We can, we can, at Cancun — can we?

conference at the beach

No we can’t

UPDATE 1: 5:10 p.m. NZT

The conference is over. There are 25 separate documents listed here at the UNFCCC web site called “Cancun Agreements” which one must presume represent what has been agreed to. Plus a joint expression of gratitude to Mexico and its leaders for running the conference (and who knows what horrors could be hidden away in that one?). Total: 26 documents.

They’re in two groups, reflecting the fact that two conferences were taking place (COP 16 and CMP 6). Actually, I mislead you: there were three other conferences also taking place. Confusing, isn’t it?

Who could distinguish who was who with so many hats being swapped and shared?

It could take a while to find out what the heck they’ve been up to. Comments here are beginning to give us an idea of the highlights as readers trawl through the verbiage (thanks to all three of you). 😉 There are plenty of readers grateful for your efforts.

In the meantime, we must trust that summaries are reliable at WUWT, Politico and other sites.

First the good news

There is no successor to the Kyoto Protocol. This means that, so far, all the legally-required mitigation and reporting activities come to an end in 2012.

Hurrah! But the fight is not over, as plenty of people want to achieve, variously, personal riches, social equity and fame (oh, and “saving the planet”) through bringing about a new agreement.

There is an entirely predictable spread of responses as various groups filter events through their own preferences and aversions:

  • Greenpeace – “governments put aside some major differences and compromised to reach a climate agreement.”
  • US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – “a balanced and significant step forward.”
  • EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard – “We have strengthened the international climate regime with new institutions and new funds,” Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in an e-mailed statement today. “All parties should now take domestic action to reduce or limit their emissions so that we can keep global warming below 2 degrees Celcius.”
  • NZ Green Party scaremongering – “the Cancun Agreement falls well short of what is needed to avert the worst effects of climate change… the Copenhagen pledges, formalised under the Cancun Agreement, will result in a hotter planet than a 2º C rise. Some estimate a 4º C rise by late in the 21st century, triggering unpredictable non-linear change to the global biosphere.”
  • The LRC blog – “The climate change agreement is a temporary triumph of dysfunctional governments worldwide, statism, power-seeking globalcrats, greens, and money-seeking ‘scientists.'”

UPDATE 1 5:10 p.m. NZT

Documents recording COP 16 agreements

The documents are available at the UNFCCC site.

  • Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention
  • Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its fifteenth session
  • Land use, land-use change and forestry
  • Financial mechanism of the Convention: Fourth review of the financial mechanism
  • Further guidance relating to the clean development mechanism
  • Additional guidance to the Global Environment Facility
  • Issues relating to joint implementation
  • Assessment of the Special Climate Change Fund
  • Report of the Adaptation Fund Board
  • Further guidance for the operation of the Least Developed Countries Fund
  • Review of the Adaptation Fund
  • Extension of the mandate of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group
  • Carbon dioxide capture and storage in geological formations as clean development mechanism project activities
  • Progress in, and ways to enhance, the implementation of the amended New Delhi work programme on Article 6 of the Convention
  • Proposal from Kazakhstan to amend annex B to the Kyoto Protocol
  • Continuation of activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase
  • Methodology for the collection of international transaction log fees in the biennium 2012–2013
  • National communications from Parties included in Annex I to the Convention
  • Supplementary information incorporated in national communications submitted in accordance with Article 7, paragraph 2, of the Kyoto Protocol
  • Capacity-building under the Convention for developing countries
  • Capacity-building under the Kyoto Protocol for developing countries
  • Administrative, financial and institutional matters
  • Administrative, financial and institutional matters
  • Date and venue of future sessions of the Conference of the Parties
  • Compliance Committee

That looks like a big pile of writing.

18 Thoughts on “We can, we can, at Cancun — can we?

  1. Richard C (NZ) on December 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm said:

    I must have eye strain. I misread

    Methodology for the collection of international transaction log fees in the biennium 2012–2013

    as

    Mythology for the collection of international transaction log fees in the biennium 2012–2013

    Currently NZ pays 27,516 Euros per year for this privilege (approx NZ$48,300).

    http://maindb.unfccc.int/library/view_pdf.pl?url=http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/cmp5/eng/19.pdf

  2. Richard C (NZ) on December 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm said:

    @ Andy

    If you see this, I was thinking about your “interesting” remark re inter-annual methane levels.

