Tag: KP

Arrgggh, Canada!

We really thought thought Canada couldn’t get any worse . . .

But now credible reports are saying that before the end of the year, Canada is going to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. This can only be seen as an unacceptable breach of trust in the global climate talks, where the vast majority of the world recognizes the urgent need for meaningful action on climate change including a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

With the intention to abandon Kyoto next month, Canada is negotiating in outrageously bad faith here in Durban. Countries should be asking why Canada is sitting at the Kyoto negotiating table with a hardly-secret plan to withdraw from the protocol. They should demand to know Canada’s position, and if they really are planning to let the world down, they should immediately leave the KP negotiations.

Canada has been singled out as a global laggard on climate change in recent years, so this newest and grandest failure is not a surprise. In the midst of dire warnings about climate risk from even the International Energy Agency, Canada’s position is both dangerous and immoral.

Canada is acting on behalf of polluters, not people. It is no secret that Canada’s climate and energy policy is focused on rapidly expanding their tar sands oil production and attempting to kill clean energy policy abroad.

Yesterday, activists around the world protested against Canada’s push to open markets to dirty oil at the expense of the climate. In Canada, Greenpeace activists used LED emergency lights to write “Climate Fail” in huge letters on the lawn of Parliament -- a message that is even stronger following yesterday’s revelations.

Demonstrations also took place in capitals including Paris, Berlin, Oslo and Stockholm as well as outside of the Department of Transport in London, protesting the UK’s support for allowing tar sands oil into the EU.

Canada’s plan is a slap in the face to the international community. Canada is isolating itself even more in these talks as a country that not only is refusing to take meaningful action at home, but also one that has lost the trust and respect of the international community here in Durban and around the world.

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Canada Wins 1st and 2nd Place Fossils – Threatens KP, Insults LDCs

Fossil of the Day - Day 1 - COP17 Durban South Africa

Photo Credit: Sarah Rifaat

Video Credit: OneClimate

Durban, South Africa – The first day of the United Nations climate change
negotiations started off badly for Canada. It earned the First Place Fossil of the Day
for failing to support a Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol, and
abandoning even its current participation in Kyoto. It also took Second Place Fossil
for insulting the Least Developed Countries, some of the nations that will suffer most
from Canada and other industrialized countries' greenhouse gas pollution. Rounding
out the awards, the United Kingdom received Third Place for helping to move tar
sands oil into Europe.

The Fossils as presented read:
The 3rd place fossil of the day is awarded to the UK, following revelations that UK
Ministers have done a deal with the Canadian government to support the entry of tar
sands into the European fuel supply chain, undermining proposed provisions of the
European Fuel Quality Directive. The UK does not appear as frequently as Canada on
the fossil roll-call, but when they do, they do it in style. Despite claiming to be the
'Greenest Government Ever', the ruling coalition in the UK has become champion for
the world's dirtiest fuels.
The UK might have a different opinion from Canada on the value of the Kyoto
Protocol (we hope so), but there is one thing they can agree on - a Government's best
friend is its oil lobby.”

"The 2nd place fossil of the day is awarded to Canada following statements by their
environment minister that they are coming to Durban to “play hardball” with
developing countries. This quotation from Canadian Environment Minister Peter
Kent, doesn’t even require paraphrasing in typical fossil humour – it is sufficiently
outrageous on its own:
‘Emerging and developing countries need to stop “wielding the historical guilty card”
and asking for a free pass on emissions reductions just because in the past,
industrialized countries had more emissions than the rest of the world’.
Hands off, LDCs; that “free pass” on emissions reductions belongs to Canada!"

"The 1st place Fossil also goes to Canada. Although Canadian environment Minister
said he hoped to win less fossils then his predecessors, he is not off to a very good
start! Canada has proven its fossil track record with 4 consecutive fossil of the year awards,
but if you can believe it, it seems they are even worse than we thought!
Environment Minister Peter Kent has articulated clearly that they will not budge with
international pressure on a second commitment period of Kyoto (a great attitude to
have in negotiations). This is unfortunately not necessarily a surprise, Canada has
been ‘separated’ from its Kyoto targets for years, but it seems they are headed for
divorce.

In fact, reports are saying that on Canada’s side it is already a done deal, and yet hear
they are, planning to spend two weeks negotiating a treaty they intend to soon
abandon.

This is a tough one for fossil because it is hard to joke about. Canada is here in
Durban in bad faith. Countries should be asking themselves why Canada is sitting at
the Kyoto negotiating table with a secret plan to formally withdraw from the protocol
mere weeks after the talks end.

