Tag: Flexible Mechanisms

Cancun Building Blocks - Oct 2010


A fair, ambitious and binding deal is needed more urgently than ever. Climate science is more compelling by the day. Impacts are coming harder and faster. Disastrous flooding in Pakistan, heat waves and forest fires in Russia and hottest recorded temperatures around the globe, amongst other devastating climate-related events, all point to the need for urgent action. Levels of warming once thought to be safe, may well not be, 1.5˚C is the new 2˚C

Negotiations Post-Copenhagen
Copenhagen was a watershed moment for public interest and support for climate action – and people have not lost interest. More people in more countries than ever have put their governments on notice that they expect a fair,
ambitious and binding global deal to be agreed urgently. Trust-building is essential after the disappointment of Copenhagen. Developed country leadership must be at the core of trust building efforts. Countries must show
their commitment to the UNFCCC process by driving it forward with political will and flexible positions, rather than endless rounds of repetitive negotiations. Many countries are troublingly pessimistic for Cancun, and are working to lower expectations. While others, including countries most vulnerable to climate change, maintain high expectations.

Challenges ahead of Cancun
There are many challenges to getting a full fair, ambitious and binding deal at Cancun, including:

  • Lack of a shared vision for the ultimate objective of the agreement, and the equitable allocation of the remaining carbon budget and emissions reduction/limitation commitments;
  • Sharp divisions on the legal form of an eventual outcome;
  • Failure of the US Senate to pass comprehensive legislation this year; and
  • Current economic difficulties facing many countries, which make it difficult to mobilize the substantial commitments to long-term climate finance needed as part of any ambitious agreement. 

Positive moves afoot
However, more and more countries, both developing and developed, are stepping up their efforts to pursue low-carbon development and adaptation, despite the absence of an international agreement. This can be seen in a variety of ways:

  • Investments in renewable energies have continued their exponential growth, increasing to 19% of global energy consumed;
  • Progressive countries are working to move the negotiations forward;
  • There is a growing perception that low-carbon and climate-resilient development is the only option to sustainably ensure the right to development and progress in poverty reduction. 

So, what does a pathway forward look like?

Firstly we must learn the lessons of Copenhagen. The “nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed” dynamic from Copenhagen could mean that nothing would be agreed in Cancun. An agreement in Cancun should instead be a balanced and significant step toward reaching a full fair, ambitious & binding deal at COP 17 in South Africa. This will require parties to work together in good faith to create sufficient gains at Cancun, and a clear roadmap to South Africa. This paper outlines how that could be achieved. 

A parable for our time

Far back in the mists of time, Parties agreed on a Durban Platform. Concerned that the train of negotiations might leave the station and quickly gather speed, Parties proceeded to have a two-year “contemplation phase” in an effort to stay on track.

They then decided to go into a “workshop phase” where they were expected to express their basic desires to their benign and all-knowing spiritual guides. These guides would then translate these desires into suitable language for polite company before presenting them to the outside world. But some of the travellers began to complain that they preferred their own words, however unrefined and divergent.

The language of the much-anticipated central covenant of all the peoples was given special treatment, since agreement was not needed immediately. It was particularly elevated and deliberately vague, so that the travellers would not begin to bicker over the details. But some began to rebel against the ritualistic debates and increasingly frustrating attempts to discover exactly what others were talking about, and what they might be able to agree on once they had to make decisions.

More of them started putting forward their own versions of the covenant. Though the guides paid little attention to their crude efforts, they did generously offer the possibility of going into a side carriage on their own and return with more worthy offerings. But they never said what fate would await these offerings.

Meanwhile in the main carriage, the travellers continued to offer up their modest ideas, in the hope the guides would find some of them worthy to put into their non-covenant. But most of them looked in vain for a true representation.

However, the words of one wise traveler resonated from beyond the dawn of time: “Discussions in the absence of negotiations cannot prosper.”

Then began a clamour for true negotiations –to engage with the actual words of their fellow travellers, and not the words of the guides. More and more of them made this demand, but fearful of the consequences if the travellers became too aware of the real divisions among them, the guides preferred to hold to their more refined version as long as possible…

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Related Newsletter : 

CAN Intervention: ADP Technical Expert Meeting on Non-CO2 GHGs at ADP2-6, 23 October, 2014

My name is Natasha Hurley and I'm speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network. 

