Tag: Mexico

Refreshing winds of change from Mexico

Ministers failed to deliver climate action on Thursday and Friday, and the planet treated us to stifling heat yesterday in Bonn. Fortunately, a cooling breeze from Mexico has reached ECO to remind us that the warming can be stopped and that the heat in Bonn (and in the UNFCCC negotiations) can be reversed.

This breeze started off a few months ago in Mexico, as the government there published its Climate Change Special Program 2014-2018 that commits to unilaterally reduce emissions by 90 MT CO2e by 2018. Additionally, a 2018 Renewable Energy Special Program was agreed to, which sets a goal of increasing renewable energy’s share of electricity generation from the present 15% to 25% in 2018 and 35% in 2024. These renewable power increases would be coming from wind and solar.

Based on energy demand projections, this target actually represents a doubling of present renewable energy generation to 80 TWh per year. The monopolised electricity grid is opening up to more clean and distributed power by independent producers, and provides options for customers to specifically purchase renewables. There is a whisper floating around that there is more of this to come, and it must, especially if funding from the Green Climate Fund is made available to Mexico and if energy reforms are implemented sustainably. ECO, of course, acknowledges that all of these changes are based on the Climate Change General Law, which aims to reduce emissions in 2020 by 30% compared to projected business as usual levels, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050.

More than 50% of Mexico’s population is below the poverty line due to deep inequalities. Its per capita GDP is on par with the global average and per capita CO2 emissions are below the global average. Yet, Mexico is doing more to confront climate change than many wealthier nations because it realises that its own interest isto take action. This is a critical first step towards achieving the phase out of GHG emissions that Mexico called for in its intervention on Sunday in the ADP.

ECO pleads with Parties that they allow this fresh breeze into the ADP Workstream 2 engagements so that more Parties can be inspired to follow suit. If Mexico can achieve a 10% increase in the share of renewables in its electricity grid over the next four years, surely other high-emitting nations can do the same — or more — to close the pre-2020 emissions gap.

Just imagine how much more could be accomplished if wealthier countries ramped up their support for efforts like those being taken in Mexico and other developing countries. Developed countries need to harvest their own low-hanging fruit by stepping up energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment. Mexico is showing that we don’t need to let the heat build and build until 2020 – we can (and must) act now to stop the warming!

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Viva México: ECO Welcomes Mexico's 2050 Climate Change Vision; Now Global Funding Must be Made Available to Implement It

 

Mexico's 2050 Climate Change Vision report is a welcome step in its path to a low-carbon future.

Mexico has included an emission reduction goal of 50% by 2050 compared to 2000 and 30% with respect to business as usual by 2020 in its Climate Change National Strategy. While Mexico has communicated it will do everything possible to meet these targets, according to both these documents and the General Climate Change Law, these targets are subject to the availability of international funding and support.

The measures detailed in the report include a massive deployment of public transport systems, stringent energy efficiency standards in the construction and industrial sectors and a rapid escalation of renewable energy as key elements for achieving a low-emissions economy.

Despite this, the best strategies will be waylaid if funding to implement them is not available. A substantial part of the measures included in Mexico's 2050 Vision Strategy are shown to have the potential for significant positive impacts on the Mexican economy, and are intended to be supported through their own funding. However, there are significant actions that would incur short- and medium-term financial burdens for the country and need support from a start in the operation of the Green Climate Fund.

The next step for Mexico should be to develop clear NAMAs on each of these additional measures, with the associated financing requirements. Mexico is presently developing such a program. Developed country Parties must ensure the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC has sufficient resources to support these measures.

There is real opportunity to demonstrate that support is available for leader countries such as Mexico to achieve what they have set themselves to achieve. Otherwise, our efforts to keep global warming below 2°C will be thwarted.

 

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Bring Out the Tequila

Watching the UNFCCC process from afar, one may well feel that the world is trying to address its carbon addiction by developing a new addiction to endless agenda fights. While many of the countries most responsible for climate change provide excuse upon excuse for woefully inadequate mitigation action, others are putting their shoulders to the wheel and getting on with saving our planet.

On this occasion, ECO wants to celebrate the approval of the Climate Change Law in Mexico, which represents not only an important step for the country, but a clear benchmark for others. This new law helps to give political continuity by building on existing efforts to address climate change. It strengthens the institutional structure to address both mitigation and adaptation by setting a common vision for all sectors of the economy.

