Day 8 – Breaking news from COP17

By Tierney Smith, John Parnell and Ed King
RTCC in Durban

Welcome to Responding to Climate Change’s live coverage of COP17 in Durban. Our team of Ed King, John Parnell and Tierney Smith will keep you updated on the talks all day – every day.

Breaking news will initially appear on our Twitter feed below, together with pictures and gossip from the conference. We’ll also be updating this page on an hourly basis with the latest developments.

You can contact our team in Durban via email or through Twitter. Check our interviews at the UNFCCC Climate Change Studio analysis from delegates, diplomats and ministers.

Tuesday, December 6

18:40 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_john: COP President is briefing recently arrived Ministers on the progress so far. Watch online if you want a catch-up.

18:24 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_john: Grenada speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States: “We did not come here to negotiate ourselves out of existence…we need a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.”

18:19 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_john: Gambia on behalf of the LDCs just said adaptation must not be held hostage by “power games”. Speaker then asked to read a short statement on behalf of Gambia alone, and read a not so short statement calling for Taiwan to participate with the UNFCCC as an independent entity. Muted, nervous applause.

17:24 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_john: British Airways has dismissed the claims from the BASIC group that the inclusion of aviation in its emissions trading scheme is a trade racket with nothing to do with climate protection. Story coming soon…

16:56 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_tierney: UK minister Greg Barker just joined @rtcc_edking in the studio. The wide ranging interview included talk on the government’s green agenda at home, the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the government putting their money where their mouth is, and the UK becoming the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind.

1626 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_john: BASIC says the EU’s inclusion of civil aviation in its emissions trading scheme is a “trade action, hidden in the guise of climate”. Fighting words made just before Zuma’s speech.

1617 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_tierney: In this speech opening the high-level segment of COP17 President Zuma said countries must stay true to the UNFCCC Principles, possible comment towards countries looking to leave the Kyoto Procotol? He also said without Kyoto being addressed it would be very difficult to move onto other issues.

13:53 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_tierney: John Prescott has just arrived at the Climate Change TV studio for a grilling from @rtcc_edking.

In a press conference earlier today Health Leaders called for urgent action on climate change, saying we were already facing a public health crisis from changes being witnessed and it is a situation which would worse. Check to to the site later for the full story.

1322 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Great RTCC webcast today with Philips and The World Future Council talking about the role that cities can play in setting themselves targets and cutting through the paperwork associated with national schemes. Particularly liked the story about the LED streetlights that have motion sensors so the light follows you down the street.

1132 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Just spotted an 18 car motorcade parked up at COP17…

0942 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: There’s frantic informal meetings breaking out all over the COP this morning. High level segment is opened at 1500 (GMT +2) and there are still lots of details for negotiators to finalise before they put them to ministers.

0933 (GMT +2)

@rttc_john: There’s a red carpet rolled out for somebody anyway, I assume it’s for President Zuma, or does one of our celebrity activisits insist on a plush pile underfoot?

0830 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_tierney: The High Level Segment of the conference will be opening today, attended by President Zuma. This afternoon Heads of State, ministers and heads of delegations will be inaugurated, and the segment will continue for the rest of the week, with statements by Inter-governmental and Non-governmental organisations and the adoption of decisions and conclusions on Friday.

As well as the talks heating up, the conference centre is a buzz of excitement at the likes of Angelina Jolie and Arnold Schwarzenegger also set to arrive today. RTCC will keep you updated on their movements throughout the day.

And as the talks heated up yesterday the biggest headlines of the day were:

– China spoke out in favour of Kyoto saying that if the protocol were to die there would be lasting damage to the UNFCCC process.

– Meanwhile, G77 countries said they would not work with the document about long-term cooperation.

– Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent announced Canada would leave the Kyoto Protocol, and will have withdrawn by the end of 2012.

– And Ecuador voiced concerns over REDD+ saying the text on it falls short of an ambitious outcome – particularly regarding how the scheme will be financed.

– Finally it was Gender Day at the Climate Change Studio with interviews from the likes of UNFCCC Chief Christiana Figueres, COP17 President Maite Mashabane and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland.

Today I will be focusing on more protest activities, including the Canadian Youth Delegation’s latest move against their government’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol. Keep up to date @rtcc_tierney.

@rtcc_john will be exploring the dynamics within the BASIC group.

And keep up to date with the latest from the Climate Change Studio with @rtcc_edking.


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