11 September 2009

Copenhagen Climate Negotiations - latest EU, G20, African Union positions

The EU this week released its latest negotiating positions for the Copenhagen climate talks - including on the controversial aspects of climate finance. For a clear report, take a look at the EU Observer. To get into the geeky detail, take a look at the Communication 'Stepping up international climate finance: A European blueprint for the Copenhagen deal'"(an EU Communication is a non-binding statement of intent from the EU Commission, the Brussels-based bureaucracy charged with initiating discussions that are subsequently taken up by the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers).

One of the key aspects is that public financial commitments are further squeezed (or retreated from as an idea). Instead, the EU claims that financing for tackling climate change should be built around carbon market revenues and private finance (aka investment opportunities for EU-based corporations).

A second key aspect (as I've mentioned earlier in this blog) is the proposed "sectoral crediting mechanism." Although the EU talks this up as an improvement upon the discredited Clean Development Mechanism, it is suspiciously silent on the fact that the shift from "project based" to "sectoral" crediting means that the last, inadequate lines of environmental impact assessment would be circumvented. This is mainly in the interest of "unblocking" the CDM bottleneck - the complaint from financial institutions that they can't grow this market quickly enough.

Further info can be found in this background "staff working document, this Q+A and press release

While the EU has set out figures in the region of €2-15 billion for climate financing, the African Union is suggesting a figure of $200 billion by 2020.

The US, meanwhile, has yet to come up with a proposal at all.

Finally, a series of position papers for the forthcoming G20 summit in Pittsburgh reveal are distinctly worrying (and predictable) in their emphasis on private sector market openings and various means to expand global carbon markets

02 September 2009

Tar-sands protest in UK

(an anti-tar sands protester, "sludged up" and expressing his revulsion outside BP's London office)

I've taken an involuntary summer/book writing blogging hiatus... but in the meantime, it is worth checking out the Indigenous Environment Network's launch of an anti-tar sands campaign in the UK. Yesterday's protest at BP and Sell was just the start...