Tag: COP17

Canada Earns 1st Place Again, United States Takes 2nd, a Safe Climate Comes in Last

Fossil of the Day - Day 2 - COP17 Durban, South Africa

Photo Credit: Sarah Rifaat

Video Credit: OneClimate

Durban, South Africa – Canada again earned the first place Fossil of the Day on Tuesday for a complete mismatch between what it knows the world needs, and what it is willing to do. Meanwhile, the United States  took its first Fossil here for nearly as outrageous of comments, on ways to avoid staying below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming

The Fossils as presented read:

"The United States of America earns the 2nd Place Fossil. It is one thing for certain governments in Durban to be complacent about the urgency of global climate disruption. It is another issue to be complacent when their respective countries are the main culprits, such as the United States who is the worst historical climate polluter. But yesterday the United States position degraded well beyond complacent by rationalizing the collective mitigation targets as in keeping with what climate scientists say is needed to solve the avoid global disaster.

Referring to the fact that he himself was an IPCC contributor, Jonathan Pershing, the US Deputy Special Envoy, said yesterday that 'there are an infinite number of pathways to staying below 2 degrees.' And, yet, the US has managed to avoid all of them. Pershing nonetheless argued that current targets are sufficient enough through 2020.

There is scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate disruption, the urgency to have an emissions peak to avoid runaway global warming, as well as the gross inadequacy of pollution targets. The United States is either in denial about the science, or is trying to thwart justified pressure to improve its own ambition."

"Canada is awarded the first place Fossil of the Day for proposing ‘eventual solutions’ for ‘urgent problems’

Canadian environment Minister, Peter Kent, said yesterday to media that: "There is an urgency to this. We don't need a binding convention, what we need is action and a mandate to work on an eventual binding convention."

What can we say. He nailed the first half of the sentence!

The second half needs some work: In order to address an urgent problem, we need a mandate to work on an eventual solution?

Like Canada’s plans to address its GHG emissions – this just doesn’t add up! (Canada has made many empty promises over recent years, and continues to have no plan that comes close to achieving our weak targets.)

Canada has agreed to keeping global warming below 2 degrees in Copenhagen, they have said they understand the need to close the gigatonne gap as soon as possible, and they claim to take the climate crises seriously. *** But action is for everyone else! ***

To quote a panelist at today’s CAN international press conference: “Canada is quickly becoming a bad joke at these negotiations.” So please Canada – we need you to urgently work on an urgent solution to solve an urgent problem."
_____________________________________________________________________
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced 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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Canada Earns 1st Place Again, United States Takes 2nd, a Safe Climate Comes in Last

Credit: Sarah Rifaat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             29 November 2011
Contact:
Kyle Gracey
kylegracey@sustainus.org
+27 799 129 153

Canada Earns 1st Place Again, United States Takes 2nd, a Safe Climate Comes in Last

Durban, South Africa – Canada again earned the first place Fossil of the Day on Tuesday for a complete mismatch between what it knows the world needs, and what it is willing to do. Meanwhile, the United States  took its first Fossil here for nearly as outrageous of comments, on ways to avoid staying below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming

The Fossils as presented read:

"The United States of America earns the 2nd Place Fossil. It is one thing for certain governments in Durban to be complacent about the urgency of global climate disruption. It is another issue to be complacent when their respective countries are the main culprits, such as the United States who is the worst historical climate polluter. But yesterday the United States position degraded well beyond complacent by rationalizing the collective mitigation targets as in keeping with what climate scientists say is needed to solve the avoid global disaster.

Referring to the fact that he himself was an IPCC contributor, Jonathan Pershing, the US Deputy Special Envoy, said yesterday that 'there are an infinite number of pathways to staying below 2 degrees.' And, yet, the US has managed to avoid all of them. Pershing nonetheless argued that current targets are sufficient enough through 2020.

There is scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate disruption, the urgency to have an emissions peak to avoid runaway global warming, as well as the gross inadequacy of pollution targets. The United States is either in denial about the science, or is trying to thwart justified pressure to improve its own ambition."

"Canada is awarded the first place Fossil of the Day for proposing ‘eventual solutions’ for ‘urgent problems’

Canadian environment Minister, Peter Kent, said yesterday to media that: "There is an urgency to this. We don't need a binding convention, what we need is action and a mandate to work on an eventual binding convention."

What can we say. He nailed the first half of the sentence!

The second half needs some work: In order to address an urgent problem, we need a mandate to work on an eventual solution?

Like Canada’s plans to address its GHG emissions – this just doesn’t add up! (Canada has made many empty promises over recent years, and continues to have no plan that comes close to achieving our weak targets.)

