Archive for the ‘Copenhagen’ Category

Climate Negotiators Meeting in Bonn

Climate negotiators meet in Bonn, Germany, today for the first time since the fractious Copenhagen summit, but there is little hope of forging a new legally binding United Nations deal before the end of this year.

The Bonn meeting will lay out the process for a larger and more comprehensive meeting in June, which will also be held in Bonn. The June meeting will center on developing a new negotiating instrument for talks later this year.

Additionally, a meeting of the Major Economies Forum will take place in Washington, D.C., on April 18-19. MEF is a group of 17 advanced economies who will meet to discuss a strategy for moving forward with international negotiations on climate and energy.

These meetings will set the stage for the much larger Conference of Parties meeting to be held in Mexico in December.

The accord seeks to limit world temperature rises to below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit but does not say how this will be achieved.

Good News From Copenhagen

Disaster avoided! The Copehagen Climate Change Summit drew to an uneasy close tonight with negotiators only able to secure a non-binding agreement between the developed and developing nations and avoiding economic costs in the trillions.

President Obama said that a “fundamental deadlock in perspectives” had overshadowed the negotiations. He said that a climate deal had been reached with India, China and South Afrrica, but admitted that it was not enough to fight global warming. He added: “We have much further to go.”

The document (or what is left of it) did not include any specific emissions reduction targets or (at the Chinese request) any mechanisms for verification of emission reductions.

Commenting on the draft Copenhagen Accord, the Greenpeace climate campaigner Joss Garman said tonight: “This latest draft is so weak as to be meaningless. It’s more like a G8 communiqué than the legally binding agreement we need.”

    If Greenpeace hates it, The Pulse loves it!!

Continue reading

“Copenhagen Accord” on the Rocks

While protestors attempt to storm the conference center in Copenhagen and Hugo Chavez takes the opportunity to call President Obama the “Devil”, climate talks are apparently breaking down. According to The Times,  The Chinese delegation reacted negatively to a slight from President Obama in his speech to the conference on Thursday. The Chinese took offense to Mr. Obama’s assertion that, “Without any accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page.” Mr Wen, the Chinese Prim Minister apparently interpreted this as an attempt to subject China to external scrutiny, despite Mr Obama’s insistence that the monitoring system would respect national sovereignty.

In an attempt to salvage the meeting, a commitment to turning the “Copenhagen Accord” into a legally binding treaty within a year was deleted from a draft of the text leaked tonight. The draft also contained only vague language on the key issues of limiting the temperature increase to 2C and cutting global emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. If codified, this would mean that the U.S. will cut emissions by 80% by 2050, using 1990 as a baseline.

Tear gas was used on protesters after they attempted to storm the conference center in Copenhagen.

China does not want the long-term target to be binding because it fears that this would constrain its economic growth.

The Copenhagen Accord also contains language to create a $100 billion fund by 2020 to help developing countries to cope with climate change. Different drafts of the agreement emerged every two or three hours yesterday, with paragraphs being added or deleted each time. Developing nations have been lobbying wealthy nations to contribute money to help offset emission reductions for the entirety of the conference, seeing it as a potential foreign-aide bonanza.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

President Obama Says ‘Time Running Out’ on Copenhagen

President Barack Obama told delegates at the United Nations climate change talks that he came to Copenhagen “not to talk, but to act.” He said it is time for “the nations of the world to come together behind a common purpose.”

“While the science of climate change is not in doubt, I think our ability to take collective action is in doubt right now, and it hangs in the balance,” Obama said at the summit earlier today.

Unchecked, he said, climate change would pose “unacceptable risks” to international security, the world economy and the planet. He said time is running out and “we are ready to get this done today but there has to be movement on all sides.”

The president said the U.S. is prepared to walk away from the talks empty handed, rather than accept a “hollow victory” in which developing nations refuse to allow their own emissions controls to be monitored.

“These discussions have taken place for two decades, and we have very little to show for it other than an increase and acceleration in the climate change phenomenon,” Obama said.

