Tag: South Asia

Did Anyone see the Elephant in the (Workshop) Room?

While ECO found it extremely pleasant to hear Chile, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Kenya, Bolivia and Cote d'Ivoire’s plans to contribute to global climate action during yesterday's workshop on Non Annex 1 mitigation action, ECO wonders why some of the big emitters from the developing world tried to hide under their desks. You can’t hide an elephant... or its emissions. ECO knows that some of these countries have big plans, and would like to see more information about their targets and their plans. Take some countries with high emissions from deforestation. Brazil and Indonesia made short interventions in Bangkok, but we were expecting some more information in Bonn. Especially given the news that reached ECO about the proposals to “reform” the Brazilian Forest Code and the message from a large amount of Brazilian scientists that the proposed amendments would make it difficult if not impossible for Brazil to achieve the pledges it has inscribed into the famous INF documents. And ECO still misses news about the target of DRC, and wonders why the government's ambition to reduce emissions from deforestation to zero below 2030 has not been submitted to the UNFCCC. Similarly, it would be quite interesting to get more information from countries like Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Thailand, who are all part of the biggest emitters.

Obviously, if all these countries, led by Argentina, would send their pledges to the UNFCCC, that would make an important contribution to closing the gigatonne gap, as ECO learned from a presentation by AOSIS, showing that also developing countries have a contribution to make in the fight against the gap.

Clarification on all these plans will allow Parties to look at the real contribution of current developing country plans, and would allow a discussion on what more can be done, by looking into what other supported action could be taken. Which makes a discussion on innovative sources for long-term climate financing all the more important. ECO knows that most Parties are aware of that but has heard it couldn't pass some umbrellas. Perhaps some of the suggestions made at the end of the workshop, including the development of formats and guidelines, and an initiative to ensure Parties learn from each others’ experiences and good practices could help.

Inventories look daunting but they can help with national policy making, NAMA design, tracking energy use which helps with national budgets etc. Also the suggestion for the secretariat to develop a technical paper on developing countries action could help the negotiations to move forward. The elephant caravan left from Bangkok, but all the elephants have yet to show up. They cannot hide forever.      We hope they show up by Durban.

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Design by Committee

It seems incredible. In the age of super-advanced information technology, where communications of all kinds fly around the world and across borders in an instant, the countries in the UN Asian regional group felt that the only way they could agree their nominees to the Transitional Committee (TC) to design the Global Climate Fund was by meeting face-to-face. In a few short weeks, citizens across North Africa and the Middle East have reshaped their governments and opened up new political horizons. The Asian group has yet to manage to select 7 members to sit on a committee. It wouldn’t matter if there wasn’t so much at stake. The work of the TC is vital to make a fair and transformational climate fund operational as soon as possible. Starting that work has now been delayed by more than a month, meaning that parties missed the deadline set in the Cancun agreement.

By way of comparability the Africa Group, with more than 50 countries, not only managed to complete their delegate selection on time, but also got agreement on proposing an important new agenda item on finance, that can help ensure there is money to go into the fund as soon as it is operational.

Let’s hope the Asian Group – and the GRULAC Group, which is also holding things up – have at least used the extra time to think through the kind of experts they will nominate. The TC badly needs experts in areas that matter to poor people’s lives and livelihoods, in areas like gender, agriculture and low carbon climate resilient development.

As of now, one can count the number of women currently nominated to the TC on one hand, or rather on two fingers. That may be a 100% increase on the number of women on the UNSG’s Advisory Group on Climate Finance, but it is still a token number. Women are the worst impacted by climate change. They must be at the heart of this new fund, not excluded from its core decision making structures.

The Asian and GRULAC groups can still get the job done, and do it right.

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Action for Food Production (AFPRO)

VISION:

AFPRO as a secular socio-technical development organization with Christian inspiration visualizes itself as working to enable the rural poor – including women and men belonging to small and marginal farmers and the landless, dalits, tribal people, fisher folk and unemployed youth – to move towards sustainable development, through and overall increase in their knowledge and skills in areas that directly affect their standard and quality of life. It visualizes itself as an organization which over the next decade will enable the marginalized rural groups to achieve enhanced socio-economic and personal status in society through appropriate technologies for the management of natural resources

MISSION:

AFPRO dedicates itself to its mission of alleviating rural poverty by promoting and working through voluntary organizations; with a focus on enabling the marginalized and weaker sections of rural society to participate in the process of rural development by strengthening their resource base and capabilities through improved knowledge and skills, both in the technical and socio-economic development areas.

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Basic countries NGOs are bringing a new perspective to cooperation on Climate Change

With the progress made in last two meetings in Bonn and Tianjin, NGOs in BASIC countries move forward beyond experience sharing and begin to discuss how do we see each other and how to build collaboration in coming future.

The first step is to identify what are the common challenges and differences we are facing now. And we do find many things in common. All these countries are emerging economies with remarkable divisions between the rich and the poor and rapid urban expansion, which has a huge and growing need for energy, often fossil-fuel based. Climate change is a common environment issue in these countries, while pollution, deforestation as well as other local environment challenges should also be deal with. Economic growth looks more important to governments than climate protection, none of these countries have a strong climate movement to face this problems and everyday more communication is needed on Climate Change with public. Beside these commonalities, these countries still have lots of differences, especially in politic system, economic structure as well as the relationship between government and civil society.

We believe that both commonalities and differences can be beneficial for future cooperation. About the future, we all agree that information sharing for good practices such as local actions addressing mitigation and adaptation actions is very important.

