Global Treaty on Climate Change 2009

Global Treaty on Climate Change I

CBC In Depth Kyoto andBeyond

BBC Green Room

IPS Confronting Climate Change

Financial Times Dossier

The Guardian Countdown to Copenhagen

Lawrence Solomon: The Deniers

James Hoggan: Climate Cover-Up -The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

Brilliant Greenpeace spoof of IHT

Climate Change Science Compendium 2009

Climate change on Wednesday-night.


Earth’s greenhouse gases reach record highs
Levels of greenhouse gases, believed to be responsible for global warming, have been rising every year since detailed records started being kept in 1958, the World Meteorological Organization said.
It follows a trend of rising emissions that began with the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century, the agency said. The report comes as the European Union urged the United States and China on Monday to set targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions at next month’s climate conference in Copenhagen. The European Union said delays by those countries were hindering global efforts to curb climate change.
Group: Global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius

With carbon emissions rising rapidly as developing nations come online as industrial producers, the planet’s temperature could rise as much as 6 degrees Celsius in the near future, according to analysis by the Global Carbon Project. Carbon emissions rose 29% from 2000 to 2008, with much of that increase attributed to demand for new production in developing nations. At the same time, carbon sinks such as the world’s oceans and forests are absorbing less carbon than they have in the past. BBC (11/17)World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists Independent (11/18)
16 November
Scientists question forest-preservation plan
Researchers: U.N. scheme to save forests could backfire ; poorly-designed climate deal may destroy rich habitats
A United Nations plan to help save forests and fight climate change by paying poor countries to protect their trees might save some animal and plant species but also endanger many more, scientists warn in research. The plan could encourage the preservation of forests that are cheaper to protect but home to a less diverse number of species, they argue. (11/16)
13 November
Rainforest treaty ‘fatally flawed’
(The Independent) Climate summit loophole lets palm oil producers cull vital wilderness
Under proposals due to be ratified at the summit, countries which cut down rainforests and convert them to plantations of trees such as oil palms would still be able to classify the result as forest and could receive millions of dollars meant for preserving them.
20 October
Concession raises hopes for climate deal
(FT) Rich countries are preparing to relent on their demand that developing countries agree to long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions ahead of Copenhagen summit
19 October
Steve Hopper: Bank on seeds – the world’s buffer
Conserving genetic diversity in botanic gardens and seed banks is a sensible and practical precaution for an uncertain future. With species loss at an unnatural high and with climate change threatening many ecosystems, the need to invest in these facilities has never been greater.
16 October
Climate deal hopes boosted
(FT) Developing countries have dropped long-standing demands for free access to rich countries’ technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions, removing a big obstacle to an international deal on climate change, European officials said on Thursday
11 October
William Marsden: Climate of Distrust
International co-operation appeared to have been swept away by a climate of distrust between rich and poor countries as two weeks of United Nations talks on global warming concluded yesterday. Only five negotiating days remain – in Barcelona, Spain, next month – before 192 countries converge on Copenhagen in December to conclude a new treaty on climate change. Positions became entrenched as core issues surfaced as negotiators at Bangkok’s UN Framework Convention on Climate Change got down to the nuts and bolts of a possible new deal.
Kyoto debate flares as Copenhagen deadline looms
With just two months before world leaders assemble in Copenhagen to draft a new treaty on climate change, scrutiny of the Kyoto protocol — the standing binding agreement on carbon emissions — has flared into a fierce debate. The U.S., which signed but never ratified the treaty and refuses to ratify it even under the Barack Obama administration, argues instead a new legal framework should be built to take its place. China, India and other developing nations not originally bound by the terms of the Kyoto protocol believe it is unfair to build a new climate treaty before a framework is in place that holds industrialized nations accountable for their emissions. Google/Agence France-Presse (10/7)
