Tempers fray over Russian block at climate talks

Jun 11, 2013 by Richard Ingham
United Nations Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres speaks during a press conference on November 30, 2012. A key panel at UN climate talks in Bonn went into deep freeze on Tuesday as Russia ignored pleas to end a procedural protest, according to a webcast of the meeting and sources there.

A key panel at UN climate talks in Bonn went into deep freeze on Tuesday as Russia ignored pleas to end a procedural protest, according to a webcast of the meeting and sources there.

Supported by Belarus and Ukraine, Russia refused to let work start in the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), an important technical committee in the , more than a week after the 12-day negotiations began.

Observers said if the three countries did not back down, the future of the entire UN process to fight greenhouse-gas emissions would be at risk.

"It's a most unfortunate situation," said Christiana Figueres, head of the (UNFCCC), as delegates admitted the panel will most likely have achieved nothing by Friday's close.

The Russians are incensed by what happened at the UNFCCC's last big annual meeting, held in Doha, Qatar, last December.

They complain they were ignored by the conference's Qatari chairman, who gavelled through a deal that extended the Kyoto Protocol.

The decision at Doha hamstrung Moscow's planned sale of 5.8 billion tonnes of that Russia had amassed under the first round of the .

It had gained these credits not through emissions reductions efforts, but after market pressure forced the closure of CO2-spewing factories following the fall of the Soviet Union.

Facing pleas and ill-disguised criticism from other delegates, Russian chief negotiator Oleg Shamonov on Tuesday said his country would not back down over what it felt was a matter of principle.

"This is a country-driven process... emotions must be set aside," he said.

Arguing for transparency in UN decision-making, he said, "Our intention is to bring the process from behind the looking glass."

Other countries expressed sympathy with Russia's argument but with the exception of its two allies, none backed its tactics and several voiced frustration.

Fiji, speaking for an alliance of developing countries that includes China, begged for action.

"Please don't walk off, please don't close the door and turn off the lights," its delegate said.

"We are all here as sovereign member states. Let us not tie the noose around our necks on some procedural issues."

To applause, Tuvalu, a small-island state worried by sea-level rise, asked: "Do we have to bury ourselves in procedural matters and not address important issues? Are we getting the impression that three parties are not interested in climate change? That seems to be the impression we are getting."

The quarrel touches at the heart of how decisions at the 20-year-old climate forum are adopted.

Bedevilled by defence of national interests, nit-picking and bickering, the 195 parties to the UNFCCC struggle to agree on curbing carbon emissions and helping poor countries adapt to worse floods, storms, droughts and rising seas.

Since 2009, the big decisions at the annual ministerial get-together have been reached in the pre-dawn hours amid scenes of exhaustion—and only after use of the gavel has sidelined dissenters.

Supporters of the technique say decisions would be even weaker and more laborious if formal unanimity were required.

The SBI, the committee deadlocked by the spat in Bonn, is a standing body tasked with carrying out decisions made in other UNFCCC arenas.

The gridlock means that the UNFCCC will head towards its annual meeting in Warsaw from November 11-22 with scant preparation for several big problems.

They include a method of common accountancy to show how developing countries are meeting emissions goals and how to build a mechanism to support countries badly hit by climate change.

Both projects are highly technical but potentially explosive in negotiations.

Warsaw is a stepping stone towards a planned pact to roll back greenhouse-gas emissions, which would be signed at the end of 2015 and take effect from 2020.

"If these three countries maintain their positions until 2015, they could wreck the entire process," one observer warned AFP.

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User comments : 23

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Shootist
1.9 / 5 (22) Jun 11, 2013
Go Russia: The only ones left opposing whatever the frell the world is turning into.
Maggnus
3.7 / 5 (15) Jun 11, 2013
Seriously Shootist, you are such a droll troll.
ValeriaT
3.5 / 5 (19) Jun 11, 2013
Most of Russian income comes from selling of oil and natural gas - without it the Putin's regime would get already ruined economically. In addition, the global warming could make the oil reserves at North sea accessible for Russians, not to say about transportation routes. So it's not so difficult to understand the negativist tendency of Russians regarding the "fight" against allegedly anthropogenic climate change. Every country (including the USA and Canada) is prepared to fuck every agreement regarding the limitation of fossil fuel consumption from the moment, if it will not play well with its national interests. From this reason the USA boycotted the Kyoto for many years. And from the same - just opposite - reason the West Europe and Japan (which have only limited fossil fuel supplies) are pushing the climate talks at any price.
Maggnus
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2013
That's an interesting take on the debate Zeph, and I think you have a good part of it right. One wonders what would happen if a giant oil reserve was discovered off the coast of Japan?
VENDItardE
1.4 / 5 (20) Jun 11, 2013
Go Russia: The only ones left opposing whatever the frell the world is turning into.


keep up the fight, the alarmists are starting to bob and weave and run for cover
alfie_null
3 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2013
What's the objective - moving forward, or painting your opposition? If it's that important, make a deal - mollify the Russians. Perhaps this is happening behind the scenes; the players are all consummate politicians. All we see though, is public gesturing and posturing. And some of us react predictably.
antialias_physorg
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 12, 2013
One wonders what would happen if a giant oil reserve was discovered off the coast of Japan?

Since Japan is on the verge of going full-tilt for methane hydrates you're about to find out.

Perhaps this is happening behind the scenes; the players are all consummate politicians

I doubt it. Personal checking accounts/personal power maintenance outweigh political persuasions at that level - any day.

DavidW
1.4 / 5 (15) Jun 12, 2013
The issue driving this most is what we eat. That's a known fact now.

Take a look at this table:
http://www.meatth...able.pdf

Sources are listed here:
http://www.meatth...sources/

Make no mistake about it. We either stop killing for enjoyment or we destroy ourselves.
Shootist
1.7 / 5 (18) Jun 12, 2013
Seriously Shootist, you are such a droll troll.


The Droll Troll: Supporting Liberty & Freedom Against the Progressive Tide

We don't need world government. We don't need carbon trading, if only to keep algore from making his friends (more) wealthy.

DavidW
1.6 / 5 (16) Jun 12, 2013
If all Americans did not eat meat for seven days a week it would be just the same as removing all of the cars in the USA off the roads.

If all Americans did not eat meat for six days a week it would lead to the same carbon savings as eliminating the total electricity use of all households in the United States.

If all Americans did not eat meat for five days a week it would result in carbon savings equivalent to planting 13 billion trees in your garden and letting them grow for ten years. That is 43 trees per American!

If all Americans did not eat meat for four days a week it would result in carbon savings equivalent to halving the domestic use of all electricity, gas, oil, petroleum and kerosene in the United States.

If all Americans did not eat meat for one day a week it would save 46 million round trip flights from New York to Los Angeles.

We have identified the biggest driving issue. The cause of the issue is not following the truth; the lie.
Czcibor
2.3 / 5 (4) Jun 12, 2013
Russian can in short run gain from selling natural gas and oil. If the climate change indeed happen on significant scale they will be the ones who would gain in long run for vast areas of Siberia defrosting and turning in to arable land. (and as Valeria pointed out easier access to some natural resources)

Regardless of how you value such approach - if you were asked what's the rational (not moral - RATIONAL) move for Russians - would you suggest something different?
antigoracle
1.5 / 5 (17) Jun 12, 2013
The AGW meltdown (pun not intended) has begun, as the lies, politics and greed converge.
deepsand
3.5 / 5 (17) Jun 13, 2013
AO, Shootist, and their brethren are like dim witted woodpeckers relentlessly pecking at a block of concrete in hopes of finding a grub.
.
antigoracle
1.3 / 5 (16) Jun 13, 2013
AO, Shootist, and their brethren are like dim witted woodpeckers relentlessly pecking at a block of concrete in hopes of finding a grub.
.

And so the AGW Alarmist turd, recedes back into the depths of its cesspool of ignorance, never staying long enough for fear of seeing the light.
Maggnus
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 13, 2013
I'm almost afraid to see your answer DavidW, but please do tell: how does not eating meat cause savings of carbon? Its a cute film promo you've linked to, but I'm looking to understand the scientific explanation of how the two things tie together.
cantdrive85
1.7 / 5 (15) Jun 13, 2013
I'm almost afraid to see your answer DavidW, but please do tell: how does not eating meat cause savings of carbon? Its a cute film promo you've linked to, but I'm looking to understand the scientific explanation of how the two things tie together.


This is way, way, way over your head, but here it goes. Not only do the animals create vast amounts of "greenhouse" gases, but so too does the enormous industry that exists solely for the mass production of meat. It's along the same lines as, if you drive less, your car will produce less greenhouse gases. It's complex I know, and it is a POV supported by the chair (former?) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

http://www.guardi...anddrink

Maggnus
4.3 / 5 (7) Jun 13, 2013
This is way, way, way over your head, but here it goes.


Ha that's rich, coming from you. So how's that sunspot/earthquake thing working out?

Not only do the animals create vast amounts of "greenhouse" gases, but so too does the enormous industry that exists solely for the mass production of meat.


Yea, ok that makes sense. To ask Americans to give up meat though, I don't see much traction there. I like the link that explains the emissions would also be less if countries stopped importing and used their own homegrown animals. Thanks cantdrive.

cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (17) Jun 13, 2013
So how's that sunspot/earthquake thing working out?


The correlation continues...

To ask Americans to give up meat though, I don't see much traction there.


You got that right, one only need to look at the correlation of the intake of animal fats and heart disease, diabetes, etc... If they won't cut back to save themselves, why would they cut back to "save the world"?

Neinsense99
3 / 5 (12) Jun 14, 2013
So how's that sunspot/earthquake thing working out?


The correlation continues...

To ask Americans to give up meat though, I don't see much traction there.


You got that right, one only need to look at the correlation of the intake of animal fats and heart disease, diabetes, etc... If they won't cut back to save themselves, why would they cut back to "save the world"?


I wanted to give you a good score for the meat consumption part, but that sunspot/earthquake silliness knocked it down a point or two. Oh well...
deepsand
3.4 / 5 (18) Jun 14, 2013
I'm almost afraid to see your answer DavidW, but please do tell: how does not eating meat cause savings of carbon? Its a cute film promo you've linked to, but I'm looking to understand the scientific explanation of how the two things tie together.


This is way, way, way over your head, but here it goes. Not only do the animals create vast amounts of "greenhouse" gases, ...

Those "vast amounts" are negligible compared to the amounts of CH4 that naturally leak from the Earth and are mechanically released during oil production.
... but so too does the enormous industry that exists solely for the mass production of meat.

Conveniently ignored is what the carbon footprint of agriculture would be were it engaged in meeting all of man's dietary protein needs from plant life.
antigoracle
1.3 / 5 (16) Jun 14, 2013
So how's that sunspot/earthquake thing working out?


The correlation continues...

To ask Americans to give up meat though, I don't see much traction there.


You got that right, one only need to look at the correlation of the intake of animal fats and heart disease, diabetes, etc... If they won't cut back to save themselves, why would they cut back to "save the world"?


I wanted to give you a good score for the meat consumption part, but that sunspot/earthquake silliness knocked it down a point or two. Oh well...

Of course, your brainless cult gives you a 5 for this Turd Stool.
deepsand
3.2 / 5 (14) Jun 15, 2013
So how's that sunspot/earthquake thing working out?

The correlation continues...

To ask Americans to give up meat though, I don't see much traction there.

You got that right, one only need to look at the correlation of the intake of animal fats and heart disease, diabetes, etc... If they won't cut back to save themselves, why would they cut back to "save the world"?

I wanted to give you a good score for the meat consumption part, but that sunspot/earthquake silliness knocked it down a point or two. Oh well...

Of course, your brainless cult gives you a 5 for this Turd Stool.

You lack the humour to be entertaining, the knowledge to be informative, and have all the charm and attraction of a deceased rat which suffered from leprosy and incontinence.
Neinsense99
3 / 5 (8) Jun 21, 2013
So how's that sunspot/earthquake thing working out?

The correlation continues...

To ask Americans to give up meat though, I don't see much traction there.

You got that right, one only need to look at the correlation of the intake of animal fats and heart disease, diabetes, etc... If they won't cut back to save themselves, why would they cut back to "save the world"?

I wanted to give you a good score for the meat consumption part, but that sunspot/earthquake silliness knocked it down a point or two. Oh well...

Of course, your brainless cult gives you a 5 for this Turd Stool.

You lack the humour to be entertaining, the knowledge to be informative, and have all the charm and attraction of a deceased rat which suffered from leprosy and incontinence.

Deepsand seems to be copying and pasting his responses to the AG, giving them the attention that their content deserves.