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A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the

1-12 June 2009 Bonn, Germany

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Events on Monday, 1 June 2009

Realizing the Bali Action Plan: Adaptation, Mitigation, Finance and Technology with a Gender Perspective

Presented by Global Gender and Climate Alliance

This event brought together Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) members and their partners to discuss the role women can play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Speakers highlighted ways to include women and gender perspectives at local and national scales, as well as within the international climate change negotiations.

Sirkka Haunia, Finland, noted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finding that climate change will most affect impoverished people. Highlighting that 70% of the world’s poor are women, she noted the importance of involving them in climate change adaptation related to agriculture.

Lamenting the lack of gender mainstreaming in ongoing discussions on mitigation technology and financing, Khamarunga Banda, ENERGIA, highlighted human rights, environment and economic rationales for including gender considerations in these debates.

Underscoring the importance of “indigenizing technology,” Feri Lumampao, APPROTECH ASIA, said that technology transferred to developing countries should be affordable, marketable and adapted to community needs. She noted key issues in considering finance and technology, including intellectual property rights and the difficulty that some populations face in accessing relevant technologies.

William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, Ghana, noted that the current UNFCCC documents address issues such as technology and finance without reference to gender. He said mainstreaming gender would increase awareness, capacity and sensitivity to traditional knowledge, and help reduce risk.

Amb. Staffan Tillander, Sweden, emphasized that in order to integrate gender in the climate change negotiations, gender experts must examine the Convention and identify entry points. He suggested that UN institutions be strengthened to deliver on climate change mitigation and adaptation at national and local levels, and said women’s participation in policy formation is fundamental to democratization.

Participants discussed: the possibility of including gender as a crosscutting issue in the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report; the need to nominate women to write and review IPCC reports; the role men can play in the absence of gender parity; social barriers to women’s participation in providing expertise; the need for the GGCA and others to suggest specific negotiating text; the lack of data disaggregated by gender; the lack of female African scientist participation in ongoing climate change discussions; and the involvement of women youth in developing countries.

Sirkka Haunia, Finland, said her country hopes to enable 100 women from developing countries to participate in the climate change discussions leading up to Copenhagen through provision of €500,000 to support travel expenses. William Agyemang-Bonsu, Ghana, described Ghana’s attention to gender and the involvement of women in developing his country’s climate change adaptation strategy. Khamarunga Banda, ENERGIA, emphasized that women are key actors in the mitigation process and their knowledge must be considered.

More information:


Cate Owren (Coordinator) <>
Lorena Aguilar Revelo (Chair) <>
Feri Lumampao <>
Khamarunga Banda <>

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Biochar and Carbon Trading in Soils: Impacts on Climate, Biodiversity and People

Presented by The Corner House

This event examined several agricultural practices for carbon offsetting that are under consideration in climate change discussions. It described uncertainties regarding the benefits of biochar and no-till agriculture, and highlighted negative impacts of plantations.

Almuth Ernsling, Biofuelwatch, explained that biochar is a fine-grained charcoal, derived as a by-product of pyrolysis, that can be applied to soils. She emphasized the lack of field studies on biochar and highlighted concerns, including: uncertainty regarding biochar’s ability to sequester carbon; the possibility that biochar might stimulate soil microbes that turn soil carbon into carbon dioxide; and the potential albedo effect of laying charcoal near the soil surface. She emphasized that biochar should not be promoted until more information is known.

Raquel Nuñez, World Rainforest Movement, stressed that tree plantations are not forests. She highlighted negative impacts of plantations, including: appropriation of land from local communities; loss of rural job opportunities; loss of biodiversity; and soil degradation. She cautioned that biochar production could lead to further plantation development. Nuñez argued that mechanisms such as Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD) and agrofuels are "technocratic" solutions that will not lead to effective climate change migitation, which she said can be achieved only through drastic emissions reductions in developed countries.

Helena Paul, EcoNexus, noted that most studies on the carbon sequestration benefits of no-till agriculture only examine sequestration in the top 30cm of soil, but that when studies examine deeper soils, carbon sequestration benefits disappear. She then discussed the negative impacts of large-scale no-till soy production in Argentina, which comprises 20% of the world’s no-till acreage. She described how no-till production had increased dependency on fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Paul explained that no-till agriculture had caused soil compaction, due to the lack of soil turning, leading to flooding and groundwater depletion.

Noting that Europe imports 50 million tons of carbon-intensive feedstuff annually, Joop de Koeÿer, Via Campesina Europe, outlined Via Campesina’s vision for global food sovereignty, whereby all countries could protect their food production from cheap imports. He said sustainable farming methods can be three to four times more energy-efficient than industrialized ones.

Participants discussed: the difference between no-till and conservation agriculture; the possibility of including small-scale no-till agriculture in climate change negotiations; and the difficulty of measuring additionality when many small-scale farmers already apply no-till mechanisms.

Helena Paul, EcoNexus, stressed that large-scale, no-till soy production in Argentina has negatively impacted biodiversity and ecosystems. Almuth Ernsling, Biofuelwatch, highlighted that over 150 organizations had recently signed a declaration opposing the inclusion of biochar as a means to offset emissions under international climate change regulations. Raquel Nuñez, World Rainforest Movement, said women can be particularly affected by plantation development, noting the health problems they suffer when they are employed to spray herbicides on oil palm plantations.

More information:


Almuth Ernsling <>
Raquel Nuñez <>
Helena Paul (Chair) <>
Joop de Koeÿer <joop_de_koeÿ>

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Emissions in Line with Staying Below 2°C – Do Current Proposals Make It?

