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."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news