Canada has agreed to keeping global warming below 2 degrees in Copenhagen, they have said they understand the need to close the gigatonne gap as soon as possible, and they claim to take the climate crises seriously. *** But action is for everyone else! ***

To quote a panelist at today’s CAN international press conference: “Canada is quickly becoming a bad joke at these negotiations. So please Canada – we need you to urgently work on an urgent solution to solve an urgent problem."
_____________________________________________________________________
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced 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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Canada Wins 1st and 2nd Place Fossils – Threatens KP, Insults LDCs

       
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         28 November 2011
Contact:
Kyle Gracey
kylegracey@sustainus.org
+27 799 129 153
Canada Wins 1st and 2nd Place Fossils – Threatens KP, Insults LDCs
Durban, South Africa – The first day of the United Nations climate change
negotiations started off badly for Canada. It earned the First Place Fossil of the Day
for failing to support a Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol, and
abandoning even its current participation in Kyoto. It also took Second Place Fossil
for insulting the Least Developed Countries, some of the nations that will suffer most
from Canada and other industrialized countries' greenhouse gas pollution. Rounding
out the awards, the United Kingdom received Third Place for helping to move tar
sands oil into Europe.
The Fossils as presented read:
“The 3rd place fossil of the day is awarded to the UK, following revelations that UK
Ministers have done a deal with the Canadian government to support the entry of tar
sands into the European fuel supply chain, undermining proposed provisions of the
European Fuel Quality Directive. The UK does not appear as frequently as Canada on
the fossil roll-call, but when they do, they do it in style. Despite claiming to be the
'Greenest Government Ever', the ruling coalition in the UK has become champion for
the world's dirtiest fuels.
The UK might have a different opinion from Canada on the value of the Kyoto
Protocol (we hope so), but there is one thing they can agree on - a Government's best
friend is its oil lobby.”
(over)
"The 2nd place fossil of the day is awarded to Canada following statements by their
environment minister that they are coming to Durban to “play hardball” with
developing countries. This quotation from Canadian Environment Minister Peter
Kent, doesn’t even require paraphrasing in typical fossil humour – it is sufficiently
outrageous on its own:
‘Emerging and developing countries need to stop “wielding the historical guilty card”
and asking for a free pass on emissions reductions just because in the past,
industrialized countries had more emissions than the rest of the world’.
Hands off, LDCs; that “free pass” on emissions reductions belongs to Canada!"
"The 1st place Fossil also goes to Canada. Although Canadian environment Minister
said he hoped to win less fossils then his predecessors, he is not off to a very good
start!
Canada has proven its fossil track record with 4 consecutive fossil of the year awards,
but if you can believe it, it seems they are even worse than we thought!
Environment Minister Peter Kent has articulated clearly that they will not budge with
international pressure on a second commitment period of Kyoto (a great attitude to
have in negotiations). This is unfortunately not necessarily a surprise, Canada has
been ‘separated’ from its Kyoto targets for years, but it seems they are headed for
divorce.
In fact, reports are saying that on Canada’s side it is already a done deal, and yet hear
they are, planning to spend two weeks negotiating a treaty they intend to soon
abandon.
This is a tough one for fossil because it is hard to joke about. Canada is here in
Durban in bad faith. Countries should be asking themselves why Canada is sitting at
the Kyoto negotiating table with a secret plan to formally withdraw from the protocol
mere weeks after the talks end.
This move is a slap in the face to the international community. Canada is further
isolating itself in these talks as a country that not only is refusing to take meaningful
action at home (tar sands anyone?), but also one that does not deserve trust and
respect from the international community here in Durban.
Shame on Canada."
_____________________________________________________________________
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and
individual action to limit human-induced 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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LULUCF: Are We Outraged Yet?

One of the most important principles in the climate negotiations is that of common but differentiated responsibilities. CBDR means that while it is everyone’s job to reduce emissions, Annex I Parties have the lion’s share of historical emissions and therefore should demonstrate leadership with more ambitious emission reductions.

Specifically, to have a chance of keeping warming below 2° C, Annex I Parties must reduce emissions 40% or more below 1990 levels by 2020, while developing countries should begin low-carbon development that rapidly diverges from their likely business-as-usual (BAU) emissions.

How on earth, then, do Annex I Parties justify accounting for their forest industry emissions against BAU levels, and not a much more ambitious benchmark. And as you might have guessed, it’s even worse – many of these proposed BAU reference levels are inflated to hide future emissions increases, and so are worse than “real” BAU.

How is it that Annex I ministers and heads of delegation have allowed a whole sector to avoid contributing a fair share of ambition? Seriously, this isn’t some obscure technical issue. It’s a basic point about whether the forest sector is helping to solve the problem or is just a free-loader.

