Posts Tagged ‘COP17’

COP17: The Durban Package: “Laisser faire, laisser passer”

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

The Climate Change Conference ended two days later than expected, adopting a set of decisions that were known only a few hours before their adoption. Some decisions were even not complete at the moment of their consideration. Paragraphs were missing and some delegations didn’t even have copies of these drafts. The package of decisions was released by the South African presidency with the ultimatum of “Take it or leave it”. Only the European Union was allowed to make last minute amendments at the plenary.

Several delegations made harsh criticisms to the documents and expressed their opposition to sections of them. However, no delegation explicitly objected the subsequent adoption of these decisions. At the end, the whole package was adopted by consensus without the objection of any delegation. The core elements of the Durban Package can be summarized as follows:

1) A Zombie called Kyoto Protocol

· A soulless undead: The promises of reducing greenhouse gas emission for the second period of commitments of the Kyoto Protocol represent less than half of what is necessary to keep the temperature increase below 2°C.

· This Zombie (second period of the Kyoto Protocol) will only finally go into effect next year (COP 18).

· It is not known if the second period of the Kyoto Protocol will cover 5 or 8 years.

· United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia and New Zealand will be out of this second period of the Kyoto Protocol.

· This will be known as the lost decade in the fight against climate change.

2) New regime of “Laisser Faire, Laisser Faisser”

· In 2020 a new legal instrument will come into effect that will replace the Kyoto Protocol and will seriously impact the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

· The core elements of this new legal instrument can be already seen due to the results of the negotiations: a) voluntary promises rather than binding commitments to reduce emissions, b) more flexibilities (carbon markets) for developed countries to meet their emission reduction promises, and c) an even weaker compliance mechanism than the Kyoto Protocol.

· The new legal instrument will cover all the States, effectively removing the difference between developing and developed countries. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” already established in the Climate Change Convention will disappear.

· The result will be the deepening of the “Laisser Faire, laisser passer” regime inaugurated in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban which will lead to an increase in temperature of more than 4°C.

3) A Green Fund with no funds

· The Green Fund now has an institutional structure in which the World Bank is a key player.

· The 100 billion is only a promise and will NOT be provided for by the developed countries.

· The money will come from the carbon markets (which are collapsing), from private investments, from credits (to be paid) and from the developing countries themselves.

4) A lifesaver for the Carbon Markets

· The existing carbon markets will live regardless of the fate of the Kyoto Protocol.

· Also, new carbon market mechanisms will be created to meet the emissions reduction pledges of this decade.

· It is a desperate attempt to avoid the loss of the carbon markets, which are collapsing due to the fall of the carbon credits, from 30 Euros per ton to 3 Euros per ton of CO2.

· Developed countries will reduce less than what they promise because they will buy Emission Reduction Certificates from developing countries.

5) REDD: a perverse incentive to deforest in this decade

· If you don’t cut down trees you won’t be able to issue certificates of reduction of deforestation when the REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism comes into operation.

· CONSEQUENCES: deforest now if you want to be ready for REDD.

· The safeguards for indigenous peoples will be flexible and discretionary for each country.

· The offer of funding for forests is postponed until the next decade due to the fact that demand for Carbon Credits will not increase until then because of the low emission reduction promises.

¡Amandla! ¡Jallalla!

In the actions and events of the social movements in Durban, two battle cries emerged: “Amandla” and “Jallalla”. The first one is a Xhosa and Zulu word from South Africa which means “power”. The second word is an expression in aymara which means “for life”. “¡Amandla¡ °Jallalla!” means “¡Power for life!”

This is the “power for life” that we must build, that transcends borders, from our communities, neighborhoods, workplaces and place of study in order to stop this ongoing genocide and ecocide.

(*) Pablo Solón, international analyst and social activist. United Nations Ambassador and Chief Climate Change Negotiator from the Plurinational State of Bolivia.


Monday, December 12th, 2011

TO WATCH VIDEO CLICK HERE: Hundreds of Activists Protest Inside COP17 demanding CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!

This video filmed by Rebecca Sommer (© Sommerfilms) shows parts of the CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! (CJN!) movement’s press conference, and our protest inside the halls at the last day of the UN Climate Change negotiations COP17. Kumi Naidoo , executive director of Greenpeace (member of CJN!) was banned from UN premises after leading this protest. Many others, such as Anne Petermann (member of CJN!) have been thrown out as well., their UN badges revoked because they participated ion the protest. Background why the people protested: A central piece of what is being negotiated here at COP17 is the Green Clmate Fund, with a goal of raising $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation projects, but most of the funding is being linked to programs like carbon markets and offsets (REDD+, CDM), which allows companies to continue polluting and ignores the need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels, and not simply try to offset them with other projects.
Protesters have said they want that their voices are heard.
They are calling for the World Bank to be taken out of climate finance, a reference to the predominance of private financing and market mechanisms in all funding solutions for climate change reduction projects being discussed at the conference. A central piece of what is being negotiated is the Green Clmate Fund, with a goal of raising $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation projects, but most of the funding is being linked to programs like carbon markets and offsets, which allows companies to continue polluting and ignores the need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels, and not simply try to offset them with other projects.
Protesters are also calling for a recognition of historic climate debt: that developed and Northern countries have predominantly been the cause of man-made green house gas emissions, and that they have the responsibility to take a frontline position in cleaning up the problem. This historic reality was included in Kyoto Protocol, but Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent recently called such demands “guilt money”

VIDEO: PABLO SOLON warning about what happened at COP17 (September 10th, 2011)

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Pablo Solon, former Ambassador and Bolivia’s lead negotiator at the UN Climate Change negotiations explains why the negotiated text of the UN Climate Change negotiations are a “Bad Deal”.
To watch VIDEO: PABLO SOLON explains the “Bad Deal” UNFCCC COP17 (September 10th, 2011)(filmed by Rebecca Sommer)
 PABLO SOLON explains in Rebecca Sommer's video the "Bad Deal" UNFCCC COP17