- the historic Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change and its implications for the UN climate talks in Copenhagen at the end of the year
- the Arctic’s central position in the climate tipping point story and
- the rush to exploit the fossil fuel resources in the Arctic opened up by the sea ice melt
We also hear from Vietnam vet and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge campaigner, Robert Thompson, about the potential impacts of an oil spill and about the oil company tactic of bribery that has attempted to split and buy-out local opposition to oil drilling.
We get a majority world perspective on the climate emergency from Goldman Prize winner Ricardo Navarro. Navarro won the Goldman prize for sustainable development back in 1995 for his work as founder and director of the El Salvador Centre for Appropriate Technology and he is a former director of Friends of the Earth International.
Here he talks about how a new regional Movement of Climate Change Affected Peoples is responding to the pressures of climate change with awareness raising, permaculture techniques and low-level technologies as well as putting up resistance to inappropriate development. He also gives us his wider perspective on the United Nations climate talks which he has been attending since 1992.
The global deal on climate change has two main requirements. That it is guided by the latest science and that it is fair. Without fairness there will be no deal, as 192 countries need to agree and most of these countries are poor. We take a look at Oxfam International’s proposal for a fair deal that could break current deadlock in the talks, in an interview with Oxfam researcher Richard King . Like the proponents of Climate Debt and Greenhouse Development Rights, Oxfam says the rich world has a “double duty” to both make radical cuts at home and to pay for the poor world to adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way. Oxfam’s key recommendations are:
- Copenhagen must deliver a fair and adequate climate deal: one that keeps global warming as far below 2°C as possible, and that reflects the historical responsibility for emissions and the economic capability of developed countries
- Rich countries must agree binding individual country targets that cut greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
- A UN Fund should be established by raising $150bn per year as an absolute minimum from the sale, auction or levy of rich country emissions allowances (AAUs). $100bn of this would fund low-carbon development in poor countries and $50 would fund adaptation measures in poor countries
- Additional funds would be raised from fines if rich countries fail to meet their targets; and from the purchase of “premium reductions” which would replace the Clean Development Mechanism and ensure that poor countries rather than rich countries take advantage of the cheapest low-carbon options first
Is Oxfam’s idea of “premium reductions” a possible solution to the problems with the Clean Development Mechanism? We aksed Richard King to expand on this idea and how it relates to the CDM in the explanatory note which follows…
At the end of the UN Climate Talks in Bonn we get a close reading of the state of play from Third World Network’s Meena Raman. While the elements of a possible successful Copenhagen global climate deal are on the table and mainly come from developing countries, rich countries continue to ignore their responsibilities and offer weak cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that scientists have concluded are virtually certain to guarantee dangerous climate change.
Any just approach to climate change must ensure that those who have benefited in the course of causing climate change compensate the victims of climate change – Third World Network, 2009
What do we need to do to escape the current deadlock at the UN climate talks? Rich countries need to start acknowledging their historical responsibility for climate change and their capacity to pay for adaptation and mitigation measures in poor countries. They need to start bringing targets to the table that are adequate from the point of view of both science and fairness. As the call for rich countries to repay their climate debt grows louder, we speak to Matthew Stilwell, author of Climate Debt: A Primer, for a sharp analysis of what’s needed to seal a fair climate deal.