Reading the Accords – the morning after

Climate change negotiations closed Saturday 19 September without reaching an internationally legally binding agreement. Re-reading them on the morning after makes for disappointment, given what was needed. But it also shows that key issues did move – for some. The benchmark was high. South Africa  had pushed for a two-track agreement – amendments to the Kyoto Protocol setting up a 2nd commitment period, and a legally binding agreement under the Convention to bring in the US, bind finance for adaptation… Read moreReading the Accords – the morning after

Copenhagen Accord

The Copenhagen Accord was done between a smaller group of leaders, not in the full Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC Herewith a brief summary of the main elements of the Copenhagen Accord – more analysis will follow tomorrow: •    No clear statement on continuing Kyoto with commitments by developed countries for a 2nd period – but still references to Kyoto, who’s fate remains in the balance •    No numbers on mitigation in the text. In earlier versions, there were… Read moreCopenhagen Accord

Last chance at clinching a deal

Throughout the UNFCCC COP15 Conference the common call has been the need for the process to end with a Fair, Ambitious and Binding deal. Being in Copenhagen fills one with the sense of urgency to contribute towards clinching a deal. While us as observers are disappointed that we were not allowed into the Bella Center for the last two days, world leaders are expressing their frustration that we do not have a deal yet.

High drama – leadership needed

As the climate negotiations brace themselves for the arrivals of Heads of State on Wednesday and Thursday, there was high drama as negotiators sought to conclude text to present to Presidents and Prime Ministers.   Negotiations in the Convention track went through the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. Negotiators had given up hope of producing ‘clean’ text, i.e. agreement, already. What seemed possible was ‘bracketed’ text, meaning documents that clearly frame the options – and where the differences lie. The key… Read moreHigh drama – leadership needed

SA speaks to mitigation numbers

Statement by South African Environment Minister, Buyelwa Sonjica, at an event at COP-15 on Tue 15 December 2009. She was speaking at an event organised jointly by Brazil, South Africa, India and China. She spoke to the numbers announced earlier by President Zuma on ‘deviation below baseline’. “South Africa recognises that as a responsible global citizen, we want to take more action, not only because we have a responsibility for future generations, but also because the science tells us that… Read moreSA speaks to mitigation numbers

The Minister keeps us in the loop!

Having only arrived on Sunday the 13th in Copenhagen, halfway through the negotiations, Meagan and I (Thapelo) were really privileged to find that a meeting (briefing session) had been arranged with the South African delegation team, including the Minister herself, for all interested parties from South Africa. Although the Minister herself could not be in the meeting for long due to an emergency ministerial meeting of the Africa Group to address the “killing Kyoto” saga of that morning, she managed… Read moreThe Minister keeps us in the loop!

My first impression of COP15

On arrival in this city I was no doubt surprised by the icy cold weather, which for someone who has never experienced a winter in the Northern Hemisphere, has taken a while to adapt to. That said, once here I found myself immediately immersed in COP15 activities. Once I had done my two and a half hours in the registration queue I finally entered the Bella Centre. While a number of events were attended it was obvious from this first… Read moreMy first impression of COP15

Ministers start working – after a while

On Monday, Ministers started engaging in the negotiations under the guidance of the COP President, Danish Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard.  This is unusual – at a typical COP, Ministers come only for the last three days and spend most time making national statements and holding bi-lateral meetings.  Copenhagen is different.  A whole list of ‘crunch issues’ has been kicked from the negotiator level to that of Ministers. (For a sense of the issues, see earlier posting on Week 2). This… Read moreMinisters start working – after a while

Bloggers Change

With the end of week one and the beggining of the last week ERC interns Nothando Mungwe and Kim Coetzee, and ERC staffer Max Edkins head home to (much sunnier) South Africa and are replaced as bloggers by Meagan Jooste, Thapelo Letete and Anya Boyd. So this is Nothando and I saying goodbye Copenhagen, hello Cape Town.