Even as CO2 concentrations are about to break the 400ppm threshold, fresh climate disasters are announced all over the planet, and carbon prices are collapsing because of lax targets on par with BAU, countries have apparently come to the UNFCCC ADP meeting in Bonn with nothing to offer.
The following are excerpts from a particularly incisive intervention in the ADP workshop yesterday afternoon. In case you missed it, ECO suggests you take a look. And if you didn't miss it, ECO suggests you take a look anyway, since it's a subject Parties need to work much more on:
Plato observed in The Republic that necessity is the mother of invention. Parties, he was speaking about you. Humanity formed the State to enable the conditions for sufficient food, shelter and security. Today we face an unprecedented challenge – how will we respond?
It is well-trodden ground that there is a huge gap between what Parties say they want (staying below 2°C and keeping the door open to 1.5°C) and what Parties have pledged to contribute between now and 2020 to achieve that planetary necessity.
Today is the day to press the reset button. The planet is shouting warning signs at us but the Conference is sleepwalking off the cliff of climate disaster. A political deal was struck in Durban and all need to stand by it.
Ministers, while you bemoan theimpending doom in high sounding high-level speeches and promise to do everything within your power to stop it, your negotiators dig in ever deeper in the back rooms of the QNCC.
To tell the truth, the last couple of days have not seen a lot of Progress, much less Ambition. But along comes something that makes you think there is hope and good will somewhere.
ECO is quietly cheering the rumours of developing countries putting pledges on the table. Today at the High Level Segment, the Dominican Republic pledged an unconditional 25% emission reduction below 2010 levels by 2030 in absolute terms, to be accomplished with domestic funds plus international community solidarity. This is in a national law and therefore mandatory for the government to deliver.
The causes and effects of the global climate storm are dispersed; there is fragmentation and institutional inadequacy. This is true of most global problems, but the factor that really complicates climate action is the spatial and temporal dimensions. The effects of greenhouse gases are not ‘hot spots’ at the source. They are in fact global and the effects are most brutal in areas where emissions are low.
Most developed countries came to Doha eager to move on to a new track of negotiations, even while several critical issues from recent years of the talks are left unresolved. It is vital these issues are addressed before the talks move on.
As climate talks enter their second week, the reality of a changing climate is striking home. In the LCA Plenary session Monday, a delegate from the Philippines said “instead of getting ready for Christmas, we may be counting our dead”, referring to the impending landfall of Super Typhoon Bopha.