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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 27th, 2016
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

We just returned from a cruise of ports in the Western Mediterranean and observed that in all those countries there is no unification of Exxon (or Esso) and Mobil. We got the hinch that Mr. Tillerson wants the less interesting job of Secretary of State for good company reasons. He will be now in a position to wrestle those stubborn states that do not see good reason to allow a monopoly of the petroleum, or what he better describes as energy management.

The Climate Change and non-petroleum energy issues ExxonMobil learned to handle to its advantage from the old Mobil. We saw tat in the way Mobil Oil brought about the unneeded “Gas-to-Gas” project in New Zealand where the locals lost their chance to become independent of Petroleum and the Whangarei refinery by going for a CNG transportation system in the North Island and a methanol from Natural gas in the South Island.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has stories to tell about that company’s dealings in the USA and in the UK. Now Tillerson surely hopes to be able to manage the World at large.

UCS writes – ExxonMobil is attacking UCS because they are a real threat. They know UCS does not take government or corporate funding so they’re more independent and less susceptible to intimidation. They know wUCS is bipartisan and can mobilize people across the political spectrum. They’re hoping the prospect of an expensive legal fight will convince UCS to drop the role as a defender of science.

But we won’t stop fighting. Even with fossil fuel allies controlling Congress and the presidency next year, UCS can and will continue to work for real climate change solutions.

Take palm oil, one of the biggest agricultural commodities on the planet. Over the last 10 years, booming demand led to massive tropical deforestation—and colossal carbon emissions. So we worked with investors, targeted huge brands like General Mills and Procter & Gamble, and collaborated with other organizations—securing sustainability policy changes at 24 major global brands in just the last few years. And as of this year, most globally traded palm oil is covered by solid commitments to zero deforestation, saving millions of acres of forest and keeping tons of carbon out of the air.¹

By coincidence, today the “WIENER ZEITUNG” had a large article by Petra Tempfer based on studies at the local IIASA – a scientific think-tank – on the true economy of palm oil.

Or take our progress in the last year, even with a hostile Congress: We helped pass best-in-class clean energy laws in California, Oregon, Illinois, and Massachusetts and won strong national fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks (which will prevent 1.1 billion tons of carbon pollution).

We won these victories after years of smart campaigning—often under political climates that were discouraging.

Help UCS show opponents that they can’t bully it into silence. Make a tax-deductible donation to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

We’ve already organized thousands of scientists to pressure the incoming Trump administration—getting media attention in The Washington Post, NBC News, and The Scientist magazine—and we will continue to make our voice impossible to ignore.

We can do all this and more because of generous donors who stand up for science and the truth, and who believe that progress is possible, no matter the obstacles from fossil fuel companies and their political allies.


Under the new president and Congress, we expect more and more political and corporate attacks on science, on scientists themselves, and on safeguards for our health and the environment.


ExxonMobil has subpoenaed UCS staff’s emails and documents related to UCS’s efforts to hold the company accountable for deceiving investors and the public on climate change. This followed a similar subpoena by the Exxon-friendly chair of the House Science committee, Representative Lamar Smith.

Their strategy: tie up the people and organizations who exposed their efforts to deceive the public, cost them time and money, and scare nonprofits off from future accountability efforts.

And with Donald Trump’s nomination of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, it’s clear Exxon’s political power will be more formidable than ever.


based on a letter from Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 11th, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Catalonia separatists to lock horns with Madrid – today!

Catalan Independence Day in 2014 (Photo: sba73 – euobserver.com/political/130210)

By Nikolaj Nielsen
BRUSSELS, EUobserver, Today, 09:27

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather in the streets of Barcelona on Friday (11 September) to celebrate Catalan National Day in the lead-up to a plebiscite at the end of the month.

Catalan foreign affairs secretary Roger Albinyana told the EUobserver website that the plebiscite on 27 September will help set in motion a mandate for independence of the prosperous northern region.

‘Demonstrations not enough’ says Albinyana (Photo: Government of Catalonia)

“The question of independence will be key, will be nuclear, because political parties will be dividing themselves among those who favour independence from Spain and those who oppose independence from Spain”, he said.

The election has been billed as a plebiscite because of strong resistance from Madrid.

The movement’s chief architect, Artus Mas, has said he would declare unilateral independence should the pro-independence camp win a majority of seats.

A strong backing would put a plan in motion to create a government that would lay the institutional groundwork of a state.

Mas told the Financial Times this could include a diplomatic service, a central bank, a tax authority, and possibly even an army.


Catalonia contributes some 8 percent of its GDP, or around €15 billion, to the poorer regions in Spain. It hosts nearly 6,000 multinationals and generates a quarter of Spain’s exports. Around 350,000 EU nationals from outside Spain live in Catalonia, out of a population of 7.5 million.


“Catalonia has been a net contributor to the European Union since 1986. And we are willing to continue to being net contributors to the EU”, said Albinyana.


Madrid’s intransigence on the issue appears to have deepened their resolve to secede.

In November, Catalonia defied a court order ban and held an informal poll where over 80 percent agreed to an independent state. The symbolic referendum was held after Scotland had itself voted against separating from the UK.

Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy remains steadfastly opposed to Catalonia’s independence.

“No Spanish prime minister would accept this, neither I nor any other, unless he goes crazy”, he said last week.

But Albinyana said Madrid can no longer ignore the secessionist movement should a majority back independence following the regional election at the end of month.

“A democratic country cannot ignore the demands of the national minorities and especially if they are expressed in a democratic and peaceful and legal way, they have to be heard,” he said.

A poll earlier this week shows most back independence although it remains unclear if Barcelona’s newest mayor is also a supporter.

The movement hopes to gain further momentum following the general elections in Spain in December.


