• Open Letter to Environment Ministers at Copenhagen Climate Conference

    Transport & Environment, together with other organisations, has criticised the decision to ask Norway and Singapore to guide informal talks on aviation/shipping emissions at Copenhagen.

    Full text of the letter:

    Norwegian and Singaporean Environment Ministers have been asked to consult with Delegations on a possible way forward on the question of aviation and maritime bunker fuels. Their specific remit is to seek common ground on three issues: emission reduction target setting in Copenhagen, application of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to reduction measures; and use of revenues from these measures.

    Norway’s generally sound environmental credentials have been tarnished in recent months by their negotiators’ attempt to water down proposals for reduction targets and calls for early action at Copenhagen on aviation and shipping. Norway lined up with USA, Canada and Japan in proposing a weak resolution which undermined the leadership positions of the EU and Australia on targets and early action. Singapore’s hub economy relies heavily on transit aviation traffic and shipping, and has the world’s fifth largest open ship registry (“flag of convenience”). Singapore has also taken a conservative stance in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) over many years.

    Norwegian NGOs Bellona, Norges Naturvernforbund and WWF Norway have joined with other environmental NGOs in calling on the Norwegian Environment Minister to take a strong leadership position in these crucial consultations. It is vital that any Copenhagen Agreement finally sets emission reduction targets for international aviation and shipping and resolves the political impasse over global action. Using revenues from bunker measures – potentially $25-$37 billion per annum – as climate finance for developing countries would ensure these proposals are equitable and help raise the ambition of the overall deal by providing a substantial new source of money.

    These Ministers have a unique opportunity to make a real difference to champion a major new source of climate finance while brokering agreement on mitigation measures to help ensure global warming remains below 2 degrees.

    Yours sincerely,

    Konrad Putz

    Bård Lahn
    Norges Naturvernforbund

    Arild Skedsmo
    WWF Norway

    Søren Dyck-Madsen
    The Ecological Council, Denmark

    Manfred Treber

    John Maggs
    Seas At Risk

    Bill Hemmings
    Transport & Environment