Tag: Mitigation

Building a Tower of Climate Fighting Power

Like the Secretariat, our LCA chair and many other delegates in the Maritim, ECO also has experience with the trials and tribulations of construction projects. But not to worry. Yesterday, AOSIS and the LDCs presented a new blueprint for a sturdy and livable structure that can be a functional home for all of us, with a minimal carbon footprint and protection from the increasingly uncertain elements.

To build a good foundation, AOSIS has designed some strong pillars to replace or reinforce the flimsy developed country pledges. For instance, the EU, which has been mixing only 20% cement with sand for its concrete, can strengthen its climate edifice by rising to 30% concrete or even more. This is required to meet the building codes anyway, so why skimp and risk collapse?

New Zealand should raise its level to at least 20%. And in Australia, government papers, forced by NGOs to be made public, show that the conditions for its 15% target have already been met.

Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will need to dig deeper foundations in the second commitment period to prevent vast amounts of hot air.

Canada, which has been out of compliance with building codes for some time, has decided to build tar sand castles and has given up on any construction that will last more than a few years.

Moving from the foundation to the ground floor, AOSIS, troubled by the United States, Canada, Russia and Japan ¨C fleeing the building and planning to build their own shanties ¨C warns they must use comparable construction standards, and prepare for the visit of the building inspector. As long as they remain in the Convention, they must demonstrate that their efforts are comparable to those of Kyoto buildings, and will achieve results consistent with the best available science.

Adequate housing for all requires scaled up contributions to the building fund, which is why the LDCs are unhappy with the lack of reliable and predictable finance. Conventionland’s wealthier residents, who have already built comfortable homes with high carbon footprints, have thus far refused to give a clear timetable towards meeting the US$100 billion commitment by 2020. They only seem to be offering play money and junk bonds to add up to the $100 billion.

With a strong foundation laid, the LDC architects have proposed that a mighty Durban Tower can be built in a few years on the same institutional structure as the current, modest Bali Tower. The venerable old Kyoto Tower will be dwarfed by the combined ambition of these two new structures, which will have ample space for mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building. The new towers will be in full compliance will all codes. Regular visits by monitoring, reporting and verifying teams, checking up on finance and mitigation actions, will be welcome events.

The initial sketches from Durban are about to become detailed blueprints, full of shovel-ready projects that will be built for the occupants well in advance of the construction schedule.

The LDCs, like all of us, have placed their futures in the hands of a new Project Manager who we trust will not be satisfied with the current low level of ambition. All the settlers in Conventionland must spare no effort in ensuring the post-2020 Durban Tower reaches new heights, with clear milestones for each coming year.

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Closing the Giga-silence Gap

In the Kyoto plenary yesterday, we got a taste of how things sound when there is no more time to defer decisions for another year. After all the talk of gaps, urgency and the need to set rules before targets, there’s nowhere else to move for Australia and New Zealand.

Those two were left alone in Durban as the only countries still unable to make up their minds on a second commitment period. They remained unwilling, still, to move ahead with the Durban ambition coalition, and be part of an agreement that can give us hope that we’ll close the emissions gap.

And not willing, either, to attract the ire of the world by formally withdrawing, like Canada, or refusing to participate, like Japan and Russia. It’s decision time for everyone, and the sooner Australia stops dithering about Kyoto, the sooner everyone can get on and talk about the dozens of other matters jostling for attention at the UNFCCC.

We know that Australia has a price on carbon legislated and will adhere to the Kyoto rules. We know they have a 2050 target in place to reduce their emissions by 80%. We know they want to participate in carbon markets, and for a new legal agreement to be forged that can keep greenhouse gas concentrations to 450ppm. There's really no reason for them to delay any more.

As for all the other Kyoto countries, the challenge was unequivocally put at yesterday’s plenary: the only circumstances where an eight year commitment period is acceptable is if ambition is sufficient to meet two degrees.

