The Daily Tck: 30 November 2011

• November 30, 2011

A sense of urgency exists here in Durban, yet some governments are determined to ignore pleas from economists, environmental, faith, labour and development groups—and most profoundly from the most vulnerable people here in Africa—to strike a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal. There is urgency at every level: avoiding uncertainty by getting a 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; striking an agreement that will lead to a global deal; and the need for greater ambition everywhere to help those most impacted.

The delay to 2020 and the positions of some governments to avoid further cuts in emissions or any legally binding commitments hangs in the air. Maybe the EU will lead, but we may have to wait until Ministers arrive to see. If not, expect the US and others with low ambition to reduce these talks to nothing more than voluntary commitments. International laws alone won’t get us where we need to be. That said, one thing we know for certain is that less commitment will not lead to greater ambition – we need both.

In the Cancun Agreements parties agreed to a “Review” of the long-term global goal and how to achieve it. This review will clearly show the inadequacy of current levels of ambition. Yesterday’s meeting on the Review shows the lack of will by some to acknowledge the urgency of negotiating, while exposing the frustration of others trying to facilitate polar positions. Finding no agreement, the Facilitator threw it back and told them to “work it out”. Who can blame her? This review is crucial.

Yesterday we learned the next talks will be in Doha, Qatar. Sharon Burrow of the International Trade Union Confederation called on the UNFCCC to reconsider saying “The international union movement will not accept climate change talks being held in a country which does not respect workers rights and is the highest emitter per capita in the world.”

Message of the Day

The situation is urgent, there is no time to waste. People, economists, scientists, campaigners and even many business leaders are calling for action. All that is needed is the political will.

What is Happening?

Oxfam handed out ‘fans’ to delegates calling for a tax on bunkers to help fill the climate fund. See the photos here.

Yesterday Greenpeace brought the Amazon to the Durban sea front with the message “BRAZIL STOP THE CHAINSAWS’. In Brazil a protest held in front of the Congress and President Dilma’s Palace in Brasíia involved 500 children and some 1500 people from diferent NGOs and social movements. A petition of 2 MILLION signatures against the new forest code was delivered. Protests have taken place in Brussels, Bern, Durban, Paris, Washington DC, Mexico City, The Hague, Helsinki, Berlin, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Rome.


The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will receive a letter signed by the CEOs ofCenter for International Environmental Law, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, USA, National Tribal Environmental Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, Native American Rights Fund, Oxfam America, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Population Action International, Population Connection, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Wilderness Society and World Wildlife Fund which was published in the Washington Post. They expressed concern at the negotiating positions and strategy of the US. Quoting Obama during his election that “Few challenges facing America – and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change,” and that “once I take office, you can be sure that the United States will once again engage vigorously in these negotiations, and help lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change.”

Now the US is a major obstacle to progress, because of the positions on two major issues – the mandate for future negotiations and climate finance – threaten to impede in Durban the global cooperation so desperately needed to address the threat of climate change.

The letter ends by quoting Clinton at the Copenhagen talks when she challenged countries to rise above their differences, saying “all of us have an obligation to engage constructively and creatively toward a workable solution. We need to avoid negotiating approaches that undermine rather than advance progress toward our objective.”  Progress is possible in Durban, but only if the U.S. meets the standard she laid down in Copenhagen.


The latest from the Adopt a Negotiator team:

  • Tracker Farrukh Zaman has a piece in the Pakistan Express Tribune
  • Rongtai “Marvin” Nala, the Chinese tracker has pieces in a number of publications, including: Chinadialogue; CCAN China and China.

In a report from Climate Analytics, pointing out that while Australia’s new climate legislation is a breakthrough and a substantial step in the right direction, it is still not stringent enough to help the world keep global warming to below 2 degrees C,  Bill Hare of Climate Analytics said that this is “a classic example of the longer you wait to take action, the more difficult it gets.”  The report is available at

What can you do today?

There are plenty of ways to share resources, ideas and amplify each others’ efforts. Here are a few:

  • Tweet our message of the day: Here in Durban, there’s one thing we know for sure: less commitment will not lead to greater ambition – we need both! #COP17
  • Are you in Durban for COP17? Attend the Daily Tck meeting at 10:15am tomorrow in Bhira River.

Resources & Tools

  • Visit & our COP17 Hub for an up-to-date calendar, fresh news & stories and media resources – all available for reposting and sharing through Creative Commons.
  • OneClimate Video Highlights 
    • Short summary and update from Day 2.
    • Watch NRDC’s Jake Schmidt give a preview for Day 3.
    • Kaleigh McGregor-Bales (Candian youth delegation) shares Canada’s position
    • Patricia Espinosa (COP16 President, Foreign Secretary of Mexico) talks to Andrea Arzaba of adoptanegotiator
  • Did you miss Fossil of the Day yesterday? Watch it here:
  • Watch the UN talks live starting at 3pm with OneClimate TV: Every day OneClimate is broadcasting live from the Durban climate talks from 3pm – 6pm local time. Follow their livestreamembed the code, or, for those who prefer their live content in text form, follow the live blog. 
  • Oxfam is collecting great photos from the COP17 negotiations. Check them out here: Oxfam images from COP

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