Tag: Pacific Islands

CAN Intervention, AWG-LCA Closing plenary, 7 October 2011 (English)

 
CAN intervention
Closing AWG-LCA Plenary
Panama, October 7, 2011
 
Delivered by Sandra Guzmán, CEMDA
 

Thank you Mr Chair
 
I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
 
To get to the deal we need in Durban, we have some advice for some of the countries present
here:
 
EU: You know what you have to do. The KP is in your hands
Australia and New Zealand: Get off the fence. Commit to a Kyoto 2nd Commitment Period.
Japan, Canada, Russia: don’t destroy our only legally binding multilateral treaty.
LDCs and AOSIS: stay strong. we stand in solidarity with you
US:  
     o Come with a mandate to reach agreement on long-term finance in Durban.  
     o Agree to a common accounting system based on the KP rules.
BASIC - your domestic climate leadership can shape the future climate regime we all need.
This is your time!
Africa: Durban is your COP, it is your moment, fight for the agreement you need.
 
To you all: Address the gap in ambition between your pledges and what the science requires.  
Be prepared to come to Durban TO ADOPT THE SECOND COMMITMENT PERIOD OF THE KYOTO
PROTOCOL and AGREE ON A MANDATE FOR A legally binding outcome in the LCA.  IT is time to
bring A SENSE OF URGENCY to these negotiations... IN DURBAN, YOU WILL GAIN A LOT IF YOU
GIVE A LITTLE.   

Thank you Mr Chair
 
 

 

Region: 

Getting the Durban Deal Done

ECO has been clear in its call for a three-part outcome in Durban: adoption of a strong second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; a mandate for negotiation of a more comprehensive and ambitious longer-term climate regime based on both scientific adequacy and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities; and a package of decisions facilitating near-term action on all four building blocks of the Bali Action Plan and implementation of the Cancun Agreements.

Let’s make something else clear: building a long-term structure for fair and effective international action on climate change is important, but what really matters is meaningful action supporting peoples and communities already suffering the negative effects of climate change, and collective emission reductions at the scale and pace needed to avert even more catastrophic impacts in the future. The best legally binding treaty instruments in the world don’t amount to much without emission reduction ambition in line with the science and financial resources commensurate with the need.

 Coming out of Panama, there has been some progress in developing draft text on many of the elements of the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements.  But the prospects for linked agreements on extension of the Kyoto Protocol and the negotiations on a longer-term legally-binding instrument are not bright, absent significant changes in the negotiating positions of a number of key countries.  Let’s look at them in turn.

 EU.  Fair or not, the EU holds the key to the Durban outcome.  If the EU does not come to Durban with the clear goal of adopting a second commitment period (not some fuzzy political commitment) the Kyoto Protocol will wither and die.  On Thursday, the EU laid out a clear set of elements for negotiations over the longer-term treaty that would assure that a KP second commitment period is a bridge to a more comprehensive and ambitious legal framework. EU environment ministers need to be careful not to set overly stringent conditions for such negotiations when they meet next Monday in Luxembourg.  

 Australia and New Zealand. While the view from atop the fence is nice, these countries need to get off of it and make clear they are ready to join with the EU, Norway, and others in embracing a second KP commitment period.

 Japan, Russia, Canada.  These countries claim they are bailing out of Kyoto because it doesn’t cover a large enough portion of global emissions.  They need to come to Durban prepared to reconsider their position if agreement can be reached on launching negotiations on a longer-term treaty regime, or risk being perceived as multilateral treaty-killers, not treaty-builders.

 US. The one developed country that stayed out of Kyoto, in part because the Protocol didn’t include major developing countries, claims it is willing to enter into negotiations on a new legally-binding instrument.  But it has set very stringent conditions for the launch of such negotiations, while acknowledging that these conditions almost guarantee no agreement on a negotiating mandate in Durban.  Meanwhile, the US is struggling to meet its already inadequate emissions reduction commitment, and has been reluctant to discuss ways of meeting the $100 billion by 2020 annual climate finance goal its president committed to in Copenhagen.  At the very least, the US must contribute to such discussions in Durban, not attempt to block them.     

