Tag: Canada

Good Things Come to Those Who Talk

One of the key emerging stumbling blocks for an outcome in Durban is the unrepentant blocking of progress by some countries on long-term sources of finance.  ECO is not amused by the strong arm tactics of the US, Japan, and Canada.  As part of the balanced package in Cancun, countries agreed to meaningful progress on finance, which didn’t just include creating institutions.  After all, why create bank accounts if you don’t fill them with some money?

These few countries are either confident they can get the money they have committed mobilized all on their own, and don't need to talk about how to do that here, or they weren’t serious in the first place.

Giving these countries the benefit of the doubt and assuming they’re serious about keeping their long-term finance commitments, it's not unreasonable for others to ask them what their plan to deliver on those commitments looks like.  Surely discussing the plan with others will also be mutually beneficial - after all, many heads are better than one.

A new process to discuss the mobilization of long-term finance would enable countries to bring their best ideas into the mix. It would enable all countries to start talking about how to implement a certain finance option or set of options. Instead of talking about the “many, many” reasons why they can’t do something, Parties could discuss how to find solutions. Last we checked, saying “no, no, no” doesn’t qualify as problem solving. 

ECO is disappointed that these countries – with so much finance expertise – wouldn’t see an opportunity to help mobilize the kinds of resources needed to address climate change.

Opportunities exist that can help the US, Canada, Japan and others to raise the resources they have committed, if they work with partners in this process, not on their own outside it. Spurring a process to price emissions from international shipping under the International Maritime Organization is just one example.  

So stop blocking and instead help to create a process to bring to bear your expertise in finding solutions. You are claiming that you are doing a lot to scale up climate finance, there will be no gap between 2013-2020 and that you are fully committed to deliver on your long term finance commitments. So why resist moving forward via having text as basis for negotiations?

We know that there are red lines issues, but this shouldn’t be one of them for the U.S., Japan, and Canada.

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Does Anyone think that there is no gap?

Hearing no objection it is so decided. So can ECO take it then, that, thanks to the challenging question by the European Union in Thursday’s workshop on developed country mitigation pledges, there is universal agreement that there is a gap? Fine.

So let’s move to the next step: looking at ways to increase ambition (to close the said gap), which was among the agreed purposes of the workshop, yet tacitly but plainly avoided by most developed country presenters. The European Union, at least, made a good faith attempt on the issue, and, yes, including more gases and sectors is among the things to look at. Yet ECO missed a slide explaining what the MRV- able conditions the EU has to move to (at least!) a 30% target. Instead, we were slightly amused when told that even the 20% target would be hard work. ECO reminds Parties that current EU legislation allows for more than half of the effort needed between 2013 and 2020 to be covered by carbon offsets instead of domestic action. That would also mean that with current emission levels (-16% below 1990 levels), no more domestic action is needed until 2020.

Yet, ECO’s readers will know the story of the one-eyed among the blind. Canada merrily implied that its pathetic target be comparable to the EU’s (considering that Canada is suggesting an increase over 1990 levels), and smartly dodged the question by a delegate how a target that is even weaker than its current Kyoto target could possibly constitute progress towards meeting the 1.5°C/2°C challenge. Canada’s Southern neighbours had, likewise, not much to offer, except maybe the notion that one needn’t be worried about the gap now because the review could maybe fix it later. ECO wonders if the US understands that leaving the gap unaddressed now, will require very, very steep reductions to make up for the delay, and if the US will be the country to champion that.

Delegates planning to attend today’s spin- off groups on developed country mitigation might want to keep in mind the conclusion by the co-chairs at the end of the workshop: that there is a gap, that there is some resolve to address it, and that further work needs to be done. ECO couldn’t agree more and suggests a four step approach for today’s informal sessions: (1) Developed countries make clear what their net domestic emissions will be in 2020; (2) Parties agree to close the loopholes by Durban, e.g. on hot air or carbon offset use, and have Parties not use bogus LULUCF projections meant to hide emissions but use historic reference levels and cover all emissions (see separate article in this issue); (3) Developed countries move to the high end of their pledges, by Durban, as a first important step; and (4) begin addressing the remaining gigatonne gap, by recognizing its size and a firm resolve in Durban to close it through a fair sharing of the globally needed mitigation effort, based on responsibility for emissions and capability to cut them.

And now: it is so decided!

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A fossil hat trick for Canada at the UN climate talks: if only the 'other' Canucks had such luck

Fossil of the Day - Bonn - June 9, 2011 - Canada

First Place Fossil is awarded to Canada. Guess what sector is Canada’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions? That would be the tar sands, where emissions from digging up dirty oil have close to tripled since 1990.

Now guess which sector Canada decided not to report on in its most recent National Inventory Report? Yes, that would be the tar sands again...How could Canada’s government leave out such a crucial sector, you may ask? Well, when Canadian journalists did some digging, they found that tar sands emissions were higher than ever last year. We can’t let Canada’s oil-loving government slide off the hook for that little slip-up. For their tarry approach to transparency, we award Canada today’s first place fossil.