This move is a slap in the face to the international community. Canada is further
isolating itself in these talks as a country that not only is refusing to take meaningful
action at home (tar sands anyone?), but also one that does not deserve trust and
respect from the international community here in Durban.
Shame on Canada."
_____________________________________________________________________
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and
individual action to limit human-induced 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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CAN Intervention, AWG-LCA Closing plenary, 7 October 2011 (English)

 
CAN intervention
Closing AWG-LCA Plenary
Panama, October 7, 2011
 
Delivered by Sandra Guzmán, CEMDA
 

Thank you Mr Chair
 
I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
 
To get to the deal we need in Durban, we have some advice for some of the countries present
here:
 
EU: You know what you have to do. The KP is in your hands
Australia and New Zealand: Get off the fence. Commit to a Kyoto 2nd Commitment Period.
Japan, Canada, Russia: don’t destroy our only legally binding multilateral treaty.
LDCs and AOSIS: stay strong. we stand in solidarity with you
US:  
     o Come with a mandate to reach agreement on long-term finance in Durban.  
     o Agree to a common accounting system based on the KP rules.
BASIC - your domestic climate leadership can shape the future climate regime we all need.
This is your time!
Africa: Durban is your COP, it is your moment, fight for the agreement you need.
 
To you all: Address the gap in ambition between your pledges and what the science requires.  
Be prepared to come to Durban TO ADOPT THE SECOND COMMITMENT PERIOD OF THE KYOTO
PROTOCOL and AGREE ON A MANDATE FOR A legally binding outcome in the LCA.  IT is time to
bring A SENSE OF URGENCY to these negotiations... IN DURBAN, YOU WILL GAIN A LOT IF YOU
GIVE A LITTLE.   

Thank you Mr Chair
 
 

 

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Getting the Durban Deal Done

ECO has been clear in its call for a three-part outcome in Durban: adoption of a strong second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; a mandate for negotiation of a more comprehensive and ambitious longer-term climate regime based on both scientific adequacy and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities; and a package of decisions facilitating near-term action on all four building blocks of the Bali Action Plan and implementation of the Cancun Agreements.

Let’s make something else clear: building a long-term structure for fair and effective international action on climate change is important, but what really matters is meaningful action supporting peoples and communities already suffering the negative effects of climate change, and collective emission reductions at the scale and pace needed to avert even more catastrophic impacts in the future. The best legally binding treaty instruments in the world don’t amount to much without emission reduction ambition in line with the science and financial resources commensurate with the need.

 Coming out of Panama, there has been some progress in developing draft text on many of the elements of the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements.  But the prospects for linked agreements on extension of the Kyoto Protocol and the negotiations on a longer-term legally-binding instrument are not bright, absent significant changes in the negotiating positions of a number of key countries.  Let’s look at them in turn.

 EU.  Fair or not, the EU holds the key to the Durban outcome.  If the EU does not come to Durban with the clear goal of adopting a second commitment period (not some fuzzy political commitment) the Kyoto Protocol will wither and die.  On Thursday, the EU laid out a clear set of elements for negotiations over the longer-term treaty that would assure that a KP second commitment period is a bridge to a more comprehensive and ambitious legal framework. EU environment ministers need to be careful not to set overly stringent conditions for such negotiations when they meet next Monday in Luxembourg.  

 Australia and New Zealand. While the view from atop the fence is nice, these countries need to get off of it and make clear they are ready to join with the EU, Norway, and others in embracing a second KP commitment period.

 Japan, Russia, Canada.  These countries claim they are bailing out of Kyoto because it doesn’t cover a large enough portion of global emissions.  They need to come to Durban prepared to reconsider their position if agreement can be reached on launching negotiations on a longer-term treaty regime, or risk being perceived as multilateral treaty-killers, not treaty-builders.

 US. The one developed country that stayed out of Kyoto, in part because the Protocol didn’t include major developing countries, claims it is willing to enter into negotiations on a new legally-binding instrument.  But it has set very stringent conditions for the launch of such negotiations, while acknowledging that these conditions almost guarantee no agreement on a negotiating mandate in Durban.  Meanwhile, the US is struggling to meet its already inadequate emissions reduction commitment, and has been reluctant to discuss ways of meeting the $100 billion by 2020 annual climate finance goal its president committed to in Copenhagen.  At the very least, the US must contribute to such discussions in Durban, not attempt to block them.     

