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Cancún Climate Change Conference

Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Cancún Climate Change Conference

29 November - 10 December 2010 | Cancún, Mexico


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Cancunmesse´s gate, one of the official venues of the COP16.
Dog days in Cancún. Security guards at the side events venue made their canine partners pose for the photo.

Coverage on Tuesday, 30 November 2010

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Systematic Climate Observations for the UNFCCC

Presented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Council for Science, United Nations Environment Programme,
and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
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L-R: Adrian Simmons, WMO; Michel Jarraud, WMO; Beverly Law, WMO; Ghassem Asrar, WMO; and Keith Alverson, WMO.
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This event highlighted progress in improving systematic climate observation. Michel Jarraud, WMO, stressed that observations are critical for improved understanding of climate change.

Adrian Simmons, WMO, explained that the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS) is a label for the combined climate components of various systems that contribute climate observations. He stressed the importance of atmospheric observations, noting the need for improved coverage and long-term arrangements for some types of space measurements. He described the role of aerosols and ozone in radiative forcing, noting these are under-discussed but critical variables.

Beverly Law, WMO, discussed the need for enhanced global forest observations in a changing climate. She noted various challenges and gaps including, that some countries lack resources and that data sharing should be transparent, timely, and standardized.

Keith Alverson, WMO, highlighted major accomplishments of the Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS) including its contributions to detection and attribution, and in delivering broader social benefits, such as coastal hazard warnings. He noted that the system is 62% complete, but that additional funding is needed.

During the discussion various participants, including Ghassem Asrar, WMO, noted their programmes’ contributions to climate observation. Audience members noted, inter alia: the importance of observation metrics; and the need to look at vulnerability to complement observation efforts.

 

Keith Alverson, WMO, stressed that GOOS was built for climate but in order to sustain the System it must deliver benefits beyond climate.
Beverly Law, WMO, noted that annual change in forest area has an uncertainty of 10-15% in northern forests and up to 100% in tropical forests.
Michel Jarraud, WMO, introduced the “Global Framework for Climate Services” explaining that its objective is to provide information to all decision-makers in order to help them make the best informed decisions.

 

 

Contacts:
William Westermeyer (Organizer) <wwestermeyer@wmo.int>
 

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Equity, Environment and Development as Essential Considerations for the Climate Negotiations

Presented by the Third World Network (TWN),
South Centre, and UNANIMA International
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L-R: Meena Raman, TWN; Mariama Williams, South Centre; Martin Khor, South Centre, Anil Naidoo, Council of Canadians; and Lim Li Lin, TWN.
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This event discussed equity and global cooperative action on climate change. Mariama Williams, South Centre, underlined the social dimensions of climate, stating that both small- and large-scale projects can have significant implications for social and equity issues.

Martin Khor, South Centre, emphasized that parties should stick to what was agreed in Bali, and that developing countries should take more action but that they must be given the means to do so. He said we are facing a “deregulation” of Annex I commitments from legally binding commitments to possibly a voluntary pledge and review system.

Meena Raman, TWN, said merging divergent views on the Copenhagen Accord has been difficult. She cited problems with the shared vision and the carbon budget and emphasized, inter alia: the importance of mobilizing funds; technology transfer; and the need for a technical review panel for capacity building.

Lim Li Lin, TWN, discussed links between the UNFCCC’s ad hoc working groups. She clarified that the Kyoto Protocol will not “expire,” but emphasized that the prospect of a possible gap between commitment periods is causing a crisis in mitigation negotiations.

Anil Naidoo, Council of Canadians, noted that Yemen will probably be the first country to run out of water. He emphasized that the “global water crisis” is the largest ecological threat to humanity, which is exacerbated by the climate crisis. Naidoo described equity concerns related to markets for water, and highlighted signs of hope in recent outcomes, such as the “Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth,” which assert that water is a human right.

Participants discussed, inter alia: whether we can address climate change through market mechanisms; governance and finance; and the sharing of atmospheric space.

