Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment

Archive for October, 2010

Hi everyone!

Alix Simnock Introduction

Hello!

My name is Alix Simnock and I am one of the US delegates. I just wanted to quickly introduce myself! I am a sophomore at WashU studying environmental studies in particular the social science/political science side of environmental issues and probably public health and Hebrew. I have always had a interest in environmental issues stemming from a fifth grade geography class on the deforestation occurring in the Amazon Rainforest, which actually lead to a three year long research project on deforestation in Madagascar. On top of that, I would say I know a little about a lot of environmental topics and so I am excited to learn a lot more about America/China/Global Warming, and hopefully become an expert on this particular topic! I think the relationship between America and China will play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of our environmental future and so for a solution to be made to combat global warming they must work together. They are two very powerful nations,who have the power to lead the rest of the world to deal with our environmental problems, but they also have the potential to cause even more damage. I think through collaboration they could halt further damage. If they do not work together though I do not think as much will get done because neither country will want to sacrifice their standard of living/change their living style if they do not think the other is doing the same, for example, America will not want to invest millions of dollars in green technology and shift their dependence from coal if they do not feel China is trying to lower their coal dependence also.  I am very excited that I get to be a part of MOCK COP 16 and help to create the white paper, to add to the solutions to global warming and work on the relationship between America and China. I cannot believe the conference begins this Thursday! I cannot wait to meet the Chinese Delegates and begin the conference. I feel honored to be a part of this and hopefully make a difference.

 

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China’s Stance and Expectations for the Cancun Conference

           Dear WUSICE participants, I’d like to share this passage with you about China’s stance and expectations for the coming Cancun UNFCCC COP 16 Conference.

           This passage was written by Su Wei. Su Wei has attended international negotiations on climate change since 1989, and was deputy chair and chief negotiator of the Chinese delegation at the Copenhagen Conference.

          The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of climate change and, out of the sense of responsibility for the long-term welfare of Chinese people and the whole mankind as well, calls for substantial and effective international cooperation in this regard. It believes the core tasks for current international negotiations are to strictly follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap, to ensure full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention and the Protocol, and to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial assistance in a coordinated and holistic manner.

           Firstly, the world should stick to the fundamental framework of the Convention and the Protocol, and strictly follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. The Convention and the Protocol lay the legal foundation for international cooperation on climate change, embody the consensus of the international community on the issue and constitute the guidebook for the implementation of the Bali Roadmap. The Bali Roadmap gives the authorization to fully, effectively and sustainedly implement the Convention and the Protocol, provides for climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as financial and technical support for the purpose, and determines further quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

           Secondly, the world should take responsibility for their historical cumulative emissions and current high per capita emissions to change their unsustainable way of life and to substantially reduce their emissions and, at the same time, provide financial support and transfer technology to developing countries. Developing countries will, in pursuing economic development and poverty eradication, take proactive measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

          Thirdly, the world should observe the sustainable development principle. Sustainable development is both the means and the end of effectively addressing climate change. Within the overall framework of sustainable development, economic development, poverty eradication and climate protection should be considered in a holistic and integrated manner so as to reach a win-win solution and to ensure that developing countries secure their right to development.

          Fourthly, the world should give equal priority to climate change mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technology transfer. Mitigation and adaptation are integral components of combating climate change and should be given equal attention. Compared with mitigation that is an arduous task over a longer time span, the need for adaptation is more real and urgent to developing countries. Financing and technology are indispensable means to achieve mitigation and adaptation. The fulfillment of commitments by developed countries to provide financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries is a condition sine qua non for developing countries to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.

          China will, on the basis of the Convention and the Protocol, at the requirement of the Bali Roadmap and in accordance of domestic conditions, fulfill international obligations proportionate to its development level and actual ability, and execute potent policies, measures and actions, doing its share to protect our planet.

          An active and constructive participant in international negotiation on climate change, China hopes the Cancun Conference can complete the negotiations envisioned in the Bali Roadmap and yield legally binding results through negotiations of the working groups of the Convention and the Protocol. Its targets are as follows:

          First, the Conference will set reduction goals for the developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol through negotiations of AWG-KP. The AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA are the two equally important negotiation tracks under the Bali Roadmap. The first commitment period of the Protocol will expire at the end of 2012. To ensure a seamless transition between the first and second periods, the AWG-KP is pressed to finish its negotiations at the soonest, which is also a precondition for progress at negotiations of the AWG-LCA. Only if the further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are first determined by the AWG-KP, can comparability under the AWG-LCA be established later on. The Cancun Conference is therefore expected to make solid progress in negotiations over reduction targets of the developed nations for the second commitment period under the Protocol, and consolidate consensus reached at the negotiations, thereby laying solid ground for the negotiations to head in the right direction.

