New U.N. climate deal struck, critics say gains modest

Nina Chestney and Jon Herskovitz, Reuters, December 11, 2011, 1:51 GMT

Climate negotiators agreed a pact on Sunday that would for the first time force all the biggest polluters to take action on greenhouse gas emissions, but critics said the action plan was not aggressive enough to slow the pace of global warming.

The package of accords extended the Kyoto Protocol, the only global pact that enforces carbon cuts, agreed the format of a fund to help poor countries tackle climate change and mapped out a path to a legally binding agreement on emissions reductions.

But many small island states and developing nations at risk of being swamped by rising sea levels and extreme weather said the deal marked the lowest common denominator possible and lacked the ambition needed to ensure their survival.

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Entenda o significado da Plataforma de Durban

Efe, 11 de dezembro de 2011

DURBAN – A Plataforma de Durban é o nome do conjunto de acordos obtidos na 17ª Conferência da ONU sobre Mudanças Climáticas (COP-17), iniciada em 28 de novembro e prolongada até este domingo na cidade sul-africana de Durban. O documento determina uma segunda fase para o Protocolo de Kyoto, estabelece o mecanismo que deve reger o Fundo Verde para o Clima e traça um roteiro para um novo acordo global.

– Protocolo de Kyoto: O primeiro período de compromissos do Protocolo de Kyoto, único instrumento legalmente vinculante até o momento para a redução de emissões de gases do efeito estufa, expira em 31 de dezembro de 2012. Continue lendo

Durban climate deal struck after tense all-night session

Talks came close to collapse when India insisted on concessions for developing countries, forcing 3am ‘huddle to save the planet’

John Vidal and Fiona Harvey in Durban,, December 11, 2011 08.13

A new global climate deal was struck early Sunday morning after being brought back from the brink of disaster by three powerful women politicians in a 20-minute “huddle to save the planet”.

A major crisis had been provoked after 3am when the EU clashed furiously with China and India over the legal form of a potential new treaty. The EU plan to bind all countries to cuts was close to collapse after India inserted the word’s “legal outcome” at the last minute into the negotiating text. Continue lendo

Climate summit in disarray as exhausted ministers row

Delegates clash over an attempt to make an agreement legally binding

John Vidal and Fiona Harvey in Durban, The Observer, December 11, 2011

Talks to strike a new climate deal that would bind all countries for the first time are in disarray after the EU clashed with India and China in a series of passionate exchanges over the legal status of a potential new agreement, putting more than a year of talks between 194 countries in jeopardy.

In the third consecutive all-night session, exhausted ministers had more or less agreed on a series of measures aimed at protecting forests, widening global markets and establishing by 2020 a $100bn fund to help poorer countries move to a green economy and cope with the effects of climate change. But the crucial issue at the talks was whether a new agreement on protecting the climate should have full legal force. Continue lendo

2011 COP 17 succumbs to Climate Apartheid!

Antidote is Cochabamba Peoples’ Agreement!

CJN! Press release, 10 December, Durban, S. Africa

Decisions resulting from the UN COP17 climate summit in Durban constitute a crime against humanity, according to Climate Justice Now! a broad coalition of social movements and civil society. Here in South Africa, where the world was inspired by the liberation struggle of the country’s black majority, the richest nations have cynically created a new regime of climate apartheid

“Delaying real action until 2020 is a crime of global proportions,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International. “An increase in global temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius, permitted under this plan, is a death sentence for Africa, Small Island States, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid, whereby the richest 1% of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%.”

According to Pablo Solón, former lead negotiator for the Plurinational State of Bolivia, “It is false to say that a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol has been adopted in Durban. The actual decision has merely been postponed to the next COP, with no commitments for emission reductions from rich countries. This means that the Kyoto Protocol will be on life support until it is replaced by a new agreement that will be even weaker.” Continue lendo

Durban climate change talks: a deal currently on hold

Progress at the COP17 climate talks in South Africa are paused but some fear that the delay will mean they run out of time

John Vidal, The Guardian, December 10, 2011

The momentum and urgency of last night’s negotiations appears to have melted away this morning. A revamped negotiating text did not appear until around 10.30am local time and an informal ministerial meeting will not convene until 5pm. The danger is that the clock runs down and the talks run into the sand as ministers begin heading for the airport.