The LDCs and AOSIS. The moral power of the most vulnerable countries needs to be heard, highlighting both the existential crisis they face and the reprehensible failure of those responsible for the problem to face up to it.  These groups support both the extension of the KP and a mandate for negotiation of a new legally-binding instrument; they must continue to work together in Durban to achieve both of these goals.

The BASIC countries.All four of these countries are leaders in taking domestic actions to limit their emissions growth as their economies continue to rapidly develop.  Their leadership is also needed on the current fight to preserve a rules-based multilateral climate treaty regime.  They should certainly continue to demand a second Kyoto commitment period.  But they should also call the US’s bluff, by indicating their willingness to negotiate a more comprehensive long-term treaty regime including binding commitments for all but the Least Developed Countries, as long as it’s truly based on principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility.              

 All countries must come to Durban prepared to negotiate in a spirit of compromise if we are to achieve the ambitious package of decisions needed to address the mounting climate crisis.  Ministers must take full advantage of their time together before Durban, at both the pre-COP ministerial consultations and the likely pre-Durban meeting of the Major Economies Forum, to explore constructive solutions to the current roadblocks to such a package of decisions.  Then in Durban, they must work actively under the guidance of the South African presidency to bring the deal home.  Their citizens need – and expect – nothing less.

Region: 

Finding the Finance

ECO is pleased to see the discussions on long-term finance in Panama finishing on a better note than they started. Too many hours in Panama were lost as developed countries pondered whether there was a need to even discuss how to mobilize the money they committed in Cancun. At one stage one developed country party even seemed to query what climate finance was.

 Let’s hope all that is now water under the bridge (or through the Panama canal). Yesterday the EU joined their partners in AOSIS, the Africa Group, India and Saudi Arabia in submitting text on long-term finance. As ECO goes to press, there is news that Japan and even the US are bringing their own ideas to the table. That sounds like consensus on the need to negotiate a package on long-term finance in Durban. The homework countries face until then, is what that package will contain.

Two upcoming meetings in the meantime may give them some ideas. First, the final session of the Transitional Committee will start to clarify the ambition of the Green Climate Fund. Many developed countries have said they are waiting to hear more about the contours of the fund being created before committing the resources that will ensure it is not an empty shell. ECO hopes that the final meeting will again capture the imagination of governments North and South. The world needs a new kind of fund to meet the climate challenge and spur commitments at the scale of resources needed.

Second, G20 finance ministers and leaders will discuss the report they requested from the World Bank and IMF on sources of long-term climate finance. The leaked preliminary report indicated an encouraging analysis of the potential to raise large sums from the international shipping sector, without hitting the economies of developing countries. ECO was told the report will show that a $25 per tonne carbon price will increase the costs of global trade by just 0.2%, while generating around $25 billion per year. ECO was particularly pleased to hear that the World Bank and IMF have found that it is possible to compensate developing countries by directing a portion of these revenues to them, ensuring they face no net incidence as a result of these measures. That would be a unique international solution to the high and rising emissions of a unique international sector.

ECO has never questioned the legitimacy of the UNFCCC process to take the final decisions on questions such as sources of finance. But any responsible country that is serious about generating the scale of resources so urgently needed – especially by the poorest countries – will not ignore such strong evidence to help do that.

So ECO leaves Panama with cautious optimism on the finance track. Countries have finally come together to negotiate text. With the inputs they will receive from the Transitional Committee meeting and the G20, there is every chance they can arrive in Durban ready to strike the real deal on long-term finance that developing countries need.

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Don’t Give LULUCF the FLU

LULUCF has been suffering from a variety of ailments but now it looks in danger of getting FLU. The “Flexible Land Use” proposal, being heavily marketed by New Zealand, allows countries to cut down trees and replant them somewhere else, but instead of counting this as deforestation and reforestation and counting the emissions accordingly, it brings this under forest management rules – the ones that allow countries not to account for substantial increases in logging emissions compared to historical levels.

 Some might argue that New Zealand having FLU is unfortunate but not disastrous but this provision could be contagious - what if lots of other much larger countries have FLU too? What if this proposal goes viral and REDD countries catch it?  ECO suggests that a cure is achieved as soon as possible by eliminating FLU from the LULUCF discussions.

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Unlearned Lessons From Fukushima

ECO cannot stop wondering; what will it take to make Japan come to its senses? Nuclear is neither safe nor clean. If the ongoing, dreadful tragedies in Fukushima cannot make this simple fact clear, what will it take?

And still, in the KP spin off group meeting yesterday, Japan, supported by India, once again refused to drop the option to include nuclear in CDM. This means the country still wants to  get credits for exporting  to developing countries the very technology that brought such tremendous hardship upon its own people.

This is inappropriate, irresponsible and even morally wrong.

The country still has not been able to stabilize the reactors and has not been able to take care of the residents in the heavily contaminated areas, nor dispose of radioactive waste arising from decontamination and from water treatment sludge.

How can Japan take this position in the midst of the nuclear crisis?

Just as a reminder, this technology does not fit one of the objectives of CDM, which is to contribute to sustainable development.

It is time for all Parties to make a simple decision: drop the option to "include nuclear in CDM." The world expresses great disapproval towards the Japanese position of continuing to promote nuclear in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.  

Breaking news: 5.8% increase in global CO2 emissions in 2010

Parties, we have a problem!!!

Global CO2 emissions did a full swing after the recession, growing more than 5% in 2010, according to a report published last week by the Netherlands Environmental Protection Agency. The highest increase in the last two decades fuels the climate crisis. Without accounting for the land-use sector, global CO2 emissions reached 33 billion tonnes, a 45% increase since 1990. , driven mostly by a 7.6 % increase in coal consumption. This means the world now uses coal for a third of its energy demand – the highest share since 1970. Use of other fossil fuels soared too, with natural gas consumption increasing by 7% and oil consumption jumping by 3%. (This increase takes place mostly in the developing countries, in order to reach decent living standards.)

The report, which uses data from the Statistical Review of World Energy, shows that the growth of emissions was driven in part by economic growth in China and India, with 10% or 9% increases in 2010 respectively. While India’s per capita emissions remain fairly low, China’s 6.8 tonnes per head per year already overtake those of large historic and de-facto polluters such as France, Italy and Spain. This follows at least in part because of moving manufacturing industries into developing countries, the output of which are largely used by developed countries.

So, clearly all Parties, especially those bound by the existing commitments for emission reduction need to do their share in Durban to lay the foundation for a solution to the problem (hint, hint: KP 2nd commitment period, LCA mandate for legally binding instrument, close the gigatonne gap, operationalize the Green Climate Fund, develop the technology mechanism and a robust MRV framework). Inspiration can also be found in more and more countries - in particular in the developing world - working towards a shift to low carbon economies. While the upward spiral of emissions in China is concerning from a global point of view, the country managed to double its wind and solar capacity for the 6th year in a row. If the developed countries and other major emitters followed China’s lead and achieved similar renewable energy growth rates, along with a push for energy efficiency, the World’s prospects of staying below 1.5° C or 2°C would be much better than they are now.Parties, we have a problem!!!

Global CO2 emissions did a full swing after the recession, growing more than 5% in 2010, according to a report published last week by the Netherlands Environmental Protection Agency. The highest increase in the last two decades fuels the climate crisis. Without accounting for the land-use sector, global CO2 emissions reached 33 billion tonnes, a 45% increase since 1990. , driven mostly by a 7.6 % increase in coal consumption. This means the world now uses coal for a third of its energy demand – the highest share since 1970. Use of other fossil fuels soared too, with natural gas consumption increasing by 7% and oil consumption jumping by 3%. (This increase takes place mostly in the developing countries, in order to reach decent living standards.)

The report, which uses data from the Statistical Review of World Energy, shows that the growth of emissions was driven in part by economic growth in China and India, with 10% or 9% increases in 2010 respectively. While India’s per capita emissions remain fairly low, China’s 6.8 tonnes per head per year already overtake those of large historic and de-facto polluters such as France, Italy and Spain. This follows at least in part because of moving manufacturing industries into developing countries, the output of which are largely used by developed countries.

So, clearly all Parties, especially those bound by the existing commitments for emission reduction need to do their share in Durban to lay the foundation for a solution to the problem (hint, hint: KP 2nd commitment period, LCA mandate for legally binding instrument, close the gigatonne gap, operationalize the Green Climate Fund, develop the technology mechanism and a robust MRV framework). Inspiration can also be found in more and more countries - in particular in the developing world - working towards a shift to low carbon economies. While the upward spiral of emissions in China is concerning from a global point of view, the country managed to double its wind and solar capacity for the 6th year in a row. If the developed countries and other major emitters followed China’s lead and achieved similar renewable energy growth rates, along with a push for energy efficiency, the World’s prospects of staying below 1.5° C or 2°C would be much better than they are now.

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Region: 

My Banaban Experience

Pelenise Alofa
President
Kiribati Climate Action Network
Kiribat
i


The Resettlement of the Banabans
Fiji is the hub of the Pacific.  Our flights always almost have to stop over in Fiji for connections. While traveling through Fiji, I spent time with the Banabans, a minority race in Fiji.  These people were resettled in Fiji in 1945 because the British Phosphate Corporation was mining phosphate on their island, Banaba. The rights to mine were given by illiterate Elders; no one at that time could read or write, so they were given fraud. Banaba today is almost completely mined, just over 1/10 of the island is left and most of the island is inhabitable. In simple terms: the people were displaced or resettled to Fiji because the British, Australians and New Zealanders (co owners of the company) valued money over the lives of human beings. There are negative and positive impacts of the resettlement of a total population of people. One of the negative impacts that the Banabans faced was their loss of fishing rights. The Banabans are fishermen by trade and culture.  They love the ocean and fishing is a game they enjoyed. The resettlement in Rabi, Fiji, took away this right because the seas and ocean are owned by the Tui Cakau (Fijian Chief) and the Banabans have to buy licenses to fish. This is the Fijian right that the Banabans cannot take away from them, and the Banabans will always appreciate the kindness and hospitality of the indigenous Fijians.  

Today, I relate CC negotiations to the experience of my own people, the Banabans.  If nothing is done and the people get resettled, it is because CC negotiations is not about humanity, but economic development (money). The pursuance for development by most developed countries is not about sustainability for everyone, but the conspiracy by the few rich people.

The Banaban Elders & Landowners Association
The Banabans requested support and we worked together to establish an NGO called the Banaban Elders & Landowners Association. I wrote up their constitution which was submitted to the Ministry of Labour & Development in Fiji for endorsement.  It was a privilege to be chosen as their Advisor and we meet every time I travel via Fiji. All this was done on voluntary basis. Note the name of the NGO. It’s the Banaban Elders. According to the Banaban culture, the Elders are leaders and most respected group in society.  We have a political group, but culturally, it is the Elders that have the final word.  The issues involved in this NGO are:  children, youth and women’s development, climate change, good governance, economic sustainable development, care for the disabled, education and health, and culture and identity preservation. We distributed our constitution to the different regional organizations based in Fiji to know that our island does have an NGO working with the community.

The first workshop that the Banaban NGO attended was on climate change that was organized by 350.org.  Today, the Banaban Youth is preparing for the national campaign in September 24. Their activity is to plant trees and to involve our politicians in the campaign. We will be doing this in Kiribati as well.

In addition, the Fiji Council of Social Services provided short-term courses for members of our NGO on elderly care, childcare, micro finance, and sewing. More than ten of our youth graduated from these courses last week. It was a great opportunity for many of our unemployed youth to build skills that could help them find jobs locally or overseas and also to provide support to their own families.

Furthermore, we organized three other workshops:  virgin oil making, paper making, and flower and jewelry making. Many of our women are smart and skilled in handicrafts, but do not have a market.  So during my two weeks stay in Fiji I was able to secure a shop for them in a town, Suva, and we have also secured markets for them in NZ, US, Nauru and Kiribati.  The introduction of marketing calls for planting of commercial trees and this is related to CC adaptation. We will work on looking for funds towards this project.  The Banabans have indeed crossed boundaries and are learning to do marketing to sustain their family income.  It has been great working with the Banabans in Fiji.
 

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