Denmark ist a small but very rich country in the North of Europe. It is known for Hans-Christian Andersen and his Little Mermaid and a lot of Wind Power. And the danish Capital is host to the biggest UN-Conference ever, COP15! Thus, Denmark has a unique responsibility as host and – in the person of its Climate Minister Conny Heedegard – as COP-President. So far, the Danish have tried quite hard to look fair and ambitious. This is pictured was shattered to thousands of splinters yesterday.
Spontaneous demonstrations and an attempted storm into the CMP-Meeting today (blocked of peacefully by the UN-Police) are probable reactions to these happenings.
Denmark supposedly worked together with the US and UK – two countries very suspicious of imperialist behaviour in the eyes of many (not only) in the Global South. In secred they prepared a paper I will shortly analyse for the Blog-readers here.
The most prominent thing this new proposal brings, is that when Obama and Brown can convince the Chinese to support this (unlikely in this form, however), it is like a pistol on the head of the rest of the world. Like: „Accept or die, Bangladesh.“ This „Copenhagen Agreement“ is a single Paper which is seen critical by some States as this might signal a weakening of the border between North and South – however, it still marks a line between both groups. Further, it is just a political agreement and not a legally binding one. This one would be done at „COPXX“. This means, not even Mexico 2010 is sure to be the end-point of this endless horror!But COP 2011 is only a year before the end of the current commitment period in 2012 and this gives hardly enough time for 194 countries to ratify. And there is a Presidential election in the US in 2012!
In addition to this, Offsets are allowed – but only as „supplementary to domestic action“ – and a „well functioning carbon market“ has to be established. No critique on the status quo or signs on where to improve. There is also a lot of Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) in the proposal (fear of poor countries getting too mcuh money?) and emissions form international flights and shipping shall be adressed (good!) via their respective organizations ICAO and IMO (bad).
Some other things are still unclear. Among them the numbers in reductions. But developing nations should be required to be clear and bound to a deviation from the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario in 2020. This is something China is consequently blocking.
The proposal gives reference to upt to seven additions, including on REDD+, Technology and Financing that are all to be decided in Copenhagen as well.
But maybe one can try to see it from the bright side – at least a bit. If this is really a paper not only by the Danish but done with the support (and agreement) of the US, they might want to give us a sign? This is clearly an interpretation (and a big one).
The 2°C-goal is set – which is a way ahead but not as good as we hope. Still, it requires more than what the US is currently willing to give (-4% under 1990). It agrees on an early peak for developed countries (but wants to set a clear peak for developing nations as well – unlikely to get approval from the South). The proposal takes Gender into the topic twice and is open to fast-track financing (10 billion USD – not enough, though). However, in the annex the number „“ stands – a sign that they are willing to start with more? This is than subject to „gradual increased“ on a tbd sum in 2020. Further, an International Climate Financing Board – for a new central „Climate Fund“ can to some extend decide with 2/3 majority. Would the US really do this if the Board is really fairly put together?
Most prominently, the proposal forsees NAMA-Plans (National Appropriate Mitigation Actions) for developed countries as well. More to it, they should/shall be subject to international MRV! This means UN-observers at a wind-mill in Iowas or what? This could be a big step towards trust building.
Unfortunately, the whole process eroded so much trust, that this could only be a drip of water on a hot stone.