SBI Closing Plenary Intervention
-Delivered by Sebastien Duyck
Thank you Mr Chair,
Climate Action Network came to this session of the SBI with mainly two main expectations.
We are extremely disappointed by the fact that we have not been able to begin reviewing the adequacy of the global deal at the light of the latest science. The review is a crucial near-term opportunity to strengthen action to limit climate change.
We also expected progress towards the establishment of a mechanism to address loss and damage suffered by communities around the planet.
While the discussions in these halls could not even start addressing these important issues, local communities in Germany and in neighboring countries suffered on a daily basis losses and damages from unprecedented floods – not to mention other impacts across the planet.
These issues are not only important to set a necessary sense of urgency for this process but they are also crucial elements of previous agreements and will need to play a key part to an outcome in Warsaw.
In this context, politicizing the process in the way some parties have done over the past weeks is simply unacceptable. We all know here that a solution to this situation will require higher political engagement.
Warsaw will need to put the “I” back in this body and deliver on “implementation”.
Sitting in Monday’s briefing for observer organisations, ECO was delighted to hear the incoming President identify progress on climate finance as a “clear priority” for COP19.
We couldn’t agree more! With the Fast Start period behind us and only a handful of countries with new money on the table, we’re in need of some giant strides between now and the end of Warsaw.
At a minimum, all developed countries must set out, in a way that ensures comparability, the climate finance they will provide over the period 2013-2015, that is comparable and commit to a roadmap for scaling up public finance and reaching US$100bn per year by 2020. The Green Climate Fund must not be left an empty shell – for a fourth COP in a row. And if we’re to confront the enduring “adaptation gap”, Parties should agree that at least 50% of all public climate finance between now and 2020 will be spent on adaptation.
So Poland, now is the time for a good hard think about what it will take to deliver this kind of progress by November. ECO’s advice: It’s time to bring in those who hold the purse strings. That’s right, we’re talking finance ministers. If you’re serious about some big decisions on finance, which ECO believes you are, then we need to involve Finance Ministries and Treasuries in the conversation as soon as possible. That means bringing them into the process before or early in COP19, not just having them swoop in at the end and try to cut last minute deals.
Then there’s the “in-session high-level ministerial dialogue” to prepare for. This is one opportunity we cannot afford to let slip. ECO is looking forward to seeing Finance Ministers sitting down to work out their new commitments and make decisions on promising new sources of public finance. If you put out the invitation, we’ll be sure to do our part in encouraging them to come along.
And when it comes to pathways for scaling up, ECO suggests you have a word with those lovely chaps chairing the Long Term Finance Work Programme. It’s time to gather these almost two years of deliberations into some clear decision options for Ministers, including on new and innovative sources of public finance.
Parties have been emphatic these last two weeks about the need for an ambitious deal that is guided by science as well as equity and capable of keeping warming to within 1.5-2oC. But developing countries simply cannot unlock their mitigation potential unless there is the necessary financial support. Furthermore, vulnerable countries must be given confidence that their escalating adaptation needs will be met.
Finance will be the glue that holds the 2015 deal together. Real progress on this front will be a major step towards an ambitious outcome.
With less than 5 months until COP19, there is much homework for Parties to do on specific proposals for the nature and structure of the 2015 deal. By Warsaw, Parties need to broadly be able to answer the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, why and how) for all elements of the deal. Take mitigation for example.
Who – well that’s easy – all Parties.
What – binding mitigation commitments that respect Parties' common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in a dynamic manner, and long term global temperature and reduction targets that provide a strong signal to the investment community that fossil fuels are done!
Where – in a Protocol.
When – for the 5 year commitment period of 2021-2025.
Why – to save your gluteus maximus (and the planet).
How – ECO really hopes the answer to this question is obvious considering how much airtime Parties have been giving to CAN’s Equity Reference Framework these past two weeks.
Hummm…upon reflection, perhaps the homework is not that challenging, as all that is needed is to flesh out the “what” to be committed. This should ensure that Parties have enough clarity on the nature of commitments to be able to table initial offers by the Ban-Ki Moon Summit in the autumn of 2014.
Of course, the final agreement is not all about mitigation. Thus ECO was pleased to see in the draft conclusions for the ADP a technical paper on adaptation costs for each degree of temperature raise. Mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage exist in a continuum. Less ambition on mitigation means substantially more efforts are required to adapt. Similarly, if adequate actions for adaptation are not taken in time, we need to spend more resources to address loss & damage. This technical paper should be focused on the cost-temperature interaction – anything on “adaptation opportunities” (which seems like an oxymoron) can be addressed elsewhere.
Staying with the ying and yang relationship of adaptation and mitigation for a minute, ECO sees a much greater lift on the workstream 2 side of things. Here the list of possible actions is known – increased targets, new pledges, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and HFCs, enhancing renewable energy and energy efficiency and so on. While AOSIS made a constructive suggestion on the technical way forward, what is really needed is political will and actual commitments. The Obama/Xi announcement on phasing out HFCs is a step in the right direction, but still needs to be translated into firm action.
Poland is an extraordinary country. It has overcome many years of oppression and poverty to transform itself into a significant economic powerhouse and a proactive European player on diplomacy.
But it appears the Polish government is willing to risk their status as rising international star, and allow its politics to be captured by high carbon incumbents.
If the Polish government continues to pursue this position, it is quite likely that the EU will lose patience, and a diplomatic backlash is quite possible. This will result in Poland losing its say to shape the future of Europe’s energy regime, widening the gap between its ageing and inefficient energy infrastructure and a more dynamic, smarter and innovative power system across other EU countries.
ECO wonders if the Polish government is kicking itself in deciding to put their names forward for the Presidency of COP19 later on this year. Warsaw will not be a Poznan. Back in 2008, the Poles were still only agitators as opposed to today’s outright blockers of the EU’s energy and climate ambitions. Poznan was a low-key COP, unlike Warsaw, which should agree on the outlines of an Equity Reference Framework for the post-2020 deal; outline further efforts on public finance (with the engagement of Finance Ministers); close the pre-2020 mitigation gap; affirm the political significance of the Loss and Damage debate and set in place a series of processes to deliver a 2015 agreement.
Warsaw will be a high profile event. But Poland’s diplomatic strategy is flawed – they are invisible, and there is an emerging disquiet amongst many Parties and observers if they were the right choice. Among those are established voices such as Raul Estrada-Oyuela, a legend to those of us in the climate and diplomatic arena, who unforgettably locked delegates in the room in Kyoto to hammer out the subsequent protocol, who calls Poland’s ability to host such an important event into question, based on the Polish SBI chair’s failure to resolve this issue. (Link to Estrada’s letter here http://bit.ly/estrada-oyuela)
What is needed from the Polish government is not just to be a rising star, but a sophisticated diplomatic actor that understands how to build consensus around ambitious action climate change. An actor who has a more mature and deeper understanding of its national interest. An actor who understands that a reliance on coal undermines the long term prosperity of its own people, and recognises that modernising its economy is essential if it is to compete in a globalised world. Instead, what we have is a government that plans to build new coal fired power plants and open new lignite reserves, which recent studies state have the worst implications upon health within the EU, and that also displace 20,000 people. Such aggressive coal expansion, and its persistent objections to greater European ambition, cannot be reconciled with its desire to be an international player in the run up to 2015.
Hello ECO readers. Just because the SBI won’t start this Bonn session (seriously Russia!!) it does not mean that ECO could conclude the fortnight without at least one piece of acerbic commentary from me, Ludwig (and my gender-balancing friend, Ludwiga). And do not be disappointed, we’ve got a good one for you!
In Tuesday’s ADP informal, a big country down-under came up with a great idea to deal with adaptation financing – “let’s just ignore the costs and focus on the opportunities!”
The text at that time had (and we hope still has) a request for the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the costs of adaptation at various temperature levels. It seems these mates had so much fun making up new colours for their temperature maps during the extended heat wave in their summer that now they want everyone to benefit from such “adaptation opportunities”!
ECO wants to share its famous recipe for a delicious and ambitious omelet. We hope it will inspire you in cooking your submissions about strategies and approaches. Bear in mind that it takes up to 82 days to cook. ECO is looking forward to the September 2nd Green Climate Fund Board meeting to enjoy it!
Step 1: Crack 60 billion eggs of public finance for 2013 to 2015. Please make sure your eggs are comparable in size and shape. All the eggs should come from free range, public chickens. At least half the eggs should have adaptation yolk.
This is important if you want your omelet to be fair and balanced and nutritious.
Step 2: Whisk in some new and additional cups of milk (Please use FTT-branded milk). Add organic and fair-trade bunker-grown onions.
Step 3: Spice up your omelet with 5 tablespoons of MRV and grated cheese to make it more savoury and transparent.
Step 4: Grab your whisk and whisk like crazy; you should work up a sweat at this point.
Step 5: Fry your omelet in a high-level Ministerial pan if you really mean to deliver a tasty and trustworthy omelet.
Serves 132 guests from developing nations.
NOTE: As your guests will want second and third servings by 2020, you might want to start a food blog so they know what’s on the menu until 2020.
Also, don’t forget to save some of the omelet for your friends in need, the Adaptation Fund and the GCF. For both, ECO suggests large servings as soon as 2013. Bon appétit!
As the road to the 2015 agreement is beginning to be paved brick by brick, ECO wants to help Parties by giving them a direction in which this road should be built. Parties will be making submissions around how to further develop and operationalise the ADP work program. Here are a few questions that Parties should address in their submissions, which will help us to get closer to a fair, ambitious and binding deal.
How could the principles of the Convention be operationalised into objective criteria and indicators to guide countries in seeking to identify their fair and adequate contributions to the globally needed mitigation effort and adaptation support and provision of the means of implementation?
What could be the suitable timelines up to 2015 to a) identify objective ex-ante criteria to develop an agreed list of indicators for identifying each country’s fair efforts, b) for countries to submit initial mitigation and finance commitments and c) assess and revise commitments based on the ex-ante agreed list of indicators?
What should be the global carbon budget and subsequent long term emission pathways indicative of emission levels at 2025, 2030 and 2050?
What information should Parties include about their targets and commitments in order to allow individual and aggregate assessment against adequacy and equity, including their views about a timeline that allows for this assessment and revision of targets well before COP21?
How to raise the level of ambition for developed countries’ 2020 targets?
How to close the pre-2020 ambition gap through advancing concrete solutions?
How should Parties scale up public finance for adaptation and ensure at least USD 50bn international public finance annually?
How are Parties going to deal with inter-connectivity between lack of mitigation ambition and increased need for adaptation, along with addressing loss and damage?
How to assess overall financial needs, as well as the links between the scale of financial needs for adaptation, the scale of loss and damage likely to be incurred and the level of mitigation ambition?
How do Parties see progress on applying both “polluter pays” and the principle of CBDR to generate new streams of finance?
What issues related to technology support need to be addressed by the ADP and how can technology transfer best leverage increased ambition?
*By compromise, ECO mean somewhere in between what is scientifically needed and what YOU tell us is currently feasible.
The Conference of the Parties,
Recalling Article 4, paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 5 and 7 of the Convention,
Reaffirming the unwavering commitment of parties to keep global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and the continuum approach between mitigation, adaptation, loss & damage and finance that is required to ensure equity before 2020.
Reaffirming the urgency to address the current imbalance in mitigation and adaptation finance – in light of recent studies showing the adaptation and loss and damage costs in developing countries will very likely be well in excess of US$100 billion per year by 2020.
Reaffirming the need to raise mitigation ambition levels between now and 2020, and achieving emission reductions on the order of 8-13 Gigatonnes of emissions in the pre-2020 period, beyond existing commitments and actions registered under the UNFCCC.
Supporting the authoritative assessments demonstrating that staying well below 2°C will require several hundred billion of incremental finance per year and the shifting of trillions of dollars of existing private sector investments into low carbon technologies and solutions.
Emphasising that the commitment by developing countries to provide $100 billion for developing countries will be delivered in the form of new and additional public finance, through budgetary allocations from developed countries, supplemented by revenues from alternative sources of public finance
Emphasising the shortcomings of the main revenue stream for the Adaptation Fund in relation to the expected low price of CERs under the Clean Development Mechanism and the need for new and additional commitments by developed countries.
1. That developed country Parties shall provide jointly new and additional public finance amounting to an average of US$20 billion annually for the period 2013-2015, for mitigation and adaptation actions, including for REDD, technology and capacity building.
2. That for the periods of 2016-2018 and 2018-2020, developed country parties shall scale up financing in a linear manner from the current levels to reach $100 billion annually in public finance by 2020.
3. That developed countries shall allocate at least 50% of overall public finance to meeting developing country adaptation needs.
4. To establish a formal process to capitalise the GCF with an initial collective pledge of (…)** by COP19.
5. To call on the relevant bodies to design and implement global measures to raise new streams of public climate finance, particularly through:
i) Redirection of at least 100% of Annex 2 fossil fuel subsidies
ii) Carbon pricing mechanisms applied to the international aviation and maritime transport - in accordance with the principal of CBDRRC and existing commitments under the UNFCCC.
1. The pledges to the Adaptation Fund of (…)** collectively made by Annex 2 Parties for 2013/2014, as contained in Annex C of this decision, and those made by other Parties.
2. The initial pledges to the Green Climate Fund of (…)** collectively made by Annex 2 Parties as contained in Annex D of this decision.
3. The recent declaration by 11 EU Finance Ministers to earmark at least 100% of the revenue raised through their Financial Transaction Tax to the Green Climate Fund.
** "there is not enough space on this page to specify the number of billions ECO is expecting"
For official CAN positions, please refer to www.climatenetwork.org