The established conservative and socialist parties are already under pressure after suffering a series of defeats over the summer. Leftist parties in May swept to power in Madrid, Barcelona and elsewhere.

“The People’s Party, the conservative party, is going to lose the absolute majority, that is pretty clear”, said Albinyana.

“They might continue in government but they will need support from third parties, that might make them weak, which was not the case until now”, he said.

Albinyana said Catalonia’s more than 1000 years of history, its language, and identity have led to the movement.

“The institution that I am part of ‘Generalitat de Catalunya’ is an institution that was created in 1359. My president is president 129”, he said.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 4th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS CRISTINA GALLACH OF SPAIN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC INFORMATION.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Cristina Gallach of Spain as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. She succeeds Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal of Austria to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization.

Ms. Gallach brings to the position a wealth of experience in communication, information, public diplomacy, international affairs and security policy, combined with transformational leadership and hands-on management expertise. She is also an experienced newspaper, radio and television journalist.

Ms. Gallach is currently Head of the Public Relations Unit in the Council of the European Union, Directorate General for Information and Communication, Brussels since July 2010. Prior to that appointment, she was Spokesperson of the Spanish Government for the European Union rotating Presidency (2010), Spokesperson and Chief Media Advisor of the European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Brussels (1999-2009) and Deputy Spokesperson of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Chief Media advisor for the Secretary General, Brussels (1996-1999). She spent over 15 years as a journalist, during which time she held the positions of Senior Correspondent of the Spanish News Agency (EFE) in Brussels (1993-1996) and in Moscow (1990-1992), Correspondent with El Periodico, Barcelona (1986-1990), US Correspondent for Avui (1984-1986) and Reporter with TVE Barcelona (1983-1984).

Ms. Gallach holds a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, New York and a degree in Communication and Journalism from the Universidad Autonoma, Barcelona.

Born in 1960 in Barcelona, she is married with two children.

New York, 4 December 2014

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 10th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

The title of the Second Correction of Second Correction – of June 1, 2014 –  to this article was:  “The Party of European Socialists …” for the backing of President for the New European Commission – as we find out serially that this will not be Brussels reality. Now it is crystal clear that the UK, with one foot in the US and one foot in the EU, will just not allow the creation of a strong EU that can become World Power at equal level with the US and China. The UK Prime Minister David Cameron takes cue from the anti-EU UKIP party that won the elections for the European Parliament in the UK, and organizes the resistance to those that represent the two major parties in the European Parliament by insisting that the new Commission has to be dominated by the Member States rather then by their people/citizens. This is nothing less then a hold on to the power that the Parliament was voted to wrestle out from them.

With this reality in lead we lose all hope that the EU can become anything more then the window dressing to a bunch of 28 rather small States united in form but not in fact. This will not lead to the stability that more enlightened Europeans were envisioning.

Our hope now is that the Scots do indeed vote for independence and become their own EU members reducing England to its correct position as an ally of the US and a candidate to join the the United States of America instead. That is what they want and that is what they deserve. The European continent will then be allowed to unite in its own interest and perhaps Russia would then be able to consider its own interest in realigning with it in a Eurasian Economic Union from Lisbon to Vladivostok that can hold the line versus China on its Eastern borders.

THE NEWS OF THE DAY ARE:

Merkel and Cameron in battle over European Commission.

(L-R) Dutch PM Mark Rutte, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British PM David Cameron and Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt an informal meeting on 9 June 2014 in in Harpsund, Sweden. Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt (far right) is hosting the wide-ranging talks at his summer residence in Harpsund

The leaders of Sweden, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands are meeting at a mini-EU summit near Stockholm to try to reach a consensus on European reform.

The controversial question of who is to head the European Commission is likely to be discussed, but not officially.

UK PM David Cameron is expected to try to get leaders on-side to block Jean-Claude Juncker taking the job.

It sets him against German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who publicly supports the ex-Luxembourg leader’s appointment.

Few details from the summit have emerged. However, job creation, institutional changes in the EU and structural reforms to boost EU competitiveness were said to be high on the agenda.

The UK, Sweden and the Netherlands are leading a campaign to block Mr Juncker’s candidacy, which has the support of the largest centre-right political grouping in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP).

David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Fredrik Reinfeldt and Mark Rutte talk in a boat near the summer residence of the Swedish Prime Minister The four leaders took to the river for a spot of relaxation before the talks began in earnest

Ahead of the two-day talks that began on Monday, Mr Cameron said he had the support of “all major UK parties” in opposing the appointment.

He also spoke to the prime ministers of Italy and Hungary, Matteo Renzi and Viktor Orban, by phone to discuss the matter, Reuters reports.

The BBC’s Ben Wright, in Harpsund, said the scene was set for a lengthy power struggle between EU leaders and the European Parliament over the appointment with the UK worried about the prospect of a “stitch-up”.

A news conference on the outcome of the talks is scheduled for 08:00 GMT on Tuesday.

Role of commissionMr Cameron is strongly opposed to Mr Juncker’s belief in a closer political union between EU member states and has described Brussels as “too big” and “too bossy”.

His hand was strengthened on Monday when the UK opposition Labour party said its MEPs in the European Parliament, which must approve the choice by EU leaders, would vote against Mr Juncker.

On arrival in Sweden, Mr Cameron said it should be EU leaders and not the European Parliament who decide who will head the commission.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also dismissed the idea of a stronger role for the European Parliament.

“We in principle dislike the idea of presenting front-runners from the different parties because we think that twists the balance between the institutions and the way that the Lisbon treaty is set up,” he said.

