You are viewing the NationofChange archives. For the latest news and actions, visit the new www.NationofChange.org.
Friday, November 28, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
Get Email Updates | Log In | Register

Doha Climate Summit Ends With No New CO2 Cuts or Funding

Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service / News Report
Published: Monday 10 December 2012
The Doha Gateway creates a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol to cut fossil fuel emissions by industrialised nations from 2013 to 2020 but does not set new targets.
Article image

The United Nations climate talks in Doha went a full extra 24 hours and ended without increased cuts in fossil fuel emissions and without financial commitments between 2013 and 2015.

“This an incredibly weak deal,” said Samantha Smith representing the Climate Action Network, a coalition of more than 700 civil society organisations.

“Governments came here with no mandate for action,” Smith said in a press scrum moments after the meeting known as COP 18 ended and the 195 parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approved a complex package called “The Doha Climate Gateway”.

The Doha Gateway creates a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol to cut fossil fuel emissions by industrialised nations from 2013 to 2020 but does not set new targets. There is also no financial support to help poor countries adapt to impacts of climate change – only agreement for more meetings in 2013. Talks will also begin next year to create a “mechanism” to assess damages and costs for countries suffering losses from climate change.

Finally, the Doha Climate Gateway has an agreed outline for two years of negotiations on a new global climate treaty that would go into legal force in 2020.

“It is impossible to get everyone here to smile….I too am disappointed,” said Qatar’s Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the COP18 president. Al-Attiyah told Tierramérica he was surprised countries wanted to make so many changes throughout the two weeks and right up to the final hours.

However, this is a “historic” agreement, Al-Attiyah insisted.

Doha will do nothing to cut emissions that are taking the world to four degrees and more of warming. It offers little in terms of finance to help poor countries cope with climate change, Smith said.

Smith singled out the U.S. and Canada for blocking progress on keys issues. Canada was one of the worst, she said. While profiting from its massive oil sands operations, it was “super-obstructive on finance”.

Industrialised countries promised to put 100 billion dollars a year into a Green Climate Fund by 2020. To bridge the gap till then, developing nations asked for 60 billion dollars in total by 2015. Britain, Germany and few other countries promised to contribute six billion dollars but this is not binding. Under the Doha Climate Gateway, countries agreed to further talks on finance in 2013.

The loss and damage debate was among the most intense during closed meetings, featuring the U.S pitted against island states like the Philippines that are badly impacted by stronger cyclones and sea level rise. The U.S. delegates blocked all references that implied compensation or liability, openly admitting they feared a political backlash at home, according to an anonymous source.

“Loss and damage is huge issue for Central America. We are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” said Laura Lopez Baltodano, of Centro Humboldt Nicaragua, an environmental NGO.

“Honduras and Nicaragua are the number one and number three most vulnerable countries in the world according to the Climate Risk Index,” Baltodano told Tierramérica here in Doha.

The Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index was released here a few days ago. It said those two countries have been the most affected in terms of lost lives and damages over the past 20 years. In 2011, Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan and El Salvador were the worst affected by extreme weather events in 2011.

In 2010, at COP 16 in Cancun, there was agreement to find ways to assess and reduce losses and damages from impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events like sea level rise, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity and desertification.

Developing countries wanted a new institution and framework to deal with loss and damage, but the U.S. was opposed to any new institution. The compromise is for a “new mechanism” to be created in 2013.

A new second phase of the Kyoto Protocol will run from 2013 to 2020. Getting this second phase or commitment is considered very important by developing countries because it has hard-won legal terms that commit countries to making cuts as well as methods for measuring and verifying emission levels.

However, only the European Union, Australia and a few other countries are involved, representing just 12 percent of global emissions. The U.S. has never participated, while Canada and Japan have opted out of the second phase.

None of those in the second Kyoto phase increased their emission cuts pledges. They did agree to a mandatory review of their reduction targets in 2014. Rich countries outside of Kyoto promised to make comparable cuts but offered nothing new here in Doha.

“The COP process is very disappointing,” said Baltodano, who has attended two previous ones. “It’s very clear that countries’ economic interests dominate the negotiations.”

Countries are mainly influenced by the corporate sector and civil society has very little interaction or influence there, she said. “There is a huge space we don’t reach.”

The Doha outcome puts the world on track for three, four or even five degrees of warming, said the delegate from the South Pacific island nation of Nauru who represents the Alliance of Small Island States in the final plenary.

“We’re not talking about how comfortable your people (in developed world) may live but whether our people live,” the delegate said. “The lives of our people are on the line here.”

*This story was originally published by Latin American newspapers that are part of the Tierramérica network. Tierramérica is a specialised news service produced by IPS with the backing of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank.



I don't know why governments

I don't know why governments waste time and money on these "climate summits" that never accomplish anything and, in fact, make matters worse when you consider all the fossil fuels in the form of jet-fuel spewed into the atmosphere carting the big shots to and fro. Forget Doha. Here is something Obama can do right now, without Congress. Kill Keystone XL. No bullshit. No excuses. He's never going to run for office again. He has nothing political to lose. So, which side is he on? The 1% or the 99%. The Keystone decision will say it all. (Disclosure: I am not optimistic.)

I don't know why governments

I don't know why governments waste time and money on these "climate summits" that never accomplish anything and, in fact, make matters worse when you consider all the fossil fuels in the form of jet-fuel spewed into the atmosphere carting the big shots to and fro. Forget Doha. Here is something Obama can do right now, without Congress. Kill Keystone XL. No bullshit. No excuses. He's never going to run for office again. He has nothing political to lose. So, which side is he on? The 1% or the 99%. The Keystone decision will say it all. (Disclosure: I am not optimistic.)

This foot dragging

This foot dragging exasperates a disaster that we're in the midst of. This disaster is not just dangerous, we're confronted a near-term apocalypse that would wipe out the human species. Doubt that? Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFY31MIubG4

Help me compose *Climate

Help me compose *Climate Talks*, a song about how we must all speak for our climate, as our friggen governments have been failing at the UN Climate Talks. How about a verse about how Earth's climate "talks" via hurricanes, floods and drought, and what we can do. Or, sponsor the song. VoxErth.net

Multi-nationals=1 Mother

Multi-nationals=1
Mother Earth=0
Earth's wrath will teach the BIG corporate bosses a lesson they will take to their graves. Just wait a few years. Sandy will look like a picnic in the park.

Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories

comments powered by Disqus

NationofChange works to educate, inform, and fight power with people, corruption with community.

If you would like to stay up to date with the best in independent, filter-free journalism, updates on upcoming events to attend, and more, enter your email below:

7 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Support NationofChange

Our readers often tell us why they’ve decided to step up and become supporters. Here are some of the top reasons people are giving.

1. You’re keeping independent journalism alive
The corporate owned media has proven that it can’t be trusted. In a media landscape wrought with spin and corruption, NationofChange stands in very scarce company.

2. You’re sticking it to the rich, powerful, and corrupt
When you have money in this country you can get away with damn near anything, and they do. NationofChange isn’t afraid to expose these criminals no matter how powerful they are.

3. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible
NationofChange is a 501(c)3 charity. People tend to assume that many other organizations are (most nonprofits are NOT) but it’s that 501(c)3 status is a bit more rare than you think.

Read the rest...