World Bank and dirty coal; rain makes you taller; IMF v Brazil on capital controls; Oxfam in Copenhagen; climate rows in graphics and the onward march of US unemployment: links I liked

December 15, 2009

What's on the Copenhagen table part 2: developing countries

December 15, 2009

Copenhagen: What have Developed Countries put on the table so far?

December 15, 2009
empty image
empty image

Here’s a handy guide from our Copenhagen team to all the offers currently on the table from developed countries (I’m now off to do a companion post on developing country positions). Do let me know if there are any mistakes/additions and I’ll pass them on.

European Union

Emission Reductions
At last week’s EU summit, leaders did not agree to 30% reduction target. Germany was a major blocker. In December 2008, the European Union committed to:
20% cuts in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020 in EU legislation; 30% if other developed countries commit to comparable reductions and advanced developing countries agree to take substantive efforts to reduce their emissions.

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
EU leaders agreed last week to provide €2.4bn per year for the next three years as ‘fast-start’ financing for urgent adaptation needs, and to kick-start action to tackle emissions growth in developing countries. This money, for short-term action, is mostly made up of a recycling of past promises, and payments that have already been made.

EU leaders agreed in October that up to €100bn per year by 2020 will be needed in developing countries to help them cope with global warming. From this figure, €22-50bn would come from public sources, with the EU’s fair share of this estimated by the European Commission, to be between €2-15bn per year. The EU meeting its fair share would be conditional on efforts of other countries, including developing countries – but not Least Developing Countries. The EU as a bloc has, however, failed to clarify if this money would or not come from existing promises made by rich countries to provide 0.7% of national income as development aid. Last week, individually, France and Spain joined the UK, Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium in arguing that rich countries must not divert money from schools and hospitals to pay for their climate debt.

Political Dynamics
EU leaders missed an opportunity last week to increase their emission target to 30% and make a unilateral offer on long-term finance. An increase in ambition from the EU is key to creating the space for other rich countries to raise their game. To regain trust with developing countries, EU leaders need to come to Copenhagen this week ready to commit their fair share of the long-term finance poor countries need – upwards of 35 billion euros in new money every year from 2013; and guarantee beyond all doubt that the money will come on top of the promises already made on development aid.

United States

Emission Reductions
The US says a final commitment is not possible until domestic climate legislation passes through the Senate in spring 2010, at the earliest. However, the US administration has proposed a conditional target “in the range of 17%” by 2020 below 2005 levels, which is equivalent to a 4% cut below 1990 levels

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
The US has not yet put any money on the table for long-term financing post-2012.
The US is expected to offer short-term financing of $1-1.3bn per year for 2010-2012 at Copenhagen, as part of a proposed $10bn per year package by rich countries.

Political Dynamics
While its overall level of ambition on emission cuts is low compared to most other rich countries, it is encouraging that the US administration has decided to come to Copenhagen with a mitigation offer, subject to the national legislative process. However, emissions are only half the deal – the other half is finance. If the Euputs long-term money on the table (post-2012), it will increase the pressure on the US to move on this.

Japan

Emission Reductions
In September, Japan announced 25% reduction in emissions by 2020 on 1990 levels.

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
Prime Minister Hatoyama has recognised the need for new and additional public resources, but an offer of finance is still not forthcoming. Japan is understood to be keen to avoid making long-term financing commitments at Copenhagen, but may move if the EU does.

Political Dynamics
The new government has brought a welcome new, more ambitious emissions target. However last week’s announcement that this was not for operationalisation within the binding framework of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol infuriated developing countries. [no I don’t know what that means either – I’ll check]

Australia

Emission Reductions
Australia announced in December 2008:
5% reduction in emissions by 2020 on 2000 levels
25% reduction if there is an agreement where major developing economies commit to substantially reduce emissions and advanced economies take on commitments comparable to Australia’s.

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
Prime Minister Rudd had previously said that delivering climate financing for developing countries ‘has to be dealt with’. As a Commonwealth country, Australia signed onto the recent Port of Spain declaration, which recognised that climate finance should be new and additional to existing aid commitments, but is yet to make a firm commitment on financing. 

