- 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.
In a recent Guardian newspaper poll, nine out of ten climate scientists said they did not believe political efforts to restrict average global warming to 2C would succeed. However, two new papers in the 30th April issue of Nature magazine show that it is still technically possible to conceive of an emissions trajectory that would make it likely (ie give us a 75% chance) that we would keep within 2C of global warming compared to pre-industrial times (the threshold defined by the EU between acceptable and dangerous climate change). However it is a tiny budget – less than a quarter of the remaining proven fossil fuel reserves. We speak to one of the lead authors of the studies – Myles Allen of the Climate Dynamics team, University of Oxford – to draw out some of the implications for national and international policymakers.
- We can release 1,000 GtCO2 between 2000-2050 if we want to have a 75% chance of staying below 2C
- We have already used up a third of this budget (2000-2008)
- Our remaining budget (700 GtC02) is equivalent to less than a quarter of the remaining proven fossil fuel reserves
- James Hansen’s 350 ppmC02 scenario will give us a higher chance of staying below 2C since it is based on a lower emissions budget
- An emissions budget should be the focus of the UN talks rather than a stabilization target (such as 350ppmCO2) or a long-term target (such as 50-85% global cut in CO2 by 2050)
- The Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Country blocs (together representing 100 countries and around 1 billion people) are calling for temperature rise to be limited to 1.5C rather than 2C
Special 45-minute programme celebrating the launch of a major new independently produced climate change documentary-drama, The Age of Stupid. Made by the producer of McLibel and financed by “crowd-funding”, the film stars Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite living alone in 2055 in a world devastated by climate change. He looks back at archive footage and asks “why didn’t we act when we had the chance?”
The programme takes a look behind the scences and features exclusive interviews with producer Franny Armstrong and head of animation Leo Murray, various audio clips, plus appearances from Postlethwaite and Caroline Lucas MEP. This is an edit of a 60-minute live Clear Spot programme on ResonanceFM.
The UN Climate Talks are at crisis point. Nothing on the table matches the scale of the challenge and corporate interests are rife. As the talks in Poznan come to an end, we take stock with three key protaganists: Kevin Smith (CarbonTradeWatch), Oliver Tickell (Kyoto2) and Tom Athanasiou (Greenhouse Development Rights).
- UNFCCC tenders a report on alternative frameworks
- 350 ppm CO2 target endorsed by Al Gore, AOSIS & the LDC country blocks
- Potsdam Institute shows how we can achieve the 350 ppm target
- Climate Justice Now! coalition grows in size from 20 to 160 organisations
- Carbon trading advances despite a crisis of credibility
- 142 organisations sign a statement against the World Bank’s involvement with climate funds
- The China+G77 block support climate funds being managed by UN
- Rich nations still failing to fulfill their commitments 16 years on
- Plans develop for a mass mobilisation in Copenhagen December 2009
- Could extending the scope of the Montreal Protocol and controling black soot be two effective ways forward outside the UNFCCC process?
We continue our coverage of the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland where the big issue on the table is “how to reduce emissions from deforestation”? The big push from investors is to incorporate forests into the carbon markets, but this approach is riddled with problems. Friends of the Earth International has warned that this would “create the climate regime’s biggest ever loophole.” We speak to Miguel Lovera, chair of the Global Forest Coalition about his concerns and his proposals for an alternative way forward.
Meanwhile in Brussels, European country delegates have been agreeing new targets for agrofuel for road transport. This will increase deforestation and emissions from other changes in land use. We speak to Robert Bailey of Oxfam International and ask why this disaster has been allowed to happen.
We continue our lead in to this year’s UN climate talks in Poznan with a look at a proposal that seeks to break the current deadlock and lead to a fair deal which both delivers climate safety and protects the poor.
The Greenhouse Development Rights framework is supported by Christian Aid, Oxfam, Stockholm Environment Institute and the Heinrich Boll Foundation.
We speak to Tom Athanasiou, Director of EcoEquity and co-author of the GDR framework.
- “Greenhouse Development Rights – Powerpoint” (Summary of 2nd Edition)
- “Greenhouse Development Rights – Executive Summary” (2nd Edition)
- Greenhouse Development Rights website