Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Ministers must drop loopholes in climate deal

Greenpeace warns government ministers to drop loopholes in climate deal

Governments must increase ambition on emissions cuts and climate finance

Doha, December 3, 2012 – As ministers arrive at climate talks in the Qatari capital Doha, Greenpeace urged European countries not to take the side of Poland and Russia in a battle over whether to maintain the Kyoto Protocol’s biggest loophole and to make real progress on a deal to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Europe has traditionally been seen as a progressive force in climate negotiations, but stands to lose that reputation at the Doha talks, Greenpeace warned.

In dispute is the preservation of the excess emissions rights – or ‘hot air’ – that allows governments to trade their way out of real climate action. The leftover hot air granted to former Soviet and Eastern European countries in 1997 is estimated to total 13 billion tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to 2.5 times the annual emissions of Europe.

A deep split among European governments has overshadowed the first week of the talks, but so far the common EU position favours the loophole.

"The prospect of catastrophic climate change needs to change the mindsets of political leaders," said Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace climate campaigner.

“Coal-rich Poland is so far dictating the European Union position on hot air. Ministers coming to Doha must make a choice now about whether they have the courage to defend people from the impacts of climate change, or whether they will pander to Brussels politics. If Europe makes the wrong call here, it will lose the trust of the rest of the world.”

Greenpeace is demanding that a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding cap of greenhouse gas emissions, be agreed on in Doha and that it does not carry over the ‘hot air’ excess emissions rights.

As ministers arrive in Doha, discussions are only just beginning under the two new workstreams agreed on at last year’s talks in Durban – one on increasing the ambition of emissions cuts in the next decade and one on planning the shape of a new global deal to be signed in 2015.

Progress is made harder by what developing countries see as bad faith on the part of industrialised countries. Greenpeace echoed the call from developing countries for an increase of climate finance toward the $100 billion a year by 2020 agreed on at the 2009 Copenhagen talks.

With 'fast start finance' – the $10 billion a year package agreed at Copenhagen – now running out in 2012 – and only vague and ad hoc promises about what happens now, there is a real risk of a 'fiscal cliff' in resourcing for countries to adapt to climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.

"It is almost impossible for countries to make long-term plans to adapt to climate change, or to deploy renewable sources of energy, if they have no confidence in how much money there will be available in future to support them," said Kaiser.

"No one in business would make investments with so little certainty. It is ridiculous to expect hard-pressed governments and communities in some of the world's poorest countries to do so as an act of faith."

Noting that tropical forest destruction is responsible for approximately 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Kaiser added: "This week ministers must agree rules that provide countries with incentives to protect their forests, not merely with cheap offset schemes for the coal and oil industry. Oversight must be at the national level, not left to subnational approaches that are subject to abuse."
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news