Durban Climate Change Conference 2011


mentalfloss
#1
The official thread! Woohoooo!!!!!

Looks like the EU is our only hope right now.

Durban Climate Change Conference 2011 opens in disarray
The United Nations climate change summit opened in disarray after violent storms, the late arrival of the host president and a major rift emerging between some of the world’s biggest polluters.

As delegates arrived in the coastal South African city of Durban on Sunday, dark skies gave way to thunder and lightning storms and torrential rain which waterlogged parts of the city’s conference venue and swept away tin shacks in townships on the outskirts of the city, killing eight people.

On Monday, many of the estimated 15,000 delegates packed into the main hall for the opening session, only to be kept waiting for 40 minutes by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.

Aides to the president blamed the president of Chad, saying Mr Zuma arrived on time but was forced to wait for him.

The 17th Conference of the Parties summit represents the last chance for developed nations to sign up to a second term of the Kyoto Protocol, which specifies legal limits for their carbon dioxide emissions, before it expires at the end of next year.

Speaking at the opening session of the talks, Christiana Figueres, the UN’s chief climate change official urged all parties to be flexible, and quoted South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela in telling them: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, who is chairing the 12-day, 194-nation meeting, said the world’s poorest countries – many of them in Africa – were dependent on swift action to stave off the catastrophic effects of global warming which affect them most.

“We are in Durban with one purpose: to find a common solution that will secure a future to generations to come,” she said.

But within hours of the summit’s start, most of the major players made clear their unwillingness to negotiate their positions.

The European Union led a positive charge to revive Kyoto, saying it would sign up for a second term. But it stipulated that the world’s two biggest polluters, the United States – the sole developed country to shun Kyoto – and China – still classed as a developing country – should also agree to legally-binding emissions cuts before 2015.


Artur Runge-Metzger, the EU’s negotiator at the summit, said both developing and developed countries had to make firm commitments to emissions caps this year or risk the public “losing confidence in this travelling circus”.

The US said that China signing up to a such a deal was a “basic requirement” for its own participation but even then, it offered no guarantees.


Meanwhile China and the G77 group of developing nations said that they would insist on developed nations signing a second Kyoto term before agreeing to any global deals themselves.


Canada has already said it will not commit to a second term and yesterday it emerged that it could withdraw before the original deal expires. The country’s national broadcaster said it would be announced next month that Canada will withdraw from the protocol – a move its Green Party warned would make it a “global pariah” at Durban.

Within the European Union grouping, which speaks at the summit with one voice, cracks were already beginning to emerge after the publication of a report suggesting the UK was backing a controversial plan by Canada to extract oil from swampland – something the EU has made clear it is against because of the levels of greenhouse gas emissions.


Those watching the talks begin said it was an inauspicious start. “It is headed towards a real impasse in Durban, frankly, there is no way to gloss over it,” one veteran participant said.

“There are very few options left open to wring much out of the meeting unless the position of these major countries softens considerably.”

Durban Climate Change Conference 2011 opens in disarray - Telegraph


Also - LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE EVENT (liek, oh my god):

http://www.justin.tv/oneclimate?utm_...#/w/2160820496
Last edited by mentalfloss; Nov 30th, 2011 at 08:19 AM..
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+2
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, who is chairing the 12-day, 194-nation meeting, said the world’s poorest countries – many of them in Africa – were dependent on swift action to stave off the catastrophic effects of global warming which affect them most.

It effects them the most yet they are not required to sign on or do cuts?

I am sure there will be some sort of photo-op treaty at the end of this. Probably as ineffective as the original if not moreso.

And lets stop calling China a developing nation. Its developed.
 
mentalfloss
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

I am sure there will be some sort of photo-op treaty at the end of this. Probably as ineffective as the original if not moreso.

Well they have to find some way to replace Kyoto in order to get a legally binding contract unless we want rampant polluters to rule the world.

Which, if you have an ounce of morality in your bones, it would be in our best interests to get a deal.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Well they have to find some way to replace Kyoto in order to get a legally binding contract unless we want rampant polluters to rule the world.