We really hope that with a regular communication mechanism, the cooperation among basic countries could bring a very different perspective from former international NGO cooperation and will enhance the global civil movement in addressing climate change

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CAN International NEWS

December 9, 2010 

World NGO Leaders call on Ministers to deliver climate agreement 
Heads of WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, and CAN call out blocking countries 

[On demand webcast available] 

[Cancún, Mexico] The leaders of four international environment and 
development organizations here at the climate talks in Cancún urged 
Ministers to produce a strong and meaningful climate agreement and called 
out individual countries for blocking progress in the climate talks under 
way here. 

An on-demand webcast of the panl is available now at: 
http://webcast.cc2010.mx/webmedia_en.html?id=247

Leaders participating on the panel included: 

  •  Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International; 

Governments should stop blaming each other and have the courage and the 
vision to be remembered by the people of the world. This is not a winners 
and losers option, we must all win 

  •  Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International; 

³With just two days left in the Cancun talks, we are in a position to move 
forward on a number of significant issues. Now it¹s time for the negotiators 
to stop blocking and get to work negotiating.  We need some practical 
progress to build trust, confidence and momentum that will deliver concrete 
results here in Cancun for poor people around the world. If they do this, 
ministers can final lay to rest the ghosts of Copenhagen once and for all 
and move us forward in the fight against climate change.²

  •  Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; 

"Minsters here in Cancun can make history this week, they can set in motion 
a sequence of events that will build hope for the future, mark a transition 
to a fair and just world in which the environment and equity go hand in 
hand, they can build the trust needed to deliver a climate saving treaty in 
Durban." 

  •  David Turnbull, Executive Director, CAN International. 

When Obama came into office I was as optimistic as any that we would see a 
sea change in these talks. Unfortunately it appears the President and his 
administration are paying too much attention to the climate-denying Senators 
in Washington DC rather than living up to the goals they have set forward in 
public time and time again.  They are blocking progress on increased 
transparency in their own reporting, while demanding more from China and 
India on that same issue.²

On-demand Webcast: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/webmedia_en.html?id=247 
     (www.unfccc.int

Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room Luna, Moon Palace, Cancún

Original webcast: 11:30 AM local (17:30 GMT), Thursday, December 9, 2010 

Who: World NGO Leaders on Cancún climate talks 

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 550 
non-governmental organizations 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 
<http://www.climatenetwork.org/> . 

For more information contact: 

Hunter Cutting: +52(1) 998-108-1313 
### 

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CAN International - Media Advisory/Webcast Notice - December 9th

December 9, 2010 

World NGO Leaders to call on Ministers to deliver climate agreement 
Cancún climate talks panel (webcast live) 

[Cancún, Mexico] The leaders of four international environment and 
development organizations have traveled to Cancún to call upon Ministers to 
produce a strong and meaningful climate agreement in talks underway here 
hosted by the UNFCCC. 

Climate Action Network will host a media panel for the leaders to share 
their call, Thursday, December 9, at 11:30 AM local (17:30 GMT), in Room 
Luna of the Azteca building of the Moon Palace in Cancún, host to the UNFCCC 
negotiations. 

Leaders participating on the panel will include: 

€ Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International; 

€ Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International; 

€ Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; and 

€ David Turnbull, Executive Director, CAN International. 

What: World NGO leaders share their call upon Ministers in the Cancún 
climate talks 

Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room Luna, Moon Palace, Cancún

Webcast Live: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/    (www.unfccc.int

When: 11:30 AM local (17:30 GMT), Thursday, December 9, 2010 

Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations 

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 550 
non-governmental organizations 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 
<http://www.climatenetwork.org/> . 

For more information contact: 

Hunter Cutting: +52(1) 998-108-1313 
### 

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Vulnerability is Not a Beauty Contest

In recent UNFCCC sessions some developing countries that are not small island states, LDCs or African countries have challenged the Bali Action Plan language specifying those three groups of countries as being particularly vulnerable. This has led to an unhelpful contest within the Group of 77 and China.  ECO believes that with increasing impacts of climate change around the world, such as the devastating floods in Pakistan earlier this year, it is undeniable that all countries are now vulnerable, even developed countries.
However, in the context of the UNFCCC process it is not helpful to compete on which country is more vulnerable than another.  Instead, the focus should be more explicit and open about the main issue which is how to allocate the currently very limited adaptation funds across different countries, with a view to the urgency of their situations.
ECO urges Parties to discuss the possible elements of an adaptation resource allocation framework that takes the impacts of increased climate vulnerability into account along with other relevant attributes such as poverty and gender.
We believe that this discussion needs to be held primarily among the developing countries and a smaller group should be mandated to work further on this issue. This group should include representatives from LDCs, SIDS and African countries, as well as others. Such a representative body already exists in the Adaptation Fund Board with its 32 members including representatives from all UN country groupings.
We suggest that parties could mandate the AFB itself to address this issue by providing options by COP17 next year. The AFB, which meets in Cancun immediately after COP 16, can in turn solicit expert advice and report back to the COP next year with its recommendations. Alternatively, the LCA could allocate more time over this coming year to develop thinking on these issues than has been possible thus far, taking into account the knowledge and experience of the AFB. Furthermore, ECO encourages BASIC countries and others to come forward and voice their support for prioritisation of funding to the most vulnerable countries, such as LDCs, SIDS and African countries – indeed, the definition in the Bali Action Plan.

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