“There is nothing wrong with being helped to go on living. And that is what this[climate change] issue is all about,” stated a senior official from the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia. I am at a ministerial gathering of 28 nations of the Cartagena Group/Dialogue for Progressive Action convening in the beautiful island of Bandos in the Republic of Maldives. The participants are from Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Samoa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, UK and the European Commission. The Cartagena Group/Dialogue is an informal space, open to all countries that…
By Andy Barnett.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this essay online. It is from the heart:
Note that the comments fall into two categories:
1) Vitriolic climate skeptics who sound VERY similar to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the right-wing noise machine.
2) People who think climate change is an urgent problem that requires global response.
When the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy sponsored “Global Warming’s Six Americas” they suggested that Americans fall into these categories
Doubtful (11%), and
I’m fascinated by the Op-Ed comments on the Star Tribune site. Seems like the “Dismissive” group was fired up as soon as they read the essay. While they…
It is 6:13 am and in the Bella Conference Center I am listening to the chair of the AOSIS (Association of Small Island States) trying to fight off uncontrollable tears. I am almost certain that the Group of 77 (a behemoth of 130 plus developing country states) is coming to an end. Countries are divided and I am witnessing accusations fly across the plenary. Why has it taken us so long to arrive at this point? We sit here with the “Copenhangen Accord” staring at our faces. It is a document full of hot air and is not what billions of people across the planet had been promised to deliver atmospheric restitution. Once again the developed…
There is little encouraging news from inside the Bella Center today. Last night some drafting groups continued but with little progress. In parallel sessions at the high level, heads of state met from 24 countries with broad regional representation and there was consensus that some sort of deal should be possible. Working off of the Danish text, technical drafters worked through the night, hoping to arrive at a deal to present to regional constituencies for this morning. Unfortunately they were unable to come to any agreement and stopped work at paragraph 3 of 13.
Rumors are that another high-level group based on the so-called “Copenhagen Commitment Circle” convened by Australia and the UK have also come up with a text. The problem is that the process for producing this…
By Andrew K. Barnett
After many sleepness nights at Copenhagen’s climate talks, I write to you with an urgent sense of hope. Not the ‘bury your head in the sand’ kind of hope. I’m talking about the ‘roll up your sleeves, put on a rally cap, batting in the bottom of the ninth’ kind of hope. Ultimately we must acknowledge that important work happens before, during, and after these talks. And it is this forward work that Minnesota can engage. If you’re following the news and wondering what you can do, here are some ideas.
First, global warming is undeniable, unforgiving, and urgent- and you can have this conversation. Distinct and multiple data sets indicate that human emissions are trapping heat in the atmosphere at unprecedented…
Currently ‘near-term mitigation’, still bracketed, crops up at the end of paragraph 1 of an obscure LCA text on “Various Approaches, Including Opportunities for Using Markets, to Enhance the Cost-Effectiveness of, and to Promote Mitigation Actions”, proceeding under paragraph 1b5 of the Bali Action Plan. This language is the final result of a long and heated debate over a proposal, originally submitted by Micronesia, on fast-track mitigation options. This proposal drew attention to a number of mitigation opportunities not currently covered by the international climate regime, specifically biochar, *black carbon*, and HFC abatement. The idea is that these could result in for more rapid reductions in radiative forcing then “classic” mitigation efforts (such as reducing CO2 emissions). This paragraph would establish a work programme to explore voluntary implementation of…
It has been a strange day in the Bella centre… eerily quiet. The main hall is now a sea of unbroken black suits and subdued whispers, where previously it was dominated by the noise and colour brought by civil society. After yesterday’s protests, only 300 NGO passes were made available for today’s activities. This was an improvement on yesterday’s plan, which was that no NGOs would be admitted. Yvo de Boer is well aware that this means there is now essentially no civil oversight of COP activities, which makes a mockery of the UNFCCC’s objectives of transparency and civil society oversight, but says his hands are tied. Apparently he was told by his head of security that this was the only way to ensure the safety of the insane number…
Once again Parties are waiting for what seems like forever in Plenary 2 for the COP to begin. It should be working on the texts forwarded from the LCA, which finally held its closing session between 4 and 7am this morning after an all night session. Texts from the LCA were officially finalized and forwarded to be taken up by the COP.
The main hold up last night appeared to revolve around US objections to paragraph 12 of the Chair’s text which read:
“Developed country Parties shall undertake, individually or jointly, legally-binding nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions, [including] [expressed as] quantified economy-wide emissions reduction objectives with a view to reducing the collective greenhouse gas emissions of developed country Parties by at least [25-40] [in the order of 30]…