Which, if you have an ounce of morality in your bones, it would be in our best interests to get a deal.

My bones are primarly made of cynicism. I don't see a meaningful deal happening. Of course, I also don't buy into the world is ending theory either. But if their is a deal, it has to be everybody or it is meaningless. I don't see Canada signing Kyoto II with the same exemptions as Kyoto I. Now if every other nation has signed on and Canada refuses, then this becomes a different topic entirely. But as long as the USA and China are exempt and the Russions and Japanese are not going to sign, Canada is right not to as well.
 
mentalfloss
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

My bones are primarly made of cynicism. I don't see a meaningful deal happening. Of course, I also don't buy into the world is ending theory either. But if their is a deal, it has to be everybody or it is meaningless. I don't see Canada signing Kyoto II with the same exemptions as Kyoto I. Now if every other nation has signed on and Canada refuses, then this becomes a different topic entirely. But as long as the USA and China are exempt and the Russions and Japanese are not going to sign, Canada is right not to as well.

You don't have to sign a treaty to make a commitment.
 
pgs
Free Thinker
+2
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Well they have to find some way to replace Kyoto in order to get a legally binding contract unless we want rampant polluters to rule the world.

Which, if you have an ounce of morality in your bones, it would be in our best interests to get a deal.

WHY? Europe is broke and can no longer afford the green medicine.USA and Japan will not play.
China and India exempt.
Nothing for us here.
Besides my area of the world has much better air quality now than 25 years ago.
And you might remember the stench from pollutants at low tide in False Creek,that we cleaned up.
We as Canadians are doing much right in our enviromental policies and not supporting wealth distribution
will allow us to continue.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

You don't have to sign a treaty to make a commitment.

Semantics. Show me the commitment from China and the USA.
 
mentalfloss
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

Semantics. Show me the commitment from China and the USA.

Who cares?

We should be making a commitment on our own moral grounds, not following in the footsteps of the worst offenders.

Climate change fight could cost Canadians big



OTTAWA - Helping poorer countries deal with the feared results of global warming could come straight out of Canadians' pockets.

The agenda for the Durban Climate Change Conference in South Africa includes figuring out how to raise $100 billion annually from developed economies for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Canada and other countries agreed to create in 2009.

A draft agreement says the GCF will "receive financial inputs from a variety of other sources, public and private, including alternative sources."

While Environment Minister Peter Kent is reported to have expressed some concern about the GCF, his office refused to say what position he would take on the fund or how it should be financed.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/29...-canadians-big


Banks 'lent 232 bn euros to coal industry'

DURBAN, South Africa — Leading banks around the world lent 232 billion euros ($308 billion) to the coal industry, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases, from 2005 to 2010, campaigners said here on Wednesday.

The figures, presented on the sidelines of November 28-December 9 UN climate talks in Durban, come from a trawl through the lending portfolios of 93 of the world's leading banks, they said.

The total value of financing for 31 major coal-mining companies and 40 producers of coal-fired electricity amounted to 232 billion over the five years.

"Our figures clearly show that coal financing is on the rise," said Tristen Taylor of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, one of four groups that combined to compile the report, "Bankrolling Climate Change."

"Between 2005 and 2010, coal financing almost doubled. If we don't take banks to task now, coal financing will continue to grow."

Coal has emerged as the biggest single area of concern about greenhouse-gas sources.

Emissions from coal-fired plants have rocketed as emerging giants, led by China and India, turn to a fuel that is cheap, plentiful and free of geopolitical risk, but also a massive emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The top three banks lending to the coal industry, according to the report, are JP Morgan Chase, which funded 16.5 billion euros; Citi (13.7 billion) and Bank of America (12.6 billion).

They were followed by Morgan Stanley (12.11 billion); Barclays (11.51 billion); Deutsche Bank (11.47 billion); Royal Bank of Scotland (10.94 billion); BNP Paribas (10.69 billion), Credit Suisse (9.49 billion) and UBS (8.21 billion).

