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Green City Ranking + Copenhagen Disarray

by ask Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 06:43:10 AM EST

The Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen started yesterday and will go on until 18 December.
Siemens AG has sponsored a study to rank the sustainability of 30 European cities developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Quite appropriately, Copenhagen was ranked highest - followed by Stockholm and Oslo, while ex-Soviet and eastern European cities ranked at the bottom, with Kiev last.

The various indexes and overall ranking here.

promoted to the frontpage - Nomad

Copenhagen — the greenest major city in Europe

The study evaluates the 30 cities in eight categories: CO2 emissions; energy; buildings; transportation; water; air quality; waste and land use; and environmental governance. “We support the cities’ efforts to achieve efficient climate protection by providing them with comprehensive standardized data,” said Dr. Reinhold Achatz, head of Corporate Research and Technologies, the central research unit of Siemens AG. “Cities can use this study to prioritize their actions in reducing their carbon footprint.”

“Our analysis indicates that European cities are leaders in environmental performance. In particular, almost all of the 30 cities — which are home to a total of nearly 75 million inhabitants — average lower per capita CO2 emissions than EU countries,” said James Watson, managing editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit and the editor of the study. The best city in this category, Oslo, emits only 2.5 tons of CO2 per capita and per year, far less than the EU average of 8.5 tons. What’s more, almost all of the cities have already developed and partially implemented an environmental strategy.
Scandinavian cities generally achieve high scores. Awareness of environmental protection in these cities has been strong for years, which is reflected in the cities’ ambitious climate targets. Copenhagen, for example, aims to be carbon free by 2025. In Scandinavian countries, GDP per capita income is above average, and these wealthy countries have invested substantially in environmental protection. So far, Eastern European cities generally rank lower. This is largely due to a comparatively low gross domestic product and historic burdens, including the lack of attention paid to environmental protection in previous decades.

An interesting analysis of the study on the site linked on top of this diary entry:
Green Flow

The COP 15 has had some problems today after it was leaked that the host government had worked on a back-up text for a treaty with some of the richest nations - an agreement favoring the industrialized countries.

Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak

Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement that would hand more power to rich nations, sideline the UN's negotiating role and abandon the Kyoto protocol

The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as "the circle of commitment" – but understood to include the UK, US and Denmark – has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalised this week.

Also posted at BT.

A most unfortunate attempt to railroad the process in Copenhagen. Developing countries are understandably very upset at the draft text itself as well as at the lack of process.

by ask on Tue Dec 8th, 2009 at 06:19:09 PM EST
Seems like standard negotiating tactics to me.

Leak something outrageous, and then "compromise".

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 07:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as "goat in the hall" tactic...

Original here:

When Russians are unhappy, they buy a goat, put her in their hallway, leave her there for a few days and sell it again. This makes the Russians happy.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 07:57:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damage control:

Patching up after Copenhagen leak

Danish officials may play down a document implying a stitch-up between rich nations. But their impartiality as hosts looks shaky

[...]It has also provoked sharp reactions from Danish and international environmental NGOs. Kim Carstensen, the leader of WWF's climate delegation, says: "This shows an elitist, selective and non-transparent approach to the negotiations. We understand the developing nations' frustration with the Danish government." Greenpeace's Martin Kaiser agrees: "The document is hurting negotiations and shows Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen's lack of good leadership. It is creating mistrust."

Actually, the document dates back to November 27. It is as such already old news in terms of the now ongoing negotiations, and the Danish prime minister on November 30 distanced himself from the now leaked document (the contents of which were already familiar back then). "We have not come with any proposals," Lars Løkke Rasmussen stresses.
However, the document does raise problems when it comes to the Danish hosts' ability to remain neutral during the complicated and probably difficult process of getting the developing world to agree to an economic deal with the developed world. This is not the kind of publicity Rasmussen and his team has been looking for – far from it. There were always worries that the relatively inexperienced Danish state leader, heading a very small country, might not be up to the enormous and crucial job of hosting such a summit.

by ask on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 09:13:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There were always worries that the relatively inexperienced Danish state leader, heading a very small country, might not be up to the enormous and crucial job of hosting such a summit.

