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December 12, 2008: Disappointing Inaction by Industrialized Countries at the Climate Talks

Posted by Kate  

01:30 PM Dec 12, 2008



Kate HornerFriends of the Earth International came to Poznan hoping that industrialized countries would signal to the world that they would commit to steep emission reductions without offset loopholes and to finance developing country mitigation and adaptation. Thus far, they have failed dismally to live up to these most basic obligations.  As the talks come to a close today, the outlook for the intense year of negotiating ahead seems nothing short of dire. 

We are thoroughly disappointed with the outcomes of the talks thus far, and worry that  a post-2012 agreement could finance socially and environmentally damaging practices, sell off tropical forests, and undermine rights to allow annex-1 countries to continue business as usual pollution.

The responsibility for the lack of achievement here in Poznan falls squarely on the shoulders of the rich industrialised Annex I countries, who after 16 years are still failing to take the climate crisis seriously and realize their obligations under the convention. We saw that Annex I countries are spending the majority of precious negotiating time crafting get-out-clauses, loop holes ad offsetting schemes at the expense of agreeing to genuine means and measures to reduce industrial, transport and lifestyle emissions globally. 

If these countries had spent half the time wasted on the get-out clauses actually trying to address the objectives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, we would not be on the brink of catastrophe. The delay in Annex I emissions reduction commitments and the demonstrative disregard for the importance of adaptation and technology sharing is shameful.

Annex-1 countries should immediately commit to at least emission reductions of 40 % below 1990 levels by 2020 and additionally provide finance and clean technology to allow developing country to make a just-transition towards low-carbon economies.

We must draw attention to the absurdity of industrialized countries doing so little and yet managing to shift the blame onto developing countries by focusing exclusively on a handful of developing countries, like China and India, and their role in long-term global emissions reductions scenarios.

This week, the negotiations on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) have taken a very troublesome turn by failing to ensure the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities. Further, by failing to distinguish monoculture tree plantations from natural forests or to recognise the biodiversity benefit of forests, a REDD mechanism stands to fail dismally. 

If REDD is to proceed it must be fund-based mechanism that enforces the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities with direct reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Any REDD scheme must first and foremost benefit those who have been the guardians of forests for generations rather than reward those responsible for forest destruction.

We need all countries to recognise that we stand at a crossroads. We must see a complete shift in the direction of these talks to keep forests out of carbon markets, to have rights recognised and plantations excluded. We need to see meaningful levels of finance for adaptation and mitigation and steep emission reduction targets with no offsetting.

Anything less with be a failure for people and the planet.

++++++

Kate Horner gave a closing statement at the end of the UN Climate Talks as a representative of Friend of the Earth International. That is a version of this statement.  Click here to see it (at counter mark 04:51:36).

