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. 

See you in Bonn, with your homework done!

ECO hopes that the climate gets what it needs in 2014, a year of ambition as we delivered a good draft text for Paris. After this year’s first UNFCCC meeting, it’s clear that much more effort will be needed for 2014 to be a success. Below a few things ECO hopes delegates will focus on as they return home from Bonn and prepare for the next session back here in June.

In Workstream 2, you have identified the significant potential of renewables and energy efficiency to help close the gigatonne gap. ECO suggests you now turn to concrete additional actions you can take to realise that potential and present them at the next session. You should also think about which decisions you can take at the end of the year to ensure that existing UNFCCC institutions, such as the Climate Technology Centre and Network and, the Green Climate Fund support those efforts.

Another piece of homework is to accelerate the preparation of your nationally determined contributions and to prepare concrete proposals on the information requirements for such proposals.

After all the frustration expressed over the slow progress towards the 2015 outcome, ECO is confident that negotiations under the shiny new Contact Group will get off to a flying start at the June session. We need to ensure that clarity on the shape of the 2015 deal emerges from Lima, which requires countries to focus on developing the specific elements through elaboration of a tight and manageable negotiating text. More importantly, we need to be getting ambitious commitments and other contributions on the table. Ones that will actually shift the world to a below  1.5℃ pathway.

ECO recognises that Parties will want to see their initial positions reflected, no matter how far apart and incompatible they are. However, Parties also have a responsibility to create the conditions for a draft elements text that will allow structured negotiations to begin the resolution of these issues systematically.

Our co-Chairs will need to play a strong and proactive role in helping to bridge differences and shaping successive versions of the text based on party input. ECO, and our Fossil of the Day friends, will have little patience for procedural shenanigans this June. The process is full of skilled and able negotiators. They need to use their abilities for good, and not for delay, obstruction and protecting narrowly defined and outdated national interests and polluting industries.

So, ECO hopes all Parties are eager to get back to their capitals to begin the work that needs to be done over the next 12 weeks on closing the gap, preparing post-2020 commitments and elaborating elements of a draft text.

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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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