Sunday, December 20, 2009


Climate talks 2009 ended with no legal agreement. Last minute Obama manage to bring several big countries such as India, China, and Brazil, to agree on non transparent accord brought by US. This is a disgusting game of the developed nations. Many nations including Tuvalu opposed the accord.

Undoubtedly Copenhagen has been a failure. Justice has not been done. The actual legally binding agreement was postponed to June 2010.

Climate change is responsible for many disasters today. By delaying action, rich countries have pushed millions of the world’s poorest people to hunger, suffering and loss of life.

A confidential United Nations paper leaked on December 17 predicts that averages temperatures will increase to 3degrees even with the current international pledges are fully implemented. This will mean at least 5 degrees increase in African countries. This is effectively a death sentence for many in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including small island states, who had demanded a limit of 1.5 degrees.

Instead of committing to deep cuts in emissions and putting new, public money on the table to help solve the climate crisis, rich countries have bullied developing nations to accept far less. The finance they agreed is only 30 billion upto 2012.

It was very clear that United Nations failed to give climate justice in Copenhagen. They failed due to the wrong and non transparent process adopted by the Danish Government. They also failed due to the text, accords prepared behind the closed doors. It was also failed due to the selection of chairs from friendly nations and by dividing nations further.

The Civil society was most united and successful in preventing world goes into a bad deal. The only real leadership at the conference has come from the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who’ve come together to demand strong action to prevent climate catastrophe. Their voices are loud and growing. Many people felt that growing climate justice movement is the beginning of change. (Unfortunately Obama failed to bring the CHANGE to climate talks)

Finally, the developed countries did not commit to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% in comparison with 1990 levels by 2020 as expected by us. They also did not acknowledge the climate debt that they owe to developing countries as a result of decades of pollution and overuse of the environmental space. They did not drop false solutions such as Cap and Trade, CDM etc. Thus COP 15 failed to deliver any meaningful solution to the climate catastrophe.

Further, COP 15 was one of the most Carbon intensive conferences. It was reported that estimated 40,500 tons of carbon dioxide was pumped into the atmosphere during the 12-day conference - 90 percent of it from flights. It was reported that Obama joined the event with several hundred staff who were brought in big planes. Nicolas Sarkozy in his special Airbus and Brazilian President Lula de Silva on a presidential jet.

Very few leaders such as environment ministers of the Netherlands and Switzerland took the train.

I believe the carbon footprint of the KlimaForum is also very high although it may be thousand times less compared to the official COP 15.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More money for coffins

Climate financing is a major discussion in the climate talks in Copenhagen. U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. supports the goal of jointly raising $100 billion a year by 2020, mainly for forestry and adaptation. However, transparency of the developing countries will be the deal breaker.

The UN 2009 World Economic and Social Survey estimates that developing countries will require up to $600 billion to transition to a low-carbon growth path and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The US goal of $100 billion falls far short of what’s needed to secure the safety and well-being of those most affected.

It is not clear how much of the $100 billion should come from public sources and especially from U.S. According to the sources U.S. responsibility is 33.1 percent of the total amount needed for climate finance. Yet US has not accepted the historical responsibility to the climate change yet.

During the last week EU countries only offered 7 billion up to 2012. Angry African countries said that proposed 10 billion US Dollar UN fund is not even adequate to buy the coffins for the Africans.

350 or 550

A UN analysis leaked today shows that the current level of developing country emission cuts will lead to increase temperature rise over the next century to 3C.

According to the Guardian “A rise of 3C would mean up to 170 million more people suffering severe coastal floods and 550 million more at risk of hunger, according to the 2006 Stern economic review of climate change for the UK government - as well as leaving up to 50% of species facing extinction. Even a rise of 2C would lead to sharp decline in tropical crop yields, more flooding and droughts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No deal?

The video telecasted during the opening ceremony of the COP 15 and before the world leaders during the high level segment shows a small girl is waiting for the world leaders to protect the world.

You de Boer, Executive president of the UNFCC said “Thousands of young people care about the outcome of this conference. I have received hundreds of paper footprints from children in Germany. I have received 1000 folded paper butterflies from children in Australia. And I have received 350 drawings from children in the United States. They all want their future to be safer. One drawing captures what you as the leaders of the world’s nations need to do particularly well. It is a drawing by 8-year old Sophia Dada.”

