lunedì 28 settembre 2009

Verso Copenhagen: Croci, Podesta' e Formigoni (e Schwarzenegger) per il clima

Venerdì 25 settembre 2009 si e' svolta la conferenza di inaugurazione del Festival dell'Ambiente dal titolo 'Verso Copenhagen', organizzata a Milano da Legambiente e Umana Dimora.

Vi hanno preso parte, per gli organizzatori, Giorgio Vassena, presidente l'Umana Dimora, Andrea Poggio, presidente Fondazione Legambiente Innovazione; per la parte scientifica, di Carlo Carraro, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei e Gianni Silvestrini. A seguire il dibattito politico, moderato da Toni Capuozzo, con contributi significativi di Lucio Stanca, amministratore delegato Expo Milano 2015, Enrico Migliavacca, membro di giunta della Camera di Commercio di Milano e responsabile del progetto Greenlife, Guido Podesta', presidente della Provincia di Milano, Edoardo Croci, assessore all'ambiente del Comune di Milano e Roberto Formigoni, presidente della Regione Lombardia.

Lucio Stanca ha introdotto il nuovo approccio all'Expo, che celebrera' il rinnovato binomio tra cibo e ambiente. Il progetto 'Via dell'Acqua', inoltre, andra' a creare il piu' grande parco d'Europa.

Edoardo Croce, assessore all'Ambiente del Comune di Milano, nel suo discorso e' entrato nel dettaglio della Conferenza COP15 di Copenhagen, e della necessita' di giungere ad un accordo equo che includa sia i Paesi industrializzati che quelli in via di sviluppo. Il Comune di Milano fara' la sua parte, impegnandosi a ridurre le emissioni di CO2 del 20% entro il 2020.

Anche la Regione Lombardia dara' il suo contributo: Roberto Formigoni partecipera' il prossimo mese al 'Governors' Global Climate Change Summit', ospitato da Schwarzenegger a Los Angeles il prossimo mese.

A tirare le conclusioni, Guido Podesta', con il suo progetto di piantumazione di nuove aree della Provincia di Milano.

Un evento importante sul tema dell'ambiente e del clima. Unico neo, la totale assenza di donne tra i 10 membri che si sono alternati sul palco. Molto verde e niente rosa.

venerdì 25 settembre 2009

Gordon Brown's speech to UN General Assembly, 23rd September 2009

From the speech of Gordon Brown at the UN General Assembly:

"[...] We face five urgent challenges that demand momentous decisions - decisions that I would argue are epoch-making on:

* climate change
* terrorism
* nuclear proliferation
* poverty and shared prosperity.

[...] If we do not reach a deal at Copenhagen - if we miss this opportunity to protect our planet - we cannot hope for a second chance some time in the future. There will be no retrospective global agreement to undo the damage we will have caused. This is the moment, now, to limit and reverse the climate change we are inflicting on future generations."
Entire text of Gordon Brown's speech:

"We met a year ago, on the brink of a global crisis, and - as national leaders spoke in turn at this podium - the full scale of the danger became clear: a threat not just to jobs, businesses and life savings but - with the imminent risk of failure of the world’s banking system - the prospect of entire countries failing, as nations across Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America struggled to access credit.

The crisis demanded global action.

As never before, the fate of every country rested on the actions of all. And as the fear of the unthinkable took hold, we reached a clear choice: to fail separately - or to succeed together.
At the G20 in Washington and again in London, we made our choice. Governments came together to begin the fight back against the global recession; we acted in concert, recognising:
* that national interests could be protected only by serving the common interest
* that in this new global age the economy is indivisible - and recession anywhere can threaten prosperity everywhere
* that for growth to be sustained it has to be shared
* and that global challenges can only be mastered through global solutions.
So today we can draw strength from the unprecedented unity that has defined the past year – but we cannot be complacent. for while it may seem strange to say so after a time of such intense global action, our world is entering a six-month period which may prove even more testing for international cooperation.

