Tag: Mitigation

New Zealand Earns First Place Fossil, United States and Canada Share “Colossal Fossil”

Durban, South Africa –  At the final day of the United Nations climate negotiations for 2011, countries received their biggest shaming yet for blocking greater progress in the talks. With the final outcome of negotiations not yet decided, it was at least clear enough which nations had done their worst in the last day and the entire two weeks. New Zealand took the infamous 1st prize for its strongest statement yet against continuing Kyoto. But Canada earned yet another Colossal Fossil for scoring the most dirty points at these negotiations, though they earned isolation and a minute of silence more than another fossilized award. Instead, the United States of America took the Colossal Fossil, too, for coming in second place in overall Fossil points and showing serious lack of action for such a major polluter. The Fossils as presented read:

“New Zealand wins the 1st place Fossil. The New Zealand government got a Fossil this week for severely mixed messages about its Kyoto Protocol 2nd Commitment Period stance. This time, it made it clear, describing Kyoto as 'actually an insult to New Zealand'. The only insult is to the citizens of New Zealand and the rest of the world, who will have to suffer the costs of climate change.”

“Canada wins a Colossal Fossil by mathematical majority. The Canadian government has made headlines and earned criticism from the international community in Durban for refusing to sign onto a second Kyoto commitment period, calling critical climate financing 'guilt payments', and bullying least developed countries into leaving the Kyoto Protocol. And over the two week negotiation period, Canada has won a staggering total of 6 Fossil of the Day awards. Mathematically, they are the undisputed winner of the 2011 Colossal Fossil award.

But when environment minister Peter Kent announced Canada’s third fossil of COP 17 on the floor of the House of Commons, members of his Conservative government cheered and applauded. The minister brought that reckless arrogance with him to Durban, where he’s maintained a hard line and refused to budge on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and fought hard to put polluters before people.

Canada remains the only country in the world to have weakened its emissions targets after returning from COP 15 in Copenhagen and the only country to have signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol and then say that it has no intention of meeting its targets. The Government killed the only major federal renewable energy program in the country while plowing over 1 billion dollars a year of subsidies into the oil sector.

The Government’s lack of ambition or action to combat climate change is no laughing matter. Climate change is one of the most serious issues that humanity has ever faced, and it is already affecting millions of people – including vulnerable communities in Canada.

(minute of silence)

While a colossal fossil might be a fitting reward for such egregious behaviour, we’d prefer to confer that title on a country whose actions are still having an effect on the negotiations taking place, and not a laggard who’s been pushed to the sidelines of this debate. Until Canada is prepared to become a real leader on climate change, it’s time to turn our backs on the government’s policies and move on with a coalition of the willing built from people, cities and provinces that understand the urgent need for action.”

“And so, the United States of America wins a Colossal Fossil for sheer (un)ambition. For a country that in 2009 claimed to come back to the negotiations full of hope and change, it has mostly just brought more of the same – no commitments, no Kyoto, plenty of rhetoric, and minimal money. Whether because of a conservative Congress or an administration that hid behind it when its President and negotiators could have done more, we can only 'hope' that the U.S.A. 'changes' its stance and doesn't spend the next 4 years earning Colossal Fossils like Canada spent the last 4. This is not the kind of international cooperation CAN had in mind.”

Where there is a will, there is a way...

Sandra Guzman
Program Director Air and Energy
Mexican Center of Environmental Law (CEMDA)
Mexico

COP17 is supposed to advance the elaboration of a binding agreement to resolve the adverse impacts of climate change. Unfortunately after one week of negotiations here in Durban the future still looks bleak and full of uncertainties given the lack of agreement on some of the key issues.

This week saw the delivery of the COP pass from the Mexican Presidency to South Africa, who have dedicated sessions with informal consultations on various issues including a transparent and inclusive format.  But there is no clear indication as to what kind of agreements we can expect from the various issues in the negotiation tracks.

On the one hand, the likelihood of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2CP-KP) is becoming increasingly remote because countries resisting the 2CP have intensified their position as Canada has done by announcing her intention to abandon the KP.  The African group has threatened to wash their hands of the entire process if no agreement is reached for a 2CP. The reality is that failure to agree a mandate, or a clear signal for the KP to continue, or for a legal framework that allows the constitution of a legally binding agreement will be disastrous for the entire UNFCCC regime.

Similarly, this week was crucial for the definition and design of the Green Fund because the countries must decide whether to open the text that resulted from the meetings of the Transition Committee or approve it and go forward with other definitions. Since it was not accepted by the United States and Saudi Arabia, the text came to Durban hoping for approval. However, the ALBA group conformed for Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba, noted that the text needed correction before they could give approval. The problem is that re-opening the text could delay the operationalization of the fund in Durban.

