Tag: Europe

Be Consistent, Norway!

You might have noticed ECO is having some targeted bilateral discussions in these pages. Today is with Norway. Time and time again we have reminded Parties of the urgent need to clarify the content of the pledges put on the table by developed countries.

On this issue, Norway has been an unwavering ally, and its credibility has been boosted by the transparent clarification of its own pledges. And no wonder, Norway regularly leads the league tables on transparency.

Throughout these negotiations, Norway has repeatedly made clear that out of its total emission reduction target of 30-40% emission reductions by 2020, about two-thirds will be achieved through domestic measures. But rumours have reached distant Durban that prominent political figures now want Norway to backtrack on this promise to the international community, by abandoning its pledge to achieve two-thirds of its target domestically.

So, Norway, that’s why we are having this little chat. You of all countries should not have to be reminded that promises are made to be kept, and levels of ambition should increase rather than decrease. Nothing could be more damaging to a country’s credibility in these negotiations than the perception that it is not taking the necessary action back home.

The world expects from Norway’s own position that its plans and policies will keep the promise of meeting at least two-thirds of its 2020 target through domestic action. What we don’t need is another Annex I country running away from its responsibilities. As Norway asks other countries to clarify their pledges, Norway should clarify whether it is a leader or an also-ran when it comes to reducing its own emissions.

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LULUCF Reference Levels: Technical Review Good, Policy Deeply Flawed

ECO recognises that significant time and effort have gone into improving the transparency and technical robustness of Annex I Parties’ proposed reference levels for forest management.

However, although the review process achieved those objectives, this is in no way sufficient to ensure the environmental integrity of the reference level approach to forest management accounting. Put bluntly, the policy premise of the reference level approach is deeply, irrevocably flawed.

Although the review process was able to identify and correct technical issues and inconsistencies in individual country reference levels, it was never intended to assess the broader policy implications of the reference level approach. These implications include the following:

Environmental integrity. The reference level approach would allow Annex I Parties to increase net emissions of greenhouse gases relative to current levels over the next commitment period without penalty. Over time, this approach could seriously undermine global climate change mitigation and result in a loss of forest carbon stocks in developed country forests.

Economy-wide mitigation. The forest management reference levels for some Annex I Parties have been set in a way that allows them to hide increases in emissions from managing their forests and therefore allows them to avoid undertaking mitigation actions in other sectors.

Comparability. One supposed strength of the reference level approach is that it is flexible enough to allow all Annex I Parties to adopt mandatory forest management accounting.

However, reference levels overshoot the flexibility actually needed several times over. The result is a framework in which a tonne of mitigation in one country is not necessarily equivalent to a tonne of mitigation in another country.

The review was designed to assess the technical robustness and transparency of Parties’ reference levels, and it did its job. It is now plainly and utterly apparent just how bad the effects of the reference level approach could be.

ECO therefore implores Parties to take a step back, consider the broader implications of the reference level approach and reject it in favour of one of the more robust options on the table as we head into the critical second week of negotiations here in Durban.

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Turkey Earns Its First Fossil for Wanting Everything but Giving Nothing

Durban, South Africa – Turkey earned the First Place Fossil of the Day today for trying to acquire funding and technology under the Kyoto Protocol without agreeing to any greenhouse gas pollution cuts. CAN cannot remember the last time Turkey took the fossil stage, but its actions recently were clearly worthy of this dubious distinction. The Fossil as presented read:

Turkey wins the 1st Place Fossil. Turkey finally made it to the podium and managed to grab its first Fossil of the Day award today.

Turkey has increased its greenhouse gas emissions 98% since 1990 and so far avoided having any commitment or clear target to turn this trend around. Instead, Turkey is allocating its financial resources to build more coal power plants, as well as planning two nuclear power plants and pouring money into road transport. 15000 kilometers of new divided highways and a third bridge in Istanbul is underway.

Turkey is now asking to be included in the technology and financial mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol but is still not talking about any commitment or reduction targets. Turkey did not submit a pledge under the Copenhagen Accord.

Turkey is also setting a bad example for the advanced developing countries. When it comes to economic growth the Turkish government is very happy to talk about the figures, but when it comes to GHG emissions Turkey tends to hide itself under the Turkish rug.

The 'cheeky' move of Turkey is unacceptable. Having one of the best wind, solar and geothermal energy resources and energy efficiency potentials, the country could do more. Turkey’s 'unique position' among the Annex-1 countries is no excuse for doing nothing but asking for more!

We call the Turkish government to take action – put money for climate, energy efficiency and renewables and abandon coal and nuclear power plant projects.”
 

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Words to the Wise

At one point in her Thursday briefing for NGOs updating the 50+ issues under negotiation, the Executive Secretary spoke of how various texts were “maturing” since Panama.

What an interesting choice of words! As we prepare to head into the second week, ECO hopes that attitudes mature along with the texts. Maturity implies a certain wisdom and yet at times this week there has been a distinct lack of such in these talks.

For example, it is unwise to continue to stall on ambition while the evidence for dangerous climate change mounts, the vulnerability of communities around the globe increases, and the time to protect ecosystems and the people who depend on them drains away.

It is unwise to stall on a second commitment period for Kyoto, putting that instrument at risk and undermining political will throughout the negotiations.

It is unwise to block a mandate towards a comprehensive legally binding agreement, sending signals beyond the ICC that the international community is less than fully committed to solving the climate crisis. And finally it is unwise to backtrack from implementing Cancun when the hard-won gains on finance, MRV and the Review are so vital to the future of the climate response regime.