The only way to participate in carbon markets is to have a binding target to reduce emissions. And the only way to keep the talks for a new and comprehensive legally binding agreement on track and on schedule is to put your name down on the Kyoto willing list.

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Ambition and Equity how to close the gap

a CAN Europe Side Event featuring Michiel Schaeffer from Climate Analytics, Sivan Kartha from Stockholm Environment Institute, Artur Runge-Metzger from The European Commission and Tim Gore from Oxfam, produced by Ulriikka Aarnio

 

Premieres: Wed 16 May · 18.15-19.45 · Metro (Ministry of Transport)

 

"After just one screening, I knew all I needed to about closing the ambition and equity gaps. And I finally understood this graph! 4 Stars!" -- Ludwig   

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"CAN Collectibles" Series! NORWAY

Announcing: A New "CAN Collectibles" Series!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar

Clip and Collect Them All!



Best things about Norway: Brown cheese, 2600 km of ski tracks around Oslo and vast fish stocks
When in Norway: Don't talk to strangers on public transport. Norwegians will consider you
Norwegian favourite entertainment: freakish. Except maybe if you are offering compliments on our great country
Annual number of SMS sent per capita (2010): Whale hunting and jokes about the Swedes
National high point: 1300
Worst thing about Norway: 1994: Winter Olympics and 2nd referendum rejecting EU membership
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: Chronic oil addiction
Existing Conditional pledge (upper end): 30% below 1990 by 2020
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: 40% below 1990 by 2020
  40% by 2020 with at least 2/3 of the target through domestic mitigation
Rationale: Norway has pledged to move to a target of 40% if this will contribute to achieving an ambitious global agreement. Increased mitigation ambition from rich countries such as Norway is probably the most important thing that can contribute to increasing overall ambition at the moment, so Norway should make good on this promise right away. Secondly, Norway needs to make clear  that it intends to meet its target mainly through domestic action rather than offsetting. This is important for Norway's credibility in UNFCCC negotiations.
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Canada: Nothing to Fear But Itself

While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after the Durban overtime, the Canadians had no such luck. Barely off the plane, Canada’s Environment Minister wasted no time in confirming the COP’s worst kept secret, that Canada was officially pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Many delegates probably had already given up on Canada at that point, but those of us in CAN who live within that vast, beautiful, hockey-loving country have had to continue to bear witness to what can only be called the government of polluters’ puppets. Since bailing on their 9-year ratification relationship with the Kyoto Protocol, the Canadian government has only gone further downhill when it comes to climate action. The highlights lowlights:

1)A report from the government watchdog on our environment and climate goals made clear last week that it would be nearly impossible under current policy for Canada to meet its (embarrassingly weak) target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. After all, the report said, there aren’t even any greenhouse gas regulations on Canada’s fastest growing source of pollution ¨C the oil and gas sector (read: Tar Sands). The official numbers according to the government’s own data? Current and proposed policies for emissions reductions will result in a 7% increase over 2005 levels (that's ~33% above 1990 levels) instead of the promised 17% decrease.

2)The Government ramped up McCarthyist attacks on anyone worried about numbers like these. This has included outrageous attacks on civil society, First Nations and politicians, calling them radicals, terrorists, adversaries and enemies of the people of Canada. Amazingly, there have even been accusations that environmental groups writ  large are money launderers.

(Have they seen our budgets? What's there to launder?)

3)And to make it even easier for them to do as little as possible, the 2012 federal budget bill contained “a few additional items” for quick passage without democratic debate. These included the complete repeal of Canada’s environmental assessment act and a thorough gutting of decades of environmental regulations. These deletions were misrepresented as “streamlining” of approvals processes for projects such as massive pipelines that, if built, would allow the projected tripling of tar sands growth that the government is so desperate for. It is streamlining all right ¨C streamlining the path towards climate catastrophe.

The only thing the Canadian example will prove, with its fragile Arctic, vulnerable coasts and tarred economy, is that you can't withdraw from climate change.

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