venerdì 29 gennaio 2010

Una Finestra sulla Gran Bretagna #3: 15 Jan, VoxEU, "Two Good News from Copenhagen?"

Are the commitments from Copenhagen enough? The bad news is that the answer is “no”. This column examines the informal targets and the agreement to allocate funding to mitigate climate change. The good news is that this funding has the potential to at least reduce the gap between targets and reality.

Article written by Carlo Carraro and Emanuele Massetti*, published in VoxEU on 15 January 2010.
Gli impegni proposti per l'Accordo di Copenhagen sono sufficienti? La brutta notizia e' che no, non sono sufficienti. Questo articolo esamina i target degli Stati e l'accordo sui finanziamenti per la mitigazione dei cambiamenti climatici. La buona notizia e' che i finanziamenti hanno il potenziale di ridurre la differenza tra obiettivi e realta'.

Articolo scritto da Carlo Carraro e Emanuele Massetti, pubblicato in VoxEU il 15 gennaio 2010.
As many analysts predicted, the Copenhagen summit held in December 2009 did not achieve the lofty goals that were set for it years ago. It failed to produce a legally binding agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 (Stravins 2009, Doniger 2009). But it did make progress.
Indeed, a realistic assessment must admit that the outcome of the summit could have not been different. Hopes for a more ambitious result were not based on the reality on the ground. There are three insurmountable obstacles:

• First, the US could not sign a binding agreement, as the Senate had not passed the Boxer-Kerry Bill. That bill, coupled with the already approved American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey Bill), would have given President Obama the credibility to propose more ambitious steps.

• Second, the lack of commitment from fast-growing developing countries to reduce emissions – not necessarily immediately, more realistically after a “grace” period – meant that any attempts from developed countries to contain temperature increases to safe levels would have been in vain.

• Third, fast-growing developing countries are reluctant to take on any legally binding commitment, citing that their primary objective is to reduce poverty and to spread economic well-being to their poorest citizens. They also point out that responsibility for the high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today is only marginally attributable to their emissions. Hence, their refusal to sign any legally binding agreement when the major world economies are not ready to do so is largely understandable.

These are the basic ingredients of the so-called “climate deadlock” that prevented the signing of a real substitute to the Kyoto Protocol and pushed the climate summit in Copenhagen to “take note” of a more modest Copenhagen Accord on the morning of Saturday, 19 December.

Effectiveness and consistency of the Copenhagen Accord

Nevertheless, our research analyses two important outcomes from Copenhagen.

• First, an informal, but politically relevant, declaration of national emissions reduction targets for 2020.

• Secondly, the definition of the resources that will be transferred to developing countries for mitigation and adaptation actions.

Considering the first outcome: Are the domestic abatement plans announced in Copenhagen sufficient to significantly reduce global GHG emissions and to keep the temperature increase below the proposed 2°C target?

Answering this question requires both information on the targets agreed in Copenhagen and on the set of reference pathways of greenhouse gas emissions necessary to limit global warming. By comparing these two, we can test the effectiveness of the Copenhagen commitments on controlling climate change.

It is actually quite straight-forward to assess short-term trajectories of emissions compatible with temperature targets around 2°C. As we discussed in a previous Vox column, the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – which ultimately governs global mean temperature – is already very close to a threshold beyond which it will be extremely difficult to contain global warming below 2°C (Carraro and Massetti 2009). What is required is that emissions peak in the next decade and then decline steadily to become zero, or even negative thanks to enhanced absorption capacity, as shown by the scenarios developed by the International Panel on Climate Change.

What is the effect of the announced Copenhagen targets on global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020?

Table 1 summarises our information on the emissions targets that major countries have announced in Copenhagen. The lack of consensus among the parties is clear from the absence of abatement targets for each country. Despite this, leaders of major world economies did announce their emissions targets in a purposely informal, but public, session on 18 December 2009. While still informal, the commitments announced at Copenhagen are very informative on future climate policies.

We have gathered the national targets from records of the 18 December session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and from a variety of other sources. We have homogenised them to reflect changes of emissions with respect to 1990.

Instead of announcing emissions targets with respect to a specific base year, some countries have taken a more flexible approach by proposing to reduce emissions below the level that they are expected to achieve if climate policy would not be implemented. Such a scenario without any policy to curb emissions is often called the “business-as-usual” scenario.

