Thursday 10 December 2009

COP15 Thursday: nine snippets this time

> Amazing scenes in the negotiator's Plenary today, with Tuvalu rep arguing and China resisting - both politely but in a very determined way - that a treaty has to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees and to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to 350ppm. No resolution yet.

> You may have seen news of "leaked Danish PM text" suggesting rich nations sort out climate change via the World Bank rather than the UN and pretty well tell developing nations what to do; quite a controversy at COP, as you can imagine. Gossip here is that a Danish Cabinet Minister colleague leaked it; seems the PM has been pushing it against lots of opposition, and the opposition hasn't given up.

> Hot news: Indonesia announced it's proposing a feed-in tariff for geo-thermal energy. Apparently they have 40% of the world's hot rock resources! See

> Russia announced it would cut emissions by 25% by 2020 (from 1990 levels) if other countries agreed to do the same; they had been saying 10-15%; the EU is saying "we convinced them". EBRD at a seminar today explained that Russia's energy intensity is incredibly bad; they have enormous potential to cut emissions from energy efficiency measures. Hopefully the high returns will entice energy efficiency investors despite political and crime risks. EBRD aims to help de-risk.

> Outlook for a "good" Copenhagen Agreement seems to be improving. Insiders are saying that having so many world leaders (more than 100) turning up, and Obama now coming for the end of the Conference, is forcing a better outcome.

> Also helping was the US EPA announcement this week to formally classify CO2 as a pollutant. That allows Obama to regulate CO2 without Congress - it dramatically increases his ability to deliver at least the cuts he's promising.

> The Saudi Arabian representative was being obstructive again this week; at one point he made a speech about the implications of the East Anglia Uni email leaks and how they raised doubts about global warming science. Apparently the speech was met with silence; no other country followed up. Would've been different under Bush.

> The Conference is quite a buzz; 15,000 people talking non-stop in the conference centre. Thousands of laptops, lots of coffee, chanting anti-REDD demonstrators in the background. The cloak room is open 18 hours a day this week; it advertises that next week, as negotiations come to then end, it will be open 24 hours a day.

> Had a talk with a couple of big EU pension funds this week to see if they'd join Danish ATP pension fund's new €1 billion 'Climate Change Action Fund for Emerging Economies', reported earlier this week. They think they tackle the issue of investing better by building in relevant criteria across all their asset classes - i.e. in the whole fund. The €1 billion, they think, puts it into a sideline rather than mainstreaming the idea.

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