Cancun Building Blocks - Oct 2010

THE POST-COPENHAGEN ROAD

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. 

CAN Intervention in the First COP19 SBI/SBSTA Contact Group, 13 November, 2013

Thank you Chair and good afternoon all. I am speaking on behalf of CAN.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our views for this joint SBSTA/SBI process for REDD+.  We believe that:

-          When discussing ways to improve the coordination of support for the implementation of REDD+ activities, Parties may want to focus on agreeing best practices to avoid barriers to access REDD+ finance, as well as to ensure that support is delivered in a timely and coordinated manner.

-          Parties should ensure the provision of adequate and predictable support, including financial resources and technological support, to developing countries for the implementation of those activities. Parties must show commitment towards REDD+ finance beyond existing fast-start funding for the period until 2020 when a new agreement is to be in place, and clearly demonstrate how to meet the financing needs for all phases of REDD+.

-          It is also necessary to ensure adequate finance for safeguard implementation in-country as well as the establishment of information systems, with at least one report produced before countries can access results based finance. 

-          We believe certainty regarding the financial commitments for REDD+ will create a favorable atmosphere to advance in the methodological and technical issues related to REDD+.

-          Finally, we echo interventions stating that Parties should discuss how REDD+ links to other discussions under the Convention, and clearly identify the functions that are needed to be fulfilled for REDD+, before deciding upon how best to do it, through new or existing institutions.

Thank you Chair.

 

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CAN Annual Policy Document: "Warsaw on the Road to Paris"

Executive Summary

Through a series of decisions adopted at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, countries reaffirmed their resolve to tackle climate change. They further built on those decisions at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar. This resolve is yet to be put into action as global emissions continue to push the world towards warming of 4 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century.

However, the Earth's planetary limits and thus tipping points of its ecosystem have almost been reached. There have been devastating impacts of climate change across the world in the form of super storms, floods, droughts and enhanced extreme weather events. Climate change impacts are costing countries scarce financial resources while the global economy continues facing a major downturn. Impacts are addressed temporarily as the root cause remains unaddressed.

Lack of political will continues to be the key impediment crippling progress in the UNFCCC. Inadequacy of financial resources has hampered ambitious mitigation actions. It has also slowed down effective operationalization of mechanisms meant to help the world cope with impacts of climate change. Key issues such as equity as well as loss and damage wait to be addressed adequately.

It is time that countries catch up with the reality of climate change. Displaying leadership and courage to take difficult decisions is the need of the hour. Lack of political will should not continue to impede ambitious action to tackle climate change.

CAN wishes to remind parties that a climate safe pathway for 2/1.5°C is still feasible and nations must strive for it at COP 19 in Warsaw. They only have the luxury of two more COPs to commit to a climate agreement in 2015. Time is of essence and there are still many unresolved issues - lack of trust between countries being the prominent one.

COP 19 should be used to start working towards a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate plan for the world. CAN suggests that COP 19, as a priority, should address short-term mitigation ambition and the financial gap. This will help build trust amongst parties and create a positive momentum towards a post 2015 climate regime.

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CAN submission to ADP Workstream 1, September 2013

Legal scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement 

The scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement should be consistent with a 1.5ºC global carbon budget with high likelihood of success, including targets and actions within an equitable framework that provides the financial, technology and capacity building support to countries with low capacity.   It should be serious about ensuring sufficient support for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate change. It should be built on, developing and improving the rules already agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention including transparency through common and accurate accounting and effective compliance processesrespecting the principles of equity. The form of the 2015 agreement should be a fair, ambitious and legally binding protocol.

Kyoto Protocol as a basis for the ADP

The Kyoto Protocol provides a good basis for future Protocol, its rules have been tested and should be improved and built upon.  Existing elements of the Kyoto Protocol that provide a basis for the new Protocol include:

·       Long-term viability: the KP provides a framework that can be updated for each 5-year commitment period, while maintaining its essential elements

·       Top down approach, setting an overall objective, an aggregate goal, for developed countries, allowing appropriate consideration of the science, with comparability of effort between countries established through their respective targets (Article 3.1)

·       Legally binding, economy-wide, absolute emissions reduction targets (QELROs) for countries with high responsibility and capacity, expressed as a percentage below the 1990 base year (Annex B)

·       A system of 5-year commitment periods, with comparability of effort measured against a common base year allowing for reasonable cycles of review linked to the IPCC reports and for comparability of effort (Articles 3.1 and 3.7).  A commitment regime under the new 2015 agreement should set at least two 5-year commitment periods, so that there are clear consequences in the already-agreed second period for failure to comply with the first 5-year target, and so that a next set of two 5-year targets is in place before the first 5-year period expires.   The system should include an adjustment procedure similar to the adjustment procedure under Article 2.9 of the Montreal Protocol that is restricted to increasing ambition. This adjustment procedure should allow both unilateral real increases in ambition by a country and for a ratcheting up of all countries resulting from an adequacy review.

·       Monitoring, review, and international verification system (Articles, 5,7,8 and associated decisions)

·       Compliance mechanism composed of two tracks – facilitative and enforcement (Article 18).  Compliance with the new 2015 legally binding outcome will depend in large part on effective *domestic* compliance processes, which can be facilitated by sharing of domestic best practices in compliance design.  This will in turn facilitate better compliance with international obligations. 

·       Mandatory review of provisions of the Protocol for subsequent commitment periods (Article 3.9)

·       Supplementarity – ensuring that market or non-market mechanisms are supplementary to (ie, CDM) to domestic actions, and don’t undermine the fundamental need to decarbonize all economies (Article 6.1d)

·       Required reporting on ”demonstrable progress”, establishing an important reporting requirement and stocktaking (Article 3.2)

·       Basket approach to GHGs, and the ability to list new gases and classes of gases (Annex A)

·       Use of Global Warming Potentials (GWP) to allow comparability of the impacts of different gases on global warming (Article 5.3)

The Equity Reference Framework

Equity is back on the negotiating table, and this is no surprise. Climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC were never going to succeed unless they faced the challenge of “equitable access to sustainable development.” Unless they faced, more precisely, the equity challenge of not just holding to a 2°C or even 1.5°C-compliant global emission budget but also supporting sustainable development and adaptation. These are the preconditions of any successful climate transition.

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