Tag: SBI

CAN Intervention in the COP20 SBI Closing Plenary, 5 December, 2014

Thank you Chair,

I am Carmen Capriles speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The IPCC has made it extremely clear that the "limits to adaptation" exceed with greater rates and magnitude of climate change. Already there are several examples of impossible adaptation to intolerable and unavoidable risks such as sea level rise, ocean acidification, and loss of territory and biodiversity.

We need to take appropriate steps here in Lima to quickly operationalize the mechanism. First and foremost, let us establish The Executive Committee by agreeing on its composition and modalities of the Warsaw International Mechanism. The ExCom should mirror the composition of the Adaptation Committee as suggested by developing countries and particularly, a representative from the SIDS and LDCs should be included.

The 2 year work plan, based on the proposal by the initial Executive Committee should be adopted here but there is a clear need to include and strengthen its financial and technical support aspects. The 2015 agreement needs to be informed by the latest scientific analysis, which has been endorsed with high confidence by all countries. CAN demands that loss and damage due to reaching the limits of adaptation should be captured explicitly as a separate element in the agreement.

Thank you.

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CAN Intervention in the COP19 SBI Opening Plenary, 11 November, 2013

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak,

I am Mónica López Baltodano and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

Last year in Doha, all countries decided that institutional arrangements such as an international mechanism on loss and damage would be established at the climate conference in Warsaw. There shouldn’t be a U-turn on that now and all parties (and let me stress ALL parties!) should come forward and engage constructively here in Warsaw. The International mechanism must be established here with agreement on key functions, while modalities can be detailed in 2014 so that the mechanism can be operationalised by 2015. We have a precedence of Green Climate Fund, wherein the fund was established and the modalities were developed later.

It is important to mention that the proposed International Mechanism on Loss and Damage is not just about developing financial measures to address climate change impacts that cannot be adapted to. It is also about generating knowledge and finding new ways to deal with non-economic losses such as loss of biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, human mobility, cultural heritage, ancestral burial sites etc.

As I speak here, the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is sending us a harsh reminder that there can't be any further delay in intensifying our efforts to tackle mounting loss and damage. Tackling loss and damage is about climate justice. Those who are mainly responsible for climate change must act. It is about protecting people, their livelihoods and most importantly their human rights and dignity.

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CAN Intervention in the SB38/ADP2-2 Bonn Intersessional: SBI Closing Plenary, 14 June, 2013

SBI Closing Plenary Intervention 

-Delivered by Sebastien Duyck

Thank you Mr Chair,

Climate Action Network came to this session of the SBI with mainly two main expectations.

We are extremely disappointed by the fact that we have not been able to begin reviewing the adequacy of the global deal at the light of the latest science. The review is a crucial near-term opportunity to strengthen action to limit climate change.

We also expected progress towards the establishment of a mechanism to address loss and damage suffered by communities around the planet.

While the discussions in these halls could not even start addressing these important issues, local communities in Germany and in neighboring countries suffered on a daily basis losses and damages from unprecedented floods  – not to mention other impacts across the planet.

These issues are not only important to set a necessary sense of urgency for this process but they are also crucial elements of previous agreements and will need to play a key part to an outcome in Warsaw.

In this context, politicizing the process in the way some parties have done over the past weeks is simply unacceptable. We all know here that a solution to this situation will require higher political engagement.

Warsaw will need to put the “I” back in this body and deliver on “implementation”.

Thank you. 

Stop Your Finger Pointing

Delegates: whilst you sat around the Maritim fountain enjoying the balmy weather, Germany suffered historic flooding. It’s a pity the flooding was the physical variety, and not a flood of ambition washing over these negotiations.

The SBI drowning in Russian bile was the disappointing low point of the last fortnight. Really? In two weeks you can’t agree on an agenda?! And you wonder why the public thinks you might be wasting their precious tax dollars. Perhaps Russia might like to pick up the bill for these last weeks, not to mention the bill for the extra climate impacts caused by this stalling.

While we’re on the subject of bills, let’s reflect on how much lower the climate damage bill will be if you raise your ambition (you might recall this is the objective of Workstream 2 – where we’ve yet to see an over abundance of concrete outcomes). The science is clear: the less you mitigate, the more you will pay to adapt – and to deal with ever more frequent climate related disasters.

But, happily, Warsaw offers you the opportunity to address this dearth of ambition, thus plugging a hole in the leaky climate boat.

