Global Treaty on Climate Change

(IPS coverage) Climate Change Conference — Poznan
More than 190 countries meet in Poznan, Poland, for U.N.-sponsored climate change conference. Far-reaching plans to slash carbon-dioxide emissions may be put on the back-burner as countries try to face up to the financial meltdown.  ENB gavel-to-gavel coverage
Some movement at climate talks, but no real consensus
Individual commitments to cut carbon gas emissions, such as Australia’s announcement Monday it would cut rates by at least 5% by 2020 and set up a carbon trading scheme by 2010, were the most tangible outcome of the climate talks in Poland this month. While countries agreed to keep talking on an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Treaty when it expires in 2012, some observers worry too many differences remain to negotiate a broad international treaty. TIME (12/13) , The New York Times (12/15) , BBC (12/15)
Near-Paralysis at UN Climate Talks Ends With Vow for New Treaty

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) — One hundred eighty-nine countries agreed to start formal negotiations for a new treaty to fight global warming, following a two-week debate that exposed the gap they must close between rich and poor nations. The U.S., Canada and Japan rebuffed demands by developing countries for pledges to cut greenhouse-gas emissions at the United Nations-led climate talks in Poznan, Poland. Requests by China and South Africa for more industrialized nations to share clean-energy technologies got no support at the talks.

 

POZNAŃ CONFERENCE CONCLUDES
COP 14 and COP/MOP 4 have drawn to a close shortly before 3:00 am on Saturday morning.
(ENB) The conference has concluded with adoption of the COP and COP/MOP reports. In his closing speech, COP and COP/MOP President Nowicki stated that, despite disappointment over the lack of a positive outcome on the share of proceeds issue in the group considering the second review of the Protocol under Article 9, Poznań had still been productive and provided momentum towards Copenhagen. Noting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, he highlighted the resolution of the issue of the legal capacity of the Adaptation Fund Board as an important achievement, which he said will help move forward on adaptation action. He also highlighted agreement on the Poznań Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer, and progress in discussions on REDD and the LDC Fund.