Inexperience and incompetence were never the real problems. The real problem has always been that the Danish government is populated by poodles and Quislings who will sell their own country and their own continent down the river to please their American masters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 12:49:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You didn't actually expect anything substantive did you ? Too many vested interests, too many powerful deep-pocketed lobby groups, the US Senate, India, Australia. Heck the saudis want to be compensated for the reduction in oil extraction resulting from electric cars !!! This is  not a serious meeting and there is no chance of serious reduction.

Sea levels will have to rise sufficiently to drown major cities before the global politic comfort zone shifts, by which time it will be far too late.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 05:13:18 AM EST
Right on target, Helen!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 08:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another great diary, Ask, and well done to Nomad for frontpaging.  It would be interesting to compare European and US cities on such an index.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 07:07:39 AM EST
Klein, Khor "Danish Text" commentary

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama will be getting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo tomorrow. He will be addressing the escalation of war in Afghanistan, receiving the Peace Prize as he announces the escalation of war. Naomi Klein, your response to this and how the United States fits into this Danish text and President Obama coming here next week, agreeing to come at the end, not at the beginning?

NAOMI KLEIN: Well, you know, on the one hand, it's encouraging that he's coming at the end; on the other hand, we have to understand how politics works. And I think probably this text, the existence of this text, has something to do with why Obama agreed to come to the end. I mean, most people here have observed that Obama wouldn't come unless they had--there had been some sort of a guarantee of an outcome that would have been acceptable to the United States, and clearly they thought this Danish text was going to be adopted.

So--but, you know, if we think about Afghanistan, even coming back to the headlines that you read earlier about Zelaya, you know, one year into the Obama administration, I think that we're seeing, on so many of the key issues that we really believed there would be change or where change was promised, that there was a new era of relationships with Latin America, that there was going to be a much less aggressive stand when it comes to the military, the financial sector and now climate change, we're seeing some very, very--a series of very profound betrayals. And this is one piece of it, but a major piece of it.

AMY GOODMAN: Martin Khor, on that same issue?

MARTIN KHOR: I think that the US has a positive role to play in the climate negotiations, which it has yet to play, by allowing those countries who are in the Kyoto Protocol--and that's all the developed countries except the US--to remain there and to take their commitments there and to take high commitments there to reduce their emissions by at least 40 percent. And the United States, even if it does not want to join the protocol, for whatever reason, can take a similar commitment inside the convention, because the US is a member of that convention, and do a similar commitment, do a similar cut.

Now, the reverse is happening, as we have seen in the Danish text, that those developed countries in the Kyoto Protocol with high commitments are on the verge of jumping ship to join the United States, where the US is not willing to commit to an international treaty at the moment and is giving a very low commitment figure of reducing its emissions by about four percent between 1990 and 2020, when the science says we have to do it by at least 25 to 40 percent, preferably 40 percent, and Europe is willing to do 30 percent. So it looks as if the other countries are watching the United States and saying that if the US is going to do so little and is not going to be internationally legally bound, then we are all going to follow the United States in a race, if not to the bottom, to very near the bottom. And this is what is at the heart of the crisis in the negotiation.

So, if Mr. Obama comes and he can--even if he cannot join the Kyoto Protocol, and we understand why, he could urge the other countries not to jump ship to the US, because one day the US is willing to jump up to their standard, and they can just wait for the US for another five years.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Dec 9th, 2009 at 02:51:08 PM EST
That "sustainability ranking of 30 major European cities" is either bollocks or evidence that we're well and truly screwed. The reason is that Madrid ranks 12th and yet it is known to be unsustainable.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 10th, 2009 at 05:46:11 PM EST

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