We face five urgent challenges that demand momentous decisions - decisions that I would argue are epoch-making on:

* climate change
* terrorism
* nuclear proliferation
* poverty and shared prosperity.

Once again we are at a point of no return. And just as the collapse of the banks focused our minds a year ago – so we must now grasp this next set of issues.

If we do not reach a deal at Copenhagen - if we miss this opportunity to protect our planet - we cannot hope for a second chance some time in the future. There will be no retrospective global agreement to undo the damage we will have caused. This is the moment, now, to limit and reverse the climate change we are inflicting on future generations. Not later, at another conference, in another decade, after we have lost ten years to inaction and delay.

And if in Afghanistan we give way to the insurgency, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups will return and - from that sanctuary - once again plot, train for, and launch attacks on the rest of the world.

There can be no chance of a nuclear-free world, if we allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons and in doing so set off a new arms race.

There can be no global compact for jobs and growth if we choke off recovery by failing to follow through on the co-ordinated global fiscal expansion we agreed and put in place.

And if we do not act together to fight preventable illness, there can be no plan to save tomorrow the 12 thousand children who are dying in Africa today and every day.

So I say we need world agreement.

First, on climate change

Despite the promises we have all made, the road to a successful outcome on climate change in Copenhagen is not assured. Why? Above all, because a robust and long term climate change deal requires money. If the poorest and most vulnerable are going to be able to adapt; if the emerging economies are going to embark on low carbon development paths; if the forest nations are going to slow and stop deforestation - then the richer countries must contribute financially.

That is why I have proposed a new approach to financing our action against climate change, which will provide substantially increased, additional and predictable flows, from both public and private sectors, of around $100bn a year by 2020. We must make progress on this in the coming days.

A post-2012 agreement on climate change at Copenhagen is the next great test of our global cooperation. Each of us has a duty of leadership to make it happen. We must build on our discussions at Secretary-General Ban’s meeting here this week. And I have said I will go to Copenhagen to conclude the deal. This is too important an agreement – for the global economy, and for the future of every nation represented here – to leave to our official negotiators. So I urge my fellow leaders to commit themselves to going to Copenhagen too.

Second - terrorism

A safer Afghanistan means a safer world. But none of us can be safe if we walk away from that country—or from our common mission and resolve.

NATO and its partners from Australia to Japan must agree new ways to implement our strategy – ensuring that Afghanistan, its army, its police and its people assume greater responsibility for the security of their own country.

So too must we unite against every source of terror and injustice in our world.

It shames us all:

* that the people of Somalia and Sudan are still subject to the most terrible violence
* that Israel and Palestine have still not found a way to live side by side in security and peace
* and that for the people of Burma, their elected leader is subjected to a show trial and decades of incarceration.

There is more we can do; there is more we must do. And we must carry forward our efforts to take a more strategic, coherent and effective approach to peacekeeping and peace-building.

Third - nuclear proliferation

Once there were five nuclear-armed powers. Now there are nine, with the real and present danger that more will soon follow. And the risk is not just state aggression, but the acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists.

So we are at a moment of danger when decades of preventing proliferation could be overturned by damaging rise in proliferation.

If we are serious about the ambition of a nuclear free world we will need statesmanship, not brinkmanship.

Tomorrow’s Security Council Resolution will be vital as we move forwards towards next year’s global nuclear security summit in April – and the Review Conference in May.

My proposal is a grand global bargain between nuclear weapon and non nuclear weapons states.

And there are three elements to it where careful and sober international leadership is essential and in which Britain will play its part – on the responsibilities on non nuclear states, on the rights of non nuclear states, and on the responsibilities of nuclear weapon states.

First - let there by no ambiguity: Iran and North Korea must know that the world will be even tougher on proliferation and we are ready to consider further sanctions. Britain will insist that the onus on non nuclear states is that in future it is for them to prove they are not developing nuclear weapons.

