Copenhagen Climate Change meeting 2009

Written by  //  December 10, 2009  //  Asia, China, Climate Change, U.S., United Nations  //  No comments

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Countdown to Copenhagen 
The Guardian: Countdown to Copenhagen
Climate change on Wednesday-night.com

Global Treaty on Climate Change 2009
15 people worth watching in Copenhagen

 

The Climate Question – A [National] Post preview of the Copenhagen summit: the issues, the players, a new way of seeing green, Corcoran vs. a believer, burying the problem, plus Rex Murphy. Good try, NP, but hopeless task to find it all in one place on the website.
Background
12 December 2008
Lack of progress at Poznan
Anyone concerned about the future of the planet and its people should be alarmed at the UN climate talks
The 190 countries meeting in Poland’s former capital were supposed to put flesh on the bones of a new international agreement on climate change to be finalised in Copenhagen next year.
While ActionAid saw developing countries turning up to do just that, their counterparts from the rich world were determined to keep the bones bare. Some of their actions have even fractured parts of the skeleton.


Hopenhagen’s dirty secret

As developing countries accuse the industrialized North of trying to side-step cuts in carbon emissions, the real winners of the Copenhagen climate summit are emerging: Wall Street and Big Oil. While Wall Street banks will probably turn climate change into a new commodities market, marketing it as an investment product, Big Oil is likely to make a killing from a global carbon tax.
A great model of how things work:
“…Middle East oil producers sell the oil that fuels an army of Chinese factories – especially the “factory of the world” in Guangdong province. These factories use the oil to produce virtually everything the world consumes – a great deal of which ends up in the US. American consumers buy all these products in department stores with maxed-out credit cards. Then Middle East oil magnates invest their surplus in the US itself. That’s how selected Arab players – mostly sovereign wealth funds – became key US creditors.
As much as the US is hurt by the biggest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, China will still need all this oil to move its economy, Arabs will still need to sell it, and Americans will still need to consume made in China products at Wal-Marts they drove to in their SUVs. …”
7 December
Pepe Escobar: Climate change talks: What to look for at Copenhagen
(Christian Science Monitor) Delegates left the Bali climate change talks in December 2007 with high hopes that a grand bargain on reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be secured by now. But today, as the latest round of climate change talks begin with representatives from more than 190 countries gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, expectations are far more modest.
The biggest decision – a binding international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions – is likely to be pushed off until next December, when another round of climate talks are scheduled for Mexico City. Nevertheless, two weeks in Copenhagen will yield insights into global efforts to control industrial emissions and the warming of the planet. — A Q&A on the key areas that will define success or failure.
Pressure on China, U.S. at Copenhagen
UN Environment Program head Achim Steiner says he expects carbon targets put forward by China and the U.S. to be opening positions not final offers. The UN has called on greater commitments from the U.S., China and India — the world’s greatest developed and developing producers of carbon emissions. The U.S. and European Union in particular will seek to pressure China to commit to an absolute cap on emissions as opposed to the relative carbon-intensity targets it has pledged. The New York Times/Green Inc. blog (12/7) , The Christian Science Monitor (12/4)
3 December
Jeffrey Sachs: End the Politics — Let Scientists and Engineers Lead
(HuffPost) We’ve debated for years about who should control emissions, by how much, when, and according to binding or non-binding commitments. Yet we can’t settle these issues without also getting into the details about the deployment of low-carbon technologies, social behaviors and the quantitative realities of energy systems, transport technologies, food production, water scarcity, and population trends. We will continue to go around in circles until we are much more systematic in bringing scientific and engineering realities to the table. Our negotiations need much greater grounding in our true options and their costs.
26 November
America and China announce targets for carbon emissions to take to Copenhagen

