An Ill Wind

ECO just caught wind of bizarre news. Apparently, a Japanese governmental committee is considering a range of pollution reduction targets that are lower than Japan's 25% target. When negotiators are discussing an agenda item on raising ambition so intensively (and Japan actually supports that agenda item here), this looks utterly strange. 

Why should the range of targets be so low? The reason is hidden behind the problematic assumptions used to calculate these target options. First, they includes a ridiculous assumption to increase nuclear energy, even after the Fukushima tragedy. Second, energy saving potentials are “fixed” deliberately at a low rate and thus do not reflect Japan's real pollution reduction potential. In a nutshell, there is still good opportunity to raise Japan’s ambition for 2020. Far more than the ranges under consideration are achievable. ECO knows that this discussion is an ongoing one and it has not been finalized. We also know that the range of targets do not include forestry and flexibility mechanisms. Nonetheless, the range suggests far less ambition and potential than the reality in the country. We wonder if, while Japan remains outside of Kyoto, they are really committed to doing their fair share to solve the climate crisis? Japan instead needs to raise its ambition and show what it can contribute to the planet!

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CAN Collectibles: European Union

**Errata: Yesterday's collectible indicated there was a "secret message" embedded in the series. That should have read "notsosecret message". The message is that countries should increase their ambition for Qatar. ECO regrets this confusion, but hopes that this was especially clear to Parties who reread the entire series, searching for the hidden message.**

 

European Union

 

National term of endearment/greeting

Ciao/ahoj/hej/Hi/kalimera/Bonjour/Guten tag/ hej pa dig/Hola/ Hallooooooo/Varying number of kisses, except in the UK

Annual alcohol consumption

11 litres per person per year

Annual cheese consumption

19 kg per person per year (more in France)

Best things about EU

Excellent alcoholic beverages and cheese (see above). Eurovision song contest Climate and Energy package – inadequate level of effort and no legally-binding energy efficiency target, but still a noted first effort

Worst things about EU

World’s lowest carbon price. Milk found on same aisle as toilet paper in supermarket. Middle aged men in skimpy bathing suits. Polish climate ambition. Eurovision song contest

Things you didn’t know

Outlook for the EU is a continent-wide outdoor museum for a population of pensioners. The 10 most generous countries in the world when it comes to charitable giving.

Existing Unconditional pledge on the table

20% below 1990 levels by 2020

Existing Conditional pledge (upper end)

30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Next step to increase ambition by COP18

40% below 1990 levels by 2020 (of which 30% domestic) Agree to a strong Energy Efficiency Directive: Member States have watered down existing provisions to around 38% of the initial proposal

Rationale

Emission reductions in the EU in 2009 were already 17.3% below the 1990, so the 20% target for 2020 is practically met. And as if this wasn't easy enough, simply by implementing the EU’s existing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets would result in domestic emission reductions of 25% in 2020 as has been acknowledged by the European Commission in the 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap published in March 2011.

 

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CAN Collectibles: New Zealand!

Read the Series Again to Spot the Secret Message!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar

Also Makes a Great Paper Hat!

 

National term of endearment/greeting:

Bro/Mate

Annual alcohol consumption:

9.6 litres per person per year

Annual cheese consumption:

5.7 kilograms per person per year

Best things about New Zealand:

Beautiful environment - some of it still unspoiled. Maori Culture. Wine

Worst things about New Zealand:

Wanting to be Australia. Addiction to cars. Pathological need to spoil the unspoiled bits

Things you didn't know:

New Zealand isn't all clean and green. New Zealand is the first country in the world to catalogue its entire known living and fossil history from 530 million years ago to today

Existing unconditional pledge on the table:

It's all conditional, which means the unconditional pledge is to do nothing

Existing conditional pledge (upper end):

10-20% reduction in net emissions below 1990 gross emissions levels by 2020

Next step to increase ambition by COP18:

This year: Submit a meaningful QELRO that would require a 40% reduction by 2020; produce a low carbon development plan; tell us when gross emissions will peak; listen to the voices of progressive business leaders and agricultural scientists who can help us get there, rather than the usual head-in-the-sand lobby groups; and get a new attitude.

