Saturday, December 5, 2009

CCF - From Becca - Part 1

Hey all,

Olivia’s had more time for blogging so far, but I wanted to describe last couple days from my perspective. This blog post has been a work of progress for days, and is thus very long. Rather than putting up a new post each day, I’ve been writing when I have time and each important event is represented by a separate paragraph. Olivia has talked in great detail about the sessions each day, but here I have included the parts of the conference that were the most meaningful to me. For easier absorption, I have split it into several entries. Each follows chronologically from the previous. Thanks!

During the Mitigation workshop sessions on Tuesday, I participated in the Carbon Market Group , where we learned about the Cap and Trade System and Clean Development Mechanisms. We evaluated the positives and negatives of each approach and developed two main recommendations for the system’s improvement:  the creation of a “third” Annex (explained below) and an Adaptation Fund. The Annex system was developed under Kyoto to effectively classify developed and developing countries and to differentiate the requirements placed on and aid given to each of them. This created serious conflict for countries like China and India, who were developing rapidly and increasing their emissions, yet were not considered fully developed and thus were exempt from many of Kyoto’s requirements. I proposed the idea, which was taken up by the group, of a third or “middle” annex, which would comprise such hard to place countries. They would be subject to some of the taxes and restrictions as the Annex 1 countries, but not all. This would allow for their continued development, but would encourage a curbing of emissions. A team of economists would calculate the proposed growth of GDP, emissions levels, and population of each country on a yearly basis according to their history. Any change that exceeds these forecasts would result in a change of Annex.

Our second proposal was the creation of an Adaptation Fund. The idea of the adaptation fund stemmed from discussion about the carbon market, and was designed to help countries struggling to deal with immediate problems caused by climate change. Our proposal involved the creation of a new branch of the UN devoted specifically to the overseeing of this fund. This branch would operate transparently and efficiently to disperse the money in the fund, and their actions would be documented and available to the public. The fund would be devoted primarily to aid for Annex 3 countries (those that are still developing and emitting very little), but could also by used by Annex 1 and 2 countries for research on and development of green technology if and only if the technology was developed not for profit and was shared with developing countries. This would ensure that research done by developed countries would not be repeated by developing countries in need of money. A country seeking aid from the fund would be required to present plans for the use of the money, and the money would not be given over all at once to prevent the use of the money for purposes other than those requested. After some fine tuning, we readied the recommendations for presentation at an Exhibition the next day.

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