Check out this line-up

Being on the CIFOR (center for interntational forestry research) listserv, I was invited to a very special, 400 people – including press, event…

Advancing REDD+: New Pathways and Partnerships

Ban Ki-moon -UN Secretary-General

By Invitation Only

*    *     *     *     *     *     *
Special honored guest:
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon – Secretary-General of the United Nations
And other distinguished speakers, including:

His Excellency Felipe Calderón – President of Mexico*
Hon. Jens Stoltenberg – Prime Minister of Norway
His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo – President of Guyana
Wangari Maathai – 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (video message)
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE – Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace (video message)
Linda Adams – Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto – Head of Indonesian President’s Delivery Unit for REDD
Jonathan Pershing – U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change
George Soros – Founder, Open Society Foundations
Achim Steiner – Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
Peter Seligmann – Chairman and CEO, Conservation International
Steve Kline – Vice President, Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation
Hon. Juan Sabines Guerrero – Governor, Chiapas, Mexico
Hon. Timothy E. Wirth – former U.S. Senator & President of the United Nations Foundation
Rob Walton – Chairman, Walmart
Robert Zoellick – President, World Bank


UN starts seriously working with cities.

My very last “low-level” side event, I ended with some positive news about progress in cities throughout the world. Not only are cities making progress, but they are starting to get recognition and assistance from the international community. The representative form the World Bank said, “We realize we need to partner with cities” For the first time the CDM finance will be used for a proposal in Amman Jordan.

The Phillipines also have a new law, the Phillipine Climate Change Act of 2009 in which local governments are recognized as frontline agencies. The law also requires that in the formulation of plans cities shall conisider climate change adaptation as one of their regular functions. In addition Phillippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act requires cities to integrate DRR and CC adaptation into comprehensive local land use and development plans.



Advisory Group on Financing Panel says the Target of $100 Billion Climate Aid by 2020 is “Feasible”

I attended the side event yesterday where the authors of the High-Level Advisory Group on Financing (AGF) discussed their report, which came out about a month ago. The co-chairs (Presidents Stoltenberg of Norway and Zenawi of Ethiopia) were both present, as was UN Sec. Gen. Moon. That report said the goal set by Copenhagen Accord of 100 billion dollars annually by 2020 can be met by grants, concessional development bank loans, carbon market finance, etc. At the panel, some examples were pointed out, among them reallocating aid money now subsidizing fossil fuels, which was said to potentially net $10 billion. They cast the report as a “tool-box ” of financing options. They said it was up to the states’ parties at the COP to find a way to use the tools, and which to use more frequently and such. They said that the real achievement of the AGF was that a diverse group of world-class experts, from developing and developed countries, had agreed on the report, and that this was a model for the COP. The real results are being accomplished, or not, by the negotiators in closed session right now.

Prof. Burleson, Dan Mill_r & Prof. Garvey at Cancunmesse

Dan and I were e-introduced to Elizabeth Burleson from USD Law School by Betsy Baker. The three of us were able to meet in person at Cancunmesse and had an opportunity to exchange thoughts on the COP. Prof. Burleson was one of many observers who told us that in the specific negotiations she observed, delegates were working from different texts. In contrast to Rio, which was a signing ceremony, here the delegates are practically creating text from scratch in some cases.

Continue reading

Symbolic, Solitary, Cancun Wind Turbine is Climate Change Mitigation

On the shuttle bus route from Cancunmesse (where the side events, NGO booths, and such are) to the site of the COP itself, Moon Palace (an ornate conference facility) there’s recently-erected wind turbine. I snapped this shot of it yesterday morning. It was built for functionality (1.5 megawatts) and as a symbol that inspires the delegates here. It was built by Acciona, a Spanish company. Mexico is a “developing country” under the UNFCCC, and thus eligible for climate aid, but this turbine was commissioned by Mexican Federal Electric. Wind farms are criticized in some areas as being unsightly, and indeed this is only one, not thirty, yet it looks very regal and nice there. It was turning real well in very light wind the day before but yesterday morning it was becalmed. We had a little wind last night, I’m sure it was spinning fine again.

