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CCNet 11/12/14

US Spending Bill Blocks Obama’s UN Climate Fund $Billions 

'Poor Nations Will Need Up To $1.5 Trillion Climate Funding Per Year By 2050'



An “omnibus” spending bill to fund the federal government through October 2015 throws up roadblocks for the Obama administration’s climate agenda, namely by blocking taxpayer dollars from going to the United Nations global warming fund. The House’s $1.1 trillion spending bill will prevent President Obama from fulfilling his pledge to give $3 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund. --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 10 December 2014
 
 
 
President Obama’s pledge to give unelected bureaucrats at the U.N. $3 billion for climate change initiatives is an unfortunate decision to not listen to voters in this most recent election cycle. His climate change spending priorities, estimated to be $120 billion since the beginning of his Administration, were on the ballot, and Americans spoke.  The President’s climate change agenda has only siphoned precious taxpayer dollars away from the real problems facing the American people. --Senator James Inhofe, The Daily Caller, 10 December 2014
 
 
 
1) US Spending Bill Blocks Obama’s UN Climate Fund $Billions - The Daily Caller, 10 December 2014
 
2) India’s Red Line: No Outside Review Of National Climate Policy - Times of India, 11 December 2014
 
3) Lima Poker: Developed Nations Stymie 2015 Climate Pact - Business Standard, 11 December 2014
 
4) The Annual COP Ritual: First ‘Deadlock’, Then ‘Breakthrough’ - Cato at Liberty, 9 December 2014
 
5) And Finally: Greenpeace Cause Outrage In Peru - The Times, 11 December 2014
 
 
  
 
India will not allow any outside body to review progress of its “intended” climate targets and measures as these will be “nationally determined” contributions. Making India’s stand amply clear on the issue of “progress review”, Indian environment and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said, “We do not see any role for any ex-ante review in this process”. China and most of the developing countries have the same view on the issue. --Vishwa Mohan, Times of India, 11 December 2014



In his intervention on Green Climate Fund during the talks, Javadekar also pitched for bigger kitty of climate finance from the developed world. He said developing countries need for mitigation and adaptation was being estimated in the range of $600 billion to $1500 billion per year (by 2050). He also focused on the reluctance of the rich nations to contribute to the Green Climate Fund. --Vishwa Mohan, Times of India, 11 December 2014

 

 
 
The gloves came off at the Lima climate change talks on Tuesday. Developed countries came together to demand that references to developing countries’ priority of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development be dropped from the talks. Several countries, including Brazil, China and others, countered these views of the developed countries. India, too, aligned with other developing countries in defending its developmental interests and demanded primacy of sustainable development, food security and poverty eradication in the preamble of Lima decision. --Nithin Sethi, Business Standard, 11 December 2014



 
 
The 20th annual “Conference of the Parties” to the UN’s 1992 climate treaty (“COP-20”) is in its second week in Lima, Peru and the news is the same as from pretty much every other one. You don’t need a calendar to know when these are coming up, as the media are flooded with global warming horror stories every November. During the first week of these two-day meetings, developing nations coalesce around the notion the developed world (read: United States) must pay them $100 billion per year in perpetuity. In the second week, the UN announces, dolefully, that the conference is deadlocked. As the deadlock continues, the UN will announce that the meeting is going to go overtime. Sometime on the weekend someone will announce a breakthrough, the meeting will adjourn, and everyone will go home to begin the cycle anew until next December’s COP-21 in Paris. --Patrick Michaels, Cato at Liberty, 9 December 2014
 
 
 
Second week COP ritual: Hopes for Lima climate conference unravel. As thousands of people took part in a colourful march through the centre of Lima demanding action to “save Mother Earth”, ministers and delegates from more than 190 countries were struggling to salvage the UN climate conference here. Earlier optimism about a successful conclusion this weekend is unravelling as the text being negotiated has “ballooned” out of control, with more and more amendments tabled by countries and blocs seeking to have their points of view reinforced. Miguel Arias Canete, the new European climate action and energy commissioner, conceded that “not a single paragraph has been agreed” in a text that had grown to 100 pages or more, making it “very difficult for ministers to reach agreement”. –Frank McDonald, The Irish Times, 11 December 2014
 
 
 
