by Carol Nackenoff
Today I attended a morning meeting of the RINGOs, the Research and Independent NGOs (of which we, as an academic institutional observer, are one). They have substantive meetings oN Tues and Thurs. mornings and more informal networking opportunities MWF where people can talk about their own research and interests. there was a great deal of information shared, including alerts about upcoming events and meetings for us, such as the Polish President of COP’s briefing for observer organizations Thurs afternoon.
That was a very interesting 90 minute session where he (I’m going to butcher his name but I think I heard Martin Korowitz) talked about the road to Paris 2015 and how important it is to leave Warsaw with clarification of the structure, duration, how countries will contribute, and guidelines for those who draft the agreement for Peru 2014. Then followed questions and answers, about which about more later.
In the morning, I also attended a meeting that was announced in the RINGO meeting. It was a side,eating on Equity, Sustainable Development, and Climate Policy. apparently this year, side events have to be proposed by one of the a parties (signatory nations) so EU sponsored this one. It was a bunch of academics and researchers affiliated with Climate Strategies, an international research platform. the presenters had written articles for a forthcoming issue of Climate Policy Journal. Jennifer Morgan spoke about how to operationalize equity, and that sometimes, mention of equity causes countries to dig their heels in harder. Equity has grown more complex; should impacts and vulnerability be taken into account? Equity also has domestic dimensions: for instance, there has to be some sort of just transition for workers displaced by a mitigation efforts.
You also have to ask why benefits when a nation takes action on climate? Jose Alberto Garibaldi gave a fascinating and politically astute talk about research he had done an the Economics of Boldness: Equity Outcomes. He is with Energeia Alliance. Among his points was that climate institutions are a set of rules interpreted by agents who play games. The main object of the negotiations here’s is to avoid dangerous Anthropogenic interference with the climate. It is not equitable access to resources. He argued that institutions could be shy and cautious or bold and deep (correlating with high or low ambition–ambition is a word thrown around a lot here, I will note). Related to this, the major cost to nations is impacts of climate change, not cost of mitigation. It turns out, based on studying responses of various nations, that incurring bigger mitigation costs to reduce impacts means that ultimately, your more ambitious response reduces costs. The final paper I heard before rushing out to another meeting that was on our agenda of events to cover (prepared in advance) was by Stavros Afionis who is affiliated with the University of Leeds Centre for Climate Economics and policy. I didn’t catch all this talk but he was making a very interesting set of points about the experiences of host communities with carbon market projects. He is concerned with how climate justice is multi-leveled. Some of his argument is based on a biomass clean development mechanism project in India. He says there are global, national/regional, private sector, and host community levels that you have to think about actual you need to think a out distributive and procedural justice concerns at the axes o f each of these relationships. CDMA projects, for instance, may be devised in such ways that host communities are not given a chance to be participants in important stages of the process.
Then, off to a discussion about REDD+ that was one of the hottest topics this week. REDD means Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, and the + was added later for sustainability. It was sponsored by CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research.
We are hungry, and have another interesting event this evening, so more later!