COPNEWS

Mountain Melts  in Bella Center
Youths at COP are staging a dramatic glacier melt with their bodies to highlight the coming catastrophe in the mountain ranges of the world. Having staged a similar action in Bangkok meet and again Barcelona, youths have planned to do it again on the 11th of December, International Mountain Day.
The demonstration will be done inside the Bella Center next to the entry gate in the morning of December 11. Banners reading messages to save the Himalayas, Save the Andes, Save the Alps and the Save the Mountains will be displayed. The youth will also let out a mountain pledge requesting the country delegates to sign it. Mountain pledge reads the need to prioritize mountains in the climate change negotiations.
Youths from various countries feel that the impacts on mountains have not been addressed in the current climate talks. Climate change is already impacting the mountain systems and the evidences are clearly visible. Mountains are the water towers of the world and play an extremely critical role in providing freshwater to over half of the world’s population for irrigation, industry, domestic use and hydropower.
Contact: Abhishek Shrestha
Mob: +45 52 678 578
E: aviish27@gmail.com

The little train around Lake Baikal


We have made a stop and a break from our Trans-Siberian Railway coach for one day of sightseeing at Lake Baikal. The temperature is just minus two degrees – it feels positively spring-like!

Our single-coach train is brand new. Lace curtains grace the windows. TV screens at each end of the coach are linked to cameras mounted on the train so there is no excuse to miss any of the sites our guide brings to our attention.

The view on the monitors is accompanied by sounds from the nature outside – the waves against the shore, birds singing, the music of the Norwegian/Irish music group Secret garden.

The view from the windows is stunning. Lake as far you can see. Along one side there are high mountains covered with snow. The air is misty and the scenario is in countless shades of grey.

We pass a small village and our guide, Marina, explains it has 30 inhabitants. Tomorrow we will be taken through a village with just nine inhabitants. Although they have been offered alternative housing all nine refuse to leave their homes. Click here for the original news item.

EU urges US and China to deliver carbon targets

“Without a bid from the US or China, only half of emissions are covered,” Sweden’s environment minister Andreas Carlgren (above) said after he led talks with other EU nations.

The European Union on Monday urged the United States and China to deliver greenhouse gas emissions targets at next month’s climate conference in Copenhagen, saying their delays were hindering global efforts to curb climate change.

Two weeks before the UN-sponsored conference, the world’s largest polluters have not put any firm bids on the table.

“Without a bid from the US or China, only half of emissions are covered,” Sweden’s environment minister Andreas Carlgren (video below) said after he led talks with other EU nations. He said an agreement was “totally dependent” on both countries promising cuts.

The US still has not committed to figures for its own emissions reductions or financing, with negotiators waiting until Congress completes domestic climate legislation.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said last week that nations would each do what they were able — referring to China’s view that developing nations should not be required to make cuts. China has promised to curb emissions but has not said by how much.

Carlgren said any agreement also had to include pledges from developing countries — especially major economies such as China — to curb emissions.

World leaders are no longer expected to reach a legally binding agreement in Copenhagen, and are aiming instead for a political deal that includes commitments on reducing emissions and financing for developing countries to deal with climate change.

The EU’s environment commissioner Stavros Dimas said nations still had a lot of work to do in Copenhagen because they have to set new emission targets and agree on other actions to curb global warming — such as how they plan to prevent widespread deforestation.

He said the talks should also set a timetable for 2010 meetings to work toward a full binding global treaty.

A panel of UN scientists has recommended that developed countries make cuts of between 25 percent and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to avoid a catastrophic rise in sea levels, harsher storms and droughts and climate disruptions.

The EU aims for deeper cuts than most other industrialized nations — pledging to move from a 20 percent cut below 1990 levels to 30 percent if others follow suit. By 2050, it wants to eliminate most emissions, with a target of up to 95 percent.

The US is considering a far lower cut — 17 percent from 2005 levels or about 3.5 percent from 1990. Japan has promised a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels. Per head, Americans account for twice the emissions compared to Europeans and Japanese.

While the EU sees itself as a trailblazer, it has delayed promising cash to poorer nations to help them tackle global warming. EU leaders have pledged to pay their “fair share” into an annual global fund but gave no amount.

They estimated that 100 billion euro (148 billion US dollars) a year is needed and that half should come from governments. The EU’s executive suggested that the 27 EU governments should give up to 15 billion euro (22 billion US dollars) a year from 2013 to 2020. (Photo: Gunnar Seijbold/Regeringskansliet)

For the full article with multi media please click here
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Global youth proposes ‘Copenhagen climate protocol’

At an international negotiation competition hosted by university of Copenhagen, law students drafted a ‘Copenhagen protocol’ hoping to inspire the real negotiations at COP15.

The ‘Copenhagen Competition’ took place during the recent scientific climate congress in Copenhagen. Teams from universities in Australia, Chile, Denmark, India, Singapore, South Africa and USA reached an agreement on future regulations for emission quota trade between the rich and the poor countries.

The organisers wanted to provide the next generation with an opportunity to show governments around the world how they would negotiate a ‘Copenhagen protocol’ before COP15 takes place.

A team of four students from National University of Singapore was pronounced winners after three days of intense negotiations. The final proposal suggested ways of introducing a global limit on greenhouse gas, and predominantly backed an increase in the use of emission quota trade.

During the negotiations, teams were given roles as representatives of industrialised, developed or developing countries, according to the UNFCCC classifications.

“It’s very interesting, because if you’re role playing a developing country, you start to feel the way that country must feel, and it’s quite a passionate corner to fight,” said Zheng Xi Choo from National University of Singapore.

For the full news please click here.