    Were you inferring from the short-term CH4 level cycle mimicing warming-cooling that CH4 may be mimicing long-term warming-cooling also?

    It does seem so since 1970s but dunno prior to that.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on December 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm said:

    Additional guidance to the Global Environment Facility

    I think this deserves intense scrutiny (along with everything else).

    i.e. Is it

    # Global governance by green stealth ?

    # A UN ticket clipping exercise ?

    # Dreaming about administering non-existent funds ?

    # A tad presumptuous ?

    3. Urges the Global Environment Facility, as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention, to increase access to funding for activities related to Article 6 of the Convention;

    Questions, questions…..

    And all about funding – money grabbing, that is.

  4. I was just observing the large variations in CH4 levels between summer and winter months.
    I don’t have an explanation for that. Maybe someone can help here.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 10:05 am said:

    A comment I put up at JoNova re forestry and REDD
    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    New Zealand needed some changes in forestry at COP16 but I’m having difficulty working out what actually happened from the Cancun Agreements.

    They seem to assume a Kyoto Protocol extension.

    3. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to consider, in time for possible inclusion in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, if appropriate, whether a cap should be applied to emissions and removals from forest management and how extraordinary occurrences (so called “force majeure”) whose severity is beyond the control of, and not materially influenced by, a Party, can be addressed;

    I note NZ is the only Annex 1 party with a large positive Reference level of 17.05 Mt CO2eq/yr (AU -9.16), but I’ve yet to work out what that means except for this

    The forest management reference levels inscribed in the appendix were set transparently, taking into account:
    (a) Removals or emissions from forest management as shown in greenhouse gas inventories and relevant historical data;
    (b) Age-class structure;
    (c) Forest management activities already undertaken;
    (d) Projected forest management activities under a business as usual scenario;
    (e) Continuity with the treatment of forest management in the first commitment period;
    (f) The need to exclude removals from accounting in accordance with decision 16/CMP.1, paragraph 1.
    Points (c), (d) and (e) above were applied where relevant. The forest management reference levels also took into account the need for consistency with the inclusion of carbon pools. Reference levels including and excluding “force majeure” should be provided.

    Land use, land-use change and forestry

    Forestry is a massive bureaucratic undertaking in NZ to satisfy Kyoto requirements.

    I can’t see anything on REDD in the Agreements either.

    The PR and the Agreements don’t match when you look into them.

  6. “The PR and the Agreements don’t match when you look into them.”
    Indeed – amusing to see the wishfully thinking Guardian headline “UN climate deal binds all nations” (yeah right) not making it to their top 5 stories but languishing below news of a Rome gay club robbery gang….
    Philip Stott has his usual erudite comment:
    http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/2033-philip-stott-dr-pangloss-alive-and-well-at-cancun-.html

  7. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 11:52 am said:

    Smith hails breakthrough in global climate change talks

    By Adam Bennett and agencies – NZH

    5:30 AM Monday Dec 13, 2010

    Smith’s hell bent on a “legally binding treaty”

    Dr Smith conceded “a power of work” remained for officials to do between now and next year’s conference in Durban to turn Cancun’s “political agreement” into a ratifiable and legally binding treaty.

    Nevertheless, one of the most important achievements at Cancun was the re-establishment of good faith.

    Dr Smith said it was “a big call” for New Zealand to proceed with its emissions trading scheme (ETS) this year. “I strongly say that it was the right thing to do, and the progress that has been made in Cancun has reaffirmed that.”

    Something to watch for

    Dr Smith is to announce terms of reference for a review of New Zealand’s ETS before Christmas. He said comparing progress made by other countries, particularly our major trading partners, would be a major focus.

    And

    Dr Smith said he was disappointed little progress was made in achieving recognition of some wood products as carbon sinks (reservoirs which store carbon), which would have reduced New Zealand’s international emissions liability.

    He said some progress had been made on this issue and also around land-use flexibility when pre-1990 forests were harvested.

