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Day Two At Bali

December 4, 2007

Day Two at the Bali Conference sees an intensification of the “inSide Climate Change” programmes. “inSide” is the UNFCCC’s witty title for the side events and exhibits at Bali 07 and is often a good indicator of the issues that shall be on the agenda for upcoming conferences. inSide is thus a great place to hang out if you want to get a sense of the future and, if you time it right, get to free lunch on donor-body expense. Because lunch is a serious issue. Not content with making collossal amounts of money off the UN for hosting their conference, the Bali conference centre offers meals at (literally) One million Rupiyah a pop – which works out to about 10 dollars for a grubby sandwich; but the point about the side events is that they offer a glimpse into big businesses plans for our environment. And there are many.

The interesting thing about climate change is that the pressure for change has not been entirely local; as we know, most negotiations are based on the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 that bound certain developed and transitional countries – called Annex 1 countries – to agree to legally binding cuts to reduce emissions to 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels. The idea being to limit the rise in average global temperature to below 2 degrees of the pre-industrial era. How such figures are tabulated can be rather mysterious – but a German delegate I met assured me that these figures could, should and have been tabulated and are infact available on the internet. Having casually flipped through the UNFCCC site, i see they can be accessed here. However, he did mention the fact there was considerable uncertainty regarding the carbon stored in certain sites – particularly in the case of Forest land.

Coming back to the emission reductions, I found a perfectly worded summary on the link i posted in the last blog entry, and to quote the Earth Negotiation Bulletin “The Protocol also stablished three flexible mechanisms to assist Annex I parties in meeting their national targets cost-effectively: an emissions trading system; joint implementation (JI) of emission reduction projects between Annex I parties; and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows for emission reduction projects to be implemented in non-Annex I parties (developing countries). Following COP 3, parties began negotiating many of the rules and operational details governing how countries will implement and measure their emission reductions. To date,
the Kyoto Protocol has 176 parties, including Annex I parties representing 61.6% of Annex I greenhouse gas emissions in
1990. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005.”

Apart from Governments, companies can also buy carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market in an attempt to offset their own emissions – this is where the real money is to be made. Perhaps one of the most significant systems to emerge from the Bali conference could be the beginings of negotiations to incorporate forests and avoided deforestation into the carbon markets system. It is to these forests that we must turn our attention – which we shall – the moment i finish reading the UN factsheet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 9, 2007 1:02 PM

    Food for thought.

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