EU showing leadership in Durban

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“The time to act is now!” For Artur Runge Metzer, the EU Commission representative, postponing a decision in Durban only means deferring inevitable costs and climate-related consequences, and probably missing the chance to maintain the growth of the global temperature below the important 2°C mark.

Runge Metzer indicated yesterday, during the daily press conference, that the EU is willing to take on the leadership in the current negotiation process and outlined which points need to be solved in order to achieve a positive outcome at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 17.

The most critical issue is the one related to mitigation, actually on the table in the double track of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA).

Specifying that “it is still under discussion if the second commitment period of the KP will be of 5 or 8 years,” Runge Metzer confirmed that the EU is in favor of a second commitment period. This is essential both to maintain the internal carbon market and to build a legally binding bridge in direction of a future global agreement by 2015. What he asked other developed countries is to show more ambition in terms of their respective national reduction targets in order to close the large existing gap between the pledges declared in Copenhagen and Cancun and the requirements of the scientific community.

Secondly, said Runge Metzer, it is necessary to agree on the global peak of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be achieved before 2020, with the consequent commitment by all countries to reduce the overall quantity of emissions after that date.

Thirdly, there is the need to build up a renewed market mechanism, capable of capturing the big emissions reduction potential of the developing countries.

Finally, it is necessary to address the aircraft and marine emissions and to launch a new program for the agricultural sector.

The recent United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report confirms the possibility of meeting the existing cap with the reduction targets requested by scientist before 2020 using existing technology, working with energy efficiency, renewable energy and at the sectorial level.

 

That is what is possible. Now politicians have to show the will to do it.

Annunci

Canada announces withdrawal from Kyoto pact

Planetnext

In 2007, during the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14), Australia surprised  the world positively with the decision of  Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (KP)–a decision encouraged by the worst drought to afflict Australia in the last century. This emergency went a long way in radically changing people’s awareness of climate change in a country which until then had given it barely a thought.

November 27 the Canadian government shocked the 195 countries present at the COP 17 in Durban with the announcement that next month it would unilaterally withdraw from the KP.

The current climatic conditions in Canada, where they are experiencing  an unusually warm autumn, are preventing  people in north America from perceiving the climate changes feared  by those who live in the warmer parts of the world. But the main reason behind the Canadian Conservative government’s decision to withdraw from the KP is related to the oil lobby. Alberta, the home of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is responsible for the main GHG  national emissions due to the large use of coal and,  in particular, of oil sand production, as  described aptly by William Marsden in “Stupid to the last drop.”

These  different national positions are revealing the reality of the UNFCCC process. On the one hand we have countries being directly affected by the cost of climate change. They are mainly developing countries, but increasingly also developed nations located in warmer parts of the world.  Until now this has meant Australia, but it will probably soon also include  countries in  southern Europe.

On the other side stand those  lucky enough to live in  more favourable climates, such as Russia,  which does not want to have any limitation on its use (and often waste) of energy.  Canada stands as a prime example for both positions. The official communication, as reported by CTV.ca on 27 November, to withdraw from the KP comes as a rude shock just as the COP 17 gets under way and  will have undoubtedly serious consequences for the negotiation process.

Durban COP opens, tactical posturing begins

Planetnext

stampa durbanThe 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) opened yesterday in Durban. From 28 November until 9 December delegations from 190 countries will try to work out a new global agreement on climate change.

But what can the average reader really understand about climate issues when he faces abstruse technical matters and dozens of incomprehensible acronyms such LULUCF, REDD, KP, LCA, SBSTA, SBI.

In these two weeks, PlanetNext will try to make intelligible to its readers the complexity of these crucial global negotiations.

The meeting’s agenda, as always, is intense: mitigation (reduction) of emissions, combating deforestation, funding mechanisms and technology transfer for developing countries, and last but not least the issue of adapting to the current climate, which is already showing significant changes in most parts of the planet.

Beyond the individual chapters, the real protagonist of the COP 17 is the Kyoto Protocol (KP), to date the only binding instrument on climate worldwide. A protocol that was adopted in 1997, came into force on 16 February 2005 and will expire next year.

In Durban the Parties will have to decide whether to extend the deadlines or let the protocol elapse. The developing countries and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, have launched an appeal for an extension.

At the moment 191 states have signed and ratified the KP. The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is the United States. (Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan have neither signed on nor ratified, whereas Somalia ratified on 26 July 2010.)