Mountain Adaptation

The Minister for the Environment of Chile, Javier Garcia, introduced a side event on mountain adaptation by talking about the importance of mountains. ½ the world’s water supply and ½ the world’s biodiversity hotspots are in mountains. Continue reading

wikileaks at COP 16

It is  impossible to know how the wikiLeaks regarding the US strategy during COP 15 will affect the outcome of COP 16. There are certainly more disussions about democratic process and trust.

Not only have the WikiLeaks affected the level of trust, but they have also distracted some delegates from the work at hand. Even during side events, the Q&A session involves more questions from the audience about trust and transparency from the U.S.

Some NGOs are taking advantage of the leaks and using info from the leaks to offer recommendations to the ‘spied on’ country. For example see this article about wikileaks and Saudi Arabia,

LULUCF (Lu-Lu-C-F) Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry: what will COP 16 do about unaccounted emissions from logging?

During the first commitment period of the KP, countries are only required to voluntarily account for emissions from logging. This means that countries can determine their own baselines, including the use of a baselines based on future instead of historical data. There are several options on the table to decide how to account for forest management during the second commitment period.

(1)      Tuvalu proposed text to use the first commitment period as a mandatory historical baseline.

(2)      The Africa Group proposed a compromise text which combines historical baselines with projected baselines.

(3)      Developed countries propose a continuation of voluntary accounting.  Continue reading

On Science and Climate, Let Us Not Be “the Stupid Generation” says Guyana

Dan here. We’re observing the main COP meeting. Us observers sit in the back here behind the plenary’s parties at their tables, but we can see the various presidents and prime ministers and other ministers clearly across the vast Ceiba room. Pres. Rafael Correa of Ecuador spoke about accountability 20 minutes ago, but I was struck by the forceful phrase of Pres. Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana a few moments ago. Jagdeo urged our global community of 2010 to avoid being “the stupid generation.” Let us not be the generation that ignores science’s projection on climate change damage. He pointed to the work of the IPCC, and said we must heed that, and a recent UNEP report saying that the Copenhagen Accord’s goals were not on schedule to be reached. He said we must reassert “science as the driver.” It was jarring to hear it phrased that way, but it is fair comment I think for Pres. Jagdeo to urge the world in our time not to be “the stupid generation.” I have been looking at the side event hall at Cancunmesse for climate skeptics, as I’ve heard are sometimes sent by the fossil fuels industry and others, but I haven’t seen any.

Watching the Opening Ceremony of the High Level Segment

We’re at the COP, at the Zocota room, via closed circuit video, watching the opening ceremony of the High Level Segment at the building next door. There was a great opening with colorfully and fiercely costumed dramatic dancers. The panel of high level officials is now speaking. They are urging on all the parties, to bring their hard and detailed negotiations of the last week and an half to a successful conclusion at an higher level these last four days. Right now President Calderone of Mexico. He’s saying a number of things can’t wait. “No puede esperar.”

At the beginning, though UNFCCC head Christina Figueres spoke. “Fairness must guide long-term efforts,” she said. “If your country’s position is not reconciling with that of others, think of the common good. Don’t ask for compromise, offer it.” She concluded “there will be reporting and certainly verifying,” perhaps alluding to the U.S.’s past criticisms of China’s MRV (measurement/reporting/verification) actions. I’ve read reliable press accounts that our objections on this score have eased.

U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon then spoke. “Nature will not wait while we negotiate. The time for waiting while faulting others is over. We must not wait for the perfect. Action now. Cooperation, we will form a long-term response, every country among us. We must act as united nations.” He called for realizing the 100 billion dollar climate aid by 2020 agreed to in the Copenhagen Accord. I was impressed with Sec. Moon’s ability to orate in English, a language not native to him. He spoke with great feeling.