Reposted from DK GreenRoots by boatsie
Make no doubt about it. Christina Figueres gets it. In a meeting today with youth activists at the Bonn Climate Talks, the UNFCCC executive secretary reiterated her clear understanding that climate change is THE primary human rights issue in the world and that science must inform all decisions relative to appropriate action.
Eventually, she said, economists “…need to, have to, reconfigure themselves and get what this is really all about.”
Four days into the Bonn Talks, negotiators finally agreed on an agenda, amidst mounting pressure to reach common ground to extend the Kyoto Protocol-- currently the only treaty which caps GHGs beyond 2012 -- at the November 28- December 9 COP17 in Durban, SA.
Under Kyoto, the EU along with 35 other nations formally agreed to 5.2 percent reductions of GHGs from 1990 levels by 2012. The United States did not ratify Kyoto and Japan, Russia and Canada last year announced their unwillingness to sign on to a Phase II unless all major economies ratify the treaty.
Figueres suggested Tuesday the worst case scenario might be a gap between rounds one and two of Kyoto, most likely due to insufficient time and the apparently implacable policies of some of the industrialized countries, which continue to thwart the successful negotiation of a solution by 2012. Under the Copenhagen Accord, a 2013-2015 review -- also approved in the Cancun Agreements -- was accepted by the plenary to evaluate whether the global 2 degrees C goal is adequate, or if it should be decreased to 1.5.
At the conclusion of today's talks, Ambassador Argüello of Argentina and Chairman of the Group of 77, expressed his eagerness to get down to the formal business of mapping out the agreements for adoption at the upcoming talks in Durban.
"At this point, this is a two-track negotiation where the progress in one track necessarily affects progress in the other," he said. "We cannot go home empty-handed. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the political conditions for a meaningful second commitment period are there, and hope all actors are doing the same".
Stating that the sense of urgency is contributing to the slowness of the process in that it is causing some inflexibility among delegates who sense this is the final opportunity "to promote interests that are vital to them," Argüello said, "there is a real will at least from the Group of 77 and China, to complete the mandate we have and to extend the international climate regime for the next five years, including a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol with binding obligations of high levels of ambition that can actually move us to our goal ... We need definitions, people want to know whether the important issues are on the table, or not".
Other options to Kyoto could conceivably emerge from a 'coalition of the willing', consisting of the EU, the G77 and a few others or the LCA negotiating track.
Writing the Daily Tck wrap up on Day 4 in Bonn, GCCA Communications Director Christian Teriete says the debate on the LCA (Long Term Cooperative Action) agenda continues to dominate negotiations, much as it did earlier this year during the talks in Bangkok.
Do we spend the year ensuring what was agreed in Cancun gets operationalized in Durban, or do we also put equal focus on other elements that are considered important by various countries and NGOs. It has trickled down into the focused discussions on key building blocks, where parties are spending quite some time figuring out what’s on and what’s not. Yesterday, for example, the US and Canada got Fossil of the Day awards for blocking a discussion about sources of long-term finance that other parties felt was important to have. This and other examples show that some of these “relocated” agenda discussions are about legitimate concerns and sometimes also very much in our interest, but overall we are also dealing with a speed and spirit that might not get us where we need to go in time. That’s why AOSIS was awarded with a rare Ray of the Day on Tuesday, applauding their plenary intervention that reflected a constructive and positive spirit.
AOSIS: Tuesday's Ray of the Day
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a group of 43 countries demanding global temperatures rise no more than 1.5 degrees C, Tuesday announced its intention to accept voluntary emissions cuts agreed to by industrialized nations in Cancun IF the cuts became legally-binding targets. AOSIS agreed to this concession, despite predictions that current pledge levels will result in a 4 degrees C rise in average world temperatures.
"If we're going to get started urgently we need to provide the confidence which you can only get from a legal agreement, so let's take what we did in Cancun and make it binding," AOSIS chief negotiator Leon Charles told Reuters Tuesday.
OH! Canada! NO
Today's CAN Fossil of the Day Award(s) (AKA worst country in the world) goes to ... CANADA because the country:
• did not include emissions generated by the tar sands in its National Inventory Report
• WILL NOT take a legally binding target under a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
• announced it cannot determine if it can make its Kyoto I target until end of the 2014 assessment period (read Anna Collins A good day not to be Canadian… from Adopt A Negotiator.
Officials from Australia, China, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and the Philippines were highly critical of Canada's policies regarding the Alberta tarsands, their insufficient investments in clean energy, and the manner in which they applied scientific methods to determine their GHGs.
"I was also struck that the colleague from Canada didn't refer to the tarsands issue or at least only once in passing," said Peter Betts, the lead European Union negotiator and a director at the United Kingdom's Department of Energy and Climate Change, during the session. "This has been an issue featured much in the press, and I know there have been allegations from the press that the emissions from that sector have not been included in Canada's inventory (report submission to the UN)." (Source)
In other developments, The Executive Board today called for public inputs on the development of solar cooking methods for the Small Scale Working Group (SSC WG)
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.