Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WWF, Greenpeace Write Climate Treaty Draft With Emission Goals

By Alex Morales

June 8 (Bloomberg) 


For a summary and full legal text of the Greenpeace/WWF Report go to http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports

-- Singapore and nine more developing countries will be required to take on binding greenhouse-gas emissions targets under a draft climate treaty produced by Greenpeace, WWF International and four non-government groups.

Saudi Arabia and South Korea would also be required to limit emissions under the 140-page draft hammered out by the alliance. In all, about 10 nations omitted from the United Nations' so-called Annex 1 list of developed countries would take on targets starting in 2013, said Kaisa Kosonen, climate policy adviser to Amsterdam-based Greenpeace International.

"There are countries currently in the non-Annex 1 group who are at least as industrialized as the poorest countries in the industrialized countries group, and it's fair that they take targets," Kosonen said today in a telephone interview from Bonn. Bigger developing countries like Brazil, China and India wouldn't have to take set goals, she said.

The groups are laying out guidelines for a new treaty to fight global warming that negotiators hope to agree on in Copenhagen in December. Delegates are midway through a two-week round of negotiations in Bonn. Today's proposal marks the first time environmental activists from around the world have worked together to draft in detail what a final deal should contain.

Wealthier nations must commit to almost eliminate greenhouse gases by 2050, with a 40 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020 under the deal proposed by the groups. At the same time, the document said they should agree to channel a yearly $160 billion to less-wealthy countries to help them adapt to global warming and install clean technologies such as wind turbines.

Dividing the Pie

"This has a lot more meat and a lot more specificity on what our tasks are" than previous reports, Kim Carstensen, head of WWF's climate initiative, said today in an interview from Bonn. "The main goal is to set a high bar for what countries must achieve in these negotiations and make sure we measure what countries actually do in Copenhagen against that bar."

A new treaty should aim to keep the temperature rise since industrialization in the 1800s to "as far below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) as possible," according to the report. The study sets the world as a whole a global "carbon budget" that it mustn't surpass, limiting emissions to 36.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 and 7.2 billion tons in 2050.

"One of the next steps is to divide this pie that industrialized countries have," Kosonen said. "It's important the targets add up to the 40 percent reduction by 2020."

Targets for China and other large developing countries would be set later, when industrialized nations, which are responsible for the bulk of output of global-warming gases since the 1800s, have shown leadership, Kosonen said.

Sleepless Hours

The Bonn climate negotiations are split into two main forums: one that includes nations that have ratified the climate-change treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and another that includes the U.S., which declined to ratify that accord because it sets no emissions limits for big developing countries. Reflecting that structure, the NGOs proposed a new climate deal would be comprised of an amendment to Kyoto, a new Copenhagen Protocol, and a series of legally binding UN decisions.

The four other NGOs that prepared the document are: Germanwatch, a development organization based in Bonn and Berlin; Indyact, a Beirut-based association of independent environmental activists; Canada's David Suzuki Foundation; and the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine. Individuals from other groups, including the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council, also helped write the document.

The report's 47 authors come from every continent bar Antarctica and include people from developed and developing nations. They've worked on the draft since August and had many "sleepless hours" agreeing the details, Carstensen said.

"For us it's urgent that a global deal is not just written from one perspective, and our thinking has evolved as we did that," Carstensen said. "We're now optimistic that negotiators can also do it."

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.

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