The fact that the U.S. has so far withheld ratification of the KP is strengthening the misgivings on the part of the developed countries gathered in the so-called Umbrella Group (among them Australia, Canada and Russia), which now advocate a single international agreement (LCA), able to include major emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India. The latter, however, appear diffident toward any discussion of mitigation, regardless of which countries would be involved. They are afraid to be lured into climate-related agreements that would limit the scope for their own future development and for poverty reduction targets.

A possible solution may be provided by the proposal launched by the European Union at the opening of the Durban COP. The EU stated that it is committed to reaching an agreement on the extension of the KP, with the further aim to create a transitional mechanism of binding instruments, to be finalized by 2015 and requiring stricter commitments ffrom a larger number of countries. In this context, although not explicitly stated by UE, the intention is to convince and include the major emerging economies and the U.S..

The watchword for the KP in Durban could be “limited commitment period II.” But the games have just started!

Photo: Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, President of COP 17 by UNclimatechange

Durban COP opens, tactical posturing begins

Planetnext

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) opened yesterday in Durban. From 28 November until 9 December delegations from 190 countries will try to work out a new global agreement on climate change.

But what can the average reader really understand about climate issues when he faces abstruse technical matters and dozens of incomprehensible acronyms such LULUCF, REDD, KP, LCA, SBSTA, SBI.

In these two weeks, PlanetNext will try to make intelligible to its readers the complexity of these crucial global negotiations.

The meeting’s agenda, as always, is intense: mitigation (reduction) of emissions, combating deforestation, funding mechanisms and technology transfer for developing countries, and last but not least the issue of adapting to the current climate, which is already showing significant changes in most parts of the planet.

Beyond the individual chapters, the real protagonist of the COP 17 is the Kyoto Protocol (KP), to date the only binding instrument on climate worldwide. A protocol that was adopted in 1997, came into force on 16 February 2005 and will expire next year.

In Durban the Parties will have to decide whether to extend the deadlines or let the protocol elapse. The developing countries and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, have launched an appeal for an extension.

At the moment 191 states have signed and ratified the KP. The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is the United States. (Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan have neither signed on nor ratified, whereas Somalia ratified on 26 July 2010.)

The fact that the U.S. has so far withheld ratification of the KP is strengthening the misgivings on the part of the developed countries gathered in the so-called Umbrella Group (among them Australia, Canada and Russia), which now advocate a single international agreement (LCA), able to include major emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India. The latter, however, appear diffident toward any discussion of mitigation, regardless of which countries would be involved. They are afraid to be lured into climate-related agreements that would limit the scope for their own future development and for poverty reduction targets.

A possible solution may be provided by the proposal launched by the European Union at the opening of the Durban COP. The EU stated that it is committed to reaching an agreement on the extension of the KP, with the further aim to create a transitional mechanism of binding instruments, to be finalized by 2015 and requiring stricter commitments ffrom a larger number of countries. In this context, although not explicitly stated by UE, the intention is to convince and include the major emerging economies and the U.S..

The watchword for the KP in Durban could be “limited commitment period II.” But the games have just started!

The role of forest in the international negotiation process of UNFCCC

AAA-ENEAForests are crucial for climate change. The deforestation process is one of the main greenhouse gases emission sources in developing countries and it is also greatly important at the global level. New mechanisms to fight this process are under development and implementation at the national and international level. At the same time, the UNFCCC negotiation process seems to go through one of the main crises ever seen before. The real risk is that the Kyoto Protocol and maybe the entire UNFCCC process may collapse. In this context, forests may find a new role to move from one of the main causes of climate change to one of the most important potential solutions. In the view of the Rainforest Coalition, REDD+ could be the right key for this change

INTRODUCTION

The forest sector is one of the main causes of climate change and also one of the main driving forces towards the solution path.

Through photosynthesis the flora removes the carbon present in the atmosphere as CO2 and fixes it as organic carbon in its vegetal tissues. With crops this process takes a year cycle, consequently carbon may still be available as CO2 for the next cycle, after biomass is burned or used as energy in biological systems. A tree lives for several years and this implies that the atmospheric CO2 is fixed for a longer period, introducing the important aspect of carbon storage in the forest biomass.

The quantity of stored carbon is very important in the carbon cycle’s dynamics. The European forests are per se able to remove around 870 million t of CO2 annually, a quantity approximately correspondent to 10% of the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2008[6].

With deforestation this capacity is lost and the result is an indirect increase of CO2 in the atmosphere: for this reason deforestation could be formally considered as a source of CO2.

