Tag: Bangkok

CAN Intervention - Expert workshop on the Technology Mechanism - 04, Apr, 2011

Expert workshop on the Technology Mechanism
CAN intervention, April 4, 2011

Thank you Mr/Ms Chair,

My name is Manjeet Dhakal from Nepal and I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

The technology cooperation mechanism has been discussed for a long time and we now have a basic framework for an institutional structure under the UNFCCC. However, the entire initiative is put at risk by the failure to establish a mechanism for evaluating whether or not proposed technologies are “environmentally sound" and are worthy of support. Essential to any technology evaluation is the full and authentic participation of civil society.

The achievements of the Cancun Agreements were the formation of a Technology Mechanism, including the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). We urge the delegates to frame the TEC so that it can decide on every activity that will be carried out under the climate technology cooperation framework, and agree that the CTCN will operate under its supervision. Both bodies must ensure balanced representation. There is no doubt that the vulnerable courtiers, particularly LDCs would benefit from CTCs, so we humbly request parties to prioritize these countries while allocating the locations of centers.     

One of the frustrating elements of the Cancun Agreement was that the issue of IPR was thrown into the recycle bin. We urge the parties to put the IPR issue back on the table for constructive discussion.

Parties need to work hard on technology this year to reach a positive conclusion. Along with the work programme discussion scheduled to happen here in Bangkok, the IPR issue also needs space on the agenda.

We urge accountable and transparent reporting of the TEC to the COP and effective means of oversight of the CTCN. This will bring some amount of transparency in the whole process.
 

Topics: 

CAN Presentation - Observations on Current Developed Country Mitigation Pledges - 3 April 2011

Developed country pledges: Where are parties after
Cancun?
1. Adopted: 2oC goal
2. Agreed: consider moving to 1.5oC
3. Recognised: 25-40% range for developed countries
4. Agreed: scaled-up effort necessary to
• achieve the global goal
• move developed countries into 25-40% range
 

To view the full presentation, view pdf above.

View additional background information.

Lessons to be taken from the Workshop on developed country QELROs - May 2011

Developed country pledges: Where are Parties after Cancun?
In Cancun Parties agreed on keeping warming below 2°C and agreed to consider moving to
1.5°C. Parties also recognised the 25-40% range for developed countries. At the same time
developed countries recognised that current pledges are too low, that deep cuts are needed
and that mitigation efforts must be ‘scaled-up’ - with developed countries showing
leadership.
The workshop revealed that there is urgent clarity needed on the following points:
1. Developed countries must clarify what their true emissions will be, i.e. their
assumptions on forests and other land use accounting, the use of carbon offsets and
hot air carry-over, in order to close all loopholes.
2. Developed countries with current pledges below the 25-40% range must explain how
their low pledges
- should be compensated for by other developed countries making higher cuts
instead,
- are consistent with their fair share of the globally needed mitigation effort.
3. Developed countries whose pledges are
- below their current Kyoto targets, and/or
- below BAU under existing domestic legislation and targets (e.g. efficiency
targets),
must explain how those pledges constitute progress.
4. Developed countries must explain how their 2020 pledges will allow them to
achieve near-zero emissions by 2050.

... to read the full document, view the pdf above.

View the presentation.

NGO BRIEFING: Civil society expectations for Bangkok, and lessons learnt from Japan crisis

Media Advisory – Webcast Notice
April 4, 2011

UNFCCC CLIMATE TALKS IN BANGKOK

NGO BRIEFING ON THE NEGOTIATIONS

Civil society expectations for Bangkok, and lessons learnt from Japan crisis

[Bangkok, Thailand] 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 Bangkok this week. International NGO experts will discuss Bangkok in the context of agreements reached at COP16 in Cancun in December and goals for the upcoming COP17 in Durban. In addition, Japanese NGOs will talk about the unfolding nuclear catastrophe in their country and assess Japan’s positions in the talks. A local Thai NGO representative will brief the press on the current flooding events hitting the country.

The briefing takes place in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, April 4, at 14:30 local time (07:30 GMT), UNFCCC Press Conference Room, UNESCAP Building. It will be webcast live at:
http://unfccc2.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/110403_AWG_Bangkok/templ/ovw_li...

