Tag: COP 18

Obviously the world is changing…


Lama Ghaddar

Changes are happening on different levels: political, economic and demographic.

Arabs’ policies are changing too… the Arab region is already being impacted by climate change. They will have to survive through important economic challenges and environmental threats in the near future.

Arabs countries were drilling the earth for black gold and ignoring the climate change deterioration. What changed after hosting the 2012 December UN Climate negotiations (COP18) in an Arab Country? Apparently, Arabs are now more headed for green-growth policies that seek to make the processes of economic growth more environmentally friendly, more resource efficient and more resilient without slowing down their growth pace. Arabian governments are remedying the situation and they are looking and planning for strong strategies that enable them to implement and build their strength, resilience, and democratic institutions.

“Qatar and PIK announce creation of climate change research institute” a title that drew my attention. I thought that it is worthwhile to share it with the rest of the world.

A new Climate Change Research Institute and a Global Climate Change Forum are being set-up and it will be based in Qatar. It will seek to fill critical gaps in research on mitigation, adaptation and climate resiliency for key regions such as tropics, sub-tropics and dry lands. The aforementioned institutes are the first of their kind in the region. A country whose wealth is founded on fossil fuels, Qatar, will have much attention is directed toward itself. We are all waiting for the results of this amazing initiative, hoping that Qatar will inspire the rest of the Arab world to start developing longterm strategies that address the economic, social and environmental challenges facing this region. Governments should integrate into their policies and plans climate change mitigation and adaption to its effects.

Today Arab countries are undergoing seminal transitions politically and demographically. So together, Arabs countries and communities can make a progress towards an Arab green economy and a stable region. It is time to join developed countries and unite our efforts.

Related Member Organization: 

Doha: Week 2


Baimey Ange David Emmanuel
ONG JVE Cote d'Ivoire

For me, the second week at Doha was filled with side events and policy meetings.

To begin, Monday, December 3, the Climate & Development Network (RC & D) coordinates and I had a meeting with the French delegation and the French ambassador for climate change, Serge Lepeltier in the hall of the Delegation European French Pavilion. Present were 12 members of the RC & D from Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, France, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Chad and Togo. On the French side, we noted the presence of seven French delegation representatives.

The discussions focused on key issues in negotiations, including financing issues, the Kyoto Protocol, the NAMAs and development.Exchanges revolved around NAMAs were threefold: ambition is not enough to stay below 2 °C, the funding concerning the Fast start is currently expired and the importance remains of hot air Poland.

The Climate and Development Network then held side events to reflect on who will replace ODD MDGs. Four panelists includingbfrom Togo, Mali and France presented their work on agriculture, energy and the mobilization of civil society. The goal of this side event was for many French to express their views and ideas on the evolution of the UNFCCC process.

I had several working sessions with members of civil society to discuss the French disaster risk management, REDD and the issue of innovative financing.We continue to work on the involvement of NGOs and taking into account aspects of development in the resolution of climate change.

Globally, I think that it is important to keep with multilateralism processes concerning climate change (even if it is dangerous for those most vulnerable because the developing countries will impose their point of views.)

As I said in the JVE International press release, "While Doha was able to streamline the process and policies for international negotiations on climate change, through the adoption of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, ending the various discussion groups set up in Bali in 2007 and paving the way for discussions on the work plan for the post-2020 could lead to an international climate agreement involving all countries history. But the reality is that the UN still cannot intend to include toxic countries. Doha is a victory for Canada, Russia, Japan, Poland and the USA.



Developed Countries: Show Your Capability to Lead!


Henriette Imelda, Indonesia
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

Attending COP in Doha probably one of the greatest things I have dreamed of. It’s 2012’s COP 18, where all eyes look to Doha as the negotiations roll on, and I’m there, waiting for the miracles could happen for the world as we combat climate change. The second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol would continue with more Annex 1 Parties on board. The Bali Action Plan will actually live up to its real means of implementation. The world will cheer, people would stand clapping their hands and poking each other’s shoulders. Some would hug colleagues from different countries. We’d share the same vision; to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention that all Parties agreed upon in 1992. Pledges would flow in, both in emission reduction and climate finance- even more than what we, the CSOs, have been demanding. I was imagining that I’d able to speak before other CSOs and people in Indonesia, upon my return home, to tell them how miracles do happen in the international negotiation on climate change. I would describe a phenomenal negotiation process, despite the many people would had already lost their confidence in its effectiveness and its contributions to the world.

Yet, as I sat in the plenary 1 QNCC in Doha early Saturday morning, only a couple of hours before my departure back home, I was staring at the draft text of LCA, KP, and COP. All of those images I described of a balanced package had suddenly evaporated.

The number that has been agreed upon in Copenhagen for USD 100 billion per year up to 2020 is alright, but there isn’t any clarity from where that chunk of money will come from. We can’t predict whether it would be there annually, and we just don’t know how to track the money. Even for a mid-term period, from 2013 to 2015, we have no clue. Isn’t the Fast Start Finance period enough for us to learn? Developed countries should claim the climate financing from developing countries, yet we received nothing. It came in a development package that already exists. Nothing new, nothing additional, it’s just the same. Climate finance should be new and additional.

To me, the idea of developed countries having to ask developing countries for their NAMAs or Low Carbon Development Strategies is a betrayal. Some developing countries have already put their NAMAs on board; some have even done so voluntarily. Now, instead of providing the finance that supposed to go along with it in accordance to the Bali Action Plan, developing countries were demanded to do more, to be MRVed. Not only that, but we have to do a biannual update report. Can you imagine how much money we’ll need to come up with a two year report to state not only our emissions, but also the support we’ve got?
We need more for capacity building, as well as technology, to fulfill such kind of obligations. According to the Convention, developed countries should show us this leadership by pledging domestic emission reduction without offsetting, as well as financing. All of these should be done transparently through an MRV mechanism.

We’re not little kids that need to be told over and over again. We are grownups who should understand that every action has a consequence. It’s not fair to run away from your responsibilities while developing countries have to deal with all the damage.

What I saw from the Doha package that was offered was an imbalance. Not for me, not my country, not for my community. With 27% of populations not having seen a light in the evening and around 40 million households without proper access to modern energy for cooking, my country still put forth pledges to reduce emissions. We still need to develop, yet we have committed to develop in a lower carbon manner. We need to see something from the developed countries. Our population of more than 240 million people deserve more than what we have on the table now. Funding for adaptation for a country with more than 13, 000 islands, with the possibility for 115 islands to disappear by 2100, is highly needed as a grant, not a loan.

Dear developed countries, we’ve done our part, far beyond our limitations. Yours are truly hanging fruits. Why don’t you show us that you’re still capable to lead? At least, show that responsibilities in the coming legally binding agreements that should be applied from 2020 onwards. 

The environment is harsh, but there is life in the desert


Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis
Fundación Biosfera, CANLA

COP 18 is now done. A key milestone in our international negotiations for a global agreement on climate action has passed, and very little progress has been made. Global negotiations on climate change will continue next year, loaded with responsibility. Many tasks are overdue, the two most important being mitigation ambition and financial transfer.

But what happened in Doha? Russia, Poland and Ukraine continuously blocked the negotiations under KP for the 2nd commitment period; while NZ and Japan obstucted in another way: saying they would pull out of KP while enjoying the benefits. The US and Canada worked together to play a very unconstructive role in the negotiations as far as climate finance, as well.  

With things like this happening on a daily basis, the good efforts of some countries to create a positive outcome from Doha seem to be overlooked. It is important to make this clear: there are some positive things in the UNFCCC. UK and France some countries expressed their willingness to contribute to financial support in this COP, while others, such as Monaco, pledged emission reductions for 2020. Some developing countries, like the Dominican Republic, even pledged a 25% absolute reduction by 2030 without international support.

