#34 Three Weeks to Copenhagen

September 21, 2009
by phil

With just three negotiating weeks left before Copenhagen, we ask “what do the developing countries think a fair deal would look like?”

At the latest round of UN Climate Talks in Bonn, G77+China bloc (representing 132 developing countries) said that historical responsibility should be part of the global deal’s shared vision and should be used as a guide for future action on climate change.

At the previous set of talks in June in Bonn, developing world countries shared their perspectives on what “historical responsibility” might mean in practice. An increasingly popular view is that countries should get equal access to the total safe emissions budget across time. This would mean that the rich world is already in debt. Rich countries must therefore rapidly decarbonise their societies and fund low carbon development in poor countries.

This idea goes beyond Contraction & Convergence which divides up only the remaining emissions budget on a fair basis. A version of this idea has recently been formulated by the German Advisory Council on Global Change and endorsed by the German government’s chief advisor on climate change, John Schellnhuber who says: “Our basic principle is that all humans have equal rights to the to the atmosphere. This is a basic right.”

The programme features the voices of Ed Miliband (UK Environment Secretary), Martin Kohr (Director, South Centre), Ambassador Angelica Navarro (Bolivia) and Bernarditus Muller (of the Philippines for the G77+China) along with “Where There’s a Will” by The Pop Group.


Video documentation and powerpoint presentations of UN debate on “historical responsibility” (June 2009)


Third World Network summary of the “historical responsibility” debate (June 2009)


India’s calculation of 80% cut for Annex I by 2020 (see slide 18)


Proposals for rich country targets under Kyoto Protocol track (see p. 10 for India’s 79.2% by 2020 proposal)


Third World Network report on “shared vision” group (13 August 2009)


Schellnhuber: developed countries are ‘carbon insolvent’ (Der Spiegel, 4 Sept 2009)


Fair carbon means no carbon for rich countries (New Scientist, 16 Sept, 2009)


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