The Kyoto Protocol was a great controversy in Cancun: should there be a second commitment for the industrialised countries, or a commitment for all countries in the world. That is the controversy we already had in Copenhagen and we have it again in Cancun. And for the moment there is no solution in sight.
On December 11, Cancun agreements concluded by over 190 countries spell out the contours of a new climate deal. As has been widely reported, they represent certain fundamental departures from the existing provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR)” lies at the heart of the UNFCCC. Under this principle, and as elaborated in the Kyoto Protocol, mandatory emissions reduction commitments were applicable only to developed countries. There was also clear linkage under the UNFCCC between adherence by developing countries to their obligations under the convention, and the ‘effective implementation’ by developed countries of their commitments to provide financial resources and transfer of technology.Read More»
The legacy of Copenhagen was an end of utopia: global negotiations are no surprise packet from which an all-embracing treaty to rescue the climate can be conjured. And they have long since ceased to be the only arena in which the international climate policy is made.
The legacy of Cancun should be an end to defeatism: the UN climate summits are not a waste of time. As they are the fairest and most important decision-making fora for combating global warming, there is no substitute for them. However, escaping the spiral of summit hysteria on the one hand and summit scepticism on the other, is not a solution in itself. What will be needed at the next rounds of negotiations is a vision that looks well beyond the current piecemeal approach and the coexistence of various fora.Read More»
The Cancun climate deal put an end to the defeatism of large UN summits and shows they are the fairest way to decide on global warming issues. Though Cancun failed to give birth to a binding treaty, the negotiators were able to agree on a number of aspects and adopt a large package of decisions. This includes a new attempt to extend or even find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in two years.
As part of this negotiating timetable, each industrialised country will submit a strategy for its low-carbon development. Moreover, the financial promises made in Copenhagen were finally carved in stone. By 2012, the developing countries will first receive $30 billion to support their climate efforts. By 2020, as much as $ 100 billion is to be mobilised every year. To this end, the industrialised and developing countries intend to spend the next few months negotiating on a sizable climate fund with a fair distribution of votes.Read More»
A report by Indian Express
New Delhi, Chamanpura:
In an under-construction school building in Chamanpura village of Bihar’s Gopalganj district, children are learning algebra, chemistry, Newton’s laws of motion. There’s no teacher in the classroom, no blackboard. The teacher is hundreds of miles away, and he is teaching via Skype. In this very unsual school, teachers mark their attendance using a biometric fingerprinter, and students log their attendance in a computer.
The school is even more unusual because Chamanpura has no electricity yet. The computers are powered by two large generators. In an undeveloped corner of a state that has long been synonymous with underdevelopment, is unfolding a story of remarkable enterprise and innovation — in several ways, a microcosm of the turnaround of Bihar itself.Read More»
Finance (Green Fund) and legally binding agreements must be linked. Little money will flow unless donor nations feel they are getting something in return. This is why there must be a “legally binding” link between the “Green Fund” and carbon pricing in the countries that receive the funds.
A Green Fund should be used to solve half of the “legally binding” problem. Kyoto was legally binding, and everybody still fell short of it. As Canada proved with its open rejection of its Kyoto commitment, stronger incentives for compliance are necessary. There are two approaches: reward and penalties. Penalties -trade sanctions – will eventually be needed for wealthier countries which break their commitments, but a Green Fund could be used to reward developing countries that comply with international commitments.Read More»