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Climate Action Network International (CAN) released their expectations for the upcoming Conference of Parties in Durban a couple weeks ago. On the fifth day of Climate Talks in Bonn, Julia-Anne Richards, CAN’s International Policy Coordinator, explained CAN’s expectations for what the UN Climate Talks should achieve between now and the Climate Conference in Durban at the end of the year.

As the sun set on the first week of negotiations at the Bonn Climate Talks, the sense of urgency to ignite action on the second phase of Kyoto is palpable.  Climate Action Network releases clear expectations for the UN talks as negotiators, politicians, industry leaders and NGOs scramble for position on the fast track to Durban.  Others, fearing futility already jinks the journey, lasso their hopes beyond  COP17 to focus on Rio+20.

Beyond the conference, in ever increasing numbers, scientists are joining the ranks of advocates for mass  non-violent civil disobedience as a last ditch effort to shake up governments, industry and the media to the real possibility of global extinctions and millions of climate refugees unless CO2 emissions revert back to the life sustainable level of 350 parts per million.

Environmental activist Bill McKibben says that "in this fight, we are the conservatives. The radicals are the people who want to alter the composition of the atmosphere.” (Source)

This past April, University of New England professor John Lemons and Penn State’s Donald Brown stated in the online version of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics: “Non-violent civil disobedience is justified when there is a history of long-standing harm or violation of people’s fundamental rights, when legal and policy means have failed to reduce the harms and violations, and when there is little time remaining to address the problems.”

This call to civic engagement and a need to return to the glorious shared vision of Rio's first World Summit, is further incentivized in an article yesterday by Michael D. Lemonick Ancient Warming Has Disturbing Implications for Our Future. Lemonick reports on a paper published by an international research team working with well-preserved and rich marine sediments  from the Arctic's Spitzbergen Island. The team has been able to estimate just how rapidly CO2 entered the atmosphere at the beginning of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

PETM began nearly 60 million years ago, and represents a period of time when CO2 levels rose rapidly and remained elevated for almost 170,000 years before dropping. During this period,  temperatures around the world averaged a temperature rise of approximately 9°F.

“Our major conclusion,” says lead author Ying Cui, a graduate student in geosciences at Penn State, “is that we’re pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at about ten times the average rate during the PETM.”

Mahlet Eyassu, Climate Change Program Officer at the Forum For Environment in Ethiopia, took a few minutes to share the climate finance state of play, midway through the UN Climate Change Conference Conference in Bonn.

Lester Brown, founder of the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute and author of the just-published World on the Edge, says people just don't realize how little time we have left: “The cliff is not that far away.”  (source)


The 34th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began Monday and continues through June 17 in Bonn, Germany.

Burning Issues

CAN: Key Points for Success in Durban

Among the major issues CAN addresses are the need for developed countries to move to the top end of their current pledges for cutbacks in GHG emissions with the end goal of surpassing 40% reductions by 2020; the closing of all loopholes, such as those permittted through interpretations of LULUCFaccounting procedures; and a clear articulation of the mitigation levels achievable with support.


Long Term Cooperative Action (LCA)

In her June 10 column for Adopt a Negotiator, Anna Collins inquires Long-term (what?) Action.

We bandy the acronym LCA around at the UNFCCC on a daily basis. LCA is one of the 4 big sets of negotiations that go on here, it’s where the big political negotiations around pretty much everything other than developed country emission reduction targets happen. The LCA was formed after the 2007 COP in Bali to address some big issues (disclaimer: policy wonk language coming up…), these are:

    * A shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions
    * Enhanced national/international action on mitigation of climate change.
    * Enhanced action on adaptation.
    * Enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation.
    * Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment to support action on mitigation and adaptation and technology cooperation. (continue reading) Adopt a Negotiator, June 10, 2011


Exploring South Africa's role in climate negotiations

SEI research fellow Aaron Atteridge discusses the role South Africa will play as host of COP17 in Durban from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, exploring the fact that unlike the other BASIC countries -- particularly China and India -- climate change is not a huge issue in country nor is South Africa under pressure to assume mitigation commitments. Therefore, he suggests, assuming an ambitious and agressive climate diplomacy stanch will not score many political points for this year's host country.

The identity projected from South Africa reveals elements of both a developing country and industrialised economy, and this dichotomy influences its approach to climate diplomacy. A post-apartheid desire to present moral leadership, a neo-liberal view on both its own and regional economic development, a desire to transform the power structures in international institutions and a grounding in African reality are among the key driving norms.


Climate Change and Food [In]Security

A recent CCAFS CGIAR report Mapping Hotspots of Climate Change and Food Insecurity in the Global Tropics matches "future climate change “hotspots” with regions already suffering chronic food problems to identify highly-vulnerable populations, chiefly in Africa and South Asia, but potentially in China and Latin America as well, where in fewer than 40 years, the prospect of shorter, hotter or drier growing seasons could imperil hundreds of millions of already-impoverished people."


Climate Finance & Carbon Markets

African Carbon Forum,

The 3rd African Carbon Forum, a matchmaking and facilitation faire for carbon project developers to engage investors and carbon buyers while dicussing  developments in the carbon market as well as the success of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as it applies to Africa.   The Forum was launched in 2006 by the UN Secretary-General as part of the Nairobi Framework to better support the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) in underrepresented regions, including Africa. Currently, less than two percent of nearly 2000 CDM projects have been registered in 58 countries.


Educate Yourself

Become involved in the UNFCCC talks. Follow their progress. Define your position. Recognize that an informed and involved citizenry is mandatory for these talks to succeed.  

Watch the UNFCCC webcasts
Download Daily CAN ECO newsletters
• Follow daily reports from Adopt a Negotiator
Bookmark the UNFCCC calendar
Familiarize yourself with some of the official UNFCCC negotiating lingo (or the more user-friendly Jargon Buster)
Read CANs expectations for Durban


Read previous coverage of the Bonn Talks along with other articles on Climate Change @ Beyond Kyoto.

Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 6:11 AM PT: Earth Negotiations Bulletin report on highlights of Day 5 of talks

Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 6:12 AM PT: CANs June 11 ECO out

Originally posted to Beyond Kyoto on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Pink Clubhouse, DK GreenRoots, and Climate Change News Roundup.

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