The LDCs and AOSIS. The moral power of the most vulnerable countries needs to be heard, highlighting both the existential crisis they face and the reprehensible failure of those responsible for the problem to face up to it.  These groups support both the extension of the KP and a mandate for negotiation of a new legally-binding instrument; they must continue to work together in Durban to achieve both of these goals.

The BASIC countries.All four of these countries are leaders in taking domestic actions to limit their emissions growth as their economies continue to rapidly develop.  Their leadership is also needed on the current fight to preserve a rules-based multilateral climate treaty regime.  They should certainly continue to demand a second Kyoto commitment period.  But they should also call the US’s bluff, by indicating their willingness to negotiate a more comprehensive long-term treaty regime including binding commitments for all but the Least Developed Countries, as long as it’s truly based on principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility.              

 All countries must come to Durban prepared to negotiate in a spirit of compromise if we are to achieve the ambitious package of decisions needed to address the mounting climate crisis.  Ministers must take full advantage of their time together before Durban, at both the pre-COP ministerial consultations and the likely pre-Durban meeting of the Major Economies Forum, to explore constructive solutions to the current roadblocks to such a package of decisions.  Then in Durban, they must work actively under the guidance of the South African presidency to bring the deal home.  Their citizens need – and expect – nothing less.

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The Mandate

Yesterday, ECO noted that there are three groups of countries in the legal form negotiations that each need to bring proposals to the table at Durban: the KP developed countries, the non-KP Annex I Parties and the developing countries.

ALL the developed countries that have ratified their Annex B targets for the first commitment period should have their targets ready to plug and play for CP2. The non-KP Annex I Party[s] need to increase their ambition, be part of a common accounting system and MRV to bring forward the established KP systems - how else would the Bali Action Plan’s agreed ‘comparability’ be achieved?

Many are suggesting that we are facing a transitional period, where the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol keeps alive an architecture that, through Article 3.1 and other elements, keeps a science-based approach at the core of the global response to the climate threat. Through this post-2012 period, the elements of a new comprehensive legally-binding agreement[s] needs to be developed. In ECO’s view, this agreement needs to be in the form of a Protocol[s], or other such appropriate legal instrument, that respects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

However, we will not attain comprehensive legally-binding agreement[s] equal to the challenge we face unless Parties find common cause that such an agreement is needed. In ECO’s view, in addition to KP Parties agreeing a second commitment period in Durban, all Parties must agree on a mandate to negotiate a legally binding instrument covering all Bali building blocks under the LCA. This mandate needs, at a minimum, to agree:

-   what the result of the negotiations will be, specifying that Parties are working towards a legally binding instrument with legally binding commitments

-   the end date (ECO would suggest 2015 would allow time for institution building and for experience of MRV to bze enhanced)

-     the scope

-     the process, including forum

-     principles to guide the negotiations

Without a mandate for the third period of the climate regime, we will again face a gap – between commitments, but also in ambition, and the resulting sense of the world moving forward together to avoid the worst that an human-altered atmosphere can throw at us.

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Don’t Lose Sight of the Laggards

ECO has consistently called for a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol and has long decried the decision of George Bush not to ratify the KP.  Furthermore, ECO is dismayed that the countries that respectively put the Kyoto in the KP, brought it into force and started negotiations for its second commitment period – Japan, Russia and Canada – are behaving like petulant toddlers, hiding in the corner rather than joining the Kyoto party. Meanwhile, other countries - the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and others -  are expressing various degrees of lukewarmness about the KP second commitment period.

However, this analysis misses what is needed from two other groups of countries in order to have a balanced package in Durban, both in terms of the form and substance of the outcome. The KP second commitment period is absolutely essential. But the global climate crisis requires global action.

Thus support from developing countries for a mandate for a legally binding agreement under the LCA, which ECO thinks needs to be in the form of a protocol or other appropriate legal instrument is fundamental to the solution.  

However, there is another group of countries that seem to be trying to escape responsibility.  The non-KP developed country[s], from which and about there has been the greatest silence of expectations, need to be called out. It seems clear that whatever is agreed under paragraph 1.b.i of the Bali Acton Plan (developed country mitigation) in Durban, it will be in the form of a COP decision, but it is also clear that ALL developed countries need to offer more than inadequate pledges as their contribution to the global effort to avoid a 4  ̊C world. Those that remain in the KP will at least maintain a solid legal framework with economy-wide targets and a strong common MRV and compliance system, even if their current targets are at woefully low levels. ECO would love to explore with Parties ideas to strengthen 1.b.i so that it does not become the grotesque poster child of a pledge and review 4  ̊C world.

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