 

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CAN Collectibles: United Kingdom!

Now With 50% More Ambition!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase TheirAmbition in Qatar

 



National term of greeting: “How do you do?”, accompanied by a firm handshake.
Annual alcohol consumption: 8.3 litres per person per year
Annual cheese consumption: 6.1 kilograms per person per year
Best things about the UK: A strong sense of fair play. Unrivalled ability to queue (see also "a strong sense of fair play")
Worst things about the UK: Weather. Brits whining about the weather.
Things you didn't know: Britain is the only country in the world which doesn’t have the country’s name on its postage stamps (or so the Internet tells us)
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 as per the EU. 34% below 1990 levels by 2020 as the UK’s share of that 20%
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): 30% below 2000 levels by 2020. 42% below 1990 levels by 2020 as the UK’s share of that 30% a reduction of 2.6% per year in the budget periods 2008-2022
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Support that 20% of the EU budget should go to climatesmart investment. Support an EU move to 30% (solely through domestic action) in 2012. Support stronger measures in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive – it’s not all about the ETS!

 

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CAN Collectibles: JApan!

Caution May Be Mitigation Forming
Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase TheirAmbition in Qatar

 



Main export goods: Baseball players and hybrid cars, besides Playstations
Annual tuna consumption (raw): 500,000t 4kg per person
Best things about Japan: Best sushi restaurants in the world. Cherry blossom beautiful asset now flowering in March rather than in April because of global warming.
Worst things about Japan: Dangerous addiction to nuclear and oil. 80% of the population is allergic to cedar because we planted too many of them
Things you did not know: CO2 emissions in 2011 did not increase compared to 2010, even though Japan had to stop several nuclear reactors. (Amazing commitment by people/firms to save energy made this possible!) There are studies and analyses showing that the 25% target by 2020 is achievable even if Japan phases out nuclear
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: (None)
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, but under review towards LOWERING the pledge
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: At least confirm 25% GHG below 1990 levels by 2020 by Bangkok and make it unconditional. Set a concrete target at least 80% by 2050 in the process of Low Carbon Development Strategy planning.
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Shorter Is Better

The 2020 deadline for the entry into force of legally binding commitments for all Parties is too late to meet the 2°C target unless pre-2020 ambition can be urgently and equitably increased. To do so, developed countries must step up in the KP and LCA, while the ADP can also help raise ambition in mitigation and the means of implementation.

In this spirit, ECO would like to remind Parties of the numerous benefits of shorter (5 year) commitment periods in the KP. They:

-Enable targets to be based on the best available science and updated frequently

-Reduce concerns about locking in low levels of ambition (and ECO has many of those!! Do I hear 30% anyone??)

-Maintain links with the political accountability cycle, which is typically 4 to 6 years (longer commitment periods make meeting targets someone else’s problem)

-Encourage early action (whereas it is easier to put off action with longer periods – just think: when did you do your homework as a child?)

It is also completely unacceptable for the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, and any other developed country that reneges on its Convention commitments to take the lead, to remain outside of a legal agreement for the rest of the decade.

Amendments, such as the ability to ratchet-up targets within a commitment period, should be included in the Kyoto amendments, independent of commitment period length. Further amendments could also be made to assuage any concerns about adopting a 5 year CP as well.

Finally, ECO is concerned that 8 years would establish a bad precedent, leading to even longer commitment periods in the future (i.e. 2030) and longer IPCC assessment cycles (i.e. 8-10 years) currently being pushed by some Parties. In other words, 8 years is the “gateway drug” to poor regime architecture long term.

Ours is an ask of all governments – to do more, faster, to save the planet.  The EU and the few other committed developed countries should start by adopting a 5 year commitment period for the Doha amendment.  To quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy – Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.  And we all know how that story ends.

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“CAN Collectibles”: Iran

New and Improved Formula!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar!

Impress Your Friends! Confuse Your Enemies!

 

National term of greeting:

Joon

Annual bread consumption:

160 kilograms per person

Annual rice consumption:

35 kilograms per person

Best things about Iran:

Sun, Forest, Snow and Desert all in one place at the same time!

Worst things about Iran:

Inefficiency in all aspects of life!

Things you didn't know:

World's 8th largest CO2 polluter (total emissions), ahead of the UK and South Korea! The largest ski resort in the heart of the Middle East!

Existing action on the table:

30% emission reduction by 2025 in comparison by BAU scenario. Financed by the government (BAU scenario for 2025: 2,248.5 million tonnes CO2). Iran supports keeping warming below 2°C

Additional actions Iran should agree to as its 2020 contribution, at a minimum:

64% emission reduction by 2025 in comparison by BAU scenario (Only if international technical/financial assistance under UNFCCC becomes available)

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Keep Ambition on the Agenda(s)!

ECO is gravely concerned that the Emissions Gap continues to grow, and that there is insufficient political will to close it as urgently as possible.

ECO insists that we must have greater action from developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol and LCA, and is concerned that some countries appear to be running away from these commitments.

ECO maintains that a work plan on pre-2020 ambition is also vital under the ADP, and a key element of the Durban package. This work plan should lead to urgent, specific, concrete decisions that work to close the Emissions Gap at COP18 and each subsequent COP.

ECO understands that this ADP work plan on scaling-up pre-2020 ambition will be implemented under the existing legal regime of the Framework Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, and other existing legal frameworks.

This ADP work plan should ensure enhanced mitigation commitments by developed countries and actions by developing countries, com-parability of effort among developed countries, and means of implementation for developing countries, as expressed in the Bali Action Plan.

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From Tokyo to Bonn: A Target Heard 'Round the World

In Bonn, while most nations are clarifying their pledges, as agreed, Japan is not saying a word about its 25% target. We know that Japan has been revising its 2030 energy strategy. While we welcome the intensive discussion on that, we hope that Japan also contributes to the discussion we are having here – reduction targets for post-2012 and, importantly, raising ambition!

In Bonn, while most nations are clarifying their pledges, as agreed, Japan is not saying a word about its 25% target. We know that Japan has been revising its 2030 energy strategy. While we welcome the intensive discussion on that, we hope that Japan also contributes to the discussion we are having here – reduction targets for post-2012 and, importantly, raising ambition! At the minimum, Japan needs to reaffirm its 25% from 1990 levels by 2020 target and show the world it will keep to the path of a low carbon future, even while recovering from the catastrophe that struck last year. In fact, some Japanese NGOs have shown that the 25% target is achievable even while phasing out all nuclear. Japan can make a sizeable contribution to the world by transitioning toward a safe, low carbon economy. Japan should use its discussion at home to raise its voice at Bonn and reach a more ambitious target by Bangkok!

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“CAN Collectibles”: France


Double Your Pleasure, Halve Your Pollution!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar!

Bonus Double Saturday Edition!

 



National term of endearment/greeting: Garçon! (only for use in oldstyle cafés, in Paris, by innocent foreigners)
Annual wine consumption: 54 litres/person/year (decreasing due to Frech winery climate change impacts)
Annual cheese consumption: 24 kgs/person/year (increasing to make up for decreased wine drinking)
Best things about France: The wine and the cheese (see above). Beaches in Brittany up north now that one can enjoy warm and sunny summers there (see: global warming).
Worst things about France: Dangerous addiction to nuclear energy. Unemployment due to lack of green jobs (see: dangerous addiction to nuclear energy).
Things you didn't know: Frog legs taste just like chicken.
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: The EU's 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): The EU's 30% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: This year: a KP QELRO consistent with cuts of at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. And a commitment to work in the ADP process to raise ambition to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Rationale: The EU, including France, is  close to reaching its 2020 target, a mere 8 years, too early. Moving to an interim 30% target this year would be honest, boost our economy, provide jobs and reduce health budgets. What else can a new President want?
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