Last day in Copenhagen, last post on this blog
Hello, today is my last day in Copenhagen.
These two weeks have been very rich, and I have met many interesting people. I now have a better understanding of the function and workings of such international conferences. I also had the chance to speak about the work of ID, not only in the field of energy but also with regards to climate change adaptation projects as they involve education, access to water, and strengthening of agriculture, areas in which ID has a long history.
Tonight the presidents of all nations are to reach an agreement. The news is not very good though and many fear a mere political statement and yet another postponement of decisions to take concrete action.
We can therefore see that despite all the pressures of civil society, it was not enough to seal a Just Ambitious and Binding deal. We will therefore have to continue to fight for real climate justice now so that those responsible for climate change will help those who suffer most.
CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! We will keep this slogan whose reality is still distant but for which we will fight for...
In Copenhagen, The World Set Foot on the Wall
Today, the negotiations have only made little progress. Industrialized countries are unwavering on their position: the European Union maintained its target of 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while the United States did everything to slow the negotiations. The countries of AOSIS continue to pressure Western governments because they require a legally binding agreement even if it seems increasingly unlikely. Some countries continue to hope that everything will work out after the arrival of the Heads of State while others have a pessimistic outlook towards the conference as a whole.
M. Hedegaard, the president of the COP has changed and has been replaced by the Danish Prime Minister. The reasons stated were that M. Hedegaard had disagreeable methods that were not compatible with the role she was playing at the conference.
For a second time, the Coordination of the South has met with the AFD and the French Fund for Global Environment. France supports the establishment of innovative financial mechanisms (such as, tax on financial transactions, tax on marine and air fuels) in order to finance long-term adaptation of the countries from the South. It is still unclear on how much money will be available to support these countries. For instance, will the funds be added to the assistance already provided to the countries of the South?
Due to access limitations, this will be my last day at the Bella Center because I will not be able to enter the conference proceedings. Thus, I will go to Klimaforum, a parallel forum, from where we can apparently follow the negotiations on a big screen. The atmosphere should be a little different over there…
15 décembre in Copenhagen. Negociations to the utmost, while NGOs stay out of the Bella Center
Today, I have met with some governmental officials from the Poitou Charente region. We discussed the ID projects in China and, also, we discussed the renewable energy sector in general. In particular, the meeting was interesting because the Poitou Charente region is involved in developing improved stoves in Senegal; ID is also involved in a similar project in China.
I have spent the rest of the day writing for the journal “Copenhagen Echos” which will be published tomorrow.
On the side of the conference negotiations, the ambiance at the Bella Center is full of tension and excitement. The NGOs have continued to criticize the restriction to access the conference negotiations that will come into effect by the end of the week. All the negotiations will also be finalized by the end of the week.
That’s all for today.
See you tomorrow !
Monday December 14th, In Copenhagen, The Pressure is Mounting at the Negotiations
Today, the pressure has increased another notch at the Bella Center. The documents must be ready for the ministers who arrive tomorrow, and thus, the negotiations will most likely go into the late hours of the night. In fact, today we could almost feel the pressure and the stress of the significance of this conference.
More and more people want to take part in the debates during the conference, and thus, this morning the line-ups were very long. Some people were rejected after waiting for many hours even if they had proper credentials. The security measures will be strengthened on Tuesday and Wednesday, although 7000 observers (NGOs) will try to get through. On Thursday, only 1000 observers are authorized to enter although this number will be reduced to 90 on Friday. From Thursday onwards, I will not have direct contact with the conference negotiations. However, I will be able to meet with various groups involved in activism in Copenhagen, as well as the NGOs who ID is cooperating with, such as the Coordination of the South of the Climate Change Organization.
One document proposed by President M. Cutajar of the session ?? has been widely accepted because it has included the ideas suggested by the conference participants. The document is still open for debate. It also remains very general and has to be completed with some technical changes. The alterations will be decided by the Ministers and then by the Heads of State.
Tomorrow on Tuesday, I will meet with a delegation of representatives from Poitou Charente to introduce ID as well as to discuss our expertise in assembling and managing project development in renewable energy and carbon finance. Given that the activities of this region include international cooperation, I think that we will have many ideas to exchange so that we can begin new projects in the future!
See you soon!
P.S. you can also find the press release from the Coordination of the South available after one week of negotiations.
Echoes from Copenhagen , n°2
The Arena of Copenhagen Negotiations
This Sunday, the negotiators are having a rest (like me !) and are preparing for next week that will certainly prove to be intense...I am using this time to explain the concrete the process of the negotiations.
