Last Day of Climate Talks—Will Anything Be Accomplished?
By Jake Schmidt
Today we begin the final day (hopefully) of the global warming negotiations in Doha. A lot of delegates are talking about it going into Saturday as the meeting is being poorly handled by the host country Qatar. Unfortunately the leadership of the host country plays a critical role as we witnessed with the excellent leadership of Mexico that helped deliver a solid agreement in Cancun. It can all come together in Doha as this meeting is supposed to set the stage for stronger international action in the years to come (not finalize those details). Will it?
The key issues are coming down to crunch time. How will these issues get resolved in the final hours?
Will countries finalize the second round of the Kyoto Protocol? There are still some differences, but countries came into this meeting knowing that it was the main political fight so they have had a year to try to find a compromise. Ministers have been tackling this issue since early in the week so clearly the “big guns” have been focused on this intensely.
Will countries wrap-up the small number of loose ends from previous rounds of negotiation? In Cancun and Durban countries agreed to specific mitigation commitments, a new multilateral financial tool, greater transparency and accountability requirements, tools to help developing countries tap into clean energy technologies and support to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable countries. These are important tools that can now be fully implemented as Doha has already finalized key outstanding issues.
Unfortunately, poor leadership by the Saudi Arabian chair has led to a mess. The negotiating text should have been cleaned up days ago with only a small number of issues punted to Ministers. Instead negotiators were working late last night and into the morning to try to clean up the text.
Ministers need to quickly “sweep up” all the elements that are ready for prime time and translate them into the final agreement. No time for dithering.
Financing future investments to spur clean energy deployment, deforestation reductions and adaptation in developing countries? In Copenhagen countries pledged $30 billion between 2010-2012 ($10 billion per year). In the face of a huge economic downturn and budget cuts, developed countries have met that commitment. There is some quibbling about the shape of that money and what should count, but it is clear that large amounts of money have been mobilized to help developing countries reduce emissions and combat the impacts of global warming. That is great news given that $10 billion per year is orders of magnitude more than had been mobilized in the previous years.
Now countries are trying to agree on a signal that this level of commitment won’t drop off the “climate fiscal cliff." A number of countries have outlined that they’ll continue investing in these actions with commitments from Germany, UK, France, Sweden and other European countries. Will more come forward?
Will more countries come forward with commitments to cut their global warming pollution? The Dominican Republican announced that they’ll cut their emissions 25 percent below 2010 levels by 2030. This commitment is already enshrined in their domestic law. They should be applauded for stepping forward with a clear commitment to help address global warming.
Will host country Qatar, United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia follow suit?
After Doha will countries focus on how to secure even stronger action by 2015? Countries began the negotiations on the new “legal agreement” to be agreed by 2015. These discussions are still at a very early stage, but countries began to set the right tone for that negotiation. Those discussions were surprisingly uncontroversial. No country backslid from the agreement in Durban.
There are some minor issues left before this can be agreed in Doha, but assuming the rest of the issues get resolved countries will leave Doha focused on how to secure even greater international action.
It hasn’t come together yet, but it still can.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
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1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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