ECO recommends two Ministerials at Warsaw. First - the Ambition Ministerial. Let your Ministers know that we are actually expecting them to work hard to close the yawning ambition gap whilst at Warsaw, not just tour the many mermaid statues. Workstream 2 needs to see concrete decisions on ways to accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, as well as a clearly marked out timeframe for increasing developed country targets, and enhancing developing country action in 2014.

ECO was VERY pleased to hear of the Polish Government’s plans to engage Finance Ministers at Warsaw and the enthusiastic welcoming of this by many countries. Engaging Finance Ministers early and often will be important. We would encourage Finance Ministers to come to Warsaw ready to put $$$ on the table. A roadmap to scale finance ambition up to the US$100bn by 2020 will be an essential outcome at Warsaw.

The other essential roadmap to agree at Warsaw is a decision laying out the structure and timeline for further negotiations on the 2015 agreement. Yes, you made some progress here in the roundtable format. But as you agree yourselves, we need a more concrete and less watery path – starting in Warsaw. You might want to focus on this, amongst other things, in your September submissions.

To achieve the comprehensive, global plan we all need in 2015, let's seriously start down the path to agreeing to negotiating text by the end of 2014.

Between now and Warsaw we’ll have our first cool refreshing drink of impending doom from IPCC working group 1. Could the AR5 report on the physical science (spoiler: we're all in deep trouble as things currently stand) finally give you the momentum to agree at Warsaw a process to develop an Equity Reference Framework and to develop and put forward your country specific commitments during 2014 (allowing sufficient time to assess them against science and agreed equity indicators)?

We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of Copenhagen, which we approached without any shared understanding of what was a fair share of effort and how we would capture it.

We also need progress in Warsaw on development of common accounting standards for both mitigation and finance.

So for now, sit back, relax, enjoy that final Weizenbier before you head home, content in the knowledge that you will be busy, very busy – filing submissions and getting ready to “move to a more focused mode of work at Warsaw” – which needs to not be a "transition COP" but a real step forward on both short term and long term solutions for the climate problem.

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Poles Apart

 

Poland is an extraordinary country. It has overcome many years of oppression and poverty to transform itself into a significant economic powerhouse and a proactive European player on diplomacy.

But it appears the Polish government is willing to risk their status as rising international star, and allow its politics to be captured by high carbon incumbents.

If the Polish government continues to pursue this position, it is quite likely that the EU will lose patience, and a diplomatic backlash is quite possible. This will result in Poland losing its say to shape the future of Europe’s energy regime, widening the gap between its ageing and inefficient energy infrastructure and a more dynamic, smarter and innovative power system across other EU countries.

ECO wonders if the Polish government is kicking itself in deciding to put their names forward for the Presidency of COP19 later on this year. Warsaw will not be a Poznan. Back in 2008, the Poles were still only agitators as opposed to today’s outright blockers of the EU’s energy and climate ambitions. Poznan was a low-key COP, unlike Warsaw, which should agree on the outlines of an Equity Reference Framework for the post-2020 deal; outline further efforts on public finance (with the engagement of Finance Ministers); close the pre-2020 mitigation gap; affirm the political significance of the Loss and Damage debate and set in place a series of processes to deliver a 2015 agreement.

Warsaw will be a high profile event. But Poland’s diplomatic strategy is flawed – they are invisible, and there is an emerging disquiet amongst many Parties and observers if they were the right choice. Among those are established voices such as Raul Estrada-Oyuela, a legend to those of us in the climate and diplomatic arena, who unforgettably locked delegates in the room in Kyoto to hammer out the subsequent protocol, who calls Poland’s ability to host such an important event into question, based on the Polish SBI chair’s failure to resolve this issue. (Link to Estrada’s letter here http://bit.ly/estrada-oyuela)

What is needed from the Polish government is not just to be a rising star, but a sophisticated diplomatic actor that understands how to build consensus around ambitious action climate change. An actor who has a more mature and deeper understanding of its national interest. An actor who understands that a reliance on coal undermines the long term prosperity of its own people, and recognises that modernising its economy is essential if it is to compete in a globalised world.   Instead, what we have is a government that plans to build new coal fired power plants and open new lignite reserves, which recent studies state have the worst implications upon health within the EU, and that also displace 20,000 people.  Such aggressive coal expansion, and its persistent objections to greater European ambition, cannot be reconciled with its desire to be an international player in the run up to 2015.

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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 Fossil of the Day: June 13, 2013 - 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 Fossil of the Day: June 13, 2013 - 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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