Furthermore, how hypocritical is it for Annex I Parties to set forest reference levels with no ambition for themselves, and then include calls for ambition in their recent submissions on the evolving REDD+ mechanism?

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!

And yet there is still time here in Durban and there are better options in the LULUCF text. These options may not be perfect, but they are better than Annex I countries’ wholly unacceptable projected BAU reference levels.

Come on, LULUCF negotiators and heads of delegations! It’s not enough to deliver a set of rules everyone can agree on. These rules must neither undermine the integrity of the KP nor set damaging precedents that could see ambition undermined in other areas. Clearly they must deliver for the climate – and time is running out!

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2020: Too Late to Wait

In Durban, we are at a crucial turning point in addressing climate change. Governments will choose either to delay progress or recognize that meaningful action is needed now. The world  is dangerously close to passing the threshold for runaway climate  change. Delaying the negotiation of a global binding deal to 2020 will condemn people worldwide to suffering accelerating and uncontrollable effects of climate change for generations to come.

COP 17 has the potential to be a catalyst for positive change on a global scale. Parties should be laser-focused on addressing the climate crisis and creating the sustainable energy future that will benefit us all. The world needs a successful climate deal more urgently than ever. If a less than positive outcome is achieved in Durban, we risk losing the multilateral process that has kept alive our hope for a sustainable future. The science is compelling, the economics make sense, so why are countries holding back from achieving the progress the world so badly needs?

Success in Durban will come from forging a meaningful way forward on climate change action based on science and recognition that time is running out. The most positive outcome in Durban includes agreeing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, securing a mandate to negotiate a legally binding instrument under the LCA to be adopted no later than 2015, and implementation of the Cancun Agreements. 

EU leadership is absolutely crucial. 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 – and not some fuzzy “political commitment” – the Kyoto Protocol will wither and die.

United States has failed to fulfill its responsibility to the rest of the world on climate change. There are low expectations that the US will do its fair share in the near future.  But the targets the US has put forward are much lower than others, including the EU, and the US has not put a finance offer on the table that is in line with its responsibilities. ECO would like the US to show leadership.  But if it can’t or won’t, the US needs to get out of the way so that other countries can move forward.  The US should let the rest of the world move ahead with building a climate regime that will facilitate a shift to green economic growth, and join when its own political situation is more forward-looking.  Blocking won’t lead to the US getting its preconditions met, it will instead lead to acrimony and finger pointing.

ECO agrees with China in forcefully advocating for a second  commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and higher ambition from developed countries.  However, as the largest emitter in the world today. China’s actions at home make it clear it is aware of this responsibility and is willing to act on it. China should match that progress within the international negotiations by agreeing to work toward a comprehensive, legally binding and ambitious agreement to be concluded in 2015 and can be implemented by 2018 at the latest.

Congratulations Australia on getting your carbon price legislation through Parliament.  It was truly an achievement.  But Australia must not rest on its laurels, and has an important role to play in preserving the Kyoto Protocol, so as to provide the basis for a more comprehensive regime in the future.  Australia also has a crucial role to play in bringing together parties to ensure that a comprehensive regime is agreed as soon as possible – and should push for a mandate that ends in 2015 and maps out a clear pathway for  implementation by 2018 at the  latest.  As the most vulnerable developed country, Australia has the most to gain on a successful outcome in Durban.

Ukraine should move closer to the progressive countries in the EU by not only agreeing to a second commitment period of the KP, but also increasing its target to a more ambitious level relative to its business as usual emissions (forecast to be 54% below 1990 levels by 2020), showing flexibility on its ‘hot air’ and ensuring that carry-over AAUs are minimized.

India aims to be a global champion of the poor and vulnerable by working constructively in the multilateral environment. ECO agrees with India’s equity based approach and its demand for operationalisation, starting with its strong demand for second commitment period. But India needs to be more pragmatic on the issue of legally binding outcome under the LCA for a comprehensive future climate regime that protects the rights of poor communities and countries. 

Japan, Russia and Canada.  ECO joins many in worrying about the direction being taken by Japan, Russia and Canada.  As three heavily climate-affected countries, they should agree to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol since they haven’t offered any effective alternatives.

South Africa / COP Presidency.  There is wide appreciation for South Africa’s open and transparent approach in the run-up to Durban.  Now is the time to move out of pure ‘listening mode’.  In its Presidency, South Africa should keep focus squarely on open and transparent exchange that drives the negotiations to a positive conclusion, whilst its national delegation champions the positions of the Africa Group and particularly the interests of the poor.  ECO appreciates the scope of the work ahead and has confidence that South Africa can achieve its broad and ambitious goals in Durba

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