Ban, Kerry urge action on climate
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday urged the world to overcome economic and political concerns to work out a “Green New Deal” to cope with climate change, while incoming U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s representative to talks in Poland, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., urged China — now the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter — to commit to large-scale emissions cuts. Reuters (12/11) , Chicago Tribune (free registration) (12/12)
11 December
(CNN) Industrialized countries will say that they can’t move any further because they are going to impose higher costs on their populations during an economic downturn. The developing world will say, with equal legitimacy, that they can’t impose these costs on their population while many of them are still poor. Both arguments are quite valid. Andrew Pendleton, Secretariat of The Global Climate Network (GCN). More
UN might not reach climate deal by 2009
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said a comprehensive framework for climate change might not arrive by 2009, the target date. Talks have been frustrated in part by the coincidental timing of the conference and the transition of presidential administrations in the U.S., which has rendered U.S. input and commitments nearly meaningless. Delegates from 190 nations have gathered in Poland to create a framework for greenhouse gas emissions and other issues. Bloomberg (12/9) 
8 December
OTTAWA: CANADIAN GOVERNMENT SHOWING NEW ATTITUDE TOWARD GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE TARGETS
(RCI) Canada’s Conservative Party government appears to be more open about environmental treaties that allow emerging economies like China and India to set their own greenhouse gas emission targets. Environment Minister Jim Prentice says that what is important is that countries show that they are trying to reduce emissions. He says that countries do not necessarily need to have the same targets but they should be able to measure their effort. Mr. Prentice’s remarks might be interpreted as a sign that his government plans to soften its tone on a new climate-change deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012. Canada was among 180 countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol. On Tuesday, Mr. Prentice will fly to Poland for a round of United Nations climate-change talks.
1 December
UN takes first steps on road to new Kyoto
Thousands of delegates will take part in crunch meetings on global warming in the next two weeks
20 November
Obama brings US in from the cold
In a landmark speech, the next president pledges to revive Kyoto Protocol and end American isolationism over climate change
UN talks on climate change solutions proceed despite global financial crisis
Many characteristics of the ongoing UN climate talks designed to replace the Kyoto Protocol pact in 2013 have yet to be determined, despite the fact that the talks are set to end next year. The financial crisis has reportedly not had a major effect on talks designed to commit the U.S., China, India and other top emitters to a plan to curb carbon emissions. Reuters (11/14)
6 November
China tells rich states to change
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said developed countries should change their “unsustainable lifestyles” to tackle global warming.
Mr Wen said richer nations should help poorer ones solve the global problem.
United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer said rich countries had to transfer cleaner energy technologies to developing nations.
5 November
European Clean Energy and Climate Change Interests Respond to Obama’s Rise
Hopes soared in Europe on Wednesday for renewed momentum toward global cooperation on climate change following the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
July 10
After Applause Dies Down, Global Warming Talks Leave Few Concrete Goals
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
(NYT) The sobering reality behind the G-8 summit was that it ended without an agreement on firm targets on reducing greenhouse gases, some experts said.
Division at G-8 Over Climate Goal
RUSUTSU, Japan — Rich nations and emerging powers on Wednesday declared climate change “one of the great global challenges of our time.” But they set no short-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the largest developing countries demanding more action by wealthy nations before moving.
The declaration grew out of an unprecedented meeting that brought together 16 nations, rich and poor, and the European Union on global warming. The session, organized by President Bush, took place here on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido, where leaders of the Group of 8 pledged Tuesday to “move toward a carbon-free society” by seeking to halve worldwide emissions of heat-trapping gases by 2050.
But a group of the largest emerging economies, led by India and China, now the leading source of greenhouse gases, refused to sign on to that goal. They are holding out until rich nations like the United States take more aggressive steps to cut pollution over the next decade.
July 9
Why the obstacles to a deal on climate are mountainous
By Martin Wolf, Financial Times
Something has changed in the debate on man-made climate change: the US is engaged. But its engagement – or at least the engagement of President George W. Bush – is neither enthusiastic nor unconditional. In particular, at discussions among the heads of governments of the Group of Eight leading countries in Japan, Mr Bush stressed that China and India had to participate. In this, he was right: it will be impossible to tackle the problem without the participation of leading emerging countries. The question is on what terms they do so.This is to ignore the debate on whether man-made climate change is either plausible or correctly assessed. I find the arguments sufficiently cogent to justify action. Above all, I find persuasive the argument of Professor Martin Weitzman of Harvard University that it is worth paying a great deal to eliminate the risk of catastrophe.
July 2
(Planet Ark/Reuters) TOKYO – G8 leaders have a 50-50 chance of agreeing next week on a global goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, a Japanese foreign ministry official said, adding that failure could hurt UN-led climate talks.
July 1
A radical new idea could save the world’s ecosystems. But what will it do to the economy?
By George Monbiot, the Guardian
Almost everyone seems to agree: governments now face a choice between saving the planet and saving the economy. As recession looms, the political pressure to abandon green policies intensifies. A report published yesterday by Ernst and Young suggests that the EU’s puny carbon target will raise energy bills by 20% over the next 12 years. Last week the prime minister’s advisers admitted to the Guardian that his renewable energy plans were “on the margins” of what people will tolerate.
