Ludwig & Ludwiga

 

Hello ECO readers. Just because the SBI won’t start this Bonn session (seriously Russia!!) it does not mean that ECO could conclude the fortnight without at least one piece of acerbic commentary from me, Ludwig (and my gender-balancing friend, Ludwiga). And do not be disappointed, we’ve got a good one for you!

In Tuesday’s ADP informal, a big country down-under came up with a great idea to deal with adaptation financing – “let’s just ignore the costs and focus on the opportunities!”

The text at that time had (and we hope still has) a request for the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the costs of adaptation at various temperature levels. It seems these mates had so much fun making up new colours for their temperature maps during the extended heat wave in their summer that now they want everyone to benefit from such “adaptation opportunities”!

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Russia Wins Disastrous Diplomacy Dishonorable Distinction (4D) Award

Russia continues to break new ground here in Bonn, and not in a good way. CAN has issued Colossal Fossils before to countries that richly deserved it, but never before has one country monopolized the fossil awards the way Russia has this session. For this reason, CAN is giving Russia special recognition with the Disastrous Diplomacy Dishonorable Distinction (4D) Award. Never before has the agenda and work of an entire Subsidiary Body of the UNFCCC has been held hostage to the whims of one country, or more likely one negotiator. Russia claims they want to discuss the rules of procedure here at the UNFCCC yet they rejected all solutions that offered to do so. So the mystery of their continued blocking (with Belarus and Ukraine continuing to go along for the ride) around such a political issue remains. If they do want to make a political statement this should be done between Ministers in a Ministerial meeting, not at the negotiator level. Disconcertingly, all this it remains unresolved, and it is not clear whether Russia, Belarus and Ukraine will continue to disrupt progress during the COP in Warsaw, when we desperately need to focus on getting emissions down, and finance up. We say out of the way at Warsaw, Russia.

Russia Wins Disastrous Diplomacy Dishonorable Distinction (4D) Award

Russia continues to break new ground here in Bonn, and not in a good way. CAN has issued Colossal Fossils before to countries that richly deserved it, but never before has one country monopolized the fossil awards the way Russia has this session.  For this reason, CAN is giving Russia special recognition  with the Disastrous Diplomacy Dishonorable Distinction (4D) Award.

Never before has the agenda and work of an entire Subsidiary Body of the UNFCCC has been held hostage to the whims of one country, or more likely one negotiator.

Russia claims they want to discuss the rules of procedure here at the UNFCCC yet they rejected all solutions that offered to do so. So the mystery of their continued blocking (with Belarus and Ukraine continuing to go along for the ride)   around such a political issue remains.

If they do want to make  a political statement this should be done between Ministers in a Ministerial meeting, not at the negotiator level.

Disconcertingly, all this it remains unresolved, and it is not clear whether Russia, Belarus and Ukraine will continue to disrupt progress during the COP in Warsaw, when we desperately need to focus on getting emissions down, and finance  up.

We say out of the way at Warsaw, Russia. 

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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OK Russia,

 

now that our love affair is truly over, you’ve got us singing the blues:

You never compromise anymore when we reach the limit

And there’s no commitment like before when you ratified the KP

You’re trying hard to provoke us,

But comrade, comrade, I know it,

You've lost, that lovin' feelin',
Whoa, that lovin' feelin',
You've lost, that lovin' feelin',
Now it's gone...gone...gone...wooooooh.

We could go on, but ECO really is not in the mode for singing anymore. You send your Top Gun here and let him strut and fret his hour upon the stage, waste two weeks of negotiating time, and for what? We understand you gave him the option to step off the stage, and he decided to continue to obstruct, just because he could. Is it just for the sake of his ego, or to try to elevate his prestige in Moscow, or just pure stubbornness?

If your excellent diplomat really has any good ideas for improving COP decision making processes, we haven’t heard them yet. So are we going to leave Bonn with a cloud the size of Siberia hanging over the negotiations? How dark will the storm clouds be over Warsaw when we arrive? Would we be better off not going?

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ECO’s suggestion to resolve the Russian SBI issue

all Parties sign the following petition: Dear Russia, we promise not to gavel through an agreement without you being OK with it, because you are obviously more important than others, such as Bolivia, where in Cancun you gladly accepted an outcome without Bolivia being part of the consensus

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To Russia, and really not feeling the love at this point:

 

We understand that you want to have your agenda item to hold over our heads like the Sword of Damocles for the coming years. And indeed, it’s true that the Saudis have their Response Measures item to wreak havoc with whenever they want, and others have made silly demands, and sometimes gotten away with them. Clearly some democratic solution must be found. So here’s ECO’s proposal: Every Party is entitled to their own agenda item in the body of their choice, in which they can introduce any matter at any time, and all work in all other bodies must stop until that matter is resolved to the satisfaction of that Party. In this situation, which shall henceforth be known as “Multiple Agenda Deterrent”, or MAD1, we hope the threat of all other parties pushing the button in retaliation will be sufficient deterrence that no party will dare to go first.

