Tag: climate impacts

Countries Must Commit at Warsaw to put numbers on the table in 2014

Friday, June 14, Bonn – Germany:  Climate Action Network called for nations to agree a 2014 deadline for releasing their new carbon pollution reductions pledges before the close of the main climate talks in Warsaw this November.

The call came as the latest round of talks closed in Bonn today having made incremental progress on the shape of a comprehensive climate deal to be agreed in 2015.  But Greenpeace UK political advisor Ruth Davis said a deadline for pledges was vital for the negotiations to remain on track.

“This deadline is needed partly to give enough time to assess the pledges against the latest climate science, and partly so that countries can compare their efforts,” Davis said. “Having enough time to negotiate these targets is vital to avoiding the kind of last minute scramble that made the 2009 Copenhagen summit such a disaster.”

These negotiations were held against a backdrop of the worst-on-record flooding in Eastern Europe and extreme weather in the US. German and New York officials stated this week that they would spend billions fortifying their cities against future extreme weather, showing that the costs of climate change are already being tallied in rich countries as well as poor.  

With climate change already impacting millions across the world, the Climate Action Tracker initiative said this week current pledges put the world on track for 4 degree C warming. This would result in devastating impacts for the planet and its people.

With that in mind, Lina Li, from Greenovation Hub in Beijing, said the Bonn talks failed to make major progress on an international mechanism to cover the loss and damage caused to communities by the effects of climate change. Also missing in action was substantial progress on the review  which would assess whether the agreed global temperature limit of 2 degrees Celsius was adequate.

Areas for substantial discussion in Warsaw include the thread that pulls the climate negotiations together: financial support for developing countries to adopt a low carbon development strategy that reduces emissions and helps them adapt to climate impacts. 

“While most countries have shown a cooperative spirit in the talks so far this year, the Warsaw negotiations will be a test of whether this can be maintained as we move towards more substantial discussions,” Li said.

Dorota Zawadzka-Stępniak, from WWF Poland, said the Polish government needed to invite the holders of the purse strings - finance ministers - to Warsaw to discuss real commitments to increasing financial pledges.

“For the Polish presidency to be a success, Poland must stop blocking enhanced climate action in the EU and adopt a progressive attitude towards its domestic climate and energy policy,” Zawadzka-Stępniak said. “We need to embrace a low carbon pathway and make a strategic shift in the Polish energy system in order to be a credible partner in the negotiations.”  

Contact:

Ria Voorhaar
International Communications Coordinator
Climate Action Network – International
mobile: +49 157 3173 5568

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SBI 38: Shouldn’t Give Up Even Though the Negotiations Get Rough!

Henriette Imelda
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

Attending SBI 38 session in Bonn Germany for about 2 weeks is not something that can be enjoyable when you have to sacrifice so many things back home. Travel one-way take around 18 hours consisting of flights, trains and ‘enjoying’ the traffic towards the airport back home. It would be nice to have something in return, a good and worthwhile return, such as progress in the climate change negotiations.

After the closing of Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Actions (AWG-LCA) and Ad-hoc Working Group on Kyoto Protocol in Doha at the end of 2012, now SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) and SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Science and Technological Advice) do play the important roles to enhance all actions within the climate change negotiations. All things now should be followed up by the two sessions. SBI, for instance, should take forward the issues of the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), Loss and Damage, as well as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and other important agenda items. The above issues are crucially important for developing countries to move forward. We need the assurance that we can move forward to implement the above agendas at the national level. Having SBI stuck with the procedurals agenda, due to Russia leading the blocking of adopting the meeting’s agenda, leaves us to wonder, what will take place in Warsaw?

I guess the experience of having heat waves in 2010, in Russia, doesn’t really bother them. Even the flood in Magdeburg, last Saturday, a city in eastern part of Germany that has relocated over 3000 people, didn’t really touch their hearts. But does it? Or maybe the desire to have more power back home exceeds the suffering of the innocent people who do not understand what these “politics” really mean.

I don’t really know what will happen in Warsaw, but I still believe that we can move forward. Like a song that says about keeping a relationship alive, I hope that we could all  sing the same tune and keep that in our minds what needs to happen each day for a 2015 global climate deal. We shouldn’t give up on the negotiations, even the negotiations get rough because God knows that it’s worth it, so we shouldn’t be the people who walk away so easily. 

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