Copenhagen Roundup Dec. 17, 2009

GreenTracker| Via the Guardian: Leaked UN report shows cuts offered at Copenhagen would lead to 3C rise.

A confidential UN analysis obtained by the Guardian reveals that the emissions cuts offered so far at the Copenhagen climate change summit will lead to global temperatures rising by an average of 3C.

The focus in Copenhagen has shifted to a realist understanding of what can be accomplished in two days, as well as putting together a next-steps strategy.

Fund for Developing Countries

It seems that the US will be criticized for not doing enough, but we won’t be criticized for failing to show up at the party. The headline in today’s London Times reads:  Dramatic American intervention brings climate deal closer.

Saying that America will do its “fair share”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the US is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of joointly mobilising $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries.

Clinton also made it clear that the US will not commit to emissions reductions, beyond cut emissions by 4 percent of 1990 levels in 2020. Clinton says that US dollars will be especially focused on protecting rainforests, because the American public is more likely to embrace this concept, based on the existing science.

“Green beings” and the biodiversity of the planet is also involved in saving forests, which makes the idea have wider appeal. This is the core of issues we’ve pulled together at Anne of Carversville in the last few months.

US Senator John Kerry is meeting with key people in Copenhagen, making clear that Copenhagen must present a document that can become the core of a senate climate treaty in the US.


All countries being subject to an audit of climate claims is essential for passage in Congress. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and eight other senators sent President Obama a letter before the Copenhagen talks started, making clear that “verification is essential” for the next international agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Verification is also essential to US aid in the form of a fund for poor countries.

China and India have vowed to reduce carbon intensity, and other fast-developing countries like Brazil and South Africa also have taken pledges to reduce carbon.Developing countries are fiercely protecting the right to make the goals voluntary and not subject to audit.

Both Secretary Clinton and Senator Kerry have communicated the “read my lips” message about verification as a prerequisite for passing any bill. We agree with this stance as the only option.

An agreement without verification will NEVER pass the US Congress. People can protest, yell insults at the US.

Part of diplomacy is understanding what is possible via negotiations and what is absolutely impossible.

It is IMPOSSIBLE that Congress will pass a climate change bill without verification of reduced emissions for all countries and further verification of how aid dollars are spent.

Curbing Emissions How?

Obama continues to support the cap and trade approach, which has already passed the House, but several proposals are now circulating in the Senate. Last week, Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a bill that would set a price on fossil fuels’ carbon dioxide emissions and return the revenue to consumers. And aides to Republican Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana and George Voinovich of Ohio are studying the idea of just setting a greenhouse gas limit on power plants, coupled with other policies for buildings and transportation. via NYTimes


REDD Update

Deforestation is responsible for nearly one-fifth of humankind’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reuters says that a REDD deal is close and seems to hve key points necessary for passage at home.

- Representatives of developing countries say the draft text had improved safeguards on protecting the rights of indigenous forest people and conversion of natural forests into plantations.

- The document in work makes clear that transparency and measureable results are tied to the flow of funds. via U.N. forest-carbon scheme nearly done via Reuters


More reading: UN Deal ‘Really Critical’ to Senate Climate Bill’s Passage NYTimes

Dramatic American intervention brings climate deal closer London Times

A different point of view: From Climategate to Copenhagen: Time for a Far Northern Perspective by Barry Zellen. ***** The Arctic melt from a different point of view. Lots to chew on in this peace. Anne