100 days to Copenhagen

2009-08-28

in Canada, Law, Politics, The environment

We are now 100 days away from the climate change conference in Copenhagen. Between 12,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend and, at best, the conference will produce a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

Canada is basically going to the conference with no intention of negotiating. The government has been clear that their climate plan is both the least and the most they are willing to do. As such, we won’t be making offers of the sort: “if other countries do X, we will do Y.” Hopefully, the critical players (the US, EU, China, and Japan) will be able to hammer together an agreement that everyone else will then latch onto. When it comes to getting started with a serious program of global climate change mitigation, we are way behind schedule.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

. August 30, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Three Months From a Climate Summit, Agreement Far Off

By Bryan Walsh Monday, Aug. 31, 2009

If you happened on Friday morning to walk into the Temple of Earth in Beijing — the nearly 500-year-old monument where Chinese emperors once prayed for good harvests — you would have noticed a steady drip. The environmental group Greenpeace placed ice sculptures of 100 children — made of the glacial meltwater that feeds China’s great rivers — inside the temple, to symbolize the risk that climate change and disappearing ice poses to the more than 1 billion people in Asia threatened by water shortages.

But there was another side to that symbolism. Aug. 28 marked 100 days before the beginning of the annual U.N. climate change summit, to be held this year in Copenhagen, which is emerging as the world’s last good chance to craft a new global warming deal. With time running out, however, global negotiators still seem far apart, and there’s a growing fear that the world really could fumble the opportunity. “Negotiations are moving much more slowly than they need to be,” says Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a veteran of past climate talks. “If we’re going to get a climate deal by Copenhagen, we’re going to need political will injected into the process — not just rhetoric.”

alena September 1, 2009 at 12:46 am

Have there been any interesting developments in Copenhagen? When will the public get some information? I am sure that you have been following it closely.

Milan September 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

The conference doesn’t start for several months.

If you are looking for updates on the preparations, grist.org is a good source.

. October 9, 2009 at 11:12 am

UN climate talks split on treaty
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

The latest round of UN climate talks in Bangkok has ended with deep divisions over the shape of a new global treaty.

Developing countries want an extension of the Kyoto Protocol; but developed nations are arguing for a completely new agreement.

Poorer countries and environment groups accuse the west of lacking ambition.

There are now only five negotiating days left until the opening of the UN summit in Copenhagen in December that is supposed to finalise the new treaty.

“Just two months before Copenhagen, the Bangkok climate negotiations did little to move the ball forward,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a leading light in the international climate campaign tcktcktck.

. October 16, 2009 at 10:02 am

Climate change at the UN
Fine words

Sep 24th 2009 | NEW YORK
From The Economist print edition
But no specifics

WITH just over 70 days to go until the global climate-change summit in Copenhagen this December, miserably little progress has been made. Green types had hoped that a big meeting this week in New York, scheduled around the UN General Assembly, might move things forward. Those hopes were more or less dashed.

A speech by Barack Obama on September 22nd acknowledged that America—which failed to ratify the Kyoto protocol limiting emissions of greenhouse gases by rich countries—has some catching up to do. He made clear the dangers of rapid climate change, urging the world to act “boldly, swiftly and together” to avert an “irreversible catastrophe”. But he offered little that was either practical or specific.

. November 5, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Global climate deal at least a year away, negotiators say

Negotiators say they have abandoned hope of signing a legally binding emissions treaty in Copenhagen and are planning only for a meeting of world leaders

John Vidal in Barcelona
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 November 2009 16.38 GMT

A global deal to fight climate change will take at least six months and possibly another year to finalise, according to negotiators at the heart of the UN talks.

In a series of briefings, senior British and EU diplomats said they had abandoned any hope of reaching a legally binding treaty at the Copenhagen summit next month and had now started to plan only for a meeting of world leaders. This final acknowledgement follows weeks of growing pessimism and represents a significant downgrading of the summit’s original goal.

The best outcome in Copenhagen will now be a political agreement which rich countries hope will include targets and timetables for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations and major emitters like China, as well as commitments to provide money for poor countries to cope with climate change. But even that reduced goal is far from certain, with huge gaps remaining between nations on key issues such as emissions cuts and funding for poor nations.

The delay was said to be caused by a combination of time running out in the tortuous UN negotiations and Washington’s inability to commit specifically to targets and timetables. The US made clear yesterday that it thought a legal treaty was impossible in Copenhagen.

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