Sunday, November 30, 2008

Things to watch for in Poznan

It’s Getting Hot in Here: It’s an exciting time as the annual UN Climate Change conflab (aka COP 14, MOP 4, SBSTA a zillion and twelve, etc. etc.) is about to begin, this time in Poznan, a university town in Western Poland. Here’s a run-down of some of the key issues and players:

…Forests: Back in 1992, the Rio summit was originally supposed to develop a forests treaty in addition to the two well-known agreements which came out of the meeting: The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The forests issue is now coming back in the climate talks in the form of REDD - reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation. The UN does have a way with acronyms, doesn’t it?

Key challenges under REDD are the definition of a ‘managed forest’ for the purposes of carbon credits, what to do about reforestation, and whether or not developing countries should be paid not to cut down their forests. If you’re interested, Friends of the Earth has just released a major report on REDD ahead of the talks.

….Money – for adaptation and technology transfer: Moving our great big resource-munching world to a low-carbon lifestyle isn’t just about political will (although that’s a big part of it). It’s about money. In this case, the money is specifically needed for two things: adaptation, to help poorer countries cope with the effects of global warming, and technology transfer, to help other countries grow their economies in a clean, green, lean sort of way. The UNFCCC has already established an Adaptation Fund, but it’s yet to be seen whether this fund will get the money it needs. The U.S. has tried to block proposals for technology transfer in previous negotiations, but this may change under an Obama administration - remember during the debates when he repeatedly mentioned exporting clean technologies to China?

Poznań's coat of arms

1 comment:


for immediate release: December 1, 2008
contact: Dan Bloom:

Lawsuit against world leaders for $1 billion for global warming impact
on future?

Tags: Environment, climate treaty, crimes against humanity, global
warming, greenhouse emissions, international criminal court

In a global publicity stunt, a U.S. environmental activist is poised
to lodge a US$1 billion damages class action lawsuit at the
International Criminal Court (ICC) against all world leaders for
failing to prevent global warming.

Climate ctivist and blogger Dan Bloom, 60, a graduate of Tufts
University in 1971, says he will sue world leaders for "intent to
commit manslaughter against future generations of human beings by
allowing murderous amounts of fossil fuels to be harvested, burned and
sent into the atmosphere as CO2″.

He intends to lodge the lawsuit on Dec. 6 at the ICC in the Hague.

The prosecutor's office at the ICC, the world's first permanent court
(pictured below right) for war crimes, genocide and crimes against
humanity, says it is allowed to receive information on crimes that may
fall within the court's jurisdiction from any source.

"Such information does not per se trigger a judicial proceeding," the
prosecutor's office hastened to add.

The question for media analysts and reporters is: will or should the
prosecutor take on the case?

One might argue in defense that world leaders are in fact trying to
impose climate-saving measures. In Vienna last year, almost all rich
nations agreed to consider cuts in greenhouse emissions of 25-40
percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Talks on a new climate treaty will
be held in Poznan, Poland, from Dec. 1-12.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. Climate Panel, says the cuts are
needed to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, an amount
seen by the EU, some other nations and many environmentalists as a
threshold for "dangerous" climate change.

Granted then that there is growing consensus that climate change poses
a real threat, is it not only world leaders who are failing to prevent
global warming?

Perhaps the global collective of individuals, governments and industry
is to blame and the ICC lawsuit a valid publicity stunt in the
constant battle to raise awareness and prompt action?

Because it's action we need ― and now, right?