|Sustainable Energy News - No. 06 September 1994 (INFORSE, 1994)|
NGO Office for the Climate Summit '95
The German NGOs have established a joint office to coordinate the preparations and activities for the first Conference of the Parties (COP1) on the Climate Convention in Berlin in March 1995. The office will be a center for all local and national NGOs involved in Germany in close cooperation with Climate Action Europe. NGOs from all over the world count on the German organizations to play an important political role before and at the summit as well as to provide adequate infrastructure for them. The Office: Behrenstr.23, D-10117 Berlin, ph: +49-30-202 2030.
NGO Pressure on German Government
The German NGOs know that massive changes are necessary in the
international energy policy. They continue to press the German government to
take the lead and to present a legally binding CO2-Protocol for the Climate
Summit. They stress that this protocol must incorporate the Toronto target, a
reduction of CO2 emissions in industrialised countries by at least 20 percent by
2005, with 1990 emission levels as the relative basis for the reduction. They
also demand that it incorporates measures to reach the target, like energy taxes
and the general establishment of least-cost planning. Previously, countries like
Germany, Denmark, Australia and Canada declared that they would aim to reduce
CO2 emissions in their own countries by 25 per cent from 1987 levels by
Climate Negotiations Standstill
During the last negotiations on the Climate Convention, INC 10 in Geneva, August 29 - September 9, the German government proposed some draft elements to a protocol with additional targets and measures for greenhouse gas reductions. Nevertheless, the following negotiations did not lead to any proposal for a protocol to strengthen the weak commitments that are included in the Climate Convention. The majority of the countries were in favor of using the Climate Summit in Berlin, March 1995 just as the start of negotiations on a protocol to be agreed upon in 1997. This is quite a slow response to the widespread agreement at INC9, that the present commitments are insufficient.
Energy Charter Treaty to be Signed in November?
The ongoing negotiations on the binding Energy Charter Treaty, which will guide free trade and investments in energy in OECD and Central and Eastern European countries, took a large step ahead in June, when negotiators finally agreed to a number of compromises. The last outstanding question was the article about national sovereignty over own resources. Others were compromises about acceptance of a special status for EU and similar regional economic organizations, and about opening of the uranium market in EU for Russia. The paragraphs about environmental concerns have not been changed since 1993, where it was agreed to refer to international environmental treaties, but in a rather weak wording.
After the compromise in June, legal questions have delayed the publishing of a final text. The major concern from the free-market promoters is that the article about national sovereignty can override articles about equal treatment of national and international companies. Other issues still debated are a US proposal of reducing the role of regional economic organizations, a US reluctance to enforce the Protocol in its individual states, and a Russian proposal to allow the countries to halt capital transfers out of the country in times of currency crisis.
In spite of the outstanding questions, the Charter Secretariat in Bruxelles is planning a larger meeting for signing the Treaty in November. A number of countries are proposing that this event also be used for signing an Energy Efficiency Protocol. Such a protocol can help to reduce the bias towards exploration and supply options that the Energy Charter Process has currently. The negotiators are very close to an agreement on a not very strong Energy Efficiency Protocol.
(Based on EC Energy Monthly, August 15, 1994 and information from the Danish Ministry of Energy.)