Search Results for Tag: Durban
A COP17 Explainer
With all the coverage of the current UN climate talks in Durban, it’s not always easy to tell exactly what’s going on. There are tons of issues on the table, and for those of us on the outside, it can be a bit confusing to figure out what’s being discussed and what needs to get done.
Ecosystem Marketplace has a great explainer on the nuts and bolts of COP17.
The Kyoto Protocol is the biggest issue up for discussion, and it’s a contentious one. Most developed countries signed on to the agreement, meaning they committed to slashing greenhouse gases. But developing countries didn’t, and that’s split the two sides down the middle. The first part of the Kyoto Protocol runs out next year, and developed countries won’t hit the emissions target they originally agreed to.
But it also gets more specific, like REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). That’s a way to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Luckily, deforestation is an issue both developing AND developed countries can agree on, and they’re hammering out more details in Durban right now.
Once you’re armed with all that information, it’s a little bit easier to understand what is and more importantly isn’t happening at COP17.
DateDecember 1, 2011
Brazil’s new forest law
As the world tries to find ways the reduce global emission in Durban, Eco, a publication of Climate Action Network CAN at COP17, is reporting on Brazils plans of igniting a real carbon bomb. A bill to change the country’s Forest Law is supposedly about to be approved, resulting in the increase of deforestation. The proposed bill, they say, will be sent to President Dilma Roussef for final cinsideration in coming weeks. One of the foreseeable consequences is that an area almost the size of France and Great Britain combined will loose legal protection, according to estimates presented by the Brazilian government itself. Since Brazil will be hosting the Rio+20 con fence next year, the situation is even more delicate.
In the corridors at Durban, these developments are causing considerable consternation. It is expected that Brazil President Dilma Roussef will send a clear message to the world that the country will meet all commitments announced previously in fighting climate change and protecting the Brazil forest.
DateNovember 30, 2011
TagsBrazil, CAN, carbon, climate, climate action network, cop17, Durban, forest, forum, South Africa, world climate conference
Fossil of the Day Award
It’s been a bad day for Canada at the COP17 yesterday – since it’s been awarded the first Fossil of the Day Award in Durban. The Climate Action Network, a worldwide network of roughly 500 Non-Governmental Organizations, said there were credible reports saying that before the end of the year, Canada is going to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. Canada even won second place following statements by their environment minister, who said, that Canada came to Durban “to play hardball” with the developing countries. The 3rd place fossil of the day had been awarded to the UK, following revelations “that UK ministers have done a deal with the Canadian government to support the entry of tar sand into the European fuel supply chain”.
The Fossil of the Day award were first presented at the climate talks in 1999 in Berlin, initiated by the German NGO Forum.
DateNovember 29, 2011
Round Table of Climate Talks in Berlin
The latest round of climate talks has just kicked off in Berlin today, and it’s expected to lay the groundwork for the UN summit in Durban, South Africa at the end of the year. Around 35 countries are attending the meetings in Berlin, and the hope is that world leaders can set the course to some sort of binding climate agreement by the end of the year.
But US and European officials have already admitted that won’t be possible this year. While everyone believes a legally-binding plan is crucial, nobody can agree on what it should look like.
What do you think of international climate talks? Are they making good progress, or should world leaders be doing more?
DateJuly 3, 2011
Looking Back at Cancun: Part 3
Here's the third and final installment of Torsten Schäfer's commentary:
Europe Has to Take the Lead
It’s time for the major climate powers to sit down and set ambitious goals for fighting climate change. They have to capitalize on the important progress we saw in Cancun. If the major climate powers don’t lead the charge, smaller countries won’t follow along, and a new binding treaty–with strict emissions regulations–won’t even be possible in Durban. And that’s why the European Union has to take charge. It doesn’t look like any legitimate climate or energy legislation will come from the U.S., especially since Obama’s Power Act failed to gain traction in Congress. It’s highly unlikely that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have the power to push forward significant climate legislation on its own. And as the U.S. goes, so does China in this case. Beijing has continuously made it clear that China will make no major commitment to fighting climate change if the U.S. doesn’t step up to the plate as well. That would cause a domino effect, and other major consumers like India and Brazil would also balk.
So the EU is left to carry the burden. Europe has proved in the past that it’s capable of coming through on ambitious environmental goals and programs. But in the last 2 years, as leading climate negotiators have dug in their heels, the EU too has hesitated, stalled and showed reluctance. That became evident in Cancun. Europe’s visionary climate programs have fallen by the wayside amid a financial crisis and infighting.
The fact that the EU lacks a strong leadership figure like former Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas in Brussels is part of the problem. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to take the lead has also complicated things. Like France, Germany has started to express skepticism and discord in European politics, crippling Europe on the international stage. And this at a time when the EU is needed more than ever to lead climate talks.
In other words, the EU can only take control of global climate negotiations when it learns to speak with one voice. And in order for that to happen (and in order for Durban to be a success), Europe has to return to its values and its vision of integration across all platforms, including environmental protection. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have the power to bring about this change by going back to other member states and encouraging them to follow along. Only then will the EU win back its political power and its ability to lead a tough line on climate change. In the end, the success of climate legislation is tied closely to European politics. That’s an important lesson we can take away from Cancun.
DateDecember 16, 2010