First, you must know that the are two processes of negotiations occuring at the same time : the discussion around the Kyoto Protocol (that the US and China have not signed), and the discussion coming out of the Bali Conference (with the US on board). These two groups are moving simultaneously but we need to find a way to bring them together. Some people would like to create a new protocol while others would like to keep the Kyope Protocol with some adaptations.
There are a number of thematic groups : the objectives of reducing greenhouse gases, the mechanism for adapting to climate change, technology transfers, financial assistance, and reforestation...these groups are meeting periodically at conference plenary sessions. Thus, the language is much more diplomatic (and are open to the general public). However, the real negotiations are reserved for the working groups of the official delegates of each country present at the conference.
Finally, some events have been organized at the Bella Centre by NGOs or by some countries delegates. These side events are quite varied focusing on all the problems linked to climate change, to fighting and adaptation actions against global warming, and to the projects developed by NGOs and state governments. In order to attend these events, one must be a member of an accredited NGO or governmental organization. However, there are also hundreds of events taking place throughout Copenhagen that are open to the public. It is hard to describe all of them and harder to participate in all the events.
This weekend the media has spoken about the contributions that the demonstrators will make on the results of the negotiations. The media also mentioned the destruction caused by some of the demonstrators, though we shouldn’t focus on these minor issues.
Don’t hesitate to contact me at the following email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon.
Copenhagen, 11 December, Non-commital countries...
Today did not see any major advances in the debates.
Hopes of significant progress on the part of Europe have been unfruitful, Europe still keeps its target of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990, which is not really enough to prevent global warming and show the world a proactive stance. Moreover, despite the insistence of France, there was neither a breakthrough on how to take into account the role of forests in the fight against climate change in the Northern countries.
A promise of rapid financing was nevertheless announced, 2.4 billion dollars from Europe for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. This is consistent with the 7 billion per year promised for the world to help developing countries to define their plan against climate change.
The United States has yet to announce funding as they continue their standoff with China. Canada’s targets are still the lowest out of developed countries with regards to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions ...
If Copenhagen is preparing to welcome a flood of protesters this weekend, several dozen thousand people are expected. Hopefully that will put enough pressure on our negotiators to break the deadlock.
The second bulletin echoes of Copenhagen will be published tomorrow.
Until tomorrow then, hopefully with better news ...
10 December 2009 - In Copenhagen, witness accounts from Tuvalu and the Pacific Islands
Today we discussed with the French Agency for Development their position, including points that they supported and the influence that the Copenhagen summit could have on their work ... etc.. We were able to have precise details on how France intends to manage the money by 2010 to help developing countries prepare for the new agreement of 2013. We also discussed the mechanism proposed by the AFD to manage the funding climate, they propose to start from the basis of existing financial structures, they propose a structure that could be more decentralized and participatory.
Tuvalu, a small Pacific island threatened by rising oceans, had the courage to dissociate itself from the G77 to request that we do not resign a political agreement but that we resume discussions on the possibility of a legally binding treaty. The island’s position, dictated by the fact that climate change is a matter of survival for these small islands, was unfortunately not followed.
On the subject of the fight against deforestation, it seems we have taken a step back as the target figure of 20% reduction has disappeared from the text ... France has a rather positive idea on the topic of carbon finance of the use of land (forest, agriculture) because it proposes to take as reference the year 1990 rather than a scenario as proposed by the Nordic countries. In addition, Poland continues to block the passage of European countries by 20% to 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. There remain uncertainties about the possibility of adding the Official Development Assistance (ODA) a share in public support for the fight against climate change in developing countries (210 billion dollars per year by 2020). This is very important and is defended by the climate group ‘Coordination Sud’ (see position below).
To summarize, the negotiations are progressing but there is little time left for highly technical negotiations before the arrival of ministers and heads of state. Hopefully the issues weighing on the shoulders of their negotiators can arrive to break down barriers that remain.
Tonight there was also a discussion meeting between French NGOs and Development in Latin America, the Center for Research and Development Information (CSIR), the Climate Action Network (RAC) and a member of the official delegation of Tuvalu, who had a moving testimony. The Ambassador of France opened the proceedings, which were followed by a reception at the embassy. During the debates, issues of adaptation of the southern countries, refugees and climate were discussed.
