Category Archives: Climate Change

Jack Bauer special “24 – the Energy Bill”

24 is a truly awesome series, and if I’m honest that’s where I’ve been for the last few months…watching Jack Bauer’s exploits as he saves LA, CTU, the world from nuclear and biological attacks.

Really it’s been great…but now that I’m back in the real world there’s actually a real 24 moment happening TODAY, and we don’t need Jack Bauer…we need YOU.

The Energy Bill is having a second debate tomorrow and there’s an amendment that we’re pushing to get attached so that the energy efficiency programme in the bill delivers cuts in carbon emissions and tackles fuel poverty.

Over 580 MPs have been emailed but your’s may not have been, please email them ahead of tomorrows debate asking them to support the ammendment which will help facilitate the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy while providing a boost to the economy, new jobs, improved energy security and reducing fuel poverty.

Email your MP by clicking here http://www.demandabetterbill.org.uk/

Mid-week Mexican Multimedia

Ay curumba!

This video was made by our Campaigns team for a hand-in of our Tearfund action on climate change from 10,000 UK supporters. We are asking Chris Huhne to listen to our concerns while he is in Mexico (if he comes back after the tuition fees vote that is!):

UK Climate Change Committee: “If you want my advice…”

Today, the UK government have been given some pretty important advice from the UK’s powerful Climate Change Committee which, if they take it, could add some much-needed momentum to the climate talks in Cancun this week.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) are calling on the UK to cut its carbon emissions by 60% by the year 2030 on 1990 levels, which would be a world-leading commitment.

“We are recommending a stretching but realistic fourth carbon budget and 2030 target, achievable at a cost of less than 1% of GDP. We therefore urge the government to legislate the budget, and to develop the policies required to cut emissions,” said Lord Turner, chairman of the CCC. “The case for action on climate change is as strong as ever: climate science remains robust and suggests that there are very significant risks if we do not cut emissions. And countries acting now will gain economic benefits in an increasingly carbon-constrained world.”

To achieve this new target, the UK would have to totally revamp its electricity markets to encourage the building of a recommended 25 clean power stations during the 2020s. It would also mean an overhaul of heat-leaking homes, and a move away from petrol driven cars to electric.

If badgers could drive...New Nissan 'Leaf': Britain's first 100% electric, zero emissions car will be the future.

This bold (though necessary) new direction would actually benefit the UK with a major drive on energy efficiency and green industry.

However, at the moment this is just advice, and the UK government is under no obligation to heed or even legalise it. The government is still yet to confirm its long-promised target of 30% cuts by 2020. Though the Conservatives, when in opposition, did pledge that they would take the Committee’s advice, and become the “greenest ever government”. What better way to prove it than to accept these recommendations and set other developed countries a good example?

Though this is potentially good news, Laura Webster, Head of Policy at Tearfund, adds, “In setting ourselves long-term goals we must not switch attention away from the urgency of reducing emissions immediately. Every year of delay leads to serious consequences for poor communities being hit hardest by climate impacts. And every year of delay means that the hope of keeping temperature rise below 1.5 degrees becomes more elusive.”

As yet the Cancun climate talks haven’t seen any great leadership from developed countries on moving to a zero carbon economy, or climate leadership of any kind, but this advice from CCC could be the push the UK government needs to make the kind of ambitious move we want it to, and lead the larger polluters like the US and China to do the same.

See the report from the CCC here, and let us know what you think!

Badger Japanese Embassy to stop derailing the climate talks!

International badger alert!

As climate talks continue, there’s a danger that even the small steps of progress expected in Cancun will be derailed by Japan’s actions this week.

The Kyoto Protocol – the current agreement between 38 industrialised countries to tackle climate change – may need to be extended beyond its current shelf-life of 2012 until a fair, ambitious and binding global deal is agreed.

But Japan – on whose shores the Kyoto Protocol was signed – is arguing against extending it!

If the protocol is not extended soon we could enter a worrying few years with no global emissions reductions targets in place, which would be devastating for developing countries, and small island states in the case of already rising sea levels.

Since Japan hosted the conference where the Kyoto Protocol was signed, they should continue their climate leadership by committing to another set of emissions cuts targets in it.

We need to urge them to take an international lead by supporting the Kyoto Protocol and working constructively with other countries to push towards a global deal.

Please badger the Japanese Embassy in London to call on Japan to champion and not neglect the Kyoto Protocol! It’s so easy, make your voice heard and make a difference!

End of week one in Cancun: Good COP or Bad COP?

As the climate talks reach a half way point, everyone is starting to assess the negotiations and the progress that has been made.

It’s been a fairly frustrating week for Superbadger and the Tearfund team as we are seeing much more negativity that we would like. This year’s summit was being promoted as a ‘stepping stone’ for more significant progress during COP17 in South Africa next year, but so far the negotiations seem to be at a standstill, with many countries such as the US still taking the ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ approach, which is unhelpful.

Tearfund’s Head of Policy, Laura Webster, said, ‘We came into these talks hoping that the foundations for a fair global climate deal would be laid. Instead, we are at the half way point and there is still a disconnect between the urgent need to halt runaway climate change and the current pace of the negotiations.’

