Monday, October 19, 2009

Major Economies Forum Meets In London

Oct 19: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) meeting in London on October 18-19, "In every era there are only one or two moments when nations come together and reach agreements that make history -- because they change the course of history. Copenhagen must be such a time. There are now fewer than fifty days to set the course of the next fifty years and more. So, as we convene here, we carry great responsibilities, and the world is watching. If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement, in some future period, can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late."

The MEF consists of the 17 economies that emit the most carbon dioxide waste -- Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. The London MEF meeting follows two-weeks of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) tension-filled climate negotiations in Bangkok that concluded on October 9 [See WIMS 10/9/09] and precedes an upcoming continuing session in Barcelona on November 2-6 -- all preceding the major meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark December 7-18, just 48 days from now.

Brown continued in his MEF address that, "Only last week we saw new evidence of the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice. And in just 25 years the glaciers in the Himalayas which provide water for three-quarters of a billion people could disappear entirely." He said, "This is the great injustice of climate change: those being hit first and hardest by climate change are those who have done the least to cause it."

Brown indicated, "In just the last few weeks new commitments and announcements have spurred new progress. . . So I believe agreement at Copenhagen is possible. But we must frankly face the plain fact that our negotiators are not getting to agreement quickly enough. Before Copenhagen, there is just one more negotiating week: in Barcelona." Brown outlined what he considers the issues were negotiators "urgently need convergence" on 4 principal issues for any agreement: (1) binding economy-wide caps in the mid-term for developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions for developing ones; (2) finance, including for adaptation, forestry, technology and capacity building; (3) technology co-operation, including specific action plans in areas such as solar power and carbon capture and storage; and (4) and national communications and monitoring, reporting and verification.

Access links to the MEF concluding press conference, PM Brown's statement and related information on the meeting from the official UK government website for activities in the lead up to global climate change negotiations (
click here). Access a transcript of an interview with Ed Miliband , UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (click here). Access a Bloomberg article on Todd Stern comments (click here). Access a second Bloomberg article on the possible Obama attendance in Copenhagen (click here). Access the UNFCCC website for links to information on the Barcelona meetings (click here).