More discussions were needed on the role of the EU commission before looking at names, he added.

line
Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker The German chancellor has given Jean-Claude Juncker her backing 

Juncker: For and againstAngela Merkel: German chancellor, after some hesitation, backed European People’s Party candidate. Some in Germany believe she may be willing to discuss alternatives

David Cameron: Opposed to former Luxembourg PM’s candidacy – said to see him as a “face from the 1980s” who cannot solve the problems of next five years

Fredrik Reinfeldt: Seen as opposed to Mr Juncker and reports in European media suggest Swedish prime minister himself could be compromise candidate

Mark Rutte: Opposed to Mr Juncker, and Dutch PM due to meet Irish prime minister after Swedish summit to discuss alternative candidates

line

Dutch PM Mark Rutte told reporters that it was premature to put forward names for who should replace Jose Manuel Barroso as head of the commission.

“My belief is that we should first focus on content, discuss what the new commission should do… then discuss who fits that profile,” he said.

Mrs Merkel said the four leaders would not make a final decision on who they would back, adding that her position was well known.

EU leaders have traditionally named the commission head on their own, but new rules mean they now have to “take into account” the results of the European Parliament elections.

The EPP grouping, of which Mr Juncker is a member, won the largest number of seats in May’s polls, and he has argued that that gives him a mandate.

The decision will be made by the European Council – the official body comprising the 28 leaders – by qualified majority vote. That means no single country can veto the choice.

The decision is expected at an EU summit on 26-27 June although an agreement by then is by no means guaranteed.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

 

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The first Correction title was: “Correction to “The Party of European Socialists that backs Martin Schultz for the European Commission presidency seems to have an advantage in the building of a ruling coalition for the EU” – but we found out that this will not be Brussels reality.”  But after 3 days even that title was overtaken by real Brussels life as directed from the 28 Member States’ Capitals – and even some non-member States as well —- Perhaps.

Turns out that while the great gains of the parties of the Right introduced to the EU strong elements that came to undo the EU – these parties will have a hard time creating a new faction in the EU Parliament. In effect there might be two such factions – one based on a UK-Hungary alliance and the other on an Austria-France alliance. Nevertheless, the Black and Red factions are afraid of this invasion of their previously calm and inactive EU. Rather then gearing up for strong leadership – seemingly they are opting for a united front like it is the Austrian Government norm. It loooks that the Austrian Chancellor Mr. Faymann (a Red) initiated this effort by saying he backs Mr. Jean-Claude Junker (a black)  for the position of the New President of the New European Commission, because he got the largest number of votes.

Perhaps this was done in agreement with other heads of State or Government, we will never know, but what we know is that Mr. Junker then turned around and suggested Mr. Martin Schulz, the candidate of the reds, the holder of the second largest number of votes and mandates, should be his only Vice President. In this case the Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt could replace Mr. Van Rompuy as permanent head of the European Council which according to protocol is the highest EU position {sort of a Senate to the Parliament’s similarity to a House of Representatives}.

Denmark is outside the EURO group and could thus be a bow to the non-Euro States. Similarly the Poland’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski is being mentioned as a professional, for replacing Lady Catherine Ashton at the EU Foreign Policy desk. Let us see if this short list will be the final one in what has become negotiations run from the Capitals rather then the one we thought will be handled directly by the heads of fracctions based in Brussels.

The Alliance of Socialists and Democrats won only 193 seats in the Parliament and is second largest faction to the 211  member European People’s Party, but when analyzing the rest of the colors’ pallet they seem to have an advantage when judging the potential for coalition building in the 752 member Parliament. A majority means having 376 votes. 

The news of these elections is the emergence of Euro-skeptic parties and Right extremists that are outside the reach of the two rather centrist contenders for heading the new Parliament who will eventually head also the Commission – being something akin to a first EU President. Extreme right and EU skeptists just do not fit in – and that was the target of those that stood up to their home governments anyway.

The two largest blocs that are positioned between the EPP and the S&D – the ALDE liberals and the Greens, amount together to 132 mandates, and they are much closer to Martin Schulz of the S&D who wants to introduce change with a more socially oriented set of policies, then to Jean-Claude Juncker of the EPP who would mean more of the same and a continuation of the policies that allowed the EU to fall into an economic crisis that was set up in the US.

If indeed the two parties mentioned join Martin Schulz, and yesterday I learned from Mr. Gerhard Schick of the German Greens that this is in the cards, then Schulz presents himself as the head of a 325 bloc, which makes it easier for him then for Junker, to reach out to the magic 376 number, or at least be indeed the leader of the largest bloc if it has to be a minority rule.  

Juncker stakes claim to EU commission’s top job  – might thus be premature.

We wonder if all new Members of the European Parliament already packed their suitcases and are off to Brussels to do there the negotiations that eventually will lead to the real results.

EU wakes up to Eurosceptic hangover.
26 May 2014
The EU’s mainstream political parties will move quickly to re-establish themselves as the voice of the European parliament, following EU elections that saw a significant increase in support for Eurosceptic, extreme right and anti-establishment parties.
ONE MORE COMMENT – WITH FRANCE BEING REPRESENTED IN THE EU by DELEGATES VOTED IN by 25% of ITS POPULATION THAT IS ANTI-EU, and THE UK HAVING ALSO A LARGE REPRESENTATION OF ANTI-EU MANDATARIES, Mr. SCHULZ COULD FINALLY MOVE AWAY FROM THE NONSENSE SECOND SEAT  IN STRASBOURG THAT WAS AN EXPENSIVE GIVEAWAY TO FRANCE. REALLY – HE WILL OWE THEM NOTHING.
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PES say Eurosceptic election swing sounds ‘warning bell.’

Written by Martin Banks on 26 May 2014 in News – The Parliament Magazine.

Party of European Socialists president Sergei Stanishev has conceded that the rise of far right and Eurosceptic parties in the elections sounds a “warning bell” for the political elite.