Business-as-usual emissions scenarios produced by economy-energy-climate integrated assessment models (IAM) – a workhorse for all economists that study optimal mitigation policies – are a good indicator of plausible short-term emissions trajectories. Here, we use the business-as-usual scenario of the Hybrid IAM WITCH developed at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei to derive emissions levels for these countries (see for a description).
China and India, meanwhile, announced intensity targets. They have pledged to reduce the carbon intensity – the ratio between carbon emissions and GDP – of their economies by 45% and 20%–25%, respectively. But both these targets appear to be non-binding because both China and India are expected to achieve them as the consequence of autonomous efficiency improvements triggered by long-term price and technology dynamics more than by any specific policy. For example, the WITCH model, without any specific target on carbon intensity of output, already shows autonomous carbon intensity reductions of 53% for China and 42% for India with respect to 2005 (see Carraro and Tavoni 2010). This finding is supported by the World Energy Outlook 2009.

The results are clear:

• As a group, the Copenhagen commitments for the biggest emitters, if confirmed, would imply a 28% increase of emissions above the 1990 level.

• Compared with the business-as-usual scenario for those countries, emissions would be reduced by 21%.

• Assuming that the rest of the world continues on a business-as-usual path, global emissions would increase to about 48 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (GT CO2-eq) by 2020. This represents a 29% increase with respect to 1990, a 5% increase with respect to 2005 and a 16% reduction with respect to business-as-usual.

Table 1. The Copenhagen emissions reductions commitment

Are the promised emissions reductions sufficient to control global warming?

The scientific consensus states that severe climate change cannot be avoided unless we limit the earth’s average temperature rise to something like 2.0-2.4 °C. Specifically, the goal is to keep average temperature to no more than 2.0-2.4 °C above the pre-industrial level by 2100.

The stabilisation scenarios presented in the Fourth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change show that this will require emissions of CO2 to:

a) peak before 2015
b) decrease by roughly 5-10% starting from 2020
c) then decline steadily.

If instead emissions peak right before 2020, the temperature rise will be of 2.4-2.8 °C (IPCC 2007).

The Copenhagen declarations are clearly insufficient to control global warming below 2°C – even if they are substantial when compared with the business-as-usual scenario. What at first glanced seemed like good news – the emission-reduction declarations – turns out to be bad news. The declarations are inconsistent with the 2°C temperature target, even though the target is reiterated in the Copenhagen Accord itself (see Carraro and Massetti 2009).

Financial adequacy of the Copenhagen Accord

What about the second piece of seemingly good news – the funding for developing nations as well as the improved access to technologies that should enable and support action on mitigation and adaptation?

The commitment contained in the Copenhagen Accord is to set up a fast track fund that will consist of $10 billion per year from 2010 to 2012 (totalling $30 billion). If there is sufficient and transparent action towards mitigation, developed countries have committed to mobilise, jointly, $100 billion dollars a year by 2020. A significant portion of such funding will flow through a newly established Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.

Recent research with an enhanced version of the WITCH model – designed to quantify the optimal time profile of investments in adaptation and in mitigation – clearly shows that it is optimal to invest immediately in mitigation actions, while delaying most investments in adaptation to the future (Bosello, Carroro and Cian 2009). The reason is that it is imperative to control greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to attain low-temperature targets, meanwhile the short-term climate change impacts are still moderate and adaptation measures can be put in place relatively fast in the future.

We therefore model that the financial resources mobilised in Copenhagen will be used to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, at least from 2011 until 2020. We also assume that these emissions reductions will be additional to those already announced, including the Clean Development Mechanisms.

Are these resources sufficient to fund the investments which are necessary to close the gap between the announced emissions reductions and the optimal trajectories towards a safe greenhouse gas concentrations stabilisation pathway?

Estimated impact

Our estimates show that, by directing about 60% of the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund to financing low-cost abatement actions in developing countries, global emissions could peak in 2020, as shown in Table 2.

Increasing the allocation of the Green Climate Fund will continue to reduce emissions far below a business-as-usual level. The transformation of the CGCF into a full mitigation fund would allow to reduce emissions by 3% with respect to 2005. It would limit to 18% the increase with respect to 1990 and it would reduce emissions by 22% with respect to business-as-usual (see Figure 1).
With smooth rapid mitigation action, it is therefore possible to have the peak of emissions around 2015, but in order to achieve the required emissions reductions in 2020 (10% below 2005), additional funding would be needed.

Table 2. The mitigation potential of the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund
Figure 1. Historical and business as usual (BaU) scenario greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), Copenhagen Commitment and the role of the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund (CGCF) for mitigation.


The mitigation targets coming out of Copenhagen are expected to have a substantial impact on global emissions . But they are insufficient to curb emissions below 2005 levels by 2020 – a necessary condition for containing global warming within safe levels.