Central to the law is the recognition of Mexico's COP15 commitments – namely, a 30% pollution reduction below BAU by 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2050. Furthermore, the new law mandates a share of 35% clean energy in the power sector by 2024. The law also promotes the creation of a Climate Change Fund, which recognizes the need for registry instruments to record and efficiently manage funding from international cooperation, and mandates an allocation of federal budget to this fund (the exact amount is still to be determined).

By accepting the Climate Law, the Mexican legislature has achieved something truly remarkable. Through wide participation by all parts of society to develop the law, Mexico has shown the world that it is possible for any country to make a binding commitment to a better, low-carbon future. The message from this example is clear: countries need not wait until 2015, and definitely not until 2020, to embrace the advantages of low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable development. If a developing country like Mexico can achieve this, ECO wonders – surely the USA, Canada, Russia and Japan can do the same and more. Action is clearly possible, necessary and extremely urgent. The window for limiting global temperature increases to less than 2°C is closing fast, but Mexico has shown that hope remains. Now, it just remains for other parties to stop talking and start doing.

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Midweek MRV

Halfway through the meeting in Panama, ECO would like to present an assessment of progress made thus far. Overall, ECO is happy to note that Parties are very busy preparing and discussing text.  There are still potential storm clouds on the horizon for Durban, however ECO hopes that by the end of this week Parties can get agreement on producing a set of decision text that can narrow the remaining political differences and lay the groundwork for important steps forward in Durban. While not comprehensive, here is ECO’s take on some of the issues under discussion here this in Panama.
Substantive discussions on issues related to legal architecture have percolated up in Panama - including in the LCA informal group on Legal Options (despite Saudi Arabia's best efforts to squelch those discussions).  But there is clearly no meaningful convergence on these issues, and the process lacks a forum for having the cross cutting dialogue necessary to ensure coherent outcomes of the two tracks in Durban.  While outside the main talks here, the Mexico-PNG proposal to address voting procedures is a welcome attempt to focus attention on improving the efficiency of the UNFCCC process.
On the pathetically low levels of developed country ambition – Parties have shown signs that they are at least at step one: recognising they have a problem.   ECO hopes that Parties can come up with a clear process on how to address the gigatonne gap in Durban and happy to see there are some proposals on the table.
On the LULUCF issue being addressed in the Kyoto Protocol track, ECO applauds the principle put forward by the G77 this week in its proposal to treat natural disturbances using a statistical approach. ECO is waiting to see if this new proposal will also be transparent, robust and conservative.  On the other hand, the implications of New Zealand’s proposal for “flexible land use” raises significant concerns that this could wreck other parts of the LULUCF accounting rules and has the potential to cause further damage if used in REDD.
The opening informal on finance kicked off with clashes over whether to negotiate the Standing Committee or long-term finance (scaling up 2013-2020 finance as well as sources).  After Bonn, ECO anticipated that Parties would finally agree to focus on long-term finance.  But it didn’t take long for disappointment to take hold as the US, other umbrella group members and even some EU countries refused to discuss text  – with the US insisting that responsibility lies with individual parties to determine how they will reach the $100bn Cancun commitment.  If that’s the case, ECO thinks the US should be made to say what their plan is! Chief among the innovative finance sources that should be addressed is bunkers, where a decision under sectoral approaches to guide the International Maritime Organization to design a carbon pricing instrument taking into account the principle of CBDR would be a significant outcome in Durban.
Discussions on the scope and modalities of the 2013-15 Review happily included an IPCC briefing on the scope and timing of its Fifth Assessment Report and how its findings could contribute to the review process.   ECO urges Parties to creatively design and adopt at Durban a three-year work program that creates an ‘upward spiral of ambition’.
ECO welcomes that views on the Adaptation Committee became clearer during the last few days and that more and more Parties are considering ways that civil society can be an active part of the committee. But in the next three days, nothing less than draft decision text will do -- especially as seven other critical issues on adaptation remain to be addressed in Durban.
The technology facilitator has shown commendable initiative in developing draft decision text. However, the first reading of the text throws into relief the developed countries’ attempts to thwart progress by bracketing various critical elements and options essential for operationalizing the Technology Mechanism by 2012. ECO urges parties to ratchet up the speed of drafting decision text through pointed discussion around critical issues and ensuring that the Cancun Agreement timelines for operationalizing the technology mechanism are met.
Finally, ECO is pleased that negotiators are intensively addressing the myriad issues involved on MRV, including ICA, IAR, and biennial reports, that text is being developed, and that NGO participation in the IAR process is under serious consideration.  Similar consideration, though should be given to such participation in the ICA process.  

