In both ADP workstreams, Parties have begun taking positions on the future of CBDR. Some see a global spectrum approach as the way forward. Others advocate a system in which the annexes are nuanced and differentiated. Whatever happens, ECO sees the need for a dynamic system that differentiates on the basis of equity principles.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak. I am from WWF and speak here on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
- We are seeing a rich and wide-ranging discussion in many areas here in Bangkok, in particular a very interesting discussion in the ADP round tables, with many thoughtful and creative interventions about the shape of long-term efforts to address climate change;
- Would be good for some of that same spirit to filter through into this group on the way to Doha, and to see some new thinking on how to break out of the same pattern of the past 10 years. I’m sure many of you are tired of saying the same things year after year. - What we need from the LCA this year under sectoral approaches is some way to break the deadlock and polarization that currently exists in the IMO and ICAO on market based measures;
- How to do this – a signal to these bodies, or to parties to these bodies (to use a potentially useful wording from Japan), on how to address convention principals in the context of their own established approaches and customary practices.
- Singapore provided a useful compromise – take account of the principals and provisions of the UNFCCC in the context of global measures under the IMO and ICAO, but it would be useful to go beyond this and say how this might be done.
- One way would be through the use of revenue generated by MBMs, that can be used to address any impacts on developing countries, to support technology transfer and cooperation and transfer for developing countries, especially the most vulnerable, in implementing these measures, and also to provide financing for developing countries, while making sure that only financing raised from developed countries counts towards the commitments of those countries.
- We are pleased to see the EU submission introduces the issue of finance, and perhaps these two text can be combined in a way that gives appropriate guidance on how to address CBDR, in global measures under the sectoral bodies.
Doha is the last chance to produce some useful outcomes from your five years of deliberations, and we urge you not to waste that opportunity.
In the Kyoto plenary yesterday, we got a taste of how things sound when there is no more time to defer decisions for another year. After all the talk of gaps, urgency and the need to set rules before targets, there’s nowhere else to move for Australia and New Zealand.
Those two were left alone in Durban as the only countries still unable to make up their minds on a second commitment period. They remained unwilling, still, to move ahead with the Durban ambition coalition, and be part of an agreement that can give us hope that we’ll close the emissions gap.
And not willing, either, to attract the ire of the world by formally withdrawing, like Canada, or refusing to participate, like Japan and Russia. It’s decision time for everyone, and the sooner Australia stops dithering about Kyoto, the sooner everyone can get on and talk about the dozens of other matters jostling for attention at the UNFCCC.
We know that Australia has a price on carbon legislated and will adhere to the Kyoto rules. We know they have a 2050 target in place to reduce their emissions by 80%. We know they want to participate in carbon markets, and for a new legal agreement to be forged that can keep greenhouse gas concentrations to 450ppm. There's really no reason for them to delay any more.
As for all the other Kyoto countries, the challenge was unequivocally put at yesterday’s plenary: the only circumstances where an eight year commitment period is acceptable is if ambition is sufficient to meet two degrees.
The only way to participate in carbon markets is to have a binding target to reduce emissions. And the only way to keep the talks for a new and comprehensive legally binding agreement on track and on schedule is to put your name down on the Kyoto willing list.
ECO has long wrestled with this foundational dilemma of the climate talks, but has noticed something different in the negotiating air since Durban. There seems a new ¨C or a renewed ¨C recognition from all sides that the issue of equity cannot be pushed aside or wished away any longer. It is at the heart of the negotiations, and must be the foundation on which the Durban Platform is built.
The development of a broad consensus ¨C even if only rough or approximate ¨C of the fair shares of different countries in tackling climate change is essential to increasing the ambition of action sufficiently to avoid climate catastrophe. Without such a common understanding and its codification, Parties will continue to fear that they are doing too much while others free-ride on their efforts. The emissions gap will only widen as a result. Only a fair deal can close it.
ECO is therefore looking forward to tomorrow’s workshop on Equitable Access to Sustainable Development, and hopes that Parties will see it as an opportunity to look afresh at the equity question. But after 20 years, no one should imagine that one workshop will find all the answers. Parties will need time to build understanding and trust. They have three and a half years left under the ADP in which to do it.
The equity workshop should therefore be the start of a process with perhaps three phases. In the first phase Parties should make good faith efforts to understand each others’ approaches and their underlying assumptions. ECO recalls certain, perhaps well-meaning, European ministers and leaders in Copenhagen who did not understand why some developing countries blocked their proposals for a 2050 global emissions reduction target. Some capacity building efforts on all sides are in order, and equity must take an integral place in the ADP agenda to allow this to happen.
Second, in 2013 Parties should begin negotiations to reach agreement on key equity principles and criteria for their operationalisation. After all these years, ECO thinks there are three that really matter ¨C adequacy of efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change; CBDRRC; and the right to sustainable development.
Third, in 2014 Parties should begin negotiations on applying these principles and criteria to the central issues of mitigation, finance, adaptation, loss and damage and so on. In short, they must bring numbers to the table. ECO is clear on one thing ¨C whichever way Parties agree to slice up the cake, the current efforts of developed countries fall very far short of what can be reasonably expected of them. However we look at equity, developed countries must be prepared to do much much more.
This three-phase approach could provide the setting in which the equity question finally receives an answer that all Parties can accept, and in time to make sure COP21 in 2015 does not repeat the fate of COP15 in Copenhagen. ECO hopes Parties approach tomorrow’s workshop with this in mind and in this spirit, and that no Party attempts to rule anything in or out this week. Starting a process in this way, they can finally take down the sword of Damocles and use it instead to carve the fair, ambitious and legally binding deal that all countries need.
The legal options discussion has come up with at least one that ECO approves. Option 1 decides to develop a Protocol or other legally binding instrument under the Convention based on the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements, with negotiations starting in 2012 and in place by 2015. Excellent!
However, the rumour is that the US, India and China have opposed it. ECO shares India and China’s love of the Kyoto Protocol and their devotion to a second commitment period, but is dismayed by the potential rejection of the lovely Option 1.
ECO has long considered itself soulmates with India and China – based on mutual deep respect for a rules-based system with common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. If those Parties are really serious about a binding second commitment period they should also constructively engage to ensure a mandate at Durban that will build on the second commitment period.
Rather than taking a rigid stance in the legal group, India and China should move in line with the press comments they have made stating they are receptive to new ideas and looking at solutions with an open mind.
Of course, responsibilities should be based on equity and CBDR+RC as embedded in the Convention. Rather than being a basis for obstructing progress, however, this should be the basis to work towards a legal outcome. It is imperative that all Parties should extend their views beyond the short term for the sake of the planet.
One of the most important principles in the climate negotiations is that of common but differentiated responsibilities. CBDR means that while it is everyone’s job to reduce emissions, Annex I Parties have the lion’s share of historical emissions and therefore should demonstrate leadership with more ambitious emission reductions.
Specifically, to have a chance of keeping warming below 2° C, Annex I Parties must reduce emissions 40% or more below 1990 levels by 2020, while developing countries should begin low-carbon development that rapidly diverges from their likely business-as-usual (BAU) emissions.
How on earth, then, do Annex I Parties justify accounting for their forest industry emissions against BAU levels, and not a much more ambitious benchmark. And as you might have guessed, it’s even worse – many of these proposed BAU reference levels are inflated to hide future emissions increases, and so are worse than “real” BAU.
How is it that Annex I ministers and heads of delegation have allowed a whole sector to avoid contributing a fair share of ambition? Seriously, this isn’t some obscure technical issue. It’s a basic point about whether the forest sector is helping to solve the problem or is just a free-loader.
Furthermore, how hypocritical is it for Annex I Parties to set forest reference levels with no ambition for themselves, and then include calls for ambition in their recent submissions on the evolving REDD+ mechanism?
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!
And yet there is still time here in Durban and there are better options in the LULUCF text. These options may not be perfect, but they are better than Annex I countries’ wholly unacceptable projected BAU reference levels.
Come on, LULUCF negotiators and heads of delegations! It’s not enough to deliver a set of rules everyone can agree on. These rules must neither undermine the integrity of the KP nor set damaging precedents that could see ambition undermined in other areas. Clearly they must deliver for the climate – and time is running out!
Countries agreed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to prevent dangerous climate change: to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. At present they are failing in this task. One element holding back countries from the necessary action is the concern that they will be asked to do more than is their fair share, and conversely that other countries will ‘free ride’ off their effort. A common understanding of fair shares – even if it is only approximate – can help overcome this trust barrier and lead to higher levels of ambition from all.