NGO experts on the panel will include Tim Gore of Oxfam; Tove Ryding of Greenpeace; Naoyuki Yamagishi of WWF, and Tara Buakamsri of the South-East-Asian NGO network AFAB.
 
What: Briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Bangkok

Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room, UNESCAP Building, Bangkok

Webcast Live via www.unfccc.int, or at:
http://unfccc2.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/110403_AWG_Bangkok/templ/ovw_li...

When: 14:30 local time (07:30 GMT), Monday, April 4, 2011

Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 600 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, +1-202316349 (US mobile), or +66(0)808067305 (Thai mobile)

###
 

Related Member Organization: 

City preps and countries posture ahead of Copenhagen talks

As Copenhagen prepares for December, a strange combination of Christmas lights, clean energy expos, evergreen wreaths, and security barriers have begun to crop up around the city.  It's an exciting time to be in Copenhagen reflecting on a year of intense pressure, activity, and engagement around the world.

Over the past several months (and years), a growing movement has coalesced around the conference here next month and it's hard to believe it's finally almost here.  In June, the sleepy German town of Bonn saw hundreds of activists descend in the rain upon the normally quiet Subsidiary Bodies negotiations at the UNFCCC's home.  Thousands around the world participated in the September 21 Global Wakeup Call.  Then in Bangkok in October thousands marched outside the UNESCAP building calling for climate action.  October 24th saw the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history, spearheaded by 350.org, with over 5000 even in 181 countries around the world.

And now, rumors of tens of thousands are looming on Copenhagen, including, by my count so far, at least 15 Heads of State who have committed to attending the talks (although Yvo de Boer said in Barcelona that he expects at least 40).

The last time I wrote, it was a dark and gloomy day in Copenhagen.  But today was beautiful - the sun was out, the weather warm, and the bustle on the street was electric.

The last time I wrote, I was convincing myself, and others, that all was not lost for December.  Now, on this bright and sunny day, I'm as convinced as ever that world leaders can achieve an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen if they try.

Even in the past week, we've seen movement around the world.  The Alliance of Small Island states continue to raise its collective voice of conscience against a weak outcome in Copenhagen.  We've heard that the Chinese would be willing to bring a number to the table in Copenhagen.  We've seen South Korea confirm a voluntary emissions reduction target of 30 percent below business as usual by 2020.  The European Union has said that it would like a binding agreement in Copenhagen.  France and Brazil came out with a "climate bible" - an agreement between two nations to work together on climate change.  This follows Brazil's previous announcement of voluntary emissions cuts of 36-39% by 2020 below business as usual in a "political gesture" some weeks ago.

Even the Danish government, which had caused so many hearts to sink with its proposal of a "politically binding" outcome in Copenhagen, seemed to change its tune...if only just a bit.  The Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, Connie Hedegaard (who will chair the negotiations in December), spoke in a press briefing at the close of the preparatory meeting last week, assuring the world that her aim is a legally binding outcome from the negotiations.

Finally, eyes continue to focus on the US.  In the joint announcement between the US and China, President Obama indicated his team could bring further commitments to the table in Copenhagen.  As Copenhagen creeps towards December, the question remains, will Obama come to Copenhagen?...and if so, will he come bearing gifts or a lump of coal?

The Grand Rehearsal for Copenhagen

What a difference only three weeks has made. Delegates, before checking up on your homework assignments from Bangkok, let's take a step back and look at the wider political picture.

Several governments previously not seen or heard from are frantically preparing for Copenhagen. Their heads of government and state want to make a strong statement when the big show premieres in 34 days ... and counting. These leaders want to do the right thing for their people and the planet. They are asking the hard question: What has prevented negotiators from implementing the Bali consensus?

Two things are standing in the way of an equitable agreement that limits or prevents dangerous global warming: too much fear and not enough ambition.

First, there is unsubstantiated fear of a legally binding agreement. ECO has written before about the commitment-phobes wandering these hallways. Responsibility and trust are what´s needed here!

