By Glenn Ashton, December 12 2012. Source: South African Civil Society Information Service
With the conclusion of COP 18 in Doha, another set of climate change negotiations have come and gone with little real progress toward solving the urgent consequences of increased levels of atmospheric CO2. We clearly need to transform our approach to the problem.
A year ago Durban was under virtual siege by government delegations from around the world, at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 17 meeting. The conference centre was enclosed in a tight police and UN cordon, effectively separating state representatives and negotiators from the citizenry they were meant to represent.
This year the circus moved to Doha, where real public protest is curtailed by a repressive regime. Yes, the first legal protest in the history of Doha was held but it was a strictly curtailed affair. There should have been angry and ugly protest about the record loss of Arctic sea ice this year, of permafrost melt, of the evident acceleration of the impacts of climate change beyond earlier predictions. Instead the Emir of Doha accommodated tame protestors in five star hotels, with a coffee call to protest at 7am. And of course a list of what was permitted. Continue reading
REDD negotiations came to a grinding halt at the end of the first week of COP18 in Doha when Brazil and Norway disagreed over the verification of emission reductions from forests.
There were two tracks of negotiations on REDD in Doha: the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
The following items were on the agenda in Doha – explained in more detail here:
- SBSTA: Reference levels; MRV and forest monitoring systems; Safeguards information systems; and Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
- LCA: Finance and REDD.
The dispute over verification took place in the SBSTA negotiations. The Final SBSTA Text (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/L.31) consists of “Draft conclusions proposed by the Chair” – no decisions were made in Doha. The discussions will continue at the next SBSTA meeting, that will take place in June 2013 in Bonn. However, no decision on the SBSTA agenda items will be taken until COP19 at the end of 2013.
Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD
By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project
Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the UNFCCC at the Durban Climate COP in 2011. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
For the first time since 2004, Global Justice Ecology Project did not sent any representatives to the annual UN Climate Conference (COP). There were numerous reasons for this decision, one of which was a letter sent to us by Ms. Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) “suspending” three Global Justice Ecology Project activists from participating in Doha. The list includes Lindsey Gillies, Keith Brunner and me–Global Justice Ecology Project’s “Head of Delegation.” We were officially banned from participating in any of the UNFCCC negotiating sessions in 2012 as well as any future sessions unless we sign a document agreeing to their terms to abide by their special “code of conduct” for observers. Right.
Our crime? Direct action. Unpermitted, disobedient direct action in both Cancun and Durban designed to highlight the mounting repression against non-corporate observers. (We also worked for over a year to help organize the amazing Reclaim Power action and Peoples’ Assembly at COP 15 in Copenhagen, which exposed the ineffectiveness of the UNFCCC and called for people to take their power back–though the letter did not mention that).
Over the years we have watched the UNFCCC become more and more like the World Trade Organization that we and many anti-corporate globalization organizations rose up against in the latter 1990s and early 2000s.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Cancun/ COP-16, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, UNFCCC, Youth
But the World Development Movement said the money is going to large companies rather than helping poor people likely to suffer from climate change.
A recent example was £385m, channeled through a World Bank project to promote clean energy in poor countries.
WDM say that most of the money went to private companies to build wind turbines or solar panels for profit.
Some £10m ended up going towards a 27-turbine farm in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, operated by the French energy giant EDF, to be paid back in 15 years. Continue reading
Note: Oh boy, a new agreement to keep talking about an agreement that would go into force in 2020–after the scientific community says we will have already passed 2 degrees celsius in warming–which sets the stage for catastrophic climate change… Worse than useless–a massive waste of time and resources.
–The GJEP Team
By Stephen Leahy, December 10, 2012. Source: Inter-Press Service
As sea erosion worsens, coastal residents in Nhon Hai commune in Binh Dinh province use rocks and sandbags to protect their homes. Credit: Thuy Binh/IPS
DOHA, Qatar, Dec 10 2012 (IPS) - The United Nations climate talks in Doha went a full extra 24 hours and ended without increased cuts in fossil fuel emissions and without financial commitments between 2013 and 2015.
“This an incredibly weak deal,” said Samantha Smith representing the Climate Action Network, a coalition of more than 700 civil society organisations.