Mariama Williams, South Centre, urged that a global climate treaty recognize social and equity issues.
Martin Khor, South Centre, lamented that many Annex I countries are “softly” saying that they are no longer interested in the Kyoto Protocol.
Quoting a delegate in the UNFCCC negotiations, Lim Li Lin, TWN, said “the Kyoto Protocol is not yogurt, it does not have an expiration date.”

 

 

More Information:
http://www.twnside.org.sg
http://www.southcentre.org
http://www.unanima-international.org/eng
Contacts:
Yvonne Miller (Chair) <ymiller@twngeneva.ch>
 

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National and International Policy Responses to the
Carbon Budget Approach: An Indian Perspective

Presented by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
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L-R: Ritu Mathur, TERI; Masanori Kobayashi, IGES; R K Pachauri, TERI; Max Åhman, NOAK; and Remi Moncel, WRI.
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This event presented research on the carbon budget approach. R K Pachauri, TERI, emphasized that principles of equity must be enshrined in any global framework and explained the role of the carbon budget approach.

Ritu Mathur, TERI, explained that the carbon budget approach combines a historical debt payment by Annex I parties with an allocation of remaining atmospheric space among all parties. She said the approach would rely on: a World Climate Debt Fund to disburse equitable financial transfers; the establishment of a “year of historical responsibility”; and a price for carbon.

Max Åhman, Nordic Ad Hoc Group on Climate Change (NOAK), emphasized that domestic policy frameworks are a priority. Masanori Kobayashi, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) questioned the level of international acceptance and visibility of the carbon budget approach, underlining the importance of socio-political feasibility and equity.

Remi Moncel, World Resource Institute (WRI), said the carbon budget approach scores high on equity and ambition, but a lack of political feasibility might limit its effectiveness and appeal to parties.

Participants discussed various issues related to equity and the carbon budget approach.

R K Pachauri, TERI, introduced a report entitled “National and International Policy Responses to the Carbon Budget Approach: An Indian Perspective.”
Masanori Kobayashi, IGES, mentioned that limits to public acceptance for the carbon budget approach might constrain public financing.
Ritu Mathur, TERI, says a high price for carbon would make the carbon budget approach more effective but that this is a political challenge.

 

 

More Information:
http://www.teriin.org
Contacts:
Sasanka Thilakasiri (Organizer) <sasanka.thilakasiri@teri.res.in>
 

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Around the Venue
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Fresh and colorful vegetables on display.
Hanging out.
Paintings on the wall...or windows in the wall?
Something's fishy.

Related Links
UNFCCC resources
*Side Events & Exhibits website
*Side events schedule
*Cancún Climate Change Conference website
*Cancún Climate Change Conference overview schedule
*Cancún Climate Change Conference programme
*Cancún Climate Change Conference conference documents
*Climate Change meetings archive

General resources
*Host country website
*Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change


IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference, 29 November - 10 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Global Business Day, 6 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Development and Climate Days at COP 16, 4-5 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2010, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Oceans Day at Cancún, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-second Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 11-14 October 2010, Busan, Republic of Korea (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Tianjin Climate Change Talks - October 2010, 4-9 October 2010, Tianjin, China
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2010, 2-6 August 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - May/June 2010, 31 May - 11 June 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - April 2010, 9-11 April 2010, Bonn, Germany (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-first Session of the IPCC, 26-29 October 2009, Bali, Indonesia (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Advancing the Integration of Approaches to Adaptation Planning, 2-14 October 2009, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bangkok Climate Change Talks - 2009, 28 September - 9 October 2009, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2009, 10-14 August 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirtieth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirtieth Session of the IPCC, 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - March/April 2009, 29 March - 8 April 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary report of the UNFCCC Workshop on Integrating Practices, Tools and Systems for Climate Risk Assessment and Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies into National Policies and Programmes, 10-12 March 2009, Havana, Cuba (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference - Poznań, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Poznań Climate Change Conference, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
*IISD RS archive of meetings on climate change, and backgrounder
*Climate-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate-L.org - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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