Without trust -- and the transparency and accountability that underpin it -- no real deal can be had.  But just as important, without those that have the greatest historical responsibility coming forward, Copenhagen will go down in history as the largest, most expensive party in the restaurant at the end of the universe.

Secondly, there is insufficient ambition, and here is what we mean: enough ambition to have a future ... to enable people to enjoy the fruits of their labour without the constant fear of looming environmental disaster ... the ambition to leave to the next generation a greener planet.

Transition to low carbon development must be brought about within the next decade. The foundations for this urgently needed shift must be contained in the Copenhagen agreement. And what do we mean by a fundamental shift?  Only good things: investment in green technology worldwide, drastic cuts in emissions, and support for sustainable development and adaptation that really works.  Real ambition leads to a real transition.

Moving forward this week, Parties need to produce the manageable strong negotiating text that somehow eluded them in Bangkok. The important questions can be answered.  ECO knows you can do it.

The temptation to declare success along the road to Copenhagen, no matter what the outcome, will of course be great. So, to help sort the high road from the other roads, this week ECO will highlight attempts to greenwash and continue to award Fossils to those Parties who have earned them.  Remember, however, proposals that banish fear and build ambition will be get praise just as swiftly and surely.

The negotiations this week offer delegates an opportunity to give strength to vulnerable communities and make our ecosystems stronger. Decisions and discussions to date have yet to fully embrace that opportunity. It's time to pick up the pace from Bangkok, focus on the essential elements of a Copenhagen agreement, and prioritise the remaining time on negotiating those key points.

So for those who have misplaced the homework assignment from Bangkok: What do we want out of Barcelona? Progress, including but not limited to elements in the highlighted box.

The rising tide of local climate action is capturing the hearts and minds of people around the world. As we get to work in Barcelona, many of them are working just as hard to raise awareness and strengthen the resolve of their political leaders from Delhi to Washington, from Warsaw to Tokyo, and say, just do it in Copenhagen. Will you?

The Elephant in the Room

Look carefully around you: there is an elephant walking the hallways in Bangkok (it’s not the local type). It’s an intangible but very sizable beast: 7.5 to 10 Gt CO2e worth of surplus assigned amount units (AAUs).

It’s important to understand the scale of the AAU elephant - almost a third of current, best-case Annex I pledges. If this gets off the track, it threatens to undermine real emissions reductions and collapse the price of carbon when carried over from Kyoto’s first commitment period to a post-2012 regime. This represents a serious threat to the goal of limiting warming to as far below 2oC as possible.

The collapse of economies in transition during the 1990s produced real social and economic hardship. Yet emissions fell dramatically, delaying the reduction of carbon space in the atmosphere.

However, this was by no means the result of climate policy, and rewarding this phenomenon as “early action” contravenes the principle that only targeted, policy-driven changes in greenhouse gas emissions should be accounted for. In addition, to no one’s surprise, surplus AAUs are currently the “grubby outcasts” of the carbon market (even worse than HFCs).

It wasn’t the best idea in Kyoto for Parties to allocate the surplus, but they can join together to correct this error in Copenhagen.

If countries with surpluses want to trade, that needs to be part of a credible, environmentally sound solution.

For example, countries holding extra AAU amounts could agree to a stringent discount (e.g., 60%) of the surplus, if carried over, and the remaining Annex I countries could increase their pledges by another 5%, insuring that overall Annex I aggregate emissions stay more than 40% below 1990 levels in 2020. If countries can’t agree to this kind of solution, carry-over should be forbidden under the Copenhagen agreement.

The EU Commission took a strong position on the AAU surplus issue. Options they have been considering should be rolled into the kind of compromise described above. AAUs cannot be used for compliance in the EU post-2012 climate and energy package. Now the EU can set the tone internationally, reaching a solution to absorb its surplus out of the global compliance system before Copenhagen.

Russia and Ukraine have set 2020 targets, but according to IIASA, those levels could actually be achieved by business-as-usual emissions growth from current levels, while still generating hundreds of megatons of credits annually. Talk about a free elephant ride!

This could divert huge financing flows away from mitigation in developing countries.

