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Climate change is a global challenge and requires a global solution. Through analysis and dialogue, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is working with governments and stakeholders to identify practical and effective options for the post-2012 international climate framework. Read more

 

Q&A: UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) 14th annual Conference of the Parties (COP 14) takes place in Poznan, Poland December 1-12.

Find out more about the conference and UNFCCC negotiations in our Q&A below:

                                                                    
What is the focus of the Poznan conference?

The Bali Action Plan, adopted by more than 180 countries in December 2007, set an ambitious goal of achieving a new global climate agreement in December 2009 in Copenhagen. The Poznan conference represents the midpoint between Bali and Copenhagen.  Governments are taking stock of the progress made since Bali, discussing the proposals that have come forward this year, and adopting a work plan for the coming year.  No major formal outcomes are expected.  On a more political level, Poznan is a final round of positioning by governments before heading into what is expected to be a period of intense negotiations.  Governments will be setting their expectations for what needs to happen next year in Copenhagen.


What are the major issues under discussion?

The Bali Action Plan lays out the key issues to be addressed in a new agreement: mitigation (reducing emissions), adaptation, technology, and finance.  Among these, some of the most central issues include: the emission reduction targets to be adopted by developed countries; the types of mitigation actions to be undertaken by developing countries, particularly China, India and other major emerging economies; and the types and level of support to be provided to developing countries for both mitigation and adaptation.


How will the election of a new U.S. president affect the negotiations?

Without the United States at the table and prepared to negotiate, a new international agreement is very unlikely.  President-elect Obama has said that when he takes office “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.”  The new administration’s ability to negotiate an agreement will depend heavily, however, on how quickly the new President and Congress can enact legislation to reduce U.S. emissions.  President-elect Obama is calling for a federal cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions to 1990 levels in 2020 and another 80% by 2050.    


What role will the U.S. Congress play in reaching a new global agreement?

Congress plays two critical roles.  Congress must enact the mandatory climate legislation that will enable the United States to commit to an international emissions target.  And any binding new international agreement must be ratified by the Senate.  For those reasons, it will be important for the new Administration to consult closely with the Congress in shaping its negotiating positions.  


What are realistic expectations for Copenhagen in 2009?

While there is a strong chance that climate legislation will begin moving through Congress in 2009, final enactment is not likely, which would make it difficult for the new Administration to commit to a specific emissions target in Copenhagen.  In that case, Copenhagen is unlikely to produce a full and final agreement that could be submitted to governments for ratification.  A more realistic outcome may be an agreement on the basic architecture of the post-2012 climate framework -- for instance, binding economy-wide targets for developed countries, policy commitments for the major emerging economies, and support mechanisms for technology, finance, and adaptation in developing countries.  This intermediary agreement could then serve as the basis for further negotiations in 2010 on specific commitments in a full and final agreement.

Download a PDF of the Q&A

Back to main COP 14 - Poznan page

 

Poznan COP 14 Resources

Key Resources for COP 14
Poznan, Poland

Overview Schedule
http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_14/application/pdf/cop14_overview_schedule.pdf


Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change


Ad Hoc Working Group – Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)


Earth Negotiations Bulletin – Resource for daily updates on COP 14
http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop14/


UNFCCC Secretariat Press Page for COP 14
http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_14/press/items/4496.php

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COP 14 - Poznan, Poland

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The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) 14th annual climate change conference, or Conference of the Parties (COP 14), took place in Poznan, Poland December 1-12, 2008.

On this page, you can link to the following resources to learn more about UNFCCC climate change negotiations, our events in Poznan, and the future of U.S. and international climate policy.

 

 

 

Related Material

 

The Center's Events in Poznan

 

U.S. Election and Prospects for a New Climate Agreement

Read the full article

By Elliot Diringer
October 2008

This article was first published by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Transatlantic Climate Policy Group.

After years of stalemate in the international climate negotiations, the inauguration of a new U.S. president presents an opportunity for a genuine breakthrough.  Both John McCain and Barack Obama support mandatory limits on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and both favor renewed international engagement.  But unrealistic expectations about how quickly the United States will move – and how far – could severely damage prospects for any sort of agreement next year in Copenhagen.

An effective post-2012 climate agreement is impossible without the United States, the world’s largest economy and largest historic emitter.  Europe was able to persuade other developed countries to push ahead with initial commitments under the Kyoto Protocol despite the U.S. withdrawal.  But there appears very little appetite among those countries to take on new, stronger commitments without the United States, and even less prospect of commitments by the major developing countries.

