Eco Digital Blog

Submitted by ECO Editor on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 03:41

Upon arriving in Copenhagen, US Special Envoy on Climate Todd Stern said: “Emissions are emissions. You’ve just got to do the math. If you care about the science, and we do, there is no way to solve this problem by giving the major developing countries a pass.”

ECO does care about the science and we have done the math. Stern and other developed countries may be interested in the conclusions.

IPCC AR4 highlighted the need for 25-40% cuts on 1990 levels by 2020 for developed countries and substantial deviation from business-as-usual (BAU) for developing countries by 2020. Subsequent peer reviewed science identified this substantial deviation as being in the range of a 15-30% deviation from BAU (subsequently adopted as the de facto yardstick by EU and others). As the IPCC  has  also pointed out, these mitigation targets give the world a 50-50 chance of averting a rise above 2˚C. More importantly, the disparity between woeful developed country ambition and the levels of actions proposed by developing countries are fairly stark.

According to recent estimates of Project Catalyst, an initiative of Climate Works, it is developing countries that are within their proposed emissions reductions range, and towards the upper end of it.

Using the high range figures for proposed mitigation actions and plans, Project Catalyst estimates that every developing country stating a target fell within the 15-30% range. And two exceed it – Brazil with 39% deviation from BAU and Indonesia with 41%.

Submitted by ECO Editor on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 03:40

Today, the chair of the Adaptation Fund (AF) will explain the achievements of the Adaptation Fund Board this year in a side event. ECO urges all those who still perceive the AF as a politicised negotiating body and not as an existing institution caring for effective adaptation to attend the event and update your knowledge.

At Bali two years ago, three innovative characteristics were already agreed: automatic funding through a 2% levy on CDM projects, majority developing country representation on the Board, and the mandate to provide direct access to funds.

The Board has recently added two other innovative features: a strategic priority directing Parties to give special attention to the most vulnerable communities when submitting proposals, and transparency in decision making (including live webcast of all meetings and the future possibility for public comment on submitted proposals).

The Board will soon approve the first projects. But resource limitations at present continue to make it difficult to adequately respond to programme-based needs.

Submitted by ECO Editor on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 03:38

The sixty-first anniversary of the Human Rights Day was celebrated yesterday across the world. It was especially relevant to the negotiations in Copenhagen as the realisation of all human rights depends on a viable climate. Climate change threatens livelihood, health, access to water and survival. Hence, the Copenhagen outcome must especially acknowledge and protect human rights.

ECO applauds delegates for the most recent Shared Vision text acknowledging that climate change has implications for a range of human rights. However, this good start misses some crucial elements. Shared vision must require mitigation and adaptation activities to be undertaken in a manner that respects, protects and promotes human rights. Vulnerability based on poverty, gender, age, indigenous or minority status and disability should be added to the text acknowledging geographic vulnerability. And more than “seeking” stakeholder participation, shared vision must guarantee access to information, effective participation and access to justice.

Climate justice for the poorest and most vulnerable requires integrating human rights into all aspects of the agreement, not just the shared vision. The mitigation and adaptation texts must reiterate Parties’ existing human rights obligations. Adaptation text must recognise the fundamental human rights of internally or internationally displaced people.

Submitted by ECO Editor on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 03:36

Canada’s government must be working overtime chatting up reporters here in Copenhagen. The news they’re so eager to spread is that, according to Yvo de Boer, Canada has been “negotiating very constructively” this week.

The Canadian delegation is obviously as surprised as we are that anyone has good things to say about Canada, the home of one of the weakest mid-term emission targets in the industrialised world.

It cannot be Canada’s record on Kyoto compliance that impressed the UNFCCC’s chief official. (In case anyone has forgotten: Canada’s emissions are now a solid 34% above that pesky Kyoto target.)  The lack of financing pledge probably hasn’t won Canada any new friends either.

We also doubt de Boer was impressed by Canada’s decision to show up in Copenhagen without a serious plan for domestic emissions reductions. (Note to Canada: “waiting for the US” is not actually a plan. Nor is “massively expanding the tar sands.”)

Submitted by ECO Editor on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 03:09

“And that is why helping farmers feed their own people — or nations educate their children and care for the sick — is not mere charity. It is also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades.

Submitted by ECO Editor on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 23:43
Submitted by ECO Editor on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 11:35

Webcast Notice

View Briefing:

Submitted by ECO Editor on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 09:06
Submitted by ECO Editor on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 04:44

ECO could not help but hear the roars of applause in the hallways yesterday as Tuvalu reentered the COP in the afternoon.  What prompted such a boisterous response? Tuvalu, supported by AOSIS and other most vulnerable countries, called for a Contact Group to discuss its proposal of a new protocol under the Convention.  Amidst pressure from various Parties, they stood behind their call. In a time where bold and yes, perhaps risky, action is required to ensure a fair, ambitious and binding agreement, Tuvalu’s momentous actions are to be commended.

Submitted by ECO Editor on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 04:43

Back in 2007, Liverpool Football Club were finalists in the UEFA Champions League. This year they didn’t even qualify. Take a peek at their targets, and you see that Europe must be experiencing a similar feeling to Liverpool. Back in 2007, when Europe signed up to a 20% cut in its emissions by 2020, the world was a different place. Bush was in the White House, and his allies in Australia and Canada hid behind his intransigence. In contrast, Europe was leading the pack. Well, gone are those days. Now Japan has tougher targets than Europe, Norway too.