 

Martin Schulz and Sergei Stanishev at a Party of European Socialists event in the European parliament

Speaking at a news conference in parliament on Monday, the former Bulgarian prime minister said the big gains for such parties was “not so much about European politics but more about national policies and a protest vote”.

He went on, “The fact that parties like Front National and UKIP, which won more votes in the UK than another other party, can gain such support do so well is very serious and cause for concern. It should sound a warning bell to other parties and send a message that European people want change.”

“The EPP is the party which has run Europe for the last 10 years during the economic crisis and they were the big losers even though they remain the biggest group in parliament” Sergei Stanishev

Stanishev said the “big losers” in the election were the EPP, which he said had lost 60 seats and seen its share of the vote fall by some 20 per cent compared with the 2009 elections.

“The EPP is the party which has run Europe for the last 10 years during the economic crisis and they were the big losers even though they remain the biggest group in parliament.”

He said the Socialist vote share had remained stable compared with five years ago but voiced veiled disappointment that it had not done better. Even so, he said he was confident the party remained well placed to achieve its objectives in the next legislature, including further regulation of financial markets.

He also praised his colleague, German MEP Martin Schulz, a candidate for the commission presidency and parliament’s president, for an “outstanding” electoral campaign, saying he had “reached” 150 million citizens via social media. “His profile is now even bigger than it was before the election.”

Stanishev. who has led the Bulgarian Socialist party since 2001, also insisted that member states must “take account” of the outcome of the vote in deciding the next commission head, adding that, on this, he believes PES are in a “stronger position” than the EPP.

Addressing the same conference, PES general secretary Achim Post said, “It is now up to the political group leaders to form a ‘stable’ majority and the Socialists will play a decisive role in this.”

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BUT WAKING UP ON WEDNESDAY MORNING WE FOUND THAT THE POLITICAL REALITY IS SUCH THAT THE SOCIALISTS OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES WILL NOT WANT TO UPSET THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR Ms. ANGELA MERKEL WHO PREFERS TO BACK THE BLACK  PARTY CANDIDATE WHO HAPPENS TO BE FROM LUXEMBOURG, OVER THE SOCIALIST CANDIDATE WHO HAPPENS TO BE FROM THE GERMAN OPPOSITION.

Above is good for a Europe if it wants to be seen as a post-Nationalism Union that gives preference to ideas over National identity.  But then, Mr. Junker does not get yet free sailing as members of his own European Party – from the UK, Hungary, and Sweden seem to prefer alternatives from inside the EPP  – names from Finland and Italy being mentioned.

The political juggling seems even more interesting when the other positions to be filled are taken into account.

As possible  compensation for Mr. Schulz getting himself out of contention – he might then get to be the German Commissioner – although one would have expected someone closer to the German Chancellor. Austria seems to follow the German example with the Red Party Chancellor from the Red Party declaring his backing for the candidate of the Black Party as he got more votes. This opens the question whom will he support for Commissioner from Austria?

With a Catholic holiday on Thursday there is no chance now that the Parliament will have a prospective winner before the end of this week,  another week of politics is still in the cards, and in effect it might take all of the month of June.

Also, if Mr. Junker does not get full backing from his own party and does not reach a majority – then according to Parliament norm the ball is passed to the second largest faction and that is Mr. Schulz – so it might be that the wheel might still turn in his direction. Seemingly Mr. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has the ropes in his hands – but in mind he has the success  the anti-EU UKIP party had at these elections. Similarly France is looking at the success the Le Pen Front National had on Sunday. Does this mean that these two EU members are now favoring a weakened EU because this seemed to be the wish of their countrymen?

The French Christian Democrat Joseph Daul is leading the Black Faction negotiators and Austrian Commissioner Hannes Swoboda is leading the Red Party negotiators with outgoing Head of the Parliament, the Belgian Hermann Van-Rompuy the address of their efforts. Who will get his job? Could it be that this position will go to the Commissioer from Poland – Ms. Danuta Hebner?

 

 

 

About the author:   Martin Banks is a veteran freelance, Brussels-based journalist specialising in European politics.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 25th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 Questions for the European Left   by Pilar Rahola in The Guardian.
brought to our attention by a Canadian cousin who is very proud of Canada’s position on the Middle East – as expressed by its Prime Minister Harper’s recent visit to Jerusalem.

 


Dr. Pilar Rahola i Martínez is a Spanish journalist, writer (writes also for the Guardian – the paper we honor most) a former politician and Member of Parliament. 

Rahola studied Spanish and Catalan Philology at the Universitad de Barcelona. A Spanish Catholic leftist that denounces the anti Israel wave for its antisemitism – which is not socially acceptable  correct diplomacy anymore, but says anti Israel is the same – but seemingly the more accepted course to go.

Quite a lady.  What she writes is more impressive because she is NOT Jewish.  Her articles are published in Spain and in some of the most important newspapers in Latin America.          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilar_Rahola

 Questions for the European Left   by Pilar Rahola

Why don’t we see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris , Barcelona ? 

Or demonstrations against the Burmese dictatorship? 

Why aren’t there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection? 

Why aren’t there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs where there is conflict with Islam? 

Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan ? 

Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel ? 

Why is there no outcry by the European left against Islamic fanaticism? 

Why don’t they defend Israel’s right to exist? 

Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism? 

And finally, the million dollar question: Why is the left in Europe and around the world obsessed with the two most solid democracies, the United States and Israel, and not with the worst dictatorships on the planet? The two most solid democracies, who have suffered the bloodiest attacks of terrorism, and the left doesn’t care. 

And then, to the concept of freedom. In every pro-Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: “We want freedom for the people!” 

Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never  preoccupied when Hamas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israeli freedom. The resulting consequence of these ideological pathologies is the manipulation of the press. 

The international press does major damage when reporting on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. On this topic they don’t inform, they propagandize. 

When reporting about Israel, the majority of journalists forget the reporter code of ethics. And so, any Israeli act of self-defense becomes a massacre, and any confrontation, genocide. So many stupid things have been written about Israel that there aren’t any accusations left to level against her. 

At the same time, this press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel, the indoctrination of children, and the corruption of the Palestinians. And when reporting about victims, every Palestinian casualty is reported as tragedy and every Israeli victim is camouflaged, hidden or reported about with disdain. 

And let me add on the topic of the Spanish left. Many are the examples that illustrate the anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli sentiments that define the Spanish left. For example, one of the leftist parties in Spain has just expelled one of its members for creating a pro-Israel website. I quote from the expulsion document: “Our friends are the people of Iran, Libya and Venezuela, oppressed by imperialism, and not a Nazi state like Israel .” 

In another example, the socialist mayor of Campozuelos changed Shoah Day, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, with Palestinian Nabka Day, which mourns the establishment of the State of Israel, thus showing contempt for the six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust. 

Or in my native city of Barcelona, the city council decided to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, by having a Week of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Thus, they invited Leila Khaled, a noted terrorist from the 70’s and current leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization so described by the European Union, which promotes the use of bombs against Israel . 

This politically correct way of thinking has even polluted the speeches of President Zapatero. His foreign policy falls within the lunatic left, and onissues of the Middle East, he is unequivocally pro-Arab. I can assure you that in private, Zapatero places on Israel the blame for the conflict in the Middle East , and the policies of Foreign Minister Moratinos reflect this. The fact that Zapatero chose to wear a kafiah in the midst of the Lebanon conflict is no coincidence; it’s a symbol. 

Spain has suffered the worst terrorist attack in Europe and it is in the crosshairs of every Islamic terrorist organization. As I wrote before, they
Kill us with cell phones hooked to satellites connected to the Middle Ages. And yet the Spanish left is the most anti-Israeli in the world. 

And then it says it is anti-Israeli because of solidarity. This is the madness I want to denounce in this conference.

 
 Conclusion: 


I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not anti-Israeli like my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the Historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel .

To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews. 
 
As a journalist it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles. 
 
Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say, that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty, I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too. 
 
The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn’t want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 6th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

We are happy with this article – as it presents an honest description of the failures since Copenhagen – the wasted two years of Cancun and Durban that in effect killed the issue all-together .

The empty UN Durban Platform is nothing but the Kings Clothes made up of no-cloth.

What the article does not say is that RIO+20 would be more successful if Brazil took it away from the UN and handed its management to a number of concerned people as in effect it was done in 1992 when Mr. Morris Strong managed somehow, single handedly, to maneuver the deliberations, and come up with results that every person in the know recognizes as the HIGH POINT for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. From 1992 it was only down-hill. Copenhagen allowed for a moment of hope, but now we see that no green twig resulted from that effort.

Rio 2012 must thus start from scratch and be handled in a totally novel way. It is impossible to come up with a global system that reduces our dependence on  fossil carbon as long as we allow veto-power to salesmen of oil. In UN wisdom Durban will be followed by Qatar rather then as we expected Seoul. With all our respect for Abu Dhabi and Qatar, as the most enlightened oil based economies – we nevertheless understand that even those most enlightened oil exporters nevertheless make their money from oil – so doing what is needed is not in their perceived interest.

We suggest the article we post here has in it the description of urgency that could help the task before the RIO+20 crew.

Please also note the term “supranational” that must replace the UN adored MULTILATERALISM. Global problems must be dealt with globally in ways that cannot give veto power to governments. The term DEMOCRACY as used by the writer, we assume addresses the people and not their mostly undemocratic governments. The UN was created to handle efficiently military situations in order to prevent wars. Global environmental problems are problems in a different quantum range and when you read that 40,000 prople were drowned by a flood that is global warming related, you need more then talk to the government in  order to send relief. You must actually, as an example,  start changing your life-styles right here at home – in the US or in Europe.

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AFTER DURBAN: IT MUST BE CREATED A SUPRANATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CLIMATE AUTHORITY.


Josep Xercavins i Valls*
it was related to us on January 6, 2012 via www.other-net.info and we assume this is a George Soros Foundation backed outlet.

One more year, Durban 2011, adds even a bigger failure to the one already accumulated since Copenhagen where, analyzed from the current perspective, it makes clear that more than a battle against the climatic crisis was lost.

The Kyoto Protocol, entering into force late (in 2005) and in extremis (strategic interstate exchanges forced the Ratification of Russia), now, one year before its first period of compromises finishes – the very close 2012 end , it has been frozen, if not completely murdered {that is at Durban – www.SustainabiliTank.info editorial comment}.
The only multilateral instrument proposed that had as a goal a quantified mitigation of the emissions (absolutely insufficient, why not to say), will stop having goals and any objectives and will hibernate (maybe, sorry for the irony, in order to not contribute anymore to the global warming of the planetary tensions’ sum).

Instead –  a supposed new Durban Platform will begin the elaboration of… it is better if we read literally the text, because it is not to be missed:

“2. Also decides to launch a process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or a legal outcome under the Convention applicable to all Parties, through a subsidiary body under the Convention hereby established and to be known as the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action; to which the article 4 of the same document is added.”

“4. Decides that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action shall complete its work as early as possible but no later than 2015 in order to Adopt this protocol, legal instrument or a legal outcome at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the parties and for it to come into effect and be Implemented from 2020!”

Which leads us, inevitably, to total and absolute desperation.
Why? What the background of all these can be? What are the interpretations and main conclusions that we can obtain from it?