Canada also takes the Second Place Fossil. We’ve all seen it coming, but now Canada has made it official: they’re not willing to take a legally binding target under a second phase of Kyoto. Of course, it’s not like Canada contributed much to the first phase of Kyoto — their decision to walk away without even trying to hit their target puts them at the bottom of the Kyoto class.

The harsh truth? Canada’s track record of climate inaction shows that they need a binding target more than anyone. For failing to recognize that, and undermining this process in the process, we award Canada a second place fossil.

Third Place Fossil Goes to…Canada. While appreciating Canada's cajones (that is "courage" in Spanish) to make a presentation at today's mitigation workshop, the refusal to acknowledge what everyone else in Bonn knows has earned Canada today's
3rd place fossil.  For a long time it has been clear that Canada will not meet it's Kyoto target, yet in response to repeated questions this morning the best Canada could offer was that they could not possibly know until the end of the true up period in 2014. Canada must have its head stuck in the tar sands of Alberta.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

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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A fossil hat trick for Canada at the UN climate talks: if only the 'other' Canucks had such luck

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                       9 June 2011
Bonn, Germany

Contact:
Hannah McKinnon
hmckinnon@climateactionnetwork.ca
Mobile: +1 613 276 7791
T: +1 613 241 4413

A fossil hat trick for Canada at the UN climate talks: if only the 'other' Canucks had such luck.

First Place Fossil is awarded to Canada. Guess what sector is Canada’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions? That would be the tar sands, where emissions from digging up dirty oil have close to tripled since 1990.

Now guess which sector Canada decided not to report on in its most recent National Inventory Report? Yes, that would be the tar sands again...How could Canada’s government leave out such a crucial sector, you may ask? Well, when Canadian journalists did some digging, they found that tar sands emissions were higher than ever last year. We can’t let Canada’s oil-loving government slide off the hook for that little slip-up. For their tarry approach to transparency, we award Canada today’s first place fossil.

Canada also takes the Second Place Fossil. We’ve all seen it coming, but now Canada has made it official: they’re not willing to take a legally binding target under a second phase of Kyoto. Of course, it’s not like Canada contributed much to the first phase of Kyoto — their decision to walk away without even trying to hit their target puts them at the bottom of the Kyoto class.

The harsh truth? Canada’s track record of climate inaction shows that they need a binding target more than anyone. For failing to recognize that, and undermining this process in the process, we award Canada a second place fossil.

Third Place Fossil Goes to…Canada. While appreciating Canada's cajones (that is "courage" in Spanish) to make a presentation at today's mitigation workshop, the refusal to acknowledge what everyone else in Bonn knows has earned Canada today's
3rd place fossil.  For a long time it has been clear that Canada will not meet it's Kyoto target, yet in response to repeated questions this morning the best Canada could offer was that they could not possibly know until the end of the true up period in 2014. Canada must have its head stuck in the tar sands of Alberta.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

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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Umbrella Series Part 1: Canada and the Case of the Missing Tar Sands Emissions…

The tar sands are Canada’s fastest growing source of emissions.  While the country’s emissions in 2009 decreased overall, in large part due to the recession (as we know they ain’t doing nothing on the climate front), emissions from tar sands jumped a whopping 10-20%, and now account for 6.5% of Canada’s overall emissions. This means that emissions from Canada’s dirty oil sector have grown by over 250% since 1990, and with no federal action to keep them under control, the tar sands are poised to balloon even faster in the years to come. 

Where does ECO get these numbers from, you may ask?  You would think the answer is, of course, Canada’s 2009 National Inventory Report (published in 2011), but in fact, they come from investigative reporting by a Canadian journalist – which has been stirring up quite the press coverage in Canada, the US and even the UK.   It seems Canada opted not to report on emissions from tar sands this year, in contrast to their 2008 report (see tables 2-16 and 2-18). 

To be fair, Canada contends that the current UNFCCC guidelines do not require separate tar sand emissions reporting (though ECO will wait for the ERT report before commenting).  Their NIR does account for these emissions, but only under very broad categories like "Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction" or "Fugitive Emissions."  Yet, the nagging question remains:  Why the change, Canada?

ECO welcomes your 2008 NIR effort at transparency, but can only be a bit suspicious that you drop the data category a year later (when emission are on the rise).  After all, you are the only country to downgrade your target after Copenhagen and like to play number games with your targets (Canada’s new target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 is equal to a 3% increase above 1990 or 9% above that pesky Kyoto target compared to the country’s previous unilateral 2020 target of 20% below 2006 levels or 3% below 1990 levels). And it’s a bit convenient, shall we say, to drop sectoral numbers just when the government is talking about introducing sector-by-sector regulations.

In today’s mitigation workshop, ECO hopes Canada acknowledges that tar sands are its fastest growing sector and outlines how it plans to tackle those emissions — as well as those from the rest of the economy — with the speed and gusto required by ever-more-dire climate science.

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