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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Climate Change news

A feature of producing a blog is that it reflects the interests of the blogger. What I am finding interesting is the wide ranging views and debates in progress around the world on global warming and climate change. Here are some brief reviews of two of today's news stories.

As you may know a world conference on this subject has just ended in Nairobi. Run by the United Nations and called the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. ( UNFCCC) This particular meeting is called the COP12. That is short hand for the 12th Conference of the 189 parties(countries) to the UNFCCC. To no doubt save aviation fuel it is also the COP/MOP2. That is the 2nd meeting of the 166 parties to the Kyoto Protocol. This complex organizational nightmare was of course all started back in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit.

Here is an extract from a BBC report shown on their web site at

Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 18:42 GMT
Climate talks a tricky business
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website, Nairobi

"Busting the jargon

So let us look behind the jargon of COPs and COP/MOPs and SBSTAs and Ad-hoc Working Groups and Joint Implementation and Base Years - believe me, I could go on - and look at what the Nairobi talks actually agreed.

The headline outcomes include:

* a less than firm commitment to begin negotiations on further Kyoto Protocol emissions cuts in 2008, and no target date for concluding them - despite an acknowledgement that emissions need to fall by about 50% in the near future

* a decision that the protocol has been reviewed at this meeting, as its original wording demanded - many of us must have missed the review when we blinked

* a commitment to have a full review in two years' time

* an extension of work on technology transfer to the developing world, but only for a single year, which brought condemnation from the Chinese delegation

* agreement that Belarus can enter the Kyoto Protocol's trading mechanisms in a way which could allow it to make money without reducing emissions; this decision will have to be ratified

* a decision that carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects should not yet be eligible for money from the Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism

* agreement that the Adaptation Fund, a pot of money to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, should be primarily under the control of developing nations

Away from the main negotiations, a number of other initiatives were announced, the most striking being a UN fund to build capacity among African governments, enabling them better to bid for clean technology projects and protect against climate impacts."


Meanwhile the Independent newspaper has published an interview with Tony Blair in which he defends his governments progress in green issues. Here are some extracts from the article.

Blair: Who says I'm not green?
by Michael McCarthy, Environmental Editor
Published: 18 November 2006 Here is the web site address.

"Britain is seeking international agreement on a global target for stabilization of greenhouse gases, which would halt the progress of global warming, Tony Blair has told The Independent."

"The target Mr Blair and his officials have in mind would seek to halt the growth of greenhouse gases somewhere below 550ppm CO2e, perhaps between 500 and 550 - the figures are still being discussed, but 550 is regarded as the upper limit.
It would involve legally binding cutback agreements from those who signed up to it, and has been put forward by the UK to be taken on during the German presidency of the G8 next spring. The initiative - which has German support - would offer a major way forward for when Kyoto comes to an end in 2012."

"He also implicitly ruled out aviation taxes, another measure favoured by the green lobby, insisting that a much better way forward was to deal with aircraft emissions under the European Union's emissions trading scheme."

""I've given my view that if we want to deal with energy security and climate change, we've got to have the right policy for the future, and it's got to include nuclear.""

"Mr Blair also revealed that Britain would seek agreements to make future EU coal-fired power stations carbon neutral through improved technology."

"And he hinted that a planned Energy White Paper would address the issue of personal carbon allowances - the idea that each individual would have a carbon "budget" to spend on motor fuel, electricity and other activities that impact on the environment."