Second, Britain will offer civil nuclear power to non nuclear states ready to renounce any plans for nuclear weapons: helping non-nuclear states acquire what President Eisenhower so memorably called “atoms for peace.” With others we will be prepared to sponsor a Uranium bank outside these countries to help them access civil nuclear power.

And Britain is ready to launch a new nuclear centre of excellence to help develop an economic low-carbon proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle.

Third - all nuclear weapons states must play their part in reducing nuclear weapons as part of an agreement by non nuclear states to renounce them. This is exactly what the Non Proliferation Treaty intended. In line with maintaining our nuclear deterrent I have asked our national security committee to report to me on the potential future reduction of our nuclear weapon submarines from 4 to 3.

Fourth, while economic cooperation has stabilised the international banking system and forged a foundation for the resumption of economic growth, recovery is neither entrenched nor irreversible.

The great lesson of the last year is that only bold and global action prevented a recession becoming a depression. We have delivered a co-ordinated fiscal and monetary response that the ILO estimates has saved 7 to 11 million jobs across the world.

So at Pittsburgh tomorrow we must cement a global compact for jobs and growth- a compact to bring unemployment down and bring rising prosperity across the globe:

* maximising the impact of the stimulus measures we have agreed, with proper planning of exit strategies, to make sure the recovery does not falter; that we do not turn off the life support for our economy prematurely;

* facilitating agreement setting clear objectives on how each of us can best contribute to worldwide growth in the future;

* and ensuring that such growth is balanced and sustainable.

We need strong economic co-ordination now as we navigate the uncertainties of recovery. I therefore propose that we launch the compact by agreeing that we are committed to high levels of growth on a sustainable and balanced basis.

This must be backed up by comprehensive reform of the financial sector, including international principles on bonuses. And we must strengthen our targeting of tax havens with, from next March, real sanctions against those jurisdictions which fail to meet global standards.

But the voice of Africa will have to be heard and heeded to bring recovery in areas devastated by the events of the past year—and to assure that we do not put the millennium development goals beyond reach as a result of a wider failure of global responsibility.

In London, the G20 agreed measures to result in $50 billion for poor countries to help them weather the crisis. Because of London, the IMF can lend $8 billion instead of $2 billion over this year and next. this is already helping Kenya and Tanzania to increase government spending in response to the crisis.

For amid all the challenges we face we must remember a promise we made 10 years ago. And this is the fifth and final imperative. To achieve a vision for 2015 we are now in danger of betraying. On present trends it will take not five years - as we pledged - and not even 50 years, but more than a 100 years to deliver on some of the Millennium Development Goals.

The unyielding, grinding, soul-destroying, so often lethal poverty I saw in Africa convinced me that - unless empowerment through trade justice is matched by empowerment through free education and free health care – then this generation in sub-Saharan Africa will not have the opportunity to rise out of poverty - and will never be fully free.

The greatest of injustices demands the boldest of actions.

Today - at this United Nations General Assembly – we will see the beginnings of universal free health care in Africa and Asia as Burundi, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Nepal, Liberia and Ghana all make major announcements that extend free care and abolish fees.

As a result of these actions – more than 10 million more people in Africa and Asia will now have access to free health services. 10 million who will now for the first time get the treatment they need without being turned away or fearing how they will pay.

I urge you all to match the leadership of these countries with your own support. And I commit the UK to doing so.

Let us remember how in 1945 nations facing a multiplicity of challenges summoned up the energy and vision not just to rebuild from the rubble and ruin of war, but to establish a new international order for shared security and progress.

The same principles must now inspire new and better, more representative, and more effective ways of working together.

And as we learn from the experience of turning common purpose into common action in this our shared global society, so we must forge a progressive multilateralism that depends on us finding within ourselves and together the qualities of moral courage and leadership that for our time and generation can make the world new again—and for the first time in human history, create a truly global society."

mercoledì 23 settembre 2009

Obama's speech at the UN Conference in New York, 22nd Sept 2009

From the speech of Obama at the UN General Assembly:

"[...] The threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing...