Maldives cabinet meets underwater to stress threat from rising sea levels
(The Independent) The president of the Maldives is desperate for the world to know how seriously his government takes the threat of climate change and rising sea levels to the survival of his country. He wants his ministers to know as well. To this end, Mohamed Nasheed has organised an underwater cabinet meeting and told all his ministers to get in training for the sub-aqua session. Six metres beneath the surface, the ministers will ratify a treaty calling on other countries to cut greenhouse emissions.
China leads climate accusers against wealthy nations
China is leading a call supported by 130 developing countries accusing the U.S. and other wealthy nations of working to sabotage climate negotiations in advance of discussions in Copenhagen to replace the Kyoto protocol. Speaking at UN climate talks in Bangkok, China special representative Yu Qingtai said industrialized nations were introducing new measures during negotiations that would ultimately undermine the protocol. A revelation the U.S. Senate likely would not introduce climate-change legislation before the Copenhagen talks — a factor that will limit U.S. input at the summit — received an angry response from gathered representatives. The Guardian (London) (10/5)
Only 10 days left for climate deal, U.N.’s Ban says
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday negotiators had just 10 days left to secure a global climate deal and governments must not be hindered by domestic troubles. The United Nations hopes to bring 190 governments together in early December in Copenhagen to finalize a deal on greenhouse gas emissions to replace provisions of the Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2012. “There are just 10 negotiating days left until we come to Copenhagen,” Ban said, referring apparently to the remaining days of September 28 to October 9 climate talks under way in Bangkok and to a November 2-6 meeting in Barcelona.
25 September
Climate change at the UN : Fine words – But no specifics
(The Economist) To some extent Mr Obama was upstaged by China’s president, Hu Jintao, who at least offered some details of the steps that his country is taking. He described how, from 2005 to 2010, the country has set itself targets for lowering energy intensity—the energy required to produce a unit of GDP. And he said China will go further in the coming years, by trying actually to cut the carbon emissions per dollar of GDP produced, for example by using more renewable and nuclear energy. But Mr Hu did not offer hard numbers either, only promising a reduction by a “notable amount”. Since China’s GDP is growing so rapidly, even if it cuts the carbon intensity of its economy, its overall emissions will probably continue to grow.
22 September
The one-day UN High-level Summit meeting on Climate Change concluded this week with just Japan and China making concrete commitments to battle one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. Scientific consensus and the acceptance of the scientific findings is no longer an issue. The main snag to any comprehensive global plan appears to be the issue of financing – particularly the funding of climate initiatives in developing countries by public or private backers in industrialised countries.
Act Now or Lose Forever, Climate Summit Told 
(IPS) – The world’s small island developing nations, most of which are threatened with environmental devastation, put the international community on dire notice: either accept ambitious and binding emission reduction targets, or humanity is doomed.
UN General Assembly kicks off with Chinese challenge for climate talks
U.S. President Barack Obama begins a busy agenda at the UN General Assembly by joining UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 100 other nations for climate talks. In addition to talks with diplomats and global leaders, the UN General Assembly climate talks include talks from corporate leaders, environmental activists and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The Guardian (London) (9/22) , The Independent (London) (9/22) , BBC (9/22) , The Guardian (London) (9/22)
UN: Developed world must lead on climate change

While China, India and other developing countries have announced steps to reduce their CO2 emissions, the burden is on the world’s 17 largest industrialized nations to embrace similar steps as climate change talks begin next week. “We know that the bulk of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are there because of industrialized countries and that’s why industrialized countries have to take responsibility and act first,” said Yvo de Boer of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. (9/17) , Google/Agence France-Presse (9/17)
France’s carbon tax
[President Sarkozy] described his plan to introduce a carbon tax as “the only choice that could guarantee…the future of our planet”. If it goes ahead, France would be the first big country to adopt such a tax, which exists in Scandinavia. But the proposal has already run into fierce hostility, from consumers, opposition parties—and even greens.
U.S., China look to forge common path on climate change
U.S. and Chinese officials signed a framework agreement to increase cooperation on climate change, energy and the environment. Action from the two, the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, is seen as central to forging a global agreement at climate talks in Copenhagen in December. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)/Reuters (7/28) 
A new study suggests scientists’ best predictions about global warming might be incorrect.
(Eureka) The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past. The study, which was published online today, contains an analysis of published records from a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM. The conclusion … is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.” Reuters Past warming shows gaps in climate knowledge -study
9 July
Ban criticises G8 climate efforts
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has criticised leaders of the G8 industrial nations for failing to make deeper commitments to combat climate change.
Full text: Energy and climate declaration
We, the leaders of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States met as the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in L’Aquila, Italy, on July 9, 2009, and declare as follows: Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
8 July
Poorer Nations Reject a Target on Emission Cut
L’AQUILA, Italy — The world’s biggest developing nations, led by China and India, refused Wednesday to commit to specific goals for slashing heat-trapping gases by 2050, undercutting the drive to build a global consensus by the end of this year to reverse the threat of climate change.
Tony Blair outlines practical climate strategy
A focus on concrete practical steps to contain greenhouse gas emissions can help the world forge a global climate treaty that addresses the concerns of wealthy and developing countries, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair argues. Global emphasis on increased energy efficiency, deforestation reduction and low-carbon energy sources could provide the world with as much as 70% of the cuts needed to achieve significant reductions by 2020, Blair says. The Toronto Star (7/6)
24 June
Ban has made climate change his signature issue. In September 2007, Ban invited world leaders, ranging from Nicolas Sarkozy to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Al Gore to the United Nations headquarters for a climate change summit. (Foreign Policy even covered the event!) And there will be a repeat of this summit in September, which is intended to build some momentum for the climate talks in Copenhagen in December. More
Climate Change Accord On Horizon in ‘Hopenhagen’
As Obama was touching on climate change legislation at his press conference, the United Nations was also trying to strike a hopeful note on climate change with the launch of its “Hopenhagen” advertising campaign. Officials chose the name because they hoped it would inspire optimism — although confusion or laughter also strike me as legitimate responses — about the potential for ratifying a global agreement on reducing greenhouse emissions. They already have at least one high-profile supporter: French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who pledged his support Tuesday to come to an agreement in Copenhagen.
22 June
Les écolos du monde établissent leur QG à Montréal
Souhaitant mieux coordonner leurs efforts dans la lutte contre les changements climatiques, les groupes environnementaux de la planète ont décidé de se regrouper et de faire de Montréal l’épicentre de cette nouvelle alliance internationale. La création du secrétariat du CIAC s’inscrit dans une vaste campagne appelée tcktcktck (à prononcer tic, tic, tic, comme une horloge), qui doit prendre de l’ampleur au fur et à mesure que la conférence de l’ONU sur les changements climatiques approchera.
Greenpeace – Yes Men spoof newspaper declares climate deal
Readers of a free copy of the International Herald Tribune in Brussels today may have done a double take when they saw headlines like “Markets Soar on News of Copenhagen Climate Deal” and “Atmosphere Named World Heritage Site.” That’s because the newspaper, datelined six months into the future, was brought to them by Greenpeace and the Yes Men.
15 June
Greenpeace: Climate challenge even greater after UN meeting in Bonn
As another round of Bonn climate talks limps to a close, and the UN Climate Summit to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December this year draws closer and closer, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at the progress that’s been made so far…
11 June
Concordia researcher finds definitive link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming
Damon Matthews, a professor in Concordia University’s Department of Geography, Planning and the Environment has found a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Matthews, together with colleagues from Victoria and the U.K., used a combination of global climate models and historical climate data to show that there is a simple linear relationship between total cumulative emissions and global temperature change. In light of this study and other recent research, Matthews and a group of international climate scientists have written an open letter calling on participants [in the December UNFCCC meeting] to acknowledge the need to limit cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide so as to avoid dangerous climate change.  Findings published in Nature, June 11, 2009.
America and China talk climate change
(The Economist) THOUSANDS of officials from all over the world this week neared the end of two weeks of difficult talks in Bonn under the United Nations’ climate convention. But they were conscious that even more difficult and probably more important negotiations were under way in Beijing. America’s most senior climate-change officials were meeting their Chinese counterparts. The two countries are by far the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. They will determine whether a worthwhile global treaty to limit emissions can be concluded as planned in Copenhagen in December.
2 June
U.N. climate talks grudgingly accept treaty draft
(Planet Ark) Despite finding fault, delegates accepted the draft as the starting point for negotiations on a treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December to curb the use of fossil fuels and widen the fight against climate change beyond the existing Kyoto Protocol.

Ban calls for second summit on climate change
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon plans to convene world leaders in September for a second summit on global warming in an effort to forge a strict treaty on “the defining issue of our time” by the end of the year. The move comes as continuing negotiations make little headway on the divisive issue. With evidence mounting that global warming already is impacting 300 million worldwide, many view the third summit, scheduled for December, the last chance for the world to address climate change before it spirals out of control. The Independent (London) (5/31)

30 May

William Marsden: Racing beyond Kyoto
As representatives from 192 nations begin their second round of climate change talks, there is growing concern that the task of setting new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is simply too onerous, despite the pressing urgency for the world to make drastic cuts. They have only six weeks left of the allotted negotiating time to hammer out an agreement on emissions reductions to prevent catastrophic climate change and to agree on compensation packages to help poorer countries pay for the already devastating and costly effects of climate change, like drought and flooding.
29 May
Report: Climate change crisis ‘catastrophic’
LONDON, England (CNN) — The first comprehensive report into the human cost of climate change warns the world is in the throes of a “silent crisis” that is killing 300,000 people each year. More than 300 million people are already seriously affected by the gradual warming of the earth and that number is set to double by 2030, the report from the Global Humanitarian Forum warns. “For the first time we are trying to get the world’s attention to the fact that climate change is not something waiting to happen. It is impacting seriously the lives of many people around the world,” the forum’s president, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told CNN.
[African] Environment Ministers Reach Significant Climate Change Accord – UN
(All Africa) The Nairobi Declaration adopted at the Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) aims to ensure adequate adaptation to climate change in the areas of water resources, agriculture, health, infrastructure, biodiversity and ecosystems, forest, urban management, tourism, food and energy security and management of coastal and marine resources. The Declaration also calls on the international community to support the continent in implementing climate change programmes while at the same time achieving sustainable development, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable, such as women and children, who bear the brunt of the impact of global warming.
26 May
Business “Call” Outlines Six Steps for Ambitious Global Climate Treaty
As the World Business Summit on Climate Change drew to a close, business announced that a new global climate treaty must set bold targets for emissions reductions by 2020 and 2050, limiting the global average rise in temperature to a maximum of 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. This requires immediate and substantial action leading to an abatement of around 17Gt versus business-as-usual by 2020, they said.  Text of The Copenhagen Call

18 May

Draft UN Climate Texts Mark Step Towards Treaty
(Reuters/Planet Ark) OSLO – The United Nations took a step towards a new climate treaty on Friday by publishing the first draft negotiating texts to help bridge a “great gulf” between options for rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.Two documents totalling 68 pages also laid out choices on controversial issues such as nuclear power, emissions trading, forests, shipping or aviation in a new UN global warming pact due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.
12 May
Nicholas Stern’s new climate crusade
(Foreign Policy) Three years ago Stern’s report galvanized international attention with its main findings: that addressing climate change sooner would cost far less waiting until later. But in a speech last Thursday in Oxford, UK, he noted that economics is a dismally flawed science – forecasting tools aren’t yet up to the task of modeling scenarios involving the scale and uncertainty of climate change. “Looking back,” he said, “I think we actually under-did the story.”
30 April
Study: To Halt Warming, Cut More CO2
(TIME) If the world is going to limit global warming to just a few degrees, it has to slash carbon dioxide pollution much more than now being discussed, two new science studies say.
23 April
Countries need clear plans ahead of November climate-change talks, Prentice says
(G&M) Mr. Prentice said leading developing countries, including China and India, must accept binding commitments to conclude a deal.
But he added the developed world will have to address their concerns over financing, technology transfers and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
13 April
India Rejects Calls For Emission Cuts

Officials Say Growth Will Be Compromised
(Washington Post Foreign Service) NEW DELHI — Days after the Obama administration unveiled a push to combat climate change, Indian officials said it was unlikely to prompt them to agree to binding emission cuts, a position among emerging economies that many say derails effective action.
2 April
(Planet Ark) LONDON – World leaders at the G20 summit disappointed environmental groups on Thursday who said their commitment to fight climate change had been vague. The leaders reaffirmed a previous commitment to sign a U.N. climate deal this year, a step the U.N. climate-change chief said was useful, though action would be better.
On “green” causes the leaders affirmed a 15-month-old commitment to agree in December this year a new climate treaty and resolved to “accelerate the transition” to a low-carbon economy. “We are committed to … working together to seek agreement on a post-2012 climate change regime at the UN conference in Copenhagen in December.” Environment experts and lobbyists had wanted a stronger message to re-build a leaner economy run on wind and solar power to avoid a future climate crisis and energy crunch even worse then the financial crisis.
28 March
Obama to host April climate-change forum

U.S. President Barack Obama will host a summit of world leaders in April to help forge a UN agreement on global warming, the White House said Saturday. The April 27-28 summit, labelled by the White House as the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, will include 16 major economies.
Canada is among the countries invited to the forum. Environment Minister Jim Prentice has said Canada’s environmental policies will mirror those of the Obama administration.
20 March
Projections of Climate Change Go From Bad to Worse
, Scientists Report

(IARU) COPENHAGEN—Meeting 2 years after the most recent report of the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some 2000 scientists delivered a consistent if not unequivocal message here last week on the state of Earth’s warming climate. “The worst case IPCC projections, or even worse, are being realized,” said the event’s co-chair, University of Copenhagen biological oceanographer Katherine Richardson. Emissions are soaring, projections of sea level rise are higher than expected, and climate impacts around the world are appearing with increasing frequency … .
China, EU considering major revisions in advance of climate change conference
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer urged the European Union to keep an agreement to finance efforts among developing nations to curb carbon emissions — part of a framework for combating climate change made in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007. China also seeks to significantly adjust the framework a new climate deal to replace the Kyoto protocol by asking consumer nations to pay the carbon price for products as opposed to producing nations. International Herald Tribune (3/17) , The Guardian (London) (3/17) , Financial Times (3/17)
Brown urges U.S. approval of climate-change pact
In a rare speech before both houses of Congress, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the U.S. to endorse an international accord to reduce green-house gas emissions at a UN conference set for Copenhagen. Aware President Barack Obama faces a congressional battle over his promised cap and trade bill, Brown maintained the world’s problems require worldwide solutions. The Guardian (London) (3/5) 
1 March
Obama’s Backing Raises Hopes for Climate Pact
Until recently, the idea that the world’s most powerful nations might come together to tackle global warming seemed an environmentalist’s pipe dream.
The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, was widely viewed as badly flawed. Many countries that signed the accord lagged far behind their targets in curbing carbon dioxide emissions. The United States refused even to ratify it. And the treaty gave a pass to major emitters in the developing world like China and India. But within weeks of taking office, President Obama has radically shifted the global equation …

2 Comments on "Global Treaty on Climate Change 2009"

  1. Bogdan Janecki January 29, 2010 at 9:31 pm ·

    Considering the fact that our ancestors were pagans worshiping nature, it took us two millennia to spoil the environment in the name of progress.

  2. Bogdan Janecki January 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm ·

    our ancestors were pegans: they did well warshipping nature. For us,so cyvilised,it took two millenias to trash the envirinment in the name of the allmighty dollar.

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