We welcome the organization of today's Technical Expert Meeting on non-CO2 greenhouse gases, which has certainly been a timely and useful opportunity to take stock of the mulitple initiatives on HFCs and other gases that are already being rolled out in many countries and regions around the world. 

However, we need to be reassured that all the good talk and presentation of real-world evidence will result in a global scaling up of climate action in the very near term. 

We think these Technical Expert Meetings should be seen as a final springboard towards action to plub the growing mitigation gap and that they should make a sustained and lasting impact. In short, these discussions should not just be a one-off talking shop. 

We heard a lot in teh previous session about the host of initiatives aimed at curbing the use of HFCs worldwide, and the growing market in climate-friendly energy-efficient alternatives. This is one example where global action could be taken immediately, in fact as soon as next month at the 26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Paris. 

So we urge Parties here to take full advantage of today's discussion and use the existing institutional framework under the Montreal Protocol to implement a global phase-down of HFCs. 

From our perspective, this would be convincing proof that the TEMs are able to help deliver wha they were set up to do, which is to provide concrete results in the very near future. 

Thank you Chair. 

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Submission on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)

Governments at COP19 in Warsaw agreed to “initiate or intensify preparations of their intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC) to meet the ultimate objective of the convention. It was also agreed that governments in ‘a position to do so’ would submit their INDCs by March 2015. At the Climate Summit in New York, the commitment to come forward with INDCs was further reiterated. Even though there is broad agreement on the need to submit INDCs much ahead of COP 21 in Paris, there is still not enough agreement on the shape of these INDCs.

Climate Action Network (CAN) with this submission intends to elaborate its thinking around the INDCs as well as provide solutions towards the continuing disagreements between governments as well as clear the ambiguity around the concept of INDCs. 


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EU’s Kyoto ratification and Poland – the sequel

Dear Reader, do you remember when ECO wrote, a few nights ago, about Poland being a total bully, again, and trying to use the EU’s KP ratification as a bargaining chip for the upcoming 2030 discussions in the EU?

Here comes the sequel: yep, you heard it right — this is what is happening. Two days ago, at the EU environment ministers meeting, Poland refused to agree to let the EU’s ratification process move forward. Instead, Poland is planning to table a new proposal which includes... wait for it... hot air for Poland! Never mind the rest.

As it seems that Poland is not hearing ECO’s “stop the madness” calls — could you help us out, Dear Reader? Whenever you see a Polish delegate, please tell them to stop. 

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CAN Recommendations: Issues relating to Joint Implementation (JI) at SBI 40, 2 June, 2014

The revision JI Guidelines: draft text of Modalities and procedures for the implementation of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol Joint Implementation

A decision to initiate the first review of the JI guidelines was taken by Decision 4/CMP.6. At CMP.8 in Doha, Parties agreed on key attributes that would characterize the future operation of JI and requested the SBI to draft revised JI Modalities and Procedures (M&P). These new M&P will replace the existing JI Guidelines which were adopted by Decision 9/CMP.1. At CMP 9 in Warsaw Parties discussed the draft but did not finalize it. Negotiations on the draft will continue at SBI 40. In our view, the draft text contains several critical points that need to be addressed before it should be adopted. 



CAN Submission on Views on Suggested Changes to the Modalities and Procedures (M&Ps) for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Civil Society Participation in the CDM process (TP Section F2)

Although stakeholder consultation is a key requirement in the CDM registration process, project developers and Designated Operational Entities (DOEs) lack clear criteria or guidance on how to conduct and validate stakeholder consultations. In many cases, peoples and communities that are directly affected are not adequately informed about CDM project activities or programme of activities (PoA) and their potential on-the-ground impacts.

Current CDM stakeholder consultation requirements are insufficient as they are poorly defined, regulated and documented. There are dozens of instances where projects were registered despite insufficient stakeholder participation, strong local opposition and clear evidence that the projects cause harm to the local populations and/or ecosystem.  

As a step to address this shortcoming, Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted in Warsaw decision 3/CMP.9 para 20 which requests “the CDM Executive Board, with the support of the secretariat, to collaborate with the Designated National Authorities Forum on collecting and making available, on the UNFCCC clean development mechanism website, information on practices conducted for local stakeholder consultations, and to provide technical assistance to designated national authorities, upon their request, for the development of guidelines for local stakeholder consultation in their countries.”