The positive actions we have seen in Doha are small compared to the empty Climate Fund and remarkably low ambition from some developed countries to reduce their GHG emissions. This kind of situation puts the world on a difficult scenario to 4ºC.

All of this being said, you cannot blame those who question this process, especially because they hear only of disappointments, lack of ambition and frustration. Many people ask us, the Civil Society Organizations, why we continue to attend COPs if they don’t lead anywhere. I can understand them, but I believe that, even though the last COPs did not deliver a global agreement, many movements and environmental programs around the world were born from this process. Changes have happened- believe it or not.

As a final thought, observers in UN are key witnesses to what governments are doing. The world knows what is happening thanks to people like us, who are not driven by only one interest- the integrity of this world’s environment.



Doha and rising above it all!
















Vositha Wijenayake, Srilanka

Back home after another session of “climate talks”, I am left to wonder what I have achieved during this adventure. Some things were accomplished, but there is much more left to be done in the coming year. Am I happy or sad? Well, I’m looking ahead, wondering what’s next.

What was achieved in Doha? A plethora of information from different parts of the world: a new-found respect for women and many new realistic goals focussed on education and legal activism. This COP has finally put me in the area of work that I have been expecting to work in, but have not yet had the chance. COP 18 showed us we need more work on legal issues, and to learn that being able to interpret the pros and cons of words can help our cause.

Memories to be taken away: stories of Sixbert in Tanzania, with the implementation of the “Akashiv foundation for Education and Research” in the coming year, Ben and the Kiribati airport, and Mona on survival in Palestine.  Also, that huge spider and the eerie feeling it gave me every time I passed it. Imagine my surprise upon discovering that the spider was named “maman”, a tribute to motherhood (quite ironic, methinks!)

However, nothing tops the taxi drivers sans any sense of direction, or the two and a half hour bus ride from the convention centre to the Horizon Manor Hotel, less due to traffic and more due to a lost driver and the policemen who had apparently misdirected him. In short, Doha didn’t seem quite prepared to handle the whole event; it was a bit pricey for those without the means to finance ourselves.

Summing up on a personal note, Doha was a learning experience on many levels, especially on diversity and climatic impacts which affects us all in different ways. It has also been an appreciation of others’ experience in facing hardships of the world- be it climate related, poverty related or opinion and judgement infused. Doha was also an experience of discovering a new-found respect for those who have risen above these difficulties and been able to make a difference and crate positive changes in others’ lives. But, it’s a pity that these stories were only heard by a few, many of whom overlooked them due to their own fixed mentalities.

So before I declare “the end” to COP18 and the year 2012, here’s to better climate talks and more appreciation of humanity in the coming year!


COP 18 Doha: Pledge, People, Pledge!


Towards the end of the most hilarious annual conference on climate change in the world, Doha's COP 18, finance is still a big issue to handle. The year of 2012 is crucial, because it is the last year for Fast Start Finance to flow, and, starting 2013, a USD 100 billion by 2020 should be dispursed from developed countries to developing countries.

Numbers are not yet on the table, except one from UK that’s pledging for £ 2,9 billion by 2015, which was announced through their press conference in Doha, on December 4th 2012. EU, with their unfinished budget discussions back home, is definitely got pushed by NGOs to give some numbers, ensuring that they will continue their funding. Too many statements from developed countries, saying ‘we will continue funding’, is unaccceptable. A predictability of the funding is highly crucial, as well as having a clear pathway towards the USD 100 billion to 2020.

Learning from the Fast Start Finance for the last two years, developing countries have learned, that certainty of finance sources is highly needed. Climate finance should be new and additional than the existing funding. Therefore, transparency, of course, should be on board for developed countries to regain the trust of developing countries.There are so many innovative resources that can be explored by the developed countries. Even the long term finance workshops that have happened twice in 2012 (not to mention the webminars), have clearly showed that those sources of fund are real and possible, to meet the USD 100 billion by 2020.

