Tag: AWG-KP

US ACTIVELY BLOCKS HELP FOR CLIMATE VICTIMS WHILE JAPAN HAS GONE MISSING ON ITS EMISSIONS PLEDGE

Fossil of the Day - Day 9 at COP18 in Doha, Qatar

 

The First Place Fossil goes to the US. The world's poorest and most vulnerable people, and many fragile and precious ecosystems, are already being hit by the devastating impacts of climate change. These poor countries and communities who are least responsible for the global climate crisis are the most vulnerable to it. Because of present and historic inaction by developed countries, we are currently heading towards the biggest social injustice of our time. Low mitigation ambition and low support for adaptation means high loss and damage in developing countries.

Establishing an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage here in Doha is vital to ensuring that the impacts of climate change, both extreme weather events and slow onset events, are dealt with. However, the US in particular, with support by Australia and Canada, is killing the issue by pushing for loss and damage to be dealt with under the Nairobi Work Program and Adaptation Committee.

All the parties here in Doha – including the US - must support the proposal by the G77, China, AOSIS, Africa Group and the LDC Group to establish an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and continue the work program so other elements can progress.

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Japan for no pledge, no urgency, no money. Japan has failed to reconfirm its pledge to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels in the opening speech at the Minister's roundtable. In fact, the Minister did not mention any target at all! No Pledge.

Japan has completely ignored the core discussion here in Doha, which is how to raise the level of ambition to keep the temperature below 2 degrees. No Urgency.

Moreover, Japan has not brought any funding promises for climate finance over the next few years, which is desperately needed here. No Money. 

No pledge, no urgency and no money earns Japan the 2nd place Fossil, as they have seriously undermined the momentum of the negotiation by saying “No, No, No.”   

 

Region: 

Ministerial Manners

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. 

Like all good mothers, ECO wants to tell developed country ministers they can’t have their dessert before they have finished their mains, including all their vegetables. They need to eat up fast, because we won’t solve the climate crisis until everyone in these talks has finished their meal.
 
Developed countries have responsibilities under both the Kyoto Protocol and the LCA track that must be fulfilled in Doha. Chief among these are a second commitment period of the KP – and one that is worth the paper it is written on – raising their mitigation ambition, and showing how they are going to deliver their $100 billion per year climate finance commitment. Unless these things are delivered, the new Durban Platform (ADP) track will lack the solid foundation it needs to ensure a step change in climate action in the years ahead.
 
But with the resolution of these issues and this foundation laid, the ADP can and must kick start a new era of climate negotiations in a spirit of trust, solidarity and collective action. This must include actions taken with the upmost urgency under the ADP work track on raising pre-2020 mitigation ambition. No Party in these talks can afford to allow any delay in this endeavor. 
 
ECO expects that developed countries have come to Doha with every intention of showing their best table manners. There will be nowhere to hide for countries that attempt to avoid their past commitments by shifting focus only to future plans. Success in Doha requires both of these things: that’s what makes for a balanced meal of ambitious and co-operative global climate action. 
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Note to Self: This Week, Agree a Strong CP2

Today's Thought for the Unwilling: why a strong CP2 is better for you...

ECO would like to remind Parties that hold large amounts of Kyoto surplus units: Insisting on lenient use rules and refusing to agree to cancellation at the end of 2020 may get you the opposite of what you want.
 
Why would developing countries agree to a CP2 with no ambition, no provisional application, no 5 year period, no finance . . . Why should these countries agree to such a miserable CP2 deal?
 
If the KP negotiations fail in Doha, it would mean your AAU surplus will vanish overnight, because it is only under a working KP that your AAUs have any meaning or value. So simply blocking progress on this issue may well turn against what you are hoping to achieve. ECO believes that there much more constructive ways out of this mess.  
 
Please take notes!
 
Ukraine -- it is time to end yourtimid silence! How about joining the Kyoto family with an ambitious target and not selling any of your surplus? Such bold action may even be your ticket into the EU-ETS. 
 
Belarus and Kazakhstan -- don’t get off to a bad start by supporting carryover of hot air owned by others!
Be bold! Be original!
 