Second week COP ritual: For a sense of the frustrating tenor of climate negotiations underway here, which aim to agree on a clear outline of a new international climate-protecting agreement, consider this: One of the two draft documents being thrashed out had, by Wednesday morning, with just three days of a fortnight of talks remaining, ballooned into an unworkable 52-page opus. And not a single paragraph within the latest iteration of that 52-page draft had been agreed upon by the troop of international climate negotiators. The ballooning text is a manifestation of what has become normal practice during annual climate negotiations, with nations posturing for days before finding some middle ground just as the talks wrap up. --John Upton, Business Spectator, 11 December 2014
 
 
 
Greenpeace activists are facing criminal charges for damaging the Nazca Lines in Peru during a publicity stunt. The 20 activists are accused of leaving footprints in the desert while they unfurled a banner next to a figure of a hummingbird, which is part of a Unesco world heritage site. Luis Jaime Castillo, Peru’s deputy culture minister, said the government was seeking to prevent those responsible from leaving the country while it asked prosecutors to file charges of “attacking archaeological monuments”, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison. --Ben Webster, The Times, 11 December 2014
 
 
 
1) US Spending Bill Blocks Obama’s UN Climate Fund $Billions
The Daily Caller, 10 December 2014
 
Michael Bastasch
 
An “omnibus” spending bill to fund the federal government through October 2015 throws up roadblocks for the Obama administration’s climate agenda, namely by blocking taxpayer dollars from going to the United Nations global warming fund.

 
The House’s $1.1 trillion spending bill will prevent President Obama from fulfilling his pledge to give $3 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund. The White House promised to fund the UN’s green ambitions to show its serious about fighting global warming, hoping to spur other countries to action ahead of the next major climate summit in Paris in 2015.
 
Republicans have opposed Obama’s pledge to fund the UN’s climate agenda, saying it was wasteful spending and ignores the results of November’s election where many Democrats were defeated at the polls.
 
“President Obama’s pledge to give unelected bureaucrats at the U.N. $3 billion for climate change initiatives is an unfortunate decision to not listen to voters in this most recent election cycle,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe said in a statement.
 
“His climate change spending priorities, estimated to be $120 billion since the beginning of his Administration, were on the ballot, and Americans spoke,” said Inhofe, who is set to chair the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee next Congress. “The President’s climate change agenda has only siphoned precious taxpayer dollars away from the real problems facing the American people.”
 
Obama made his pledge after coming to a tentative agreement with China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The president promised to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025 and China promised to peak emissions by 2030.
 
Full story

 
 
 
 
2) India’s Red Line: No Outside Review Of National Climate Policy
Times of India, 11 December 2014
 
Vishwa Mohan
 
India will not allow any outside body to review progress of its “intended” climate targets and measures as these will be “nationally determined” contributions.  

 
 
Opposing one of the key components of the negotiations which is being strongly pushed by all European Union (EU) countries and civil society, India on Tuesday categorically told the climate conference that the country will not allow any outside body to review progress of its “intended” targets/measures as these will be “nationally determined” contributions. 
 
Making India’s stand amply clear on the issue of “progress review”, Indian environment and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said, “We do not see any role for any ex-ante review in this process”.

China and most of the developing countries have the same view on the issue.

Interestingly, the EU and US are not on the same page on this issue. While EU wants review of countries’ actions, the US takes a middle path, saying the important issue is to encourage countries to be ambitious with their targets.

Referring to the contentious issue of adding the “progress review” Javadekar,however, said, “We firmly believe that the INDCs are to be ‘nationally determined’. We do not see any role for any ex-ante review in this process. The INDCs should include all elements including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building”.

Civil societies and research groups have, however, opposed India’s stand. The New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has termed the Javadekar’s statement that India would not support ex-ante review of the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs) — as ‘regressive’.

“Review of INDCs is one of ways in which the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability can be brought back into the climate change negotiations. But India is neither supporting the review nor proposing any alternative mechanism”, said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of CSE.

Bhushan, who is attending the climate conference here in Lima as observer, cited an example. He said, “Presently, there is no provision to hold countries like the US accountable, which is proposing just 12-14% emissions reduction by 2025 from 1990 levels”

Calling Lima negotiations as “COP of Hope”, the minister, however, added the conditions which may guide India on the path to an “ambitious, comprehensive and equitable agreement at Paris next year”.

Enlisting those conditions as his country’s position during the negotiations, the minister said, “It should be able to address the genuine requirements of the developing countries by providing them equitable carbon space to achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

“The new agreement is under the convention (UNFCCC). Let us be clear, it is the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that is ending in 2020, not the convention. Adherence to the principles and provisions of the Convention is the key”.

