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!

‘Fast Start’…but is it a good start?

Over the next few days at the COP16 climate talks in Cancun, countries and country blocs are going to be making moves in the negotiations – these are expected to be small steps and no one is expecting anything ground breaking over the next few weeks (though we can hope and pray!). 

The first blog-worthy opening move has come from the EU – on Tuesday 30th November the EU launched a progress report on fast start finance (FSF) designed to help developing nations fight climate change and develop sustainably. Superbadger thinks this is a good start, and hopefully this will spur on other countries to make similar moves.

If only...

The report itself, though, seems a little vague on its figures. The EU has said it has channelled 2.2 million euros this year into this fast start scheme, but less than 50% of this amount is being allocated to helping developing countries adapt to the devastating effects of climate change. One thing it has made clear is that much of the money will be coming from existing aid budgets, which means that the poorest communities will actually not benefit from this scheme as much as they should. Especially since the EU is proposing that some of this money come in the form of loans rather than grants, which is not great for the poorest countries who are not in a position to pay it back.

What we need to see next is the EU pushing for a more money for adaptation and more innovative ways to bring in this climate cash, rather than pinching from the aid pot. 

However , it’s great to see the UK and EU take a leadership stance on climate finance, but we can’t be leaders if no one is following – so hopefully we’ll see more of a domino effect over the next few days and see the EU develop their proposals in the months ahead.

In short? Good but not good enough!


Car Games for COP Delegates

Ouch.

Given the appalling traffic situation this morning, we thought we might suggest a few car games that the delegates play on their way to the conference centre, since they are obviously not spending their time perfecting their great negotiation positions. Here’s what we came up with:
  • Count the Hybrid – delegates get points for every hybrid car or biodiesel bus they spot – or a punch in the arm, just like the Yellow Car game. Minus points if you see any hummers….
  • I Spy Delegates – I spy a delegate beginning with C…
  • Travel Monopoly – delegates can play monopoly with the lives of the poorest in their strategies for climate change. We dont think this game has a winner though…
  • Acronym bingo – get a full house if LULUCF, NAMAs and NAPAs all get mentioned…

Maybe if the Chinese and the American cars are next to each other they could just wind the windows down and work it out before they get to the conference? Worth a shot.

Previously, on ‘Climate Change’…

…tick-tick, tick-tick…(trying to do the ’24’ sound effect but I don’t think its coming across that well)

So, here we are in Cancun, Mexico, for this year’s international climate talks. It’s hard to believe that only a year ago we were in Copenhagen for COP15. Dubbed ‘Hopenhagen’ by some, people were confident that last year’s talks would be successful, and the outcome would be F.A.B (Fair, ambitious and binding). Hundreds of world leaders were in attendance, leading us to believe that some good would come from this.

What actually resulted was two weeks of seemingly dead air, a last minute shuffle into a meeting room, a weak, non-binding climate change agreement, and a lot of angry environmentalists. Developing countries’ hopes were dashed after such a huge build up. The consensus, though, was that it was better than nothing, and that some progress is better than none. But nowhere near good enough for the world’s poorest countries.

This year also saw ‘Climategate’, which Superbadger blogged about back in March. Climate sceptics claimed that the e-mails of Professor Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia provided proof that scientists at the university’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were manipulating and hiding data to strengthen scientific evidence of man-made global warming. Even though the scandal was proved to be unfounded, public scepticism continued to rise.

The United States, a key player for progress, was also a big talking point this year. The disappointing outcome of the US elections in November effectively ruled out the possibility of getting any climate bill through the Senate – which will make international negotiations difficult.

This year, finance is high on the agenda. Many countries are keen to commit to a fund, which would help counter and also deal with the effects of climate change. However, there are many sticking points – there are differences of opinion about which body should control this fund,  how much countries will contribute, and where this money will come from. The likely outcome of this year is that some progress will be made, but Cancun will only serve as a ‘stepping stone’ to more progress during COP17 in South Africa 2011.

The effects of climate change in southern Nepal in 2008 (Credit: Tearfund)

A fair, ambitious and binding deal is now more important than ever. Climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people now, and changing people’s lives for the worst.  The poorest have done the least to contribute to global warming, but are the first to feel its effects. Superbadger and Tearfund are pushing for real, tangible progress in these talks.

So, this year, developed countries need to step up to the plate and commit to a fair deal for everyone. In the word’s of the running joke here at these talks every year, ‘lets hope its not a cop out’.

Hasta luego, mis amigos! We’ll keep you posted.

Putting the ‘CAN’ in Cancun

For the next two weeks I’m in Cancun with my Tearfund friends and our partners from Brazil, Honduras, Malawi, Zambia, Nepal and Mexico.

We’re here following the UN climate talks and we’ll be working hard to push countries to make progress on tackling climate change and its impacts on poor people.

This year its all about the sun hats which badger is pleased about after the chill in Copenhagen last year! And it wasn’t just the weather that left a chill in the air in Copenhagen, the negotiations ended in disappointment as countries failed to agree the FAB (fair, ambitious and binding) deal needed.

So we want countries to put the ‘can’ in Cancun this year. Going in with a positive ‘can do’ attitude could make all the difference.

You can follow my blogging and Tweeting on Tearfund’s website.

Give Cameron a call…

Hello my friends,

I’ve been working away on a new little project with my friends over at iPadio.

We’ve developed an audio petition where you can leave a voicemail for David Cameron, explaining why you’re passionate about climate change and what action you’d like to see him take.

Mr Cameron has said that he wants this to be the “greenest government ever” and there are a number of opportunities for him to show his mettle over the coming months.  Internationally there are the climate talks in Cancun and closer to home there’s a bill making its way through the Parliament that looks at the efficiencies of homes in the UK – the government can show great leadership in both of these opportunities.

Check out the David Cameron petition by clicking here.

Campaign Win: Obiang prize SUSPENDED

Over the past 6 months my loyal Superbadger followers using my app on Facebook and iPhone have sent over 1500 emails to different UN employees.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) created a prize for “scientific achievements” sponsored to the tune of $3million (£2million) by Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea.  Obiang has been accused of rigging elections, rights abuses and corruption by several human rights groups who have called for UNESCO to end their association with him.

Some of these emails went to the UNESCO board director, others to Executive Board members and they, alongside other campaigning organisations, have had an impact.

UNESCO HAS SUSPENDED THE OBIANG PRIZE.

This follows a postponement of the prize in June; my friends we should be greatly encouraged.

Thank you to all who took action, your voices were heard and have shown President Obiang and the world that we will not sit idly by in the face of corruption and poor governance.

If you would like to join the ranks of Superbadger users visit http://bit.ly/bxKS7s or download Superbadger from iPhone’s AppStore.