Tag: Latin America

Opportunities for a change - Why COP 19 is important for Latin America

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis
Fundación Biosfera
Climate Action Network Latin America (CANLA)

While UNFCCC negotiations continue in COP 19, countries still struggle to make significant progress on crucial issues that are due to be agreed in this COP. Many issues need to be covered by the end of this week if we want to be certain that we are on the correct path for a 2015 deal.

Latin American countries are excited about COP 20 in Peru, but some challenges are in the way, right here and right now. The Latin American COP will be the last stop before we go to France for sealing the deal that will shape the commitments for the future of our climate, and we have our expectations for it. It is fair to say that a lot of planning has to happen and it is good to see that Peru is taking a lot of time to prepare for it.

Nevertheless it is important to recall that negotiations are happening right now and right here. Crucial issues like Finance and Loss and Damage are key for the remaining 5 days and countries know it. Latin American countries are playing active roles in the G77 and the negotiations in general. But we need to see more action; we need to come up with creative and diverse ideas that contribute to solve the problem, and they might be in Latin America.

Loss and Damage has to come up with a clear result. What happened in the Philippines is not impossible to happen in Latin America, and we know it.

Actions to promote Low Carbon Development should be highlighted here from all Latin American Countries. We don't want them to be in the same path that brought us here. It is just not acceptable to defend fossil fuels saying it is a necessary evil...

So it would be good to see that creativeness coming from the next COP presidency and its neighbours. After all, whatever is not agreed in Warsaw will have to be dealt with in Lima, and considering how much is already in the list of issues for 2014... that is just too much.

Related Member Organization: 

Something has to happen!

 

COP 18 is another step in the climate change negotiations. There are a lot of expectations here and many issues need to be covered. Most importantly, a comprehensive decision has to be made in order to deliver what humanity needs in order to survive. This is something we hear all the time around climate change negotiations. The issue is that, if we need to repeat it, then there has not been any change.

For some countries, there is an economic interest conflict - a fear of losing money. For others, it is just a matter of survival- a loss of lives. We all will face the consequences, climate change doesn’t recognize differences. It will happen and we must take action.

Negotiators are convinced that they will find a solution. But, will this happen? Will they realize they are negotiating a way forward for everyone and not bargaining to get something? Will they stop putting the blame on each other?

Finance issues are crucial for this regime to move forward but recent statements from some parties are not very encouraging. This only diminishes the acknowledgement of any progress that could have happened.

Realistic mitigation efforts by developed countries have been due for a long time now. Some developing countries are being more proactive than developed countries. While this can be a good sign towards a future low carbon world, developed countries should do more in order to achieve what humanity needs.

Adaptation is crucial for all, but especially for those in developing countries, where there is lack of capacity to adapt to climate changes.

Being in a Doha Conference center, where everything is so scattered, where there seems to be empty rooms everywhere, it feels as though not much is happening. We hope that, in the next few days, delegates can work out ways to facilitate the process of ministers reaching agreements.

Region: 

Clarifying Clarifications

The two panels on quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets by developed country Parties left ECO feeling that there was something missing since Bali - like four years perhaps? - or a bit of ambition?

Surely Parties can cite 1(b)(i) from the Bali Action Plan in their sleep (“comparable” – remember)? Yet, as St Lucia pointed out, we still have different base years and metrics. That’s not going to help spotting the loopholes and freeloaders - oh sorry...everyone’s acting in good faith so no need to worry about transparency.

All in all, there are some surprisingly unsophisticated approaches on the table from some rather sophisticated economies – putting forward point targets rather than carbon budgets. And yes, ECO’s talking about those north of Latin America. This includes no clear idea how international credits used by states and provinces are going to affect the national level.  ECO was intrigued at issues for California being considered “within the noise” of measurement. Yes, who could possibly be concerned about accounting problems within an economy the size of Australia?

 And talking of the latter – ECO believes the EU’s urgings were heard loud and clear.  Australia and New Zealand, you’re wanted in the KP.  As they say in those parts, “Come on Australia.” 

All in all, some in the Umbrella group must have been wishing they had their brollies to hide behind. Can’t imagine how “banking and borrowing” can be used with inventories and point targets? Well no problem in adding a ban to the UNFCCC rule book then... And funny how those with issues with their emissions trajectories seem to be the keenest for flexibility and most concerned that harmonisation might prevent full participation. A tip to New Zealand – choirs and rugby sides seem to manage it. 

So to clarify all that clarity, ECO supports South Africa's proposal for a common accounting workshop before Doha to assist the successful conclusion of 1(b)(i).  

ECO was rather more encouraged to see some of the good progress on NAMAs presented by developing country panellists. And just a reminder to those who seem to have forgotten exactly what NAMA stands for – it’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation ACTIONS. It’s apparent that here, too, provision of detailed information is important because it gives more clarity on what measures countries are undertaking. And this clarity will provide confidence and facilitate access to further support. On this note, ECO is having a bit of difficulty seeing the support – more of this in a minute.

Now, even with the focus on actions rather than outcomes, it is still vital that we are able to understand what emission reductions have been achieved below BAU. Not to hold developing countries to a particular goal, but to track emission reductions on a country level in the context of collective efforts.

Panel 2 on means of support seemed to have a great deal of agreement.  Capacity building and, again, this cleverly invisible means of support for developing countries to be able to develop and design effective long-term NAMAs (aligned with low carbon development pathways) was emphasised time and time again.

