Tag: climate change

The Adaptation Fund Leads by Example

While Parties consider how to set up the new Climate Fund here in Tianjin, the Adaptation Fund, established under the Kyoto Protocol, has reached full operationalisation and set important milestones.

Two weeks ago, the members of the Adaptation Fund Board met again in Bonn and took decisions which mark the beginning of a new era in climate finance. The AFB approved the first two projects which will receive USD $14 million from the Adaptation Fund.

One project originated from Senegal and was submitted through the first accredited National Implementing Entity (NIE), the Centre de Suivi Ecologique. As the first direct access project, it focuses on combatting coastal erosion exacerbated by climate change and rising sea levels in three regions in Senegal: Joal, Rufisque and Saly.  The Senegalese project further stands out in terms of transparency and participation of local, vulnerable people in the decision-making. And it comes with a management fee that is only half of that charged by the multilaterals.

The second approved project was submitted by Honduras through the UNDP acting as the Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE).  This project aims to reduce the vulnerability to climate change of the poorest households in the capital region of Tegucigalpa by improving water management.

Six further project concepts have been approved so far and may result in full project applications soon. But it is also notable that the AFB has rejected a number of projects.  The Board is taking seriously its responsibility for the quality of adaptation funding. Overall, it took two and a half years from the AFB´s operationalisation to the approval of the first projects.   By comparison, the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience under the World Bank so far has not put one single dollar into concrete projects.

In addition, direct access was expanded through the accreditation of two further NIEs, the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Agencia Nacional de Investigacion e Innovacion of Uruguay. And the Secretariat of the AF has also reported that around 30 developing countries have expressed interest in direct access.

Finally, legislation to grant the AFB legal capacity by the German government is well underway and will hopefully be concluded soon, so that releasing project funds can
actually start early next year.

Congratulations, Adaptation Fund Board! You have managed to progress significantly on difficult issues and have led by example.

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The Great Climate Wall – ‘I will act on climate, will you?’

 

In a gesture that signaled more urgent engagement to cool the planet, UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres opened the first international climate conference in this country by sealing the symbolic Great Climate Wall of China, a mosaic wall of 4,000 photos of people from China and around the world who are concerned about our warming planet. 

The executive secretary received a traditional Chinese stamp from 13-year old Ji Mengyang of Tianjin and Chung Jahying, a Chinese youth representative of the Great Green Initiative.  The stamp has the Chinese proverb: ‘With everyone’s determination, we can win anything’. 

Ms. Figueres noted, ‘Addressing climate is not just about governments making the decisions they need to make, it’s about each of us individually having the determination to change our behaviour in our lives. And it’s also about all of us collectively deciding about what kind of stamp we want to leave on the wall of human history.’

This event, sponsored by the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), Tck tck tck and Greenpeace, showcased the latest example of art for the public interest by the Great Climate Wall’s creator, 26-year-old sculptor and fine artist Joseph Ellis.

An American raised in upstate New York, Ellis has lived and worked in Beijing for five years, during which he became the first Westerner to graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ prestigious sculpture program.  Greenpeace worked with Ellis two years ago to design an hourglass presented to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during a climate event at the US Embassy in Beijing. In 2009, Greenpeace commissioned Ellis to execute 100 life-size sculptures of children carved from ice for another climate action.

To create the Great Climate Wall of China, Greenpeace and other NGOs collected snapshot portraits, which Ellis assembled into a mosaic to form a dominant image of the real Great Wall. He printed the impressionist mosaic on fabric, fitted it to supports and assembled the display in side-by-side units to build a tall, colorful barrier with a direct message: ‘I will act on climate, will you?’

The entire project, start to finish, was completed in six days. ‘It’s amazing what you can do in China in just under a week. The people here are incredible and the resources at my disposal never cease to amaze,’ said Ellis.  ‘When we combine our efforts, the chance for change is in our grasp.’

