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
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.
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!
The hallowed halls of the Bella Centre, Copenhagen see all kinds of goings on. Perhaps one of the most loved (or feared if you find yourself on the receieving end of it) is the ‘Fossil of the Day’ award. This is awarded daily by civil society to the country or group who have done the most to frustrate or derail the climate talks here.
Yesterday saw the EU awarded 3rd place for failing to announce a more ambitious emissions reduction target, failing to put money on the table for long-term finance and announcing a load of short-term climate financing that is largely repackaged aid money.
The EU's flag and Fossil of the Day award, all together now 'boo...'
Canada receive 2nd and 1st place for several reasonds including its spectacular claim that it’s emissions reduction target of -3% was in fact based on the science! The IPCC calls for emissions reductions of 25%-40%.
Superbadger is outraged by these lacklustre performances. He felt compelled to point out to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso a couple of things that he could do that would help to right the EU’s wrongs. Please badger him now!
Posted in Environment, Politics, Poverty and Justice, Uncategorized
Tagged barroso, canada, climate change, climate justice, COP15, copenhagen, EU, superb, tearfund
Badger Aldi’s banana buyer to to stop the banana war!
In September Asda and Aldi started a price war with savage cuts on the prices of their bananas which is like ‘reading the funeral rites of Caribbean farmers’ according to a spokesman for the banana producing Windward Island farmers.
Aldi is seen as a price-setter for bananas across the EU and this move threatens to move the price war to other parts of the continent.
Email Aldi’s UK banana buyer David Hill to ask him to stop the banana price war and to ensure that the growers and farmers are paid a decent wage for their produce.
Check out Ctrl.Alt.Shift’s spoof Asda advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRlyaypeik0 and learn more about the banana trade at www.bananalink.org.uk
Go to http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger/ send off your e-badger to David Hill and do your bit for the banana farmers! Which is also quite fun to say…
Badger love xoxoxo
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!