Thursday, November 25, 2010

Demanding Action in Cancun New Website Launched for COP 16:

Dear Friends

The Global Compliance Research Project and the International Sustainable
Development Network have launched a website for the Cancun Climate Change
Conference COP16.


On the site we propose strong targets and time frames for Greenhouse Gas
Emission reductions and other measures which, if implemented, could give the
best chance scenario for the rise in temperatures be to less than 1°C in
the long term and could lead to a return to concentrations of CO2 returning
to 278 ppm by 2050 and mechanisms for achieving this and legal norms that
require agreement at COP 16. This is not an exhaustive list of what the
website offers. Please see below our Key Message and the complete proposal
at .


Joan Russow


Richard Levicki

International Sustainable Development Network




The time for procrastination about climate change has long since passed; the
world is in a state of emergency and further inaction is gross or even
criminal negligence.

At Cancun states must agree to base the COP16 on the UNFCCC and on credible
emerging and current science and the precautionary principle.

For full statement please see

Targets and Timeframes

Because of the global urgency, there must be the political will to return
earth's temperature to its natural pre-industrial level, and strict time
frames must be imposed, so that overall global emissions of greenhouse gases
will begin to be reversed as of 2011. There must be a global target for
greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 30% below 1990 levels by
2015, at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2020, at least 75% below 1990 levels
by 2030, at least 85% below 1990 levels by 2040 and 100% below 1990
emissions by 2050 (please see table 1 for detailed data calculations), while
adhering to the precautionary principle, the differentiated responsibility
principle *, and the fair and just transition principle. The required
reductions in emissions cannot be achieved without an immediate end to the
destruction of carbon sinks. Under the UNFCCC, every state signatory
incurred the obligation to conserve carbon sinks; thus the destruction of
sinks, including deforestation and elimination of bogs must end immediately.

The goal of COP 16 must be to return temperatures to pre-industrial levels
and return atmospheric CO2 back to 278ppm at the latest by 2050.

To succeed in being below the dangerous 1°C, member states of the United
Nations must commit to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. It is estimated that
to remove the necessary CO2 from the atmosphere, member states of the United
Nations would have to commit to removing over 1000GT CO2 by 2050. This must
be done through socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound
methods and the levels required calculated within an in depth research
project. Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from destructive land use
practices including in the rural, the urban and peri-urban environment must
end. In order to achieve the required emission reductions, deforestation and
the destruction of carbon sinks must end immediately and developing nations
whose development will be affected must be compensated.

The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet
developmental and environmental needs of developing countries and of present
and future generations.

The credible current emerging science has indicated that the global climate
crisis is much more urgent than was conveyed in the 2007 IPCC Report that
was based on data from the years 2004 and 2005. As such current and emerging
science and not the science from the 2007 IPCC Report must be used in

The emissions reduction required to avoid dangerous climate change and the
small timeframes available to achieve this are so extreme that the methods
used to achieve the required reductions must be based on the maximum
achievable targets within the shortest timeframes as described in diagram 1.

Criminal Effects of Climate Change

The Global Humanitarian Forum Climate Change Human Impact report that
summarised data including that issued by WHO on the impacts estimates that
in 2009, 325 million people were seriously affected by climate change (based
on negative health outcomes), and there were 303,000 deaths as a result of
climate change. It predicts that in 2030, 660 million people a year will be
affected by climate change and that 471,500 people will die from climate
change. These factual estimates invoke very serious legal obligations for
immediate action based on the current science. Action that will knowingly
cause deaths which number over 10 million must be treated as crimes. Climate
change could kill 250,000 children next year, and the figure could rise to
more than 400,000 by 2030, according to a report by Save the Children,
Feeling the Heat.

Please see diagram 1 at


A paper published in Nature (no. 458) on the 30 April 2009 which is the up
to date current science on climate change emission thresholds states that in
order to have an 8-37% chance of not exceeding 2 Degrees you can only emit
886GT CO2 between 2000 and 2050. Between 2000 and 2010 363GT CO2 or 41% of
the total budget have been giving a high chance of exceeding 2 Degrees.
Currently the temperature is at 0.78 Degrees above pre-industrial
temperatures and possibly committed to at least 0.6 Degrees of further
warming (Lenton et al). At 1.5 Degree Lenton et al suggest that forest
dieback will emit an additional 100Gt of CO2, reducing the 886 GT limit to
776GT. In addition, at COP15, a representative from IPCC states that at a 2
degree rise in temperature the poor, the vulnerable and the disenfranchised
would not survive and at 1.5 degrees they night. Thus the Copenhagen Accord
which put 2 degrees as the limit not only ignored the science but could be
deemed to be criminally negligent. An important recent paper by Turney and
Jones (Does the Agulhas Current amplify global temperatures during
super-interglacials?, Chris S.M. Turney, Richard T. Jones, Journal of
Quaternary Science, Volume 25, Issue 6, September 2010) suggests that at 1.9
Degrees there is a high risk of a rise in sea levels of between 6.6 and 9.4
m and serious disturbance to regional ocean circulations that can amplify
warming effects. Based on these facts it is clear that an agreement must be
reached this year.

