Session of the United Nations climate negotiations October 2 in Panama City. Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development

Session of the United Nations climate negotiations October 2 in Panama City. Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development

Panama is only a short hop from the Caribbean islands now home to Worldwatch Institute’s Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps project. But, it’s a big leap from the national renewable energy strategies being developed in the Caribbean to the tense efforts just wrapping up in Panama City to agree on global climate change reduction goals.

The Panama meetings from October 1-7 marked the final preparatory negotiation before the next United Nations climate change summit convenes in Durban, South Africa from November 28-December 10. With many issues on the negotiating table, countries made surprising progress on providing funding for climate change solutions, especially in developing countries. Countries also pushed big issues like a new global climate agreement and the next stage of the Kyoto Protocol onto an already overflowing agenda for Durban.

Read the rest of this entry

Australia, aviation, banks, Brazil, BRICS, Cancun, carbon dioxide, charge, China, clean technollgy, Climate Change, Copenhagen, December, Dominican Republic, Durban, emissions, entrepreneurs, European Union, finance, G20, Green Climate Fund, greenhouse gas, Haiti, hop, India, International Monetary Fund, Jamaica, jump, Kyoto Protocol, LBI, legally binding instrument, New Zealand, October, Panama, pollution, renewable energy, Roadmap, shipping, South Africa, tax, Technology Executive Committee, trading, trip, United States, World Bank
Person walking up long path

Source: treehugger.com

The most recent negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change just concluded in Bangkok, Thailand. While some progress toward international climate change action was achieved, the talks were full of mostly minor diplomatic victories on procedural and scheduling issues. Big questions, especially the fate of the Kyoto Protocol and a new global climate agreement, remain unanswered. Meanwhile, worldwide carbon pollution continues to rise.

The Bangkok negotiations lasted from April 3—8 and marked the first session of the 2011 global climate meetings. Governments spent most of their time trying to agree on a schedule of what to decide on in 2011 meetings. So, if you thought climate talks already had been tough to follow, try listening to negotiators negotiate about what they are going to negotiate about later. On the final day, countries ultimately agreed on a workplan for the rest of the year. The two key areas of work are: figuring out if and how to keep the current Kyoto Protocol alive; and continuing to develop a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, one that will involve a larger range of countries cutting their climate pollution.

Read the rest of this entry

2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, April, Bangkok, Bonn, Cancun, carbon pollution, civil society, Climate Change, commitment period, cooperation, countries, December, developing countries, diplomatic, Durban, emerging economies, emissions limits, gap, Germany, governments, japan, June, Kyoto Protocol, negotiators, November, path, Policy, political challenges, procedural, rich countries, Russia, scheduling, South Africa, spirit, steps, successor, technical challenges, Thailand, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United States, workplan

International youth invite delegates to hide their emissions by throwing plastic "emissions" balls through a parody of the LULUCF loophole rules (Photo courtesy SustainUS)

Logging loopholes, gigaton gaps, and other funny phrases await resolution from negotiators now that the United Nations climate talks have wrapped up in Bonn. From finance to forests, a lot of issues will be taken up by governments when they meet again in—surprise—Bonn, in August, and then again in China later this year. Waiting until the annual high-level climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, in November to address these issues would leave little chance of solving them by that summit’s end.

Land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) issues dominated much of the discussion in Bonn. Many developed (Annex I) nations argued for historical “baseline” rules that would give them credit for more emissions reductions than they actually achieved. That baseline serves as a reference period for assessing how greenhouse gas emissions from forestry practices (mostly logging) and land use activities (creating or destroying wetlands, grasslands, etc.) have changed over time due to human activity. If developed countries get their way, the rules would allow carbon storage from forest growth to count toward their reductions, but ignore future emissions from fires and logging.

Read the rest of this entry

1.5°C, 2°C, 3°C, Annex I, August, baseline, Bonn, buffet, Cancun, carbon offsets, China, Climate Change, Copenhagen, Copenhagen Accord, December, deforestation, developed, developing, emissions, emissions reductions, finance, fires, forest degradation, forestry, forests, G8, gigaton gap, gigatonne gap, grasslands, greenhouse gas, island nations, John Mulrow, Kuwait, land use, land use change, logging, logging loophole, LULUCF, Marion Viewig, plastic, Qatar, REDD, Saudi Arabia, SustainUS, UNFCCC, verification, wetlands, Youth