Items tagged ‘COP’
What does the balance sheet from the climate change negotiations look like?
Expectations were low going in to Cancun. Throughout the two weeks we heard several refrains reflecting that the problems in Copenhagen the year before were not to be repeated: “There are no secret texts.” “There are no closed meetings.” And there were not. “A balanced package in Cancun means that everyone gets something but no one gets everything.” There must be compromise. And there was.
What were the key issues going in to Cancun?
There was a long wish list: mitigation, adaptation, financing for developing countries, technology transfer to ensure mitigation and adaptation, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, including conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon sinks (REDD+), and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) and international consultation and analysis (ICA).
Under the climate change convention, there is on balance a positive outcome. A multilateral agreement was achieved. This is a huge advance over the divisiveness of the previous year and a foundation on which future negotiations can move forward.
- Mitigation: a process for “anchoring” mitigation pledges by developed and developing countries; the establishment of a registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions by developing countries with procedures for verification.
- Financing: Creation of a climate fund which provides for fast-start and long-term financing.
- Forests: REDD+ was agreed on although not finance for long-term finance.
- Technology: establishment of a Technology Executive Committee and a Climate Technology Centre and Network.
- Adaptation: adoption of a Cancun Adaptation Framework aimed at enhancing actions on adaptation, including through international cooperation.
Unfortunately, not as much was achieved under the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. There is still no agreement on moving forward for the second commitment period. There is only a commitment to complete the work in time to ensure there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods. (2012 is the year when the first commitments expire.)
Clearly the work is in midstream and leaves much to be done at next year’s climate change negotiations scheduled for Durban, South Africa, from28 November-9 December 2011.
Jessica Chen, program director, and Catherine traveled to Cancun, Mexico on 27 November, 2010, to take part in the first week of the 16th session of the UN Conference on Climate Change. While there, they will be lobbying governments to make stronger commitments to overcome the effects of human-caused climate change using two recently commissioned cartoon postcards emphasizing the effect of climate change on water (1, 2). We hope to provide you with two or three short updates on the website for the two weeks of the session.
Jessica Chen, Program Coordinator, and Catherine Ferguson will attend the first week of the 16th Session of the UN Climate Change Negotiations to be held in Cancun, Mexico from 29 November–11 December 2010. UNANIMA, along with the Blue Planet Project, will collaborate in a side-event with the Third World Network and the South Centre. Get more information.
Over and over again the Africa group negotiating at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, repeated the statement: “Africa is very disappointed in what’s on the table in Copenhagen.” They told the negotiators and the observers in the plenary assemblies and in their press conferences. What is being promised cannot even ensure that the increase in global warming will not reach a cap of 2 degrees Celsius. We need a cap of no more than 1.5 degrees or the science estimates Africa’s temperatures will increase by 3.5-4 degrees. Our continent will become a furnace. Our water will dry up and our agriculture will fail.
This illustrates the urgency felt by Africa and the small island states like Cape Verde and Tuvalu that the negotiations realize a fair, ambitious and legal binding outcome. Instead what came out of Copenhagen was an “accord” negotiated in secret by the United States under President Obama in which there were no commitments to reducing carbon emissions nor providing money to assist poor nations in their efforts to adapt climate change. Neither was there any mention of reducing emissions through the REDD forest management process – something that had been negotiated earlier in the Copenhagen meeting.
Those of us from the so-called developed world need to continue to exert pressure on our leaders to negotiate and seal a deal that can save our planet. For more information on the Convention including webcasts from many of the key players.