Tag: Europe

CAN Collectibles: European Union

**Errata: Yesterday's collectible indicated there was a "secret message" embedded in the series. That should have read "notsosecret message". The message is that countries should increase their ambition for Qatar. ECO regrets this confusion, but hopes that this was especially clear to Parties who reread the entire series, searching for the hidden message.**

 

European Union

 

National term of endearment/greeting

Ciao/ahoj/hej/Hi/kalimera/Bonjour/Guten tag/ hej pa dig/Hola/ Hallooooooo/Varying number of kisses, except in the UK

Annual alcohol consumption

11 litres per person per year

Annual cheese consumption

19 kg per person per year (more in France)

Best things about EU

Excellent alcoholic beverages and cheese (see above). Eurovision song contest Climate and Energy package – inadequate level of effort and no legally-binding energy efficiency target, but still a noted first effort

Worst things about EU

World’s lowest carbon price. Milk found on same aisle as toilet paper in supermarket. Middle aged men in skimpy bathing suits. Polish climate ambition. Eurovision song contest

Things you didn’t know

Outlook for the EU is a continent-wide outdoor museum for a population of pensioners. The 10 most generous countries in the world when it comes to charitable giving.

Existing Unconditional pledge on the table

20% below 1990 levels by 2020

Existing Conditional pledge (upper end)

30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Next step to increase ambition by COP18

40% below 1990 levels by 2020 (of which 30% domestic) Agree to a strong Energy Efficiency Directive: Member States have watered down existing provisions to around 38% of the initial proposal

Rationale

Emission reductions in the EU in 2009 were already 17.3% below the 1990, so the 20% target for 2020 is practically met. And as if this wasn't easy enough, simply by implementing the EU’s existing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets would result in domestic emission reductions of 25% in 2020 as has been acknowledged by the European Commission in the 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap published in March 2011.

 

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CAN Collectibles: United Kingdom!

Now With 50% More Ambition!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase TheirAmbition in Qatar

 



National term of greeting: “How do you do?”, accompanied by a firm handshake.
Annual alcohol consumption: 8.3 litres per person per year
Annual cheese consumption: 6.1 kilograms per person per year
Best things about the UK: A strong sense of fair play. Unrivalled ability to queue (see also "a strong sense of fair play")
Worst things about the UK: Weather. Brits whining about the weather.
Things you didn't know: Britain is the only country in the world which doesn’t have the country’s name on its postage stamps (or so the Internet tells us)
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 as per the EU. 34% below 1990 levels by 2020 as the UK’s share of that 20%
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): 30% below 2000 levels by 2020. 42% below 1990 levels by 2020 as the UK’s share of that 30% a reduction of 2.6% per year in the budget periods 2008-2022
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Support that 20% of the EU budget should go to climatesmart investment. Support an EU move to 30% (solely through domestic action) in 2012. Support stronger measures in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive – it’s not all about the ETS!

 

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Big Talk for Smallholders

Despite the Convention objective in Article 2 to stabilize emissions before food production is threatened, impacts of climate change on food production are already being felt around the world. Floods have decimated wheat fields in Pakistan and rice fields in Thailand. Heat waves have seriously reduced yields of Russian wheat and US maize. Drought cost Texas agriculture US$8 billion last year and tens of thousands of lives in the Horn of Africa.

Local and mostly small-scale food producers feed the vast majority of the global population. They are extremely vulnerable to climate change. This in turn threatens food security across the world. As temperatures rise and the weather becomes more unpredictable, large areas of land will become unsuitable for smallholders’ current agricultural practices. Enabling smallholders to adapt, protect their livelihoods and contribute to food security become crucial objectives.

Adaptation is the most urgent and compelling need for smallholders, particularly in developing countries, who have the least resilience and means to cope. This is why SBSTA must consider the impacts of climate change across all scales of food production and find approaches to ensuring food security for all.

The CGIAR has already published many sobering reports on the impacts on food production. Ghana will lose cocoa production on huge portions of its territory. Tea production in the highlands of East Africa will migrate up slopes and significantly contract in area. Developing country economies are often quite dependent on valuable export crops whose production will significantly diminish. Climate change and agriculture conversations will bleed over into the negotiations on loss and damage.

In order for small-scale farmers to be able to adapt and to build their adaptive capacity, they must be enabled to practice farming systems that are resilient to long-term climate change, including indigenous practices that strengthen the ecosystems which they are a part of. This form of agro-ecological smallholder farming and other forms of sustainable and climate-resilient food production should be promoted.

So, whilst the UNFCCC considers agriculture  in  SBSTA,  ECO  asks  Parties to provide scientific  and  technical  advice regarding biodiverse, resilient agriculture based on agro-ecological principles, and explore appropriate technology development and  transfer.

