Tag: developing countries

Canada Wins 1st and 2nd Place Fossils – Threatens KP, Insults LDCs

Fossil of the Day - Day 1 - COP17 Durban South Africa

Photo Credit: Sarah Rifaat

Video Credit: OneClimate

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.”

"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

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

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.



CAN Position: Effort Sharing Principles - November 2011


Countries agreed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to prevent dangerous climate change: to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.  At present they are failing in this task.  One element holding back countries from the necessary action is the concern that they will be asked to do more than is their fair share, and conversely that other countries will ‘free ride’ off their effort.  A common understanding of fair shares – even if it is only approximate – can help overcome this trust barrier and lead to higher levels of ambition from all.

CAN recommends to parties and the AWG Chairs that they take steps to proactively insert effort sharing into the negotiation framework in 2011 and 2012.  COP17 should establish a mandate to agree an equitable effort sharing approach between all countries by COP18.  Whilst an agreement on an equitable effort sharing approach should be the ultimate aim, any discussions that expand the shared understanding of a fair effort sharing approach have the potential to move the negotiations forward exponentially.  Waiting for these discussions to take place is not, however, an excuse for countries to put off increasing their level of ambition.  All countries[1] have an obligation to increase their ambition now – developed countries, with their woefully inadequate pledges, most of all.


[1]except for the Maldives and Costa Rica who are developing countries that have committed to becoming carbon neutral.

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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When is Mitigation “Meaningful?”

According to the fossil fuel lobbyists in Brussels, Washington or Canberra, it is only developed countries that are being pressured to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Those special interest lobbyists, and the governments that listen to them, should pay attention in the mitigation workshops this week. ECO notes that the majority of the emission reductions currently on the table are likely to be made in developing – not developed - countries.

A forthcoming overview of the major recent analyses of the mitigation pledges from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), shows that in 11 of the 12 scenarios looked at, developing countries will be responsible for more real emission reductions than developed countries. According to these studies, the only scenario that sees developed countries’ pledges deliver greater reductions compared to business as usual, is the most optimistic of those outlined in the UNEP emission gap report. Sadly there aren’t many developed countries currently committing to the high end of their pledged ranges with the strictest of accounting rules.

Why does this matter? Firstly, because many developed countries have made implementation of - the higher end of - their pledges conditional on “adequate” or “ambitious” action by major developing countries. Secondly, because developed countries like to reiterate that the $100 billion per year committed in Cancún as climate finance is conditional on “meaningful mitigation” by developed- countries.

So ECO would like to know when developed countries will tell their counterparts whether these conditions have been met. It may be difficult to argue they have not, so long as developed countries ambition remains so low.

In the end, ECO knows that for mitigation to be truly “meaningful”, global efforts must be sufficient to keep global warming below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. There are no prizes for coming first in a race in which everyone fails to reach the finish line. All countries will need to work to close the emissions gap – but developed country governments should recognise that they are currently not doing their fair share. They should stop listening to the lobbyists telling them not to lead, and recognise that it is instead they who are currently following.

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