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Media Advisory – Webcast Notice: Civil society reflections on dynamics within BASIC, the role of EU and the negotiations on legal form.

UNFCCC CLIMATE TALKS IN DURBAN:

NGO BRIEFING ON THE NEGOTIATIONS

Civil society reflections on dynamics within BASIC, the role of EU and the negotiations on legal form.

[Durban, South Africa] Climate Action Network – International will host a media briefing, webcast live, to outline civil society expectations for a successful outcome of UN climate talks in Durban beginning this week.

International NGO experts will discuss civil society reflections on the positions and movements within BASIC, look into the negotiations on legal form, and highlight the role of the EU.

The briefing takes place at the UNFCCC conference venue, on Friday, December 2, at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room.

It will be webcast live at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts

NGO experts on the panel will include: Keya Chatterjee of WWF-US; Srinivas Krishnaswamy of CAN South Asia, and Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace Germany.
 
What: Briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Durban

Where: Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room, UNFCCC conference venue, Durban

Webcast Live via www.unfccc.int, or at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts

When: 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Thursday, December 2, 2011

Who:     Keya Chatterjee – WWF-US
    Srinivas Krishnaswamy – CAN South Asia
    Martin Kaiser – Greenpeace Germany

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.  For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org

For more information please contact:

David Turnbull, CAN International, +27 (0) 78 889 6827 (local mobile)

Every day at 18:00 local time CAN gives the Fossil of the Day to the Parties that obstruct the negotiations the most. You can watch the Fossil ceremony at the CAN booth in the DEC building and get the press releases every day at: http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day

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“Coaland” Poland Returns to Fossil Stage with 1st Place, Canada Earns Another Fossil in 2nd

Durban, South Africa – Poland has not won a Fossil of the Day by itself since 2008, when it hosted the
United Nations climate change negotiations in its city of Poznań. All that changed today, when it took First
Place for putting coal ahead of climate. Canada, which has won plenty of Fossils since 2008 (and plenty
since the start of this week), won another, coming in Second Place with another insult by its Environment
Minister to developing countries.

The Fossils as presented read:

"Canada wins the 2nd place Fossil for failing to understand the fundamental principal of common but
differentiated responsibility.

A memo for Canada:

Once upon a time, countries agreed by consensus on a little thing known as ‘Common But Differentiated
Responsibilities' – this became a central pillar in global climate negotiations, recognizing that those who did
the most to cause this problem should act first and fastest to clean up the mess they made.
It seems that Canada’s Environment Minister missed the briefing on this fundamental principle of global
climate talks. The minister has made a series of blunders over recent days, garnering Canada 3 Fossil of the
Day awards so far. This most recent blunder is particularly insulting to the majority of the world who, in
addition to living in poverty, are also dealing with the worst impacts of climate change right now.
Minister Kent rejects the idea of ‘guilt payment’ to poorer countries for emissions. He said, 'there is a fairly
widely held perception in the developing world of the need for guilt payment to be built into any
international deal on climate’ (It’s a view Ottawa does not share).

We suspect this will not be a popular opinion here at an African COP – perhaps Minister Kent should
prepare himself for the political storms that will await him here in Durban."


"Poland wins the 1st place Fossil. Is it a Polish Presidency or a Coal-ish Presidency of the EU at this COP!?
CAN is amazed by recent actions of the Polish EU Presidency which endangers the credibility of the EU at
these negotiations. While EU diplomats are trying to find solutions for the climate crisis in Durban, the
Polish Presidency has decided to support 'the European Coal Days' by using its Presidency logo. Promoting
the dirtiest of fossil fuels at the very same time as the crucial talks in Durban are getting underway seems to
be a joke both for EU diplomacy as well as the global effort to stay below 2 degrees
The Polish Presidency seems to be talking out of both sides of its collective mouth. On one hand, it decides
to support a private interest lobby for the most polluting of all fossil fuels, while on the other, it is talking
big about finding a global solution to climate change.
As one Member of European Parliament in Durban said, 'It’s not helping the EU’s efforts in Durban. The
presidency should be playing an important role but instead, this is absolutely weakening the EU’s position in
Durban, and the Polish presidency is to blame.'
Roughly half of global emissions come from coal! Poland - or is it Coal-land - seems keen to see this
reliance on coal to continue to grow rather than make the urgently needed move to renewable, non-polluting
energy sources.
We urge the Polish Presidency to abandon coal and, in support of the rest of the EU working hard in Durban,
embrace a clean, green 100% renewable energy future."

Follow-up to the Polish Fossil Award (December 2, 2011):

We have a special update on a Fossil Award from earlier this week!  It seems we’ve gotten some attention!

As you may recall, CAN Awarded a Fossil of the Day to Poland on Wednesday for their apparent association with the “European Coal Days”.  

Well, the Polish government has responded!!!!

December 1, CAN received a letter from them explaining the situation further (image below).

In the letter, they explain that their logo was used without their government’s permission, and that they have asked the conference organizers to make it clear that Poland is not associated with the event.

We must say that we are relieved that the Polish Presidency decided to distance itself from this coal lobby event. What’s more, we look forward to working with Poland to ensure that they become climate leaders by quitting their coal investment plan and embracing a greener energy future.

We also want to remind them -- and all parties -- that we hope we might have the opportunity to award a Ray of the Day sometime soon should they show true leadership at these talks.  

As always, we’ll be watching carefully!
 

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About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500 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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