It us thus necessary to invest in the development of low carbon technologies (and their diffusion) and energy efficiency, in avoiding deforestation, and in carbon capture and storage technology, etc. If all the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund is used to finance cheap, additional mitigation actions in developing countries, this would cause emissions to peak before 2020. With steady emission cuts in the following decades, it would be possible to limit temperature increase to about 2.5°C, above the 2°C threshold but well below the temperature level that would be achieved without strong mitigation action.

This seems to be the only good news from Copenhagen. Future negotiations rounds should devote great attention on how to shape the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.


Bosello, Francesco, Carlo Carraro and Enrica De Cian (2009), “An Analysis of Adaptation as a Response to Climate Change”, University of Venice, Working Papers of the Department of Economics, No. 2 6 /WP/2009, September.
Carraro, Carlo and Emanuele Massetti (2009), “The improbable 2°C target”,, 3 September.
Carraro, Carlo and Massimo Tavoni (2010), “Looking ahead from Copenhagen: How Challenging is the Chinese carbon intensity target?”, 5 January.
Doniger, David (2009), “The Copenhagen Accord: A Big Step Forward”, NRDC Climate Center, 21 December.
IPCC, Chapter 3 Table 3.10 (2007) “Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” Bert Metz, Ogunlade Davidson, Peter Bosch, Rutu Dave, Leo Meyer, Cambridge University Press.
Stavins, Robert (2009), “What Hath Copenhagen Wrought? A Preliminary Assessment of the Copenhagen Accord”, Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 20 December.

This article may be reproduced with appropriate attribution.

*Carlo Carraro is Professor of Environmental Economics and Econometrics, University of Venice and CEPR Research Fellow: Emanuele Massetti is Senior Researcher at the Sustainable Development Unit, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

L'Europa del 20/30: dichiarazione per l'Accordo di Copenhagen

L'Europa ha riaffermato ieri il suo supporto all'Accordo di Copenhagen e ha annunciato i propri obiettivi di riduzione: impegno unilaterale a ridurre le emissioni del 20% entro il 2020 e offerta a incrementare il taglio fino al 30% nel caso in cui gli altri maggiori Paesi emettitori di gas serra decidano di impegnarsi per una riduzione equa delle emissioni climalteranti.

L'obiettivo di arrivare a una riduzione del 30% rimane quindi condizionale e dipendente dalle promesse formulate dagli altri Paesi, come gia' deciso nel Consiglio dell'Unione Europea dello scorso Novembre, in cui si stabiliva che "l'Unione Europea e' impegnata a muoversi a una riduzione del 30% delle emissioni di CO2 entro il 2020 rispetto ai livelli del 1990 all'interno di un accordo globale e completo riguardante il periodo post 2012, a condizione che gli altri Paesi sviluppati si impegnino a riduzione delle emissioni corrispondenti e che i Paesi emergenti contribuiscano adeguatamente e a secondo delle loro rispettive responsabilita' e potenzialita'."

Ed Miliband ha dichiarato: "L'Accordo di Copenhagen e' stato un importante passo avanti ma adesso abbiamo bisogno di raddoppiare i nostri sforzi per assicurare la realizzazione di un accordo legalmente vincolante e completare cosi' il lavoro non concluso a Copenhagen."

L'impegno volontario dell'Unione Europea e' stato formalmente comunicato all'UNFCCC tramite lettera inviata congiuntamente dalla Commissione Europea e dalla Presidenza spagnola.

Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Consulate General Milan

giovedì 28 gennaio 2010

EU submits mitigation target under Copenhagen Accord

The EU has today (28 January) reaffirmed its support for the Copenhagen Accord and has formally announced its mitigation targets. The EU submitted a unilateral commitment to reduce the EU's overall emissions by 20% of 1990 levels and a conditional offer to increase this cut to 30% provided that other major emitters agree to take on their fair share of a global reduction effort.

Under the Copenhagen Accord, the main outcome of two weeks’ intense climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, countries agreed to submit their mitigation targets by January 31, 2010.

In response to today’s submission, Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who fronted the UK negotiating efforts in Copenhagen, said:

'Today’s decision to keep the offer to move to 30% demonstrates the EU’s commitment to maintaining a strong signal to the world on the urgency to act on climate change.

'The goal of moving to 30% has always been and remains conditional on others showing similar ambition. We must now continue to push for bold cuts in emissions beyond the 31st deadline.

'The Copenhagen Accord was an important step forward but we now need to redouble efforts to secure the legally binding treaty, and complete the unfinished business of Copenhagen.'

EU 'determined to move rapidly'

The European Commission and Spanish Presidency of the Council jointly wrote to the UNFCCC to notify the target.

Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: 'The EU is determined to move ahead rapidly with implementing the Copenhagen Accord in order to make progress towards the agreement that we need to hold global warming below 2°C. The Accord provides a basis on which to build this future agreement and I therefore urge all countries to associate themselves with it and notify ambitious emission targets or actions for inclusion as we are doing.'