FOREST IN THE UNFCC NEGOTIATION PROCESS

Not only may the forest cause a reduction in the net capacity to fix CO2, but also the whole change in land use (i.e., from forest to graze or from graze to agriculture) These situations are considered as LULUCF (Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestation) in the UNFCCC context, the United Nations negotiation process on climate change. At the global level the emission generated by LULUCF is almost 20%[1] of the global GHG emissions.

Therefore, it should not surprise to know that LULUCF played and is still playing a key role for an international climate treaty, but probably it is not as much known that it was very important for the first Kyoto Protocol process too.

The opposition of the USA to the Kyoto Protocol started before the negative vote of the Senate that blocked the ratification of the document. During the process of development of the Protocol, the USA negotiators clearly demonstrated their disagreement about the way it was decided to account the biomass carbon stock in developed countries, the so called Activity Based approach. The USA preferred the Land Based approach, asking all developed countries to consider their entire national area, in order to have a reliable description of the reality.

The Activity Based approach allows developed countries to decide which area to initially take into consideration during the definition of the baseline for LULUCF. The area under activities shall be monitored during the years in order to track any increase or decrease in stored amount of CO2. On the one side, this approach could be helpful in a first phase of implementation due to the lack of data that can make hard a complete account of all emissions and removals from the whole territory of the country.

On the other side, the risk is that each country applies a sort of selection on the areas where they may obtain benefits. As a consequence, when a country accounts areas where the forest has grown but it doesn’t consider where the situation has worsen it will describe a better situation than it actually is. The creation of a benefit in the total GHG amount of a country that does not correspond to the real situation is called “hot air”.

The decision to apply the Land Based or the Activity Based approach was very crucial during the development of the Kyoto Protocol but Kevin Conrad, the chief negotiator for the Papua New Guinea delegation in UNFCCC, believes this problem is not yet solved in the actual critical phase of the negotiation for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. In an interview of June 2010 he declares: “LULUCF is the biggest escape clause in the entire UNFCCC. It is a very serious issue. You can call it fraud or you can call it whatever you want, but the fact is that the rich countries are allowed to pick the area of forest they want to account and ignore the area of the forest where they are cutting trees. This has such significant impacts that Russia has said: “If you make me honest on the forest we have to cut our target from 30% reduction to 15%”, so they have to make a 50% change. We say they are cheating in the forest area. We, as developing countries, have to pledge to be far more honest than the rich countries. We agreed already on the international accounting, whereas the rich countries have not”[16].

MECHANISMS TO FIGHT DEFORESTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

In developing countries the context is different because in their case the risk is not to hide the real situation in order to have a benefit in the reduction target as it is for developed countries. Here the problem is normally the high deforestation rate and the need to establish an economic tool able to stop or reverse the deforestation process. The financial support from developed countries is fundamental because it is not enough to spread out the idea that forests have an international value for climate change if this idea is not economically supported in order to help populations living in those areas in view of poverty eradication.

It is important to introduce a new and more effective system to financially support developing countries to preserve their forest.

In the past, often the financial support was directed to reforest areas previously interested by deforestation activities. As usual, working on the outcomes of a problem is not so effective as acting on its cause and this approach was not really able to reduce the international deforestation dynamics.

Therefore, a new approach was suggested in Bali during COP 13, the annual Conference of Parties in the UNFCCC. During this meeting, in 2007, it was decided to reduce the deforestation activities through a proactive approach. The basic idea is that forests have a worldwide value and that developed countries shall help developing countries to avoid any deforestation activity that may reduce the capacity of our “planet’s lungs”.

This mechanism is called REDD+ (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)[5] and will be applied in developing countries. In Bali COP 13, Norway was very active and gave a big contribution to mould the REDD. In order to better show their intention and push the international context towards the creation of REDD+, the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg launched the NICFI, Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative[8], during the UNFCCC Conference. Through this initiative, Norway offered 500 million dollars per year in bilateral agreements with some developing countries which have a very important coverage of forests like Mexico, Brazil, Guyana, Tanzania and Indonesia, through a multilateral cooperation with the UN-REDD Programme, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), Forest Investment Programme (FIP), Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), as well as with scientific institutions and NGOs, such as ITTO REDDES and the Civil Society Support Fund[9].

This project turns out to be crucial in order to actively fight deforestation activities in developing countries and move the international negotiation context, although it doesn’t seem to be so effective at the moment.

