To you who likes the mango, you need to like the mango tree as well: Yes to Kyoto, no to market mechanisms

by Brigette DePape

You will not believe what happened at COP. Canada had the chutzpah to lobby poorer Nations to reject Kyoto – with full knowledge these countries are hit first and worst by climate change.

The African group told rich countries like Canada “To you who like the mango, you need to like the mango tree as well”. What did they mean? That if rich countries like Canada are into the market mechanisms of Kyoto, they better well be into a 2nd period for legally binding emissions. This is a nudge to countries like Canada not to ruin everything and commit to reducing their emissions.

The good news? Bolivia launched an alternative to REDD.

Canada is lobbying developing countries to reject Kyoto

In a briefing of the Canadian Delegation, Chief negotiator Guy Saint Jacques denied evidence that Canada has been lobbying developing countries to reject the Kyoto Protocol. South Africa told Canada to rethink its plan to toss out the Kyoto Protocol and said Kent has been “bullying” poorer countries to favor an anti-Kyoto position. Kent said that the treaty was an agreement of the past and that Canada would not make commitments to reducing emissions post 2012, when the first phase ends.

The high commissioner of South Africa to Canada explained that she had been told by climate vulnerable nations that Canada had lobbied them to leave Kyoto.

Canada refuses to pay its climate debt

The high commissioner of South Africa to Canada explained how she was disturbed by Kent’s recent comments that he would play hardball with developing nations and undermine the principle of existing agreements that ensure developed countries take historical responsibility for causing climate change since industrialization began.

Emerging agreement: Rich countries failing

The beginnings of a text are incredibly weak. The LCA (long term cooperative action) might as well be a novel it is so long. Many of the parties in plenary today were discussing how the latest draft of the LCA is too long and needs shortening. But far more importantly, it is extremely weak – unlike the strength of the novel. The EU brought up a good point that it is not very ambitious regarding mitigation targets, and Columbia emphasized that if passed as is only presents a “very mediocre” plan to address climate change. Bolivia said that the weak emissions targets and provisions attached to it violate common but differentiated responsbility, where rich countries like Canada who are most responsible for climate change must cut more emissions.

Paragraphs in the new negotiating texts recognizes an ambition gap – parties lack the ambition as well as steps to get there for a two degree pathway. Parties who block this will be in the spotlight. Developing countries have pledged MORE mitigation than developed. This is backwards given that developed countries have a responsibility to do more. Another part of this is transitioning to a near-zero carbon economy by 2050, which is too late.

Even China is down with Kyoto, and African countries pressure rich nations to be down as well

China is ready to sign onto an eventual legally binding commitment if five conditions are met, China came out with a list of conditions upon which it is saying it will be able to commit to legally binding targets, most notably that the second phase of Kyoto. The others are that $30 billion of the fast start financing be delivered for the 2010-2012 period, and Increase in GCF of $100 billion per year by 2020, tightening up and collation of smaller policy commitments called for under Copenhagen and Cancun, and the Scientific review be conducted by 2013 to determine the extent to historic responsibility and capacity for reductions. For comparison, the European Union alone spent 150 billion Euros to create a fund to help out countries in the EU during a debt crisis. Ecuador wants 1.5% of GDP of developed countries

Since China is being diplomatic, the ball is now in the Canada/the US’s court. Now that Canada has not only pulled out of Kyoto, Negotiations continue on market-mechanism even though KP Commitment Period 2 is threatened.

Justice on property rights: No to licensing fees

No Technology Transfer text released. Justice based progress on Intellectual Property Rights is needed. Developing countries should never have to pay licensing fees to Northern corporations to access the technologies they need to adapt to the effects of climate change that are largely caused by the Global North. Developing countries should have access to the patents, know-how and education needed to adapt, modify, improve and sell climate-friendly technology. No agreement on Carbon Capture and Storage in the Clean Development Mechanism so that decision will go to the COP this week.

Bolivia and mango trees for the win!

The African group is right that rich countries like Canada needs to like the mango tree (legally binding reductions). This needs to be protected, but the mango (the market mechanisms that are privatizing our trees and our sources of life) does not. As Bolivia noted today, market mechanisms jeopardize mitigation efforts. Market mechanism mangos are rotten ones, whereas emissions reductions mango trees are the shade to this scorching global warming.

One Response to “To you who likes the mango, you need to like the mango tree as well: Yes to Kyoto, no to market mechanisms”
  1. Thea says:

    Thanks for the update; I’d like to hear more on Bolivia’s alternative to REDD.

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