European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: 'Swift action is needed to make operational key elements of the Accord such as fast-start financing for developing countries, the fight against deforestation and the development and transfer of low carbon technologies.'

The conditions for moving from 20-30% are that, 'as part of a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2012, other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.’

The Accord itself was negotiated by some 28 developed and developing countries and the European Commission in the final stages of negotiations. These countries account for over 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The UN has also asked countries to come forward and ‘Associate’ with the Accord.

4 registri della CO2 bloccati per truffa online

Breaking news di Point Carbon e Carbon Finance, che riportano il blocco dei registri delle quote di CO2 di almeno 4 Stati membri dell'Unione Europea, tra cui Germania e Polonia.

giovedì 21 gennaio 2010

In fuga dai mutamenti climatici


Eco profughi, rifugiati e profughi ambientali, i nuovi prigionieri dell’ambiente. 50 milioni di persone in fuga dalla propria terra a causa dei mutamenti climatici. 100.000.000 di occhi che gridano basta e chiedono uno sviluppo sostenibile.

C’era una volta un pianeta, verde, blu e bianco ricco di vegetazione, acqua, ghiaccio, insomma di vita, dove se non proprio in armonia convivevano una serie di specie viventi diversissime tra loro, ma collegate l’una con l’altra, dove le risorse e la sopravvivenza erano regolate dai bisogni primari, una sorta di unico “organismo vivente”, dove tutto era in relazione... Che fine ha fatto? Ed il suo figlio più evoluto cosa ha fatto per il suo genitore e per i propri fratelli? [...]

Questa non è la trama di un racconto sul darwinismo, ma una delle possibili considerazioni, sugli sconvolgimenti climatici del periodo storico in cui ci troviamo a vivere, dove sempre più spesso appaiono alla ribalta disastri naturali, che sebbene sembrino strutturali o discostarsi di poco dalle solite dinamiche evolutive, in realtà nascondono mutamenti e pericoli nuovi. Come nel caso delle migrazioni umane.

Da sempre l’uomo ha colonizzato e si è spostato sulla superficie terrestre, alla ricerca di maggiori risorse, intervenendo sull’ambiente, sia per accaparrarsele, sia per mantenerne il controllo, inventando una delle pratiche che meno gli rendono onore, la guerra. Lo stesso dicasi per la Terra che nel corso della sua lunga storia attraverso inondazioni, terremoti, uragani, eruzioni vulcaniche ha cercato un proprio equilibrio. Il tutto ha provocato spostamenti massicci di popolazioni umane, estinzioni di specie e creazione di nuovi habitat. Ma adesso l’adattamento inizia a dare segni preoccupanti di cedimento.

A ricordarcelo è un recente rapporto dell’IOM (Organizzazione Internazionale per le Migrazioni), la principale organizzazione intergovernativa nel campo delle migrazioni, che si occupa di promuovere la cooperazione internazionale e di offrire assistenza per la ricerca di soluzioni pratiche ai problemi. Un allarme che chiama in causa la comunità internazionale, incapace di prevenire. Ad oggi sarebbero 192 milioni le persone (il 3% della popolazione mondiale) che vivono fuori dal loro Paese d’appartenenza. Secondo un rapporto della Croce Rossa Internazionale, le vittime di disastri ambientali nel 2001 rappresentavano il 58% del totale dei rifugiati mondiali, e già allora il degrado ambientale causava più migrazioni rispetto ai conflitti armati o alle persecuzioni politiche e religiose.

L’analisi dell’IOM stima in 50 milioni il numero attuale di eco profughi, rispetto ai 24 milioni del 2002 calcolati dall’Unhcr (Alto commissariato delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati). Numero raddoppiato in nemmeno dieci anni e destinato a salire intorno ai 200-250 milioni entro il 2050. Profughi ambientali decuplicati in quasi mezzo secolo. Numeri spietati, capaci di sottolineare come l’uomo non sia esente da colpe. A differenza del passato, la modificazione antropica dell’ambiente è molto più rapida e il numero di disastri ambientali più alto. Sarà un caso?

[...] Per non essere “prigionieri del clima”, sono necessari il riconoscimento da parte della comunità internazionale del problema, politiche contro la vulnerabilità, mantenimento alto del livello della ricerca e aiuto ai Paesi in via di sviluppo, in modo che Terra e uomo tornino a respirare in sintonia.