Let's play a little good COP, bad COP, shall we?

  • Good COP: Forestry talks have been progressing well according to Brazil’s ambassador for climate change, Sergio Serra, who hopes it will help fund safeguards to prevent further deforestation in the Amazon.
  • China have been cooperative in their domestic efforts in cutting emissions, regardless of what other countries are doing, which is fantastic for a developing country. However, they are being very secretive and not being the most constructive player in the negotiations themselves.
  • COP 16 is seeing strong leadership from Mexico, also a developing country, as they attempt to steer the negotiations through rocky waters.
  • In-between: The EU released a report on Fast Start Finance, as posted on the blog a few days ago, which outlined a proposal to inject some quick cash into a climate fund over the next few years, which is great to see. However, there are still some sticking points about where the money is coming from and going to – as a large proportion of the money is being channelled out of existing aid budgets instead of from innovative new sources. So, not bad, but also not good! However, they are speaking out positively on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, which is good news.
  • Bad COP: From the first day of negotiations, Japan have been openly opposed to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the first period of which was agreed upon by a number of countries back in 1997 and will end in 2012. Without a second commitment period, we could see little to no progress in cutting emissions, which would be devastating for developing countries who are hit hardest by climate change. Head over to the Superbadger Action page to badger the Japanese embassy to put pressure on Japan during these talks!
  • On Monday, Canada bagged all three Fossil of the Day ‘awards’, given out by NGOs to countries they feel have done the most to hamper international climate talks each day during the conference. Canada received these awards because after they killed a progressive climate change bill without even bothering to debate it, and failing to have any plan to meet its targets! Canada have been one of the biggest ‘blockers’ for any progress here in Cancun, so we’re hoping they will step up their game for week two, though they have said they cannot act on climate change until the US does!

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of a week here at the talks, so what we really need for week two is positivity, and most of all a fair, ambitious and binding deal that will benefit developing countries and poor communities.

Tearfund also want to see more countries agreeing to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, because without it, the world could very easily see a sharp rise in global temperature towards a predicted 4 degrees above baseline, which would have devastating effects for all countries.

We are also hoping that the fact that progress may not happen during the Cancun talks, does not scupper the chances of getting a fair and adequate climate fund in place for developing countries.

Rich countries cannot continue to behave as though they are uninformed of the stark climate realities caused by of years of their industrialisation. As week two gets underway we must start to see more urgency.

Don’t forget to pack your can(cun) do attitude!

Hopefully, Chris Huhne will bring some 'energy' to the summit

As Superbadger has been blogging about for the past week, we’re all hoping for lots of progress here in Cancun at the COP16 climate summit– especially in the crucial area of climate finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change and develop sustainably. This is a hot topic during these next few weeks.

There’s a real danger following the disappointing climate talks in Copenhagen last year that this year’s talks will get stuck, locked or fail. To prevent this, all countries must go to the talks with a ‘can do’ attitude and that includes the UK.

Chris Huhne the UK Climate Secretary will soon be travelling to Cancun to lead the UK delegation. So we thought we might help him out with a check list for his suitcase:

Must remember to bring:

  • Ambition
  • Positivity
  • Decisiveness
  • Political will
  • Innovative ideas
  • Toothbrush
  • Umbrella AND sun tan lotion

 

Rich nations must take action first because they’re most responsible. So Huhne must take a lead to ensure a new fund is created to help poor countries deal with climate change, and make progress on agreeing new sources for climate finance to fill the fund.

Please badger the Climate Secretary Chris Huhne to push for climate finance progress from rich nations in Cancun!

COP16 Personal Ads

Found in this morning’s daily NGO newsletter:

ANNEX ONE COUNTRY SEEKING TREATY FOR NO-STRINGS ATTACHED HOLIDAY ROMANCE IN MEXICO.


Currently struggling with a 13-year relationship, just looking for a good time in the Cancun sun.
Likes: Excellent food, movies, comic books, robots and big industry.
Dislikes: Commitment, cooperation, compliance, science and targets.

If interested, please email: scared_of_commitment@awg.kp

Dispensing with the technical terms, this ad is a sarcastic jab at Japan, who today announced that they would reject a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, put in place 13 years ago in 1997, which expires in 2012. If this is not confirmed, there is a chance that there may be a period without any global commitment to cut emissions – which would be catastrophic for the least developed countries and small island states, and of course, eventually the rest of the world.

Later on a reply was posted on the CAN mailing list:

Dear Annex I Country,

I read your ad with much interest – I am currently holidaying in Cancun and would be open to a no-strings attached romance. But you should also know that I have been, for a few years now, looking for a long term commitment. I am at a (tipping) point in my life where I have a strong desire for a reliable companion to fill a (gigatonne) gap in my heart.
Likes: beach, forests, humanitarian work, science, strong ambitious rich men
Dislikes: all-inclusive hotels (such a model of overconsumption – ugh!), long plane rides, oil lobbyists, carbon markets

Yours truly,

Terra Treaty

P.S Your email address scared_of_commitment@awg.kp does not work – GO FIGURE!

Let’s hope this gets some attention!