Russia and Ukraine should set more ambitious targets, well below BAU, and address the current surplus. While their emissions collapse slowed the growth of GHG stocks, this would be reversed if the Kyoto surplus was used to achieve targets, and especially so if future weak targets generate yet more questionable credits. From ECO’s viewpoint, that would be about as absurd as watching a magician pull an elephant out of a hat.

Time for a Course Correction

The Bali Action Plan (BAP) provides a clear timetable and outline for negotiations aimed toward a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen. That outline differentiates between the mitigation commitments of developed countries and the MRV actions undertaken by developing countries.

The BAP did not, however, provide space for the crucial overarching discussion on architecture. That includes a discussion about the relationship between an enhanced Kyoto Protocol (or a successor Protocol) and the legal outcome of negotiations under the LCA. This architectural debate goes to the heart of the Copenhagen outcome.

Such a discussion will have to include consideration of the comparability of the efforts of those rich countries that have avoided doing so under Kyoto -- especially the United States -- and those who have inscribed their commitments in Annex B.  It should fully consider all architectural proposals that aim to flesh out all the requisite responsibilities, as the climate regime evolves and builds on the solid foundation the Convention provides.

ECO has been a bit surprised by the confusion the US was able to create with its call for a discussion of the “common” elements of the BAP.  Indeed, it is the US that is on review until it is ready to commit to doing its fair share, both in reducing its own emissions and taking on a concrete financial obligation. The clock is ticking on the US Senate turning the good intentions of President Obama into legislative action. Today, the main bill from Senate leadership is being released: game on.  The countdown to Copenhagen continues.

As for the developing countries, based on what they have been tabling recently, like China last week, they have nothing to fear.

Developing countries need not be defensive, and they should welcome a broader debate on architecture.
ECO calls on all delegations to enter into this debate with an open mind, without dwelling too much on the motivations of the US. We welcome political statements if they are used as a means to clarify country positions, rather than as detours slowing down progress towards an equitable and ambitious deal that has real environmental integrity.

These refinements to the course of the debate would help shorten the negotiating text to its bare essence, by articulating areas of convergence and divergence in legal terms and conducting actual negotiations, rather than further process discussions. Yet for all the diplomatic niceties: this is a fight worth having.

[Article published in Climate Action Network's Eco Newspaper, Sep. 30, 2009 from Bangkok, Thailand UNFCCC negotiations - full PDF version here]

Parties light-years apart on finance

Mind the gap?!  That looks like the understatement of the year.

While the deplorable lack of funding for climate change adaptation is clearly being felt right now by the millions of residents of Metro Manila, and many more poor communities are suffering from monsoon disruption and related crop failure in South Asia, developed countries seem to be frozen in place, eyes tightly closed and voices strangely silent.

So far this week, the discussions in the LCA finance contact group have plainly highlighted how a good many developed

countries are attempting to renege on the agreement reached in Bali, where the need for their support to developing countries was spelled out and agreed to by all.

A number of developed countries fought hard to get rid of the very first paragraph in the finance text referring to the “substantial gap” between resources required and those that are currently available. Most disturbing was Canada’s intervention suggesting that the entire paragraph was “too negative” and that the negotiating text should have a more positive tone.

While the negotiations have been tied down for months by the stubborn refusal to put forward specific funding commitments from developed countries, the very same countries are now pointing their fingers at the developing countries and suggesting they should put money on the table for climate action.

The US “generously” recognized the need to scale up finance while counting carbon markets as financial transfers. It’s not clear whether they are talking about scaling up offsets, and thereby allowing developed countries more opportunities to avoid their obligations at home, or scaling up crucial public financial support to developing countries.

Furthermore, during Monday’s curtain raiser press conference, chief negotiator Jonathan Pershing made several statements indicating that the US team has not advanced their positioning on finance since Bonn I. The US ought to have come to Bangkok with numbers on the table, and not with a strategy that is sure to continue stalling the negotiations on financing.

Despite cheery advice from Canada, the predictions for the residents of Metro Manila and other climate-vulnerable areas seem bleak, until developed countries come to the table prepared to fulfill their commitments in Copenhagen.

[Article published in Climate Action Network's Eco Newspaper, Sep. 30, 2009 from Bangkok, Thailand UNFCCC negotiations - full PDF version here]

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