Fonti: Repubblica, Migration (rivista dell’Iom), Eco.Educazione sostenibile,, Unhcr.

mercoledì 20 gennaio 2010

20 Jan: Italy reaches 20% of renewable energy of electric domestic production

The Italian Economic Development Ministry has published the first official estimates on 2009 renewable energy production and consumption. The report highlights an increase in renewable energy production by 13%, from 58,16 TWh registered at the end of 2008 to roughly 66 TWh at the end of 2009... The solar and photovoltaic sector has registered the highest increase, +400%, from 193 GWh in 2008 to 1.000 GWh in 2009. Wind power has grown by 35%, from 4.861 GWh in 2008 to 6.600 GWh in 2009. Biomass has grown by 10%, from 5.966 GWh in 2008 to roughly 6.500 GWh in 2009. Hydroelectric power has shrunk by 14,4% and geothermal has grown by 4,5%.

Renewable energy currently covers 1/5 of electric energy domestic production (against a 16,5% of 2008).

According to figures produced by Terna (the national grid managing company), electric energy consumption has fallen by 6,7% in 2009, the highest fall registered since 1949 and after-war period, where consumption reached a -9%. The fall was deeper in the first semester (-8,7%), while consumption has recovered in the last part of the year (-4,6%) and reached -2,7% in December 2009. The study also reports an increase in domestic energy production. In December 2009, gas demand was covered by 87,3% by domestic energy and imports shrank by 8,1% with regard to 2008 figures.

Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola added that “the Government will need to support the energy market for a few more years in order to compensate higher costs and attract investments”.

Barbara Mariani
Climate, Energy and Environment
British Embassy Rome

lunedì 18 gennaio 2010

La politica internazionale dopo Copenhagen – Avanti in ordine sparso*

Dopo la delusione dell’esito del Summit di Copenhagen, che ha aperto una lunga pausa riflessiva negli ambienti diplomatici, si ricomincia a pensare alle strategie per il futuro. Quali possono essere quindi i propositi per il 2010? La sfida sarà soprattutto all’interno dei singoli paesi...
Dopo la delusione dell’esito del Summit di Copenhagen, che ha aperto una lunga pausa riflessiva negli ambienti diplomatici, si ricomincia a pensare alle strategie per il futuro.

L’assenza di un accordo su obiettivi di riduzione a lungo termine e di una data per trasformare l’accordo in trattato vincolante, hanno creato una sensazione generale di stallo. Le analisi degli addetti ai lavori e della stampa internazionale si sono soffermate sui principali aspetti critici emersi dal negoziato, cioè l’indebolimento del ruolo dell’Unione Europea, l’emergere di nuovi attori influenti nel processo, in particolare Stati Uniti e Cina, e l’inadeguatezza strutturale delle Nazioni Unite per un negoziato così ambizioso e complesso che comprende 193 paesi.

Alla luce di queste valutazioni, quali possono essere quindi i propositi per il 2010? A livello internazionale, le priorità saranno il rafforzamento della coalizione di Paesi che hanno spinto per un accordo e la riforma del processo negoziale per evitare un blocco decisionale, come si è verificato a Copenhagen. Ma la sfida sarà soprattutto all’interno dei singoli Paesi, che dovranno rafforzare gli impegni di riduzione di emissioni e mettere a punto strumenti adeguati per realizzarli.

In base all’Accordo di Copenhagen, entro il 31 gennaio 2010, i 49 Paesi firmatari (che rappresentano l’80% delle emissioni globali) dovranno presentare i rispettivi obiettivi nazionali di riduzione di emissioni di CO2 da qui al 2020. L’impegno riguarda sia i paesi sviluppati che quelli in via di sviluppo. Si tratta di un passo avanti cruciale nella politica internazionale rispetto al Trattato di Kyoto, che fissava impegni vincolanti solo per i paesi sviluppati e fino al 2012.

Lo scenario internazionale è piuttosto variegato, ma alcune proposte portate al tavolo dei negoziati a dicembre sono promettenti. Il Brasile ha offerto di ridurre le emissioni del 38-42% entro il 2020. Il Piano Nazionale sui Cambiamenti Climatici prevede ambiziose misure forestali, compreso un obiettivo di eliminare la deforestazione illegale del 70% entro il 2017, recentemente esteso all’80% entro il 2020. Il Messico ha definito un Programma Speciale sui Cambiamenti Cimatici che prevede 86 obiettivi specifici per ridurre le emissioni entro il 2012. Il Giappone ha proposto un 15% al di sotto dei livelli del 2005 (equivalente all’ 8% al di sotto dei livelli del 1990) fino a un -25% vincolato dall’esito del negoziato. La Cina ha proposto una riduzione dell’intensità di carbonio del 40-45% rispetto ai livelli del 2005, entro il 2020. Il Sudafrica ha proposto una riduzione del 32% rispetto ai livelli business as usual entro il 2020, e del 42% entro il 2025. Il 2010 sarà soprattutto un anno cruciale per gli Stati Uniti, l’American Clean Energy and Security Act ‘Waxman-Markey’, che stabilisce una riduzione del 17% rispetto ai livelli del 2005 entro il 2020, e’ in attesa di essere approvato dal Senato e il percorso si sa che sarà problematico.