The Great Climate Wall shows just a small portion of the growing global movement of people who are ‘rolling up their sleeves and getting on with it’.  The current wave of action peaks on October 10th with the 10/10/10 Global Work Party with over 7,000 events in 180 countries.  This will be followed by a flurry of activities driven by the development and anti-poverty groups in the GCCA alliance.

The negotiations in Tianjin must make headway and lay the groundwork for breakthroughs on these issues in Mexico this December.  So, dear negotiators, what stamp will you leave this week on the wall of
human history?

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Tianjin 2010 ECO 2

In this Issue

  1. Greetings from Chinese NGOs: Huanying lai Tianjin! Welcome to Tianjin!
  2. The Adaptation Fund Leads by Example 

  3. The Great Climate Wall – ‘I will act on climate, will you?’

Topics: 

LULUCF: The Countdown Commences

 

With Cancun looming, a push is coming to get much of LULUCF finalised here in Tianjin.  ECO cannot stress enough: it is more important than ever to get strong rules for forest management accounting. Proposals in the form of projected baselines for forest management that allow countries to increase anthropogenic emissions into the future without accounting them need to be rejected.

Avid readers will recall that ECO has been calling for emissions from forest management to be measured compared to what happened in the past -- just like all other sectors – and not to uncertain futures determined by Parties. In the current text, the proposal put forward by Tuvalu is the only one that attempts to incorporate this principle, and time must be found on the agenda in Tianjin to discuss this. A methodological review, while helpful in ensuring transparency, will not bring hidden emissions back into the accounts.

Meanwhile, with so much focus on this now familiar issue, we must not lose sight of the other ways in which Parties are attempting to use accounting for their lands and forests to fiddle the system. While negotiators have been knocking heads on rules that may determine whether forest management accounting becomes mandatory (and so it must), what of the fate of the other land use activities? It remains an open question as to whether Parties will still be allowed to elect for cropland or grazing land management, or revegetation.

Additionally, crucial environmental safeguards should be maintained in accounting for natural disturbances so that when the storms come or wildfires rage, these aren’t put forward as yet another excuse for not
accounting for man-made emissions.

We are often told that LULUCF accounting with environmental integrity, while technically achievable, is not politically realistic. Dealing with dangerous climate change will be a much greater political problem than good LULUCF rules could ever be. 

And locking in loopholes in the climate accounting is the last thing that should be on negotiators’ minds.

Topics: 
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When climate change becomes weather change ...

 

‘Hottest day in Los Angeles history’

‘The mercury hit a blistering 113°F (45.0°C) at 12:15 pm PDT yesterday [Monday, Sep. 27] in downtown Los Angeles, making it the hottest day in Los Angeles history. It may have gotten hotter, but the thermometer broke shortly after the record high was set. The previous record in Los Angeles was 112°F set on June 26, 1990; records go back to 1877. Nearby Long Beach tied its hottest all-time temperature yesterday, with a scorching 111°F. And Christopher C. Burt, our new featured blogger on weather records, pointed out to me that a station in the foothills at 1260’ elevation near Beverly Hills owned by the Los Angeles Fire Department hit 119°F yesterday--the hottest temperature ever measured in the Los Angeles area, tying the 119°F reading from Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006...’

– Meteorologist Jeff Masters, www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/

Region: 

Progressing the Nairobi Work Programme

Let’s face it, there hasn’t been that much progress here in Bonn to address the climate challenge. So ECO wants to share some thoughts about the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP).

The NWP was set up by decision 2/CP.11 to support all Parties in addressing vulnerability and impacts of climate change and adaptation. It was established as a 5-year programme and is due to end at COP 16. Through a succession of workshops involving Parties and observers – including NGOs – the NWP has created an open forum where information and experiences are shared in a cooperative manner across nine broad themes encompassing the whole range of adaptation needs. It has provided opportunities where observers can meet informally with Parties to discuss different approaches to similar challenges. Through an informal system of pledges, many different stakeholders have committed voluntarily to sharing knowledge and contributing in practical ways to capacity building. So it is not surprising that Parties are recommending to the COP to continue the NWP beyond Cancún. ECO also supports continuation of the NWP – it is one of the few activities under the UNFCCC that has actually made progress in building capacity to address the impacts of climate change. However, even a good thing can always be improved. 