The frantic rythmn of Copenhagen
I started the day with a discussion meeting with the group ‘Coordination sud’, and worked with the China team. I then went to attend another conference on technology transfer before attending Yann Arthus Bertrand’s latest production, "6 Billion others" at the Danish Film Institute. I returned a little late but I was able to meet interesting people.
Tomorrow the schedule looks very interesting, starting with a meeting with the French Development Agency, discussions with NGOs and finally a debate reception at the French Embassy . Hard to keep up!
See you tomorrow!
Olivier's second day in Copenhagen
Today was a little quieter in terms of meetings. I focused on meetings with the staff of ‘Action Carbone’, ‘GoodPlanet’, and with the group ‘Climat Coordination SUD’.
With GoodPlanet, we discussed our ongoing projects, including the monitoring of the 1,300 biogas tanks built and whose "Project Design Document" has been validated by Gold Standard. We also discussed the future ID projects in China in renewable energy.
With ‘Coordination SUD’, I attended a conference for 3 hours on the transfer of technology. We also had two coordination meetings including one with the RAC (Climate Action Network) that were interesting.
Finally, I went to a "side event" by Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace prize winner for reforestation projects launched in Africa and another "side event" on China’s project to reduce its "carbon intensity" by 45% by 2020.
That's all for today!
Olivier's first day in Copenhagen
Here is a brief account of the first day with which I feel more than satisfied!
I waited until 14:30 to be able to finally have a badge and enter the center.
I started by meeting two former members of the Ministry of Cooperation, which has extensive expertise in the field of biogas. I also met the team of Action Carbone GERES with whom we began preliminary discussions, a further appointment has already been made for the coming days ... I met Jeroen van Bruggen of SNV Laos, the same project Christophe had visited in early November.
There was also a young Chinese girl studying in the United States and focuses on links between seasonal migration and renewable energy, she would like to come and see our projects from a little closer ...
Additionally, I met people working at the European Space Agency. They can provide satellite images of China and can do analysis of vegetation ... This could be useful to us on our projects to better understand the evolution of the forest in areas where we operate.
Finally I met Abhishek Goyal of Gold Standard (the body that certifies the reductions in carbon emissions of our projects), we had a very cordial exchange. A larger team will be there in the coming days. We talked quite a bit about ID’s projects and the ‘Rural Carbon’ project of AFD, for which ID will provide technical assistance.
Furthermore, I presented our current projects, biogas in Guizhou and Yunnan and the project on economical wood cookers that we will start in 2010.
I will participate in many "side events" which I'll talk about in the days ahead.
With regards to international negotiations, it looks like they’re off to a good start. Among others, JL Borloo spoke and announced that France would reduce its emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. The minutes of a discussion he had with NGO’s is linked below.
Well I'm going to bed because I was woken at 4am and it is already past 11 pm ... With the time difference, it is very tiring!
Why go to copenhagen?
Olivier, why are you going to Copenhagen?
I'm going to Copenhagen to represent Initiative Development (ID) as part of the climate and development group for ‘Coordination Sud’, a group of development NGO’s and environmental NGOs. Developing countries will suffer the worst consequences of pollution generated by countries in the Northern hemisphere since the industrial era.
What message will development NGO’s bring?
For us there are three priorities for the Copenhagen agreement:
1 - Financial support for countries in the southern hemisphere is not about charity, it is about Northern countries facing up to the historical responsibility of global warming. So these new funds must be additional to official development aid already given to Southern countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
2 - Social justice needs to be placed at the same level as climate justice: those most vulnerable will increasingly feel the effects of climate change, we must ensure the fairness of the future treaty. The future treaty should give the South the means to make their own proposals.
Public policies implemented to fight against climate change must also promote development that does not exacerbate social inequalities, food insecurity, forced migration and overexploitation of natural resources.
Will you have the opportunity to present ID’s projects in China?
We will not directly present our projects at major meetings. However, the summit is an opportunity for many informal meetings where ID can talk about their current and future projects.
Moreover, in Copenhagen, the future of the Clean Development Mechanism ("carbon finance") will be discussed. For developing countries and NGOs (and others) who wish to conduct projects that both reduce carbon emissions and lead to development, this funding source is essential.
Our biogas projects improve the quality of life of rural people with whom we work, they contribute to both the development of the poor and environmental protection. We are thus very interested in the future of the Clean Development Mechanism.
What do NGO’s such as ID expect from the International Conference?
We expect a really ambitious and just agreement that will help to cope with climate change. If appropriate decisions (and actions pursuant thereto) are not made now we will all suffer the consequences and especially the poorest who otherwise have limited means to adapt.