Running Doha wrap up - the key stories from the climate talks
- 07 Dec 2012, 09:00
- Carbon Brief Staff
The UN climate change meetings always add a note of
excitement to news coverage of climate change, and Doha has been no
different. Here's a running wrap up of the key developments as the
conference enters its last day.
Major emitter standoff
Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy to the meeting,
told reporters yesterday that the United States is on
track to meet President Obama's own target of a 17
per cent emissions reduction on 2005 levels by 2020. The Union of
Concerned scientists points out that this is contrary to evidence
provided by the government's own
Energy Information Agency, which predicts a 9%
Meanwhile, China has promised to make a 'due contribution'
to a global effort to reduce emissions, but maintains that
developing countries are
'the victims' climate change. The Chinese
delegation pointed to the 200 trillion yuan (£200 billion)
investment that China has made so far in cutting emissions as
evidence of its progress.
Developing country tears
A member of the Filipino delegation
broke down in tears on the floor of the
conference this morning as the frustration of days without
agreement took its toll. The delegation called for agreement in the
'precious few hours' of the meeting remaining in an emotional plea
for nations to overcome their differences and renew their efforts
to combat climate change.
There has also been general
disappointment in the leadership of host
nation, Qatar. While Qatar announced a new
research centre there has not been any indication that they will
set new emissions reduction targets, as many had
There has also been a lot of arguing over how any deal to
help developing countries
meet the costs of climate change will be
financed. Developing countries want firm commitments from the
developed nations that they will honour a three-year old pledge
contribute $100 billion annually by 2020. A
request has also been tabled for
$60 billion of 'interim' financing to add to
the $30 billion of 'fast-start' financing promised by the end of
Monckton on a camel
One of the more bizarre spectacles to grace the meeting was
the sight of climate skeptic campaigner Lord Monckton on
He was appearing as 'Monckton of Arabia' to
encourage the delegates to re-think their efforts.
Monckton subsequently posed as a
delegate from Myanmar, earning boos from the
conference floor after claiming global warming had stopped, and
calling for a review of the science of climate change. Posing as a
delegate appears to have
got him evicted from the conference centre
and barred from the UNFCCC process for life, and with his
accreditation gone, it appears he's been asked to leave
A draft agreement
Finally, for the moment, twitter is alive with news
of a draft
agreement. The draft re-affirms a commitment to
keeping temperature change below two degrees, but fails to outline
any more specific targets to achieve the goal.
It looks as though the talks are set to continue
late into the night, report Reuters.
Al-Attiyah has called for the next stock-taking session to be at
11pm local time (8pm UK time). Delegations will continue to work on
drafts in the meantime.
The Guardian report that agreement over the wording of a
draft text circulated this morning is still failing to materialise.
Negotiators say that they key points of
four draft texts in circulation need to be
included in the final text in some form.
Arguing over 'hot air'
Another ongoing argument is over what happens to carbon
permits that were allocated under the Kyoto Protocol. Poland and
Russia were given free permits to keep their heavy industries
running. But the permits were no longer needed when Eastern
European industry collapsed. That meant the permits could be sold
without the countries having to make any effort to reduce
emissions. The permits then become known as 'hot air'.
But Poland is refusing to surrender its permits. The EU
working towards a compromise that would allow
Poland to continue to sell the permits, but for no buyer to
purchase more than 2.5 per cent of Poland's quota.
Reuters report that
two activists have been deported from Qatar
following a demonstration in the conference centre. The activists
held a banner reading 'Qatar, why host not lead?'.
The activists are not the only ones frustrated with the hosts
of the conference. The President of the Conference, Abdullah
bin-Hamad al Attiyah, has been accused of
failing to take the control of the meeting,
report BusinessGreen. While the EU Climate Commissioner Connie
Hedegaard is pushing for a single Ministerial meeting, Attiyah
still refuses to convene one.