You are welcome.



1Not to be confused with “Mutually Assured Destruction”, an entirely different scenario

 

 

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Fossil of the Day

“Climate Action Network (CAN) has slammed blocking moves by Russia which have stalled progress during the first week of the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany.

CAN - a network of over 850 NGOs all working together to combat climate change - voted to give Russia the nation the weekly fossil award for the country which does the most to block progress in the talks a day early.

Kaisa Kosonen, senior political adviser from Greenpeace International, said so far five days have been wasted as Moscow insisted the rules on agreeing laws in the UN climate process be discussed - meaning many negotiation sessions could not begin - and all efforts at compromise so far have been blocked.

'It’s in everybody’s interest that the rules of the game are respected, but frankly, the Russians broke the rules first by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol and by not taking any climate action even though they are a major emitter,' Kosonen said.

Moscow’s actions seem to stem from their anger over the way their objections to the Doha Decision - which quite rightly removed tons of poor quality emissions permits from the system - at last year’s major climate talks was ignored.

However, governments have as few as five negotiating sessions left before the 2015 climate agreement has to be signed. This behavior derails progress towards this deadline.

It comes as science finally re-enters these political negotiations with the kick off of the First Periodical Review to measure the adequacy of and the progress towards the global agreement to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees C.

Scientists told country delegates that the 2 degree limit was still achievable - but its clear there remains a huge gulf between the action governments have currently committed to and what the world needs.

Furthermore, with deadly climate impacts already being felt around the world and the carbon concentration breaking through the 400 ppm landmark, scientists said the world is currently experiencing the “worst-case climate change scenario” envisaged by the IPCC in 1990.

The kind of progress that Russia is blocking includes workshops that would help developing countries do more on climate. For example, unable to proceed are:

·    a workshop designed to help developing countries prepare and implement emissions reduction targets

·    efforts to help developing countries implement forest related emission reduction efforts more effectively

This process has the real potential to change lives on the ground by agreeing a global agreement that provides assistance to countries looking to use technology to adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions, but right now the interests of a few are holding back its potential to move forward.”

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No love lost on Russia as climate talks delayed for fifth day

                 

Climate Action Network (CAN) has slammed blocking moves by Russia which have stalled progress during the first week of the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany. 

 
CAN - a network of over 850 NGOs all working together to combat climate change -  voted to give Russia the nation the weekly fossil award for the country which does the most to block progress in the talks a day early.
 
Kaisa Kosonen, senior political adviser from Greenpeace International, said so far five days have been wasted as Moscow insisted the rules on agreeing laws in the UN climate process be discussed  - meaning many negotiation sessions could not begin -  and all efforts at compromise so far have been blocked.  
 
“It’s in everybody’s interest that the rules of the game are respected, but frankly, the Russians broke the rules first by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol and by not taking any climate action even though they are a major emitter,” Kosonen said. 
 
Moscow’s actions seem to stem from their anger over the way their objections to the Doha Decision - which quite rightly removed tons of poor quality emissions permits from the system -  at last year’s major climate talks was ignored. 
 
However, governments have as few as five negotiating sessions left before the 2015 climate agreement has to be signed.  This behavior derails progress towards this deadline. 
 
It comes as science finally re-enters these political negotiations with the kick off of the First Periodical Review to measure the adequacy of and the progress towards the global agreement to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees C.
 
Scientists told country delegates that the 2 degree limit was still achievable - but its clear there remains a huge gulf between the action governments have currently committed to and what the world needs. 
 
Furthermore, with deadly climate impacts already being felt around the world and the carbon concentration breaking through the 400 ppm landmark, scientists said the world is currently experiencing the “worst-case climate change scenario” envisaged by the IPCC in 1990. 
 
The kind of progress that Russia is blocking includes workshops that would help developing countries do more on climate. For example, unable to proceed are:
 
  • a workshop designed to help developing countries prepare and implement emissions reduction targets
  • efforts to help developing countries implement forest related emission reduction efforts more effectively
 
This process has the real potential to change lives on the ground by agreeing a global agreement that provides assistance to countries looking to use technology to adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions, but right now the interests of a few are holding back its potential to move forward. 
 
Contact:
For more information or for one-on-one interviews with the NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org
 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of roughly 850 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 
 
About Fossil: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.
 
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