He emphasized that the “beautiful balance of collective action — the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDRs) — should form the basis of continued action. It is equally evident that developing countries could do more if finance, technology support and capacity building is ensured. This must be a key focus of the new agreement”.

The remarks come at a time when the rich nations are trying to dilute the provisions of the CBDRs which are ingrained in the principles of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.

Showing a mirror to developed countries by bringing the pre-2020 period to the fore, he said, “Our ambition in the post-2020 period is directly linked with ambitious actions in the pre-2020 period by the developed countries, otherwise the poor people in developing countries will not get the carbon space to achieve sustainable development.

“If we believe that the global warming threat is real, then we must deliver on the agreed commitments as a matter of priority. It is important therefore for developed country parties to urgently fulfill their legal obligations in the pre-2020 period. They must scale up their mitigation ambition now and urgently fulfill their promises for providing financial and technological support to developing countries”.

On other contentious issue of including adaptation goal in the treaty, he said, “Adaptation is a central and critical priority for developing countries to address Climate Change. The new post-2020 agreement should ensure a balance between mitigation and adaptation. The urgent need for adaptation must be fully reflected in the new agreement.”

In his intervention on Green Climate Fund during the talks, Javadekar also pitched for bigger kitty of climate finance from the developed world.

He said developing countries need for mitigation and adaptation was being estimated in the range of $600 billion to $1500 billion per year (by 2050). He enlisted India’s ongoing adaptation measures and emphasized on making “adaptation” goal as part of the future global treaty.
He also focused on the reluctance of the rich nations to contribute to the Green Climate Fund. “Some announcements have been made by some countries to contribute to the Green Climate Fund. However, the scale of these announcements remains far from what has been pledged”, he said in reference to the goal of 100 billion dollars in the GCF.
 
Full story
 
 
 
3) Lima Poker: Developed Nations Stymie 2015 Climate Pact
Business Standard, 11 December 2014
 
Nithin Sethi
 
Also want sustainable development scrapped; try to renegotiate UN convention through the backdoor at Lima
 
The gloves came off at the Lima climate change talks on Tuesday. Developed countries came together to demand that references to developing countries’ priority of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development be dropped from the talks. They insisted the new agreement should work to keep climate change in check, without acknowledging these issues as overriding priorities of developing countries. They also demanded the Paris agreement focus primarily on emission reduction targets and that differentiation between countries be diluted.

The reactions were strong and swift from the developing countries group as well. Many of them stepped up the arguments in talks that ran till late night on Tuesday.

Several countries, including Brazil, China and others, countered these views of the developed countries. India, too, aligned with other developing countries in defending its developmental interests and demanded primacy of sustainable development, food security and poverty eradication in the preamble of Lima decision.

The discussions were being held over the “draft decision” document that more than 190 nations gathered at the Peruvian capital have to find consensus on by Friday.

The document was originally meant to let countries at Lima list the nature of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that each country has to put forth for the new agreement starting March next year.  INDCs reflect the array of actions that a country would take to fight climate change under the new regime that is to be negotiated by 2015 and implemented from 2020 onwards.
 
But developed countries pushed hard at Lima to decide and the nature and content of this 2015 agreement using the decision on INDCs as a backdoor entry.

“The developed country parties are trying to rework the UN convention at Lima by putting caveats and conditions on INDCs. Our mandate for Lima was to only identify the information relating to the contributions (INDCs) being put forward,” said an Indian negotiator speaking from Lima to Business Standard.

The developed countries, especially the EU, also made a demand for a review of the adequacy of INDCs to fight climate change through next year even before the Paris agreement is signed. It is referred to as the ex-ante review. India and several other developing countries opposed this proposal. There were, however, smaller countries, which do not foresee mitigation targets being hoisted on them, that also demanded the Lima decision provide for a review of the INDCs next year.

“First, they will turn the INDCs into mitigation-centric targets without differentiation. That shall de-link their existing obligation to provide enabling finance and technology. Then, they shall review our contributions (through the ex-ante process) and demand that these be increased regardless of how little finance and technology they provide. This tosses out the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and equity from the 2015 agreement right here in Lima,” explained the Indian negotiator.

To corroborate his view, he also narrated how the developed countries had taken a tough stance against any road map for meeting the existing commitment of providing US $100 billion annually starting 2020.

In parallel, the developed countries had also blocked any talks of increasing their emission reduction targets in the pre-2020 period. This, the Indian delegate said would further shift the onus of filling the “emission gap” to the post-2020 period when emerging economies would be required to share the burden of rich nations as well without the enabling finance and technology.
 