It is clear, legally, the Kyoto Protocol, taking in consideration the international treaties law cannot easily disappear, but replaced for another one. It cannot disappear, so they froze it without any consideration: it has been extended without any new objective, goal or mission, etc. And even some states are cheek enough to get out of it, explicitly, in order to avoid the low “penalty” that would obtain, now, by not achieving its reduction goals. Result: outrageous!

And frozen until when?, so until 2015, year that taking the “Article 4”,  just literally as cited, from the Durban Platform a new one will be approved; because the calculations are a fact: the 21st COP (Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) will take place in 2015 (no more no less, and taking in consideration the previous experiences, it can be much more, isn’t it?).

And is it for sure that the result will be another treaty? The final negotiation, even represented as another business show, leads to a drawn up of article 2, also previously cited, from what we can obtain any strange thing (another legal instrument or one legal outcome) in which case the existence of similarities with a serious and rigorous international treaty would be only a “coincidence”.

But wait for it:  –  According to the Article 4 from this Durban Platform, whatever that ends up being obtained in 2015 or in…, it will not enter into force before 2020.
Then, if in order to ensure, according to the IPCC, that the average surface temperature in the earth would not increase more than 2 ? C more, it would have to and it has to be reduced, at least, by the developed countries, a reduction of from 20% to 40% of the emissions of 1990; so now nothing will be reduced, except of what a conscious and decent state would reduce by its own convictions.

The 2 o 4 ? C more, are suggested –  and the fact that our grandsons will live in a planet very different of the current one is now for sure!

And taking all these in consideration what should be done, what should be set out, what should be mobilize from the world citizens with historical conscience (past and above all future) of humanity?

So bringing to the world a Worldwide Climate Democratic Governance System (and most important, supranational) that once analyzed the crisis based on the IPCC reports, and taking in consideration the different state situations and the Rio principles accepted by everybody in theory, takes, as a new Supranational Democratic Climate Authority, the mandatory decisions of mitigation and monitoring that each state of the world, depending of their levels of responsibility and capacities, should start achieving already, as soon as possible.

Apart of the climate crisis we would be finally facing the main current problem of multilateralism: its inability of taking decision. Legitimae and even reasonable interests, analyzed from each country’s perspective, are nowadays incompatible with the humanity interests as a whole that lives, and would like to keep living, on the earth planet that we know.

Shouldn’t we take advantage of the celebration of Rio +20 in order to begin all this?
—————————–
*Senior Lecturer in BarcelonaTech (Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya). President of the “project association World Democratic Governance, WDGpa”: “Catalan aplicating Organization to the World Federalist Movement WFM”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 12th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Spain’s World Cup win soothes separatist angst.

ANDREW RETTMAN

July 12, 2010, EUobserver.

Spain’s victory in the World Cup has put into the shade a huge pro-devolution rally in Catalonia, which took place a day earlier.

Newspapers report seeing the red and gold Spanish national flag – normally a hated symbol in the northeastern region – flying from balconies and car windows in the Catalan capital of Barcelona on Sunday (July 11, 2010), as revelers celebrated Spain’s 1-0 victory in the football championship.


World Cup revelers in Spain on Sunday night (Photo: kosmoseleevike)


 

Around 100,000 people gathered to watch the game on a giant screen in the city’s central Plaza Espana.
Viewing figures show that three out of four TV sets in the region showed the game.

Five out of the 11 players on Spain’s winning team were born in Catalonia. Another player was born in the country’s northwestern Basque territory, another region with a history of separatist problems.

The opportunity for making a political point was not lost on Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who told press that he toasted the result with Catalan sparkling wine: “We raised a glass of cava and a few tears came to my eyes, which is unusual for me, because I know how to control my emotions.”

In the pre-match press conference, the Spanish team coach, Vicente del Bosque, made a plea for national unity.

“There are players from all over Spain here in the squad. We are united and I hope the same feeling of unity occurs back in Spain,” he said. “I hope that we’ll look at things in a less radical way and, through football, create better relations among the regions in our country.”

The sentiment could not have been more different on the streets of Barcelona just one day earlier, where between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people marched down the central boulevard behind a 250 square metre Catalan flag which said: “We are a nation. We will decide.”

The rally was led by local left-wing politician Jose Montilla. It had been organised months ago but took place just one day after a Spanish Constitutional Court ruling struck down key aspects of Catalonia’s pro-autonomy charter.

The 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, approved in a regional referendum, granted Catalonia, Spain’s richest province, its own local government, parliament, language rights and educational system.

Friday’s court decision, which came after a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition party, the Popular Party, said that Catalonia’s claim to be a nation, with its own flag and anthem, has a symbolic value only but no legal weight because it is incompatible with the “unity and indivisibility of the Spanish nation.” It also said Spanish has to have equal status to Catalan in the region.

For his part, the Portuguese European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso stayed out of Spain’s internal debate, but could not let go unremarked the fact that all top three World Cup teams came from EU countries.

“In this championship, the European teams were ambassadors of Europe’s spirit, energy and openness,” he said in a statement emailed to press on Monday morning.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 7th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From Nanette Woonton, Kya Orana from the Pacific:

ISLAND STATES OUTRAGED AT ATTEMPTS TO UNDERMINE COPENHAGEN OUTCOME.

6 November, Barcelona – The 43-member Alliance of Small Island States
(AOSIS) today expressed outrage at attempts this week to steamroll the
worlds most vulnerable countries into accepting a watered down political
agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Summit this December, rather than
internationally legally binding outcomes.

