Monday, May 31, 2010

Bonn Climate Talks Part 3: No Clarity on Forestry Negotiations

On day one of the Bonn Climate Talks, there is no clarity on what will unfold within the forestry negotiations.

Depending on who you talk to the rules are a done deal, there's time to fix them, there's no time to fix them, there's time to go deeper into the data and assumptions, we can change the text, we can't change the text, there will be a political deal, there will be no deal...!

We are meeting with the Chair of the negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol tomorrow, so we will get straight from him what his strategy is for the meeting.

In the meantime, we have starting meeting with heads of country delegations here and expressing our concern that we need a high-level political fix to the forestry emissions loophole. We are at least getting recognition of the problem. We will have many more meetings throughout the week, including with the heads of the European Union's delegations tomorrow.

Finally, we are breaking into the mainstream media with two great stories today, one at length about the forestry emissions loophole, the other highlighting it as one of many problems that need to be solved.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bonn Climate Talks Part 2: Arriving in Germany

I arrived yesterday in Bonn, Germany and began working right away, despite the jetlag.

Part of the day was spent in a strategic planning exercise with other environmental groups, but the main focus of the day was to start rolling out a plan to find a country that would propose new text to close the logging loophole in the draft agreement under the Kyoto Protocol, which would allow developed countries to increase their emissions without penalty.

It's not possible that such an agreement could be made here in Bonn, but introducing the text into the draft agreement would be a powerful move that would set-up future lobbying as well as draw important attention to the issue.

Early signs are positive; we'll see where it goes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Campaign Kicks Off to Close the Logging Loophole

I am off to the Bonn Climate Change Talks to help lead a campaign effort to close the logging loophole.

Developed countries have proposed to allow themselves to increase annual logging emissions by 400 Mt CO2 (roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of the entire country of Spain) without penalty or even acknowledgement. They want to hide this emissions increase by using a baseline for forest management emissions equal to what they plan their emissions to be between 2013 and 2020!

At this round of talks we are bringing our campaign to the highest level - the heads of delegations, Ministers, heads of state and heads of government. This problem needs to be fixed.

I can't imagine a worse start to climate talks in 2010 than solidifying a deal to let developed countries increase their forestry emissions when they are trying to focus on reducing greenhouse gases globally.

I will be chronicling the effort with frequent video posts. Looking forward to your comments and engagement!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Will Emissions Loophole be Finalized at June Climate Talks?

The up-coming UN climate talks in Bonn this June could determine whether the World is prepared to allow developed countries increase forestry emissions as part of a global climate deal.

The Chair of negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol has stated in his 'scenario note (para 15a)' (a kind of blueprint for the talks) that he wants to see forestry rules finalized at this meeting.

A call to finalize the talks in Bonn could create significant pressure to simply approve the draft decision that is on the table, which includes the logging loophole. The result is an increase of nearly 400 Megatons of CO2 every year that would be hidden and without penalty (see figure).

Climate Action Network International held a side event at the April 2010 Climate Talks discussing the problematic state of the draft LULUCF decision. You can watch the webcast of this side event including questions and comments from the audience.