Saturday, January 30, 2010

Climate Action Network undermines strong resolve of developing states

Below are two critiques of the "People's Submission" posted earlier reposted from Peace, Earth and Justice News. Comments are encouraged.

In January 29 CLimate Action Network sent the following to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “A People’s Submission on Canada, Climate Change and the Copenhagen Accord”

Enclosed two responses submitted to the Climate Action Network website.

1. Comment and proposal Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project

While the criticism of Harper and his Conservative government, and of the Copenhagen Accord are important, the measures proposed in the above submission, are way below what is being advocated by progressive states such as Bolivia.

Implementation of UNFCCC; TIME TO BE BOLD

At COP 15, on December 17 and 18, presentations were made, by the head of states, to the Assembly. The majority of heads of states were calling for the global community to maintain the rise in temperature to well below 1.5 degrees. Sadly, it was clear at COP 15 that the demands of the majority of states were disregarded. On December 7, Papua New Guinea had proposed that, rather than descend to the lowest common denominator, the Parties should strive for Consensus with a fall back of 75%. Unfortunately, this proposal was summarily dismissed by the Chair.

If one counts the G77 representing 130 developing states along with some low lying states or small island states which were not members of the G77 along with some of the member states of the European union, then possibly over 75% of the signatories of the UNFCCC would have been prepared to sign and ratify a strong, legally binding agreement. While it could be argued, on the one hand, that this agreement would be irrelevant because the major greenhouse gas producers would have not signed on, but on the other hand, citizens in the major greenhouse gas producing states could use the agreement to pressure their governments to make commitments to stronger emissions reductions. Hopefully that in COP 16 in Mexico, the demands of the majority will be respected.

Signing of the Copenahagen accord currently in front of heads of states would undermine the actions necessary to make the drastic cuts necessary to fulfill the legal obligations under article 2 of the UNFCCC to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.“

Would your state, sign this document, if at least 75% of the states agreed to sign and ratifiy a strong statement.

We affirm that

The UNFCCC is ratified by 194 countries – representing near universal membership – it commands near universal support and its legitimacy is unquestioned. The UNFCCC stated: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. This level equates to a target of below 1°C, which is the point at which global systems on land, water and air will be so affected as to create vicious feedback cycles and destabilize many ecosystems and human societies.

and That

Because of the global urgency, there must be the political will to strive to contain the rise in temperature to less than 1°C above pre-industrial levels, and the parts per million to 300 ppm. Strict time frames must be imposed, so that overall global emissions will begin to be reversed as of 2010. There must be a global target of 30% below 1990 levels by 2015, 50% below by 2020, 75% by 2030, 85% by 2040 and 100% below by 2050, while adhering to the precautionary principle, and differentiated responsibility principle [the emission debt owed by Developed countries to developing countries has to be seriously addressed].and developed country parties agree to acknowledge their emissions debt to developing countries, to cancel their existing debt of developing countries, to implement the long-standing obligation of .7% of GDP for overseas development, to ensure new funding for climate change reparation. In addition, developed country parties will renounce war and reallocate military expenses.

2. Comment and analysis of the Climate Action Network Cory Moringstar

CAN states: Canada should commit to a science-based emissions reduction target of 25 per cent below 1990 levels by the year 2020 – “further strengthening” the government’s current target of 3 per cent below 1990 by 2020, as required by the Copenhagen Accord.

And this;

Over 150,000 Canadians have signed the KYOTOplus petition which calls for emission cuts of 25 per cent below 1990 by 2020; an effective national plan to reach this target; help for developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change; and a fair, ambitious and legally-binding second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

These targets are not fair and ambitious. They are incredibly outdated and they are now nothing more than a slap in the face to those most vulnerable. They fly in the face of true climate justice. This target is from an outdated campaign and should be abandoned immediately. This target itself is an embarrassment to Canadians. The targets CAN supports are not at all based on the current science. What a crime that such a weak, passive statement is being sent representative of so many NGOs.

In Copenhagen, the G77 & Bolivia called for targets of 1C, 52% by 2017, 65% by 2020, 80% by 2030 & well above 100 by 2050 (by developed countries). There can be no denying of what targets those most vulnerable have asked us to support. During COP15 CAN was in the room when Lumumba Di-Aping asked all NGOs, including CAN to support these targets. So why is CAN not supporting the targets needed for those most at risk to simply live.

We reviewed the recent CAN International Copenhagen policy paper. This is not a policy paper designed to prevent global climate catastrophe. It is in fact a global suicide pact.
CAN states (international policy paper):

1. It is a non global emergency policy (even though the paper says the survival of humanity and ecology is at stake)
2. States that 2C is the danger level. At 1.5 we lose small island states.
3. There is no mention of gov’t imposing a price on carbon and no carbon pricing is given to achieve goals.
4. The failed Kyoto process is the only assumed process.
5. No mention of carbon taxing – without which nothing can work.
6. No clear submission that we are beyond dangerous climate interference now, though it is inferred.
7. The introductory paragraph (and the paper) does not document the dangers; No mention runaway or Arctic methane feedbacks – the greatest danger to the survival of life on Earth. No mention of Arctic at all. There is no mention of the catastrophic dangers to agriculture – the greatest danger to survival of huge populations and humanity (excludingArctic).
8. Delaying global peaking up to 2017 has no rationale and is a crime.
9. Delaying something approaching virtual zero emissions till 2050 is insane certain catastrophe. CO2 emissions are cumulative so to stop further increase in atmospheric CO2 zero must be targeted and fast.
10. Delaying reaching atmospheric 350C02 eq to 100 years from now is insane. So long as CO2 is above 350ppm global warming and ocean acidification will continue.
11. No clear submission of a zero carbon emissions policy target – this receives one mention .
12. No mention of non CO2 GHGs
13. No mention of black carbon soot.

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