Tag: USA

NGO experts updating on the progress of the negotiations


Photo Credit: Issam Abdallah

 

UPDATE on today's press briefing at 11.30am

With political energy leaching out into the desert air, CAN International will hold a press conference calling for the Qatari Presidency to show leadership at this vital point in talks, in order to produce a good outcome here in Doha. CAN will also comment on how US is blocking climate finance negotiations, a key element at COP18.

WHAT: NGO experts updating on the progress of the negotiations

WHEN: Thursday, December 6, 2012, 11.30am local Doha time.

WHERE: Press Conference Room 2, Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha, Qatar.

WEBCAST LIVE: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop18/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kon...

WHO: Speaking will be Liz Gallagher from E3G, finance expert Steve Herz from the Sierra Club and Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network - International. 

Region: 
Related Member Organization: 

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: 

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: 

Flying blind?

The world is now watching whether the freshly re-elected Obama administration will take renewed interest in tackling climate change, and put some effort into bringing Congress along with him.

This week he signed a bill from Congress aimed at blocking US airlines from complying with EU emissions regulations for flights into and out of the EU. The bill amounts to chest thumping as it provides no new authority to the Administration to take any meaningful steps. In fact, if they did anything with the law it would likely lead to a trade war, a taxpayer funded bailout, or a screeching halt to efforts to secure a global agreement. The EU created the regulations only after its efforts to pursue emissions in ICAO, the UN organization responsible for the aviation sector, came up against "15 years of intransigence and doublespeak," as one informed observer put it. 
 
But the signing of the bill could be water under the bridge if the US now throws its weight behind a strong agreement under ICAO to control emissions from the global aviation sector. There are some signs this could happen. The EU has agreed to suspend its regulations for one year, which should create a more constructive negotiating climate. Upon signing the bill the White House issued a statement that it: “remains focused on making progress in reducing aviation emissions through…the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)."
 
An aviation industry body said that Obama's signing expresses "a steadfast commitment to the right way — a global sectoral approach at the international level". That would indeed be good news, as a global agreement on strong measures to control aviation emissions, including to put a price on carbon emissions from the sector, is exactly what is needed. Such a measure can be designed to generate climate finance for developing countries, while addressing equity concerns and respecting the principles of the UNFCCC. Will the US announce support for such a proposal when Mr. Stern arrives?
 
Will the US declare their intention here in Doha, and then fight for such an agreement at ICAO next year? ECO certainly hopes so.
Region: 
Related Newsletter : 

Fossil bounty for backtracking Canada and New Zealand

 

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Canada, who has capped support rather than emissions. Newsflash! This just in from the Canadian Environment Minister! Developing countries need to just take a deep breath and wait until we have an all-in global deal before they should expect any support from Canada to move towards a clean energy future through the Green Climate Fund. In talking to reporters yesterday, Canada’s environment minister took a moment to tell journalists that he would ‘make it clear’ at the meetings in Doha that developing countries shouldn’t expect more money towards climate financing from Canada, because after all, Doha “isn’t a pledging conference.”
 
Thanks for clearing that up, Minister! We are sure that that will do wonders for your stellar credibility and reputation at these talks. Thankfully the Minister IS coming to Doha with at least one commitment: Canada is still firmly committed that tar sands emissions will rise far beyond the 2 degree climate limit.
 
World to Canada: You are supposed to be ramping finance up and emissions down; not the other way around!”

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to New Zealand, again, because not only did Wellington deliberately decide not to put its target into the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but today proposed that access to the CDM should be open to all and should not depend on whether a country is signing up to a second commitment period. To make it clear, New Zealand pointed out that otherwise the Adaptation Fund will not have enough money to keep functioning. Come on Kiwis, forget about the hobbits and think about your neighbors! You have to be serious… if you want to feast on carbon markets you have to work up your targets first!

The United States gets the Third Place Fossil for once again rejecting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yesterday President Obama signed a misguided Bill coming from Congress aimed at preventing compliance of US airlines with EU regulations, for flights into and out of the EU. If Congress doesn't like the EU approach, we hope they realize the only alternative is a strong multilateral agreement. We urge Obama to reject any approach based on isolationism, and take this bill as an green light to pursue a strong multilateral agreement for the global  aviation sector, including putting a price on carbon, and to lead the way a strong and binding global climate agreement under the UNFCCC.

 

Region: 
Organization: 

Fossil bounty for backtracking Canada and New Zealand

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Canada, who has capped support rather than emissions. Newsflash! This just in from the Canadian Environment Minister! Developing countries need to just take a deep breath and wait until we have an all-in global deal before they should expect any support from Canada to move towards a clean energy future through the Green Climate Fund. In talking to reporters yesterday, Canada’s environment minister took a moment to tell journalists that he would ‘make it clear’ at the meetings in Doha that developing countries shouldn’t expect more money towards climate financing from Canada, because after all, Doha “isn’t a pledging conference.”
 
Thanks for clearing that up, Minister! We are sure that that will do wonders for your stellar credibility and reputation at these talks. Thankfully the Minister IS coming to Doha with at least one commitment: Canada is still firmly committed that tar sands emissions will rise far beyond the 2 degree climate limit.
 
World to Canada: You are supposed to be ramping finance up and emissions down; not the other way around!”

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to New Zealand, again, because not only did Wellington deliberately decide not to put its target into the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but today proposed that access to the CDM should be open to all and should not depend on whether a country is signing up to a second commitment period. To make it clear, New Zealand pointed out that otherwise the Adaptation Fund will not have enough money to keep functioning. Come on Kiwis, forget about the hobbits and think about your neighbors! You have to be serious… if you want to feast on carbon markets you have to work up your targets first!

The United States gets the Third Place Fossil for once again rejecting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yesterday President Obama signed a misguided Bill coming from Congress aimed at preventing compliance of US airlines with EU regulations, for flights into and out of the EU. If Congress doesn't like the EU approach, we hope they realize the only alternative is a strong multilateral agreement. We urge Obama to reject any approach based on isolationism, and take this bill as an green light to pursue a strong multilateral agreement for the global  aviation sector, including putting a price on carbon, and to lead the way a strong and binding global climate agreement under the UNFCCC.

Region: 

President Obama: We Hope for Change

In his victory speech after being re-elected to a second term, President Obama swelled the hopes once again of people around the world who care about climate change when he said, "We want our children to live in an America that is not burdened by debt, that is not weakened by inequality, that is not threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet." Those hopes continued to swell when in a press conference a few days later, he responded to a question from the media on climate by saying that he planned to start "a conversation across the country..." to see "how we can shape an agenda that garners bipartisan support and helps move this agenda forward...and...be an international leader" on climate change.  President Obama appears to understand that climate change is a legacy issue that was not adequately addressed during his first term in office.

The question therefore has to be, what next? In his second term, will President Obama deliver the bold action needed to reduce the threat of climate change to the US and the world, by shifting the US economy towards a zero carbon future, and making the issue a centerpiece of US foreign policy? In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, and the drought, wildfires and other extreme weather events that have afflicted the US over the last year, it is clearly time for President Obama to press the reset button on climate policy, both nationally and internationally.
 
First, the world needs to hear from the President and his negotiating team here in Doha that they remain fully committed to keeping the increase in global temperature far below 2 degrees, that it is not only still possible but essential to do so, and that the USA is going to provide leadership in this collective effort.  
 
The administration should then make clear how it will meet its current 17 percent reduction target. While US emissions are decreasing slightly – both as a result of the administration's policies on renewable energy and vehicle fuel economy standards and because of sharply lower natural gas prices that have reduced coal use for electricity generation – it is unlikely that without additional regulation or legislation that the US will meet its 2020 target. The delegation should also clarify what the Obama Administration will do to put the US on track to the near-elimination of emissions by mid-century called for by the scientific community.  
 
Finally, delegations need to hear that the US remains committed to meeting its fair share of the Copenhagen pledge of mobilizing $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020, as well as which innovative finance options the administration is prepared to support to get there.
 
These four steps would go a long way to reset US climate diplomacy. They would show that instead of dragging the world down to the level of what is (not) possible in the USA, President Obama and his team are going to pull the US up to what the science and the world demands to avoid catastrophic climate change.  
 
One last point: every coach knows that when you find your team down by several goals at half-time, a change in your game plan may not be enough; it may also be time to make some substitutions to the players on the field.
 
Region: 
Related Newsletter : 

Pages

Subscribe to Tag: USA