You could be forgiven for thinking there is too much information about carbon and climate change. Too much in fact to form any strong views or opinions on where the challenge is being driven. Or rather being left with an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
Take the pithy comment of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) when it analysed the outcome of the recent UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Bonn: “How do you drive a multi-track process forward when some parties already have what they want, others want what is impossible and all imagine different futures?”
I must say that after talking to some of my fellow delegates at UNFCCC I had the feeling the argument about the content of the agendas was more about making sure key issues did not drop off the agenda than trying to slow down the process.
As for shipping, the facilitator’s note produced after the conclusion of the recent UNFCCC meeting of the AWG LCA (Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Co-operative Action under the Convention) mainly resembled the options discussed before COP15 in Copenhagen in December, 2009.
To find out more about the recent talks in Bonn read my blog http://blog.lr.org/2011/06/catching-up-with-cancun-and-copenhagen and look at www.unfccc.int and www.iisd.org.
A neat summing up of the task ahead of the UNFCCC negotiators was again provided by IISD who said of the next six months of negotiations: “Like Odysseus who faced many dangers on his long journey home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, governments have to navigate through their own hazards if they want to have a more successful outcome in Durban” .
Meanwhile Carbon Expo, the annual carbon market get-together in Barcelona, saw the launch of the International Emission Trading Association’s Carbon Market Sentiment survey.
Those polled did not foresee much progress on legally binding agreements in Durban (COP 17), but some progress may be made under AWG LCA such as REDD+, technology transfer and climate finance.
One of the survey’s more interesting findings was that approximately 60% of respondents said the transport sector could be a key source of demand for future project offsets which they said was likely to occur between 2016 and 2020 for shipping. So let’s watch this space.
Another event of interest to the maritime community – the second European Commission consultation on shipping and greenhouse gases – also ended in Brussels recently. As there were no direct proposals from the EC, delegates must refer back to the CE Delft report ( http://blog.lr.org/2011/06/decision-time-for-co2/ ). There is no doubt that difficulties multiply when you compare regional and global options. Non-global solutions looked increasingly likely and it reminded me of a possible scenario based on global governance in Case for Action for Sustainable Shipping Initiative: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/projects/sustainable-hipping-initiative – namely ”regionalisation of governance where changing rivalries and coalitions undermine international frameworks leading to a patchwork world”.
I hope my current feelings of sadness will be replaced by optimism later this summer. In between I do see some chinks of light such as organisations drafting scenarios or plans on how to move to a zero fossil fuel future.
Have a good day and keep smiling!