Tag Archives: climate talks

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!

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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!

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!

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.

Obama – act not talk?

Superbadger is listening and watching but no outcome yet from the Copenhagen climate talks.

Obama's speech at Copenhagen (Photo via Treehugger)

Obama arrived at the negotiations this morning. Badger was disappointed by his speech, not enough action to protect poor people.

Tearfund’s Advocacy Director, Paul Cook, said this in response to Obama’s speech:

‘Obama highlighted the need to ‘act boldly and decisively in the face of a common threat’ and that he came to Copenhagen to act not to talk.

‘Unfortunately he completely contradicted himself  – the US’ actions in terms of figures for action on mitigation and finance, even after yesterday’s announcement, just don’t stack up or equal survival for poor people and the planet. There were no new pledges on targets and a complete failure to acknowledge the fact that the richest and most powerful nations must take responsibility for the climate crisis that they have caused.

‘For the sake of the poorest and most vulnerable people living on the front line of climate change, we sincerely hope world leaders do not squander this opportunity by providing the most vulnerable with nothing more than empty promises.’

Let’s all continue to pray for a better outcome.