Friday, April 8, 2011

Developing Countries Lead in Cutting Emmissions

BANGKOK - Today, as the UN climate talks came to a close in Bangkok, Ambassador Pablo Solon of the Plurinational State of Bolivia released UN statistics that showed, contrary to conventional wisdom, that developing countries are taking more climate action than developed countries.

"What's on the table in these negotiations is that 65% of emission reductions happen in developing countries and just 35% happen in developed countries, even though it is they who caused the problem of climate change. This is like someone burning down your crops, making you do all the work to replant them and then acting like a hero when they give you a tiny discount on the seeds . " Ambassador Solon said.

"Developed countries have decided that a limitation of a 2 degree temperature rise should be the object of the climate negotiations, despite that goal being unsafe for millions of lives and livelihoods across the world." Ambassador Solon said.

"Nevertheless, to achieve their inadequate goal, countries across the world would need to cut their emissions by 14 gigatonnes per year by 2020." Ambassador Solon said.

"At best, countries of the world have currently pledged to do 8.7 gigatonnes of emission reductions and at worst 6.6 gigatonnes - which shows how far we are from achieving an outcome that reflects the science and preserves life." Ambassador Solon said.

"Of these inadequate pledges, in the worst case scenario, only 3 gigatonnes are included in rich countries pledges, in contrast to 3.6 gigatonnes in developing countries- giving up the lie that it is developed countries which are "leading" emission reductions." Ambassador Solon said.

"Rich country promises are even more hollow when the use of 'offsets' are included to their low pledges, those offsets transfer 1.1 gigatonnes of emission reductions from developed countries to developing countries." Ambassador Solon said.

"In total this analysis shows that, with the use of offsets 3.6 gigatonnes of emission reductions will happen in developing countries in contrast to just 1.9 gigatonnes in developed countries." Ambassador Solon said.

"To spend five days discussing an agenda seems insane but what is behind the discussion of the agenda is what kind of outcome we will have in South Africa." Ambassador Solon added in answers to questions.

A copy of the presentation is available here.

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