“The Doha COP caravan is lost in a sandstorm. There is not enough ambition here,” said Ronny Jumeau, ambassador on climate change for the Seychelles, representing the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).“We can’t be in a situation a few years from now where some countries say economic circumstances prevent them from meeting their pledges,” Jumeau said at a press briefing.
The long expected climate meeting in Doha did not bring any proper solution on how to lower the carbon footprint and how to assign finances to help the less developed economies to protect themselves against the rising sea levels, storms, droughts and other damaging climate change impacts.
It seems that many of the governments have a short-term memory loss. Only $23.6bn of the promised in 2009 $100bn for a Green Climate Fund has so far been delivered ahead of a deadline at the end of this year. This so-called “fast-start finance” was meant to kick-start global climate funding efforts. However, according to the International Institute for Environment and Development, the majority of fast-start finance has come in the form of loans, which poorer countries will have to repay with interest. This jeopardizes the whole idea of such a fund…
The , and while more is expected to come from European countries, the UK’s pledge is currently the only formal post-2012 funding commitment to be made at the negotiations.
The US, which has mobilised about $7.5bn over the past three years, has yet to state what it will commit from next year, although senior officials have indicated new funding will be delivered. “We have every intention to continue pressing forward with funding of that same kind of level, to the greatest extent that we can,” Todd Stern, the senior State Department diplomat at the talks, said at a briefing.
So far, only the EU and Australia have agreed to new carbon commitments, leaving 85 per cent of the world’s emissions – including the planet’s biggest polluters, China and the US – outside a new deal aimed at keeping global average temperature rise below 2ºC. Russia is also thought to be backing away from the 25 per cent emissions reduction target it announced at the Rio +20 conference over the summer towards a range of 15 per cent and 25 per cent.
The finances were the core of the problem in the summit. The “rich” countries are in a self-inflicted monetary and fiscal mess, the “developing” countries are still developing and are not willing to share even a tiny bit of their GDP for a Green Climate Fund and the “poor” countries cannot change the status quo simply because they lack the finances…
Barbara Kux, a member of the Board at Siemens and its Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “Finance is not the bottleneck, technology is not the bottleneck, businesses are not the bottleneck. There is one bottleneck and that’s policy.”
THE BIG MISSING on the discussion table – food insecurity!
Qatar may be one of the richest countries in the world, but it has something in common with its African counterparts – food insecurity. This Middle-Eastern oil-producing nation imports 90 percent of its food because it is a dryland country.
Climate Analytics, along with Germany’s Pik Potsdam Institute, prepared the World Bank report “Turn Down the Heat” that warns many parts of the world won’t be able to grow food if global temperatures rise by four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
The report also warns humanity is on the path to a four-degree-C world, a world with unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods, with serious impacts on ecosystems and agriculture.
A four-degree-warmer C world means an average of four to 10 degrees warming over land, too warm for many crucial food crops. Large parts of Africa, China, India, Mexico and the southern United States will suffer declines for that reason, said Schaeffer. There will also be significant changes in rainfall patters and higher evaporation levels.