 Particularly notable was how this was coming almost equally from both sides of the 1(b)(ii) equation – from developing countries in order to be able to act, and from developed countries in order to ensure value for their hard-to-find money. Given this last factor, ECO is left absolutely baffled as to why many developed countries seem to believe they have a logical basis for their determination to block the capacity building negotiation in the LCA. (But hey, ECO has gotten used to being baffled by flights of logic from developed countries many times before.) And let’s face it – some of those non-KP developed countries seem to need a bit of capacity building to help them produce their QELROs.

Brazil Takes 1st Place; Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, EU, Canada US, & More 2nd

It was a full day for fossils Sunday at the Rio+20 negotiations. Brazil earned the First Place Fossil for a frightening new draft text. Saudi Arabia and Venezuela took Second Place for trying to save fossil fuel subsidies. The European Union, United States, and other developed countries earned another Second Place Fossil for bringing empty pockets to plans in need of financing. The Fossils as presented read:

“Brazil earns the First place Fossil. Yesterday Brazil took over as host country of the negotiations for the Rio+20 summit and presented its new draft of the negotiating text. With great power comes great responsibility. The world is watching how Brazil performs in its task of steering negotiators towards agreement on ambitious, concrete outcomes. Outcomes that will get the world on the path to sustainable development and ensuring all members of this and future generations access to quality food, clean water and renewable energy, as well as a healthy, liveable planet, a stable climate and a vibrant prosperous economy. The outcome also need to find new sources of financing and ways to mobilize the technologies to achieve these goals.
 
Unfortunately the text yesterday shows no signs of movement in this direction. It appears that Brazil is missing the chance be a force for raising ambition and living up to the hopes and trust that the world has placed on its shoulders, and will be content with using its growing political clout and indisputable diplomatic capacities only to find clever compromises and get agreement on a watered-down document devoid of clear commitments and actions. Furthermore it seems that the Brazilian government are more focused on closing text, even though it is slashing the ambition, rather than ensuring the outcome we need. Of course Brazil can’t single-handedly turn this process around, and it needs bold and ambition proposals from other countries and a willingness from all countries to get this process on track to creating the world we really do want.”
 
“The United States, European Union, Canada, and other developed countries earned the Second Place Fossil. US, Canada, EU and other developed countries, turned up in Rio with not a Euro cent or Dime, and now that we see all references to finance and technology commitments deleted from the Rio negotiating text it’s clear that developed countries are intending to run away from the Rio principles signed 20 years
ago, especially Common But Differentiated Responsibility. Rich, industrialised countries need to step up and provide the predictable and adequate support that allows developing countries to pursue truly sustainable development.”
 
“Saudi Arabia and Venezuela also earn a Second Place Fossil. During closed door negotiations Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have consistently blocked progress on ending fossil fuel subsidies. Despite an honest effort by Brazil to bridge the divide, these two countries remain the biggest obstacle to stopping our governments handing taxpayers' money directly to the dirty energy industries. Why aren't these billions being spent on access to clean energy for the billions without? The oil industry' slippery tentacles are strangling sustainable development and driving us closer towards a climate catastrophe, with our governments in on the act. By refusing to end these dirty handouts, we give Saudi Arabia and Venezuela the second place fossil, hopefully we won’t see them on the podium again.”

 

¡Latinoamérica necesita una voz! Latin America needs a voice!

Se suponía que la COP16 le correspondía a Latinoamérica, y que esto traería una oportunidad para generar no solo un diálogo en relación al tema de cambio climático, sino también para que nuestros países insertaran dentro de sus discursos y en las políticas nacionales el tema como una prioridad.
Sin embargo, al pasar de los días ECO no ha escuchado a una región con una visión integral, ni con una participación activa, y menos aún con un liderazgo que les permita  salir de la COP fortalecidos ante el escenario poco deseable que se presenta.
Grupos diversos se han conformado en un continente que tiene características y problemáticas similares, pero cuyas diferencias han sido más fuertes llevándolos a  la separación, dejando el camino a que bloques siempre fuertes se apoderen del escenario.
Latinoamérica, eso no puede seguir pasando! Hay ante ustedes una amenaza, pero también una oportunidad. Los países latinoamericanos no están mostrando el liderazgo, ni la congruencia necesarias, sobre todo si consideramos la vulnerabilidad de la región a los impactos del cambio climático.
La COP 16 es la oportunidad para que Latinoamérica levante una sola voz y que su ¡ECO! traspase estas lentas e inseguras negociaciones internacionales.

 

COP16 was supposed to have a particular 
focus on Latin America, and that could 
offer an opportunity to generate not only an internal dialogue related to climate change but also room for their countries to insert the topic as a priority into their discourse and into their national policies.
Nevertheless day after day ECO had a hard time hearing the Latin American region sharing either a whole integral vision or a truly active participation.  
Latin American leadership has also failed to face up to the challenges of the current climate scenario.
Diverse groupings have formed in a continent with similar features and problems. But remaining differences have divided efforts and left the path open to stronger groups to block progress.     
Latin America: that way must not be continued! You are facing a threat but also an opportunity. Latin American countries are not showing either the leadership or the needed consistency.  
The Latin American region is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. COP 16 is the opportunity for Latin America to express itself in a single voice, projected strongly beyond these slow, rough international negotiations.

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Related Newsletter : 

Los cimientos de Cancún - sumario - Nov 2010

La COP 16 en Cancún debe ser un paso significativo hacia un acuerdo justo, ambicioso y vinculante a ser alcanzado en la COP 17 en Sudáfrica. La COP 16 debe adoptar progresos en importantes áreas de política, establecer una visión clara para Sudáfrica y acordar un proceso para alcanzar un acuerdo justo, ambicioso y vinculante, incluyendo los puntos fundamentales señalados en los Los cimientos de Cancún

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