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Some thoughts on the neooaittignsThe Copenhagen process had 2 main deficiencies, which conducted all the misunderstandings.1.A conference of such a High level should be properly prepared. That means that a great amount of preliminary work should be done: to clearify the scientific basis of the question; to co-ordinate the project of the decision with all sides. I feel that such a work was not a success that time.2.A conference of such a High level should work out mostly main strategic questions – the main mechanisms of maintaining our Planet clean and safe. All the other questions that are connected to this issue could be easily solved because of the worked out mechanism could give answers to any connected questions. As to COP 15 results I could find no key mechanisms – only decisions on private questions based on different approaches.That is why it is more important now not to criticize the COP 15 Accord, but to make our “work on mistakes”, correct all the defects and make up for the deficiencies.As I consider the issue, there are 2 simple approaches that flew away from the negotiator’s attention.1.It is not fair to limit the greenhouse gas emission by choosing a percentage of reduction according to a base year. The base year emissions in different countries widely vary. Even if a certain country would choose a high percentage of gas reduction, it could happen that this certain country will have the right to emit more CO than another country, which even didn’t declare any gas reduction.Why not use well known and widely spread in the world practice establishing emission allowances (quotas) that depend on the population and GDP (per capita emission, per GDP dollar emission). In that case all the countries would have equal rights. If a country would have less emissions, it could sale it on a “carbon market”. If a country exceeded the emission allowances (quotas), it should buy “carbon credits” on a “carbon market” or pay for it.2.To preserve forests there is also a simple and well known approach. It is based on concepts of the “natural” rent and the assimilative potential of a territory. It is known about the amount that a certain forest area can absorb. A country with a certain forest area can have the corresponding additional “carbon credits”. If the forest is cut off, the country would have to pay in accordance to the reduced area. The tax fee in such a case could be much higher than “carbon credits” for the same area.If such basic mechanism would appear, all the following from them questions could be easily decided. Especially questions concerning financing. Every country would know how much it could get and how much it could loose. There should be an accurate mechanism and accurate criteria of distributing the finances.As for the decisions that were not legally obligatory (not only for COP 15 Accord, but for Kyoto protocol and IPCC as well).The UN is the only international organization, which is aimed to make vital decisions for all the planet (Earth). If some countries would not join the mankind’s efforts to survive, how could we all live in one World? It would be impossible. From the other hand the UN should transcend its efforts to meet all the country’s demands.And of course if everyone agrees that a certain list of countries can join some actions voluntarily – it’s OK too.

pLKutKyAzIlBxsQP

TQSKjSUDSkkMIQG — 01:21 AM Sep 18, 2012

Some thoughts on the neooaittignsThe Copenhagen process had 2 main deficiencies, which conducted all the misunderstandings.1.A conference of such a High level should be properly prepared. That means that a great amount of preliminary work should be done: to clearify the scientific basis of the question; to co-ordinate the project of the decision with all sides. I feel that such a work was not a success that time.2.A conference of such a High level should work out mostly main strategic questions – the main mechanisms of maintaining our Planet clean and safe. All the other questions that are connected to this issue could be easily solved because of the worked out mechanism could give answers to any connected questions. As to COP 15 results I could find no key mechanisms – only decisions on private questions based on different approaches.That is why it is more important now not to criticize the COP 15 Accord, but to make our “work on mistakes”, correct all the defects and make up for the deficiencies.As I consider the issue, there are 2 simple approaches that flew away from the negotiator’s attention.1.It is not fair to limit the greenhouse gas emission by choosing a percentage of reduction according to a base year. The base year emissions in different countries widely vary. Even if a certain country would choose a high percentage of gas reduction, it could happen that this certain country will have the right to emit more CO than another country, which even didn’t declare any gas reduction.Why not use well known and widely spread in the world practice establishing emission allowances (quotas) that depend on the population and GDP (per capita emission, per GDP dollar emission). In that case all the countries would have equal rights. If a country would have less emissions, it could sale it on a “carbon market”. If a country exceeded the emission allowances (quotas), it should buy “carbon credits” on a “carbon market” or pay for it.2.To preserve forests there is also a simple and well known approach. It is based on concepts of the “natural” rent and the assimilative potential of a territory. It is known about the amount that a certain forest area can absorb. A country with a certain forest area can have the corresponding additional “carbon credits”. If the forest is cut off, the country would have to pay in accordance to the reduced area. The tax fee in such a case could be much higher than “carbon credits” for the same area.If such basic mechanism would appear, all the following from them questions could be easily decided. Especially questions concerning financing. Every country would know how much it could get and how much it could loose. There should be an accurate mechanism and accurate criteria of distributing the finances.As for the decisions that were not legally obligatory (not only for COP 15 Accord, but for Kyoto protocol and IPCC as well).The UN is the only international organization, which is aimed to make vital decisions for all the planet (Earth). If some countries would not join the mankind’s efforts to survive, how could we all live in one World? It would be impossible. From the other hand the UN should transcend its efforts to meet all the country’s demands.And of course if everyone agrees that a certain list of countries can join some actions voluntarily – it’s OK too.

Great work!

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Everyone,

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We can together to stop the global warming and the caos!

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See you

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