Every leader echoes that whole world watching them. Everyone is looking for a fair deal. Where is that deal? The negotiation is now in a deadlock.

In my mind this mess was created by the Danish COP 15 presidency because of her closed door text which was prepared with the selected developing country governments to make a deal. This was the news in the second day of the COP. The delegations and the civil society started distrusting other delegations. The Danish COP presidency Ms. Connie Hedegaard was then replaced by the Danish Prime Minister, Mr. Lars Lokke. But he brought another green room text.

Countries such as China made strong disagreement with the new text. Venezuelan President Hugo Charves was quite angry with the process. This might lead the fair deal to a NO DEAL. While 194 countries are engaged in a two way approaches, which is under the Kyoto Protocol and under the Long term vision as agreed by the Bali Action Plan, the Danish government want the process to end up in Copenhagen.

This no transparent approach is the biggest mess in the COP 15.

COP banned Civil Society

Today Friends of the Earth members were banned going inside COP 15 meeting. After 4 hour struggle Secretariat agreed to allow 12 members to go in. In protest we all left the COP 15.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It’s catchy. Copenhagen, Hopenhagen now becoming a CO2penhagen.

Soon COP 15 will start the Ministerial meetings. Chair of the LCA session responding to the questions raised by Belarus and number of other countries said that negotiators were not able to agree after a 2 year of negotiations and any change to the new Chair’s text will be too late. Singapore delegations said that the “package” of text provided by the Chair does include individual’s opinion but not the opinion of the group.

According to sources, the German minister the co chair of the Ad-hoc working group said that all developing countries want the Kyoto Protocol to continue. Chair also referred to the individual pledges by Annex 1 Parties which ranged from 16-23% reduction of emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. He proposed that the question for Parties to address on 15 December is whether this target was sufficient or whether the ambition needs to be increased and how this was to be done. He wanted Parties to focus on the aggregate level, range and pledges and ambition in the pledges.

Japan said that if one set of developed countries has to meet commitments under the KP and others do not, it is a problem as the KP covers only 30% of the global greenhouse gases. They want to kill Kyoto Protocol.

Developing countries are now being divided to small island states, REDD countries, Least Developed Countries and rest of developing countries. Every one trying to get a piece of the cake. Developed countries are hunting developing countries for the climate game. It is still unable to see a good outcome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Police arrests 1,000 protestors

Around 100,000 took to the streets on Saturday 12 December marchin on the UN conference center in a non-violent demonstration. Reports are that close to 1,000 were arrested in several sweeps.
Their hand were tide and kept on the cold streets( tempreture was below 0 degree) for more than 3 and half hours before taken to the Police Station. Herman, the Spanish translator of the Friends of the Earth Group was among them. He said Copenhagen Citizens asked the Police to "let them go".
They were released arround 11.30 pm after the lawyers intervention. Some say this is a warning for the protestors before the begining of the high level segment next week.

System Change Not Climate Change

Yesterday (12 December 2009) over 100,000 people got to the streets in Copenhagen demanding system Change Not climate Change. They carried the placards stating
Climate Justice NOW!
Change the Politics not the Climate,
Planet Not Profits
Nature does not Compromise
There is no PLANET B
Bla Bla Bla Act now!
Don't Nuke the Climate!
Greenwash Warning NO False Solutions!
Stop Climate Change Not Refugees!

Flood for Climate Justice

Yesterday( 12 December 2009) more than 4000 people joined the flood action organised by the Friends of the Earth International and Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth Denmark (NOAH) in Copenhagen during the 6th day of the COP 15.
They demanded Climate Justice Now.

Reparations for Climate Debt

Statement by Climate Justice Now!
Delivered by Hemantha Withanage of Sri Lanka, December 12, 2009

1. Thank you for the opportunity to address this meeting.

2. We are movements gathered under the Climate Justice Now! Network – many from the South, from developing countries. Thousands of our members are here in Copenhagen, joining thousands of other citizens in a historic march towards Bella Center.

3. We are calling for Reparations for Climate Debt, the debt that is owed by northern countries (Annex 1 countries), multinational corporations, and International Financial Institutions to the peoples and countries of the South. This debt is owed by the North for using up more than their fair share of the earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, and in the process depriving the peoples of the South of their share, thus creating this climate crisis. Yet it is the people of the South who bear the worst effects.