[...] The risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe. No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change...

[...] John F. Kennedy once observed that "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man." [...] We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations.

[...] If we are flexible and pragmatic, if we can resolve to work tirelessly in common effort, then we will achieve our common purpose: a world that is safer, cleaner, and healthier than the one we found; and a future that is worthy of our children.


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 22, 2009


United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York

9:46 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Thank you very much. Good morning. I want to thank the Secretary General for organizing this summit, and all the leaders who are participating. That so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it -- boldly, swiftly, and together -- we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.

No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent. More frequent droughts and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees. The security and stability of each nation and all peoples -- our prosperity, our health, and our safety -- are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.

And yet, we can reverse it. John F. Kennedy once observed that "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man." It is true that for too many years, mankind as been slow to respond or even recognize the magnitude of the climate threat. It is true of my wn country, as well. We recognize that. But this is a new day. It is a new era. And I am proud to say that the United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history. [...]

Because no one nation can meet this challenge alone, the United States has also engaged more allies and partners in finding a solution than ever before. In April, we convened the first of what have now been six meetings of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate here in the United States. In Trinidad, I proposed an Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas. We've worked through the World Bank to promote renewable energy projects and technologies in thedeveloping world. And we have put climate at the top of our diplomatic agenda when it comes to our relationships with countries as varied as China and Brazil; India and Mexico; from the continent of Africa to the continent of Europe.

Taken together, these steps represent a historic recognition on behalf of the American people and their government. We understand the gravity of the climate threat.

We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations.

But though many of our nations have taken bold action and share in this determination, we did not come here to celebrate progress today. We came because there's so much more progress to be made. We came because there's so much more work to be done.

It is work that will not be easy. As we head towards Copenhagen, there should be no illusions that the hardest part of our journey is in front of us. We seek sweeping but necessary change in the midst of a global recession, where every nation's most immediate priority is reviving their economy and putting their people back to work. And so all of us will face doubts and difficulties in our own capitals as we try to reach a lasting solution to the climate challenge.

But I'm here today to say that difficulty is no excuse for complacency. Unease is no excuse for inaction. And we must not allow the perfect to become the enemy of progress. Each of us must do what we can when we can to grow our economies without endangering our planet -- and we must all do it together. We must seize the opportunity to make Copenhagen a significant step forward in the global fight against climate change.

What we are seeking, after all, is not simply an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. We seek an agreement that will allow all nations to grow and raise living standards without endangering the planet. By developing and disseminating clean technology and sharing ourknow-how, we can help developing nations leap-frog dirty energy technologies and reduce dangerous emissions.

Mr. Secretary, as we meet here today, the good news is that after too many years of inaction and denial, there's finally widespread recognition of the urgency of the challenge before us. We know what needs to be done. We know that our planet's future depends on a global commitment to permanently reduce greenhouse gas pollution. We know that if we put the right rules and incentives in place, we will unleash the creative power of our best scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs to build a better world. And so many nations have already taken the first step on the journey towards that goal.

But the journey is long and the journey is hard. And we don't have much time left to make that journey. It's a journey that will require each of us to persevere through setbacks, and fight for every inch of progress, even when it comes in fits and starts. So let us begin. For if we are flexible and pragmatic, if we can resolve to work tirelessly in common effort, then we will achieve our common purpose: a world that is safer, cleaner, and healthier than the one we found; and a future that is worthy of our children.

Thank you very much."



10:02 A.M. EDT

venerdì 18 settembre 2009

The Age of Stupid: premiere mondiale il 22 settembre

"Perche' non abbiamo fatto qualcosa per salvarci, quando eravamo ancora in tempo?" si chiede Pete Postlethwaite, protagonista del nuovo film documentario The Age of Stupid della registra britannica Franny Armstrong.

Pete vive nel 2055 e si trova ad affrontare le conseguenze di una mancata azione rispetto ai cambiamenti climatici. Guarda i vecchi reportage del 2008. Si domanda perche' non si e' fatto niente. Non trova risposta.

