At the end of every UNFCCC meeting, on the last day, there’s a grand prize: the Colossal Fossil. So proud: New Zealand took top prize for the first time, shared with Canada.
For a country whose emissions are similar in scale to the Canadian tar sands, New Zealand has demonstrated exceptional blindness to scientific and political realities. Surprising many and disappointing all, New Zealand has fought hard to unseat 5-time Colossal Fossil winner, Canada, in a campaign of extreme selfishness and irresponsibility.
While New Zealand may have helped drown the talks for another year, New Zealand’s small and vulnerable Pacific neighbours should take heart that they have not been forgotten – New Zealand intends to drown them too.
I don’t think I can add much to this, except to say that for a small country, we sure manage to punch above our weight at these talks, upsetting more governments and people than is warranted for our small size. Sam from the Youth Delegation has summed it up nicely over on the youth blog. It’s all about trust.
I was going to write a light-hearted blog today, poking fun at Lord Christopher Monckton’s appearance in Doha, in his Arabic dress and antics in the plenary. But I thought about it overnight and woke this morning more angry about it than amused.Monckton turned up on Wednesday dressed in full Arab regalia – the long, white kheffiyeh that the majority of Qatari men wear every day. He held a press conference the next day with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and a Texan tea party group, with Republican Senator James Inhofe joining by video.
But this week saw a massive typhoon in the Philippines that has so far killed more than 500 people – and counting. The southernmost super-typhoon ever seen in the country. It nearly wiped out Palau altogether.
The Philippine delegate, in tears, appealed to the meeting to take action, to get agreement: “If not us, then who; if not now, then when; if not here then where?”
Later, Monckton later took the floor in the plenary, posing as a delegate for Burma, who don’t have a delegation here, and told the meeting that there had been no warming in 16 years. The whole plenary booed him. He had his badge taken off him, and was ejected (he was leaving anyway). The Guardian Liveblog covered it here, if you feel you must watch (another rant from me there too).
I got an email from the UN telling me: “Lord Monckton has been permanently barred from the UNFCCC process.”
So that’s it. Never again will I see the Viscount of Brenchley, Lord Christopher Monckton at a climate talks. Good riddance. He’s already trying to spin that he was thrown out because he was talking about no warming for 16 years, when in fact he was rightfully thrown out for speaking on the floor as Burma when he wasn’t entitled to do that.
Right now, it’s after 2 am and I’ve left the negotiations to get some sleep. There’s big deadlocks around a lot of the detail, with much focus on an incredibly weak Kyoto Protocol text. Who’s in, who’s out? Our government has been right in there, weakening rules around trading to the point that they’re actually weaker than they were in the early 1990’s.
Then there’s the issue of “loss and damage,” new to the discussions from last year. The key sticking point is over whether there is an international mechanism set up to help distribute money for the poorest countries to pay for the loss and damage from climate impacts. It’s about the industrialized world paying for the damage it’s now wreaking on the poorest.
As Seychelles Ambassador Ronny Jumeau told a press conference earlier this week:
“If we had had more [emissions cuts], we would not have to ask for so much for adapatation. If there had been more money for adaptation, we would not be looking for money for loss and damge. What’s next? The loss of our islands?”
This isn’t going to finish any time soon. What we’ll get tomorrow is up in the air, but what we do know is that air will continue to be filled with increasing amounts of C02 – and nothing that’s happening here is going to slow it any time soon.
I’ll know more in the morning, but bets are on that it’s going to last through to late Saturday.