COP Gossip – Canada obstructs, United States delays, China and EU willing to move

Photo credit: Le Debrois

by anonymous, posted by Chris Bisson

OMG, you will not believe what happened at COP today…

Some people just didn’t like the speech Canada’s Environment Minister delivered at COP17 today. The speech seemed to be an oxymoron in itself. “… reasonable Canadians generally—recognize that global issues like climate change require global solutions. … Canada is a willing partner … At home, Canada is already making great progress toward our ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent over 2005 levels by 2020.” Excuse me, but this is not an ambitious target – an ambitious target would be science-based. I guess the six Canadian youth who turned their back on him were not the reasonable Canadians he intended to address in his speech.

It is getting hot at the ICC during the second week of COP. With two days left in the conference parties have started to forget about diplomatic manners.

“Reckless and irresponsible” are the words the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) called the indication of governments that they might just keep this process going for another 4 to 9 years!

“Some are angry and some are depressed, but whatever the expression made by each delegation, they are united in their criticism of Canada,” stated China’s official news agency Xinhua.

What are the challenges these negotiations are facing? Well, the same old challenges as last year. Annex 1 countries are accusing non-annex 1 countries of not doing enough and the other way around.  Developing countries want compliance measures; a bit like in school, you have to prove you have done your homework but apparently homework unlike in the climate negotiations, which are on a voluntary basis. So please developing countries – compliance has nothing to do in a legally binding framework that is voluntary.

A financial transaction tax and bunker fuels are out of fashion this year but there is potential for next year’s new line of “How to fill the Green Climate Fund?” Government’s are just not ready yet to commit to new shoes with higher heels. Actually, the United States just decided not to fill the Green Climate Fund at all if developing countries do not agree to emission reduction targets – NOW!

Instead of relaxing intellectual property rights on clean technology and providing a fair flow of finance and prevent the Green Climate Fund to become a corrupt instrument of the World Bank, governments decided that carbon capture and storage as part of clean development mechanism is a major achievement – if you are not living in a developing country. Sorry.

While you may think ambitions should come from the polluting class of nations instead of developing countries, it is China and India who stepped up. Both countries indicated to take on legally binding targets by 2020 if developed countries raise their stakes and commit to a second round of the Kyoto Protocol. The answer: ah ah ah – no loose statements here, you have to prove you are really committed – by taking on targets today. Remember – Saving tomorrow, today.

My final words: I believe the polluting class knows that putting off an agreement to 2020 will ensure climate change happens, and then they will be able to argue that there’s no point in cutting emissions – we might just keep polluting. Thanks for another COP FLOP.


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