Sunday, 14 December 2008

Poznan- very first thoughts

Hmm, as Paul Kelly said in a different context "take your time, this thing needs some working on."

But, famously, time is what we don't really have on climate change, having pissed the last 20 years against the wall...

I've only read a few things, from the Beeb, the FT, and the Grauniad. All highlight the fact that Scientists Say short term targets of 25-40% reductions by 2020 are necessary (these are the optimistic scientists, btw. Others think we're screwed.)

Anyway, the Beeb's Richard Black has a piece Mood mixed as climate summit ends.

It opens with a paragraph that could have been cut and paste from any UNFCCC circus for the last 15 years;

"The UN climate summit has ended with delegates taking very different views on how much it has achieved. Western delegates said progress here had been encouraging, but environment groups said rich countries had not shown enough ambition. Developing nations were angry that more money was not put forward to protect against climate impacts."

(Dwight: I think it was either Benito Muller or Saleemul Huq who said that all UNFCCC conferences were either successes or great successes...)

My favourite quote from the rest of it is Black's piece is this-

"It is not clear how a 'strong political signal' can be sent by not paying for pollution that you have caused," said Pakistan's delegate Farrukh Khan. "We would have hoped that our partners would have taken this necessary step on the road to Copenhagen; but unfortunately the road to Copenhagen is being paved with good intentions."

The Guardian's contribution is this, from David Adam, who's been doing lots of good stuff over the last couple of weeks (and maybe longer- I've not been following!)
"The Poznan talks have made no progress on deciding new global curbs on greenhouse gas pollution, which scientists say are needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. Officials said new targets would not be discussed until the summer, to give Barack Obama time to signal his intentions as US president
And the FT, bless it, wrote some very interesting things about the EU negotiations on 11th-12th, which are worth several separate posts.
"Industrial sectors such as cement, chemicals and steel will receive free carbon emission permits at least up to 2020, instead of having to buy buy them under an auction scheme, as envisaged in a Commission plan published last January. The concession represented a victory for Germany, by far Europe's largest manufacturing nation. It means revenues from teh auctions are expected to be closer to 30 bn euros a year by 2020 than the 50bn euros previously forecast."
"EU diplomats said pressure from industrialists on the climate change plans had been relentless this year and had become impossible to resist once it was clear Europe had fallen into a serious recession and risked losing millions of jobs."

I haven't yet watched Al "we cannot negotiate with the facts" Gore's speech
which comes highly recommended.

But look, all this is just our species flailing around it its death throes. We didn't institute Contraction and Convergence, and now we'd need that, sink protection and a whole lotta luck- deux ex machina and all that. Sigh.

Anyway, over the coming week(s) we will try to check out and digest comments from-
e3g- Jennifer Morgan and Nick Mabey are worth listening to.
climate progress- Joseph Romm
Grist Magazine
New Economics Foundation

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