför naturligt att dessa länder tar sitt fulla ansvar och kraftigt minskar sina egna utsläpp, samtidigt som de måste hjälpa fattiga länder att ställa om till fossilfritt och bekämpa fattigdomen. Det är de som gjort minst för att bidra till klimatförändringarna som drabbas värst av dem."
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ETC Group Media advisory: Technology!

What needs to happen on Technology in Durban? Check out this report by ETC Group.
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At stake in Durban: A climate deal for the 1% or the 99%?

Durban assessment cover
Crucial read -- a critical assessment of what's at stake in Durban and what has led us here.
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Niclas funderingar inför Durban

Ur min horisont är ser det rätt mörkt ut – framför allt USA och Japan, Ryssland och Canada beter sig fullständigt oansvarigt, och har den absolut största skulden. Deras positioner är orättfärdiga och ytterst provocerande för alla andra.

Europa får därmed en nyckelroll. Med rätt strategi skulle EU kunna visa vägen mot en konstruktiv väg framåt – där USA och Annex-1-länder som inte tar sitt legala ansvar isoleras, medan grunden för samarbete med u-länderna, och inte minst Kina, stärks. Detta ger grund för att i senare skede ytterligare skärpa ambitionerna och regelverken (enda sättet att få USA att verkligen ändra sig är nog att stressa dem genom att de hamnar efter i omställningen mot en grön, klimatsmart ekonomi).

Vad som krävs nu, i Durban, är ett verkligt säkerställande av andra åtagandeperioden – utan att låsa fast de låga "pledges" – och ett tydligt åtagande att fullfölja Baliplanen (som ju faktist täcker 100% av världens utsläpp), dvs INGET Durbanmandat om något nytt heltäckande avtal. När Baliplanens frågor ger tillfredsställande resultat (teknologi, finansiering, osv) får man bedöma vilken legal form detta ska ha – COP-beslut eller LCA treaty eller någon mellanform.

EUs och Sveriges nuvarande linje med en starkt villkorad andra åtagandeperiod för att få med stora u-länder på något "nytt" leder endera till krasch därför att t.ex Indien och andra u-länder på goda grunder inte kan acceptera detta (och en upprepning av "scapegoating" Kina och nu också Indien) – eller, om det mot förmodan skulle tryckas igenom, bryter väg för ett nytt "single treaty" som sannolikt blir ett pledge and review system utan ambitioner eftersom USA då är med och effektivt sätter villkoren och leder ett race to the bottom, precis som man gjort sedan Köpenhamn.
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Climate Justice Media Background Note for COP17, Durban

26 November 2011
For Immediate Release
Alex Rafalowicz

Media Background Note
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Durban, South Africa, between 28 November and 9 December 2011, represents a critical moment in the international climate change negotiations.

The Conference should confirm whether the world continues with the Kyoto Protocol and its binding international emission commitments or instead rejects binding commitments and moves towards a non-binding approach that risks 'climate anarchy' with no set limits on climate pollution.

Durban is also the deadline for agreement on details of climate financing, particularly the 'Green Climate Fund' which has been the focus of intense negotiation throughout 2011.

This note provides further background on:
- Durban in the context of what the science requires and past promises.
- The importance of the Kyoto Protocol to the negotiations.
- The fault lines in the climate finance negotiations.
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Call-out for 'Occupy COP17'

Below is the Call-out for a General Assembly from www.occupycop17.org


#OccupyCop17: Climate Justice General Assembly

Governments of the world are, for the 17th time, assembling to discuss how we react on an international scale to a changing climate. During these last 16 years a sane response to an unsustainable global culture has not been found.

Inside their assembly and inside their declarations the needs of the 99% are not being heard. Private corporations are occupying our seats in the UN climate talks and governments corrupted by corporate influence are claiming to represent our needs.They are abusing and pillaging the consensus process, once put in place to ensure even the smallest and most vulnerable had a say.

We, as a planet, have been shown we can no longer rely on the same structures that have allowed for famines, floods, hurricanes and massacres to escalate relentlessly. There is a historic responsibility, and a global necessity for action.
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Vulnerable countries consider 'occupying' Durban talks

Diplomats from some developing countries may "occupy" the UN
climate negotiations that begin on Monday in Durban by staging
sit-ins and boycotts over the lack of urgency in the talks.

See full article in The Guardian.
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