Tag Archives: copenhagen

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.

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Weak deal leaves poor countries in limbo

Not fair. Not ambitious. Not binding. After two weeks of UN climate talks, world leaders have failed to reach the FAB deal that developing countries desperately need.

Developing countries are first and worst affected (Photo courtesy of Tearfund)

Tearfund‘s policy experts have analysed the outcomes so far. Here’s their take:

After two weeks of negotiations United Nations climate talks have failed to reach the ambitious legally binding deal that developing countries desperately needed. It is not yet clear whether a weak US-led compromise text will be accepted by some countries, notably the EU and the world’s poorest countries.

‘A small group of developed countries and advanced developing countries, such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa have cobbled together a weak political declaration on climate change that will fail to cut emissions significantly or provide enough money for developing nations to adapt and develop sustainably.

‘Instead they have cobbled together a flimsy declaration to plaster over the cracks, which is not worth the paper it is written on. This is not a comprehensive deal, and it is not a deal for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. Many will wonder if they have been sold down the river,’ said Tearfund’s Director of Advocacy, Paul Cook.

‘The human cost of delay has failed to register with the developed world. They have bought themselves time while millions of people facing starvation, disaster and homelessness continue to pay the price. The longer we postpone agreeing a full legal outcome the more we condemn many people to the devastation of lives and livelihoods.’

The loose agreement contains a vague commitment to both keeping temperature rise below two degrees and targets for emissions cuts for developed countries, and little concrete in the way of finance for poor countries.  The non-binding declaration promises short-term finance for developing countries of $30billion up to 2012 and $100billion by 2020, but it is not clear that this money will be new, additional or public.

Tearfund believes that finance for adaptation and mitigation to help poor countries fight climate change and adapt to its consequences needs to be at least $200billion a year by 2020 and developed countries must cut their emissions by 40% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

Tearfund is wary of the fact that some leaders will want to claim that this is a two degree deal, but warns that the low ambition on reducing emissions means that we are heading for a three or four degree world.

‘Poor countries should be outraged; they rightly expected rich nations to play a leadership role in the negotiations. Instead they ignored the science and looked after their own national interests. Following a fortnight of negotiations and a packed year of climate meetings, don’t be fooled – there is still nothing binding and nothing fair in place.’

If you want more informtation, click here.

Talks in crisis

Negotiations continue… perhaps into the night.

Here’s the latest from Tearfund‘s Policy Advisor Sara Shaw:

These talks are in deep crisis. Weak political declarations being discussed by Heads of Government are barely worth the paper they are written on. There is an atmosphere of confusion and rumours of Heads of Government staying on to try and rescue the situation. The question is, will any deal that is brought forward in the ultimate hours be fair, ambitious and binding? This seems unlikely. Poor countries need a deal that keeps global temperature rise as far below two degrees as possible and delivers at least $200 billion a year of new and additional public finance to help them adapt and develop sustainably. This does not appear to be on the cards at this stage. Yet, in these last hours, leaders must rise above political self interest and seek to do something historic for the good of the planet and its people.’

Superbadger will endeavour to report the latest on the talks over the next few hours, and the outcome when it’s announced.

Stay tuned.

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.

Vigil for Survival

Yesterday we joined a vigil to reflect and pray for a fair, ambitious and binding deal to be agreed in Copenhagen.

Candles from the vigil

Candles for climate justice

The vigil brough together a global movement of campaigners. A campaigner who was at the Kyoto Protocol talks shared how this movement has grown so much over the past few years. Young and old. From north and south. We are united globally in our plea for climate justice.

Campaigners join together in a vigil for survival - remembering those suffering most from the changing climateEach candle represented 10,000 people who’ve acted for climate justice. Many people had also been fasting during the climate talks to demonstrate their commitment to see global action to tackle climate change.

Today we expect outcomes from the climate talks – watch this space for final decisions and Tearfund’s response. – please continue to pray for a FAB deal to be agreed today.

Keep up the pressure

With access to the Copenhagen climate talks still severely restricted for civil society, badger decided to visit an alternative summit today.

People from all walks of life have been meeting together at Klimaforum to talk and learn about climate change – and its impacts on people and the planet.

Participants at Klimaforum have been rating each country on their climate action at the talks – it’s clear that developed countries are lagging behind.

This reflects news from the climate talks today. There’s been little progress and many developed countries are blocking key negotiations on emissions cuts and finance.

It is also deeply worrying the civil society is being excluded from the talks.

We can’t let rich countries continue to ignore those already suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change. Please pray and take action for justice in these negotiations.

See Tearfund’s website for the latest prayer requests from Copenhagen.

There are now FOUR Copenhagen SuperBadger actions at http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger/:

1)       Badger the prime minister to be a global climate leader

2)       Badger UN Climate Secretary to open the door for civil society participation in the climate talks

3)       Badger Ed Miliband, Climate Secretary, to lose the loopholes that threaten to undermine emissions cuts

4)       Badger Jose Manuel Barroso to raise ambition levels in Copenhagen

We’re running out of time to seal a strong and fair deal so please take these actions to keep up the pressure on our leaders.

Lead the way Prime Minister

NEW SUPERBADGER ACTION

Time is ticking.

With just a few days of climate negotiations remaining we need to see much more progress. There’s no time for stalling.

As world leaders knuckle-down in the final stages of the climate talks in Copenhagen, they must show leadership and use their influence to bring climate justice.

This is vital if we’re to get a fair, ambitious and binding deal that protects the poorest and most vulnerable people hit hardest by climate change.

Who better to push for this than world leaders, including our prime minister, Gordon Brown. They have the power to drive the negotiations forward but this requires leadership.

Be our climate leader!

The talks are progressing far too slowly and what’s on the table falls far short of what’s scientifically needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. Prime Minister Gordon Brown must show leadership and political will to seal a climate deal that prevents these impacts.

With the burden of climate change on his shoulders, Gordon Brown must take the lead in Copenhagen to persuade other rich nations to seal a deal that is…

F air     A mbitious      B inding

You know it by now! Campaign for it. It’s so easy.

Badger Gordon to show global leadership in Copenhagen

Lots of Danish love,

Superbadger