This is the third in a series of bulletins authored by Doug
Tingey who is in Copenhagen attending the climate change
negotiations from December 7th to 20th. Doug is Counsel to Borden
Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) in Calgary and is a member of the
firm's Corporate Commercial Practice Group and Climate Change
Focus Group. Doug advises on business law aspects of climate change
mitigation to clients carrying on business around the world. BLG
considers the outcome of COP 15 to be critical for many Canadian
businesses and is providing these bulletins as a method of keeping
clients and friends of the firm informed during the
This bulletin is being written at noon in Copenhagen on Thursday
December 17 – the final week of the COP 15 conference.
The remaining moving parts in the negotiations are moving rapidly
within ever smaller circles as access to the Bella Centre has been
limited severely and negotiations on the larger text involves fewer
countries in fewer informal meetings/conversations. Updates are now
being sent by email between members of the various civil society
and business groups actively lobbying delegates with regular
complaints of Blackberry routers being overwhelmed. The open face
of the negotiations is now limited pretty much to the heads of
state statements to the COP. The remaining AWG contact groups have
been suspended indefinitely.
A new COP sponsored contact group has been formed to finish work
on unresolved issues on the basis of both the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP
with groups to address the drafts presented to the COP this
afternoon. Unresolved issues to b addressed include: Shared Vision,
Financial resources and investments, Enhanced action on mitigation
and means of implementation, Mechanisms to record NAMAs and support
for NAMAs, REDD, Use of Markets, Adaptation, Technology Development
and Transfer as well as Capacity Building and Institutional
Arrangement. Developing country negotiators continue to worry that
documents presented to high level COP will be other than those
produced by AWGs.
Late yesterday, and following a similar statement of support for
significant funding by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Secretary of
State Clinton announced that
"in the context of a strong
accord in which all major economies stand behind meaningful
mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their
implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other
countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year
by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing
countries. We expect this funding will come from a wide variety of
sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including
alternative sources of finance. This will include a significant
focus on forestry and adaptation, particularly, again I repeat, for
the poorest and most vulnerable among us."
The ambiguity of this statement is a very good example of the
ambiguity surrounding many of the ongoing key issues including:
financing (amounts, recipients and mechanics), commitments (from
whom and how ambitious), numbers (what they are and how they are
calculated) and legal form.
WWF – US responded to the Clinton statement as
follows: "Secretary Clinton's 100 billion dollar surprise
breathes new life into the sputtering negotiations. It bridges the
needs of the developed and developing worlds and changes the game
in these global talks. All that remains is an agreement between the
US and China about how they will define transparency, and a
commitment by President Obama to make climate legislation his top
priority for the new year."
Federal Minister of Environment, Jim Prentice is scheduled to
speak second to last possibly very late Thursday night or early
Friday morning and is expected to address the question of
Canada's commitment to emissions reduction (rumour has it that
the 1990 baseline has been accepted) and developing country
The Secretariat chairman's recent comment is that we are in
an "all or nothing" situation.
Sub-national side events drew an impressive list of provincial
and municipal leaders – premiers of BC, Manitoba, Quebec,
Nova Scotia, various provincial environment ministers, and the
mayors of Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Two of the premiers,
Campbell and Charest, clearly indicated that they are pushing ahead
with provincial regulatory initiatives within the framework of the
Western Climate Initiative's cap and trade.
Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed GHG guide for projects that are subject to the province's Environmental Assessment Act.
The Imperial Oil refinery pled guilty to one offence for discharging a contaminant, coker stabilizer, thermocracked gas, into the natural environment causing an adverse effect and was fined $650,000...
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