This is also the thought of Carlos Ritti, Responsible for WWF Brazil of the Climate Change and Energy Programme: “Until now the international cooperation is still moving slowly because the system is still very bureaucratic and the Brazilian banks lost time to give their approval to the projects”[18].

STRONG DIFFICULTIES FOR THE UNFCCC

In June 2011, Norway hosted two important meetings in Oslo that confirmed the strong commitment of the Scandinavian country on the forest sector[17]. The first meeting was the European Ministerial Conference on Forests that achieved a very important result. In fact, during this meeting it was agreed to launch a negotiation process for the creation of a legally binding accord level and to adopt European target for 2020 in this sector[5]. The second one was an international meeting to update on the REDD+[10] progress.

Nevertheless, all these initiatives lose an important part of their effectiveness if they are not part of a larger international agreement and the only potential context for them at the moment is the UNFCCC. But times are not so healthy for the Convention and in the last few years it seems to have been rather a sick patient on the deathbed. In this situation the forest may play a very interesting role to assure a future to the Kyoto Protocol (KP)[7]. To better describe this potentiality it is, therefore, necessary to draw an overview of the negotiation process during the last five years.

The definition of the new reduction targets for developed countries in the second commitment period of the KP is a crucial item and it has been planned to start in 2006[11]. But during the COP 12 in Nairobi it was not possible to start any discussion on this matter, because positions of the parties were too distant. The only significant decision during COP 12 was to put the oxygen mask to the sick patient, postponing any decision on the KP at the next COP. In 2007, at the Conference in Bali, the situation started in the same way than in Nairobi, but at the end a decision arrived: to create a two-year period of specific negotiation, the Bali Road map. The two-year track should permit the definition of new reduction targets for developed countries, creating, at the same time, a new context, called LCA, where to define commitments also for developed countries that didn’t ratify the KP (USA) and some adequate actions for the main developing countries. Another positive output was, indeed, launching the idea of financing the fight against deforestation through the REDD and the NICFI of Norway.

In Autumn 2008 G.W. Bush, probably the main opponent to a new legally binding agreement, lost the elections, but the new President Barack Obama was not yet in charge in December during the COP14. The USA went to Poznan with a delegation that followed the old USA Presidency’s instructions and the real consequence was that a progress was not possible and another year was lost.

Later on, in 2009, the COP 15 took place in Copenhagen with very high expectations, if considering that it was the conclusion of the Bali Road Map[12]. The entire world was waiting for a new international agreement but the Conference was able to produce only an enormous failure[13]. The only positive thing was the attention that all the media and citizens paid to climate change and the attendance at the COP of almost the totality of Prime Ministers and Chiefs of State of the world. At same time, this was part of the reason why the Conference failed. In fact, all expectations were addressed to the actions of Prime Ministers but some of them started a parallel negotiation process and discussed the solution in very small groups, without taking into consideration all the work done in the past by the official delegations.

At the end, the mountain roared and brought forth a mouse in the Copenhagen Accord[14], somehow more an obstacle rather than an improvement for the negotiation work in the following years.

During 2010 not only the KP, but the entire process of UNFCCC could have, in some way, collapsed because it seemed unable to produce any effective results[15].

Probably this situation helped reach a partial agreement[2] in Cancun, during the COP 16, where a positive output arrived for technology transfer and financing, with some progress for the REDD+ too, but still nothing for the future of the KP.

The next step is the COP 17 in Durban from 28 November to 9 December 2011, and it should be the final stop for the KP. The first commitment period expires in 2012 and if a decision for the second commitment period for the KP doesn’t come, our patient will not survive. The actual perspective seems not to be so positive for the strong opposition of Canada, Russia and Japan. What seems possible is that some Parties, probably the EU and maybe Australia, can offer some extra time to the KP. A new oxygen mask of two or three years to our patient, expecting some more positive changes in the USA, where now the Senate doesn’t show any intention to come to any kind of legally binding agreement, or the result of the V IPCC Assessment Report, where it is highly probable to find a strongest message of urgency.

A SOLUTION MAY COME FROM THE FOREST

The “extra time” option is not so attractive for developing countries interested in having a full agreement for the second commitment period of the KP, the only internationally legally binding document on climate change, and they are trying to find some other solutions to revitalize the KP.

In such context, space was given to the proposal of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations[3], a worldwide group of countries inside the UNFCC particularly interested in forests.

