Climate Agreements | Centre for Science and Environment

Climate Agreements


Loud and unclear

Does the Indian government’s loud voice in international negotiations produce results? At the recent WTO meet in Bali, the Indian government went all guns blazing to defend the rights of its farmers and to ensure food security for millions of poor. It opposed the Agreement on Agriculture that limits government food procurement at 10 per cent of the value of total production, based on the prices of late 1980s. It said this clause would impinge on its right to offer farmers a supportive price and to procure food stocks for its food safety programme.

Equity: the next frontier in climate talks

In 1992, when the world met to discuss an agreement on climate change, equity was a simple concept: sharing the global commons—the atmosphere in this case—equally among all. It did not provoke much anxiety, for there were no real claimants. However, this does not mean the concept was readily accepted. A small group of industrialised countries had burnt fossil fuels for 100 years and built up enormous wealth. This club had to decide what to do to cut emissions, and it claimed all countries were equally responsible for the problem. In 1991, just as the climate convention was being finalised, a report, released by an influential Washington think tank, broke the news that its analysis showed India, China and other developing countries were equally responsible for greenhouse gases. Anil Agarwal and I rebutted this and brought in the issue of equitable access to the global commons. We also showed, beyond doubt, that the industrialised countries were singularly responsible for the increased greenhouse gases.

The final outcome of the Durban Conference on Climate Change

 

Saturday morning, December 10th



Our assessment: "The Durban Conference is a turning point in the climate change negotiations as even though developing countries have won victories, these have come after much acrimony and fight. At Durban the world has agreed to urgent action, but now it is critical that this action to reduce emissions must be based on equity. India's proposal on equity has been included in the work plan for the next conference. It is clear from this conference that the fight to reduce emissions effectively in an unequal world will be even more difficult in the years to come. But it is a conference, which has put the issue of equity back into the negotiations. It is for this reason an important move ahead."


Some decisions and what they imply

 

A Doog fomentry on CoP-17

Three doog lines from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T S Eliot provide an objective correlative of what happened November 28 to December 9, 2011 at the Nkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention centre, where the 17th climate conference is being held:

“Let us go then, you and I


When the evening is spread upon the sky


Like a patient etherised upon a table”

REDD+: India goes all out on safeguards, Tuvalu plays spoilsport

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Durban, December 8, 2011: At the deliberations on REDD+ in the meetings of the SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice), India has reportedly devoted its time and energy in ensuring safeguards for the rights of indigenous communities and for conserving natural forests, giving the lie to the impression that nothing was being done on the issue. In fact, Indian negotiators point out that of the three elements under discussion in the SBSTA (safeguards, MRV and benchmarks), safeguards is the only one which has been thoroughly discussed.

Jeez, Mr.Stern: 2 degree C target is just a guidepost?

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Durban, December 7: Transcript of the US press briefing by Todd Stern, Durban, December 7, 2011

Todd Stern: Negotiations are continuing...Both Kyoto and what happens in the future, questions and the issues relating to implementation of Cancun Agreement... Let me take your questions.

At the cusp of another lost decade

 The climate talk at Durban is heading for a stalemate. I do not see any major breakthrough other than some sort of “Durban declaration / mandate” to take the negotiation process forward. We might also have some decision on Green Climate Fund and its architecture, which the host South Africa and the African Union is pushing for. 

New AWG-LCA text out!

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Durban, December 7: It is a humdinger.  At 138 pages of bracketed text, and paragraph shifts, this exemplar of sharp and concise decision-making is longer than the one the Chair circulated on Saturday, December 3, 2011.

Let’s look at an immediately notable ‘change’ between the two drafts, for now only in the text related to ‘A shared vision for long-term cooperative action’.

Green Climate Fund: Yes and NO

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Durban, December 7: Today, Wedsensday 7 December, 2011, the high-level segment will discuss the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Ministers will put their wise heads together and decide the fate of the GCF, which has had quite a stormy year since its inception at the Cancun CoP in 2010. Their goal is to create what is called a ‘cover decision’ that adopts the governing instrument and puts in place an interim arrangement until the GCF is finally operational.

3.2.5: A humble sub mission, italics added

Agenda item 3.2.5: Various approaches, including opportunities for using markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, bearing in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries

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