Si tratta di obiettivi molto diversi in termini di impegni e i Paesi sembrano procedere in ordine sparso. A Copenhagen e’ stata persa l’occasione di fissare obiettivi condivisi per rendere stringente lo sforzo di tutti i paesi e dare una struttura globale coerente alle diverse politiche. La presentazione degli obiettivi di riduzione entro la fine di gennaio resta comunque una tappa fondamentale per cercare di contenere l’aumento delle temperature entro i 2 gradi centigradi rispetto ai livelli pre-industriali, il limite che gli scienziati esortano a non oltrepassare per non rischiare effetti irreversibili per la vita sul pianeta.

Tra le altre novità positive dell’Accordo, la definizione di uno strumento di monitoraggio e verifica dell’abbattimento di emissioni e l’accordo sui finanziamenti ai paesi in via di sviluppo per la realizzazione di politiche di riduzione delle emissioni e di adattamento ai cambiamenti climatici. Sarà stanziato un fondo iniziale di 10 miliardi di dollari l’anno da qui al 2012, con uno specifico sostegno alla lotta contro la deforestazione. Il Regno Unito ha contributo al fondo con 2,4 miliardi di dollari. L’Accordo ha stabilito anche l’obiettivo a lungo termine di raggiungere stanziamenti pubblici e privati per 100 miliardi di dollari l’anno per i paesi in via di sviluppo entro il 2020.

Sebbene l’Accordo sia stato riconosciuto come un primo passo importante sia dal Segretario delle Nazioni Unite Ban Ki Moon che dal Primo Ministro britannico Gordon Brown, la società civile e il governo britannico hanno espresso disappunto. Ed Miliband, Segretario di Stato per l’Energia e i Cambiamenti Climatici ha definito l’Accordo “insoddisfacente sotto diversi punti di vista” e ha dichiarato che la politica deve fare ancora molta strada per mettersi al passo con la scienza.

I prossimi appuntamenti cruciali saranno la Conferenza di Bonn (31 maggio- 11 giugno) e la Conferenza delle Parti dell’UNFCCC, che si terrà a dicembre 2010 in Messico. Intanto, nel Regno Unito il Primo Ministro Gordon Brown ha deciso di condurre una campagna internazionale per trasformare questo accordo in un trattato il prima possibile.

La società civile è rimasta altrettanto delusa del fallimento dei negoziati. Anche qui però, emerge un atteggiamento di riflessione critica costruttiva. Si sente il bisogno di una svolta nel modo in cui si concepiscono le campagne sui cambiamenti cimatici. Come ha sottolineato Franny Armstrong, regista del film sui cambiamenti climatici “The Age of Stupid” “Basta con i manifesti, i siti web e le urla per strada. E’ ora di rimboccarsi le maniche e di iniziare tutti insieme ad agire. Se si aspetta che lo faccia la politica sarà troppo tardi.” Quante delle aziende, associazioni e individui che hanno partecipato alle campagne sui cambiamenti climatici metteranno veramente in pratica le azioni necessarie per ridurre le proprie emissioni?

Per citare le parole di Ed Miliband “anche se la transizione a livello globale verso un’economia a basse emissioni di carbonio non ha ancora ottenuto una forma legale a livello internazionale, la scienza, l’opinione pubblica e le opportunità economiche hanno reso questa transizione irreversibile”.

Barbara Mariani
Climate, Energy and Environment
British Embassy Rome

mercoledì 13 gennaio 2010

Com'e' finita? - Part III: Gli Stati dicono...

Molti Stati hanno espresso le loro intenzioni rispetto agli obiettivi che intendono assumersi entro il 31 gennaio. Vediamo come apparirebbero le tabelle negli Appendix I e II dell’Accordo di Copenhagen con le dichiarazioni fatte.


Quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020

Annex I Parties ----- Emissions Reduction in 2020 ------- Base year
EU ------------------------------------- 20%-30%* --------------- 1990
Australia ------------------------------- 5%, 15-25%* ------------ 2000
Canada --------------------------------- 20% --------------------- 2006
Japan ---------------------------------- 8%**-25% --------------- 1990
Russia --------------------------------- 20-25%* ----------------- 1990
USA ----------------------------------- 17% ---------------------- 2005
Norway -------------------------------- 40% --------------------- 1990

*Conditional to an ambitious agreement.
**Equivalent to -15% below 2005 level.


Nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing country Parties

Non-Annex I ----------------------Actions
Brazil --------------------- Cut 38-42% emissions by 2020; cut illegal deforestation by 80% by 2020.
China --------------------- Cut carbon intensity by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020.
India --------------------- 15% renewable energy target by 2020; cut carbon intensity by 20-25% by 2020
South Africa ---------------Cut 32% emissions on business as usual level by 2020; 42% by 2025
South Korea --------------- Cut 4% emissions below 2005 levels by 2020 (equivalent to -30% below business as usual scenario)
Mexico -------------------- Cut 20% emissions on business as usual level
Maldives ------------------ Become carbon neutral by 2020***
Costa Rica ----------------- Become carbon neutral by 2021***

***Carbon neutral countries: these countries are planning to cut their carbon emission of 100%, by reducing their fossil fuel emissions and increasing their carbon sinks (forests). This will result in a zero emissions scenario.
Bastera’ al mondo per scongiurare un aumento della temperature superiore ai 2 gradi centigradi? Secondo il Climate Action Tracker sviluppato da Ecofys questi propositi non sono sufficienti: implementando le attivita' proposte dagli Stati, la concentrazione delle emissioni di CO2 nell'atmosfera raggiungerebbei 650 ppm entro il 2100, a fronte degli attuali 390 ppm. A tali livelli di concentrazione, la temperatura crescerebbe di almeno 3 gradi, con un 25% delle possibilita’ che l’aumento ecceda i 4 gradi centigradi.

Risulta chiara, quindi, la necessita' di impegni piu' ambiziosi.

Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Consulate General Milan

martedì 12 gennaio 2010

Com'e' finita? - Part II: La parola agli Stati. Entro il 31 gennaio

Secondo l’Accordo di Copenhagen gli Stati dovranno formulare i propri target di riduzione delle emission di gas serra entro il 31 gennaio – con l’obiettivo di arrestare l’aumento delle temperature globali entro i 2 gradi centigradi...

Ai Paesi industrializzati, chiamati “Annex I Parties” dal Protocollo di Kyoto, e’ richiesto di fissare degli obiettivi di riduzione quantificabili, espressi in termini percentuali rispetto a un anno base (“Quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020”).

I Paesi emergenti o “Non-Annex I” si impegneranno con azioni di mitigazioni (“Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions”, o NAMA). Potranno consistere, ad esempio, nella riduzione della deforestazione di una certa percentuale, o nell’aumento dell’efficienza energetica.

Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Consulate Generale Milan

martedì 5 gennaio 2010

5 Jan - Ed Miliband riporta al Parlamento su Copenhagen

Ed Miliband riporta al Parlamento sull'esito di Copenhagen:

"Il risultato di Copenhagen non e' stato soddisfacente verso certi aspetti. Comunque, l'Accordo di Copenhagen ha segnato un progresso significativo, che vorrei spiegarvi..."

Guarda qui (h 2:07).
After the Copenhagen negotiations, Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, gives a statement in Parliament about the outcomes of Copenhagen.

"Let me say at the outset that the outcome of Copenhagen was disappointing in a number of respects. However, the Accord agreed at Copenhagen does mark significant progress, progress we can build on, and I want to explain how..."

Watch here. (h 2:07).

05 January 2010 - Statement to the House - Ed Miliband on the Copenhagen climate change conference

"With permission, I would like to make a statement about December’s Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, at which I represented the United Kingdom, alongside my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

Today I want to report back to the House and set out where we go next in the global battle against climate change.

Let me say at the outset that the outcome of Copenhagen was disappointing in a number of respects.

We are disappointed that Copenhagen did not establish a clear timetable for a legal treaty, and that we do not yet have the commitments to cuts in emissions that we were looking for.
However, the Accord agreed at Copenhagen does mark significant progress, progress we can build on, and I want to explain how.

The Copenhagen Accord, which is available in the Library of the House, was agreed by a group representing 49 developed and developing countries that together account for over 80% of global emissions.

It endorses the limit of two degrees warming as the benchmark for global progress on climate change.

Unlike every previous agreement, not just developed, but also all leading developing countries have agreed to make specific commitments to tackle emissions, to be lodged in the agreement by January 31st.

Also for the first time, so that we can be assured that countries are acting as they say they will, all countries have signed up to comprehensive measurement, reporting and verification of progress.

And on finance, there are significant commitments made by the rich world to developing countries. This includes fast start finance worth 10bn dollars a year by 2012 – with a total of up to 2.4 billion dollars from the UK – and specific support to tackle deforestation. In the longer term, the Accord supported the goal - first set by the Prime Minister - of 100bn dollars a year of public and private finance for developing countries by 2020.

