Tag: Capacity Building

The race to Lima is on

The sun is shining, the starting pistol has gone off, and the race for a draft negotiating text by Lima is on. As the Parties race towards the finish line, they’ll have to navigate the racecourse (otherwise known as the Convention) and the three key hurdles that they all face: contributions, contact groups and elements.

The Convention is a racecourse that needs careful navigation. There are a number of things that Parties will have to be aware of as they work towards Lima. For some Parties, following this course through until the end is key, whilst some others may want to avoid it all together. It looks like we all might need a little more training and preparation for Parties on this one. 

All Parties want the same thing on contributions — more progress on what the information requirements are. The EU’s set a good example by kick-starting their preparations already. They’ve still got a ways to go if they want to set a strong and steady pace. We’ll have to tune in to Tuesday’s workshop to hear more on how this is progressing.

Contact groups have the support of many in the crowd but, the call for formal negotiations is being met with caution. Are the runners ready for this yet? 

And last but not least, there are the elements of the 2015 agreement. A mega hurdle and there’s lots to contend with – mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building, means of implementation and transparency of support. 

But with a deep breath, remember that “open-ended” consultations are not “endless”! And the race continues...

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ECO’s 1-2-3 for Parties at this ADP

Has the extreme winter weather that’s gripped North America, the devastating flooding in the UK or the [insert your own top-of-mind climate-related disaster here] made a case for more ambitious action with you and your Party yet? If not, the release of Working Group II’s 5th assessment report on climate impacts at the end of this month surely will. ECO has long said 2014 must be the year of ambition, so let’s start off on the right foot and make the most of our five days together in Bonn.

There are 3 tasks this ADP session must deliver on to ensure that a draft text is developed by Lima and that countries come to the Ban Ki-moon Summit with ambitious pledges for Paris to close the gap in the near-term.

EIN: Agree on the structure and process for developing a draft negotiating text for this year. We all know what building blocks will form the basis of the deal in Paris — mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building — but now it’s time to get into the specifics. It’s imperative that critical elements, like the legal architecture for the 2015 agreement including the compliance regime; an MRV framework that will ensure transparency and environmental integrity; a review mechanism to ratchet up ambition over time; and progress on fleshing out the loss and damage mechanism agreed in Warsaw, not fall off the table. These specifics won’t come out of the plenaries, we need to move to contact groups. There’s no further time to lose here in Bonn. 

DOS: Determine the information that should be included when countries come forward with their proposed post-2020 commitments. Countries have already started work on this front and this information needs to be agreed upon at the June ADP meeting. Waiting until Lima will give Parties little time to reflect on what’s required. For developed countries, the process is rather straightforward, as there can be NO backtracking from Kyoto-style commitments and the need to provide detailed information on their financial commitments and other support for developing country actions. ALL countries must justify how their proposed commitments align with adequacy and equity principles. ECO laments that in Warsaw, Parties couldn’t agree to develop a comprehensive ex-ante equity reference framework. Here in Bonn, Parties can start to remedy this failure, by agreeing to justify their proposed commitments based on a basket of equity indicators. Discussions must also continue on a robust review process to assess the collective and individual adequacy and fairness of proposed commitments, with the final decision on the review process will have to be made at COP 20 in Lima.  

TROIS: Ambition, ambition, ambition.  The focus in Workstream 2 on renewable energy and energy efficiency at this session is a positive start.  The science is clear that a phase out of fossil fuels is necessary, however, the road to a renewable energy future need not (and cannot) wait until then. Additionally, ECO looks forward to preparations for the June Ministerial review of mitigation targets, which will provide developed countries with an important opportunity to put forward the more ambitious emissions reduction targets that are required to help close the huge gigatonnes gap. Developing countries too can discuss what they can do to enhance the ambition of their pre-2020 actions.

By Acting ambitiously on renewable energy and energy efficiency; Developing the structure and process for elaborating a draft text; and Providing clarity on the information needed for proposed commitments; here in Bonn, the ADP can be worthy of its name.

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CAN’s Leadership Development Programme and Its relevance to the South

 

Sixbert Simon Mwanga
Climate Action Network-Tanzania

Yes, it is true that CAN is the largest and most vibrant network in the world working on climate change. Members of the Network work closely to address the causes and harmful impacts of climate change. About 850 NGOs invigolate CAN’s coordination in more than 90 countries of the earth with varying levels of development and diffuse geographical locations.

CAN uses multi-dimensional approaches to address the catastrophe of climate change in different parts of the world. No doubt, different regions of the world are affected  differently and the level of impacts differ much from one region to another. Hence, “no one size fits all.” To respond to and fill the knowledge gap in the South, CAN has been undertaking both short and long term training to its members especially from the global south.

In 2012, CAN initiated the Leadership Development Programme. 8 Fellows were selected from 8 countries of the world. From Tanzania I was selected to join other fellows.

The usefulness of the programme to the South
The main challenge of the south is the knowledge  gap on what is going on at the global level in terms of science, UNFCCC discussions, decisions and their implications to the south. This programme comes with unique opportunity to bridge that gap as it involves training of the Fellows on the UNFCCC processes, its decissions and their implications to a given region or country. This also gives Fellows confidence to communicate relevant decisions made to the local media and community of the participant’s region or country.

The programme has helped to create a sense of awareness as to what the science says and its meaning at local levels. LDP Fellows are given unique opportunity to interact with recent scientific reports and scientists who are normally available at UNFCCC workshops to dissermination their findings. These kinds of information  and interactions are important to the south as they give confidence to the Fellows and the Fellows can then inform the public and recommend appropriate action.

