Tag: Technology

FOSSIL OF THE DAY: Week 1

 

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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Oil King Turns Solar Pioneer?

Have a strong coffee, shake your head and rub your eyes. Saudi Arabia, the well-known guardian of fossil fuel interests, is planning a massive renewable energy scheme in its country. So says the news in the region and rumours from inside the Royal Family and their ministries. Apparently 52 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable power will come online by 2030, 130% of existing electricity generation capacity - most of it as concentrated solar power and the remainder as solar photovoltaics and wind. Reportedly, the government is looking for a quick start, with about three GW to be installed in 2013 and another four GW in 2014.

It all started about one year ago when Saudi Arabia announced a US $100 billion investment for solar power, which was followed shortly after by oil minister Al-Naimi declaring to the media "Saudi Arabia plans to generate solar electricity equalling the amount of its energy from crude exports”. Although the current plan does not come close to that ambition, it still represents a remarkable and substantive move. For comparison, in 2011, which was another renewable energy boom year, total newly installed renewable power worldwide was about 80 GW.

ECO is not naïve. We know that high oil prices on world markets of more than $100 per barrel are strong incentives for any oil exporter to save the crude domestically and reap the benefits of exports. Certainly one, if not the key, motivation for the Saudis presently.

But there is another logic. Saudi Arabia admits that using renewable energy makes much more sense than “abundant” fossil fuels. And expanding renewables substantially, for whatever reason, is good for our atmosphere and the climate. Each ton of CO2 saved through renewables is one ton saved permanently. Could we also imagine that some clever folks in Saudi Arabia assume that the desire for fossil fuels in the world economy will end some time before we physically run out of them? We should be reminded that OPEC’s call for increased oil prices in the early 80s met with this advice from the then oil minister Yamani of Saudi Arabia to his peers: “The stone age did not finish because mankind ran out of stones”. Is it now time to assume that the Saudis are seriously preparing to export solar and become a technological hub for solar industry manufacturing?

Before ECO applauds Saudi Arabia’s constructive contribution to climate change policy, ECO would like this renewable energy target officially confirmed in Riyadh and announced internationally. If this happens, ECO will rub its eyes again and be happy to publicly acknowledge a landslide in Saudi policy, especially when those with greater responsibility are shirking their pollution reduction obligations.

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Got 2 Minutes??

Dear delegates:Yesterday CAN was scheduled to deliver a 2 minute statement at the opening of the SBI. Regrettably (to CAN at least), the Chair decided under his own authority that there were not 2 minutes left available in the session for the delivery of that statement. So you never got to hear it. For your information, here it is:

SBI-36 OPENING STATEMENT

CAN-INTERNATIONAL

Thank you, Chair. Good evening dear delegates and colleagues.

Firstly, Chair, CAN wishes you all the best in the task ahead of you in what promises to be yet another challenging year for the SBI.

On specific items this session, we would like to briefly highlight three particularly important issues for CAN:

Firstly, on capacity building, the establishment of the Durban Forum was one small step taken last year towards recognising the critical need for Parties to agree on scaled up and coordinated action on capacity building. The vast majority of developing countries fully understand the benefits of low-carbon development, how it can benefit their sustainable development and poverty alleviation objectives and how it will allow their emissions to deviate from a business as usual baseline. Ways to address their current lack of capacity to even commence this task need to be urgently agreed. CAN looks forward to participating in the Forum next week and to working with you, Chair, and with Parties towards scaling up the implementation of 2/CP-7.

Secondly, on arrangements for inter-governmental meetings, CAN has no need to remind delegates of the scale of the task involved in ensuring coherence between the seven negotiating tracks scheduled for Doha. The confluence of those tracks has to be a framework for both vastly scaled up mitigation effort between now and 2020, and a robust workplan to deliver a new and fully comprehensive legally binding agreement by 2015 at the latest.

In the same item, the subject of NGO participation is of course a vital matter for CAN. Progress we thought the SBI had secured this time last year has been more than somewhat degraded since, with Parties continuing to conduct the real substance of the negotiations away from the eyes and ears of civil society. In at least one case in Durban the final "open" informal meeting was in fact just 5 minutes long. Civil society observers therefore had no opportunity whatsoever to contribute to the outcome, or even to be able to comment on it. This was not the spirit of last year's SBI decision as CAN understood it.

Thirdly, on appeals against decisions of the CDM Executive Board, Parties must uphold the principle that the right to information, the right to public participation, and the right to seek justice are intrinsic to every individual and are inherent human rights. Access to justice for all local and global stakeholders including project-affected peoples and communities must be ensured. Thank you.

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The Bonn Ultimatum

ECO is hopeful that countries will approach the Bonn intersessional with a renewed vigour for making real progress towards a fair, ambitious and globally binding deal that reflects the scientific, economic and humanitarian imperatives.

