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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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Sunny days.

Coverage on Tuesday, 7 December 2010
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Faith-based Organizations Advocate for Climate Justice

Presented by World Council of Churches (WCC),
Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance), and Caritas Internationalis (CI)
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L-R: Carlos Javier Cardenas Martínez, CEPAD; Salvador Urteaga Gutieírrez, CEPS; Martina Liebsch, CI; M. Abdus Sabur, Asian Muslim Action Network; Abraham Colque Jimenez, ISEAT; and Elias Abramides, WCC.
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This event discussed the work of faith-based organizations in the context of climate change.

Martina Liebsch, CI, reminded participants that climate policy is about people and working towards “climate justice.” She said the key message of the event is to adopt a new paradigm for “reconciliation with creation.”

Salvador Urteaga Gutieírrez, Comisión Episcopal para la Pastoral Social (CEPS), discussed the destruction caused by natural disasters resulting from climate change, saying CEPS is committed to investing in caring for the poor affected by these events.

Carlos Javier Cardenas Martínez, Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), emphasized addressing climate change as a matter of justice. He highlighted the ACT Alliance’s efforts on health, resilience and relief efforts at the community level and underlined the importance of technology transfer, early warning systems and capacity building.

Recalling the 2010 Cochabamba Declaration, Abraham Colque Jimenez, Instituto Superior Ecuménico Andino de Teología (ISEAT), called for: a climate justice tribunal; and all churches to invest in “eco-centric spirituality” by supporting government bodies to take greater responsibility in caring for the earth.

M. Abdus Sabur, Asian Muslim Action Network, expressed the Muslim community's interest in working on a common vision towards climate change, but that more information and translation into Asian languages was needed to involve local communities. He described his Network’s consultations on climate change which highlighted the need for water and land rights.

In the discussion, the audience highlighted: the role churches can play in working with scholars to develop a moral and ethical language for the UNFCCC delegates; using congregations as the vehicle to facilitate behavior change to address climate change; overpopulation; and the responsibility and opportunity for faith-based organizations to learn the science of climate change.

Martina Liebsch, CI, moderated the event and emphasized service for and from communities in the context of climate change.
Elias Abramides, WCC, convened the event of faith-based organizations from Asia, Latin America, and Europe to discuss “climate justice.”
M. Abdus Sabur, Asian Muslim Action Network, said the Qur’an states that ownership of resources belong to the creator, and although everyone has the right to these resources, they must leave them intact.

 

 

More Information:
http://www.oikoumene.org
Contacts:
Elias Abramides (Organizer)
<eliasabramides@gmail.com>
 

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The UN System Delivering as One on Climate Change: Supporting Implementation

Presented by the UN
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L-R: Maria Ignacia Benitez, Chile; Erik Solheim, Norway; Achim Steiner, UNEP; Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC; Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO; Alicia Barcena, ECLAC; Heru Prasetyo, Indonesia; Helen Clark, UNDP; Alcinda Antonio de Abreu, Mozambique; Michel Jarraud, WMO; Mohamed Aslam, Republic of Maldives; and Inger Andersen, World Bank.
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Alicia Barcena, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), explained the event would discuss how climate change can be addressed as a means to meet development goals. Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC, summarized the current status of the COP16 discussions. She highlighted draft decisions in both permanent subsidiary bodies and that there were more realistic expectations in Cancún than in Copenhagen. She noted large divisions among parties on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, and called for a fund to house long-term finance.

Maria Ignacia Benitez, Chile, said mitigation and adaptation can allow for economic growth. Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO, stressed the need to link food-, water-, and energy-security. Erik Solheim, Norway, said UN agencies should focus on identifying desired achievements and “on the ground” ways to reach those goals. Achim Steiner, UNEP, stressed the importance of green growth.

Heru Prasetyo, Indonesia, discussed his country’s ongoing partnerships with Norway and UNDP, highlighting UNDP’s “fast track” mechanism to facilitate disbursement of funds for institutional development. Helen Clark, UNDP, highlighted UNDP’s work in Indonesia, saying UNDP and Indonesia are looking for “smart solutions” that protect forests and livelihoods. Alcinda Antonio de Abreu, Mozambique, highlighted that strengthening early warning systems is the first priority of her country’s NAPA. Michel Jarraud, WMO, called for the strengthening of research and observation systems and the importance of a multilateral approach. Mohammed Aslam, Republic of Maldives, highlighted his country’s efforts to be carbon neutral in ten years. He said green development is a path that can work and his country wants to demonstrate that. Inger Andersen, World Bank, said the environment-development nexus is one we cannot separate. She highlighted the Bank’s ongoing work in the Maldives on scaling-up renewable energy. She added that agriculture is an area that must be moved into the “climate conversation.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted four areas where progress is possible in Cancún: finance; adaptation; technology dissemination; and deforestation.

On mitigation proposals under the Copenhagen Accord, Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC, stressed that although the total pledges are more than we have ever seen before, they are “completely insufficient” to reach the two degree Celsius goal set out in the Accord.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, recalled the political pledge in Copenhagen to provide US$30 billion in "fast start" finance by 2012, noting that countries can meet this target.
Highlighting his country’s unilateral activities on climate change, Mohammed Aslam, Republic of Maldives, said countries should not wait for multilateral agreement to “do the right thing.”