By any measure, these are important steps forward.

But we know the world needs to go much further. We need more certainty and a greater scale of ambition.

So, the urgent task ahead is to broaden, deepen and strengthen the commitments made in Copenhagen, drawing on the large coalition of countries that wanted more from the agreement.

Broadening the commitments is vital. 49 countries is not enough. To tackle this global problem we need a wider group.

The United Nations is seeking to persuade all countries to sign up to the Accord and the UK is determined to play its part in making this happen. In addition, we must act to deepen the commitments on emissions made by countries across the world.

Lord Stern has shown that if nations make the biggest emissions cuts in the range they have put forward, we can be within striking distance of the two degree pathway that we need, including the peaking of global emissions by 2020.

We know that this is in our economic as well as our environmental interest: greater certainty about emissions is necessary to provide the strongest incentive to business, including through the carbon price. So we will work to persuade other countries that we all need to show the highest levels of ambition on emissions as part of the commitments we make.

For Europe that means, provided there is high ambition from others, carrying forward our commitment to move from 20% to 30% reductions by 2020 compared to 1990.

And, we must also act to strengthen the Accord, including by continuing our effort to secure a legally binding framework.

In taking on clear commitments and actions we should recognise how far major developing countries have come. But, we must allay their concern that they will be constrained from growth and development by the demands of a legal treaty.

And we must draw on the coalition between some of the world’s richest developed countries and some of the world’s poorest developing countries, all of whom want a legally binding structure.

Strengthening the Accord also means that richer countries must make good on the promises made on fast start finance to 2012; and show that we can fully fund the longer term 100 bn dollar goal – one of the tasks for the High Level Panel on sources of revenue that was agreed in the Accord. These efforts to make progress on substance must be accompanied by reform of the process of decision making.

The conference was held up by disagreements over procedure: which text negotiators should look at and whether, as in Kyoto, a representative group of countries could be formed to avoid having to discuss everything in a plenary of 192 nations.

These disputes about process meant that it was not until 3am on Friday, the last day of a two week conference, that substantive negotiations began on what became the Copenhagen Accord.

By then, there was simply too little time to bridge some of the differences that existed. So we need to find better ways of running the process of negotiation, and I welcome the UN Secretary General’s decision to look again at these issues.

We also welcome the decision by Chancellor Merkel to host a Conference as part of the mid-year negotiations in Bonn, and will work with the incoming Mexican Presidency who will be hosting COP 16 in November.

But dialogue and negotiations need to restart before June, something I made clear to the executive secretary of the Convention on Climate Change when I met him just before Christmas in London.

In looking back at Copenhagen, we must bear in mind that agreement was inevitably tough because we are seeking consensus among 192 countries. Like most ambitious efforts, it was always going to be difficult to succeed first time round.

But we should not let frustration with the two weeks at Copenhagen obscure the historic shift which this last year has marked. I want to pay tribute to the enormous effort of those in the UK, from the scientific community, civil society, British business, and from the general public who have mobilised on climate change.

Their ideas and energy helped drive us forward over the last twelve months and during the Copenhagen conference itself. Let me assure them and this House that we are determined to strengthen and sustain the momentum behind the low carbon transition in the UK.

Building on our low carbon transition plan, a world-leading policy on coal, and our plans for nuclear; in the coming weeks and months we will be making further announcements on energy generation, household energy efficiency and transport.

And following Copenhagen, as part of the work already ongoing on the roadmap to 2050, we are looking at whether further action is necessary to meet our low carbon obligations and will report back by the time of the Budget. This will include looking at the advice of the Committee on Climate Change published last autumn.

Internationally, thanks in large part to the deadline of Copenhagen and the mobilisation behind it, every major economy of the world now has domestic policy goals and commitments to limit their greenhouse gas emissions: the US, China, Japan, Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa, and of course the EU.

Throughout the world policy is now set to improve energy efficiency, to increase investment in low carbon power, to develop hybrid and electric vehicles and smart grids, and to reduce deforestation.

So while Copenhagen did not meet our expectations, 2009 did see the start of a new chapter in tackling climate change across the world. This global shift may not have yet found international legal form, but scientific evidence, public opinion and business opportunity have made it irreversible.

In 2010 and in the years ahead, this government and I am sure the vast majority of this House is determined to ensure that we redouble our efforts to complete the unfinished business of Copenhagen.

Climate change remains the biggest global challenge to humankind. It requires a global solution. We owe it to our children and their children and the generations that come after to find it.

The work has started, it will continue this year and it will succeed. The fight against climate change will be won.

I commend this statement to the House."

Veronica Caciagli
Climate Change Officer
British Cosulate General Milan