Poland, Bulgaria and Romania -- why not work constructively with your fellow EU countries on an intra-European solution? 
 
How about advocating for a proposal that 20% of the EU budget would be used for low carbon development and building climate resilience in the EU? 
 
Or include a trading mechanism under the Effort Sharing Decision that includes a large Green Investment Scheme (GIS). Swap your worthless AAUs at a discount for EU trading units that are actually worth money.  In return the GIS will allow you and others to decarbonize your economies. Seriously, this can work!  
 
And you know that it will . . .
 
Russia -- why do you think you can sell your surplus without signing up to CP2, and to whom exactly?  The KP is pretty clear, as you know: no QELRO noassigned amount, no carryover.
 
And to all Parties, never forget: Nature cannot be fooled by accounting tricks!
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Instructions Enclosed for Non-Negotiable Planetary Deadline

Dear Ministers:

This is the non-negotiable planetary deadline. The recent UNEP and World Bank reports have been unequivocal: the window to stabilize temperature increase below 2° C, and thus avoid the most dangerous climate impacts, is closing rapidly. Durban set a number of other deadlines for Doha which must be respected. They include adoption of the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, the successful closure of the LCA, and agreement on work programmes for both the 2015 Protocol negotiations and raising near-term ambition. So roll up your sleeves, Ministers: there is much to do!  As always, ECO has some helpful hints to make your week easier.

#1 Don’t cheat – it doesn’t help the climate or build confidence 

The amendments to the Kyoto Protocol must be adopted in Doha, progressing the only legally binding climate agreement in order to streamline the process. 

Keeping Kyoto alive is crucial for two reasons – first, it has key architectural elements that must be reflected in the 2015 Protocol. These include overall and national carbon budgets, economy-wide targets, common rules-based accounting, compliance and five year commitment periods. Second, it was part of the Durban package and its adoption will enable progress next year on both elements of the ADP -- its 2015 Protocol negotiations and near-term ambition. Pending its entry into force, it should be provisionally applied from1 January 2013.

But there are some things that should be left behind – the 13 gigatonnes of CO2eq ‘hot air’ from the first commitment period.  It does nothing for the climate and it’s high time to expel it from the system. The next COP President, Poland, must show leadership now and stop stalling efforts in the EU on this issue. 

The good elements of the Kyoto Protocol should not, however, remain the exclusive property of KP parties. We’re looking forward to our ‘ship jumpers’ in the LCA proving that they aren’t evading responsibility.  They can do so by agreeing the same accounting standards and setting carbon budgets here at Doha. 

#2 Face the issues head on

In 2015 the world must conclude a deal that matters for the climate. Parties will need to address two crucial questions: first, what do we need to do to avoid dangerous climate change; and second, how are we going to do that? 

In Doha, to help answer the first question, it is critical to agree on a review of the long-term temperature goal that focuses on exactly that, is narrow in scope, and takes placeunder a robust body. 

Given that equity and ambition are two sides of the same coin, we must also have a one year process exploring equity issues, reporting into the ADP at COP 19 and allowing the ADP to mainstream the progress.

Finally, confronting these issues head on means facing up to the impacts of climate change that are happening now.  Addressing loss and damage is essential to assure the most vulnerable countries that their future prospects are being fully protected. 

#3 Deliver the resources you promised

Vital work to adapt to climate change and transition to a low carbon economy cannot happen without resources.  So delivering on existing finance commitments and planning to meet additional needs must be at the heart of the Doha outcome. Committing to a minimum of $20 billion a year for the 2012-2015 period is the very minimum of the first stepsrequired.  

But in addition, ministers, you must also make sure there is a rigorous system to track the delivery of all money promised, ensuring that it is new and additional, and not quietly recycled from one vitally needed programme to pay for another.  

You must also commit to a political process with the weight to ensure that developed countries scale up climate finance to the promised level of $100 billion per year by 2020. We must not become bogged down in endless technical analysis -- there are already good options on the table. All that is needed to turn them into reality is political will.