    While wider agreement was not secured, the issues would be discussed at coming negotiations.

    The scribe swallowed the PR

    Cancun’s advances

    * 193 countries agreed to a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    * A fund is to be set up by rich nations to help poor countries adapt to floods and droughts.

    * $134 billion a year will be paid to the ‘green fund’ from 2020.

    * The money will also help developing countries like India and China switch to renewable energy.

  8. Philip Stott’s eloquence shows again on his thoughts on Cancun

    The reality is surely dawning, if too slowly, that, to paraphrase Voltaire’s famous 1767 letter to Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia: “Global warming is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and cost-raising farce that ever infected the world.”

    http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/2033-philip-stott-dr-pangloss-alive-and-well-at-cancun-.html

  9. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm said:

    You were gazumped by Ron up-thread on this one Andy.

  10. Oh tsk,

    Well, I’ll re-post one of my favorite pieces by Stott, the essay
    “Mr Lemuel Gulliver Visits Milibandia”

    http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2009/7/15_Mr_Lemuel_Gulliver_Visits_Milibandia.html

  11. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm said:

    “You see what the storm has done to our Farm of Wind. So many broken blades,”

    Exquisite satire.

  12. Rome Gay Club Gang?

    Is that the Club of Rome, perchance?

  13. heh!

  14. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm said:

    The more I look at the “Cancun Agreements”, the more I think they are just pre-written documents (pre-Cancun) laying out presumptive UN administration details because there’s no list of signees that I can find.

    Where are the agreed positions signed by each national negotiator that gave rise to all the PR spin?

    For Australia http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2010/cop16/eng/inf01p01.pdf

    H.E. Mr. Gregory Combet
    Minister for Climate Change and
    Energy Efficiency

    Mr. Rodney Hilton
    Deputy Chief of Staff
    Office of the Minister for Climate
    Change and Energy Efficiency

    Ms. Kristin Tilley
    Adviser
    Office of the Minister for Climate
    Change and Energy Efficiency

    And many, many more

    For New Zealand http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2010/cop16/eng/inf01p02.pdf

    H.E. Mr. Nick Smith
    Minister for the
    Environment/Minister for Climate
    Change Issues
    Ministry for the Environment

    H.E. Mr. Tim Groser
    Minister Responsible for
    International Climate Change
    Negotiations

    H.E. Ms. Jo Tyndall
    Climate Change Ambassador
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
    Trade

    And many, many more.

    Do such documents exist and where are they?

    If none exist – nothing happened at COP16 Cancun.

  15. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm said:

    At JoNova
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
    Val majkus:
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Richard C it certainly says Decisions adopted by COP 16 and CMP 6 and the closing resolution
    I wouldn’t expect to see a copy of signed pages

    but I suppose you could ask Mr Smith
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    Richard C (NZ):
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Val 39

    I wouldn’t expect to see a copy of signed pages

    Remember Copenhagen – nothing happened there either but there was an Obama brokered “noted” document that was signed by the agreeing parties.

    I would expect to see lists of signees under the various negotiated positions (not prescribed UN trivia) on the strength of the “noted” reports or even just one document that “noted” the Cancun Agreements with a list of signatories. Remember, there was not unanimous agreement (notably Bolivia et al)

    but I suppose you could ask Mr Smith

    Yes, good idea. I suspect I will be referred to the “Cancun Agreements” but it’s worth asking.

    Meantime, I’m curious as what others think about this so thanks Val.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/12/cancun-in-a-nutshell-nothing-achieved-but-its-a-big-pr-success/comment-page-1/#comment-149592

  16. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm said:

    From The Australian

    Under yesterday’s UN deal, the 194 national delegations in Cancun agreed to establish a “Green Climate Fund” to help developing countries deal with climate change.