Three Chinese banks -- Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank -- were also listed in the top 20 lenders.

"Interestingly, almost all of the top 20 climate-killer banks in our ranking have made far-reaching statements regarding their commitment to combatting climate change," said Yann Louvel of BankTrack, an NGO that monitors the activities of banks.

"However, the numbers show that their money is not where their mouth is."


Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) surged by 2.3 parts per million (ppm) between 2009 and 2010, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

They have risen by around a third since pre-industrial times and are now at their highest in 650,000 years, say climate scientists.

A German environmental group, urgewald, and a South African campaign group, groundWork, also contributed to the report.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...416da46b2ef.81
Last edited by mentalfloss; Nov 30th, 2011 at 09:34 AM..
 
petros
+1
#9
Green crap is being integrated into the industrialization of western Canada. It is necessary to get our massive projects up and running ASAP.

You greens are going to need the benefits of gold, copper, iron, nickel, zinc, diamond, black gold, nat gas and especially PINK gold to feed the green things and grow more food for a planet with billions of mouths to feed.

Ever thought a refinery could be emissions free? It's in the works. How about giant nat gas cookers for potash and nat gas fertilizer plants that are emissions free? They are in the works.

The west's population in about to double in a heartbeat.

Shut up and let it happen otherwise Canada is going to remain industrially underdeveloped and socially crippled.

In the next few years three worlds are going to dominate politics.

Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.
 
Tonington
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

And lets stop calling China a developing nation. Its developed.

And they are also the world's leading producer of renewable energy, and every year they add more renewable as a percentage of their total energy consumption. They are on the correct side of the curve, even without mandatory targets. They have made massive investments in their infrastructure, $34.6 Billion in 2009. They even have laws which prioritize renewable energy development. While our manufacturing centres lose jobs to cheaper labour markets, leading edge technology and high value manufacturing could replace many and even create more jobs. Quebec, Alberta, and BC already have prices on carbon.
 
mentalfloss
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

And they are also the world's leading producer of renewable energy, and every year they add more renewable as a percentage of their total energy consumption. They are on the correct side of the curve, even without mandatory targets. They have made massive investments in their infrastructure, $34.6 Billion in 2009. They even have laws which prioritize renewable energy development. While our manufacturing centres lose jobs to cheaper labour markets, leading edge technology and high value manufacturing could replace many and even create more jobs. Quebec, Alberta, and BC already have prices on carbon.

Hmm... I never knew this.

Respect for China +1.
 
petros
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Hmm... I never knew this.

Respect for China +1.

Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

They are on the correct side of the curve, even without mandatory targets. They have made massive investments in their infrastructure, $34.6 Billion in 2009. They even have laws which prioritize renewable energy development. While our manufacturing centres lose jobs to cheaper labour markets, leading edge technology and high value manufacturing could replace many and even create more jobs. Quebec, Alberta, and BC already have prices on carbon.

Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.

It is foreign companies investing in the west and they follow the conduct of business and Kyoto reqs of their countries which are overwhelmingly signors.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Helping poorer countries deal with the feared results of global warming could come straight out of Canadians' pockets.

An even better reason for not signing the new accord.
 
Tonington
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.

It is foreign companies investing in the west and they follow the conduct of business and Kyoto reqs of their countries which are overwhelmingly signors.

There are no Kyoto requirements in Canada. Paper tiger. That's partly why it's such a spectacular failure.
 
mentalfloss
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

An even better reason for not signing the new accord.

Well, if you look at it from an economic standpoint, of course it's difficult to submit.

If you look at it from a moral standpoint, we do have an obligation to pay for what we are causing.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Well, if you look at it from an economic standpoint, of course it's difficult to submit.

If you look at it from a moral standpoint, we do have an obligation to pay for what we are causing.

Which is why you would need to prove to me that we are actually causing anything significant. This has not been done to date. Obviously this is where our opinions differ.
 
petros
#17
The end users of our resources are paying and are the ones who are investing in Canada. If they are in it happens without us needing to sign a damn thing.