Despite this decision by the CMP, and earlier decisions to “develop and implement modalities and procedures with a view to enhancing direct communication with stakeholders and project proponents” (Decision 2/CMP.5), the CDM Board has not taken sufficient action to address the shortcomings of the current stakeholder consultation rules. For example, at the 77th CDM Executive Board meeting, the Board decided that the Secretariat shall “inform” DNAs about decision 3/CMP.9 but did not take action to collaborate with DNAs as required per the CMP decision.

This lack of action risks that DNAs may not act upon this important CMP decision. The revised CDM M&Ps should therefore recognize the need for improved guidance and incorporate best practice guidelines for local stakeholder consultation developed by the CDM Board as part of this process in the revised M&Ps.   

In addition to shortcomings in the notice and comment processes, there is no means for stakeholders to raise concerns once a project is registered even if adverse impacts occur during project implementation. The current rules do not provide a formal opportunity to provide comments after the global stakeholder consultation. This means that it is currently impossible to submit comments about a specific project, e.g. if comments submitted during the local or global stakeholder consultation process have not been validated adequately or if concerns appear after the global stakeholder consultation. This is not only relevant for projects during the validation stage but also for projects during their implementation. A formal communications channel for project specific matters would allow reviewing and addressing concerns efficiently and by doing so avoiding escalation of issues. Allowing comments at an early stage in the process, when they can still be taken into account for decisions related to registration or issuance of credits could help avoid potential future appeals. We welcome the proposed change of the technical report section F 2(d) (i), that the CDM modalities and procedures shall introduce a provision allowing the Board and the secretariat to receive information on complaints regarding issues that are not related to the emission reductions or removal enhancements of a registered CDM project activity or PoA. Such a communications channel for project specific comments should be modeled after the already successfully implemented communications channel for policy matters. In addition, a global stakeholder consultation process at the verification stage after the registration period as proposed in the technical paper section F 2(d) (ii)) would be a positive additional improvement as it would allow comments from stakeholder to follow up on earlier comments made through the local and global stakeholder consultations, it would also provide a crucial opportunity for DNAs to receive additional information about the implementation of CDM project or PoA. However, both improvements are necessary because a global stakeholder consultation during the verification period is only a punctual opportunity which does not replace a more flexible communications channel for case specific matters.

It is also worth mentioning that under the current public participation rules for the CDM, no formal channels between local stakeholders and the Designated National Authorities (DNAs) exist. Prior to registration, comments from the local stakeholder consultation are received by the project proponent, and comments through the global stakeholder consultation are received by the Designated Operational Entity (DOE). Given that it is up to the DNA to maintain the approval of CDM projecs and PoAs, and the confirmation that they contribute to sustainable development, comments received through the project specific communications channel should be forwarded to the relevant DNA.

The SD Tool enables changes to be made to the sustainable development co-benefit (SDC) report throughout project implementation including after registration. Stakeholder comments are a key source of information to know about potential negative impacts of CDM projects as reflected in the draft voluntary tool for highlighting the co-benefits of CDM projects at EB68, Annex 22. To strengthen civil society participation in the CDM process local stakeholders should have a formal communication channel to DNAs. DNAs may request project proponents to update the SDC report at any time during project implementation, should the SD benefits or negative impacts have changed since registration of the project.  



CAN Intervention on CDM and JI in the COP19 SBI Closing Plenary by Juliane Voigt, 16 November, 2013

Thank you Chair, 

I am Juliane Voigt speaking as a member of the Climate Action Network.

When discussing matters relating to the Kyoto Mechanisms, delegates must remember that the recent IPCC report highlights that the remaining global carbon budget is very small and shrinking fast.

The need to reduce emissions immediately and permanently has never been more vital and urgent. This imperative is in stark contrast with the performance of the CDM and JI to date.

Over two billion offsets have been issued by these Kyoto mechanisms to date. This is a lot. But research shows than only half or fewer of the offsets have resulted in actual emissions reductions. This means that global emissions may have increased by 1 billion tons or more due to these mechanisms.

Given the severe carbon budget restraints we are facing, this is deeply worrying. Both mechanisms need to be fundamentally reformed. We urgently call you to:

·         Reform additionality requirements, including shorten the length of crediting periods and

·         Require net atmospheric benefit in both mechanisms

·         Improve transparency and governance, especially under JI.

·         Last but not least, there should be no issuance of JI offsets during the interim period given that it is still unclear if the second Kyoto commitment period will be ratified by Parties.

Thank you. 


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