|Alden Meyer at COP21 Paris|
At COP 17 in Durban in 2011, countries agreed that the post-2020 actions to be negotiated by next year’s climate summit in Paris would be “applicable to all.” To the U.S., other developed countries, and some developing countries as well, this phrase meant that the strict “firewall” between Annex 1 [overdeveloped] and non-Annex 1 [underdeveloping] countries would not continue in the post-2020 agreement; different countries would take on different kinds of actions, but those would be based on their capabilities and their current national circumstances, not by the binary division of the world in the 1992 Framework Convention.
However, other countries, in particular the Like-Minded Developing Countries group continue to insist that obligations in the post-2020 agreement must be based on the Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 groupings.
***Norway calls for all countries to participate in the post-2020 regime, and sees a need to “differentiate according to the actual differences among Parties, and not on the basis of fixed categories of Parties.” Norway says that it “would expect all Parties with reasonable capacity and significant responsibility for global emissions” to put forward economy-wide emission reduction or emission limitation commitments.
|Global Ecovillage Network strategy meeting at Place 2 Be|
Given the opposition of developed countries and of many developing countries to maintaining the Annex 1/non-Annex 1 groupings as the basis for obligations in the post-2020 agreement, it is clear that the position of the Like-Minded Developing Countries group is not viable. But the notion of purely self-determined obligations is not appealing to the vast majority of countries either; while it may represent the de facto basis for the first round of commitments under the Paris agreement, there will need to be more guidance in the agreement for subsequent mitigation commitments, as well as for the provision of finance, capacity-building, and technology transfer to developing countries, if it is to be acceptable to all. The submissions from Brazil, AILAC, Mexico, the Least-Developed Countries and others have much to offer in this regard.
|Security corridors from train to hybrid buses at Le Bourget|
Show me the Money
|The Merkel Message: Below 2 we'll make it. True or False?|
Obama said the US embraced its responsibility – as the world’s largest economy and second largest emitter [elbow into the ribs of China] – to act, and called for unity among world leaders attending the talks.
“We must reaffirm our commitment that the resources will be there [in financial assistance for the developing world]. We must make sure these resources [of climate finance] fall to countries that need help … and help vulnerable populations rebuild stronger after climate related disasters.”
This 2016 election will likely be the last in which the candidate of a major party is a vocal climate denier, Meyer said. The reason, May Boeve of 350.org said, is because until recently Big Oil ran the show. There has been a gargantuan shift in that power balance with the exposure of how fossil money corrupted the political and media processes within the United States. This has happened just in the past half year or so, and one of the two major parties has been slow to recognize how much it has transformed the political landscape at the individual voter level. Polling shows the vast majority of people want fossil subsidies lifted and a rapid shift to renewable energy, and yet all the GOP candidates propose exactly the opposite. There is a disconnect there, that either will be corrected or cost elections until it is.
Meyer said the end of the fossil era was now inevitable. Decarbonization is coming. Whether you get with that program or miss the investment opportunity, you won't be able to stop it.
Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister who is hosting the talks as COP president, said: “Future generations cannot hear us, but in a way they are looking at us now.”
If they are even still there. Maybe we are speaking to an empty planet.