Posts tagged ‘Climate talks’

New climate talks set for 2010 in Cancun, Mexico

Delegates from 175-nations agreed on two extra sessions of U.N. climate control talks this year at the end of a tortuous meeting in Bonn that presaged big battles ahead over the non-binding Copenhagen Accord.

The Copenhagen Accord seeks to limit a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial times but does not spell out how.

Reached at a fractious U.N. climate summit in December, the accord was strongly backed by Washington and bitterly opposed by some developing nations, though it also holds out the prospect of $100 billion climate aid a year from 2020.

“This process has big problems,” said Annie Petsonk of the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund, at the end of the meeting in Bonn.

The session had been due to end on Sunday, but delegates wrangled deep into the night over a two-page plan to guide negotiations, with several hours spent on the wording of what appeared to be uncontroversial phrases.

The final text skirted one of the biggest problems — the fate of the Copenhagen Accord. The December summit had disappointed many by failing to come up with a binding treaty.

“We have just about worked out the procedural kinks — save the big one, which is what to do about the way in which we will respond to the Copenhagen Accord,” Dessima Williams of Grenada, chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, told Reuters.

The accord was not mentioned by name in the Bonn workplan.

Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe, who chaired the U.N. talks and will draw up new draft texts by May 17, said the phrasing had a “constructive ambiguity…to me it seems to cover the work that was done to produce the Copenhagen Accord.”

The Accord has backing from almost 120 of 194 member states, including top emitters China, the United States, the European Union, Russia and India.

It faces opposition led by countries such as Bolivia, Cuba, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Some developing nations complained that rich countries pledged insufficient action under the Accord to stop disaster for millions of people from floods, droughts, heatwaves and rising seas.

By contrast, Saudi Arabia fears a shift from oil to renewable energies.

Bolivia said that the Bonn meeting had ruled the Accord out of negotiations that will culminate in a ministerial meeting in Mexico in November and December.

“Despite continual attempts by the U.S. to make the completely unacceptable Copenhagen Accord the basis for future negotiations, I am glad to say they failed,” said Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s chief delegate.

The U.N.’s top climate official, Yvo de Boer, said he did not expect a breakthrough to achieve a new treaty in Mexico.

For a $125 billion carbon market, failure to agree a global legally binding deal would be “regrettable” but tough national policies were more important, said one expert.

“It is cap and trade which is driving this market,” said Andrei Marcu, head of regulatory and policy affairs at oil trading firm Mercuria.

Cap and trade schemes control industrial carbon emissions by forcing companies to buy from a fixed quota of emissions permits.

A European scheme is at the center of a carbon market which could grow significantly if the United States passes a climate bill this year.

“I’m looking very much to what the U.S. will do,” said Marcu, who was upbeat that the Bonn meeting had re-launched talks which “fell apart” in Copenhagen.

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April 12, 2010 at 8:44 AM Leave a comment

China, U.S. clash over 2010 U.N. climate talks

The United States and China clashed on Friday about how to revive climate talks in 2010, complicating the first U.N. session since the acrimonious Copenhagen summit fell short of agreeing a treaty.

Many delegates at the 175-nation talks in Bonn from April 9-11 urged efforts to restore trust between rich and poor countries but few held out hopes for a breakthrough deal to fight global warming at the next major talks in Cancun, Mexico, in late 2010.

In a split between the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases, Washington said it wanted talks in 2010 to build on a non-binding Copenhagen Accord for limiting global warming reached by more than 110 nations at the December summit.

Beijing insisted negotiations should be guided by other draft U.N. texts and said Premier Wen Jiabao had been “vexed” at one point in Copenhagen by the way the meetings were organized in small groups.

“We view Copenhagen as a significant milestone,” U.S. negotiator Jonathan Pershing told delegates. “We believe that the accord should materially influence further negotiations. This was not a casual agreement.”

The accord, backed by about 120 nations, sets a goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F), but does not say how. It also holds out the prospect of $100 billion in aid a year to developing nations.

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April 12, 2010 at 8:41 AM Leave a comment

As Climate Talks Stumble, U.N. Process in Question

A key deadline for countries to submit emission reduction goals to the United Nations as part of the recently negotiated Copenhagen Accord passed last Sunday. The U.N. received commitments from 55 nations, but 139 countries remain unsupportive of the political statement, leading the international body to push back the commitment deadline indefinitely.

Since the high-level climate change summit in Copenhagen concluded in December, global climate talks have been in a state of confusion. Two parallel tracks are already under way – one that includes the United States and one that omits this significant world emitter. The Copenhagen Accord, some say, threatens to introduce a third procedural track, complicating the already tense deliberations.

The Accord, a non-binding political statement introduced at the 11th hour of the Copenhagen summit, has been praised by some for garnering stronger commitments from major developing nations, which could in turn deliver a binding global climate treaty. Yet its formulation has also threatened to destabilize the nearly 20-year old process developed under the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the leading international body for climate change negotiations.

The United States, Brazil, South Africa, India and China formulated the Accord with the understanding that the text would later be adopted by all 194 nations. But many participants considered this outcome to be undemocratic and a departure from a U.N. process meant to offer equal voice to every nation.

Many had hoped that the Copenhagen conference would deliver a legally binding international treaty on climate change, or at least provide direction on many of the core components under negotiation. But the Accord itself contains little of these details and provides instead for countries to set their own emission reduction targets unilaterally.

Among other elements, it states that 2 degrees centigrade is the target above which global temperatures must not rise; it proposes the mobilization of $30 billion by 2012 and $100 billion by 2020 for developing countries to address climate change; and it calls on developed and developing countries to submit their national actions on climate change to the U.N. by January 31, a deadline that has now been postponed “indefinitely.”

Full Article HERE

February 3, 2010 at 10:13 AM Leave a comment

Climate talks stumble as protests turn violent

Danish police fired pepper spray and beat protesters with batons outside the U.N. climate conference Wednesday, as disputes inside left major issues unresolved just two days before world leaders hope to sign a historic agreement to fight global warming.

Hundreds of protesters were trying to disrupt the 193-nation conference, the latest action in days of demonstrations to demand “climate justice” — firm steps to combat global warming. Police said 230 protesters were detained.

Inside the cavernous convention hall, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, among the first leaders to address the assembly, echoed the protesters’ sentiments.

“If the climate was a bank, a capitalist bank, they would have saved it,” he said of other nations.

Earlier, behind closed doors, negotiators dealing with core issues debated until just before dawn Wednesday without setting new goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or for financing poorer countries’ efforts to cope with coming climate change, key elements of any deal.

“I regret to report we have been unable to reach agreement,” John Ashe of Antigua, chairman of one negotiating group, told the conference.

In those talks, the American delegation apparently objected to a proposed text it felt might bind the United States prematurely to reducing greenhouse gas emissions before Congress acts on the required legislation. U.S. envoys insisted, for example, on replacing the word “shall” with the conditional “should.”

“A lot of things are in play,” said Fred Krupp of the U.S. Environmental Defense Fund. “This is the normal rhythm of international negotiations.”

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December 16, 2009 at 10:40 AM Leave a comment


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