UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres today predicted that continuing weather disasters, coupled with a reviving global economy, could, sooner rather than later, catalyze governments to aggressively tackle climate change.
"I do remain confident that at some point we will have a tipping point at which countries will be able to move faster, much more," she told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit.
Youth demonstrators appeal to negotiators: No Carbon Markets Without Safeguards(Photo from Adopt A Negotiator Flickr Photostream
Figueres identified three triggers, which she said, could coalesce to create a pathway for the science of climate change to become the most powerful voice for all negotiations: an increase in extreme weather situations, new clean technologies capable of bringing down costs related to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and an economic revival where more countries are feeling their way out of fragile international financial situation.
While the secretary recently announced it is most likely too late to ratify Phase II of the Kyoto Protocol prior to its 2012 expiration, she told Reuters today that negotiators are working on "creative" ideas to create a new path towards developing an internationally binding document, acceptable to all parties.
"It is way too early to identify what path is going to be taken here because they are not at the point of establishing a path. They are opening up the menu of possibilities."
She also expressed hope negotiators will adopt the mechanisms designed for the $100 billion a year Green Climate Fund at the November 28-December 9 COP17 in Durban. The fund, created to assist poor developing countries deal with climate change impacts, is co-chaired by South Africa's Minister in The Presidency Trevor Manuel, Mexican Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero Arroyo and Kjetil Lund, state secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.
"I expect that in Durban countries will be able to adopt the designs of all of these mechanisms," she said. "Having said that, despite all of these huge advances, we are nowhere where we should be in the context of the scientific information we have."
Read the entire story: Reuters Summit-Weather, economy may spur climate "tipping point"
Transparency And Access to Negotiations Blocked. WHY?
Meanwhile, at the conclusion of today's talks, David Turnbull, Climate Action Network Executive Director tweets he is "still fuming about Parties standing in the way of transparency at the #UNFCCC talks. "Guess all that pretty talk was only just that." (The Bonn Talks have seen even further tightening of access to the negotiations, blocking improved NGO participation.)
"We know what Saudi Arabia is hiding. But why would India and Antigua & Barbuda want to support their dirty work and shut NGOs out?" he tweets. "India is often referred to as the largest democracy in the world. Why would they be against transparency? What are they hiding? "
Developing Country of the Day
Uttaradit, Thailand, 26 May 2006 – Destruction engulfs the district of Lablae in Uttaradit province after a mudslide swept through the district and destroyed everything on its path. More than a hundred are feared dead and missing as the province of Uttaradit and other northern Thai provinces were submerged in the area’s worst floods in recent history. Scientists warn that extreme weather events due to climate change will hit hard and more often in the country, along with other parts of Asia. Greenpeace/Vinai Dittajohn
Power and transport are the two largest sectors contributing to increasing GHGs in Thailand. High potential sources of alternative and renewable energy are available but they need clear policy framework and supports to utilise these resources effectively. In these areas we have been working through the Power Development Plan, which is the plan directing power generation for Thailand. Together with other civil society organisations, we have prepared the alternative plan where renewable sources of energy as well as energy efficiency and savings are the focus, which also reflect the potentials for Thailand’s mitigation measure on this sector. Additionally, the role and performance in ensuring good governance and promoting renewable sources of energy in the power sector is also investigated and recommendations will be proposed to the government.
With regards to climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, we have attempted to combine scientific modeling and forecasts with local observations in order to engage people’s participation in addressing impacts, assessing vulnerability and sectors of vulnerability, and identifying areas where adaptive capacity needs to be strengthened or provided that could lead to long term adaptation. We have applied the livelihood vulnerability index and participatory techniques with communities. Through this, we hope to integrate climate change and adaptation into the local plan and subsequently national policy. Wanun Permpibul, Head, Energy and Climate Change Programme, Renewable Energy Institute of Thailand Foundation
Srinivas Krishnaswamy, of Vasudha Foundation India and CAN South Asia, helps us understand the potential legal outcomes of the UN Climate Talks.
Now on the way to the match in Durban, termed the "African COP," many issues need to be resolved to keep the trophy in Africa. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, issues on MRV, numbers in mitigation, institutional settings on adaptation and technology, and the Green Climate Fund are some of them that need some serious consideration to drive this [endless] negotiation to another chapter.
• Climate Change TV : Watch Diana Bronson of etc group, discusses why it's essential to set up a body to assess the different technologies that could be incorporated under the Technology Mechanism. She explains why it needs to be thought through, touching on geo-engineering (and its support from the IPCC) as a critical example of something which could cause longer term damage.
• COP17 Climate Change Talks in Durban: Civil Society which provides a very user-friendly COP glossary
• Climate Connections from the Global Justice Ecology Project
• Climate Action Program: Business Solutions
• IISDIISD's Senior Economist Peter Wooders details how Rio+20 could most usefully focus on a few high-impact initiatives that governments could implement in the short term without international agreement and for their own benefit. He offers several vital recommendations to initiate and support the shift toward a "green economy."
• ICTSD evaluates the sticking points stalemating the Bonn Talks to date in today's article Divergent Paths Plague Bonn Climate Talks
• Conference Documents
Follow coverage of the Bonn Talks and news leading up to COP17 @ Beyond Kyoto.