Legal Remedy

THAT in addition, major greenhouse gas-producing states must be forced to
implement the actions that would discharge the obligations incurred when
they signed and ratified the UNFCCC (provisions of the UNFCCC have become
international peremptory norms and as such are binding) and other legal
obligations and be forced to repay the emission debt. Historic emissions
should be calculated and an assessment made of the degree of dereliction of
duty in the implementation of the UNFCCC. From these assessments, provisions
must be made to compensate the states that have been most damaged by the
failure, of the major greenhouse gas emitting states, to discharge
obligations under the Convention. In such cases, a fund should be set up to
assist vulnerable states in taking delinquent states to the International
Court of Justice, including the Chamber on Environmental Matters
osition of the Chamber for Environmental Matters


Industrialized states and major greenhouse gas producers must be prepared to
enter into binding obligations not only through targets and time frames but
also through funding mechanisms. This fund could be named Fund for the
Implementation of the UNFCCC, and it would fund socially equitable and
environmentally safe and sound energy renewable energy, transportation,
agriculture and forestry. This fund would replace the GEF as the main source
of funding for the UNFCCC. This international fund would take funds
traditionally distributed not only through the GEF but also through the
Bretton Woods institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank, and additional bilateral funds, and now be channelled through
this global fund. This fund would be indispensable for preventing climate
change, and for achieving the objectives of the UNFCCC. Additional funds
must be derived from reallocation of global military expenses, including
budgets and arms production; at the 1992 United Nations Conference on the
Environment and Development, all member states of the United Nations agreed,
in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21, to the reallocation of military expenses.
Additionally budgetary sources for this Fund would be the redirecting of
subsidies from socially inequitable and environmentally unsound
non-sustainable energy. The financial deal must include the cancellation of
the outstanding debt of developing states, and the implementation of the
minimal long-standing commitment of 0.7% of GDP being transferred to
Overseas Development (ODA). The 0.7% obligation for development must not be
diverted to climate change; there must be an additional obligation of more
than 7% of GDP specifically designated for addressing climate change
prevention. Any shortfall in funding should be bolstered by increased ODA by
nations that inequitably have gained an advantage from historical emissions
or reduction scenarios that are not in line with the principle of equity.

These funding measures could only just begin to for the emissions debt owed,
by the developed states to the developing states.


The IPCC and COP have not separately calculated the impact of militarism on
greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time the dangers related to climate
change, and the potential security implications related to resource
conflict, and militarism has to be addressed. There is a disturbing link
between foreign refusal to supply fossil fuel for the consumption of
developed states being deemed to violate "strategic national interest" of
developed states and the possible result of military intervention.

Vested Interests and need for majority decision making at COP 16

The entrenched immovable national interests have served to block serious
legally binding instruments in Cancun; must be prevented from blocking the
adoption, in the General Assembly, of a strong legally binding agreement on
climate change. Article 18 of the Charter of the United Nations reads:
"Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a
two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall
include recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international
peace and security." Undoubtedly, the impact of climate change could be
deemed to fall under this category. In Cancun, given the urgency of the
issue of climate change, and its potential effects on the global population
and on the political, economic, ecological and social global systems, the
requirement for consensus must be waived, and a binding agreement on all
states will be deemed to exist, if 66 % of the states concur. It is possible
that a majority of the member states could agree to a strong legally binding
'Cancun protocol' to the UNFCCC. A strong Protocol to the UNFCCC could then
be used against the delinquent states, and a case could be taken to the
International Court of Justice under the UNFCCC, which has been signed and
ratified by 192 states. Even most of the delinquent states including Canada
and the US, have signed and ratified the UNFCCC. If not 66%, then the
proposal made by Papua New Guinea at COP 15 should be in place in Cancun;
the proposal was that the state parties to the Convention should strive for
consensus with a fall back on 75%. It should be noted that the UNFCCC was
adopted by 150 of the then188 members of the United Nations (79%) and that
under article 2 of the Montreal Protocol, Parties can if all efforts at
consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, adopt decisions by
a two-thirds majority.

THAT All NGOS, including industry front group participating at the UN
Conferences, including COP 16 in Cancun must reveal any sources of funding,
such as that of corporate funding, or any board members that might
jeopardise the willingness of the NGOS to take strong positions or that
might seriously place the NGOs in conflict of interest


The Commission on Sustainable Development, in light of the failure in
negotiations of CSD15 must now produce an appropriate outcome on climate
change and other issues, be upgraded to a Council, which would be able to
convene at any time to deal with new or emerging environmental threats. The
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/47/191 states that the Commission on
Sustainable Development (CSD) should ensure effective follow-up to Agenda
21, and other UNCED obligations and commitments that Includes the UNFCCC.


My Privacy...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

Your idea?