Gli studi scientifici, nel 2008, li avevano. L'Intergovernamental Panel on Climate Change aveva pubblicato nel 2007 il suo quarto report, che avvertiva su quello che sarebbe potuto accadere, con tanto di percentuali di probabilita' di realizzazione dei vari scenari.

Le prove, le avevano. Nel 2008 gia' si osservavano cambiamenti nel sistema climatico: sia su piccola scala, in Italia con l'aumento di ondate di calore in estate, il manifestarsi di sempre piu' fenomeni atmosferici estremi etc; che su larga scala, con un aumento delle temperature medie mondiali, fino al 2008 pari a +0,8 gradi centigradi.

Le tecnologie erano a loro disposizione, degli abitanti della Terra del 2008. Certo, c'e' bisogno di migliorare la performance energetica e di scoprire nuove soluzioni tecnologiche. Ma gia' allora era possibile passare a un tipo di economia a basso contenuto di carbonio, attraverso la produzione di energia da fonte rinnovabile e misure di efficienza energetica. Anzi: questo sarebbe potuto essere proprio lo stimolo che li avrebbe aiutati ad uscire dalla crisi economica che stavano attraversando, con la creazioni di nuovi posti di lavoro e ricchezza.

Gia'. The Age of Stupid. L'Era della Stupidita'.

Come asseriva Carlo M. Cipolla, professore di storia economica a Berkeley:

"La stupidità è la più grande forza distruttiva nella storia del genere umano. Non è eliminabile, ma non è invincibile. Capirla e conoscerla è il modo migliore per ridurne gli effetti."

La premiere mondiale si svolgera' il 21 e 22 settembre (martedi' 22 settembre in Italia) e vedra' la partecipazione di Kofi Hannan e di Thom Yorker dei Radiohead; sara' possibile parteciparvi con un network di oltre 700 location in piu' di 40 Paesi, per quella che si annuncia come la piu' grande premiere della storia. In Italia, The Age of Stupid e' in programmazione in 8 cinema, nelle citta' di Roma, Milano, Genova, Rimini, Frascati, Abbiate Guazzone e Mantova. Per verificare se altri cinema hanno aderito, vedi qui.

Buona visione.

Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Consulate Milan

giovedì 17 settembre 2009

Proposta EU: Pacchetto Climate Change da 2 a 15 miliardi di Euro

Mentre il dibattito internazionale sul finanziamento delle misure salva-clima nei Paesi in via di sviluppo si fa piu' fitto, la Commissione Europea ha siglato la prima proposta concreta riguardo all'entita' del contributo dei Paesi sviluppati: tra i 2 e i 15 miliardi di Euro all'anno (vedi qui per la sintesi in italiano).

L'Unione Europea stima che per i Paesi in via di sviluppo saranno necessari 100 miliardi all'anno se si vuole contenere l'aumento della temperatura terrestre entro i 2 gradi centigradi. Questo denaro dovrebbe affluire in parte tramite investimenti privati, in parte tramite commercio di crediti di CO2 (38 miliardi Euro/anno), in parte tramite finanziamento pubblico diretto dei Paesi industrializzati, maggiormente responsabili, dal punto di vista storico, della concentrazione di gas serra nell'atmosfera (tra i 22 e i 50 miliardi Euro/anno).

Di questi, l'Unione Europea e' disposta a pagare tra il 10 e il 30%, a seconda dell'andamento dei negoziati. Ma a patto che anche i Paesi in via di sviluppo facciano la loro parte.

Il neo-rieletto Presidente Barroso ha dichiarato: "With less than 90 days before Copenhagen we need to make serious progress in these negotiations. That is why the Commission is putting the first meaningful proposal on the table on how we might finance the battle against climate change. The sums involved are potentially significant, both ambitious and fair. I am determined that Europe will continue to provide a lead but developed and economically advanced developing countries must also make a contribution ".

