The UN climate negotiations started this week in Warsaw. For the second year in a row, the negotiations coincide with a massive typhoon hitting the Philippines. Last year at Doha, Philippine negotiator Yeb Saño asked, “Please, let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around.”
The Accra Caucus recently release a report that looks at the development of safeguards in Guyana, Indonesia, Nepal, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The report finds that “there are continuing concerns about the current direction of REDD+, especially in some countries”.
For the past two weeks, the UN has been talking about climate change in Bonn. Predictably enough, little was achieved in terms of meaningful actions to address climate change (like finding ways of reducing fossil fuel emissions, say). Neither was any progress made on REDD.
The UNFCCC has been discussing REDD in two fora at its meetings in Durban: the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA).
In the film Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a weatherman who finds himself living the same day over and over again. The UN climate negotiators have developed a variation on this theme. Once a year they meet and fail to agree on a binding deal that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The variation on Groundhog Day is that they meet in a different city each time.
A new report by the Accra Caucus “proposes an alternative vision for achieving the objective of reducing deforestation, arguing for policies and actions that would tackle the drivers of deforestation, rather than focusing exclusively on carbon.” Download the report here: in English; Spanish and French.
The Accra Caucus is a coalition of more than 100 non-governmental organisations from 30 countries. It was formed in August 2008, in Accra, Ghana at a meeting organised to discuss issues and concerns associated with REDD. Before COP-15 in Copenhagen, December 2009, the Accra Caucus produced a list of key messages to be included in any agreement on REDD.
On the final day of the UN climate change negotiations in Barcelona, two climate activists walked to the front of the main plenary and held up a banner reading “End CO2lonialism”. “They shouted about the dangers of carbon trading and were met with thunderous applause. They were immediately dragged out by police,” Rainforest Action Network’s Joshua Kahn Russell writes. The protest was one of the highlights of the meeting.
Another week, another series of UN climate talks. This time in Barcelona. This is the last week of negotiations before COP-15 in Copenhagen. Perhaps not surprisingly, things are not looking good. Rich countries ground the negotiations to a halt by refusing to agree to targets under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
The negotiations on REDD are heating up. After a week of mind-numbingly slow progress on REDD, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are now opposing the inclusion of references to the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the COP14 decision text on REDD.
The Accra Caucus on Forests and Climate Change, a group of civil society and Indigenous Peoples organisations, has released the following statement. The statement sets out 10 principles and an approach to financing that Accra Caucus considers to be crucial for the REDD negotiations and subsequent agreements.