I have just seen a senior EU official in the underground park. “Look”, he says, “they are already taking away the coffee machines. Time is running out. What is maddening is that the LCA text [the negotiating strand that involves all countries] was so long in coming out. We were happy with the revised KP [Kyoto Protocol] text. We could live with it. Having the ministers meet at 5 o’clock leaves so much room for the spoilers. Continue lendo

U.S. Obstructionism Is Hurting Climate Talks

Kumi Naidoo, The Huffington Post, December 8, 2011

We hope, we wish and we pray that the U.S. team at the UN Climate talks in Durban would set aside its obstructive, destructive behavior. But sadly, listening to U.S. negotiators Pershing and Stern, that is not going to happen. For that reason Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam and the International Trades Union Congress have adopted a joint position demanding that the U.S. stand aside and let those who are willing to move ahead in saving lives, habitats and economies — in agreeing to a climate saving deal. Continue lendo

World ‘Heading for 3.5 C Warming’: Study

Agence France Presse, December 6, 2011

DURBAN, South Africa — Current pledges for curbing carbon emissions will doom the world to global warming of 3.5 C, massively overshooting the UN target of 2 C, researchers reported at the climate talks here on Tuesday. Output of heat-trapping carbon gases is rising so fast that governments have only four years left to avert a massive extra bill for meeting the two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) target, they said.

“The current pledges are heading towards a global emissions pathway that will take warming to 3.5 C goal (6.3 F),” according to an estimate issued by a consortium of German researchers. The world is on a “high-warming, high-cost, high-risk pathway,” they said. The report, compiled by Climate Analytics and Ecofys, which are German firms that specialize in carbon data, was issued on the sidelines of the 194-nation UN talks in Durban. The 12-day conference runs until Friday. Continue lendo

Brasil perde liderança em Durban

Os primeiros dias da COP-17 demonstraram que a ratificação de um segundo acordo para o Protocolo de Kyoto “será praticamente impossível”.

IHU On-line entrevista Marcelo Montenegro, IHU On-Line, 6 de dezembro de 2011

“Nos bastidores, dizem que, além do Japão, o Canadá também teria se manifestado contrariamente ao segundo período de compromisso de Kyoto. E, além disso, afirmam que ele iria abandonar o Protocolo”, informa. E reitera: “Vejo com pessimismo este debate, principalmente quando se trata de metas e de data-base para contar o percentual de redução de emissões. O que acredito que possa acontecer é um segundo compromisso sem metas explícitas, mas com intenções de, em um determinado período, chegar a um consenso sobre metas”.

Presença importante na Conferência do Clima, a delegação brasileira tem como objetivo central renovar o Protocolo de Kyoto, mas os representantes do país estão sendo questionados sobre a política ambiental do governo. “Durante esta primeira semana, vemos que o Brasil também vem sendo muito questionado por sua política nacional, principalmente com relação ao debate do Código Florestal, da usina de Belo Monte e do projeto de lei para criar um sistema de REDD+”. De acordo com Montenegro, as decisões internas do Brasil poderão repercutir negativamente em Durban e o país perderá liderança nas negociações, o que “é preocupante”, avalia. Continue lendo

A ciência foi deixada de lado na COP

O cientista indiano Rajendra Pachauri, de 71 anos, presidente do Painel Intergovernamental sobre Mudanças Climáticas (IPCC), acompanha com frustração a 17.ª Conferência do Clima da ONU, a COP-17. O pesquisador, que concedeu entrevista em uma pequena sala VIP no centro de convenções de Durban, avalia que a ciência e os alertas dados pelos cientistas não estão no centro das negociações climáticas.

Afra Balazina, O Estado de S. Paulo, 4 de dezembro de 2011

Para ele, não é necessariamente fundamental garantir a segunda fase do Protocolo de Kyoto nessa reunião, mas é preciso que haja avanços independentemente do acordo que seja escolhido. “Gostaria que houvesse uma forma de tornar a ciência sobre clima uma parte mais central nas discussões nas negociações. Porque pelo menos assim você poderia dizer que não se pode adiar as ações por muito tempo. E tomar medidas pode ser realmente atraente, e não caro”, afirma. A reunião segue até a próxima sexta-feira, 9. Continue lendo

Pablo Solon: Climate Negotiators Are ‘Committing Ecocide’

Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador to the UN , interviewed during the December 3 day of action in Durban, during the COP17 climate negotiations

Após uma semana de COP-17, impasses sobre o Protocolo de Kyoto continuam

Após uma semana da XVII Cúpula da ONU sobre Mudança Climática (COP-17), em Durban, na África do Sul, o futuro do Protocolo de Kyoto continua sem uma definição clara.