Brushing aside suggestions at this weeks climate talks in Barcelona that
it would be impractical or unrealistic to agree this year on legally
binding instruments for post-2012, AOSIS demanded the immediate
engagement of world leaders to break the deadlock in negotiations, and
urged heads of state and government to come to Copenhagen ready to sign
onto robust and legally binding commitments.

Ambassador Dessima Williams, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the
United Nations and current AOSIS Chair, said Many states put forward
their proposed treaty texts nearly six months ago. There are no
practical obstacles whatsoever. All thats lacking now is the political
will to finish the job. Weak political declarations are not the
solution. Leaders must come to Copenhagen ready to sign on to new
targets under the Kyoto Protocol, and a new broader treaty to bind all
countries.

It is widely accepted that only legally binding commitments are
sufficient to seal the deal on deep emission cuts and the finance
commitments necessary to protect those already suffering the early
impacts. For most states, legally binding outcomes are a prerequisite
for a new multilateral deal on climate change.

AOSIS applauded UK Prime Minister Gordon Browns recent promise to attend
the climate talks in Copenhagen, and today welcomed similar calls to
world leaders from Brazilian President Lula da Silva and German
Chancellor Angela Merkel late yesterday. Confirming her own Prime
Ministers attendance in Copenhagen, Ambassador Williams said With just
four weeks to go before Copenhagen, it is high time to set aside narrow
national interests and focus on saving the planet from the
fast-approaching climate catastrophe.

Small island nations, joined by the Group of Least Developed Countries
and other vulnerable nations more than 80 in total continue to call for
global warming to be limited to well below 1.5C above pre-industrial
temperatures.

Large polluters have indicated a preference for a 2C limit, but recent
science indicates that the higher limit would threaten the existence of
a number of low-lying island states, and cause suffering, loss of life
and irreparable damage to the worlds coral reefs.

Contact

Dr Albert Binger
Permanent Mission of Grenada to the United Nations
Email:yengar@hotmail.com <mailto:yengar@hotmail.com>

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 4th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Stevensonian Democratic Internationalist, Professor Richard N. Gardner, among the best that try to help the UN, and with Internationalist Environmental Credentials as well, says Copenhagen will be the stage where individual Nations will declare what they are ready to do to decrease their impact on climate change – just that and no-more at this stage.

Professor and Ambassador Richard N. Gardner, with Columbia University since 1957, is Professor of Law and International Organizations at the Law School. He was also US Ambassador to Italy and Spain.

Professor Gardner was appointed by President Kennedy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in 1961, a position he held until 1965, when he served also as a senior adviser to Adlai Stevenson II, the John F, Kennedy appointed United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Further, after a year with the U.N., he served as a member of the President’s Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy from 1970 to 1971. He served also in various advisory positions in the U.N.

He served as a special adviser to the United Nations at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio as he did in 1972 to the UN Conference on the Human Environment. From 1982 to 1993 he was cochairman of the Aspen Institute Program on the United States and the World Economy.

I remember Professor Gardner from the ’92 UNCED and from lectures at Columbia University. He is a convinced internationalist – as good as the believers in a UN system can get.

He was a principle adviser to Adlai Stevenson who himself, since the San Francisco 1945 Conference that created the UN, was a strong believer in the good the UN can do – even when it was just the place where the US and the USSR could meet to talk in order to tone down the Cuban missile crisis. So, it was not surprising that Professor Gardner was a speaker at the UN memorial to Senator, Governor, Ambassador, Adlai Stevenson.

The November 3, 2009 meeting in the ECOSOC room at the UN, was opened by US Ambassador Alejandro Wolf, moderated by former US Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering, and populated UN stars – some going back to time of the creation – like Brian Urquhart who served under all UNSGs todate, went on well over time.

I will not elaborate here on what was said and on the only question (from the Ambassador from Botswana) – because of the over-time – that was allowed at the end, but will go directly to my little after-the-meeting exchange with Ambassador Gardner.

——

Gardner, a US Stevensonian Internationalist Democrat, even past member of The Trilateral Commission 1957 – 2005, and International Environmentalist, was my target for questions about “the Hopenhagen.”  I wanted to know what he thinks the UN can expect realistically from Copenhagen?  And he did not disappoint me.

Gardner said that the situation is not ready for an across the board agreement – just only for individual countries stating what they will do to reduce their emissions.

On my question about bi-lateral agreements – like US-China, US-India, China-India, Brazil-China etc. this sort of agreements that are economic and environmental at the same time and could create the network on which some day an international agreement might be based. He completely accepted this approach and offered that the upcoming President Obama trip to China is extremely important to a climate agreement.

I did not ask him about the possibility of an EU internal agreement so it could speak with one voice, but I mentioned having seen the home-made passport (leather parchment and eagle feather) that Thomas Banyaka, the spokesman for the Hopi Nation, used to enter and leave Sweden for his participation at the 1972 Conference on the Environment. The Hopi being an Environment-friendly Nation with no UN status.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 3rd, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain, Climate Change Talks opened on Monday morning and the welcoming ceremony included José Montilla Aguilera, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, who stressed that local and regional governments, not just states, desire to participate in, and contribute to, actions to address climate change. He said the Government of Catalunya has turned the fight against climate change into a main pillar of action, including through its renewable energy and sustainable transportation policies.

WELCOMING CEREMONY was opened by Yvo de Boer, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary.

Núria Marín Martinez, Mayor of L’Hospitalet, highlighted the role that local authorities can play in addressing climate change, drawing attention to commitments under the Covenant of Mayors against Climate Change.

Jordi Hereu, Mayor of Barcelona, stressed the need to connect local and regional policies and actions to effectively address climate change and called for inclusion of reference to local authorities in a climate change agreement.