Our job is providing the infrastructure to move the resources out. Bill Gates and Beijing (Strong) can't do it alone.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#18
WHAT A FARCE!!!!!

Global-warming sham - Ezra Levant
 
mentalfloss
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

WHAT A FARCE!!!!!

Global-warming sham - Ezra Levant

It would be even more of a farce if you replaced Levant with Beck.

(I am not giving him hits so you can make money)

Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

Which is why you would need to prove to me that we are actually causing anything significant. This has not been done to date. Obviously this is where our opinions differ.

Scientists claim planet is heading for 'irreversible' climate change by 2040
 
TenPenny
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Hmm... I never knew this.

Respect for China +1.

Renewable energy includes the massive hydro projects which destroy the environment, but don't worry about that.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The People's Republic of China is the largest consumer of coal in the world, [1] and is about to become the largest user of coal-derived electricity, generating 1.95 trillion kilowatt-hours per year, or 68.7% of its electricity from coal as of 2006 (compared to 1.99 trillion kilowatt-hours per year, or 49% for the US ). [2] [3] Hydroelectric power supplied another 20.7% of China's electricity needs in 2006.
With approximately 13 percent of the world's proven reserves, there is debate as to how many years these reserves will last at current levels of consumption. [4]
China's coal mining industry is the largest and also deadliest in the world in terms of human safety [5] where thousands of people die every year in the coal pits, compared to 30 per year for coal power in the United States . [6] Coal production rose 8.1% in 2006 over the previous year, reaching 2.38 billion tons, and the nation's largest coal enterprises saw their profits exceed 67 billion yuan, or $8.75 billion
 
mentalfloss
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Renewable energy includes the massive hydro projects which destroy the environment, but don't worry about that.

I only gave them +1.

Whereas we have -50.

Oh hey, we got 1st place for the fossil of the day award again. Hurray for us!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWIVmYLsJbI
Last edited by mentalfloss; Nov 30th, 2011 at 10:33 AM..
 
petros
+1
#22
Quote:

Scientists claim planet is heading for 'irreversible' climate change by 2040

No sh!t Sherlock! Climate has been in change for billions of years and will continue to change for billions of years. Humans are but a mere blink in time. Get used to it.
 
mentalfloss
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

No sh!t Sherlock! Climate has been in change for billions of years and will continue to change for billions of years. Humans are but a mere blink in time. Get used to it.

Well, yea, I mean.. I can understand that you really meant to type something more than poop, but...
 
petros
#24
So you think you rolled yourself into the semis man? Nobody ****s with San Pedro.
 
Tonington
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Renewable energy includes the massive hydro projects which destroy the environment, but don't worry about that.

There's no such thing as development without consequences...is it better to flood a river, or to acidify an ocean and expand the world's tropics and deserts? Climate change mitigation will be a case of cost/benefits and many scenarios.
 
mentalfloss
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

There's no such thing as development without consequences...is it better to flood a river, or to acidify an ocean and expand the world's tropics and deserts? Climate change mitigation will be a case of cost/benefits and many scenarios.

Check out this speech by Jeffrey Sachs at U of M when you get a chance. It's almost 2 hours, but he does a really good job of framing our economic and environmental transition over the next 50 or so years. He also goes over the legitimacy of AGW, but because he's an economist, it comes with a heavy dose of pragmatism about how policy changes should be implemented.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2GyaNsQ2FQ
 
petros
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.

Feds looking to replace infrastructure program that's short on cash
 
mentalfloss
#28
Canada's incoherent approach in Durban

I am deeply concerned that Canada's minister of the environment is living in an alternative reality. His messaging around the Durban climate negotiations is neither factual nor coherent.

Peter Kent says that the Kyoto protocol has failed. In reality, Canada is the only country to ignore its legally binding emissions reductions targets. He also says that climate action is bad for the economy. Employment would grow faster with better climate policy and investment in renewable energy. By not acting, Canada is losing out on jobs to Europe and Asia.

