Access Accra
This blog will compile the latest updates and insights from the UN climate change talks in Accra, Ghana (Aug 21-27, 2008) .

The talks represent the last negotiation session before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP14/CMP4) in Poznan, Poland this December - a critical step on the road to a new global deal in Copenhagen.

See www.tigblog.org/group/cydbonn for more of our reporting from the UN negotiations, as well as some great background material!

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First, I'd just like to say thank you to anyone who stayed posted through Access Accra. It's been a pleasure writing for each and every one of you, and I'm more than grateful for your vested interest.

Sorry there was no final wrap-up of the Convention, but for all of you who want something better than anything I could have written, the final ENB (Earth News Bulletin) is posted here:


It's only 10 pages too!

No but really, from the heart of my bottom, thank you for reading. I really do hope its helped as we continue down this road to Copenhagen (which we can only hope, looks as good as the picture).

Until Poland,


September 4, 2008 | 2:29 PM Comments  {num} comments

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LCA Interventions

CAN continued their awesome work during the LCA closing plenaries on Wednesday, with an intervention that differed greatly from the KP's in tone, but not in logic or constructiveness.

Since it was delivered by a Ghanaian, the intervention was held on a much more personal level, which we can only hope ensured effectiveness. I would paraphrase the opening paragraph, but that would just ruin it:

"I had hoped, as a Ghanaian that I would be able to find inspiration and hope during this week in Accra, that your presence here in my country, and the obvious climate threats we are facing, would spur you to further action. I am, however, worried for the pace of these negotiations, and the pathway forward to achieving an ambitious post-2012 agreement is still unclear to me and the pace of your progress dangerously slow."

Samuel Dotse, the deliverer, continued to acknowledge the few proposals and discussions that could be considered major accomplishments, namely the Norwegian proposal to auction AAU's to fund adaptation and mitigation, the REDD meetings, and the workshops on sectoral approaches.

The issue of absolute specificity dominated the rest of the speech, as CAN called for more concrete proposals on mitigation (in relation to MRV, comparability, and bunker fuels), adaptation (in relation to finance as part pf the polluter pays principle, instead of international aid), and technology cooperation and transfer.

CAN is absolutely right that without solid proposals on these issues and many others, a new agreement will not be ready by Copenhagen. Furthermore, CAN stressed that going head-to-head over the KP's mandate vs. the LCA's mandate is not achieving anything.

Overlap is bound to happen, as the two working groups are inextricably linked to the absolute mission of creating a new agreement for a new climate regime. They have to work together.

The intervention ended with an impassioned call to action for a "flurry" of new submissions to be made before Poland. Pray that it reached all in attendance.

Thanks again to CAN for providing texts of these fantastic interventions. We'll be back tomorrow when the final summaries and updates come out, so we can wrap this thing up!


August 29, 2008 | 12:09 PM Comments  {num} comments

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KP Interventions

The good people from the Climate Action Network staged quite the intervention during the closing plenary of the AWG-KP on Wednesday. While staying positive throughout, they managed to highlight a few major needs for work to be done before and during Poland, but cautioned the group that without accelerated action, the world's people (the poorest in particular) will face some dire circumstances.

First and foremost, CAN noted the true significance of this Ad-Hoc Working Group, stating that it "is in fact at the heart of [the Kyoto Protocol] process. If the heart stops beating, or stalls for a long period of time, the rest of the body dies with it."

With that in mind, they urged all in attendance to "breath new life and trust" to Poland in December, especially concerning (but not limited to) the following ideals:

The necessity for Annex 1 nations to move forward on aggressive national targets that are met by overwhelming reductions at home was highlighted, with a shift from unsustainable and inequitable consumption patters noted as the main mechanism. Quantitatively, cuts of 80%-95% from 1990 levels by 2050 were stressed (within Annex 1). Lastly, mitigation actions in developing countries must be supplemental to profound domestic reductions by these Annex 1 parties, and in no way can they shy away from the ultimate purpose of creating low-carbon economies in these non-Annex 1 parties.

Nuclear in the CDM
This one was easy, as the group simply urged all parties to discard even the thought, citing economic inefficiency (especially when compared to renewables), and the unresolved, semi- apocalyptic issues around safe disposal and potential proliferation.
Even if you are someone who believes that nuclear power is not as evil as everyone makes it out to be, the bottom line is that it doesn't compare to wind, solar, geothermal, or any of the other renewables in every imaginable criteria category. If we are to truly enter a climate regime, the half-way solution that nuclear represents cannot be our main motive. We have to go all the way, and it has to be with renewable power as a priority.

To narrow down the list of potential mechanisms, CAN suggested an extremely logical approach. When considering the options and before submitting what they hope will be detailed reactions, A1 parties should ask themselves one question:
"how will these items affect the size of my country's emissions reduction target?"
An all around good suggestion (I feel) since countries may actually start to weed out their pet projects that don't actually contribute to any kind of enhanced mitigation.

Bunker Fuels
For years now CAN has been stressing the need to control bunker fuels under the Kyoto Protocol. Aviation emissions are extremely straightforward to monitor on the basis of fuel sales and departing flights. Maritime emissions are more complex and present a bit of a dilemma: should they be used as a financial mechanism (sectoral approach to shipping could raise tens of billions of dollars a year for mitigation and adaptation) or should they simply be monitored and reduced. CAN acknowledges that this is no simple task, but stresses that it is under the responsibility of the Protocol to ensure that these emissions do not continue business as usual.

And finally, LULUCF
CAN (along with everyone else) was very happy with the progress made on LULUCF over the course of the discussions, but urge the Parties to clarify their stance on accounting, in particular:
1. That parties must ensure a reduction of business-as-usual emissions
2. That accounting for emissions from forest management cannot be optional
3. And that a country's LULUCF budget must have a limit (focus on fossil fuels!)

All in all, the intervention provided a promising list of initiatives for the group to pursue before Poland. Thank you CAN!


August 29, 2008 | 11:19 AM Comments  {num} comments

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The Floor

Now you have something to picture as you read all these posts about the UNFCCC convention in Accra, Ghana!

August 27, 2008 | 2:15 PM Comments  {num} comments

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KP Day 5: All Parts

Before we get to the LULUCF groups (which actually achieved something on Tuesday), a quick update on the flex mechanisms and 'other issues'.

The flex group continued to debate the list of possible improvements to the mechanisms. They stressed the need for further elaboration and so parties will be making submissions till October 17th on the matter. Draft conclusions and amendments were also presented, which included the use of nuclear activities under Joint Implementation (CDM contained in the developed world), as well as three options related to the eligibility of CCS (carbon capture and storage).

Other issues continued to push their items onto the Poznan agenda, claiming lack of consensus and in the case of greenhouse gas inventories, information.

Luckily, the LULUCF informal consultations and contact group made some headway. The five options around forest management that were presented at the beginning of the week were condensed to four (yippee!). They also included an explicit statement that Article 3.4 activities (additional activities) other than forest management would be discussed in due course. Things are getting simpler and not being left behind!

Some clarifications are also underway in relation to natural disturbances, gross-net vs. net-net accounting, and differentiating between emissions from harvesting and those from harvested wood products (remember the furniture conversation?).

So good times for LULUCF. Back tomorrow with a wrap of of the closing plenaries, and check back later this week for a full recap of the convention.


August 27, 2008 | 12:54 PM Comments  {num} comments

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