Tag: USA

CAN position - HFC-23 abatement projects - Jun 2011

Following the request by the Conference of the Parties (COP)1 the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), will discuss options to address the implications of the establishment of new HCFC-22 facilities seeking to obtain Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) for the destruction of HFC-23. CAN strongly urges delegates to adopt option 1) Making new HCFC-22 facilities ineligible under the CDM.

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LULUCF Briefing - Bioenergy

Under international accounting rules significant emissions from bioenergy are not being accounted for, meaning that bioenergy is not fulfilling its potential as a climate mitigation tool and in some cases emits more carbon than fossil fuels. This briefing explores the reasons for this accounting failure and what must be done to resolve this issue.

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CAN Talking Points - MRV - Bonn June 2011

Bonn is a key moment to make progress on MRV issues. While there are a great many political issues at play, work on some technical issues needs to begin now.

Parties should agree on the structure, timing, and content of the workshops that are needed to discuss new or enhanced elements of MRV in the coming months.  These workshops should be informed by existing submissions of Parties and observers, and should involve calling for further submissions.

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First Week Wrap Up

ECO is pleased that parties finally managed to agree on agendas last week. (Imagine how much quicker it could have been if agenda discussions were held transparently in plenary, as opposed to shenanigans occurring behind closed doors). This week Parties must make up for lost time – and convince everyone that another intersessional would be productive.  After all, there is much work to be done between now and December so that Durban can successfully lay the basis for a fair, ambitious, and binding global climate change regime.

Essential to Durban’s success is securing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  Intrinsically linked is the binding outcome under the LCA, where Parties now need to discuss the substantive issues. Our ultimate objective must be a legally binding architecture, which is fair and ambitious.

Last week, the list of issues under shared vision began to resemble a bag of assorted cookies.  ECO suggests focusing on the agreed global goal with peak year, and only including issues essential for these discussions – such as effort sharing.  Agreement of a mid-term goal of -80% by 2050 and a 2015 peak year for emissions must be the aim.

On mitigation, some issues may look technical but are in reality political. This week ECO suggests focusing on the following three areas required to address the gigatonne gap: (i) clarifying assumptions; (ii) closing loopholes; and (iii) preparing to move beyond the high end of the current pledges by Durban. ECO assumes parties remain serious in their commitment to 1.5/2°C – you are aren’t you?

This week also offers opportunities for LULUCF.  The re-analysis of this issue as a significant loophole in the mitigation workshops could allow Annex I land and forests to contribute to genuine emissions reductions.  And technical discussions on force majeure provisions for forests could genuinely reflect extraordinary circumstances.  Or, if Annex I parties are up to their usual tricks, could this be yet another way to avoid accounting for emissions?

Parties should also take the opportunity to draft a CDM appeals procedure to grant affected communities and peoples access to justice.  And this week parties should move closer to  a  decision

to address climate forcing HFC in cooperation with the Montreal Protocol and exclude all new HCHC-22 facilities from the CDM.

The two groups on REDD+ (in the LCA and in SBSTA) got off to a good start last week. In this second week, ECO anticipates significant progress on both reference levels and information on safeguards, hopefully followed by expert meetings prior to Durban.

Adaptation negotiators should press ahead on substance to make the Cancún Adaptation Framework operational in Durban.  Parties should strengthen the role of the Adaptation Committee to promote coherence in adaptation, and to ensure meaningful stakeholder participation in its operations.  Furthermore, this week must see parties launch the activities of the work programme on loss and damage.

With the end of the fast start finance period only one year after Durban and no indication of how rapidly public finance will be scaled up from the $10 billion per year currently committed, parties need to start discussions here in Bonn on effort sharing, scaling up finance, and on new innovative public sources such as raising finance from international transport.  For this to happen, the US and its Umbrella Group allies need to stop blocking the discussion of sources and scale of long-term finance.

ECO has two requests for technology negotiators over the next week. First, fill up the nominations of the Technology Executive Committee. Secondly, decide on the terms of reference and likely locations of the Climate Technology Centre and Networks to maintain balance of adaptation and mitigation technology.

Among other issues that should be addressed, Parties need to deal with technical issues. ECO is waiting eagerly for some technical workshops and expert meetings. In the coming months, technical experts should make progress on technical issues such as biennial reports, reporting on support, IAR/ICA, REDD safeguards, etc.  These discussions must feed into the negotiating process.

Given the uncertainty over whether another intersessional will take place, the next five days will determine whether Parties will be able to secure an effective and balanced outcome of COP 17 in Durban. Parties should make the best use of this time and ensure both political and technical issues get addressed.

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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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Does Anyone think that there is no gap?