Finance is not an add-on to our work on climate; it is what drives our work, and it’s what gives the victims of climate change at least a fighting chance in adapting to the impacts. Finance must be at the center of your attention in the new negotiations under the ADP.

#4 Be Ambitious!

Ministers, we expect you to increase your mitigation and finance ambition right here in Doha. The EU 20% has already been met, the Australian unconditional target of 99.5% is shamefully weak and the U.S. steers away from anything approaching something in the required scientific range.  

Meanwhile, ECO is still waiting to see even one finance figure for the post-2012 period. As a first step toward improving this woeful record, the EU should listen to the German Minister and increase its target to 30% here at COP 18.

The Doha outcome alone will not save the planet, so don't imagine your work is done when you get on the plane going home. The developed world will still need to increase its mitigation and finance ambition massively.  Because your work here will not nearly begin to fill the ambition gap in either area, you will also need to agree this week on both a high level and technical workplan to do so in 2013. 

We cannot afford to waste any more time. All countries need to capitalize on initiatives to raise ambition, whether inside or outside of the UNFCCC -- from reducing HFCs to phasing out fossil fuel subsides.  ECO is also waiting with bated breath for announcements from our Qatari hosts and Gulf neighbours on their contribution to the global effort.

Ministers: You are here to lay the foundations for a new Protocol.  You must therefore instruct your negotiators that they move in the middle of 2013 from conceptual brainstorming to concrete discussions, resulting in a ‘compilation text’  of proposals by COP19. Brainstorm and build -- that’s ECO’s motto!  The re-election of President Obama and the new leadership in China has created the potential for change.  Let’s capitalize on that in Doha and beyond. 

#5 Leave the laggards behind

The planet cannot wait for action. Some countries are clearly not serious about our common endeavor to address the threat of dangerous climate change. 

We cannot afford to wait for Russia, who won’t put a target on the table, but still wants any ‘goodies’ that might be around -- whether it means holding onto its ‘hot air’ or having access to revenues fromcarbon trading.  

We cannot allow the pace to be set by Canada, who failed to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and then withdrew in order to avoid the consequences.  

And New Zealand will need to make a choice -- is it serious about climate protection, or does it wish to be singled out as an obstacle to progress? These countries risk becoming increasingly sidelined, as the global community works to forge consensus on a new logic under the ADP.

Ministers, we need you to finish the work begun here in Doha. You must close the loopholes, deliver the money, addressissues head on, and map out a clear course for the negotiations under the ADP. Then you need to go home and act! 

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MORE FOSSILS FOR NEW ZEALAND, USA AND CANADA: ACCOUNTANTS NEEDED TO TALLY TOTALS

 


Photo Credit: CAN Europe

The First Place Fossil goes to New Zealand and the USA for not wanting to advance common accounting rules here in Doha.  CAN was shocked in today’s spin off group on 1b1 when New Zealand had the gall to declare that countries will not agree on common accounting in Doha and thus a pragmatic approach would be to continue talking.  Oh New Zealand, if only that approach would work on climate change!!  But we all know, as Hurricane Sandy dramatically reminded us, climate change waits for no government. So the pragmatic approach would, in fact, be to finally agree that a tonne is a tonne is a tonne and all must be reduced!  The USA has long not moved on this issue and today’s session was no different. But as South Africa helpfully reminded us, it is no longer acceptable to just refer to the system as “rigorous, robust and transparent” but you actually need to agree on the rules to make that happen.  Time to get to work!

Canada wins the Second Place Fossil of the Day award. Oh Canada. When will you give fossil a break? You have failed on Kyoto and you are embarrassing on mitigation, but it seems you will not be content until you hit rock bottom on finance too. You won a first place fossil two days ago for holding finance in the green climate fund hostage, and now we have confirmed you are also breaking with agreed practice when it comes to NAMA support.

By walking away from the agreement to provide information on support available for NAMAs in the Registry, as you indicated yesterday in the SBI, you are not only breaking promises but you are destroying trust. Canada, it is true that we gave up on you a long time ago, but we had hoped if you weren’t going to do anything about your emissions you would at least do your fair share to support those suffering from your soaring pollution.

