Thank you Mr Chair,
My name is Maike Pilitati. I’ll speak on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
As CAN has consistently emphasized, the Kyoto Protocol is important to help close the
gigatonne gap between your pledges and what is needed for the well-below 2C ambition that
YOU have agreed – let alone the 1.5C limit that is more consistent with the ultimate objective of
The gigatonne gap can be addressed through the KP in 2 key ways:
First, developed countries need to increase their pledges. Currently we only have 12-18%
reductions from 1990 levels – and that meager offer is from the group of countries legally
obliged to “take the lead” to avoid climate catastrophe. But even if developed countries move to
the high end of their pledges, this will not get us anywhere near the 25-40% IPCC range required
to limit warming even to 2.0-2.4C increases. We simply don’t understand: why are developed
countries, by dragging their feet now, choosing to put themselves on a more expensive and less
efficient path to decarbonization? QELROs are meant to drive domestic transformation to a low
Second, CAN reminds delegates that, as the current economic crisis shows, dodgy accounting
leads to collapse. Developed countries are merrily using smoke and mirrors to undermine their
low ambition even further through proposing ever more loopholes, – leading us to a 3, 4 – or
more – degree world. And you all know what that means for all of us. Let us be clear: what the
atmosphere sees is what counts.
Distinguished delegates, In Bonn you need to clarify the assumptions underlying your pledges on
domestic action, LULUCF accounting, hot air carry over and offset use. That would help us to
build on Kyoto’s existing common accounting framework and agree QELROs that are fair and
Thank you Mr Chair.
While waiting (and waiting) for the AWG-LCA to begin, ECO thought it prudent to educate itself on the topic that seemed to be keeping everyone up late into the evening. Turns out that one word was holding everyone up: “Agenda”.
What does it really mean? Why does such a seemingly simple word cause such consternation and hungry dinner-less evenings?
Merriam-Webster defines “agenda” in two ways. First, it says an agenda is “a list or outline of things to be considered or done”. Seems pretty straightforward to us. ECO outlined this list of needed things to be considered in yesterday’s edition. Dear delegates, it was so easy – We even devoted a whole page so it could be easily presented!
However, the second definition from Merriam and Webster began to shed a light on what may have been delaying the evening’s events. The second definition interprets “agenda” as: “an underlying often ideological plan or program.”
In the AWG-KP, earlier in the day, the agenda in both senses of the word was clear. Agree to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and fix its loopholes. As was said, time and again, the politics must be dealt with so the details can be agreed.
But, what ideological plan should the AWG-LCA use to underpin its work? This too, is actually simple, despite the long discussions. Take the steps necessary to implement what’s been agreed, and move forward towards increasing ambition and achieving a comprehensive fair, ambitious, and legally binding agreement as soon as possible.
With this in mind, ECO welcomes the proposals made to include the critical elements missing from the Cancun Agreements, such as increasing the level of ambition in order to close the gigatonne gap, identifying sources of finance to fill the fund. ECO further agrees with many parties that items on elaborating further measuring, reporting, verification guidelines, and agreeing on the legal options for an agreed outcome should be included as well.
It was a long night of lists and ideology. ECO hopes today will be a day of agreement and action.
Opening LWG-KP Plenary – Bangkok
CAN intervention, April 5, 2011
Thank you Mr. Chair,
My name is Sven Harmeling. I’m speak on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
The KP track’s work this year can play an important role in narrowing the gigatonne gap. According to UNEP, this gap could be up to 9 Gigatonnes in 2020 globally, equivalent to the combined annual emissions of China and Russia. CAN urges higher ambition than that assumed by UNEP, so sees an even bigger chasm between the pledges and needed action.
To help close the gap, first, Parties need to address the loopholes we heard about in Sunday’s workshop, used perversely by some to stall their own low-carbon transformation.
o LULUCF rules should increase accountability and such that these sectors deliver emissions reductions. This means:
• Not using questionable projected reference levels but using historical reference levels.
• Not hiding emissions but accounting for all emissions, including other land uses such as cropland and grazing land management, and rewetting and drainage.
o Rules for any new market and non market mechanisms shouldn’t diminish already low levels of ambition and must not allow double counting, ensuring additional emissions reductions and funding flows.
o Rules are needed to minimise environmental damage from hot air.