Efe, O Estado de S. Paulo, 2 de dezembro de 2011

Apesar disso, a secretária-executiva da Convenção das Nações Unidas para a Mudança Climática (UNFCCC), a costarriquenha Christiana Figueres, mostrou-se otimista e disse nesta sexta-feira, 2, à Efe que houve avanços para a renovação do documento. Continue lendo

Derretimento do gelo ártico marítimo é o maior em 1450 anos

Não é novidade que o gelo marítimo do Ártico está a derreter a um índice cada vez mais acelerado. No entanto, o que cientistas norte-americanos descobriram em um novo estudo é que esse nível de degelo é o maior em mais de um milénio., 1 de dezembro de 2011

De acordo com os autores do relatório, publicado pela revista Nature na última quinta-feira (24/11), “tanto a duração quanto a magnitude da redução atual no gelo marítimo parecem ser sem precedentes nos últimos 1450 anos”.

“O que estamos experimentando nesse momento parece ser muito excepcional. Isso significa que estamos entrando em um mundo que não tem equivalente no passado”, observou Anne de Vernal, cientista da Universidade de Quebec e coautora da análise. Continue lendo

Ticking Greenhouse Gas Time Bomb: Melting Permafrost

Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press, December 1, 2011

WASHINGTON – Massive amounts of greenhouse gases trapped below thawing permafrost will likely seep into the air over the next several decades, accelerating and amplifying global warming, scientists warn.
Those heat-trapping gases under the frozen Arctic ground may be a bigger factor in global warming than the cutting down of forests, and a scenario that climate scientists hadn’t quite accounted for, according to a group of permafrost experts. The gases won’t contribute as much as pollution from power plants, cars, trucks and planes, though. Continue lendo

Climate Talks Commence in Durban

Al-Jazeera English, November 28, 2011

Pablo Solon at the UN Climate Talks in Durban: Occupy Movement Is a Source of Hope

Conferência sobre aquecimento começa sem clima na África do Sul

Já virou clichê dizer que as conferências do clima nunca alcançam o objetivo desejado. A COP-17 (17ª Conferência das Partes da Convenção do Clima das Nações Unidas), que começa hoje sob o signo da crise econômica, deve romper esse padrão: nela, o próprio objetivo foi diluído.

Cláudio Angelo, Folha de S. Paulo, 28 de novembro de 2011

Os diplomatas de 190 países que se reúnem de hoje ao próximo dia 10 em Durban, na África do Sul, não perseguem mais um acordo global contra emissões de gases-estufa. O que está em jogo é a continuidade ou não do acordo que existe hoje, o pífio Protocolo de Kyoto. Continue lendo

Climate Change Denial Still Runs Strong in US

Agence France Presse, November 28, 2011

On the US political stage, skepticism and denial of climate change are as popular as ever, and experts say that world talks which opened Monday in Durban, South Africa are unlikely to turn the tide.

But while a binding deal on harmful carbon output remains elusive by the world’s second biggest polluter after China, some small signs of progress have emerged at the state and individual levels. Continue lendo

Capitalism vs. the Climate – Strategical choices

Naomi Klein, The Nation, November 9, 2011

He introduces himself as Richard Rothschild. He tells the crowd that he ran for county commissioner in Maryland’s Carroll County because he had come to the conclusion that policies to combat global warming were actually “an attack on middle-class American capitalism.” His question for the panelists, gathered in a Washington, DC, Marriott Hotel in late June, is this: “To what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine?”

Here at the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, the premier gathering f… those dedicated to denying the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet, this qualifies as a rhetorical question. Like asking a meeting of German central bankers if Greeks are untrustworthy. Still, the panelists aren’t going to pass up an opportunity to tell the questioner just how right he is. Continue lendo

Climate change: vulnerable countries consider ‘occupying’ Durban talks

Former president of Costa Rica calls on countries most affected by climate change to refuse to leave talks until progress is made

John Vidal,, November 24, 2011

Diplomats from some developing countries may “occupy” the UN climate negotiations that begin on Monday in Durban by staging sit-ins and boycotts over the lack of urgency in the talks. Continue lendo