Lets break it down:

Oh Canada. When will you give fossil a break?
No money, no target, no pledges to make.
Mitigation? No way. Kyoto? Won't play.
GCF or NAMA no new money coming from our way.

Oh Canada, we thought you were done.
Promises broke, trust left with no-one,
Progress, you keep stalling. Your stock keeps on falling,
Positions on finance, mitigation, and more...frankly appalling

Region: 

Where are the NAMAs for Arab Countries?

Having COP18 in Qatar presents a unique opportunity to move forward with mitigation and adaptation efforts for climate change in the region, as well as for climate finance. With this in mind, ECO is calling for leadership from the Arab states beyond the conference hall. 

ECO supports Greenpeace's call for east-west regional integration in the Arab world with regard to the research, financing and development of renewable energy technologies. This regional cooperation can build on the work already done by individual states in renewable energy development, while developing a new role for regional states at the forefront of clean energy technology innovation.
 
Renewable energy cooperation will also promote economies of scale and fraternal ties crucial to dealing with the other pressing climate impacts faced by many regional states: growing water scarcity amid shifting weather patterns and, in some, projected sea-level rises on coastal communities and aquifers.
Climate mitigation requires both regional and global efforts to switch from dirty fossil fuels to safe renewable energy sources. 
 
ECO favours a regional approach in which economic diversification crucial to future prosperity is built on sustainable national and regional energy strategies—where renewable energy progressively takes the lead role in generation. This includes a transformation away from fossil fuel over-reliance.
 
Qatar and fellow Gulf States have the economic capacity to make this shift and simultaneously play a key role in climate change financing. For equity reasons, this should only occur in the context of Annex 1 fulfilling their commitments to climate finance.
 
Where market adjustments are made, Greenpeace has demonstrated in its Energy [R]evolution that the capacity of Middle East States and the world as a whole can make the rapid switch to solar and other renewable energies, which are already becoming cost competitive, despite the massive subsidy advantages that fossil fuels enjoy. 
For Arab states, renewables provide the promise of energy sovereignty and the path to sustainable development and prosperity. But the Arab states are not the only ones who have not submitted their NAMAs.
Topics: 
Region: 
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Floating In Hot Air

While ECO has not yet given up on countries strengthening their national emission reduction targets, there is another simple step that will have a substantial impact. Up to 13 billion tonnes of impact in fact. And ECO knows that the negotiators are well aware of the fact that strong new rules to eliminate the gigantic surplus of emission permits from the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period will make a real difference. As our dear readers may have noticed, it’s a subject very dear to ECO’s heart. We have been active in naming and shaming Poland, Ukraine and Russia for fighting for the rights to sell their hot air. We have called out the EU for losing its way on the road to progress and on leadership. 

Yet it is not just these countries that are standing in the way of bursting the hot air bubble.  
 
STOP THE PRESSES! It seems that the talks have birthed their latest (non)-negotiating group. Yes, ECO has been hearing rumours that there is a group of Kyoto members, including Australia, Norway and Iceland, forming around a non-position on the carry-over of surplus emissions. It seems they even got a name—if not a position—called the “Fence-Sitters Group.” Perhaps sitting on the fence is a comfortable place to be, when you are surrounded by other countries’ hot air?
 
ECO knows that any surplus AAUs from these countries are not the real reason for concern, yet the Fence-Sitters have the power to do something positive. Get down off that fence and take the lead. Fence-Sitters, you have a series of options that can make a difference – go with the G77 position or check out the Switzerland proposal and take your pick. The world needs to hear from you, and ECO is all ears!
 
Because what it comes down to is a choice between win-win, where these Parties can move the talks forward and get more emission reductions, or lose-lose by putting the talks at risk and missing out on the chance of strengthening the KPCP2.
 
Of course they should not forget that there is another way they can make the KPCP2 more effective - these Parties could always up the ambition of their QELROs...
 