He says that Canada is not obstructing the negotiations. In reality, Canada is negotiating on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, while lobbying against climate legislation in other countries.

My future has been sold to the highest bidder: the fossil fuel industry. I am a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to COP 17. We are in Durban to demand that Canada put people ahead of polluters by ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and investing in green jobs.

Peter Kent needs to come back to reality. My future is at stake.

Canada's incoherent approach in Durban
 
petros
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

My future is at stake.

mmmmm stake.
 
mentalfloss
#30
The Big Lie in the Durban U.N. Climate Talks

The problem with the U.N. climate talks in Durban, now into their third day, is not just that the big polluters like China and the U.S. refuse to make any meaningful commitments to cut carbon pollution. It’s also the fact that the entire negotiation is based on a big lie. Or, to be more charitable about it, on a mass delusion.

Jonathan Pershing, the lead U.S. climate negotiator, spelled it out yesterday when he said, according to one media report, "there [are] an infinite number of pathways to stay below 2 degrees Centigrade."

If you are interested enough in the climate crisis to read this post, you probably know that 2 degrees Centigrade of warming (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is the widely acknowledged threshold for "dangerous" climate change. To meet the 2 C limit, most climate scientists agree that we have to hold levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million. Right now, we’re at 390 ppm, with a growth rate of about 2 ppm per year.

The entire objective of the U.N. climate talks is to negotiate an agreement under which all the nations of the world agree to work together to prevent, in U.N.-speak, "dangerous anthropogenic interference of the climate system." In other words, to limit CO2 levels to 450 ppm.

But here’s the problem: There are not, as Pershing put it, "an infinite number of pathways" to this goal. There is, at best, one pathway – and that is a massive, World War II-scale effort to, as climate blogger Joe Romm puts it, "deploy every conceivable energy-efficient and low carbon technology that we have today as fast as we can." (You can read Romm’s full analysis of what it would take to stabilize CO2 levels at 450 ppm here.)

So yes, if a Winston Churchill of the climate crisis suddenly emerges and we begin bulldozing coal plants all over the world, we may be able to save ourselves from dangerous climate change. But let’s not be naive. Despite all the progress climate scientists have made in understanding the risks we run by loading the atmosphere with CO2, the world is still as addicted to fossil fuels as ever. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. In fact, rather than decreasing, global warming pollution is on the rise. Last year saw a six percent increase in CO2 emissions – the biggest jump ever. As two noted climate scientists wrote in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society:
There is now little to no chance of maintaining the rise in global mean surface temperature at below 2°C, despite repeated high-level statements to the contrary. Moreover, the impacts associated with 2°C have been revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2°C now more appropriately represents the threshold between dangerous and extremely dangerous climate change.
A recent report by International Energy Administration put the challenge of hitting the 450 ppm target into stark relief, pointing out that within five years, the infrastructure – power plants, factories, cars, etc. – will be in place to drive CO2 levels beyond 450 ppm.

Even within the Obama administration, the fact that these U.N. targets are unattainable is an open secret. Back in 2009, while I was working on a Rolling Stone profile (PDF) of U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, I asked him about the chances of limiting atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 450 ppm.

His reply: “The fact is, we’re not going to level out at 450 ppm …. I hope we hit 550 ppm. Who knows?"

In other words, the U.N. climate talks failed long ago, and what’s going on now in Durban is just a ghost dance. This doesn’t mean we should give up trying to cut emissions. That's still hugely important; in fact, you could say that the fate of civilization depends on it. But happy talk about "infinite pathways" is just bull****. Nothing short of an all-out social or technological revolution (I hear engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab are making great progress on nuclear fusion …) is going to save us from crossing over into the realm of "dangerous" climate change in the near future. The sooner we admit that – and the sooner we prepare for it with honest talk about the challenges of living on a hotter planet – the better.

The Big Lie in the Durban U.N. Climate Talks | Jeff Goodell | Rolling Stone