Presented by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

This panel addressed the implications of current and proposed emission reductions for global temperature levels, with an emphasis on methodological details of scientific studies.

Katja Frieler, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), analyzed emission targets for limiting global warming to 2°C by 2100. She said cumulative emissions of 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) between 2000 and 2050 would result in a 25% probability of exceeding the 2°C limit, and noted that a third of that amount has already been produced over the last nine years.

Sarah Raper, Manchester Metropolitan University, discussed the effects of aviation on global temperature change. She described aviation as one of the most rapidly growing sources of CO2 emissions, noting that its contribution to global temperature change exceeded that of the UK. She added aviation is expected to contribute more than 20% to global CO2 emissions and 15-20% to global temperature change by mid-century.

Joeri Rogelj, PIK, analyzed the implications of current country positions on emissions growth. He presented trajectories of national emissions using scenarios based on official national policy proposals, including: Canada’s plan to cut its 2006 emissions by 20% by 2020; the EU targets of a 30% cut by 2020 and a 95% cut by 2050 based on 1990 emissions; and India’s goal not to exceed Annex I countries’ per capita emissions. Rogelj highlighted results from a study that projected future greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations and temperatures based on current country positions. He said the study found virtual certainty of exceeding 550 parts per million (ppm) CO2 equivalent (CO2 eq) and a 2°C temperature increase by 2100. Rogelj reported median projections resting instead at 700 ppm CO2 eq and 3°C by 2100, respectively.

Bill Hare, Climate Analytics, discussed the connection between cumulative emissions and the probability of exceeding a temperature increase of 2°C. He emphasized the urgency of substantive emission reductions. He stressed that less than a quarter of the economically recoverable fossil fuels cannot be used without reaching the 2°C limit, and noted an 87% probability of exceeding the limit if global GHG emissions increase by more than 25% above 2000 levels by 2020.

Participants raised questions regarding the underlying methodological assumptions of the studies presented, including the effects of water and forestry on temperature increases, and the role of offsets, supersonic aircraft and carbon capture and storage on emission levels.

L-R: Katja Frieler, PIK; Bill Hare, Climate Analytics; Sarah Raper, Manchester Metropolitan University; and Joeri Rogelj, PIK.

Katja Frieler, PIK, said 100 countries have called for limiting temperature increases below 2ºC, and said this goal can be reached only if less than a quarter of economically recoverable fossil fuel reserves are used. Sarah Raper, Manchester Metropolitan University, said that in 2005 aviation contributed 2.8% to global CO2 emissions and 4.7% to global temperature change. Joeri Rogelj, PIK, discussed projected emissions growth in various countries, given official national action plans, including China’s plan to reduce its emissions per GDP ratio by 20%.

More information:


Malte Meinshausen (Coordinator)
Katja Frieler <>
Sarah Raper <>
Bill Hare <>

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Equitable Financing and Reducing Emissions from International Transport

Presented by International Maritime Emission Reduction Scheme

This event discussed options for technically sound and politically acceptable levies on emissions from international aviation and maritime transport that differentiate responsibilities between developed and developing countries, and could potentially raise US$10 billion annually for climate change action.

Andre Stochniol, International Maritime Emissions Reduction Scheme (IMERS), said IMERS would help address the inadequacy of current mechanisms to finance adaptation in developing countries and bring CO2 emissions from the shipping industry under the climate regime. He noted that all ships active in international transport would pay a levy based on their fuel consumption, stressing the levy would be set by the market rather than a political body and would be equitable, predicable and effective. He said the scheme is easily affordable with an anticipated marginal cost to consumers of +0.1% on imported goods. He urged parties to push for a global scheme for emissions from shipping at this meeting, noting that IMERS provides an opportunity to address this issue and that of inadequate financing simultaneously.

Henry Derwent, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), stated his preference for a trading approach rather than one based on taxation, highlighting the implausibility of creating a world tax system. He noted that IMERS may not be consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities because countries may not be able to agree that it is acceptable to charge developing countries at this stage.

Jake Schmidt, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), emphasized the need to significantly scale up financing and the challenge of determining where that financing should come from. He lamented the lack of progress in the International Civil Aviation Organization and International Maritime Organization (IMO) on how to cover bunker fuels, and said many key countries are beginning to develop their own systems to deal with this issue. He highlighted the US Waxman-Markey bill, noting that it could potentially cover fuel purchased in the US. On the IMERS approach, he outlined some difficult implementation issues, including how to deal with common but differentiated responsibilities. Schmidt noted the possibility of designing a system that captures some elements of both levy and cap-and-trade approaches.

Participants discussed: coverage of bunker fuels under the US Waxman-Markey bill; border tax adjustments; the need for global solutions to control CO2 emissions; obstacles to creating an effective global system; and the need for the IMO to create a roadmap for COP 15 for reducing emissions. Stochniol concluded the discussion by emphasizing the need for funding and suggesting that a UNFCCC agreement on financing for adaptation could incorporate international transportation measures. Many participants agreed that a differentiated approach is preferable to uniform regulations

L-R: Andre Stochniol, IMERS; Henry Derwent, IETA and Jake Schmidt, NRDC

Andre Stochniol, IMERS, stressed IMERS would create a new governance system to effectively address emissions that are beyond national jurisdictions. Henry Derwent, IETA, noted challenges with a levy-based system, including how to identify who will pay what amount and what to do with the proceeds. Jake Schmidt, NRDC, said a global sectoral approach is needed, stressing that leakage and competition are extremely relevant for the aviation and maritime sectors.

More information:


Andre Stochniol (Coordinator) <>
Henry Derwent <>
Jake Schmidt <>

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