Urgently Searching for a Path Forward

Posted on 10 December 2010 by admin

By Nastasya Tay

CANCÚN, Mexico, Dec 10, 2010 (IPS/TerraViva) – Civil society organisations here are demanding real progress in talks at the 16th Conference of the Parties on the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace and the Global Campaign for Climate Action. Credit: Nastasya Tay/IPS

Speaking Thursday on the penultimate day of negotiations, the heads of several international NGOs strongly asserted the need for decisive leadership, courage and creativity on the part of country delegates on the final day of negotiations.

At the moment, the biggest barrier to progress is a lack of clarity about what the path forward looks like in terms of the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the Climate Action Network’s David Turnbull told IPS.

“Especially in terms of how countries are going to anchor their pledges into the negotiations in a way that actually allows greater ambitions on those levels,” Turnbull said.

The pressure – and the blame laid for the lack of movement so far – is landing hardest on particular countries.

“Japan’s position has been inflexible and unacceptable since day one,” said Turnbull, “and it’s totally unacceptable.”

But blame does not lie only with Japan. “The U.S .doesn’t have a lot to bring to the table because of the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive climate legislation,” explained Turnbull, “and the U.S. negotiators are feeling very hesitant to move forward on anything, it seems.”

They are even moving away from the Bali Action Plan, but what’s required is a demonstration of good faith, he said.

“We knew negotiations were at a precarious place coming out of Copenhagen,” said Turnbull, “We needed to restore confidence in the process itself.” He believes expectations and levels of ambition going into the talks were realistic, paving the way for progress on several fronts – including concrete decisions on adaptation, technology transfer, and finance.

Talks have reached a point where progress is required to build trust and confidence between negotiating countries – across the developed and developing world divide, said Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International.

“We’ve seen real progress in the last two weeks,” Hobbs said, and “now we’re in a position to see real practical moves.”

However, that does not preclude a repeat of the Copenhagen talks where delegates got into game-playing, warned Hobbes. They must start making concessions, talking to each other, working out solutions, he told the press.

Kumi Naidoo compares the campaign for international action on climate change to his experiences as a young activist during the apartheid regime in his native South Africa.

“However bleak things might be, with inspired leadership, with political will, and thinking about future generations, we can be inspired by the history of winning against all odds,” he told IPS.

Naidoo identifies the biggest barriers to progress as a lack of political will, as well as shortsightedness.

“Developed countries are currently not feeling the effects of climate change, and it is the people in poor countries who are feeling the effects and paying the first and most brutal price,” Naidoo said. “But we know that ultimately we get this right as rich and poor countries, and we secure the future of all our children and grandchildren. We get it wrong and we all go down together.”

“We are strangled by short-term political expediency, and short-term political interest, and election cycles,” he said.

Naidoo bemoans the lack of a legally binding treaty on the table, describing it as a tragedy.

“In Copenhagen, when you talked about a fair, ambitious and binding treaty, you weren’t thought of as a loony lefty, it was considered that you were making a mainstream demand. Here, you’re regarded as a fringe element,” he said.

Naidoo, a leader of the Global Campaign for Climate Action, believes that talks are at a crucial point in Cancún, with high expectations for next year’s negotiations in Durban.

“Leaders need to know they’re playing Russian roulette with the future of our planet. And history is going to judge this generation of leaders – including civil society if we cannot exert pressure and get the result in Durban – extremely harshly,” Naidoo said.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Gareeb Farid Says:

    To ensure Rights for all
    save a bit, reserve, preserve, conserve resources
    Let’s achieve significant change in mindset, behavior and attitude combat Climate Crisis, Reduce Risk & Poverty, save Bio-diversity – Peace for Humanity

    Way to Combat Climate Crisis, save Bio-diversity, Reduce Risk of Humanity
    sasrai – work locally-serve globally, initiative local-outcome global

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8450962401&ref=ts
    http://sasrai.wordpress.com/sasrai-movement/
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=86904&id=1095651282&l=abe1a204ea
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=18927&id=100000452565165&saved
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=42007&id=100000452565165&l=30fc880016

Leave a Reply


 

Photos from our Flickr stream

Waves and high tides are eating away at the beaches in Costa Rica’s Cahuita National Park, where the vegetation is uprooted and washed into the sea. Credit: Diego Arguedas/IPSInformal gold mining is the main source of mercury emissions in Latin America. An artisanal gold miner in El Corpus, Choluteca along the Pacific ocean in Honduras. Credit: Thelma Mejía/IPS.Community leader Olga Vargas and her granddaughter Valery (backs turned to the camera) chat with local residents on one of the hiking paths that the Women’s Association created in the Quebrada Grande reserve. Credit: Diego Arguedas Ortiz/IPSIn Quebrada Grande, the Agrarian Development Institute dedicated 119 hectares of land to forest conservation, which the Womens’ Association has been looking after for over a decade. Credit: Diego Arguedas Ortiz/IPS
The expansion of pineapple cultivation to the north of the capital San José has put pressure on forests in Costa Rica. There are pineapple plantations and a packing plant right behind the Quebrada Grande reserve. Credit: Diego Arguedas Ortiz/IPSOlga Vargas next to the greenhouse with which the Quebrada Grande de Pital Women’s Association began to revitalise its sustainable business, whose priority is reforestation. Credit: Diego Arguedas Ortiz/IPSIsabel Michi carefully tends seedlings in the greenhouse on her small organic farm in the settlement of Mutirão Eldorado in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Credit: Fabíola Ortiz/IPSVegetation is beginning to cover the dunes separating the sea from the mouth of the  Aguán river. Thanks to the recovery of the dunes, the town is more protected from the wind, and less vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Credit: Thelma Mejía/IPS

See all photos

 

With the support of