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Fossil of the Day Returns at the Bonn UN Climate Negotiations with Three 1st Place Fossils Going to: the USA, Canada and China.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

Bonn, Germany

Contact:

Wael Hmaidan

whmaidan@climatenetwork.org

Local mobile: +49 (0)1603195597

First Place Fossils go to the USA, Canada and China.

The first 1st place Fossil goes to the USA, for its continuing attempts to block negotiations on sources of financing, and refusing to discuss how it will continue to scale up financing in 2013 and onwards, towards the agreed goal of $100b by 2020. We know that the USA faces some deep denial issues internally, as well as avoidance issues in the negotiations around issues like equity, capacity building and an international mechanism on loss and damage. Until the US is willing to have a frank and honest discussion leading to substantive decisions, it will be an impediment to this process.

An additional 1st place Fossil goes to Canada for – can you guess???? – reneging on their commitments to fight climate change by withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol.  While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after Durban overtime, the Canadians had no such luck. Barely off the plane, Canada’s Environment Minister wasted no time in confirming the COP’s worst kept secret that Canada was officially pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol. Many delegates probably had already given up on Canada at that point, but those of us that live within that vast, beautiful, hockey-loving country have had to continue to bear witness to what can only be called the government of polluters’ puppets. While Canada’s actions are clearly in a world of its own when it comes to bad behavior in the Kyoto Protocol, there are others that are behaving in fossil worthy manner. Here, we’re looking at Japan and Russia for refusing to participate in the second commitment period and Australia and New Zealand for missing the critical May 1 deadline to submit their QELROS. Australia and New Zealand are on notice that we expect these submissions by the end of Bonn – though the sooner the better as it is causing trouble in the KP.

And the final 1st place Fossil goes to China for holding in abeyance the work programme on scaling-up pre-2020 ambition under the ADP. We agree with China that the ADP must not allow developed countries to jump ship from the KP and LCA to a weaker regime, but Parties can't hold critical parts of the Durban package in abeyance, which amounts to punting them to the other side of the moon. We can't hold the fight against climate change in abeyance!

About CAN:The Climate Action Network (CAN)is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

About the fossils:The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999,in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

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Fossil of the Day Returns at the Bonn UN Climate Negotiations with Three 1st Place Fossils Going to: the USA, Canada and China.

 

First Place Fossils go to the USA, Canada and China.

The first 1st place Fossil goes to the USA, for its continuing attempts to block negotiations on sources of financing, and refusing to discuss how it will continue to scale up financing in 2013 and onwards, towards the agreed goal of $100b by 2020. We know that the USA faces some deep denial issues internally, as well as avoidance issues in the negotiations around issues like equity, capacity building and an international mechanism on loss and damage. Until the US is willing to have a frank and honest discussion leading to substantive decisions, it will be an impediment to this process.

An additional 1st place Fossil goes to Canada for – can you guess???? – reneging on their commitments to fight climate change by withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol.  While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after Durban overtime, the Canadians had no such luck. Barely off the plane, Canada’s Environment Minister wasted no time in confirming the COP’s worst kept secret that Canada was officially pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol. Many delegates probably had already given up on Canada at that point, but those of us that live within that vast, beautiful, hockey-loving country have had to continue to bear witness to what can only be called the government of polluters’ puppets.  While Canada’s actions are clearly in a world of its own when it comes to bad behavior in the Kyoto Protocol, there are others that are behaving in fossil worthy manner.  Here, we’re looking at Japan and Russia for refusing to participate in the second commitment period and Australia and New Zealand for missing the critical May 1 deadline to submit their QELROS.  Australia and New Zealand are on notice that we expect these submissions by the end of Bonn – though the sooner the better as it is causing trouble in the KP.

And the final 1st place Fossil goes to China for holding in abeyance the work programme on scaling-up pre-2020 ambition under the ADP. We agree with China that the ADP must not allow developed countries to jump ship from the KP and LCA to a weaker regime, but Parties can't hold critical parts of the Durban package in abeyance, which amounts to punting them to the other side of the moon. We can't hold the fight against climate change in abeyance!

Building a Tower of Climate Fighting Power

Like the Secretariat, our LCA chair and many other delegates in the Maritim, ECO also has experience with the trials and tribulations of construction projects. But not to worry. Yesterday, AOSIS and the LDCs presented a new blueprint for a sturdy and livable structure that can be a functional home for all of us, with a minimal carbon footprint and protection from the increasingly uncertain elements.

To build a good foundation, AOSIS has designed some strong pillars to replace or reinforce the flimsy developed country pledges. For instance, the EU, which has been mixing only 20% cement with sand for its concrete, can strengthen its climate edifice by rising to 30% concrete or even more. This is required to meet the building codes anyway, so why skimp and risk collapse?

New Zealand should raise its level to at least 20%. And in Australia, government papers, forced by NGOs to be made public, show that the conditions for its 15% target have already been met.

Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will need to dig deeper foundations in the second commitment period to prevent vast amounts of hot air.

Canada, which has been out of compliance with building codes for some time, has decided to build tar sand castles and has given up on any construction that will last more than a few years.

Moving from the foundation to the ground floor, AOSIS, troubled by the United States, Canada, Russia and Japan ¨C fleeing the building and planning to build their own shanties ¨C warns they must use comparable construction standards, and prepare for the visit of the building inspector. As long as they remain in the Convention, they must demonstrate that their efforts are comparable to those of Kyoto buildings, and will achieve results consistent with the best available science.

Adequate housing for all requires scaled up contributions to the building fund, which is why the LDCs are unhappy with the lack of reliable and predictable finance. Conventionland’s wealthier residents, who have already built comfortable homes with high carbon footprints, have thus far refused to give a clear timetable towards meeting the US$100 billion commitment by 2020. They only seem to be offering play money and junk bonds to add up to the $100 billion.

With a strong foundation laid, the LDC architects have proposed that a mighty Durban Tower can be built in a few years on the same institutional structure as the current, modest Bali Tower. The venerable old Kyoto Tower will be dwarfed by the combined ambition of these two new structures, which will have ample space for mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building. The new towers will be in full compliance will all codes. Regular visits by monitoring, reporting and verifying teams, checking up on finance and mitigation actions, will be welcome events.

The initial sketches from Durban are about to become detailed blueprints, full of shovel-ready projects that will be built for the occupants well in advance of the construction schedule.

The LDCs, like all of us, have placed their futures in the hands of a new Project Manager who we trust will not be satisfied with the current low level of ambition. All the settlers in Conventionland must spare no effort in ensuring the post-2020 Durban Tower reaches new heights, with clear milestones for each coming year.

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Closing the Giga-silence Gap

In the Kyoto plenary yesterday, we got a taste of how things sound when there is no more time to defer decisions for another year. After all the talk of gaps, urgency and the need to set rules before targets, there’s nowhere else to move for Australia and New Zealand.

Those two were left alone in Durban as the only countries still unable to make up their minds on a second commitment period. They remained unwilling, still, to move ahead with the Durban ambition coalition, and be part of an agreement that can give us hope that we’ll close the emissions gap.

And not willing, either, to attract the ire of the world by formally withdrawing, like Canada, or refusing to participate, like Japan and Russia. It’s decision time for everyone, and the sooner Australia stops dithering about Kyoto, the sooner everyone can get on and talk about the dozens of other matters jostling for attention at the UNFCCC.

We know that Australia has a price on carbon legislated and will adhere to the Kyoto rules. We know they have a 2050 target in place to reduce their emissions by 80%. We know they want to participate in carbon markets, and for a new legal agreement to be forged that can keep greenhouse gas concentrations to 450ppm. There's really no reason for them to delay any more.

As for all the other Kyoto countries, the challenge was unequivocally put at yesterday’s plenary: the only circumstances where an eight year commitment period is acceptable is if ambition is sufficient to meet two degrees.

The only way to participate in carbon markets is to have a binding target to reduce emissions. And the only way to keep the talks for a new and comprehensive legally binding agreement on track and on schedule is to put your name down on the Kyoto willing list.

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"CAN Collectibles" Series! NORWAY

Announcing: A New "CAN Collectibles" Series!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar

Clip and Collect Them All!



Best things about Norway: Brown cheese, 2600 km of ski tracks around Oslo and vast fish stocks
When in Norway: Don't talk to strangers on public transport. Norwegians will consider you
Norwegian favourite entertainment: freakish. Except maybe if you are offering compliments on our great country
Annual number of SMS sent per capita (2010): Whale hunting and jokes about the Swedes
National high point: 1300
Worst thing about Norway: 1994: Winter Olympics and 2nd referendum rejecting EU membership
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: Chronic oil addiction
Existing Conditional pledge (upper end): 30% below 1990 by 2020
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: 40% below 1990 by 2020
  40% by 2020 with at least 2/3 of the target through domestic mitigation
Rationale: Norway has pledged to move to a target of 40% if this will contribute to achieving an ambitious global agreement. Increased mitigation ambition from rich countries such as Norway is probably the most important thing that can contribute to increasing overall ambition at the moment, so Norway should make good on this promise right away. Secondly, Norway needs to make clear  that it intends to meet its target mainly through domestic action rather than offsetting. This is important for Norway's credibility in UNFCCC negotiations.
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