4. What developed countries have put on the table, however, is nothing less than an insult to the dignity of the peoples of the South. It demonstrates complete disrespect for the value of our lives.

5. 2.4 billion Euros a year until 2012! No long term financing! This a mockery. Where are the reparations by developed countries for the damage they have done so far in the developing world?

6. We are not asking for aid or assistance, but for the North to make good on their climate debt. We are their creditors.

7. We do not require – or want - the existing multilateral financial institutions. They are part of the problem and the plunder. Climate finance must be provided in a democratic manner-at every level- through a multilateral fund under the authority of the COP.

8. Finance must be public, not private. It must not involve carbon markets. Such markets are part of the problem, not the solution!

9. We demand nothing less than climate justice now!

Friday, December 11, 2009

“1.5!” “One point five!”

A group of demonstrator’s entered near the ‘Tyco Brache’ the conference room at 3 pm on the 9th December demanding support for Tuvalu proposal for the Kyoto Protocol. The Conference of Parties (COP) was suspended after the debate between the AOSIS and some countries in G77 and China. Tuvalu proposed to have a separate contact group to discuss their proposal. But some countries including China and India saw this as a proposal to kill Kyoto protocol and make a new legally binding agreement in Copenhagen. Perhaps they are right.

The demonstrations demand “Legally binding text! Legally binding text!” “ 1.5!” “One point five”

The island countries who promote as most vulnerable countries and African nations now demand 1.5 degree temperature increase limit. 2 degree temperature increase in African countries means at least 3 degree increase for them. To bring to 1.5 degree limit the CO2 level should be maintain at least at 350 ppm.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

COP 15 Logo

China yesterday opposed to the COP 15 logo and stated that it does not represent the nature of United Nations Framework of Convention on Climate Change or Kyoto protocol. Chine representative said that this logo looks more fragile, and it does not give a comfortable feeling to engage in the negotiations. They also opposed not allowing there Minister to enter to the COP 15.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Need more photosynthesis

Polar bear is melting in the middle of the Copenhagen city square. Pandas, trees, have also joined the Copenhagen climate talks. Russia has finally announced 25% emission cuts by 1990 levels. France would be pushing the EU to adopt a target of 30% for the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 1990. 10% more emission cuts will be needed for EU to reach the IPCC estimates to keep 350 ppm CO2 limit.

Photosynthesis which we have studied in the very first science classes is in the middle of the debate. Trees were looked as only timber until very recent. But everyone now in love with the leaves with chlorophyll, which convert Carbon Dioxide to Carbohydrate after reacting with water. Countries in Europe have started loving trees in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. Africa, Asia and Latin America will allow the trees to do the photosynthesis if only there are money flows from the developed countries. Although this looks funny, Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is (REDD). In the second day of the COP 15, many southern countries have urged REDD plus mechanism to put in place. Zambia urged to include carbon stock into the plans.

It will be part of the final deal. Yet there are criticisms that how the REDD will deal with the local people specially people living inside the Forest. The question is whether they will be benefited or it will result displacing them for the sake of forest conservation.

Who will “seal the deal?”

The most important environmental talk of this century was begun in the Bella Centre in Copenhagen in the capitol of Denmark on 7th December 2009. According to the sources there are more than 30,000 people have got the registration to this land mark conference. Outside the Bella Centre, civil society coming from over 200 countries have also gathered to witness this global deal. They too organise “klimaforum” and bring the voices of the civil society to shape the deal.

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Mayor of Copenhagen requested the parties to “seal the deal” The G77 and China, African nations and the least developed countries once again reiterated their commitment to Kyoto Protocol which is the only legally binding agreement. But developed countries want a different deal. There deal will include public and private finances, Carbon market, REDD and other false solutions. They want the developing countries to agree on emission reductions.

The deal will not be easy. There is a rumour that Danish chair is now ready with an alternative text which was prepared behind closed doors. Some believe it might come out in the middle of the dialogue. According to the environmental groups, some developing countries are also part of this close door deal.

Sealing the deal will be done only by the political leaders at the high level segment of the COP 15. Climate talks over the next two weeks will prove whether the political leaders have the guts to take a decision to reverse the climate catastrophe.