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COP 16 Day 2 - Negotiations begin in Earnest

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02 Dec 2010
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On the second day of the COP, traffic chaos settled down and negotiations began in earnest. One of the key issues is the need to settle on a vision for the future. That’s the responsibility of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA). There is another Ad Hoc Working Group focused on the post-2012 Kyoto Protocol Commitments.

The LCA was formed in 2007 and gets its mandate from the Bali Action Plan formulated at COP 13, which calls for the development of a “shared vision”. A shared vision is the foundation of a future agreement that will safeguard the planet for future generations. The IPCC report released in the same year is clear: unless action is taken immediately, it will not be possible to stop the planet from warming more than 2 degrees C. And that will lead to irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes.

In the last year, further research has shown that the emissions reduction targets need to be tougher. The Association of Small Island States has called for action to prevent global average temperature increases from exceeding 1.5 degrees. MSV supported this position last year, and it is supported by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in its call on global leaders to take immediate action on climate change at the COP.

To get there, there needs to be a commitment on reductions that would see GHG emissions peak no later than 2015. It’s going to be a hard target to hit, but supporters say anything less consigns the Arctic, Small Island Developing States and other vulnerable regions to an untenable future.

Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations at the COP are working together to articulate a long-term vision that includes them. Indigenous Peoples are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change. Patricia Cochran is an Inupiat from Alaska and co-chairs of the Indigenous Peoples’ Network on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. This group is trying to implement the Anchorage Declaration, which came out of the Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change last year.

A fishing scene in Greenland (Photo credit: Lawrence Hislop)

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