 

 

Contacts:
Katja Gregers Brock (Organizer)
<gregersbrock@un.org>
 


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Near-term Climate Mitigation

Presented by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
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L-R: Heherson Alvarez, Phillipines; Katja Awiti, Sweden; Mario Molina, Centro Mario Molina; Veeravhadran Ramanathan, SCRIPPS; and Alik Alik, FSM.
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This event discussed the need for near-term climate mitigation which can be achieved by addressing non-carbon dioxide (non-CO2) pollutants to reduce warming. Denis Clare, FSM, moderated the event.

Alik Alik, FSM, said his country's COP16 proposal entitled “Work Program on Near-Term Climate Change Mitigation,” addresses emission reductions of non-CO2 pollutants. Alik stressed that the proposal is not meant to take away from efforts by nations to reduce CO2 but should be viewed as a short-term solution.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, explained that short-lived gases, dark soot particles, methane, hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), and lower and atmospheric ozone contribute as much as CO2 to climate change. He said reducing non-CO2 pollutants by 50% will ensure we stay below the two degree Celsius target.

Mario Molina, Centro Mario Molina, noted that non-CO2 pollutants have proven to be detrimental to human health. He said Mexico City, which was one of the most polluted cities in the world, has been successful in improving air quality by regulating the use of some non-CO2 pollutants. Molina referred to the Montreal Protocol as a successful mechanism, which largely phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Katja Awiti, Sweden, offered her country’s support to the FSM proposal.

Heherson Alvarez, Phillipines, said the Phillipines supports the reduction of non-CO2 pollutants. He said his country has already been successful in reducing CFCs and other countries can follow suit. Alvarez said cutting non-CO2 pollutants can provide “immediate relief” to the climate problem.

Achim Steiner, UNEP, said addressing non-CO2 pollutants is a simple but fundamental response to climate change. He said taking non-CO2 gases out of the atmosphere will buy time while developing long-term solutions to reduce CO2 emissions.

Panelists discussed the science of non-CO2 pollutants and global responses to adopting regulatory measures on the use of these gases.

Mario Molina, Centro Mario Molina, said addressing non-CO2 pollutants will have an immediate impact on climate.
Heherson Alvarez, Phillipines, said addressing non-CO2 pollutants is "doable."
Alik Alik, FSM

 

 

Contacts:
Alexandra Viets (Organizer)
<alexandra.viets@gmail.com>
 


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Essential Elements of a Cancún Balanced Package

Presented by Climate Action Network (CAN) International
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L-R: Earl Saxon, Union of Concerned Scientists; John Lanchbery, Birdlife International; Melanie Coath, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); Chris Henschel, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
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This event presented scenarios under Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and a balanced package for REDD+.

Chris Henschel, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), expressed concern that LULUCF does not ensure accountability, but rather provides a significant “emission loophole.” To close the loophole he said we need: mandatory accounting for forestry; mandatory accounting for other LULUCF activities including re-vegetation, grazing, croplands, and wetlands; and to account for emissions from bioenergy if they continue to be unaccounted for within the energy sector. He presented the existing draft and emerging new proposals on LULUCF scenarios. Participants discussed the positions of key actors and negotiating groups.

John Lanchbery, Birdlife International, provided a status report on REDD+, saying biodiversity is inextricably linked to the carbon density of forests and that REDD+ is a concern for those who rely on forests for their livelihoods. He said the draft text on REDD+ was inclusive, and that both developed and developing countries think a “deal” is possible. He lamented however that there is still lack of agreement on a methodology for establishing baselines. He underlined NGO preferences to: retain the draft REDD+ text’s objective; maintain but operationalize the MRV safeguards; and ensure provision of financial and technical support for capacity building. He said $US4.5 billion is currently available to fund REDD+ for the next three years but that its estimated cost is US$15-35 billion per year.

Earl Saxon, Union of Concerned Scientists, elaborated on the practical implications of the draft REDD+ text. He praised its goal to stabilize the climate system at the two degree Celsius target, saying the package is “anchored to environmental integrity” and emphasized that REDD+ is more aligned with conservation than LULUCF. He then articulated CAN’s preference on the remaining brackets in the draft REDD+ text.

A discussion ensued on issues related to: the effect of forest plantations on REDD+ and biodiversity; prior informed consent; NAMAs and national approaches to REDD+, specifically on fund- or market-based approaches; leakage; and mangroves and below-ground carbon storage.

Chris Henschel, CPAWS, highlighted a loophole in LULUCF, stressing that all emissions should be accounted for.
Earl Saxon, Union of Concerned Scientists, said environmental groups are "championing" the UNFCCC's work on REDD+.
John Lanchbery, Birdlife International, said REDD+ should not create incentives for countries to continue logging.

 

 

Contacts:
David Turnbull (Organizer) <dturnbull@climatenetwork.org>
 

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Around the Venue
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Delegates facing red tape at COP 16.
On the beach.

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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