Pledge, people, pledge! Not only the financial pledge, but also your emission reduction pledge. And please, leave the hot air behind. 


Thoughts from Lama, at her first COP session


Before I begin, I want to draw to your attention that COP18 is my very first negotiation session. If you have ever participated in such a conference for the first time, you will understand well how I feel.

Just the fact that you are in the process of participating in a conference where they are discussing the existence of the humanity and the civilization makes this one of the most interesting conferences in the world. Everyone knows the importance of the participation in COP; you meet a lot of people of different nationalities and have the ability to make connections all over the world.

To be honest, I don’t have specific feelings, nor specific expectations. If I did, I believe that it would make the COP18 less interesting. But I am here today knowing that, in future years, I will have a better knowledge of environmental policies and, more specifically climate policy. 

So, for the moment, I can say that I am neutral.  I am trying to understand the process, and it is getting better day after day,  

Coming from the MENA region, the effects of climate change are already being felt in some areas and others are currently being threatened. This is why I've chosen to focus on mitigation; I am really keen that the knowledge I gain at the UNFCCC and through CAN will have a practical application in my work and within my region. I am looking forward to pushing all countries in my region to respond to climate change by reducing GHG emissions and enhancing sinks and reservoirs.

As I said before, I have no expectations, but I have some hopes. I have a hope that Arab countries submit concrete pledges for mitigation targets at COP18, real ones that take climate change effects into consideration. I have a hope that Arab Countries can prove that they are serious about this.

Finally, I really hope that COP18 will be a success!


Thoughts from Ben, a CAN LDP fellow in Doha


(photo credit: IISD)

My name is Ben Namakin, and I come from the small island state of Kiribati in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is a place in which, along with our other pacific islands neighbors, we contribute less than 0.001% to the global greenhouse gas emissions; sadly, we are currently paying the price for global emissions with rising sea levels, droughts and saltwater intrusion contaminating our groundwater.

Kiribati was the first place to ring in the new millennium in 2000 and will also likely be the first state to be shown on international news as being underwater. What steps should those in our region take? We may be small, but we are not insignificant.

I am fortunate to be a Leadership Development Program (LDP) fellow for CAN International, which gives me the opportunity to increase my knowledge and skills on the issues, especially at the United Nations negotiation level. We are doing as possible to adapt to climate change: raising awareness on the issues of our people, building sea walls to prevent coastal erosion, and working on other adaptation activities. Despite this work, we still need to make our voice be heard at international negotiations! We must express the concerns of vulnerable communities to the leaders of the world, who claim they make decisions on behalf of us. Here I would like to highlight those of the developed states.

I am here in Doha, Qatar with 7 LDP fellows from various parts of the world following the UNFCCC COP18 negotiations. We all come from the South, and represent the most vulnerable parts of the world to climate change impacts. Though few in numbers, we try to cover the different issues that most concern us, such as mitigation, equity, finance, sustainable development goals and adaptation.

My focus is on adaptation, given the situation faced by those of Kiribati today. We are indeed in need of support for adaptation mechanisms that will ensure the survival of my people. My expectations here concentrate mostly on the call for international mechanisms for loss and damage, for adaptation committees as well as developed countries raising their ambitions on both finance and mitigation.

I want us to leave Doha with an outcome in which the role of the adaptation committees is well arranged so that they will function appropriately. I would also like to see arrangements under loss and damages adopted with concrete mechanisms for all LDC countries, including easy access to funding mechanisms for implementing national adaptation plans. What we want out of this gathering in Doha is not pretext of commitment, but real commitment.

My Little COP PocketBook

This is a youth-led volunteer project aimed at making the UNFCCC COP process make sense to people having difficulties understanding it. This is through the production of a fun and easy-to-read PocketBook titled 'Peeling Back the COP'.

The main objective of this project is to lower the barrier for youth engagement in climate policy.

We would like to get as many translations as possible, so that many young people - and anyone in general - can get to read and understand the contents of the book.

Check out the guidebook here



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