 Equity: All parties must make good faith efforts to understand each other's predicaments. The goal? Establish a commonly understood “equity corridor”, a channel of principles and approaches that could provide foundations towards more detailed, technical and difficult questions. Equity must explicitly and formally become integral to the ADP agenda.

 Mitigation: The work of the Kyoto Protocol track needs to be completed by the end of 2012 with a ratifiable outcome agreed in Doha. The QELROs inscribed in Qatar need to be as strong as possible, with Parties moving to at least the top ends of their pledges. The EU needs to make good on their long-dangled promise of a move to 30%. This move has to be solely through domestic action in order to meet their own target of reducing emissions by 95% by 2050. Another priority for Doha should be that the massive loopholes should be closed, including severely limiting AAU carry over and preventing double counting across the mechanisms and NAMAs.

 In LCA, non-KP developed countries need to define their QELROs, again with increased ambition and closed loopholes. Developing countries that have not come forward with NAMAs or pledges need to. ECO looks to countries like Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Thailand and particularly our COP host Qatar. Their combined efforts have significant potential to close a part of the gigatonne gap. All countries need to use the upcoming workshops to give absolute clarity on the assumptions behind their pledges.

 Review: Bonn needs to continue from the Durban decision by preparing decisions for Qatar on the first periodic review’s scope and other modalities, such as the body to responsible. It is crucial to reach agreement on these remaining items in order to guarantee a timely start in 2013 and for the review to advise the COP’s decision in 2014 and its action in 2015. The opportunity to reinforce science-based knowledge into the highly political UNFCCC negotiations should not be missed.

 International Transport: Discussions to address fast-rising emissions from international shipping and aviation are under way in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but have been deadlocked on certain issues. Parties can speed progress there through guidance in the UNFCCC on how to address CBDRRC, and in particular inviting them to direct revenue raised to the Green Climate Fund, in accordance with the principals of the Climate Convention.

 Finance: Fast Start Finance comes to an end in 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like rich countries are planning for Fast Finish Finance instead. For example, the EU's finance ministers meeting this Tuesday may only agree to "continue" climate finance post-2012. ECO knows that this could mean a drop in funding levels compared to the 3 years since Copenhagen. Parties must use this year's Work Programme on Long-term Finance to agree on a pathway and promising sources of public finance. At Doha, parties need to capitalise the Green Climate Fund, set the Board in place and finalise the GCF host.

 Flex Mex: In order to prevent repeating past mistakes, ECO would like to see strong environmental and social safeguards for the new market-based systems under LCA. In SBI, Parties have another chance to adopt a meaningful CDM appeals procedure that would empower all local and global stakeholders, including project-affected peoples and communities.

 Adaptation: On National Adaptation Plans, Parties have to move forward by scaling up financial support immediately to allow LDCs and others to carry out well-designed, participatory planning. These processes should also inform the ADP negotiations towards 2015. On loss and damage, ECO reminds Parties that in Qatar they need to advance items like the consideration of approaches, including an international loss and damage mechanism and climate risk insurance facility.

 MRV: There are two outstanding issues on MRV that the LCA must address. First, there is the need to agree on common accounting rules – without these there can be no robust IAR/ICA processes nor rigorous carbon markets. Second, ECO is disappointed that all references to NGO participation in the IAR and ICA processes were deleted and expects that there will be opportunities to input into these process as they occur.

 Legal: ECO would assume that parties have now agreed that what they are negotiating will be legally binding. It is time to move forward, building off the agreements from Durban, with substantive discussions. An immediate priority should be that a work plan is developed under the ADP with clear milestones for each year leading up to 2015. The work plan should also agree that at some stage there will be a legal group to sort out the outstanding legal issues.

 Capacity Building: There is a chasm between ambition established by the Marrakech Framework and reality today. Over the last 11 years, a small set of developing countries and blocs (BASIC, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Israel, etc.) have built their capacity on their own, not as a result of outside support. That still leaves around 140 developing countries lacking the capacity to tackle climate change, even in the near future. In Bonn, the Durban Forum on Capacity Building must scale up capacity development and delivery. LCA should maintain its dedicated sub-item for capacity building.

 Technology: The Technology group needs to focus on two key issues this time. First, ECO asks for more information to be made public regarding the Climate Technology Centre and Network, before the report is presented to the SBI. Second, an effective ADP workplan must address the unfinished LCA technology issues in order to send the right political messages for an effective Technology mechanism.

 Agriculture: ECO expects the agriculture discussion will focus on the goal of maintaining and sustainably increasing food security, particularly in developing countries, whilst putting strong focus on the agricultural sector's adaptation needs. These issues are urgent, as most of the rural poor in developing countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Negotiations must assist small-scale food producers and other vulnerable groups in becoming more climate change-resilient.

