TUESDAY 6 DECEMBER
At a higher level
— With the groundwork laid by the negotiators in Durban, all that is left is for parties to the Climate Convention to reach agreement — that is why countries brought in their high-level people, presidents and prime ministers and other ranking officials. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Conference to reach a range of decisions that keep the momentum going toward action on climate change, and to a legally binding agreement. The key outcomes involve things such as finance for climate change, ensuring that there is transparency to what countries are doing, deepening cooperation assistance for climate adaptation, and probably the biggest question, how to reach agreement on a new commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol.
Momentum for Change
— Lord Nicholas Stern, the man who headed the report known as the “Stern Report” that showed that it was economically possible to reduce emissions without harming economic performance, is spearheading a new UNFCCC initiative that was unveiled here tonight, featuring ten projects, mostly from Africa, that contribute to fighting poverty, can be scaled up and replicated in other countries and regions. The initiative will run for three years and will provide a platform to showcase successful public-private partnerships at all levels that have led to real benefits for people and the climate.
The emissions gap — The amount by which emissions will have to be reduced in order to keep the global temperature increase below 2 ⁰C this century is getting larger, according to a new UNEP report that has garnered considerable attention here in Durban. The report shows that around 6 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide emissions need to be cut by 2020 — rather than the 5 Gt estimated last year. But the report shows that it is possible to achieve reductions of between 14 to 20 Gt of CO2 equivalent by 2020 without any major technological breakthroughs.
Visualizing climate — Asked to show how climate is affecting Africa, their country or community, about 700 youths from across Africa sent in pictures or videos to the Africa-wide Connect4Climate competition. The winners were announced here in Durban, and Dina Osman from, of all places, Durban, won top honors for a film “Solar Panels: The Sunny Energy,” along with Kenyan Dina Osman who submitted the rap “Me and My Bike.” C4C, as it is known, has a Facebook following of over 100,000, with a weekly online reach of six million.
Rating Climate Performance
— A new report issued today by the NGO Greenwatch and the Climate Action Network-Europe compares the emission reduction efforts and the policy efforts of 58 countries that produce more than one per cent of the global emissions. The best countries? The report leaves the first three slots open, as it felt that no country was exceptional, but the number four, five and six slots were taken by Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany.