Thursday, December 17, 2009

from OUTREACH from COP15 (17th December 2009)

Do not Seal a Deal in a Hurry!
Just Plan Your Next Climate Negotiation Trip!
As we intend to live on earth for longer than the negotiators expect!
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

With just two more days to go, I simply cannot support COP15 to seal any deal here in Copenhagen. From Bali to now, there has been no indication that the negotiators had shown any commitment towards a global agreement. Now that the national leaders are coming to Copenhagen, why should they rush into an agreement? Buying time is of course the name of the game for them, and the world is aware of this shameless act. But, we are not ready to accept a hurried deal from Copenhagen that can only ensure that some bureaucrats save their jobs. So, now that you have enjoyed the hospitality of another city, let me invite the negotiators to concentrate on planning their next climate negotiation trip and improve on their carbon footprint. While, the negotiators increase their emissions and talk about mitigation responsibilities, we the people will continue to plan our existence on earth.

The PLATFORM met with the C-ROADS team that has developed a climate policy simulator which enables the users to rapidly evaluate the impact of national GHG emissions reduction policies through 2100. Dr. Elizabeth Sawin for the C-ROADS team said, "We are providing close to real-time analysis of proposals within the negotiations. Friday (11th) the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action released a draft text that included emissions reduction targets. As we began to understand that the press and others were unsure of the implications of the draft text we decided it would be useful to offer C-ROADS analysis on the text. Here's the summary, "Mitigation Gap: National Emissions Reductions Proposals Currently Fall Short of the Targets Defined in Draft Text from the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action". Dr. Sawin further stated; "significant differences remain between the aggregate emissions reductions from current national proposals and the mitigation targets released yesterday in a draft text at the UNFCCC climate talks in Copenhagen. Achieving the potential declared in the draft texts will require sufficient commitment to financing, technology transfer, monitoring, verification, and accountability to allow nations to commit to and achieve higher reduction targets than they have currently put on the table."

While appreciating the fact that the model may help US and other Western Negotiators to play their numbers game, I have asked the C-ROADS team how their simulation can help us from the southern countries to ascertain poverty reduction, wellbeing increase, and other equity criteria while reducing national GHG emissions. The team has agreed to improve on the model to include such elements which are more pressing issues of over half of humanity on earth now in poverty. As Ms. Florence Charamba Christensen from Zimbabwe told us at a PLATFORM Dialogue, "as basic needs have yet to be met in developing nations, and the fact that there is a huge inequality in consumption, I believe climate sustainability with a humanitarian approach is the key. Therefore, I would like to witness a solution where climate sustainability can be addressed through equity."

With fifteen years of negotiations, a Kyoto Protocol that spelt out some easy commitments for emission reductions, a Nobel prize winning IPCC Assessment Report, hundreds of thousands of people taking to the street to demonstrate against inaction, and even USA President Barrack Obama wanting to move his country towards a more greener economy, the negotiators at COP15 are demonstrating the most primitive side of human animals. Now that the organisers of COP15 have blocked most of civil society to enter the Bella Centre, they may as well have the entire place turned into the circus they are so much capable of. They can now continue to elect their own head monkeys and chief clowns and entertain themselves, while mitigation obligations continue to become the scapegoat for lack of agreement to ensure humanity a chance on earth.

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