- 80 giorni a Copenhagen.
Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Consulate Milan

lunedì 7 settembre 2009

La carota di Hatoyama

Cambio della guardia del Governo giapponese e cambio della politica climatica. Il nuovo primo ministro giapponese Yukio Hotoyama ha annunciato un impegno di riduzione del 25% delle emissioni di gas serra entro il 2020 rispetto ai livelli del 1990; un impegno molto piu’ consistente rispetto all’8% di diminuzione promesso dal suo predecessore Taro Aso.

Hatoyama, leader del Democratic Party of Japan, entrera’ in carica ufficialmente il 16 Settembre, ma gia’ oggi a una conferenza sul clima a Tokyo ha confermato che la promessa elettorale del taglio del 25% delle emissioni sara’ mantenuta. A una condizione pero’: a Copenhagen, il prossimo dicembre, dovra’ essere raggiunto un ambizioso accordo di riduzione dei gas serra, con la partecipazione di tutti i maggiori Stati del mondo.

Hatoyama ha dichiarato inoltre che i Paesi industrializzati dovrebbero provvedere un supporto tecnico e finanziario ai Paesi in via di sviluppo; questo per rendere effettiva quella “responsabilita’ comune ma differenziata” che costituisce il principio base della Convenzione ONU sul clima e del Protocollo di Kyoto. Il responsabile della WWF Global Climate Initiative, Kim Carstensen, ha dichiarato che il nuovo target giapponese “costituira’ una forza trainante per sbloccare le contrattazioni tra Paesi industrializzati e in via di sviluppo”.

La dichiarazione giapponese ha il pregio di riportare la negoziazione degli impegni post-Kyoto (ovvero dopo il 2012) all’anno-base 1990; recentemente, infatti, USA e Australia avevano diffuso impegni di riduzione rispetto ad anni piu’ recenti, rendendo inconfrontabili gli impegni. Avere un anno base comune aumenta la trasparenza degli impegni.

Non solo: il Giappone, a fronte di un obbligo di riduzione del 6% previsto nel Protocollo di Kyoto, ha visto un aumento dei propri gas serra dell’8,7%. Alla luce di questo, l’impegno nipponico assume una dimensione ancora maggiore e dimostra come sia possible assumere impegni consistenti nonostante politiche energetiche precedenti noncuranti dell’impatto sul clima.

Solo, pero’, a condizione che ognuno faccia la sua parte.
Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Consulate Milan

martedì 1 settembre 2009

28 August: Ed Miliband on 100 days

'With only 100 days left to agree a planet saving deal it's crucial that we continue to push for political momentum ahead of the crunch climate talks in Copenhagen. We're going all out to get an agreement that's ambitious, effective and fair and though it's not going to be easy, with China and the US now wanting a deal, I'm optimistic that we can succeed. Failure is not an option which is why the next few months will be critical and why there can be no Plan B on climate change.' Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Nearly 200 countries will come together in December at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, to agree an international deal for tackling climate change. The current international agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, will expire in 2012. Copenhagen, in effect, will create its successor.

It is 100 days until that moment.

Securing an agreement will be a challenge. Major achievements so far on the road to Copenhagen include:

- June 26, the launch of the Road to Copenhagen document, which first time ever set out its detailed position ahead of global climate talks. 'This is a make or break time for our climate and our future', said UK Climate and Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband
- June 26, Prime Minister's finance initiative, which broke new ground among world leaders in setting out how the world should pay for avoiding dangerous climate change and adapting to its impacts. The Prime Minister pledged urged countries to work together on a global figure of around $100 billion per year by 2020
- In July, An 'historic' agreement by the MEF and G8 leaders – to cap global temperature rises by two degrees Celsius and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 – paves the way for a global agreement at Copenhagen.

Progress towards Copenhagen has also continued through the UNFCCC's formal negotiation channels, through Ministerial visits that include discussion on policy issues like deforestation, and, domestically, through the launch of the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan.

For more information, please visit the website Act on Copenhagen.