A Slew of Fossils and Rays Awarded On Second to Last Day of Bonn Talks

16 June, 2011

A Slew of Fossils and Rays Awarded On Second to Last Day of Bonn Talks
Bonn, Germany – With just over a day left in the United Nations climate change
negotiations here, countries showed they still have plenty of energy left to delay
progress in the fight against climate change, while other nations showed they
recognized how important civil society is in moving the negotiations forward.
Frequent “winner” Saudi Arabia took another Fossil, joined this time by a surprise
blocker, Antigua and Barbuda, for trying to diminish civil society's role in the talks.
Meanwhile, four nations and the European Union earned a rare Ray of the Day for
supporting the very same civil society groups. Both were overshadowed by the fossil
for Japan's renewed refusal to extend its namesake Kyoto Protocol.

The Fossils as presented read:

"The Second place Fossil goes to Saudi Arabia and Antigua and Barbuda for blocking
attempts to enhance NGO participation. Saudi Arabia is a frequent winner of these
awards and really needs no explanation. They have a long history of blocking just
about everything from legal issues to adaptation, agendas to observer participation.
The Saudis should be isolated for their obstructionist ways and not allowed to dictate
text on this or any other issue. As for Antigua & Barbuda, it breaks our heart to give
your individual country the fossil, but to suggest that we would be moving too fast to
allow NGOs to make interventions without submitting written statements in advance
is just ridiculous! In the fight against climate change, speed is of the essence! For
prompting a lack of engagement and transparency, you two get the fossil!"

"Japan earns the First place Fossil. Yesterday, we heard again Japan’s well known
position that it will not inscribe a target under a second period of the Kyoto Protocol
under ANY circumstance. It is very regrettable that we see no room for flexibility.
The Kyoto Protocol second commitment period is the heart of a Durban package and
Japan’s unchanged position will jeopardize the success of the Durban meeting.
Market mechanisms, which Japan favors so much, may not be used anymore if Japan
doesn’t have a target under the Kyoto Protocol. Is this really OK, Japan? Lack of a
target under the international legal framework would weaken implementation of
domestic policies and actions and lose international competitiveness in a low carbon
economy. We don’t really understand."  

"The Ray of the Day goes to a group of countries who have stood strong for
transparency in the face of attacks from countries hoping to hide behind closed doors.
They clearly recognize the productive and important role NGOs play in this process
and have done all they can to suggest improvements, propose compromises, and shine
a light on this process in the hopes of supporting not only civil society but in so doing
also the global effort to address climate change. On a side note, if more Parties had
similar positions on transparency to these, perhaps we could avoid protracted fights
on agendas and other matters in the future, simply in order to avoid embarrassment.
For these actions in support of transparency, accountability and civil society, we
award this Ray of the Day to the EU, Mexico, Bolivia, Philippines, and Australia."
_____________________________________________________________________
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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We can do it and we must do it!

Sandra Guzman
Program Director Air and Energy
Mexican Center of Environmental Law (CEMDA)
Mexico

I am attending the UNFCCC June Bonn session in Germany. I am one of the Southern Capacity Building Fellows of CAN-International. Last week we lost a lot of time discussing the agenda for this meeting, but we can´t continue with this attitude. It is not fair for the world that is watching us. At least 3000 people who are here need to do something to attain the climate change goal and present fair results to of rest of the 6 billion people in the world.

We can´t wait, this is a demand from us from the people who lives in Africa, in Asia and in Latin-American, and for all civil society that want changes to shape the future.

We are losing our forests in Mexico, and that is not different in Ethiopia, in Uganda, nor Brazil. We are living with real problems already.  This is not fair and the negotiators have the responsibility to decide what is good for all the people, not just for the self-interest of a guided bunch.

We have one week to decide what we are going to do to work to arrive to Durban with a good package. We don´t have time to lose; this meeting is costing energy, money and we can´t waste more time.

Please get to the point, what are the sources of the funds? How is the adaptation board going to function? What is going to happen with the Kyoto Protocol? Where are the real compromises for the parties? We have no more time to waste.

 

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