Once these loopholes are closed, Parties need to increase their aggregate pledges so that they add up to more than 40% - top end of the 25-40% range that you acknowledged in Cancun. This is needed to put us on a pathway with a reasonable probability of achieving the well-below 2C goal, and keep the 1.5C goal in reach.
Additionally, CAN would like to take this opportunity to remind Parties of some of the quite-literally vitally important elements of the KP architecture that need to be conserved and developed post-2012, namely its:
o long-term viability as a framework that can be appropriately updated for each commitment period;
o aggregate goal for developed countries, allowing appropriate consideration of the science;
o legally-binding, economy-wide, absolute emissions reduction targets;
o common accounting, MRV and compliance.
We urge Parties not to throw away the good work of the last 14 years, and to commit to a second commitment period in Durban.
Cancun, Mexico – Canada earned the 1 place Fossil of the Day for only supporting
the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol if it didn’t have to take on any pollution
reduction commitments for itself. This is Canada’s fourth Fossil, and second 1st place
Fossil, at the Cancun negotiations. On Monday, it took all three Fossils for a year
spent weakening its greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Canada currently has earned the
most Fossils of any country in the Cancun climate change talks.
The text of the award reads:
“Canada earns the 1st place Fossil. Yesterday we learned two things about Canada and
• The UNFCCC Executive Secretary named Canada as one of the countries not
willing to commit to a second phase of Kyoto here in Cancun
• A Canadian negotiator told Climate Action Network Canada that ‘no one is
trying to kill Kyoto.’
To you and me, that might sound like a contradiction. But upon investigation, it
turned out that Canada is perfectly happy to see Kyoto continue — it just shouldn’t
have any targets in it. In other words, the patient isn’t dead: she’s just had her heart
removed. This chilling vision of a ‘zombie Kyoto’ earns Canada a first place Fossil.”
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
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.
COP 16 will be the seventh Conference of the Parties since the Kyoto Protocol entered into force in February 2005. That’s a lot of talking. And the physical layout of these meetings means there is also a great deal of walking.
But, lack of progress in the negotiations shows that so far not enough governments are ‘Walking the Talk’.
To highlight this disconnect, Greenpeace is hosting More Walk, Less Talk, a competition to find the person – and the country – that covers the most ground in Cancun. And there will be fabulous prizes!
As we all know, walking is very good for us – among its many benefits it is credited with improving circulation, bolstering the immune system, and helping keep us in shape.
It is also, of course, good for the climate.
So, the race to the future starts now. Grab your step-counter . . . reset . . . and go!
Get your pedometer from the Greenpeace booth or Greenpeace representatives around the Moon Palace. Register at morewalklesstalk.org. Winners will be announced on December 10th.
And by the way – did we mention the fabulous prizes?
There is more than a touch of irony that on the same day the Secretariat released a compilation of Party submissions on ways to enhance the engagement of observer
organizations, those same groups were kept out of all AWG-LCA drafting groups.
ECO hears the reasoning for closed sessions is that negotiators will speak more freely and make better progress without representatives of civil society in the room. This is not entirely convincing, but ECO will certainly be looking for demonstrable signs of progress the rest of this week in Tianjin.
Eco is confused. There seem to be a number of different definitions of ‘balance’, a word that has become high fashion in the halls of the Tianjin conference centre.
But what is balance? Is it ‘allow me’ or ‘after you’? There have been a range of so-called ‘balanced options’ put forth in these negotiations. A lot of times, though, it seems to be more about sequencing than balancing. Some examples:
• Transparency before Finance
• Architecture before Ambition
• Higher Ambition before NAMAs
• Kyoto before LCA
• Rules before Targets
Instead, ‘balance’ should mean getting something you want, but also something of what you don’t want, in order to move forward. But consider other comparisons that are also coming into play, such as:
• Profits before Science
• Coal before Floods
ECO would like to gently remind Parties that if one ‘balances’ the actions on climate change actually taken recently by countries against the number of major climate impacts felt this year, the scales do not tip in favour of an outcome that resembles any sort of equilibrium.