(The Economist) Mr Obama and other leaders have already conceded that Copenhagen will not produce a full schedule of legally binding emissions targets for all the world’s countries. But the president has recently met the leaders of the two big countries most able, alongside America, to break the rich-poor deadlock that has made many climate-watchers worry about the prospect of any deal at all. And the prospects of some sort of agreement grew on Thursday. Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, said that he would also go to Copenhagen at the same time that China announced that it would take to the meeting a commitment to cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of GDP by up to 45% by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. However China’s rapid pace of economic growth means that its overall carbon emissions will continue to grow for some years.
25 November
Obama’s planned attendance at Copenhagen turns up heat on Harper
President Barack Obama will pledge to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of 17 per cent below 2005 levels” by 2020 when he attends next month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen, the White House said Wednesday.
15 November
Obama rules out Copenhagen treaty

(FT) Barack Obama conceded on Sunday that next month’s Copenhagen summit would not produce a legally binding agreement to tackle global warming, but left the door open to a substantive deal at the climate change conference.
Leaders Will Delay Agreement on Climate

(NYT) SINGAPORE — President Obama and other world leaders have decided to put off the difficult task of reaching a climate change agreement at a global climate conference scheduled for next month, agreeing instead to make it the mission of the Copenhagen conference to reach a less specific “politically binding” agreement that would punt the most difficult issues into the future.
At a hastily arranged breakfast on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting on Sunday morning, the leaders agreed that in order to salvage Copenhagen they would have to push a fully binding legal agreement down the road, possibly to a second summit meeting in Mexico City later on.
Apec leaders drop climate target
(BBC) World leaders meeting in Singapore have said it will not be possible to reach a climate change deal ahead of next month’s UN conference in Denmark.
After a two-day Asia-Pacific summit, they vowed to work towards an “ambitious outcome” in Copenhagen.
But the group dropped a target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which was outlined in an earlier draft.
UN, U.S. acknowledge delay for climate treaty

UN and U.S. officials are resigned to the fact the long-awaited climate talks in Copenhagen next month are unlikely to produce much more than an agreement to cut carbon emissions despite UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s stern language about the consequences of failing to arrive at a binding deal. The Wall Street Journal (11/13) , Google/The Associated Press (11/13)
7 November
Dark Clouds Gathering Over Copenhagen
(IPS) – It has been a bad week for the climate change summit in Copenhagen next month. During the week the last meeting in the formal round of pre-Copenhagen talks collapsed in Barcelona. Then, meeting here on the weekend, the G20 finance ministers put the seal on that failure by failing to agree a financial package.
Climate deal unlikely before 2010
Efforts to forge a global treaty to battle climate change have made insufficient progress to reach a deal in Copenhagen and might need another year before a treaty is decided, United Nations climate guru Yvo de Boer warned. The Alliance of Island States, a 43-country bloc of countries most vulnerable to climate change effects, blamed rich countries for the possible delay and expressed anger over a lack of political to tackle the problem. Google/The Associated Press (11/6) , Bloomberg (11/6)
Climate talks end in acrimony as UN and EU accuse US of endangering deal
Yvo de Boer says US target is essential as poor countries threaten walk-out at Copenhagen
(The Guardian) While the countries remain officially optimistic that a strong global warming treaty can be struck, they are privately braced for a weak outcome which heads of state will sign, but the public and scientists will condemn as much too little to prevent catastrophic global warming.
2 November
Talks focus on climate document
(Al Jazeera) Leaders from nearly 180 countries hope to finalise the outline of a plan to provide billions of dollars a year to fight climate change, in their final round of talks before a conference in Copenhagen next month.
The five-day meeting beginning on Monday in Barcelona, Spain, will resume work on the draft of an agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. They are entrusted with the task of simplifying a draft document full of competing proposals, disputed wording and minority-backed options, in order to draw up a workable agreement that can be accepted by all 192 nations due to attend the December 7-18 Copenhagen conference.
30 October
EU push for climate funding unity

(BBC) EU leaders are trying to break an impasse over funding to help poor countries combat global warming on the last day of their Brussels summit. Sweden’s prime minister called on EU leaders to set a fixed sum, paving the way for other rich donors like the US and Japan to make similar pledges. But a coalition of nine poorer European nations has threatened to block a deal unless richer EU countries pay more.

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