The NWP has synthesised a lot of information and made it available to Parties and observers, but it still has some gaps to be filled. Here are some issues that the NWP should address in the next phase.  Has the programme had an impact on those most affected by climate change – the vulnerable communities in the LDCs and SIDS? How could the NWP be enhanced to meet their needs? How can a wider range of stakeholders, including indigenous peoples, be engaged to share their knowledge?

In a spirit of participation, there will be an informal meeting including observers, and an opportunity for all stakeholders to make submissions to the Secretariat, to collect views on the performance of and future scope of the NWP. ECO recommends that Parties engage more in the NWP and fully recognize its lessons not just on adaptation but also on cooperation in other areas of work under the UNFCCC.

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Loss, Damage and Survival

The failure of industrialized countries to reduce emissions and provide support for adaptation  means that some countries on the frontline of climate change are facing unavoidable impacts on their economy and for some, their survival as nations. In the face of this threat, small island states and other developing countries have tabled a loss and damage mechanism in the adaptation negotiations. Disliking certain elements of the proposed mechanism, the pre-Copenhagen strategy of quite a few developed countries was to kill the issue by not talking about it at all. Ignoring the issue is not an option: it will not go away. In picking up the pieces from Copenhagen, parties should bring creative thinking on how to help people and countries when sea levels rise, lands disappear under water and deserts spread. ECO applauds the Chair for putting Annex I countries on the spot by posing questions on this issue. However, the answers given by Australia, Japan and others show that Annex I has still not grasped the rapidly growing importance of this issue. Strengthening existing initiatives on risk reduction and insurance is a good start but will not be adequate by themselves.  A scale shift in global commitment and new mechanisms will be required to address the impacts both of extreme weather events and the more slowly emerging disasters of disappearing coastlines. A vital action ingredient is for Parties to acknowledge the consequences of unavoidable impacts. If most of 
London, for example, were just 1 meter above sea level (instead of a posted average of 24 m), would Annex I be more engaged?

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Fossil of the Day - 5 June 2010

FOSSIL OF THE DAY AWARDS
Bonn, Germany, June 5, 2010
The Climate Action Network (CAN), a coalition of over 500 NGOs worldwide, gives out  'Fossil of The Day' awards to the countries who perform the worst during the past day's negotiations at the UN climate change conference.
The awards given out on June 5, 2010 in Bonn, Germany were as follows:
The United States of America was awarded First Place. The U.S. earns the Fossil of the Day for blocking the common space discussion on mitigation in the Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action yesterday. Failing to pass a strong climate and energy bill is keeping them from participating in cross-cutting discussions, like the one AOSIS proposed, to build a post-2012 agreement to reduce global warming emissions.
About the fossils:
The Fossil-of-the-day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, also in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum.
During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), a worldwide network of over 500 non-governmental organisations, vote for  countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

FOSSIL OF THE DAY AWARDS

Bonn, Germany, June 5, 2010

The Climate Action Network (CAN), a coalition of over 500 NGOs worldwide, gives out  'Fossil of The Day' awards to the countries who perform the worst during the past day's negotiations at the UN climate change conference.

The awards given out on June 5, 2010 in Bonn, Germany were as follows:

The United States of America was awarded First Place. The U.S. earns the Fossil of the Day for blocking the common space discussion on mitigation in the Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action yesterday. Failing to pass a strong climate and energy bill is keeping them from participating in cross-cutting discussions, like the one AOSIS proposed, to build a post-2012 agreement to reduce global warming emissions.

Video:

Fossil of the Day - June 5, 2010 from Sébastien Duyck on Vimeo.

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