Connie Hedegaard, Minister of Climate and Energy, Denmark, emphasized that the Barcelona session is paramount for success in Copenhagen where a coherent and ambitious solution is required to address the challenge of climate change. She highlighted “in-depth, frank and constructive discussions” during a recent meeting under the Greenland Dialogue on finance and mitigation, encouraging delegates to emulate this constructive spirit in Barcelona. She acknowledged the difficulty of getting binding agreement on all of the building blocks under the Bali Action Plan (BAP), pointing to further work required, and called on delegates to “walk the last mile to Copenhagen.”

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, Vice-President of Spain, underscored the need to respond to climate change and highlighted the consequences of slowing down actions. Drawing attention to the window of opportunity to push forward a new green economy as a consequence of the global economic crisis, she said renewable energy would be one of the priorities of her country’s Presidency of the European Union (EU) in 2010. She also said €100 million of financing would be provided by Spain by 2012.

José Montilla Aguilera, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, stressed that local and regional governments, not just states, desire to participate in, and contribute to, actions to address climate change. He said the Government of Catalunya has turned the fight against climate change into a main pillar of action, including through its renewable energy and sustainable transportation policies.

———–

As reported by the Earth Negotiations bulletin IN THE CORRIDORS mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/124b7… :

As delegates filled the vast halls of the Fira de Gran Via on Monday to begin the final week of negotiations before Copenhagen, many felt as if they had just left the previous round of discussions in Bangkok. As one delegate put it, the three-week intersessional period seemed like “a long working weekend.”

Expectations of progress in Barcelona, as well as in Copenhagen, varied. While many seemed resigned to the fact that a lot of work would have to be pushed beyond Copenhagen, others were angry at what they saw as attempts to lower expectations and the level of ambition.

Mixed feelings were also expressed on how the work should proceed in Barcelona. While many delegates expressed hope that meetings would go straight to informals to finally begin “real negotiations” and facilitate development of text and clear options for Copenhagen, some delegates continued to highlight the need for contact groups. One stressed that “a Copenhagen agreement needs to be developed in the light of day.” This sentiment was shared by some NGO representatives: “If they spend the meeting in informals from Tuesday onwards, I will have nothing to do for the rest of the week,” commented one.


In the afternoon, many delegates found their schedule to be much lighter than expected: suspension of the contact groups and informal consultations scheduled under the AWG-KP at the request of the African Group took many developed and developing countries by surprise.

Sudan, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed concern about calls by Annex I parties to end the Kyoto Protocol in favor of a single agreement in Copenhagen. He highlighted the need to make progress in defining Annex I parties’ individual and aggregate quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs).

Sweden, for the EU, stressed that a new agreement should build on the Kyoto Protocol. He reiterated the EU’s willingness to reduce emissions by 30% from 1990 levels by 2020 as part of a global agreement, provided other countries take comparable commitments. He noted support expressed by the EU leaders for 80-95% emission reductions by 2050 from 1990 levels, and called on other developed countries to adopt the same goal.

The Gambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP,  said the Group would not accept scheduling of other contact group meetings until the work on “numbers” is completed.

Sudan, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed concern about calls by Annex I parties to end the Kyoto Protocol in favor of a single agreement in Copenhagen. He highlighted the need to make progress in defining Annex I parties’ individual and aggregate quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs)

According to rumors circulating in the corridors, informal consultations held in the afternoon did not resolve the issue. Reactions to this development were mixed. According to a developing country delegate, the cancellation of informal groups should not have been necessary and was not a good start to the meeting.

Many developed country delegates in particular saw the move as a “poor tactic” and speculated on motivations behind it. Others, however, supported the position, calling it “necessary and quite timely,” and a developing country delegate said, “this demonstrates that if no agreement is reached in Copenhagen, it is because Annex I countries have refused to make necessary commitments.”

One veteran commented: “I thought I knew this process, but this just shows that unexpected things can happen – I hope this also applies to unexpectedly good progress in Copenhagen.”
and from Tiempo www.tiempocyberclimate.org/newswa… :

Meeting to discuss their position at the at the climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen in December, African negotiators have declared that they will not accept a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, nor will they accept the merging of the Protocol into a new pact. They are calling for the Kyoto Protocol to be extended to cover a second and further commitment periods.

The African negotiators want see a separate legal instrument stemming from the Bali Action Plan: “a fair, inclusive, effective and equitable new agreement… that will benefit the climate and vulnerable countries and that will be undertaken in the context of poverty eradication, sustainable development and the need for gender equity.” Compensation is sought from the industrialized nations, who are held responsible for the climate problem, in the form of new, sustained and scaled-up finance required for adaptation and risk management. Speaking recently at a Nigerian government inter-ministerial conference in Abuja, Peter Tarfa from the Federal Ministry of the Environment said that “developing countries are seeking between US$200 billion and US$400 billion [a year] as compensation.”

More information
allAfrica

This Day

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 2nd, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Analysis of national climate action plans of emerging economies – Proposals for quantifiable emission reduction contributions of emerging economies.

Side Event at the UNFCCC Barcelona Climate Talks:

Tuesday, November 3rd 2009 
7.45 – 9.15 pm, Room LENTISCO

 

In this side event Ecofys and the Wuppertal-Institute, two German independent consultants, will present results of a recent analysis of national climate action plans of emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea) in regard to mitigation of GHG emissions.

The study includes an update of an ealier sector-based assessment of mitigation potential in 2008. Based on these results the presenters will introduce a preliminary assessment of options on how to integrate national appropriate mitigation actions in particular countries .


This study was commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA), an independant scientific body of the Federal Environment Ministry, based in Dessau, Germany.

 

————-

Dr. Guido Knoche
Federal Environment Agency
– Climate Change Division –
D-06844 Dessau-Rosslau
eMail: guido.knoche[at]uba.de

  

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