December 11, 2010

From Broken-Hagen to Can-not-Cun?

Its the last day at the Cancun Climate Talks in Mexico. There has been considerable effort at building consensus around key issues but a solid decision to move the process forward has yet to be found.In the dying hours of COP 16 everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that something tangible shall be agreed upon......

The AYICC team in Cancun has been working well in representing the continent and yesterday held a side event with the Topic:Towards Climate Justice in Cancun:Perspectives of the African Youth.The AYICC team had Sena Aluoka(AYICC Founder),Abel,JP among others as panelists where they clearly outlined the views of African youth and the way forward.It however remains to be seen whether their voices(ideally our voices) were heard in the maze that is the UNFCCC negotiations and whether this will reflect in the final Cancun Outcome.

Photos from the AYICC side event in Cancun Mexico:

The African youth have been clear in their submissions, just as civil society, instrumental in delivering key messages but is Africa and its leaders listening to the voices from our great motherland???Seemingly not, Kenya is now being accused going back on the gains made towards a common African position following remarks made by Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga. 'Speaking on Tuesday evening, he suggested a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol wasn't essential????? He further  suggested that the $100bn pledged in Copenhagen last year for developing countries was sufficient – even though Africa has agreed that the minimum that would even come close is six times this!!!!!!

Reports are circulating that the speech was written by a Japanese economic advisor seconded to the prime minister's office – and his words, coincidently, are remarkably in line with Japan's announcement that it would “in no circumstances” sign up to a second commitment period of the protocol, which was signed on its own soil!!!!!
The PM and his office (read government) has been at pains to retract the comments with claims of being misunderstood etc and identify with Africa's common position something which now puts Kenya in an awkward position!!!

On a positive note the PM had earlier announced that Kenya will soon establish a panel to monitor and follow up recommendations reached at all global climate change conferences and negotiations which is a huge step forward.

As things stand now Russia has  already said it will not commit to the second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, ''Russia will not participate in the second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol… Russia has repeatedly stated, including at the highest political level, that the adoption of commitments for the second commitment period under he Kyoto protocol as it stands now would be neither scientifically, economically or politically effective.'' 

But KP must stay,being the only legal document in this process.Countries such as Japan andCanada seem to share the same view as Russia.This ideally means that we have a long way to go before a consensus is reached.For us in Africa and the developed world,it just might be too little too late!!!

On the other hand efforts to craft an agreement on protecting tropical forests—long seen as likely the most “gettable” deal at this year’s United Nations climate change summit—hit a wall this week over seemingly intractable differences among key nations on whether to allow market-based financing to support forest-protection efforts, how to protect the rights of indigenous forest populations and how to verify that forest-related emissions cuts claimed by developing nations are real.

While delegates and some environmentalists said that a forests deal is within reach, they remain worried that a final agreement may provide too few ironclad protections for forests and contain loopholes that would allow continued logging by developed countries without an accompanying emissions penalty. Forest Provisions Hit Snag In Climate Talks :: Energy regulation | Clean energy news | The Energy Daily Network
The Executive secretary of the UN climate secretariat Christiana Figueres has been quoted saying that, ''If you find your national position is in opposition to that of others, don't ask for compromise, think of our common planet and offer the compromise first. The deal here in Cancún will not guarantee all your short-term national interests, but reaching no outcome here in Cancún will endanger everyone's long-term well-being'' The question is whether anyone,especially in the Annex I bracket is listening?????

Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon has compared the negotiations to an airplane disaster movie. At an event he said:
“Sometimes I think we fail to understand that we're all passengers in the same vessel, in the same aircraft, or the same vehicle. Our aircraft has now seen the disappearance of the pilot. Something happened in the cabin. And all the passengers are responsible for the aircraft, and we're squabbling about these matters. Whether the guilt lies with those in the tourist class or those sitting up front in first class and the plane continues to go down. It's as if we were in a truck on a winding road and the driver has had a heart attack, and we're all on the edge of hitting a tree, going over into a ravine, squabbling again. I think, friends, somebody has to take control of the aircraft or put on the brakes.”
The situation in Cancun looks grimmer by the hour,with little promise that Mexico will deliver on a fair and  binding deal but we wait still, with bated breath and a somewhat resigned anticipation.The horse must have bolted long before!
It is indeed true what is said, that ''The Earth is one but the World is not one''



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