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CAN Submission: Workplan for the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action

CAN welcomes the establishment of the Ad Hoc Working group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.  Now that Parties have agreed to negotiate a legally binding instrumentto be adopted no later than 2015, it is time to negotiate the substance. 

CAN sees two distinct timeframes within the Durban Platform – the work to increase ambition in the short term, as identified in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Durban Platform, must occur in parallel with negotiations for reaching an ambitious comprehensive global climate change agreement by 2015 at the latest.  CAN has detailed the actions necessary to increase ambition before 2020 in an earlier submission.  Evading near term responsibility will undermine the chances of a successful 2015 agreement and have a catastrophic impact on the climate.

Parties must learn from the disaster at Copenhagen and ensure that in 2012 they agree on a clear workplan towards 2015 including a timeline for achieving key issues, marked by clear milestones and deadlines.  Parties must commit to meeting these milestones and deadlines and honour this commitment.  Parties will need to conclude a number of agenda items in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Parties must build into the workplan a balanced package of decisions to be agreed annually.

Equity, including common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC), needs to be at the very heart of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action for it to be able to deliver adequately for the climate.

The internationally legally binding protocol now under negotiation must include common and accurate accounting, MRV, strong compliance and enforcement, all respecting the principles of equity, including CBDRRC.  It must have fair targets and actions that are consistent with a 1.5ºC global carbon budget.  It should build on, develop and improve the rules already agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention.

After the disaster of Copenhagen, leaders do not have another ‘trick up their sleeve’.  Countries must deliver this comprehensive deal by 2015 at the latest, putting in place the first steps in the pre 2020 ambition workplan, ensuring that warming stays below 1.5oC, hence preventing catastrophic climate change.  There is no atmospheric nor political space for a second failure.

CAN Input: Rio+20 Agenda, April 2012

The current negotiating text for Rio+20 does not fully and explicitly recognise the urgent need to act on climate change as part of a global action plan for delivering sustainable development.

This paper outlines the elements CAN believes essential to be dealt with by leaders at the Rio+20 Summit. In summary Rio plus 20 must:

1. Increase political will and ambition

a       Ensure strong legally binding commitments and real urgent action to rapidly transition to  a low-carbon and climate resilient future that includes development of renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed clean energy (excluding coal-based power plants, nuclear power plants and mega-hydropower plants);

b       Acknowledge the lack of delivery on previous commitments agreed at Rio, including the UNFCCC commitments for all countries to reduce emissions to allow ecosystems to adapt and to ensure that food production is not threatened, and that developed countries would provide sufficient finance and other support to enable developing countries to undertake mitigation and adaptation. Acknowledgement of the now urgent need to address the current environment, development and climate change crisis by committing to ambitious levels of binding action, in line with science and equity and with clearly measurable outcomes and milestones.  Rio+20 can provide political impetus to the relevant fora - the UNFCCC and others - on the appropriate level of ambition of these commitments;

c       Recognise that delivering sustainable development requires tackling both the roots of the environment crisis and the poverty crisis simultaneously;

d       Fully recognise  historic responsibility and equity issues associated with addressing the current global environment and development crises and that solutions to these crisis must be based on principles of equity including common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability;

e       A renewed emphasis on the poorest people and those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, acknowledging that all countries will be impacted by climate change, with developing countries the least able to cope;

2. Facilitate a fair green economy

a       Support a rapid global transition to fair green and sustainable economies;

b       Endorse the ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative with a strong call for action and a 2020 milestone;

c       Commit to reorient wasteful consumption patterns towards sustainable ones, including by adopting indicators other than GDP that integrate social and environmental costs and benefits, promoting themore efficient use of resources and improving waste reutilization;

e       Commit adequate and predictable new and additional long-term finance to support developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change with a particular focus on addressing the current structural underfunding of adaptation needs;

d       Remove fossil fuel subsidies, beginning with production subsidies;

f       Support the integration of an increased focus on resilience in the context of climate impacts,  market shocks, food price hikes and increasingly frequent and/or intense weather-related disasters; increased action on disaster risk reduction and the inclusion of food security, rights and justice;

3. Agree to true Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

a       The Sustainable Development Goals currently being discussed need to i) be universal, ii) be based on equity and fundamental human rights, iii) embed climate change as a cross-cutting issue,  and iv) be formulated through open and inclusive processes;

4. Protect forests and REDD

a       Agree to stop deforestation and degradation of natural forests, as well as restoring degraded natural forests by 2020 at the latest;

5. Realise sustainable agriculture and food security

a       Build the adaptive capacity of smallholders to the long-term impacts of climate change and ensure agricultural policies address food security and take into account environmental limits, carrying capacity, equity and social issues, particularly gender equity.

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