          Second, the conference should solve the mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technical transfer issues through work of the AWG-LCA. In accordance with the Bali Action Plan, negotiations of the AWG-LCA shall determine the reduction commitments by developed nations that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol(primarily the U.S.), and ensure that their projected reductions are comparable to other developed nations in terms of magnitude, nature and compliance mechanism. An effective mechanism should be launched for the developed nations to fulfill their commitment of assisting the developing nations with finance and technology and on capability building, so that the developing nations are able to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In particular, more details should be settled about the $30 billion fund pledged by developed nations at the Copenhagen Conference, including share of contributions, timely and full payment, and measures of management and use of the money. The fund is critical to the establishment of mutual trust between the developed and developing nations. On receiving assistance on finance, technology and capability building from the developed nations, the developing nations will take mitigation measures in accordance with their respective conditions and within the framework of sustainable development.

          The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of climate change and, out of the sense of responsibility for the long-term welfare of Chinese people and the whole mankind as well, calls for substantial and effective international cooperation in this regard. It believes the core tasks for current international negotiations are to strictly follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap, to ensure full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention and the Protocol, and to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial assistance in a coordinated and holistic manner.

Firstly, the world should stick to the fundamental framework of the Convention and the Protocol, and strictly follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. The Convention and the Protocol lay the legal foundation for international cooperation on climate change, embody the consensus of the international community on the issue and constitute the guidebook for the implementation of the Bali Roadmap. The Bali Roadmap gives the authorization to fully, effectively and sustainedly implement the Convention and the Protocol, provides for climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as financial and technical support for the purpose, and determines further quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

Secondly, the world should take responsibility for their historical cumulative emissions and current high per capita emissions to change their unsustainable way of life and to substantially reduce their emissions and, at the same time, provide financial support and transfer technology to developing countries. Developing countries will, in pursuing economic development and poverty eradication, take proactive measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Thirdly, the world should observe the sustainable development principle. Sustainable development is both the means and the end of effectively addressing climate change. Within the overall framework of sustainable development, economic development, poverty eradication and climate protection should be considered in a holistic and integrated manner so as to reach a win-win solution and to ensure that developing countries secure their right to development.

Fourthly, the world should give equal priority to climate change mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technology transfer. Mitigation and adaptation are integral components of combating climate change and should be given equal attention. Compared with mitigation that is an arduous task over a longer time span, the need for adaptation is more real and urgent to developing countries. Financing and technology are indispensable means to achieve mitigation and adaptation. The fulfillment of commitments by developed countries to provide financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries is a condition sine qua non for developing countries to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.

China will, on the basis of the Convention and the Protocol, at the requirement of the Bali Roadmap and in accordance of domestic conditions, fulfill international obligations proportionate to its development level and actual ability, and execute potent policies, measures and actions, doing its share to protect our planet.

 

An active and constructive participant in international negotiation on climate change, China hopes the Cancun Conference can complete the negotiations envisioned in the Bali Roadmap and yield legally binding results through negotiations of the working groups of the Convention and the Protocol. Its targets are as follows:

 First, the Conference will set reduction goals for the developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol through negotiations of AWG-KP. The AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA are the two equally important negotiation tracks under the Bali Roadmap. The first commitment period of the Protocol will expire at the end of 2012. To ensure a seamless transition between the first and second periods, the AWG-KP is pressed to finish its negotiations at the soonest, which is also a precondition for progress at negotiations of the AWG-LCA. Only if the further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are first determined by the AWG-KP, can comparability under the AWG-LCA be established later on. The Cancun Conference is therefore expected to make solid progress in negotiations over reduction targets of the developed nations for the second commitment period under the Protocol, and consolidate consensus reached at the negotiations, thereby laying solid ground for the negotiations to head in the right direction.