The text of the entire speech can be found here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Copenhagen, Day 7

From Wednesday in Copenhagen…

A globe in the conference hall left off several of the Pacific island nations through an "oversight."

Wednesday saw various arrivals at the Copenhagen conference: some heads of state, some settling snow and a rising sense of despair. The conference was designed to ratchet up the pressure as it moved form the procedural to the substantive and from functionaries to heads of state. Now the bigwigs are here making statements, and the procedural side of things is pretty much a mess.

The text, that on long-term commitment, was not even that far advanced, having yet to make it to a plenary for acceptance. It has, though, managed to grow larger as it waits.

All in all, the idea that presidents and prime ministers turning up would spur a breakthrough seems wrong. It was meant to goad the parties into producing ship-shape documents in which the big things that remained to be done were well defined. Then the big cheeses would reach agreement on the key issues—emissions, financing, the nature of developing-country commitments and the means by which they might be audited—and bless the resulting texts, producing not treaties but documents in which there was serious political capital invested.

Part of that political agreement would be a timetable for developing the outcomes into new legal documents for signing at some point in 2010. Tim Groser, New Zealand’s minister for trade is scathing on the subject.

“Now … the stakes here are that much higher. But right now, can I see a basis in the texts for an outcome? No.”

The Pulse is providing readers with a daily snippet of The Economist’s correspondent diary. You can find past updates from the conference diary here. Please visit The Economist for the full text of the diary and extended coverage of the conference.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Copenhagen, Day 6

From Tuesday in Copenhagen…

A stray Polar Bear on the streets of Copenhagen

Inside, temperature and stasis are not a problem; things are simply slower. This is in part because more of the 15,000 people in the building now know each other than did so last week; they have what physicists would call an increased cross-section of interaction. Though such interactions may speed the transmission of information through the halls by way of leak, chat and argument, they slow down physical movement. If you’re not greeting one of your friends, you’re bumping into someone who has stopped to greet one of hers.

There were also, thanks to one of the NGOs, some ents in the building today—or at least walking trees, which comes to the same thing. Apparently there were also many Polar Bears around the building.

The main obstacle, though, is simply more bodies.

And soon things could get more crowded still. Ominous new metal detectors and X-ray machines have turned up at the doors of the media centre. They are not yet operational, but they foreshadow a future in which access to the halls where delegates are meeting, and the atria surrounding and connecting those halls, is curtailed, and non-delegates are penned up more tightly. Its hard not to feel that even in this vast building, stir-craziness beckons.

The Pulse is providing readers with a daily snippet of The Economist’s correspondent diary. You can find past updates from the conference diary here. Please visit The Economist for the full text of the diary and extended coverage of the conference.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Copenhagen, Weekend

From Sunday in Copenhagen…

ON SUNDAY, they rested. No doubt informal talks continued all across Copenhagen, as did organised side events such as “Forest Day”, but the Bella Centre itself was shut, allowing a security sweep prior to the arrival, next week, of over 100 heads of government and state. Thus freed from the obligations of attendance, it was time to actually see Copenhagen, and get not just out and about, but out to sea.

The Middelgrunden wind farm

My trip onto the flat and initially sunny waters of the Oresund was laid on by various wind-industry groups that wanted to impress journalists with a close up look at the Middelgrunden wind farm.

Denmark already gets a lot of its energy from the wind, and it wants to get a lot more—perhaps another two gigawatts of installed capacity by 2020, more than half of it at sea. Anders Soe Jensen, the president of a wind-power company called Vestas, who gamely played tour guide from the deck despite suffering from a stinking cold, explained that offshore wind can expect to grow at 45% a year for the next five years. It is expensive (installation, foundations, cabling, substations and the like cost as much as the mighty turbines themselves)

To the north-east, in Sweden, are the two brick-like reactor halls of the decommissioned Barseback nuclear-power station, less lovely than the wind farm but capable, in their prime, of producing 30-odd times more power.

The Pulse is providing readers with a daily snippet of The Economist’s correspondent diary. You can find past updates from the conference diary here. Please visit The Economist for the full text of the diary and extended coverage of the conference.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

%d bloggers like this: