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COP18 Live: Latest news from Day 2 of Doha climate summit

Contact John Parnell in Doha if you have any comments or a story you’d like to share.

By John Parnell
RTCC in Doha

-Contact us by email or twitter!
-Those on the ground in Qatar can also visit the Climate Change Studio in Hall 4, a collaboration between the UNFCCC and RTCC. Contact the Secretariat to request an interview.

US: Pershing reaffirms commitment to UNFCCC.
- Kelly Rigg: It’s time for world leaders to take a walk in the woods.
- Qatar: Qatar emissions pledge could soothe climate talks tension.

Today’s headlines:

Poland: Spoken to a few people today who have raised eyebrows at the attention being given to Poland’s calls for it to keep its carbon allowances (AAUs) from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

It wants to roll them over into the second period (CP2), but critics have lined up to criticize them saying this would damage the effectiveness of the CP2. Several sources have told me that there will now be very few buyers for those credits, making it something of a non-issue. Internal politics are at play in the EU, according to two delegates.

Stalemate: An impasse over the Long term Cooperative Action (LCA) negotiating stream has emerged. The set of talks, which in English are about the finance, technology and knowledge sharing required to help developing countries deal with climate change, have gone into a new meeting to start over.

Several groups were unhappy with the Saudi Arabian chair’s opening position.

The LCA track is a bone of contention in Doha with the EU and others looking to move the topics covered by it into the newest phase of negotiations, the Durban Platform, which aims to have a new Kyoto style deal in place by 2015, but applicable to all countries.

Egypt: Speaking on behalf of the Arab group, Egypt has called on the Doha talks to mark a seachange in regional efforts to tackle climate change. There have also been calls for the Qatari hosts to submit a formal emissions reduction pledge in order to indicate its commitment to the international effort to reduce emisssions.

Japan: Japan became the latest country to talk up “bi-lateral” measures. The country faces a struggle to cut its emissions as it replaces its nuclear power with fossil fuels.

Environment Minister Hiroyuki Nagahama said the country was looking to establish technology transfer arrangements with Mongolia and Indonesia in return for carbon offsets.

“If Japan’s technology provided to other countries can reduce the impact of carbon dioxide, that means Japan plays an important role as a developed nation,” he said. The programmes will be pushed in Doha as the country looks for more partners.

Climate bailout fund: The head of the Desertec Foundation, which aims to connect African solar energy to the European grid, has called on delegates in Doha to establish a “climate bailout fund”.

Citing the speed with which the banking crisis was addressed versus the pace of the UN climate change talks, Thiemo Gropp said waiting for consensus would take too long.

“When it came to saving the banks, politicians didn’t spend years trying to establish worldwide consensus on who should shoulder exactly how much of the burden. Given its existential threat it is even more urgent to find a solution that addresses dangerous climate change, before it is too late,” said Gropp.

“A multinational climate rescue fund that bridges the difference in price between renewable energies and fossil fuels, could be just such a solution.”

RTCC at COP18:

The bluffer’s guide to COP18

Who wants what in Doha

Carbon markets around the world

Other News:

US: Climate change could threaten the US ski industry as operators are forced to offer early discounts and more attractions in order to keep resorts busy. With snowfall totals down by about half last year, skier visits dropped by more than 20% in the Northeast US – the worst season in two decades. (BostonGlobe)

Germany: A drive which has seen Germany take the lead in Europe when it comes to wind and solar power, has seen the country reduce its emissions 2.4% compared to 2010 levels. But a nuclear phase out, and possible greater dependence on coal could threaten Germany’s targets. (Guardian)

Europe: Previous periods of climate change during the last Ice Age killed off Lemmings in Western Europe five times, according to new research. Experts believe many smaller mammals also faced a similar fate as they were unable to deal with rapid changes in climate. The study is one of the first to link climatic changes during the last Ice Age with extinctions. (Belfast Telegraph)

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