Fortunately, there is at long last real momentum for stronger efforts to reduce U.S. emissions.  While skeptics remain, the political establishment has largely accepted the scientific consensus that human-induced warming is underway and must be addressed.  Many states are taking mandatory steps to reduce emissions; 24 states have entered into regional initiatives to establish cap-and-trade systems.  Many corporate leaders are calling for mandatory federal action, and Congress is seriously debating the establishment of an economy-wide cap-and-trade system more than twice the size of Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

Read more

by Elliot Diringer, Vice President for International Strategies— Published by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Transatlantic Climate Policy Group, October 2008
Elliot Diringer
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Coal Initiative Series: A Resource and Technology Assessment of Coal Utilization in India

 

India Coal Technology Paper

Coal Initiative Series White Paper:

A Resource and Technology Assessment of Coal Utilization in India

Download the full white paper (pdf)

Prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
October 2008

By:
Ananth P. Chikkatur, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

A Resource and Technology Assessment of Coal Utilization in India continues the series of Pew Center papers that explore strategies for addressing CO2 emissions from using coal to provide electricity.

Electricity production in India is projected to expand dramatically in the near term to energize new industrial development, while also easing the energy shortages throughout the country. Much of the new growth in electricity production will be fueled by domestic coal resources; however, there is worldwide concern about increased coal use, as greater carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal combustion will exacerbate climate change. At the same time, there are now a number of different existing and emerging technological options for coal conversion and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction worldwide that could potentially be useful for the Indian coal-power sector. This paper reviews coal utilization in India and examines current and emerging coal power technologies with near- and long-term potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal power generation.

Ananth P. Chikkatur
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Towards a New International Climate Change Agreement

Read the full article (pdf)

by Elliot Diringer
September 2008

This article is draft version of a chapter in the forthcoming book, Development in the Balance: How Will the World's Poor Cope with Climate Change?, to be published by the Brookings Institution Press


Executive Summary:

A successful post-2012 climate agreement must engage all the world's major economies through a "multi-track" framework allowing different types of commitments for developed and developing countries. The 25 major economies accounting for 84 percent of global emissions are extremely diverse, with per capita incomes and per capita emissions ranging by a factor of 18. Strategies for integrating climate action with broader economic and development agendas will vary with national circumstance. Accommodating these differences requires a flexible but binding international framework integrating different types of commitments, such as economy-wide emission targets, policy-based commitments, and sectoral agreements. Incentives for developing countries, including both market-based schemes and direct assistance, also must be provided. A post-2012 agreement might advance adaptation on two fronts: proactively, by facilitating comprehensive national planning; and reactively, by helping countries cope with the risks that remain. Given the time it will take a new U.S. administration and Congress to establish a domestic climate policy, a detailed post-2012 agreement is unlikely when governments meet in late 2009 in Copenhagen. Instead, governments should aim for consensus on a broad framework and continue negotiating toward specific commitments.

by Elliot Diringer, Director of International StrategiesPreview to a chapter in the forthcoming book, Development in the Balance: How Will the World's Poor Cope with Climate Change?
Elliot Diringer
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Towards a New International Climate Change Agreement - Article

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Read the full article (pdf)

by Elliot Diringer
September 2008

-This article is draft version of a chapter in the forthcoming book, Development in the Balance: How Will the World's Poor Cope with Climate Change?, to be published by the Brookings Institution Press-


Executive Summary:

A successful post-2012 climate agreement must engage all the world's major economies through a "multi-track" framework allowing different types of commitments for developed and developing countries. The 25 major economies accounting for 84 percent of global emissions are extremely diverse, with per capita incomes and per capita emissions ranging by a factor of 18. Strategies for integrating climate action with broader economic and development agendas will vary with national circumstance. Accommodating these differences requires a flexible but binding international framework integrating different types of commitments, such as economy-wide emission targets, policy-based commitments, and sectoral agreements. Incentives for developing countries, including both market-based schemes and direct assistance, also must be provided. A post-2012 agreement might advance adaptation on two fronts: proactively, by facilitating comprehensive national planning; and reactively, by helping countries cope with the risks that remain. Given the time it will take a new U.S. administration and Congress to establish a domestic climate policy, a detailed post-2012 agreement is unlikely when governments meet in late 2009 in Copenhagen. Instead, governments should aim for consensus on a broad framework and continue negotiating toward specific commitments.

Climate Change Mitigation Measures in India

International Brief
September 2008

Read full brief (pdf)


India is the world’s fourth largest economy and fifth largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, accounting for about 5% of global emissions. India’s emissions increased 65% between 1990 and 2005 and are projected to grow another 70% by 2020.  On a per capita basis, India’s emissions are 70% below the world average and 93% below those of the United States. As in many other countries, India has a number of policies that, while not driven by climate concerns, contribute to climate mitigation by reducing or avoiding GHG emissions.

