COP17 Durban Climate Conference Nov 27
28th November 2011,
UNFCCC press conference | InterFaith Rally with Desmond Tutu | Polaris Institute on corporate infiltration of UNFCCC | Shell advisor on renewables and emissions
12:27pm GMT, 27 Nov update from Bill Gunyon
I hope that next time we meet you will be awake!
Sleepy journalists were handbagged earlier this afternoon by the feisty UN climate boss, Christiana Figueres, when unable to sustain a flow of questions on what she called "a revolution in every sense of the word." After all, not many press conferences address such a topic.
Sometimes you feel that Ms Figueres is single-handedly holding together the whole crumbling edifice of UN climate change negotiations. She carefully assembles recent evidence that a breakthrough is imminent - the scientific reports, the steps taken by government, business and activists. Logically, she concludes:
There are compelling reasons to make a serious effort to continue into a second commitment period (of the Kyoto Protocol)
But she conceded that this is the most difficult issue for the talks and is unlikely to be addressed seriously until the ministers arrive next week.
On being asked what would constitute a successful outcome for the Durban conference, Ms Figueres said:
Durban has the extraordinary opportunity to put the whole Cancun package into operation - these are areas that need to be done urgently. And we want to be clear how emissions reductions commitments are going to be taken forward.
On the Cancun issues that could get under way in 2012, she mentioned especially the Technology Mechanism, Adaptation Framework, Green Climate Fund and the Periodic Review of the adequacy of emissions commitments as at 2015.
"What is the Durban roadmap?" asked Ms Figueres when a questioner mentioned the phrase in relation to approach taken by the Eureopan Union.
I do hope this particular moniker falls by the wayside. Its predecessor, the 2007 Bali Roadmap, was greeted with ecstatic cheering but now lies in ruins.
As the journos flagged, a desperate appeal went out to Twitter for a question. That too, fell on deaf ears.
Maybe the 140-character limit is too much of a toy to grasp the adult world of global warming. That's one reason why you should keep an eye on this blog and our video interviews over the coming fortnight.
6:14pm GMT, 27 Nov update from Adam GrovesDressed in ecumenical purple robes at an interfaith climate justice rally held in Durban this afternoon, Desmond Tutu had a stern message for rich countries ahead of the opening of the Talks:
This is the only home you have… if you destroy it, it’s finished with you as it will be finished with us. For your own sake, you who are rich, we are inviting you, come on the side of right.
The OneClimate team is now on the ground in Durban and will be providing you with breaking news, interviews and videos over the next two weeks. Use @oneclimate on Twitter to get in touch!
10:31pm GMT, 27 Nov update from Bill GunyonArchbishop Desmond Tutu and Christiana Figueres to enter BBC's Strictly Come Dancing??
CFigueres: Did u know Archbish D Tutu has both humour & rhythm? He had COP Prez & me dancing with him on stage at stadium! My heart sings! #COP17
1:04am GMT update from Bill GunyonVeteran observer of UN climate talks, Saleemul Huq, provides a helpful summary of the formal meetings to be held over the next two weeks and identifies the key issues which will determine the success or failure of Durban 2011.
1:38am GMT update from Bill Gunyon
Here's a new report, produced by the Canadian research group, Polaris Institute, called "Corporations, Climate and the United Nations. It has a sub-title that is so explicit that it almost excuses the reviewer from bothering to study the content:
How Big Business has Seized Control of Global Climate Negotiations
The introduction explains:
The report will highlight examples of corporate infiltration of the UNFCCC process and show how multilateral and national level climate change policies carry the fingerprints of corporate interests.
At the heart of this conclusion lies the view that business has been awarded a status within the negotiations which is too similar to that enjoyed by NGOs. If you follow the talks, you'll come across the UN acronym for business interests which rather gives the game away - BINGOs (Business and Industry Non-Governmental Organisations).
The number of BINGO participants attending these annual UN climate talks has grown steadily, exceeding 2,000 by the 2009 round in Copenhagen.
1:58am GMT update from Bill GunyonLocal Durban climate activists put together an enterprising event on Sunday, drawing attention to the threat posed to the city by rising sea level.
They undertook a 3km walk following a blue line marking a potential future high tidemark. Lots of good pictures in this article, although the text isn't strictly correct - there was no blue line because city authorities withheld permission to paint on roads and pavements.
2:29am GMT update from Bill GunyonI mentioned last week that the Board Meeting of the Clean Development Mechanism would be considering a proposal to stop awarding carbon credits for new coal-fired power stations.
The Board completed its business on Friday. The NGO CDM-Watch reports that, whilst the proposal was not approved, the Board decided that the rules for coal should be rewritten.
I wonder if the CDM Board will read this arresting article by Shell's climate change advisor, David Hone. It's not easy to understand but I think he's saying that current fossil fuel energy supplies are unable to meet demand (he doesn't use the phrase "peak oil") and that the surge in renewable energy production is making good this shortfall rather than displacing oil, coal and gas as intended.
The current approach, which increasingly focuses on a “clean / renewable energy” solution, will not deliver a global reduction – at least not for a long time..... on a global basis we are simply shuffling the fossil energy supply from one place to another
This is not exactly a message to warm the hearts of environmental campaigners in Durban.
Mr Hone's solution is to scrap all carbon credits for projects in developing countries except those relating to deforestation and carbon capture and storage technologies.
This is all quite radical and complicated. I hope that my colleagues or other media in Durban may be able to find David Hone and unpick his message.