CROWDSOURCING ACCOUNTABILITY: DECISIONMAKR RANKINGS Day 7 – WHO’S ON THE BOTTOM?

By Yiting Wang and Angel Hsu

DecisionMakr welcomes you back to the final week of the Doha climate conference. Brief showers of rare rain cleared up the afternoon sky on Saturday, but the battle goes on.  As the second week of the Doha climate talks begin, ministers from around the world are arriving, which means the stakes of the negotiations have automatically been raised.  Most of the technical discussions (Subsidiary Bodies, etc.) have concluded, and delegations are working overtime to shape up the text for their ministers to hammer out remaining details. Many people especially the youth constituencies welcomed that the Subsidiary Bodies of Implementation adopted the Doha Work Programme on Article 6 of the Convention, which addresses climate change education and garners support and broader participation, including…

Guten Tag from Germany! We have finished a series of productive meetings in Hamburg to wrap up our comprehensive energy tour of Germany. Our first two meetings were with innovative city developers, IBA Hamburg and HafenCity. We could tell right away at IBA that city planning is robustly supported politically and financially in Germany. Both organizations were working to redevelop old industrial areas on the Elbe river, the iconic port area of Hamburg. The managing director of IBA showed us the plans for innovative built structures constructed including: A building whose walls were filled with Algae, with the opacity regulated by the amount of CO2 sequestered; a “light active house” design that used principles of the greenhouse to regulate heat while producing more energy then it consumed through solar roofs…

Guten Tag. Our group of FES students has been very productive here in Berlin. Several of our meetings involved ideal partners for the FES community, especially regarding climate change policy and economic planning. Yesterday, we met with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), where we discussed the broad economic impacts of Germany’s decision to replace all nuclear power plants with renewable energy sources within the next 20 years. PIK performs a wide range of climate related study and analysis, and will hopefully become a recurring academic partner with FES. We also met with The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), where we discussed a number of national policy initiatives related to renewable power, energy efficiency, and fossil fuel transmission systems. From an American energy planning perspective, the discussion…

Hello again from Germany. Our team’s study of German energy policy has thus far carried us from Frieburg to Dusseldorf, and now Berlin. In Dusseldorf, we met with members of the power utility E.On, where we discussed the European natural gas market, Germany’s planned phase out of nuclear power, and the role that utilities believe energy efficiency will play in strategic resource planning.

We have a number of meetings scheduled in Berlin, but have thus far met with the consulting firm Ecofys and the Germany Trade and Investment Group. Both meetings focused on the role of energy efficiency and real-time data monitoring within the built environment. From a U.S. energy policy perspective, it has been fascinating for us to learn the mechanics of German energy policy approaches, as well as…

Hello from Freiburg, Germany. The city sits at the foot of the black forest in what feels like a sleepy corner of one of Europe’s most affluent and industrious nations. Though its beauty and charm make for a generally attractive tourist destination, Freiburg is a center for energy research and proved to be the ideal place for your fellow FESers to begin our exploration of Germany’s renewable energy and energy efficiency landscape.

With the FES a small group of M.E.M. students left New Haven four days ago to find out what makes the German energy system unique, special, and, ultimately, what has driven its leadership in renewables and energy efficiency deployment. For us, this trip and the questions we are seeking to answer, are a culmination of two years of energy…

The 2nd Intersessional for the Rio+20 summit was the first UN intergovernmental conference that I have ever attended. I attended the Intersessional as part of NRDC’s team under the NGO – Major Groups sector. It was interesting to observe the different profiles of country representatives and their dispositions at the Intersessional. Sitting through both days, I observed that the general disposition in the room appeared to be ladened with weariness for rhetorics, there was no clear enthusiasm associated with change or the promise of change, rather there were mixed dispositions amongst country and civil society delegates. The general disposition of country delegates appeared to be a simple ‘tick in the box of attendance’ at the 2nd Intersessional for the Rio+20 summit. Even the brilliant comments, questions and commitments from countries or groups of countries…

The Ring of Fire is ablaze with the new carbon trading schemes sweeping around the Pacific Rim. New Zealand is home to the first mandatory trading scheme outside of the EU, and the governments of both California and Australia have recently approved trading programs that will become operational in the coming years. Japan, which is pulling out of the Kyoto agreements in 2012, has been proposing the widespread adoption of bilateral carbon offset mechanisms for countries no longer part of those agreements, and at the municipal level, both Tokyo and Saitama are experimenting with urban carbon markets. Meanwhile, China and South Korea have plans to scale out national emissions trading schemes by 2015 as well.

Curious as to what is happening at the current COP conference in Durban, South Africa?  Check out the UNFCCC-Durban portion of this blog.  We have about 20 students working hard as representatives for various countries and groups.  They are blogging about their experiences so you can following along too…

One of the little things that’s surprised me about the negotiations is the use of technology – you might imagine that we have fancy resources. But that is not the case, at least for the G77+China (the group of “developing” countries). We use googlegroups to coordinate efforts, and gmail and hotmail email addresses are standard. It’s incredibly hard to find power outlets here at the conference center, which definitely poses a challenge to those of us without iPads or extra batteries. Many people (from all countries) still work with pen and paper…