But these fears are based on a false assumption: that there is a cheap alternative to a green economy. Last week New Scientist reported a survey of oil industry experts, which found that most of them believe global oil supplies will peak by 2010. If they are right, the game is up. A report published by the US Department of Energy in 2005 argued that unless the world begins a crash programme of replacements 10 or 20 years before oil peaks, a crisis “unlike any yet faced by modern industrial society” is unavoidable.
June 20
CEO Climate Policy Recommendations to G8 Leaders
Tokyo, Japan, 20 June 2008 – Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum, presented a detailed statement to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan on how best to manage climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012
Professor Schwab made the presentation on behalf of the 100 international CEOs who have endorsed the “CEO Climate Policy Recommendations to G8 Leaders”, which is a groundbreaking statement that has taken 16 months and an international effort to prepare. In collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Pew Centre on Global Climate Change as a resource partner, the Forum convened discussions with over 500 business executives and climate experts from around the world during 2006 and 2007 to help the business community develop its ideas.
June 14
Climate talks progress ‘feeble’
Progress towards developing a global strategy to cut emissions is too slow, according to environmental group WWF.
(BBC) It issued its warning at the end of key UN talks that considered what measures should replace the current set of climate targets, which expire in 2012.
The group said the negotiations in Bonn had failed to make any progress because nations were presenting “shopping lists, not blueprints” for action.
The UN’s climate chief agreed that the process needed to become more focused.
The two-week gathering is part of a process that will culminate at a key conference in Copenhagen towards the end of 2009.
June 13
US seeks support for climate fund
The US has called on the world’s eight most industrialised nations to invest in a $10bn (£5bn) climate change fund.
The Climate Investment Funds, run by the World Bank, aims to help developing nations produce their own technology to mitigate the impact of global warming.
June 11
(Planet Ark/Reuters) BONN, Germany – Industrialised nations are failing to lead enough at UN climate talks in Bonn even as developing states are showing interest in a new global warming treaty, the UN’s top climate official said on Wednesday.
… Mexico favoured a new financial mechanism funded by both rich and poor to slow climate change while South Africa had outlined ways to cut its emissions by 50 percent. India plans this month to issue a new climate strategy.More
May 27
Environmental leaders frustrated with G8
The Group of 8 environment ministers met yesterday to set targets on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the action frustrated environmental groups by failing to set specific midterm goals by 2020. At the three-day summit in Japan, leaders from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Italy and Russia gathered to discuss the effects of climate change. The Independent (London)/Associated Press (5/27)
May 26
G-8 ministers promise carbon reductions by 2050
Environment ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations pledged to cut emissions of gases blamed for global warming by half by 2050 and called on rich countries to lead the way.
“In order to halve global emissions, developed countries should take the lead in achieving a significant reduction,” the ministers said in a joint statement at the end of a three-day meeting in Kobe, Japan. The statement didn’t specify by how much the countries should cut emissions or whether developing nations would be expected to meet targets.
The meeting was part of efforts to come up with a successor to the 1997 Kyoto climate treaty, which expires in 2012. The G-8 nations want to clinch an agreement at a July environment summit in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, according to the statement.
May 25
G8 environment chiefs to set 2050 greenhouse gas target, leave 2020 target for later talks
(AP) KOBE, Japan: Environment chiefs from top industrial countries neared agreement Sunday on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by midcentury, but fell short of the more difficult task of setting a midterm goal for 2020, delegates said.
The government ministers from the Group of Eight nations and observer countries held a second day of talks aimed at setting the stage for decisive action against climate change during the G8 summit in northern Japan in July. They were expected to release a joint statement Monday.
The United Nations is leading talks launched in December to complete a new climate change pact by the end of 2009 to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, whose first phase expires in 2012. The talks, however, have slowed due to divisions among industrialized countries, and between developed and developing nations.
April 18
Bush’s CO2 Plan Is “Neanderthal” – German Minister
(Planet Ark) BERLIN – US President George W Bush’s plan to halt a rise in US greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 could undermine, rather than support, efforts to combat climate change, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.
April 16
Bush Sets Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goal
WASHINGTON — President Bush called Wednesday for the United States to stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and challenged other countries, including major polluters like China and India, to abandon trade barriers on energy-related technology and commit to goals of their own.
The White House cast Mr. Bush’s announcement … as an ambitious effort by a president determined to lead on the climate change issue, even with just nine months left in office.
But critics — including environmentalists, scientists and lawmakers — said the effort was too little, too late. They accused Mr. Bush of trying to derail legislation that would curb emissions even further. And because he did not offer any specifics for how to reach his 2025 goal, they dismissed the speech as irrelevant.
Bush Urges Halt Of CO2 Emission Growth By 2025
(Reuters Planet Ark) WASHINGTON – While trying to shape global climate change talks in Paris this week and the debate in the US Congress later this year, Bush’s cautious approach on global warming falls far short of European goals and lawmakers’ proposals.
Bangkok Climate Change Talks