The project also builds capacity to engage delegates and undertake meetings with country delegations during the UNFCCC discussions and decisions. This provides good opportunities for representing public concerns. It might be hard to believe but it is true that most of the UNFCCC delegates from the south have limited understanding of what is happening at the ground. The reason is that some of the delegates are living in towns and are fully engaged in other activities at their offices.

It is undoubtedly true that the programme is costlly. However, the harmful impacts of climate change are already beyond the means for mitigation and adapatation in the south. Furthermore, when aid is given through one window, it seems as if half of it is always taken back via another.  So thanks to CAN for investing in bridging the knowledge gap between leadership capacity, UNFCCC discussions, decisisions, climate science and the best ways to communicate them at local levels for informed actions.

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Putting the “2 (degrees)” back in Workstream 2

It is well-trodden ground that there is a huge gap between what Parties say they want (staying below 2°C and keeping the door open to 1.5°C) and what Parties have pledged to contribute between now and 2020 to achieve that planetary necessity.  

In theory, Workstream 2 has already identified how to bridge the gap through: 1) improving developed countries’ woefully inadequate 2020 emission reduction targets; 2) identifying ways to enable and support developing countries in upping their own pre-2020 ambition; and 3) joint complementary action in addition to the first two areas on everything from phasing out HFCs to fossil fuel subsidies.  The task now is to JUST DO IT.  
 
ECO thought “doing it” would require no explanation, but some recent happenings in many developed countries are getting their positions all wrong.  
 
First and foremost – and we really thought this was obvious – the thing that needs to go up is the target, not the temperature.  For the EU this means moving to 30% - a move which really shouldn’t be that difficult considering that it has already achieved its 20% target almost 8 years ahead of schedule and will actually achieve more than that (around 25-27%) by 2020.  How can the EU host 2 COPs over the next 3 years and ask the rest of the world to do more while it decides to take a break? In addition, the EU’s incompetence at repairing its own emissions trading scheme is pretty mournful. A modest measure to temporarily limit the surplus of allowances in the EU carbon market was recently rejected by some within the European Parliament. 
 
The rest of the developed world is no better, and many are far, far worse.  There are rumours that Japan is planning to lower its ambition from its current 2020 pledge. Australia is not likely to do anything about its tiny 5% pledge and, depending of the outcome of the upcoming national elections, things could hit rock bottom, even though the Australian public is strongly in favour of climate action. The US pledge could be labelled ambitious, if the ambition was to overshoot 4°C, while the country is barely on the path to achieve its very weak 2020 target. And Canada – well, their only ambition is to withdraw from as many international treaties as possible (if you hadn’t heard, they’ve also withdrawn from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification). 
 
This drooping ambition level needs to stop. By 2014 ALL Parties (Kyoto Parties and free-riders alike) will have to increase the ambition of their 2020 pledges. Without this, you won’t get a global agreement in 2015, and – worse – you will not prevent dangerous climate change from destroying entire civilisations and threatening the future of your children.
 
There is also a role for developing countries in increasing near-term ambition. It is worth assessing what additional ambition more advanced developing countries can muster as well as what precise support will enable all to do even more. Jointly, developing and developed countries should use Workstream 2 to create an upward spiral of increasing support (finance, technology and capacity building) and ambition triggered and enabled by such support. This could also help avoid that, due to, for example low levels of climate finance, developing countries may find themselves in situations where they lock-in low ambition because of inadequately supported actions.
 
Finally, there are the complementary actions. The COP in Warsaw would ideally invite other bodies (Montreal Protocol, ICAO and IMO, G20 and so forth) to foster actions in their spheres of expertise and influence to result in additional emission reductions. Those actions would need to come in addition to what Parties have committed to do based on their 2020 targets, pledges and NAMAs, rather than as means to achieve them. This is why ECO and some Parties have used the expression “complementary”, a word whose proximity to the somewhat less ambitious “complimentary” should not create the false impression that avoiding catastrophic climate change is an issue of voluntary action – it is not. It is an obligation Parties have towards the millions of people suffering climate change already today, and towards the hundreds of millions if not billions who will be suffering tomorrow, whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by inaction, complacency and pretension currently at display at these negotiations.
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Climate Action Network International Submission to ADP Chairs on Workstream 1: Post-2020

(a) Application of Principles of Convention

 
Equity, including a dynamic approach to common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC), must be at the very heart of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action Workstream 1 if it is to be able to deliver adequately for the climate. The internationally legally binding protocol now under negotiation must include common and accurate accounting, MRV, strong compliance and enforcement, all respecting the principles of equity, including CBDRRC. It must have fair targets and actions that are consistent with the strong likelihood of meeting a 2°C global carbon budget, and thus keeping 1.5°C budget within reach. It should build on, develop and improve the rules already agreed under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.
 
The failure to consider equity principles for a global effort sharing agreement – an equitable approach to sharing the costs of mitigation and adaptation amongst countries – has been a stumbling block to agreeing sufficient ambition. Adaptation must be treated with the same importance as mitigation. Countries are concerned that they will be asked to do more than is their fair share, and conversely that other countries will ‘free ride’ off their efforts. A common understanding of fair shares can help overcome this trust barrier and lead to higher levels of ambition from all. Countries must urgently start their work to increase understanding of, and further agreement on, ways and options for the allocation of fair shares of the global effort.
 

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