In the finance discussions there are two other issues that needs to be defined to create the international architecture – one is the issue of sources, and the other is where the resources are to be derived from. This is because although developed countries provide the funds from their public resources, there are other sources that may contribute to raise the funds necessary to achieve the goal of 100 billion dollars that must be provided by 2020.

All of these issues show the importance of civil society in this process because the governments are making decisions that don't necessarily reflect our social vision. We will continue to push for the creation of an integrated global regime that is effective, inclusive, transparent and democratic whilst dealing with climate issues in view of human rights, gender equity, and sustainability.
 

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Media Advisory – Webcast Notice: Civil society reflections on level of ambition on mitigation and on state of play of the finance negotiations.

UNFCCC CLIMATE TALKS IN DURBAN: NGO BRIEFING ON THE NEGOTIATIONS

Civil society reflections on level of ambition on mitigation and on state of play of the finance negotiations.

[Durban, South Africa] Climate Action Network – International will host a media briefing, webcast live, to outline civil society expectations for a successful outcome of UN climate talks in Durban.

International NGO experts will discuss civil society reflections on the level of ambition on mitigation, and comment the state of play of the negotiations on finance both in relation to the Green Climate Fund and the long-term finance.

The briefing takes place at the UNFCCC conference venue, on Thursday, December 8, at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room.

It will be webcast live at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts

NGO experts on the panel will include: Annie Petsonk of the Environmental Defense Fund; Kelly Dent of Oxfam, and Nina Jamal of IndyAct.
 
What: Briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Durban

Where: Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room, UNFCCC conference venue, Durban

Webcast Live via www.unfccc.int, or at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts

When: 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who:     Annie Petsonk – Environmental Defense Fund
    Kelly Dent – Oxfam
    Nina Jamal – IndyAct

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.  For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org

For more information please contact:

David Turnbull, CAN International, +27 (0) 78 889 6827 (local mobile)

Every day at 18:00 local time CAN gives the Fossil of the Day to the Parties that obstruct the negotiations the most. You can watch the Fossil ceremony at the CAN booth in the DEC building and get the press releases every day at: http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day
 

United States Takes Two Fossils for Failing to Commit and Blocking Climate Finance

Durban, South Africa – It was a dark day for the United States of America, as it took the first and second place Fossil of the Day awards for stalling on legally binding commitments and blocking immediate financing for climate change-vulnerable countries. The Fossils as presented read:

"The United States of America wins the 2nd place Fossil. The U.S. supported the deletion of Fast Start Finance paragraphs (Paragraph 18 and 19) from the updated amalgamated Long-Term Cooperative Action text. This implies that they are not serious about the past commitments made by their head of states on provision of finance to the most vulnerable countries to cope with the impacts of climate change. Not only is it a breach of trust, but also shows lack of leadership from them to take climate action seriously."

"The United States of America earns the 1st place Fossil. The US is in complete denial – other country delegates inside the Indaba could not believe their interventions. Having put forward a proposal for a treaty before Copenhagen, the US now seems to have taken a complete u-turn on the issue of legally binding commitments. We are just at the start of a 'critical decade' (according to a United Nations Environment Programme report) in which we must increase ambition, peak and decline and the USA – the largest historical emitter – turns up with a mandate to only discuss commitments in the next decade. 9 more years of talks? This is completely irresponsible as this is only making other high emitters sit back and do nothing."

 

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US Wins a First and Second Place Fossil.

Video Production: BunkerFilms.com

Durban, South Africa – It was a dark day for the United States of America, as it took the first and second place Fossil of the Day awards for stalling on legally binding commitments and blocking immediate financing for climate change-vulnerable countries. The Fossils as presented read:

"The United States of America wins the 2nd place Fossil. The U.S. supported the deletion of Fast Start Finance paragraphs (Paragraph 18 and 19) from the updated amalgamated Long-Term Cooperative Action text. This implies that they are not serious about the past commitments made by their head of states on provision of finance to the most vulnerable countries to cope with the impacts of climate change. Not only is it a breach of trust, but also shows lack of leadership from them to take climate action seriously."

"The United States of America earns the 1st place Fossil. The US is in complete denial – other country delegates inside the Indaba could not believe their interventions. Having put forward a proposal for a treaty before Copenhagen, the US now seems to have taken a complete u-turn on the issue of legally binding commitments. We are just at the start of a 'critical decade' (according to a United Nations Environment Programme report) in which we must increase ambition, peak and decline and the USA – the largest historical emitter – turns up with a mandate to only discuss commitments in the next decade. 9 more years of talks? This is completely irresponsible as this is only making other high emitters sit back and do nothing."

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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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