Day 9 – 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.

Wednesday, December 7

1731 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_tierney: YUNGO just put on their mock trial on the Climate Change Studio, where youth participants gave real life accounts of the effects of climate change they have witnessed. In their very heartfelt event, they said they were trying to get negotiators to remember why they are hear as the talks enter the final days.

1629 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: In more positive news, US lead negotiator Todd Stern has said that there are now only two or three issues to tie-up with the Green Climate Fund. And, in an unprecedented second piece of good news, the EU has said that its 30% emissions target is still on the table. They hinted that it could be up for vote next year when they formulate their 2030 plans.

1556 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: The EU has called the US “arrogant and ignorant” for passing a bill to forbid US airlines from taking part in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. More to follow.

1426 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Bianca Jagger was interviewed at the Climate Change Studio earlier today, check out the studio for interviews with the US Navy, a Massai warrior and former UK deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott among others.

1229 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Peter Kent, Canadian Environment Minister says Kyoto is “in the past” for Canada. He says they are committed to the Cancun agreement. No dates. No urgency. He received a modest smattering of applause with his closing line of “Canada is carrying its weight, and proud to be doing its share”.

1215 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Maldives Minister: “Current pledges have us on a pathway to 4 degrees of warming. This will wipe my country and many more, off the map. Each concession we make here is not just a political one, it is a physical one. We [in the Maldives] are conceding our land.”

1157 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Maldives’ Minister is up next in the main plenary. They have become the loudest and most effective voice of the small island states. Update shortly…

1133 (GMT+2)

@rtcc_tierney: Earlier on @rtcc_edking met with the Dutch lead negotiator Maas Goote who said that while he thought the Kyoto 2 that many were hoping for this week looks unlikely progress could still be made on issues such as the Green Climate Fund.

Meanwhile the Climate Change Musical is still getting people’s attention. Today Heather Libby from tcktcktck published her great review of the second night performance last week at Durban’s BAT Centre.

And RTCC will now be streaming the Mock Trail being held by the UNFCCC Youth Constituency at the Climate Change Studio later this afternoon. Join us via the website to watch.

1115 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Marshall Islands Minister says the “future of his country is in jeopardy” and suggests the issue will eventually become of interest to the International Court of Justice. Still not convinced that message is really hitting home with the majority of delegates though.

1040 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: VP of Iran and Head of Department of Environment says it is surprising Annex I countries have not only failed to meet targets, but are refusing a second period and even pulling out of Kyoto altogether. Iran meanwhile “has ambitious plans for mitigation and adaptation. We have lifted subsidies on energy which has had a great effect on consumption in all sectors”. He adds: “time to end the oppression of developing countries by Annex I parties that has occurred over the last century”.

01028 (GMT +2)

@rtcc_john: Vice President of Comoros says millions of people have a death sentence hanging over them. “History will condemn us for causing a climate genocide.”  Iran up next.

0923 (GMT +2)


Crunch time. The ministers have settled in. They were briefed by the chairs of all the major tracks of the conference yesterday evening, so it’s time to get down to business.

As such, the main plenary today will comprise statements from heads of government, ministers and delegation heads all day long as parties set out their positions for the final few days of the conference.

Yesterday, as the High Level Segment began, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for country’s not to be distracted by economic troubles.

There were calls from a broad number of parties for the adoption of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. There is rumoured to be a proposal for talks on Kyoto to continue after Durban. A suggestion that has concerned the AOSIS group of small island nations.

Work on the Green Climate Fund and long term finance option such as marine and aviation levies continued throughout the day. A carbon price on marine and aviation fuels edged closer as parties agreed it could generate “significant funds”. India meanwhile, called the EU’s aviation proposals, a “trade action hidden in the guise of climate“.

There were also warnings from a number of groups, including the World Health Organisation about the effects of climate on our well-being, with some dire warnings of death on “a biblical scale“.

Today we’ll be matching the new breakneck pace of the negotiations and tracking all of the main statements from the main plenary. We’ll also be offering a unique take on the Green Climate Fund courtesy of Hannah Ryder, senior economist with the UK Department for International Development.

@rtcc_edking will be ably manning the Climate Change Studio once again. Interviews with a senior member of the Ecuadoran delegation, which has been very vocal throughout the talks and the perspective of a celebrity activist too…find out who later.

@rtcc_tierney will be attending a mock trial staged by the UNFCCC Youth Constituency, watch out for the video later on Climate Change TV.

@rtcc_john meanwhile will be glued to the main plenary as we get the first clues about what a Durban outcome may entail.


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