Topics: 
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Stabilisation Fund Won’t Save the CDM

It is no secret that the future of the CDM looks grim. According to the High Level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue, the CDM will produce an excess of roughly 1.25 billion offset credits because of low ambition by developed countries. This has driven the prices in the cellar and stirred creativity on how to keep the market flourishing. In the CMP opening plenary, India suggested setting up a stabilisation fund to buy up excess offset credits – something that has also been recommended by the High Level Panel on the CDM. A large chunk of the excess offset credits will come from HFC-23 destruction facilities in India and China. Credits form such HFC-23 projects have been banned by major buyers (EU, Australia and New Zealand) for their lack of environmental integrity and sustainable development benefits. With a lack of buyers, such a fund would provide a convenient new source of money!

Even if HFC-23 credits were not allowed in such a fund, there is more to worry about. New findings from the CDM Policy research team show that large-scale power supply CDM projects, which are expected to generate the majority of CDM credits until 2020, are rarely additional and therefore increase global emissions. This means that such a stabilization fund would largely buy up excess credits from industrial gas projects and from projects that are unlikely to be additional. This seems like a terribly bad use of scarce climate finance. Certainly there are much more effective ways to spend mitigation money, such as directly supporting the implementation of renewable feed-in-tariffs and other proven policy measures.
 
Furthermore, if the CDM wants to be fit for the future it needs to get rid of its excess baggage of business-as-usual projects that inflate its supply. Banning credits from project types that are highly unlikely to be additional after 2012 would get rid of 1.6 billion offset credits between now and 2020. Stopping such projects from renewing their crediting period and not allowing the registration of new projects would also go a long way. 
 
Instead of putting money into the CDM stabilization fund, developed countries should raise ambition and put money on the table to help developing countries take actions that transform their economies to low-carbon development path. It’s as easy as that.
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A Hot Blast of Hot Air from Doha Delivers Fossils to Poland and Russia

 

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Poland. Back home in Poland, Environment Minister Korolec, revealed the country's position on the Doha talks -  claiming the carryover of AAU credits is NOT a priority issue, but that the length of the second commitment period and the obligations contained in the Kyoto Protocol are. We should remind the minister that carryover of AAUs influences the level of ambition in CP2. 

Moreover, Poland does not want to give up even one tonne of their huge surplus of AAU emission allowances to contribute to the environmental integrity. Why? Warsaw believes their AAU surplus is a strictly national issue. Hello…!! Carbon emissions know no national borders and the issue is a key element of the CP2 negotiations!

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Russia. The Russian vice Prime Minister confirmed on Wednesday following ministerial talks that the country will not sign on to the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol. Next week, Russia will announce its emissions reduction targets, but they will not be attributed to the Second Commitment Period, which Russia strongly opposes. This also means that Russia will lose the chance to take part in JI (Joint Implementation) projects in the future, something that the country was striving to be involved with. This will have a negative effect on both the economy and low-carbon development in Russia.

A Hot Blast of Hot Air from Doha Delivers Fossils to Poland and Russia

Fossil of the Day - Day 4 of COP18 in Doha, Qatar

 

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Poland. Back home in Poland, Environment Minister Korolec, revealed the country's position on the Doha talks -  claiming the carryover of AAU credits is NOT a priority issue, but that the length of the second commitment period and the obligations contained in the Kyoto Protocol are. We should remind the minister that carryover of AAUs influences the level of ambition in CP2. 

Moreover, Poland does not want to give up even one tonne of their huge surplus of AAU emission allowances to contribute to the environmental integrity. Why? Warsaw believes their AAU surplus is a strictly national issue. Hello…!! Carbon emissions know no national borders and the issue is a key element of the CP2 negotiations!

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Russia. The Russian vice Prime Minister confirmed on Wednesday following ministerial talks that the country will not sign on to the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol. Next week, Russia will announce its emissions reduction targets, but they will not be attributed to the Second Commitment Period, which Russia strongly opposes. This also means that Russia will lose the chance to take part in JI (Joint Implementation) projects in the future, something that the country was striving to be involved with. This will have a negative effect on both the economy and low-carbon development in Russia.


Photo Credit: Miljømagasinet Putsj/Vilde Blix Huseby

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