1.1. Climate change tops British agenda in speech to UN
23 September 2006 , Reuters
Britain ‘s foreign secretary warned at the United Nations on Friday that climate change was a growing threat to international security and the world economy, saying the next 10 years would be crucial.
In sharp contrast to the priorities laid out by U.S. President George W. Bush in his speech on Tuesday, Margaret Beckett devoted around half her speech to climate change, touching only briefly on world crises such as the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.
London and Washington have long referred to their "special relationship," and Britain is the closest ally in the U.S. war on terror.
Yet Beckett used the word "terrorism" only once, when she urged Iran to address international concerns over its "support for terrorism" as well as its nuclear ambitions.
"The security challenges the world faces are real. As an international community we must deal with them," Beckett said. "But standing united also requires us to take up a second, deeper level of global responsibility: tackling the underlying problems that promote conflict and underdevelopment."
"There will be no stability and security in our global community while so many millions of men, women and children in that community face only a life of hunger, poverty, inequality and disease," she said.
Beckett said climate change posed a "huge challenge" and the "developed, rich world" needed to lead the way in solving it since it bears a large responsibility for the present level of greenhouse gas emissions.
Next decade will count the most
"If we do not act now, an unstable climate will undermine our progress in all those other areas that matter to us," she said, singling out water supply as a likely cause of tension.
Beckett told Reuters on Thursday that the next U.S. president should quickly get involved in global negotiations to slow global warming.
Bush, who leaves office in January 2009, withdrew the United States from the 163-nation Kyoto Protocol for curbing global warming early in his first term, saying the agreement would hurt the U.S. economy and unfairly exempt developing nations like China and India from initial emissions limits.
Many scientists say greenhouse gases from cars, power plants and the burning of forests may push up world temperatures by perhaps a further 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) by 2100, causing more droughts, floods and rising sea levels.
Beckett said China was an example of a dilemma facing the rest of the world, with the economy growing rapidly to the benefit of all, but at a cost of growing use of fossil fuels.
"We must recognise that talk of having either a successful economy or a stable climate is a false choice," she said, adding that technology was already in place to move to a "low-carbon economy."
"What we do in the next 10 years will count the most."
1.2. Update on NAPs II and EU ETS review
The process of evaluation of the NAPs by the EC and the Member States is ongoing. (After the sumbission of a NAP, the EC reviews it and provides questions for MS. Then MS presents its NAP and answers the question in the working group consisting of all MSs and the EC. Then it presents it at the Climate Change Committee after which approval the EC could approve it).
6 NAPs have been discussed in the Climate Change Committee yesterday and if no disagreements we could expect the first approved NAPs II very soon. The next round of disccussions in Climate Change Committee will be held in mid October. It is a clear tendency that MS15 are bombarding MS10 with questions re overallocation. From NAPI evaluation experiences, EC is addressing the questions provided by NGOs in the working group meeting.
An example of cap setting in NAPII and projections:
Finland has finalised a sector-level draft national allocation plan (NAP) for the second phase of the EU emissions trading scheme, proposing to reduces allocation by 15 % compared to the NAP1. However Finnish ETS companies emitted in 2005 25% less (11.68 Mt excess) than allocated in NAPI (45.02Mt).
Therefore it is an open question, whether the 15% reduction of cap in NAPII is a real reduction and it is important to stress that countries should take into account the real emmissions of EU ETS sector in 2005.
A report from the EC on issues to be discussed re revision of the EU ETS directive would be delayed and is expected in October. The EC explains the delay claiming the priority put to scrutinize NAPs II.
Amount of external credits in the EU ETS will be the one of the issues for the EU ETS review. This point gains increasing attention not only among stakeholders but also in the European Parliament. The EU directive sets a rule that external credits should be additional to the domestic efforts to reduce GHG (in EC interpretation it counts to up to 50%).
NGOs argue strongly for domestic efforts that encourage technological innovations, creates jobs and shows the credibility of the EU ETS as an environmental effective tool. Therefore key NGOs position is to limit the influx of external credits into the EU ETS and to ensure quality of the credits (gold standard).
In NAP II extend of use of external credits varies from 50 to 7 percent. Below is the example of several countries:
Spain – 50%, Poland – 25% of installation cap, Sweden – 20%, Austria – 17,5 %, Germany – 12% of installation cap, Finland – 12%, France – 10 %, Italy – 10%, Greece – 9 %, UK- 8 %, NL – 8%, Slovakia – 7 %.
For more information contact Ruta at [email protected].
1.3. Joint implementation committee kick-starts ‘Track 2’
19 September 2006