From the TUC

Copenhagen Diary #13: Brown takes the stage

17 Dec 2009, by in Environment

Heads of state are now speaking in plenary sessions with limited public access. Our delegation has a handful of tickets to get in. Gordon Brown used his contribution to urge delegates to “make the essential possible”, the challenge of true statesmanship. He outlined the framework of such an agreement:

  • Long Term goal of not exceeding 2 degrees C.
  • 80% Co2 cuts by developed nations by 2050.
  • All developed countries to commit to “their highest possible level of reductions” by 2020.
  • Developing nations to commit to nationally-appropriate mitigation actions (NAMA in the jargon) “at the highest possible level of ambition”.
  • Short-term climate finance for developing nations from January 2010 – $10bn a year for 3 years
  • Long-term new Adaptation funds rising to $100bn a year by 2020, combining both public and private finance, from national and international budgets, including “innovative mechanisms”. Transaction tax revenues, perhaps.
  • A legally binding agreement within six months to a year, “building on the Kyoto Protocol”.

He also threw in the economic and job opportunities of a successful deal. It was received warmly, an agenda that other leaders build on from the platform. Nicolas Sarkozy is now arguing failure would be “a catastrophe for all of us”. We saw him earlier in deep conversation with Angela Merkel. Pointing a finger at the assembly, he says time is of the essence. He announces a meeting of world leaders from all regions, after the dinner this evening, to finally start negotiating seriously on a compromise text. Let’s work hard tonight.

A briefing we had with DECC Minister, Joan Ruddock, followed Brown’s agenda but with more background. Amongst the chaos, we have all been trying to keep positive and pursue goals we all share. With formal UN processes back on track again, the UN is asking Shared Vision and Kyoto Protocol chairs to go as far as possible today. Gordon Brown has been leading discussions on solid new financial commitments for developing nations.

The ITUC reaffirmed its support for an ambitious and binding deal. The PM had responded positively at the G20 earlier this year to union concerns to meet challenges of economic recovery and climate change through new green investment/stimulus packages. We’re arguing the value of the Just Transition text in securing global union consensus around these challenges in 2010 and beyond, and we feel confident with Joan Ruddock and others we’ve talked to that there is a desire to safeguard this text (thanks very much to everyone who took the time to press the UK government over this yesterday).

After taking stock of government and other meetings, we disperse for African, Indonesian, Russian, Brazilian and others delegations. A kind of Rubik’s cube puzzle comes to mind, always watching out for intricate movements on the three different axes of nations, issues and time.

2 Responses to Copenhagen Diary #13: Brown takes the stage

  1. Tweets that mention Copenhagen Diary #13: Brown takes the stage | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC —
    Dec 17th 2009, 6:07 pm

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  2. Guillermo Varela
    Dec 18th 2009, 12:50 am

    8) About Just Transition and Decent Work – Joint high-level segment COP/CMP – Statements from Head of Argentina Delegation. The paragraph is reinforced.