Full story
 
 
 
4) The Annual COP Ritual: First ‘Deadlock’ - Then ‘Breakthrough’
Cato at Liberty, 9 December 2014
 
Patrick Michaels
 
The 20th annual “Conference of the Parties” to the UN’s 1992 climate treaty (“COP-20”) is in its second week in Lima, Peru and the news is the same as from pretty much every other one.
 
You don’t need a calendar to know when these are coming up, as the media are flooded with global warming horror stories every November. This year’s version is that West Antarctic glaciers are shedding a “Mount Everest” of ice every year.

That really does raise sea level—about 2/100 of an inch per year. As we noted here, that reality probably wouldn’t have made a headline anywhere.
 
The meetings are also preceded by some great climate policy “breakthrough.” This year’s was the president’s announcement that China, for the first time, was committed to capping its emissions by 2030. They did no such thing; they said they “intend” to level their emissions off “around” 2030. People “intend” to do a lot of things that don’t happen.
 
During the first week of these two-day meetings, developing nations coalesce around the notion the developed world (read: United States) must pay them $100 billion per year in perpetuity in order for them to even think about capping their emissions. It’s happened in at least the last five COPs.
 
In the second week, the UN announces, dolefully, that the conference is deadlocked, usually because the developing world has chosen not to commit economic suicide. Just yesterday, India announced that it simply wasn’t going to reduce its emissions at the expense of development.
 
Then an American savior descends. In Bali, in 2007, it was Al Gore. In 2009, Barack Obama arrived and barged into one of the developing nation caucuses, only to be asked politely to leave. This week it will be Secretary of State John Kerry, who earned his pre-meeting bones by announcing that climate change is the greatest threat in the world.
 
I guess nuclear war isn’t so bad after all.
 
As the deadlock will continue, the UN will announce that the meeting is going to go overtime, beyond its scheduled Friday end. Sometime on the weekend—and usually just in time to get to the Sunday morning newsy shows—Secretary Kerry will announce a breakthrough, the meeting will adjourn, and everyone will go home to begin the cycle anew until next December’s COP-21 in Paris, where a historic agreement will be inked.
 
Actually, there was something a little different in Lima this year: Given all the travel and its relative distance from Eurasia, COP-20 set the all-time record for carbon dioxide emissions associated with these annual gabfests.
 
 
 
5) And Finally: Greenpeace Cause Outrage In Peru
The Times, 11 December 2014
 
Ben Webster
 
Greenpeace activists are facing criminal charges for damaging the Nazca Lines in Peru during a publicity stunt.
 
The 20 activists are accused of leaving footprints in the desert while they unfurled a banner next to a figure of a hummingbird, which is part of a Unesco world heritage site.

 

 
The Nazca lines are huge depictions of creatures and plants — the largest of which are 660ft across — scratched on the surface of the ground between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago. They are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions.
 
Luis Jaime Castillo, Peru’s deputy culture minister, said the government was seeking to prevent those responsible from leaving the country while it asked prosecutors to file charges of “attacking archaeological monuments”, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.
 
He said: “It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred.”
 
On Monday, the activists entered a “strictly prohibited” area beside the famed figure of a hummingbird, the culture ministry said in a statement. They laid big yellow cloth letters reading: “Time for change; The future is renewable.”
 
The message was intended for delegates from 190 countries at the UN climate talks being held in nearby Lima.
 
Mr Castillo said no one, not even presidents and cabinet ministers, were allowed to enter the area where the activists trod without special authorisation. Those who do have permission must wear special shoes.
 
“They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years.”
 
Mr Castillo went on to suggest that Greenpeace should pay for the damage caused to the ancient lines and that the repair bill could be very high.
 
He added: “There’s a wave of indignation across the country. People are insulted.
“This has been done without any respect for our laws. It was done in the middle of the night. They went ahead and stepped on our hummingbird, and looking at the pictures we can see there’s very severe damage. Nobody can go on these lines without permission – not even the president of Peru.
 
“It was thoughtless, insensitive, illegal, irresponsible and absolutely pre-meditated. Greenpeace has said it was planning this action for months.”
 
Mr Castillo said the Peruvian authorities were seeking the identity of the activists as well as the archaeologist who led them to the site and the plane from which the photos of the stunt were taken.
 
The activists were from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Germany, Italy and Austria, according to a Greenpeace press release on Monday. The group issued an apology, admitting it had appeared “crass and careless”.
 
Full story
  


 
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