For more details on policies and measures related to climate change in India, please read our India Policy Brief (pdf).

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Statement: G8 Climate Goal

Statement of Eileen Claussen, President
Pew Center on Global Climate Change

July 8, 2008

The G8’s endorsement of an aspirational long-term climate goal is a positive step but far short of a solution.  While cutting global emissions in half by 2050 probably would not avoid dangerous climate change altogether, it would greatly reduce the odds of catastrophic impacts.  And with emissions now rising faster than ever, meeting such an ambitious goal requires an all-out global effort.
 
But more important than the long-term goal is actually getting the job started, and there the G8 again failed to deliver.  Endorsing the use of economy-wide goals to achieve absolute emission reductions is a step forward for President Bush.  But what is needed – and what is missing – is a clear declaration by the industrialized powers that they are ready to negotiate strong, binding mid-term targets.  That is the kind of leadership it will take to get all the major economies on board an effective, sustained global effort.

 

More G8 coverage
Click here to listen to an interview with Elliot Diringer, Director of International Strategies at the Pew Center.

Summary: India's National Action Plan on Climate Change

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National Action Plan on Climate Change
Government of India

June 2008
Click here for a pdf of this summary.

On June 30, 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released India’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlining existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation.  The plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through 2017 and directs ministries to submit detailed implementation plans to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change by December 2008.

Emphasizing the overriding priority of maintaining high economic growth rates to raise living standards, the plan “identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively.”  It says these national measures would be more successful with assistance from developed countries, and pledges that India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions “will at no point exceed that of developed countries even as we pursue our development objectives.”

National Missions

National Solar Mission: The NAPCC aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses with the ultimate objective of making solar competitive with fossil-based energy options. The plan includes:

  • Specific goals for increasing use of solar thermal technologies in urban areas, industry, and commercial establishments;
  • A goal of increasing production of photovoltaics to 1000 MW/year; and
  • A goal of deploying at least 1000 MW of solar thermal power generation.
    Other objectives include the establishment of a solar research center, increased international collaboration on technology development, strengthening of domestic manufacturing capacity, and increased government funding and international support.

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Current initiatives are expected to yield savings of 10,000 MW by 2012.  Building on the Energy Conservation Act 2001, the plan recommends:

  • Mandating specific energy consumption decreases in large energy-consuming industries, with a system for companies to trade energy-savings certificates;
  • Energy incentives, including reduced taxes on energy-efficient appliances; and
  • Financing for public-private partnerships to reduce energy consumption through demand-side management programs in the municipal, buildings and agricultural sectors.

National Mission on Sustainable Habitat: To promote energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning, the plan calls for:

  • Extending the existing Energy Conservation Building Code;
  • A greater emphasis on urban waste management and recycling, including power production from waste;
  • Strengthening the enforcement of automotive fuel economy standards and using pricing measures to encourage the purchase of efficient vehicles; and
  • Incentives for the use of public transportation.

National Water Mission: With water scarcity projected to worsen as a result of climate change, the plan sets a goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency through pricing and other measures.

National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem: The plan aims to conserve biodiversity, forest cover, and other ecological values in the Himalayan region, where glaciers that are a major source of India’s water supply are projected to recede as a result of global warming. 

National Mission for a “Green India”: Goals include the afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23% to 33% of India’s territory.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The plan aims to support climate adaptation in agriculture through the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms, and agricultural practices.

National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change: To gain a better understanding of climate science, impacts and challenges, the plan envisions a new Climate Science Research Fund, improved climate modeling, and increased international collaboration.  It also encourage private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds.

Other Programs

The NAPCC also describes other ongoing initiatives, including: 

  • Power Generation: The government is mandating the retirement of inefficient coal-fired power plants and supporting the research and development of IGCC and supercritical technologies.
  • Renewable Energy: Under the Electricity Act 2003 and the National Tariff Policy 2006, the central and the state electricity regulatory commissions must purchase a certain percentage of grid-based power from renewable sources.
  • Energy Efficiency: Under the Energy Conservation Act 2001, large energy-consuming industries are required to undertake energy audits and an energy labeling program for appliances has been introduced.

Implementation

Ministries with lead responsibility for each of the missions are directed to develop objectives, implementation strategies, timelines, and monitoring and evaluation criteria, to be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. The Council will also be responsible for periodically reviewing and reporting on each mission’s progress. To be able to quantify progress, appropriate indicators and methodologies will be developed to assess both avoided emissions and adaptation benefits.

Read the full National Action Plan on Climate Change (pdf)

Transcript of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's Speech (June 30, 2008)

 

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