Federica Bietta, Deputy Director of the Coalition, thinks that their proposal may be the bridge between who is in and who is out of the KP. “In Mexico started Phase 1 of countries’ preparation for REDD+, now we are in the implementation phase, but it is with Phase 3 of full application that forest may play a strategic role for the future of KP. It is now important to move forward to the idea to have formal commitments only from developed countries, but there is no doubt that developing countries should be helped with financial support. Our idea is to introduce in the second period of KP the commitment to fight deforestation adopted at national level. In this way it is possible to obtain the double result to have more transparency in the developing countries commitment and more ambitious emission targets from the rich countries.

Actually we have several positive feedbacks and we are looking with optimism to the next COP in South Africa”[19].

Ms. Bietta does not meet the requests of the most problematic countries in the direction of this proposal, but it is possible to imagine that the emerging economies, as China, could in some way be worried that a big flow of money may move from the existing projects like CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) to the forest sector.

BUT DEFORESTATION IS STILL ON THE DAILY AGENDA

Whilst negotiations on this issue is frenetic and may open a new door for a successful future to the KP, some troubles are involving other emerging economies, like Brazil.

A new proposal of law, the Forest Code, has passed by the Low Chamber and it is now stopped before being voted by the Senate. A big movement of associations, including the 10 previous Environmental Ministers, is fighting in order to obtain the withdrawal or a strong modification of the law, because otherwise there is the serious risk that deforestation, after the minimum level achieved in 2010[4], starts growing again.

And what is on the table is something really critical to the planet. “The destruction of the Amazon forest could cause a strong consequence for the fight on climate change”, says Carlos Ritti, “with the risk to nullify the strongest commitment of developed countries”[18].

The option for President Dilma Roussef to use the veto power for this law is supported from 79% of the Brazilians, but everyone hopes that in the end she won’t have to use it, the law having been changed in advance.

At the end of 2011, it seems that forests are playing a crucial role in tackling climate change as they have never done before. The last months of the International Year of Forests will show if this will happen in a positive way, giving forests the role they deserve.

Con o senza Copenhagen, da Bonn riparte il trattato sul clima

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BONN – C’è un fantasma che si aggira nei corridoi di Bonn, dove si è tenuto il primo incontro dell’Unfccc, il tavolo di lavoro dell’Onu sui cambiamenti climatici, dopo la Conferenza di Copenhagen dello scorso dicembre. L’obiettivo è la definizione dell’agenda di lavoro per il 2010, ma la discussione si sposta inevitabilmente attorno all’Accordo di Copenhagen, il gigante dai piedi di argilla, forte della centinaia di firme di capi di stato e di governo che porta in calce, ma sviluppato attraverso un percorso che ha bypassato le procedure Unfccc. Che farne?

L’accordo è frutto della volontà politica di un ristretto tavolo di capi di stato e di governo volati a Copenhagen negli ultimi due giorni della Conferenza, a cui si sono andate via via sottraendosi le sedie disponibili ed è finito per essere un’intesa al ribasso imposta dalla Cina agli Usa. La stessa Ue del resto non aveva mascherato il malcontento verso un documento alla cui stesura finale era stata esclusa ed in cui erano spariti tutti gli obiettivi numerici di grande significato politico. Come è noto, nella seduta plenaria conclusiva danese alcuni paesi hanno deciso di rifiutare l’adozione formale di un documento sviluppato da pochi capi di stato e di governo in stanze parallele e non ufficiali, quindi all’esterno delle regole Unfccc. L’unica soluzione possibile per l’assemblea è stata quindi di “prendere nota” timidamente dell’accordo sviluppato dai grandi.

Il fronte di chi vuole dimenticare l’Accordo di Copenhagen è cresciuto da dicembre ad oggi, arrivando all’incirca ad un quinto del gruppo del G77, di cui fa parte anche la Cina. Ed è proprio quest’ultima a ricoprire a Bonn, dopo essere stata la mattatrice del negoziato nella capitale danese, una posizione scomoda.

Non è semplice infatti trovarsi nella duplice veste di chi è stato protagonista nella stesura dell’accordo ed è al contempo uno dei soggetti politici principali del gruppo che ne vuole limitare l’utilizzo. Alla fine l’intesa su questo punto all’interno del G77 non c’è stata, costringendoli a presentarsi nella riunione plenaria finale tedesca senza una posizione comune.