 Second, the conference should solve the mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technical transfer issues through work of the AWG-LCA. In accordance with the Bali Action Plan, negotiations of the AWG-LCA shall determine the reduction commitments by developed nations that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocolprimarily the U.S., and ensure that their projected reductions are comparable to other developed nations in terms of magnitude, nature and compliance mechanism. An effective mechanism should be launched for the developed nations to fulfill their commitment of assisting the developing nations with finance and technology and on capability building, so that the developing nations are able to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In particular, more details should be settled about the $30 billion fund pledged by developed nations at the Copenhagen Conference, including share of contributions, timely and full payment, and measures of management and use of the money. The fund is critical to the establishment of mutual trust between the developed and developing nations. On receiving assistance on finance, technology and capability building from the developed nations, the developing nations will take mitigation measures in accordance with their respective conditions and within the framework of sustainable development.

 

 

 

 

By Ling Yun Zhi(Richard), Fudan University


WOW.

Karen Mok, WUSICE China Liaison

US-CHINA TEN-YEAR FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

The Governments of the United States and China established the Ten Year Framework (TYF) for Cooperation on Energy and Environment in June 2008. The Framework facilitates the exchange of information and best practices between the two countries to foster innovation and develop solutions to the pressing energy and environment problems both countries face. In July 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Chinese State Counselor Dai Bingguo participated in the initialing of the Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment , which further elaborated the role of the TYF and established a new dialogue and cooperation mechanism on climate change. The most recent meeting of the TYF Joint Working Group occurred May 11-12 in Washington, DC.

U.S. agencies involved in the Framework include the Departments of State, Energy, Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Trade Development Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Participating agencies for China include the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Forestry Administration, the National Energy Administration, and the Ministries of Finance, Environmental Protection, Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs. The lead agencies for each country implement the TYF, including the following action plans on electricity, water, air, transportation, wetlands, nature reserves and protected areas, and energy efficiency.

  • Clean Air: This plan includes U.S.-China collaboration on sulfur dioxide emission trading in the power industry, control of vehicle emissions, regional air quality management, control of nitrogen oxide emissions, and control of ozone and particulates.
  • Clean and Efficient Transportation: This plan involves collaboration on developing non-petroleum alternative fuels including biofuels, promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in civil aviation, improving traffic management and policies, transportation infrastructure, and planning, as well as achieving efficient and sustainable transportation development.
  • Clean, Efficient, and Secure Electricity:This plan facilitates bilateral cooperation on electricity generation and transmission with an emphasis upon diversification. Additional collaboration may include renewable and alternative sources of clean energy, cleaner fossil fuel, power grid and the electricity market, and nuclear power.
  • Clean Water: This plan encourages collaboration on water quality management, safe drinking water, and prevention and control of pollution from agriculture and rural areas.
  • Energy Efficiency:China and the United States recently approved this action plan to further cooperation in the fields of energy auditing, public financing mechanisms, and energy efficiency in building technologies.
  • Protected Areas/Nature Reserves: This plan promotes best practices for enhancing nature reserve management, improving habitat conservation, management and restoration of protected areas, strengthened scientific collaboration, and conservation of endangered species.
  • Wetlands Conservation: This plan fosters collaboration on best practices in wetland policy, monitoring, management, and scientific research, and helps build the capacity of each country to protect these crucial areas

 

In addition, seven public-private partnerships, known as “EcoPartnerships,” contribute to the Framework’s goals, with new partnerships being planned in the future. EcoPartnerships promote further collaboration at the sub-national level, as well as between the private and public sectors. As the EcoPartnerships program expands, it will encourage U.S. and Chinese governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to share best practices, foster innovation, and further sustainable economic development.

In the most recent TYF Joint Working Group meeting, the two sides exchanged views on emerging issues that might warrant future inclusion in the TYF, including green growth.

 

For more information about the Ten Year Framework’s Action Plans and the EcoPartnership program, including information about the potential role for local and regional governments, research institutes, nongovernmental organizations and businesses, please visit the following websites:

 


China’s Main Problems and Questions on Sustainability

Posted by Fudan Delegate Ling Yun Zhi(Richard)

Our Difficulties:

1. Resource constraints is a daunting challenge to China.

2. China’s current energy supply is coal-dominated, creating severe pollution.

3. China’s energy efficiency is low, causing large energy waste.

Our Questions:

1. Is nuclear energy a GREEN energy source? What is the proper attitude for us towards Nuclear Energy?

2. When are we supposed to use renewable energy as the major energy source?

3. When it comes to energy and environmental problem, who should play the key role within a country?


Great Job Everyone

First off, great job everyone for posting and commenting on all the posts – by having such interactive discussions and debates on news articles, images, videos, etc., we’re building a stronger and stronger international network of environmental issue exchange.