Political Dynamics
The domestic emissions trading legislation was rejected by the Senate for a second time just before Copenhagen. This does not limit the Government’s practical ability to deliver emissions reductions. However, it does make it less likely that Australia will go to the top of its range due to the added domestic political difficulties. 

Canada

Emission Reductions
In 2006 Canada repudiated its Kyoto commitments. In 2008 Canada announced a target of 20% cuts by 2020 on 2006 levels, which is equivalent to a 3% cut on 1990 levels if LULUCF (Land use, land-use change and forestry) is excluded – including emissions from LULUCF, the target would imply an increase in emissions.

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
As a Commonwealth country, Canada signed onto the recent Port of Spain declaration, which offered $10 billion per year by 2012 as fast start financing for developing countries. Despite agreeing to pay its fair share, Canada has not recognised that climate finance should be new and additional to existing aid commitments and has made no specific financial commitment beyond the current fiscal year. Canada’s past contributions to adaptation have come out of the aid budget

Political Dynamics
Canada’s low ambition on emission reductions, its repudiation of its Kyoto target, and lack of enthusiasm for negotiations to date appear linked to the government’s desire to protect expanding oil production in the Prime Minister’s home province. Ambition from the US will be key to unlocking ambition in Canada, as Canada has argued it must move in lock-step with the US to remain competitive.

Norway

Emission Reductions
In October, Norway committed to a 40% reduction in emissions on 1990 level and to become “carbon neutral” by 2030

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
Architect of the ‘Norwegian Proposal’ – a mechanism which could raise hundreds of billions of dollars per year through the auctioning of international emission permits to rich countries. This money could be used for climate action in developing countries. Norway and Mexico have presented today (15 December) a joint document with key elements from both the Mexican and the Norwegian proposals.

Political Dynamics
Norway is the only rich country to commit to curbing emissions by 40% or over, which is in line with what the science says is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.

New Zealand

Emission Reductions
In August, New Zealand announced a 10-20% reduction in emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

Climate Finance Offer For Developing Countries 
As a Commonwealth country, signed onto the recent Port of Spain declaration, which offered $10 billion per year by 2012 as fast start financing for developing countries, and recognised that climate finance should be new and additional to existing aid commitments. 

Political Dynamics
New Zealand argues that its reliance on agriculture makes it a special case among rich countries as far as emissions reductions go. However its current targets fall a long way short of its fair share.

5 comments

  1. I find Australia’s approach an interesting one to analyze.. “25% reduction if there is an agreement where major developing economies commit to substantially reduce emissions and advanced economies take on commitments comparable to Australia’s.”

    In a broader context, these terms leak the good intentions of countries who rightfully feel betrayed by the biggest polluters. Not only would a more responsible U.S. approach to emissions reduction be better for the physical world in and of itself, but, based on the terms of the Australian agreement, there would be an upward spiral to include more countries who would not want to bear an uneven cost of higher emissions standards.

    Given the unwillingness of past U.S. cooperation with the Kyoto Protocol, it is extremely reputable that smaller and developing countries stand up to reduce emissions despite the embarrassing and apathetic precedent from the world’s largest economic power.

    Hopefully the example of Norway will influence the biggest polluters to take responsibility for their actions.

  2. The Japanese Envionment Minister was said to have said different things according to different media – some said Japan would stick to the 25% target no matter what, others reported him as saying they might lower the target unless the US and China join. But that’ past now – they have since agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol under which Japan will be obliged to honour the commitment, provided that the US and China also set some targets under in a separate track.

    On finance, you should bear in mind that Japan strongly opposes placing any limit on the use of ODA for climate finance.

  3. I find Australia’s approach an interesting one to analyze.. “25% reduction if there is an agreement where major developing economies commit to substantially reduce emissions and advanced economies take on commitments comparable to Australia’s.”

    In a broader context, these terms leak the good intentions of countries who rightfully feel betrayed by the biggest polluters. Not only would a more responsible U.S. approach to emissions reduction be better for the physical world in and of itself, but, based on the terms of the Australian agreement, there would be an upward spiral to include more countries who would not want to bear an uneven cost of higher emissions standards.

    onlineuniversalwork

Leave a comment