Gender & Finance Update

Last week I blogged on the push to insert language on gender into the finance section of the LCA text. I’m happy to report, on this penultimate day of COP16, that a subparagraph in Annex IV of the latest draft calls for gender considerations to be taken into account when the composition of the Board of the Cancun Climate Fund is decided. The insertion of this currently-unbracketed subparagraph, if maintained, could bode well for future mention of gender as it relates to the actual allocation of funding.

(Pictured left) La Catrina, on display in Cancun Messe, toasts the Icelandic negotiator who has unrelentingly advocated for the inclusion of the gender text. Thanks to her efforts, mañana might be a good…

“The age of cheap electricity is over”. These were the words from Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Association on Monday December 6th, 2010 during his review of the 2010 World Energy Outlook. This is the reality that we must face in order to meet the 450ppm of CO2 or 2 degrees Celsius increase target since electricity accounts for approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions today. The 450ppm target would require a rebalancing of our global electricity generation to include significant generation from nuclear power, renewable energy, and fossil fuels with carbon capture & sequestration (CCS). The magnitude of the price increase is uncertain given that renewable energy will continue to make improvements and become cheaper over time. However, the IEA projects that the 450 scenario will cost…

Climate Finance Not Charity, But Investment

I arrived to Cancún only this past Saturday, entering a negotiation process well underway. After a thorough introduction to the state of the talks by Weixin Ng and Randy Caruso, Randy and I have been following progression on finance in the AWG-LCA. This work is a continuation of study I did this semester. As to be expected, we have been delving into the minutiae of the funding mechanisms and legal language, so today, when I went to a high-level meeting about climate finance with Ban Ki-Moon (it was a side event), it was like a breath of fresh air.

The event was about the release of the AGF report on possible funding sources (more on that in…

Collage compiled from workshop photos, work of Javier Velaso, and online submissions from around the world. See the Isla Hundida website or Facebook page for more-- it was too hard to choose!
Youth delegates are still easy to spot in the ever-growing crowds at Cancun Messe and the Moon Palace– yes, because they’re young… but also because they’re wearing gold stars.

When negotiations began last week on Article 6 (related to education, training and public awareness), the Chair of the Working Group, in somewhat patronizing jest, told youth delegates championing Article 6 that they’d deserve a gold star if consensus was reached on the text in Cancun. Just a few days later, agreement on Article 6 was announced. It marked the first consensus achieved at COP16.

“The most significant aspect of the consensus text,” according to a press release…

Wash U students with US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing and Chinese lead negotiator Su Wei.

By Angel Hsu, Phd candidate, Yale Climate & Energy Institute Fellow
This post originally appeared on ChinaFAQs.

In the hectic hallway traffic of the Moon Palace Resort, where the UN climate negotiations have been underway since last week, Washington University in St. Louis undergraduates Jiakun Zhao and John Delurey met with lead Chinese negotiator Su Wei.  And by a stroke of luck, Jonathan Pershing, a senior U.S. negotiator, happened to walk by in a fortuitous moment reflective of the U.S. and China’s softer and more conciliatory tone in the talks.

Together with Su…

$100 billion dollars is the amount “agreed upon” in the Copenhagen accord to aid the developing world in adaptation efforts to protect themselves from the harmful effects of climate change, and mitigation initiatives to curb their carbon emissions. The prose from the accord set forth this amount as a “goal” for the world to raise each year by 2020, from “a wide variety of sources.”

As I’ve learned more intimatley while here in Cancun, that this amount is just simply not enough. In fact, it’s not even close to enough. The worrysome part of it all, is the current prose positiong the $100 billion figure as a ceiling, with no provisions to allow for a review of the amount and asses whether it’s really is enough. If anything, $100 billion should be the floor.

The following…

I went to a side event called Rethinking Climate Change Governance, organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), in which some academics and diplomats shared their toughs about the international climate regime. The academics raised some very interesting questions as how subnational governments and civil society can be integrated into the negotiations? how can we ensure the adequate financial flows for mitigation and adaptation? should negotiations be liberated from sustainable development discussions to focus only in climate change? should we use existing financial institutions? or even what the UNFCCC is trying to govern? Even all these academic-like questions are important and very valuable to think about the process and its effectiveness, they didn’t go to the foundations of the UNFCCC.

When the turn to speak was for…

Given that the momentum for mitigation 1b(iii), or REDD, appears to be dwindling, attention falls on adaptation to table the first draft decision for AWG-LCA. The earliest to start negotiations based on proposed text, much progress has been achieved after a guerilla warfare, which tackled different issues at different times, before the debate was focused on the establishment of an adaptation committee, as a permanent body to facilitate the implementation of adaptation actions by countries. As it stands currently, positions of negotiating partners have been drawn closer, and the spirit of compromise and flexibility will likely lead to an agreement on the text regarding the establishment of the adaptation committee and its functions.

However, what use will a stand-alone decision on an Adaptation Committee achieve? Without consensus and related…