Australian government up to tricks in Nairobi

November 09, 2006

[Nairobi, Kenya] The Australian government delegation is still using its position as a signatory to the UNFCCC manipulate and obscure the intentions and principles of the International Climate Change Convention.

Stephanie Long representing Friends of the Earth Australia at the international negotiations observed two instances of note-worthy  behaviour:

"Two statements made by the Australian delegation have already caused disturbance amongst delegates, particularly the NGO community observing the negotiations in Nairobi.

During a session on the financial mechanisms to support the adaptation needs of Developing Countries, Australia took the opportunity to compare our vulnerability to climate change to that of African and the Pacific Island nations.

"Not only is this statement grossly incorrect, but the intention of the statement was to highlight Australia's priority on adaptation to the affects of climate change.

"Ironically, this prioritisation has not influenced the purse-strings of the Australian government, who have yet to make ANY contributions to the UNFCCC climate change fund: the Least Developed Country Fund and Special Climate Change Fund. This is despite clear obligations for Developed Countries to provide funds for Developing Countries to reduce their vulnerability to the most adverse effects of climate change.

"The second statement of concern was the Australian delegation's response to the Global Environment Facilities support for an investigative review of the potential of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.

The Australian delegation suggested that although finances for adaptation should be expanded this should not come at the expense of further funding of CCS.

"Clearly adaptation funds to meet the immediate and growing needs of Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries is vastly more important than efforts to introduce a high risk technology that is yet to be proved, and as-yet is not commercially viable technology such as CCS into the priorities for the scarce amount of funds available for adaptation.

Proponents of CCS say that the technology is 10-15 years away.

“In the next 10 to 15 year the adaptation needs of Developing Countries to deal with sea-level rise, drought, increased vector borne diseases, extreme weather events and decreased agricultural yields will be substantial.

“Calling for funds to be diverted to a technology that only serves the profits of coal exporting and comparatively wealthy nations such as Australia is appalling.”

For further comment:

Stephanie Long (Friends of the Earth Australia/International)
+ 254 (0) 720 827 577

Please note Nairobi is eight hours behind Australia east coast daylight savings time.

Further information on the Nairobi meeting is available at: http://www.foe.org.au/ci/ci_06nairobimtg.htm

NOTES for Journalist

1. Article 4.3 of the UNFCCC obligates developed country parties will provide new and additional financial resources and take into account the need for adequacy and predictability in the flow of funds and the importance of appropriate burden sharing among the developed country Parties.

Additionally following articles of the UNFCCC also obligate:
·            all parties to cooperate in preparing for adaptation (4.1e)
·            developed countries to take the lead in responding to the adverse affects of climate change (3.1)
·            developed countries provide technical and financial support to developing parties (4.4 & 4.5)
·            all parties consider funding, insurance and transfer of technologies (4.8)

2. While funds available for adaptation range from US$120 million to $360 million, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund estimated total costs of adaptation in developing countries would require between $10 billion and $40 billion annually.

Reference: World Bank and International Monetary Fund (2006) Clean Energy and Development : Towards an Investment Framework. Document DC2006-0002, April 5, 2006