Hearing no objection it is so decided. So can ECO take it then, that, thanks to the challenging question by the European Union in Thursday’s workshop on developed country mitigation pledges, there is universal agreement that there is a gap? Fine.

So let’s move to the next step: looking at ways to increase ambition (to close the said gap), which was among the agreed purposes of the workshop, yet tacitly but plainly avoided by most developed country presenters. The European Union, at least, made a good faith attempt on the issue, and, yes, including more gases and sectors is among the things to look at. Yet ECO missed a slide explaining what the MRV- able conditions the EU has to move to (at least!) a 30% target. Instead, we were slightly amused when told that even the 20% target would be hard work. ECO reminds Parties that current EU legislation allows for more than half of the effort needed between 2013 and 2020 to be covered by carbon offsets instead of domestic action. That would also mean that with current emission levels (-16% below 1990 levels), no more domestic action is needed until 2020.

Yet, ECO’s readers will know the story of the one-eyed among the blind. Canada merrily implied that its pathetic target be comparable to the EU’s (considering that Canada is suggesting an increase over 1990 levels), and smartly dodged the question by a delegate how a target that is even weaker than its current Kyoto target could possibly constitute progress towards meeting the 1.5°C/2°C challenge. Canada’s Southern neighbours had, likewise, not much to offer, except maybe the notion that one needn’t be worried about the gap now because the review could maybe fix it later. ECO wonders if the US understands that leaving the gap unaddressed now, will require very, very steep reductions to make up for the delay, and if the US will be the country to champion that.

Delegates planning to attend today’s spin- off groups on developed country mitigation might want to keep in mind the conclusion by the co-chairs at the end of the workshop: that there is a gap, that there is some resolve to address it, and that further work needs to be done. ECO couldn’t agree more and suggests a four step approach for today’s informal sessions: (1) Developed countries make clear what their net domestic emissions will be in 2020; (2) Parties agree to close the loopholes by Durban, e.g. on hot air or carbon offset use, and have Parties not use bogus LULUCF projections meant to hide emissions but use historic reference levels and cover all emissions (see separate article in this issue); (3) Developed countries move to the high end of their pledges, by Durban, as a first important step; and (4) begin addressing the remaining gigatonne gap, by recognizing its size and a firm resolve in Durban to close it through a fair sharing of the globally needed mitigation effort, based on responsibility for emissions and capability to cut them.

And now: it is so decided!

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United States Awarded First Place Fossil of the Day, Papua New Guinea Receives Second Place Fossil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               8 June 2011

The first place Fossil of the Day Award goes to the United States of America. This fossil is awarded for opposing a discussion of sources of long-term finance in the LCA.  Secretary Clinton herself pledged to work with other countries to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries.  Meeting that commitment has to start with exploring options of innovative sources of public finance in the UNFCCC.  The US must be open to a process under the LCA to at least start the conversation.

Papua New Guinea receives the second place Fossil. This award goes to PNG for saying Tuvalu did not have enough trees to be entitled to have an opinion on REDD or advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples. PNG has shown it is far removed from the reality of its Pacific island neighbours in terms of REDD.  PNG's response to Tuvalu's call for transparency was tacky to say the least and reflects  its ignorance of the 'Pacific Way'.  Tuvalu took a principled position in supporting the interests of indigenous peoples - whether that is in the interest of Tuvalu is not the issue, as countries should not only defend their national interests but also global ones.

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 human0induced 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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Contact:
David Turnbull
dturnbull@climatenetwork.org
USA: +12023163499
Germany: +49(0)2523657307
 

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United States Awarded First Place Fossil of the Day, Papua New Guinea Receives Second Place Fossil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                          8 June 2011

The first place Fossil of the Day Award goes to the United States of America. This fossil is awarded for opposing a discussion of sources of long-term finance in the LCA.  Secretary Clinton herself pledged to work with other countries to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries.  Meeting that commitment has to start with exploring options of innovative sources of public finance in the UNFCCC.  The US must be open to a process under the LCA to at least start the conversation.

Papua New Guinea receives the second place Fossil. This award goes to PNG for saying Tuvalu did not have enough trees to be entitled to have an opinion on REDD or advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples. PNG has shown it is far removed from the reality of its Pacific island neighbours in terms of REDD.  PNG's response to Tuvalu's call for transparency was tacky to say the least and reflects  its ignorance of the 'Pacific Way'.  Tuvalu took a principled position in supporting the interests of indigenous peoples - whether that is in the interest of Tuvalu is not the issue, as countries should not only defend their national interests but also global ones.

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 human0induced 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.

###
Contact:
David Turnbull
dturnbull@climatenetwork.org
USA: +12023163499
Germany: +49(0)2523657307
 

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