Critique on climate responsesPresentation Transcript
Where are they taking us? A critique on climate responses IBON Foundation CEC-Kalikasan, IFPRS July 5, 2011
Climate change has sharpened the debate on the real causes and consequences of the ecological crisis on the planet and humanity.
The climate crisis is indeed historical and its current state is a qualitative leap.
Neoliberal globalization has not only aggravated the economic and ecological crises but is also being used to justify the continuation of the unsustainable production and consumption patterns.
The ecological crisis is not simply a natural science issue – it is a social justice issue.
Reduce GHG emissions
30-55% below 1990 levels by the end of the 21 st century to keep change in temperatures below 1.5 °C
85% below 2000 levels by 2050
No market-based solutions such as carbon trading
Reject World Bank climate funding – no loans, no conditionalities. Financing should:
not be used to promote commercial and profit interests
support real and drastic solutions
guarantee a transition to low-carbon development planning
be legally-binding and obligatory
be adequate, fresh and additional
be focused on the vulnerable and gender-responsive
ensure meaningful people’s participation.
Shift from profit-oriented production to planned production based on human needs.
Assert biodiversity-based ecologically sound and low carbon production systems.
Think global, act local!
Install strong-willed governments
shift public resources away from unproductive spending such as militarization, debt payments and fossil fuel subsidies to social services and climate adaptation
come up with comprehensive plans to transform economies away from fossil fuels dependence to renewables
Reduce and pay
Immediately stop unsustainable patterns of production and consumption
Immediately stop neoliberal globalization
On emissions reduction
25-40% based on 1990 levels by 2020
Recognizing the need to keep change in temperatures below 2 °C, but no commitment to do so
A review by 2016 to consider if it will be necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C.
On emissions reduction
No stabilization target for CO 2 concentration in the atmosphere, no target date for the peaking of emissions, and no long-term goal for emissions reduction
Instead, developed countries are now called to individually submit to the UNFCCC non-binding targets for 2020.
On emissions reduction
Poor countries demand Annex I countries to commit emissions reductions against the base year 1990 by at least 45% by 2020, and by 85-95% or more by 2050 – reductions which, however bold, would only stabilize atmospheric CO 2 at 450 ppm.
But individual submissions of targets show that the submissions amount to mere 13-19% reductions of 1990-level emissions and may lead to a 3.9°C warming by 2100 if fully implemented.
On emissions reduction
Weakening of Annex I with US’s refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol plus Copenhagen’s own Appendix I?
In short, weakening the multilateral approach with the replacement of the Kyoto Protocol with a looser, unilaterally-determined and non-binding rule on emissions reduction.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries can pay for projects in underdeveloped countries which reduce or avoid emissions and in return, are awarded “credits” that can be applied to their own emission targets.
The Kyoto Protocol allocates “certified emissions reduction credits” (CER), which countries earning them may “bank” them for future use or may “sell” them to other industrialized countries under an “emissions-trading system”. This is called carbon trading.
The Kyoto Protocol has allowed rich countries and their TNCs to profit from climate change through carbon trading, where countries not meeting their emissions target may buy CERs from the carbon market.
In short, the TNCs can continue with their pollutive ways by simply buying up CERs, which theoretically are sold by countries that are not polluting enough, which may be non-existent after all.
The carbon market is worth some US$126 billion as of 2008.
The World Bank also seeks to extend the reach of the carbon market to include REDD (reduced emissions from avoided deforestation and degradation), sectoral and programmatic emissions reductions (covering entire sectors such as power, transportation, and waste management, as opposed to individual projects), and agricultural soil carbon sequestration.
The World Bank established two new carbon funds in 2008 – the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) for REDD, and the Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF) for sectoral projects – a move that will likely lock in a greater role for an expanded carbon market in mitigation finance in the future.
Allocation of US$30 billion for three years from 2010-2012, and a goal of channeling US$100 billion annually by 2020 to underdeveloped countries, but there are no guarantees
Set up a climate fund but does not establish new funding
Funds will continue to flow from bilateral and multilateral financial institutions that operate beyond the authority of the UNFCCC, in effect, financial support is more inadequate and unpredictable.
No commitment from G8 to provide the US$262 billion to US$615 billion (roughly one percent of world GDP) needed annually for adaptation and mitigation measures.
To date only US$21 billion to US$28 billion have either been pledged or actually made available for adaptation and mitigation projects.
They would only be willing to release these funds as part of their official development assistance (ODA), meaning as loans or grants which would require policy conditionalities from borrowing countries.
They also demand that countries such as China, India and Brazil give their share in the financing of adaptation and mitigation measures for the poor and most vulnerable countries when it is their TNCs that have increased the share of China, India and Brazil in global carbon emissions.
The World Bank corners the bulk of climate financing coming from the industrialized countries and commands mitigation and adaptation financing.
The World Bank targets the money from advanced capitalist countries used to purchase CERs to be the main source of mitigation finance for underdeveloped countries. Funds would flow from First World private corporations seeking to meet domestic emissions targets to the Third World to finance emissions-reducing activities, which cost cheaper than actually cutting emissions at home.
World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) launched in 2008 are donor-financed trust funds aimed at financing climate mitigation and adaptation measures. The World Bank holds the trusteeship and hosts the secretariat of the funds. Multilateral development banks including the World Bank itself, act as implementing agencies, delivering the funds to underdeveloped countries through loans and grant financing.
On other issues
Technology transfer – A mechanism was set up, which is meant to help transfer technology from rich countries to poor countries. But negotiations were stuck on patent questions.
Monitor, report, verify (MRV) mitigation actions – a mechanism was set up simply for developed countries to report their emissions inventories annually and for underdeveloped countries to report their inventories every two years.
Where to now?
Extension of Kyoto Protocol?
From Cancún to Durban: Countries are to develop low carbon development plans and strategies and decide how best to implement them. For developed countries, the options can include market mechanisms. For underdeveloped countries, mitigation will be matched by funding and technology.
A broad range of bold responses is needed
Lifestyle change and sustainable consumption
Grassroots direct actions
Building community resilience
Shift from the capitalist system to a planned production system that puts human needs and sustainable consumption at the top of its agenda
Social justice should be the center of our aspirations and struggles. It can only be served with the active role of the people and not by passively waiting for the TNCs and domestic elites to have a ‘change of heart’.
Even if the Earth would survive the worst catastrophe if no action is taken to stem or stop global warming, humans may not