31 March – 4 April 2008, Bangkok, Thailand

Daily coverage from Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Background from the Economist

April 5
Nations agree to look at planes, ships in climate deal
BANGKOK (AFP) — More than 160 nations agreed Friday to consider how to reduce rapidly growing emissions from air and sea travel as they worked toward drafting an ambitious new treaty on global warming.
The late-evening deal came amid signs of a compromise on another sticking point — a Japanese proposal on setting industry standards that developing nations viewed with suspicion.
Rich and poor countries are sharply divided on how to tackle global warming, despite growing fears that rising temperatures could put millions of people at risk by the end of the century.
The five-day conference in Bangkok was tasked with setting the first step to complete a pact by the end of next year to follow the landmark Kyoto Protocol, which requires rich nations to slash gas emissions blamed for warming.
Angry reaction to World Bank climate funds plan
Developing countries and environmental groups expressed staunch opposition Friday to a World Bank plan to assume administration of billions of dollars in climate change aid funding and called for the funds to be handled through the existing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Opponents said they were disappointed about a lack of transparency and insufficient involvement of developing countries in the process. AlertNet.org/Reuters (4/4) April 3
Can world afford global warming fight?
(AP/Business Week) BANGKOK, Thailand
With global markets in turmoil and the U.S. threatened by recession, negotiators at a climate change conference are asking: can nations afford to make rapid cuts in emissions to fight global warming without going into an economic tailspin?
The price of slashing the carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming is expected to be high, but proponents of firm action argue that delay will cost more in the long run.
April 2
UN-led climate talks complicated by U.S. presidential race
This week’s United Nations-backed climate summit in Bangkok is somewhat clouded by the uncertainty surrounding the stance the U.S. will take toward global warming after a new president takes over the White House next year, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. says it is sincerely engaged in the ongoing discussions, but negotiators from other countries are less convinced and wonder how the atmosphere may change with a new U.S. leadership. USA TODAY/Associated Press (4/2)
April 1
Canada’s submission to UN climate change conference ‘deceitful’: critics
Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service
OTTAWA – The Harper government is being accused of misleading the world about the toughness of its plan to force industry to bury greenhouse gas emissions underground.
March 31
Delegates begin climate-change talks in Bangkok
(IHT) The talks, which are scheduled to conclude at the end of 2009, come three months after a rancorous meeting in Indonesia that exposed deep fissures in how countries plan to battle global warming.
No breakthroughs are expected at the week-long meeting in Bangkok, which is mainly intended to lay out the agenda for a series of subsequent sessions.
One of the main challenges for negotiators over the next 21 months will be reintroducing the United States into a global system of emissions reductions. The United States signed but never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 agreement that binds wealthy countries to specific cuts in greenhouse gases. The new treaty would replace the Kyoto Protocol, although some provisions of the previous treaty would remain.
Angela Anderson, director of the global warming program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, an American nonpartisan organization, said that negotiators were watching the U.S. election campaign closely for signs of future changes in U.S. climate change policy.
Chinese proposal on climate funding gets U.S.’ thumbs down
A proposal by China that would have developed countries contribute 0.5% of their GDP every year towards the global fight against climate change is not reasonable, the U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson said at the United Nations-led meeting in Bangkok. But he also added that the proposal is an “interesting suggestion. I am sure we will have a discussion on that.” Bloomberg (3/31)
UN-led summit starts tackling new climate change deal
Delegates from 163 countries on Monday began negotiations at a United Nations-led summit in Bangkok, to hammer out a global consensus on climate change that will produce the successor to the Kyoto Treaty. The week-long meeting is certain to generate debate on such issues as how rich nations best can help poor countries deal with the effects of global warming. CNN/Associated Press (3/31)
Blair to lead campaign on climate change
Tony Blair is to lead a new international team to tackle the intractable problem of securing a global deal on climate change which would have the backing of China and America.
The former prime minister believes he can help prepare a blueprint for an agreement to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2050, and has the backing of the White House, the UN and Europe, including Gordon Brown.
He told the Guardian he has been working on the project with a group of climate change experts since he left office last summer, and will publish an interim report to the G8 group of industrialised nations this summer.
“This is extremely urgent. A 50% cut by 2050 has to be a central component of this. We have to try this year to get that agreed, because the moment you do agree that, then you have something for everyone to focus upon. We need a true and proper global deal, and that needs to include America and China,” Blair said.

3 Comments on "Global Treaty on Climate Change"

  1. Glass cookware May 15, 2009 at 5:59 am · Reply

    with the chance for the whole world to come together in Bali with a resolution on reducing pollution, the world’s biggest and richest polluter has refused to join in.

  2. Generic September 4, 2009 at 9:31 am · Reply

    I do not know what the former prime minister Blair actually believes he can do in this matter?

  3. C.H. Wang February 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm · Reply

    Can we do as follows?
    1. Choose some target species.
    2. Estimating their carrying capacity per ten years or at least per five years.
    3. simulating the best changes of carrying capacity respecting to the global change.
    4. Decision making the best environment condition for human or the most acceptable community in the global level.
    5. set the primitive target and ontrolling the global warming.

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