Carbon Emissions Hit a New Record

By Environment Editor

March 14 (Sydney Morning Herald) — GREENHOUSE gases have risen to their highest level since modern humans evolved, and Australian temperatures are now about a degree warmer than they were a century ago, a major review by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology has found. Continue reading

La Vía Campesina Call to action: Reclaiming our future: Rio +20 and Beyond

On 20-22 June 2012, governments from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to commemorate 20 years of the “Earth Summit”, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that first established a global agenda for “sustainable development”. During the 1992 summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Convention to Combat Desertification, were all adopted. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was also established to ensure effective follow-up of the UNCED “Earth Summit.” Continue reading

Technology committee decides on work plan, evaluation panel

Published in SUNS #7313 dated 21 February 2012

Geneva, 20 Feb (Meena Raman) – The second meeting of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met in Bonn, Germany from 16-18 February and concluded with agreement on a two-year work plan for 2012 to 2013, the nomination of a six-man evaluation panel for selecting the host of the Climate Technology Centre (CTC) and elaboration of the modalities on linkages with other relevant institutional arrangements under and outside the Convention. Continue reading

Trade war looms over EU’s tax on airlines

Published in SUNS #7313 dated 21 February 2012

Geneva, 20 Feb (Martin Khor) – A trade war is looming over the European Union’s move to impose charges on airlines on the basis of the greenhouse gases they emit during the planes’ entire flights into and out of European airports.

Many countries whose airlines are affected, including China, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil and the United States, consider this to be unfair or illegal or both. Continue reading

The EU’s Emissions Trading System Isn’t Working

By Alexander Jung

Emissions trading, the European Union hoped, would limit the release of harmful greenhouse gases. But it isn’t working. The price for emissions certificates has plunged, a development that is actually making coal more attractive than renewable energy. Continue reading

UN Climate Conference:The Durban Disaster

By Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle

This year’s UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP-17) in Durban, South Africa, nicknamed “The Durban Disaster,” took the dismal track record of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to new lows. At one point, it appeared that the talks might actually collapse, but a small cabal of 20-30 countries held exclusive closed-door talks over the final days to create the Durban Platform, which carbon analyst Matteo Mazzoni described as “an agreement between parties to arrange another agreement.” Continue reading

The Durban Package: escape hatches, empty shells, and a death notice to equity

IBON assessment of the Durban climate change summit

 The next ten years could decide whether the world’s fight against climate change is lost or won. The Durban Package – the set of decisions agreed to in the summit – amounts to more heavy lifting for the South, less obligations for the North, and little help for the poor. Worse still, it means that the present decade will be a decade of zero progress in curbing global emissions, and one where equity as the basis of the global climate effort will have been abandoned. Continue reading

Durban’s climate Zombie tripped by dying carbon markets

By Patrick Bond

Looking back now that the dust has settled, South Africa’s COP17 presidency appears disastrous. This was confirmed not only by Durban’s delayed, diplomatically-decrepit denouement, but by plummeting carbon markets in the days immediately following the conference’s ignoble end last Sunday. Continue reading

How not to tackle climate change and call it a success: the Durban package

Nele Marien (*)

The official package deal of Durban consisted of 4 main documents, apart of several other decisions, most of them less critical, that have been adopted: Continue reading