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.
Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Politics, Poverty and Justice
Tagged canada, Cancun, china, climate change, climate finance, cop16, EU, poverty, superbadger, tearfund, UN climate talks, US
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:
- Political will
- Innovative ideas
- 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!
With only a few days left until the climate talks come to a close, badger thought it was time to paws to update you on progress at the talks…
1. Emissions cuts
What we want: at least 40 per cent emissions cuts on 1990 levels by 2020.
Progress so far: almost no progress has been made – targets remain very weak for developed countries. This situation has not been helped by the EU’s failure to make an early move to an at least 30% target – which could have triggered better targets from others (though even these would not be adequate). Currently pledges are only around 8-12% cuts on 1990 levels by 2020, and once some of the sneaky loopholes on counting forests, and selling ‘hot air’ are taken into account these cuts could amount to almost zero. Work goes on to try to strengthen commitments by developed countries, and to close loopholes…
2. Climate finance to help poor countries adapt to the changing climate and develop sustainably
What we want: at least £200 billion per year by 2020. This finance must be additional to existing aid commitments.
Progress so far: Offers from rich countries fall far short of the £200 billion needed by 2020. There is growing support among EU countries for this finance to be additional to aid commitments. The EU has agreed to provide some short term funding (up to 2012) but this money is not new and additional. We need rich nations to champion finance and make offers that are additional to existing aid commitments. If there’s no agreement on long term climate finance there will be no fair deal in Copenhagen.
Superbadger, and many other NGO participants, can’t access the climate talks today. As you’ll see from the photo, he’s found somewhere nice to work with his colleague Emily – look out for not one but two SuperBadger actions today here!
It’s the 5th day of climate talks and SuperBadger got some beauty sleep last night to make sure he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today ready to welcome some very important people to Copenhagen – Tearfund’s Climate Campaigners!
The welcome flags are flying (although of course the campaigners aren't)
This elite team of campaigners have travelled through the night across 5 countries to bring their message loud and clear ‘Climate Justice Now! Protect the Poorest!’. They will be blogging here over the next few days so keep an eye out for some exclusive views from the campaigning frontline.
Getting ready for their arrival, Superbadger got thinking about other people coming to Copenhagen. Well over 100 Presidents and Prime Ministers will arrive next week but UK Energy and Climate Change minister Ed Miliband is already here (look out for an opportunity to badger him in the next week or so). International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander is also coming. In fact, he sent a special message to Superbadgers followers all about it:
On Saturday thousands of Tearfund supporters came together in London, Glasgow and Belfast to make their voices heard as part of The Wave demonstrations. From Superbadger to those who cycled all the way across the country – thank you! Your commitment and your concern is vital as the Copenhagen talks get underway, European Development Ministers, including myself, have now also committed to attend Copenhagen next week to specifically discuss the issue of the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest people. I wanted to let you know why I will be going and what will be on my mind.
Along with the Prime Minister, my colleague Ed Miliband, and the rest of the government – we are hearing the clear voice of people around this country, and around the world, who want us to fight for an ambitious deal that works for the world’s poorest people.
When I go to that meeting, I will be thinking of what I have seen for myself of the impact that climate change is having in the developing world. In Kenya I met a man who told me that the seasons he remembered as a child have gone. In Bangladesh I met families who have had their homes swept away by the rising waters. In Ethiopia, I met women who had been forced by drought to walk further each day to collect water until they were walking 5 hours simply to drink from a watering hole shared by people and animals alike.
These experiences have convinced me that one of the most critical issues for our discussions should be the additional financial support that the developed world must provide for poor countries, to help them cope with climate change. Climate change threatens to make poverty the future for millions. I believe that getting the right global deal on carbon and climate finance, could be more vital to tackling global poverty than even the Gleneagles summit of 2005.
This letter shows that campaigning works! It’s great to hear the UK government talking about the importance of the deal at Copenhagen for poor people. After all, isn’t it what we’ve been badgering them about all year? SuperBadger is feeling inspired to make sure that Mr Alexander follows through on his word so if you haven’t yet please take the latest action here.
We wouldn’t want the UK government accidentally negotiating for anything less than what poor communities themselves are calling for would we? Let’s make sure that Mr Alexander knows that this means $200 billion of climate financing annually by 2020 to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. This must be new and additional public funding, not aid repackaged as climate finance. Get badgering!
Posted in Environment, Politics, Poverty and Justice, Uncategorized
Tagged climate change, climate finance, climate justice, climate talks, COP15, copenhagen, douglas alexander, superbadger, tearfund
Badger Douglas Alexander to make sure the climate deal at Copenhagen really works for poor people!
The International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander is going to be at the UN Climate talks on Monday. In a letter to Tearfund he says ‘…getting the right global deal on carbon and climate finance, could be more vital to tackling global poverty than even the Gleneagles summit of 2005’.
Badger him now to make sure he knows what ‘the right global deal on climate finance’ looks like and that he does everything possible to get the EU to commit to it.
Though, I'm sure it would be difficult to get any work done with a badger on your head.
There’s lots of recycling going on at the climate talks in Copenhagen but it’s not the sort of recycling that helps us in the fight against climate change. It’s a recycling of aid money as climate financing and its bad news for those most affected by climate change, poor people.
We need to send a clear message to rich countries that aid money and climate financing are not the same thing. Poor countries, experiencing the additional burdens and costs of climate change impacts, need additional funds to cope with them.
Similarly, the outcomes of Copenhagen must provide long term climate financing to help poor communities deal with the long term impacts of climate change. Funding commitments that only cover the next few years are not good enough and threaten the future of millions.
As Mr Alexander heads for the UN climate talks in Copenhagen let’s remind him exactly what a good deal on climate financing looks like for poor people. Go to http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger/ to make a difference!
Superbadger will be standing by on Monday!
Go, Badger, go.
Sweden has given the world so many things – Abba, Volvo and Billy Bookcase to name a few. But when the pressure’s on can Sweden provide the bold leadership necessary to get the climate talks back on track by December?
Achieving a strong and fair global deal on climate change is crucial to the world’s poorest people already affected by climate change. Current discussions are off track as developed countries fail to keep commitments and hesitate to make the first move.
The Swedish Presidency of the EU has a historic opportunity to show bold leadership and get stalled talks back on track. An EU roadmap to success in Copenhagen is urgently needed to keep discussions on the right path.
Ask him to:
- Ensure that EU positions on public finance to support developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change are announced well in advance of Copenhagen.
- Strongly urge EU countries and other developed countries to raise their ambition on targets to reduce emissions to levels consistent with keeping global average temperature rise as far below two degrees Celsius as possible.
- Ensure that the EU is demonstrating leadership through the important international summits this autumn.
Badger Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt to boldly use Sweden’s EU Presidency to get things back on track.
Click here to badger the Swedes and many others!