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
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
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
Bonn, 15 February, 2012 (Meena Raman)- BASIC Ministers, in a joint-statement issued at the conclusion of their 10th Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change from February 13-14, 2012 in New Delhi, emphasized that the agreement on the Durban Platform was part of a carefully balanced package of ‘mutual reassurances’ between the parties. Continue reading
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
We will save the markets, not the climate. That is how we can summarize the outcome of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) which took place in Durban, South Africa between 28 November and 10 December 2011. There is a striking contrast between the rapid response by governments and international institutions at the onset of the economic and financial crisis of 2007-08 in bailing out private banks with public money and the complete immobility they demonstrate in response to climate change. Yet this should not surprise us, because in both cases it is the markets and their accomplices in government who come out as winners. Continue reading
By DONALD A. BROWN
I. Introduction: What Is Missing In Reporting About The Durban Outcome?
It has now been two weeks since negotiations at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP-17) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed in the early morning of Sunday, December 11, 2011 in Durban, South Africa. We will claim that there is something missing from the reporting of what happened in Durban that is crucial if one aspires to think critically about the Durban outcomes. That is, reporting on Durban has for the most part missed the biggest story, namely that most nations continue to act as if they have no obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to their fair share of safe global emission, that the positions they have been taking on most major climate issues fail any reasonable minimum ethical test, that an acknowledgement that nations not only have interests but duties and responsibilities continues to be the key missing element in the negotiations, and that some nations in particular have lamentably not only failed to lead on climate change but are continuing to take positions that not only fail to satisfy their immediate international duties to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions but also encourage irresponsible behavior of other nations. Continue reading
Beijing, 22 Dec (Chee Yoke Ling) – The recently concluded Durban climate conference adopted two decisions on policy approaches and positive incentives that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD-plus). Continue reading
Manila, 20 Dec (Elpidio V. Peria  ) – The technology transfer discussions in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa under the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) may have been the least reported of all the topics and may not have gotten the attention of international media and activists. However, government negotiators slogged through the entire two-week duration of the Conference of the Parties (COP), to come up with a clear decision on the various pending issues about technology development and transfer, all aimed at making the Technology Mechanism fully operational in 2012. Continue reading
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