    Here’s the links:-

    Decisions adopted by COP 16 and CMP 6

    Specific document

    Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention

    IV. Finance, technology and capacity-building
    A. Finance
    Fast-start finance
    95. Takes note of the collective commitment by developed countries to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010–2012,
    with a balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation; funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa;

    Long-term finance
    97. Decides that, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding shall be provided to developing country Parties, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change;
    98. Recognizes that developed country Parties commit, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries;

    99. Agrees that, in accordance with paragraph 1(e) of the Bali Action Plan, funds provided to developing country Parties may come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources;
    100. Decides that a significant share of new multilateral funding for adaptation should flow through the Green Climate Fund;

    101. Takes note of the relevant reports on the financing needs and options for mobilization of resources to address the needs of developing country Parties with regard to climate change adaptation and mitigation, including the report of the High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing;

    Green Climate Fund

    [Snip]

    103. Also decides that the Fund shall be governed by a board of 24 members comprising an equal number of members from developing and developed country Parties; representation from developing country Parties shall include representatives from relevant United Nations regional groupings and representatives from small island developing States and the least developed countries; each board member shall have an alternate member; alternate members are entitled to participate in the meetings of the board only through the principal member, without the right to vote, unless they are serving as the member; during the absence of the member from all or part of the meeting of the board, his or her alternate shall serve as the member;

    104. Further decides that the Green Climate Fund shall have a trustee; the trustee for the Green Climate Fund shall have the administrative competence to manage the financial assets of the Green Climate Fund, maintain appropriate financial records and prepare financial statements and other reports required by the Board of the Green Climate Fund, in accordance with internationally accepted fiduciary standards;

    [Snip]

    107. Invites the World Bank to serve as the interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund, subject to a review three years after operationalization of the fund;
    108. Decides that the operation of the fund shall be supported by an independent secretariat;
    109. Decides that the Green Climate Fund shall be designed by a Transitional Committee, in accordance with the terms of reference in annex III to this decision; the Transitional Committee shall have 40 members, with 15 members from developed country Parties and 25 members from developing country Parties, with:
    (a) Seven members from Africa;
    (b) Seven members from Asia;
    (c) Seven members from Group of Latin American and Caribbean States;
    (d) Two members from small island developing States;
    (e) Two members from least developed countries;
    110. Invites the Executive Secretary of the secretariat, in consultation with the President of the Conference of the Parties, to convene the initial meeting of the Transitional Committee, with members having the necessary experience and skills, notably in the area of finance and climate change; the transitional committee meetings will be open to observers;
    111. Requests the secretariat, in consultation with President of the Conference of the Parties, to make arrangements enabling relevant United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, and multilateral development banks, along with the secretariat and the Global Environment Facility, to second staff to support the work of the Transitional Committee for the design phase of the Green Climate Fund;

    Fine.

    Now where’s the 194 signatories to provide the mandate to pursue “a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources”?

    [Note – that would include airline levies, financial transaction fees etc]

    Or, is this $100bn per year fund a verbal agreement under contract law?

    [Get real – a $100bn per year verbal agreement to a written contract]

    Or, is there no obligation yet for any country and no mandate for implementation until signing at Durban?

  17. It seems a pretty reasonable assumption the the agreements are pre-written.
    It always bothered me that all these people could meet up at a two week conference and come up with a common accord.

  18. Richard C (NZ) on December 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm said:

    My request to the NZ Office of Climate Change
    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    UN mandate to establish a “Green Climate Fund”

    To the Minister of Climate Change Dr Smith or representative,

    I am trying to access the formal contract by which the 194 nations (as per news reports) agreed to give the UN the mandate to establish a $100bn per year by 2020 “Green Climate Fund”.

    The details of the fund are found in the UN document:-

    “Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention”

    http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_16/application/pdf/cop16_lca.pdf

    There are no signatories listed in the Advance unedited version Draft decision [-/CP.16]

    Please provide, if it exists:-

    1) A link to the document other than the above that was signed by the representatives of the 194 nations that agreed to provide the mandate to the UN to pursue “a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources” to establish a “Green Climate Fund”.

    2) A list of countries that disagreed or abstained from agreeing to the establishment of a “Green Climate Fund” by the UN..

    Or,

    Is the agreement by the 194 nations to establish a “Green Climate Fund”. a verbal agreement to the written document above?

    Or,

    Is there no obligation yet for any country and no mandate for UN implementation of the “Green Climate Fund” until signing of an agreement at COP17 Durban?

    Sincerely,

    Richard Cumming

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