“Governments came here with no mandate for action,” Smith said in a press scrum moments after the meeting known as COP 18 ended and the 195 parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approved a complex package called “The Doha Climate Gateway”.
The Doha Gateway creates a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol to cut fossil fuel emissions by industrialised nations from 2013 to 2020 but does not set new targets. There is also no financial support to help poor countries adapt to impacts of climate change – only agreement for more meetings in 2013. Talks will also begin next year to create a “mechanism” to assess damages and costs for countries suffering losses from climate change. Continue reading
Note: Indigenous Environmental Network is a close partner of Global Justice Ecology Project and one of the leading Indigenous groups organizing against both REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and the Tar Sands gigaproject in Alberta, Canada.
December 07, 2012
Doha, Qatar - Hurricane Sandy; Typhoon Bopha; the continued melting of the ice in the Arctic directly impacting the livelihood of its Arctic Indigenous peoples and; to drought conditions throughout the world. Mother Earth is speaking. Nature is speaking, but the governmental parties here at COP 18 are not listening.
Indigenous Peoples here in Doha are speaking for the rights of Mother Earth and the collective rights of indigenous peoples who continue to be vulnerable to the accelerating downward spiral of climate change. The indigenous voice has remained firm calling upon the governmental parties to reach agreement on commitments for a stringent global emission reduction regime that would stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions beyond 2013. A weak agreement here in Doha is a death warrant for Indigenous peoples throughout the world.
Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Doha/COP-18, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, UNFCCC
From Global Forest Coalition, Biofuelwatch and Global Justice Ecology Project
For immediate release – 6 December 2012
UK alleges it will address drivers of climate change – but aims to subsidise a massive expansion of wood-based biomass industry
Doha, Qatar - As negotiations failed to finalise an agreement on a controversial forest policy called REDD+  during the ongoing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks in Doha, Qatar , forest groups published a letter challenging claims that the drivers of forest change are being addressed by countries within the REDD+ negotiations.
Negotiations on REDD+ turned sour in Doha as developing countries realised they can expect very little funding for this highly controversial forest scheme over the coming years. “The REDD honeymoon is obviously over” states Simone Lovera, executive director of the Global Forest Coalition, who followed the talks.
Furthermore, at the same time that REDD+ is being promoted within the UNFCCC to supposedly protect forest carbon, there is a massive expansion of the biomass industry underway, which will generate increased international trade in wood. This is being actively supported by governments such as that of the UK, and will dwarf any attempts made to protect forests within the UNFCCC.
Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, UNFCCC
By Fiona Harvey, December 2 2012. Source: The Guardian
Photo: Osama Faisal/AP
Brazil has said a row over carbon credits could derail the United Nations climate change negotiations taking place in Qatar this week.
The row concerns whether countries entering the second round of the Kyoto protocol should be allowed to carry over emissions credits from the first phase. Some countries, including Poland, Ukraine and Russia, have large surpluses of credits, generated because their carbon output collapsed alongside their industrial base after the fall of communism.
These credits are derided as “hot air” by critics because they represent greenhouse gases already reduced many years ago, rather than new efforts. André Corrêa do Lago, head of the Brazilian delegation, told the Guardian: “The second phase has to have environmental integrity, and you will not have that if countries are allowed to carry over [the credits]. The second period will be completely compromised. This is not a way to have effective reductions.” Continue reading
By Stephen Leahy, December 3 2012. Source: Inter Press Service
COP 18 president Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah addresses a roomful of young delegates. Photo: Sallie Shatz – Courtesy of COP 18
DOHA – The new Green Climate Fund to help developing countries cope with climate change may one day have a bigger budget than the World Bank. At the moment, however, the Fund is empty.
No financial pledges have been made even though the Fund is supposed to begin dispensing money in 2013.
“Finance is at the heart of negotiations here,” said Oxfam International climate change policy advisor Tim Gore on the sidelines of the UN climate change negotiations at the 18th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18), taking place in the capital of Qatar until Dec. 7.
“The issue has come to a head in Doha. Developing countries are bitter and saying rich industrialised countries are once again failing to deliver on their promises,” Gore told Tierramérica. Continue reading