 

Anyway, to make WUSICE even more prominent on the web, here’s a tip:  if you make a post, please use the ‘tag’ box on the right side of the screen to post tags of key topics in your post – i.e., NGOs, coal, fossil fuels, global warming, China, etc. Just type in the key words in the ‘add new tag’ box, then click ‘add’. It makes our blog more accessible to other WordPress blogs. Thanks!

Now that we’ve got our WashU and Fudan delegates, posting and commenting on posts should definately help the delegates from different schools get to know each other and hear the other institution’s students’ points of view!

In other news, with the Conference fast-approaching, your WUSICE execs are working hard and cramming in as many meet-ups as they can before the big day: November 4th!

Keep the blogging going! Thanks so much for your continued participation – we’ve come a long way since last year!
Anne, PR


When it comes to economy and environment

Dear readers,

I am Wenqi Yue, the treasure of WUSICE, usually referred to the “Money person”.  I am an undergraduate student in WUSTL majoring in Economics (probably math as well). I hope everyone is as excited as I am about the upcoming conference and ready to crack some tough problems!

One of the goals of WUSICE is built upon the idea of establishing and enhancing the network between universities around the world over environmental issues, and for me, linking environmental to communities’ well-being as well. And yes, for me, that is closely related to the economic issues. I am passionate about exploring new solutions on balancing out economic growth while protecting the environment, which put me in an interesting position, or the in between, when conflicts are formed between environmental preservation and economic development. Communications becomes crucial, and understanding between individuals and countries sometimes the tipping pointing of solving those issues.

If I have to choose a side, I will take myself as a “Breakthrough” supporter, or an happy follower of Michael Shellenberger and Ted Norhaus’s approach towards environmental issues. Economy growth can go hand in hand with environmental protections. Wal-Mart at the top of Fortune 500 list is probably the biggest motivation for package companies to reduce the amount of plastics they use, keep the preservatives to a minimum, etc.

If you are interested in learning more about Breakthrough, please check out www.thebreakthrough.org, and also don’t forget to google about Walmarts’ action on being an environmental friendly company. I am very curious about the feedbacks I would get.



Growth In Fish Farming Raises Concerns for Environment

Published October 28, 2010
Article from GreenBiz.com

VICTORIA, BC — Large-scale farming of fish that themselves have low environmental impact can nonetheless lead to higher environmental damage, according to an assessment of farmed fish and the countries that produce them.

The research, performed by the University of Victoria’s Seafood Research Ecology Group, also found that regions with the fastest-growing fish farming sectors are linked to more negative impacts.

The Seafood Research Ecology Group, led by marine ecologist John Volpe, used the Global Aquaculture Performance Index, which it created, to assess 20 fish species and 22 countries, based on 10 indicators.

The research focused on finfish like salmon, cod and grouper, and looked at criteria like reliance on capturing wild fish to stock farms, antibiotics use, water pollutants discharge and industrial energy use.

Each species and country received two overall scores: the normalized score is based on per ton produced, and the cumulative score looks at the total impact. Scores range from 0-100, with 100 meaning lowest impact. Scores were based on data from 2007, the last year that complete data on all indicators was available.

The assessment found that even in areas where best farm fishing practices are used, massive production of fish can cause more negative impacts than multiple small, poorly-performing farms. Atlantic salmon, for instance, gets a score of 70 based on per ton performance, but its cumulative score is 36.

The researchers also found that some of the worst countries, particularly China and Japan, are those with the newest and fastest-growing aquaculture production. Fish like groupers, red drum and cobia have some of the worst scores, but production of them has increased 40 percent in the five years before 2007.

Atlantic salmon has the top normalized (72) and cumulative (91) scores among the fish species. Following on the normalized side is flathead grey mullet (71) and Atlantic salmon (70), while the next highest scores on the cumulative side are turbot (89) and Atlantic cod (88).

The highest-scoring countries on the normalized side are New Zealand (73), the United Kingdom (72) and Norway (72), while the highest cumulative scores go to France (96), Iceland (96) and Israel (91).

The researchers findings are available in the inaugural Global Aquaculture Performance Index report.

Fish – CC license by fabbio

 

Read more: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2010/10/28/growth-fish-farming-raises-concerns-environment#ixzz13fql1reo