Differenze all’interno del G77 che probabilmente sono destinate ad amplificarsi in futuro, visto l’anacronistica coesistenza di giganti economici come Cina e India e di chi soffre maggiormente le conseguenze del cambiamento climatico, quali le isole del pacifico e i paesi meno sviluppati.

La creazione lo scorso anno della nuova coalizione dei Paesi africani, è probabilmente un segnale che qualcosa all’interno del G77 sta già cambiando e l’attenzione con cui la Ue guarda a loro è un chiaro segnale della speranza di riuscire a differenziare il fronte del G77, creando così un nuovo scenario negoziale.

È certo invece che i lavori del 2010 ripartiranno dai documenti sviluppati negli ultimi due anni all’interno del percorso negoziale ufficiale dell’Unfccc, come richiesto dal mandato del Bali Action Plan. Si tratta di quanto prodotto all’interno dei due gruppi responsabili di definire gli impegni futuri del Protocollo di Kyoto (KP) e quelli (LCA) dei colossi, quali USA e Cina, i cui impegni di riduzione per ragioni diverse sono esclusi dal processo di revisione del protocollo.

La logica vorrebbe che KP e LCA arrivino a fondersi in un tavolo negoziale unico, ma talvolta politica e logica muovono su binari paralleli e far convergere la discussione in un unico gruppo è un’impresa impossibile, vista la netta opposizione dei paesi in via di sviluppo che temono ciò possa portare ad affondare il Protocollo di Kyoto.

Novità certe sono attese alla guida dell’Unfccc, viste le dimissioni presentate a febbraio dal Segretario esecutivo Yvo de Boer, che saranno però effettive solo da inizio luglio, le cui cause sono probabilmente riconducibili al fallimentare esito della Conferenza di Copenhagen.

Sette sono i candidati possibili, ma sembra che l’inserimento nella triade finale da sottoporre a Ban Ki-moon, sia un gioco già chiuso tra l’ungherese Janos Pasztor, il sudafricano Marthinus van Schalkwyk, l’indiano Vijai Sharma e la costaricana Christiana Figueres. È probabile che alla fine la scelta cadrà, per normale avvicendamento, ad un rappresentante dei paesi in via di sviluppo e la Figueres sembra giocare il ruolo della favorita, anche se la sua vicinanza per ragioni professionali al mondo imprenditoriale dei paesi sviluppati potrebbe giocare a suo sfavore.

Il punto – Imminente l’accordo sul REDD

AAA-Unita

unita ong rosse

Com’era prevedibile le bozze “segrete”, rilanciate da The Guardian e da Le Monde, che avevano provocato un polverone nei giorni scorsi si sono sciolte come neve al sole, lasciando il posto ai due documenti ufficiali che i coordinatori dei gruppi di lavoro (KP e LCA) hanno presentato ieri mattina.

È iniziato così il vero negoziato in direzione di un possibile trattato di Copenhagen, che dovrebbe affiancare la revisione dell’attuale Protocollo di Kyoto. In realtà nelle riunioni a porte chiuse, proseguite anche in tarda serata, si è cercato anche di affrontare in modo congiunto gli impegni di riduzione delle emissioni dei due tavoli, così come era stato richiesto dalla Ue. Difficilmente questo porterà alla fusione in un unico accordo perché, come ha ricordato Yvo de Boer, “vi è un ampio consenso verso il mantenimento del Protocollo di Kyoto”. I documenti sono molto sintetici, rispetto alle bozze di centinaia di pagine realizzate quest’anno in preparazione della Conferenza di Copenhagen, ma hanno ancora irrisolti in parentesi quadre i principali nodi, quali la necessità di limitare l’innalzamento della temperatura di 1,5 piuttosto che di 2°C.

Dovrebbe invece essere imminente l’accordo sul REDD, che ha visto nei giorni scorsi anche uno scontro interno alla Ue, con una posizione netta della Francia sulla definizione dell’anno base di riferimento per il calcolo delle emissioni. Si tratta di un aspetto particolarmente rilevante, in grado di spostare le emissioni complessive di un paese anche di alcuni punti percentuali.

Nel frattempo la Ue al Consiglio europeo ha deciso di stanziare 2,4 miliardi di euro all’anno per il periodo 2010-2012, a favore dei paesi in via di sviluppo.

Cifra che corrisponde a circa 3,5 miliardi di dollari e quindi pari al 35% di quanto richiesto da Yvo de Boer al gruppo dei paesi sviluppati. Chiaro il messaggio della Ue. “Ci aspettiamo che gli USA facciano altrettanto, se non di più”.