Letter of COP 19 Delegates to Green Youth – Day 2

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Hi all,

The second day of the Climate Summit is now over, and your FYEG delegation is still working to give you some news.

But before the news, here is how we feel:

Anton: I feel somehow exhausted, but I think it is because I (as Shenna) started to fast in solidarity with the Philippines and am VERY hungry right now. But it is more organized than yesterday, and tracking negotiations makes a lot of fun, as I am now back in the process.

Anna: First days at COP have been both overwhelming and exciting. But the feeling seems to be shared among the youth and we are working here together and supporting each other in every way. I’m so happy to have this opportunity to experience and share this huge and important event.

Max: I’m feeling less overwhelmed and feeling like I am starting to have a grip on things, each speech made by Philippines (which always ends up in tears) makes it easier to stay motivated and determined. I am trying to get my head around loss & damage policy and all the UNFCCC acronyms! Brilliant action by the Philippines and YOUNGO including our brave Shenna this morning.

Shenna: Today is a milestone of how various groups stand with each other towards the same goal. I feel optimistic and empowered on how we can reclaim our rights and future. Thus, I have decided to go on fasting together with the Filipino lead negotiator and several civil society organisations. Hopefully this will be sustained throughout and beyond COP 19. I assume I will be able to divert occasional feeling helplessness and hopelessness due to possible dire results given corporate lobbying here who are partly accountable to the tragedies happening in this world.

And here they are, the news of the day!

Inside the civil society it is happily seen that the media at COP is getting the message about the link between the impacts of Climate Change (e.g. the typhoon in the Philippines) and what happens at COP 19.

Loss & Damage:

There has been a good update from the EU side: They would like to make progress in the Loss & Damage discussions. They showed condolences for Philippines and before for Mexico.  From their point of view, a reality check for urgency is needed. It is now the first chance to engage and to deliver on the decisions made in Doha (to elaborate a mechanism how to work with Loss&Damage).  It needs to be effective and efficient.

Bolivia wants a mechanism established at Warsaw, it is a red line for them, otherwise the talks will be in trouble.

In the body responsible for science and technology (SBSTA – Sub-Sidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice) there has been a proposal, made by Brazil, that would give countries credits for actions taken and would allow countries to bank their actions (can also be used as a leaderboard). However, it would take 18 months to create a report which is too slow especially in regards to COP 21 in Paris, where the new agreement shall be agreed on.

The Polish Government is nervous about the start of the COP and has accepted a civil society meeting which should happen today. This is a consequence of media traction by NGOs, for example CAN Europe, which was reported in the Financial Times (UK paper) for example. The Polish narrative is not being picked up but the Philippine’s one is, which puts Poland in a difficult situation.

Some EU member states were criticising the Polish Ministry of Environment during the meeting (e.g. Finland, France). The Polish government is out of touch with its people,  it is creating a distinction between itself and its people.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/climate/COP19/Briefing-Poland-at-a-Crossroad.pdf

Japan will make an announcement at the COP about reducing their emission target which was 25% reduction by 2020 and will now be 3.8% reduction by 2020 on 2005 levels which is 0% reduction on 2005 levels. This means 7% increase on 1990 levels for 2020. To hide this, they want to give a lot of money to the Green Climate Fund.

Australia: ‘We won’t support environmentalism that is masquerading as socialism’ and are rolling back their carbon tax. Their official target is 5% reduction on 1990 levels by 2020 and 20% on 1990 levels by 2020 if the rest of the world is going to do the same. Australia is not sending a minister to this COP so that they can focus on rolling back the carbon tax. The new government closed their Climate Commission (research body).

Today, the opening session of REDD+ took place too. REDD means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation”, adding “+” adds “promoting conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks” to the term. REDD+ basically allows countries to do anything of the above mentioned to “reduce” their emissions, so that they receive a lot of emission certificates which they can sell. It is seen as highly critical inside the youth and environmental NGO-movement as it will easily hurt human and common rights. In the proposed draft, local communities are seen as the main driver of deforestation, but this is not the reality. Furthermore, many fear of what might happens to indigenous people. Only Bolivia and the NGOs are taking a stand against it, but nearly all other countries are in favour of REDD as a new market-mechanism.

Voluntary Fasting Solidarity Action for the Philippines

Various groups including the youth and civil society organisations have called for fasting during COP19 hours after the official Filipino negotiator, Yeb Sano, delivered his opening speech at the plenary and his decision to go on a fast until concrete pledges have been made in terms of mitigation and adaptation particularly from the developed countries.

Fasting has started today and was presented here from 13:00-15:00. This aims to support in broadening the impact of Yeb’s message and demands in COP19. We are very hopeful that this stance will influence the speed and efficiency of the decision-making process towards a more sustainable future.

Have a nice evening,

Your FYEG delegates,

Anton, Shenna, Max and Anna

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