Tag: Mitigation

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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Side Event: Agriculture: Opportunities for Support, Adaptation, Mitigation and Social Goals

Several CAN members presented at this side event: Pipa Elias, Union of Concerned Scientists; Jason Funk, EDF; Geoffrey Evans, HSI; and Angela Andrade Pérez, Conservation International.

Photo Credit: Leila Mead/IISD




First Place Fossils go to the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and China.

The first 1st place Fossil goes to the USA, for its continuing attempts to block negotiations on sources of financing, and refusing to discuss how it will continue to scale up financing in 2013 and onwards, towards the agreed goal of US$100 billion by 2020. We know that the USA faces some deep denial issues internally, as well as avoidance issues in the negotiations around issues like equity, capacity building and an international mechanism on loss and damage. Until the US is willing to have a frank and honest discussion leading to substantive decisions, it will be an impediment to this process.

An additional 1st place fossil goes to Canada for – can you guess???? – reneging on their commitments to fight climate change by withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after 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 that live within that vast, beautiful, hockey-loving country have had to continue to bear witness to whatcan only be called the government of polluters’ puppets. While Canada’s actions are clearly in a world of its own when it comes to bad behavior in the Kyoto Protocol, there are others that are behaving in fossil worthy manner. Here, we’re looking at Japan and Russia for refusing to participate in the second commitment period and Australia and New Zealand for missing the critical May 1 deadline to submit their QELROS. Australia and New Zealand are on notice that we expect these submissions by the end of Bonn – though the sooner the better, as it is causing trouble in the KP.

And the final1st place Fossil goes to China for holding in abeyance the work programme on scaling-up pre-2020 ambition under the ADP. We agree with China that the ADP must not allow developed countries to jump ship from the KP and LCA to a weaker regime, but Parties can't hold critical parts of the Durban package in abeyance, which amounts to punting them to the other side of the moon. We can't hold the fight against climate change in abeyance!

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Chutney With Your Lamb?

New Zealand has landed in a pickle over its forest accounts.  The age structure of NZ’s plantations means that major harvesting is due to start late this decade and continue into the 2020s. Combine this with the new afforestation/reforestation debit-credit rule and the gains NZ wrangled in LULUCF look likely to evaporate – its carbon accounts skewed into the negative. ECO might even have a rare twinge of sympathy for NZ.

But ECO has no sympathy for New Zealand when it comes to gross emissions.  They’ve continued rising since 1990 and are projected to continue rising, even with its much-talked-about-but-rather-weak Emissions Trading Scheme.

Worse, having agreed in Cancun that developed countries should write a low carbon development plan, New Zealand is showing no sign of writing one.  It certainly has no plan to get gross emissions on a downward trajectory.

Instead New Zealand is planning just everything possible to increase emissions: dairy farming expansion, unprecedented levels of coal mining, a major road building programme, more oil and gas exploration, and, to cap it all (no pun intended) off, the state owned mining company wants to dig up 1.5 billion tonnes of lignite and turn it into fuel and fertiliser.

It’s no wonder New Zealand wants rules for setting QELROs that would enable it to meet its 20% by 2020 target and end the second commitment period with over 22 million spare AAUs – a tidy sum for a small country.

So, where does all this leave New Zealand’s decisions on CP2 of Kyoto, its 2020 target and its QELRO? NZ is quietly desperate to accommodate its planned increase in gross emissions and expected blow-out in net emissions.  With no intention of actually reducing gross emissions, NZ’s only course of action is to play with the accounting system. This means trying to ensure maximum carry-over of surplus AAUs from CP1 to CP2, securing access to the cheapest carbon credits possible (euphemistically “full recourse to carbon markets”) and a handout of AAUs from new accounting rules.

It looks like New Zealand’s decision on CP2 will depend on who New Zealand wants to be friends with and whether the accounting system is sufficiently favourable. Failing to meet a voluntary commitment under the Copenhagen Accord has political consequences, but failing to meet a binding commitment under CP2 has political and economic consequences. So no surprises then that New Zealand has not submitted its QELRO, is focused on the accounting and has also created an impossible hurdle (see the demand for a "balancing agreement" in its recent submission) in case an excuse is needed to bail from the Kyoto ship.

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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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