CAN recommends to parties and the AWG Chairs that they take steps to proactively insert effort sharing into the negotiation framework in 2011 and 2012. COP17 should establish a mandate to agree an equitable effort sharing approach between all countries by COP18. Whilst an agreement on an equitable effort sharing approach should be the ultimate aim, any discussions that expand the shared understanding of a fair effort sharing approach have the potential to move the negotiations forward exponentially. Waiting for these discussions to take place is not, however, an excuse for countries to put off increasing their level of ambition. All countries have an obligation to increase their ambition now – developed countries, with their woefully inadequate pledges, most of all.
except for the Maldives and Costa Rica who are developing countries that have committed to becoming carbon neutral.
Halfway through the meeting in Panama, ECO would like to present an assessment of progress made thus far. Overall, ECO is happy to note that Parties are very busy preparing and discussing text. There are still potential storm clouds on the horizon for Durban, however ECO hopes that by the end of this week Parties can get agreement on producing a set of decision text that can narrow the remaining political differences and lay the groundwork for important steps forward in Durban. While not comprehensive, here is ECO’s take on some of the issues under discussion here this in Panama.
Substantive discussions on issues related to legal architecture have percolated up in Panama - including in the LCA informal group on Legal Options (despite Saudi Arabia's best efforts to squelch those discussions). But there is clearly no meaningful convergence on these issues, and the process lacks a forum for having the cross cutting dialogue necessary to ensure coherent outcomes of the two tracks in Durban. While outside the main talks here, the Mexico-PNG proposal to address voting procedures is a welcome attempt to focus attention on improving the efficiency of the UNFCCC process.
On the pathetically low levels of developed country ambition – Parties have shown signs that they are at least at step one: recognising they have a problem. ECO hopes that Parties can come up with a clear process on how to address the gigatonne gap in Durban and happy to see there are some proposals on the table.
On the LULUCF issue being addressed in the Kyoto Protocol track, ECO applauds the principle put forward by the G77 this week in its proposal to treat natural disturbances using a statistical approach. ECO is waiting to see if this new proposal will also be transparent, robust and conservative. On the other hand, the implications of New Zealand’s proposal for “flexible land use” raises significant concerns that this could wreck other parts of the LULUCF accounting rules and has the potential to cause further damage if used in REDD.
The opening informal on finance kicked off with clashes over whether to negotiate the Standing Committee or long-term finance (scaling up 2013-2020 finance as well as sources). After Bonn, ECO anticipated that Parties would finally agree to focus on long-term finance. But it didn’t take long for disappointment to take hold as the US, other umbrella group members and even some EU countries refused to discuss text – with the US insisting that responsibility lies with individual parties to determine how they will reach the $100bn Cancun commitment. If that’s the case, ECO thinks the US should be made to say what their plan is! Chief among the innovative finance sources that should be addressed is bunkers, where a decision under sectoral approaches to guide the International Maritime Organization to design a carbon pricing instrument taking into account the principle of CBDR would be a significant outcome in Durban.
Discussions on the scope and modalities of the 2013-15 Review happily included an IPCC briefing on the scope and timing of its Fifth Assessment Report and how its findings could contribute to the review process. ECO urges Parties to creatively design and adopt at Durban a three-year work program that creates an ‘upward spiral of ambition’.
ECO welcomes that views on the Adaptation Committee became clearer during the last few days and that more and more Parties are considering ways that civil society can be an active part of the committee. But in the next three days, nothing less than draft decision text will do -- especially as seven other critical issues on adaptation remain to be addressed in Durban.
The technology facilitator has shown commendable initiative in developing draft decision text. However, the first reading of the text throws into relief the developed countries’ attempts to thwart progress by bracketing various critical elements and options essential for operationalizing the Technology Mechanism by 2012. ECO urges parties to ratchet up the speed of drafting decision text through pointed discussion around critical issues and ensuring that the Cancun Agreement timelines for operationalizing the technology mechanism are met.
Finally, ECO is pleased that negotiators are intensively addressing the myriad issues involved on MRV, including ICA, IAR, and biennial reports, that text is being developed, and that NGO participation in the IAR process is under serious consideration. Similar consideration, though should be given to such participation in the ICA process.