Tag: Mitigation

CAN Submission: Cancun Building Blocks, October 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. 

The Pre-2020 Opportunities Package

It’s on everybody’s lips and on everybody’s mind: COP22 is going to be the Action COP. The Moroccan presidency will need to do their utmost to start closing the ambition gap with concrete action on mitigation, adaptation and support. ECO invites Parties to join the incoming presidency in its efforts to build on the spirit of Paris.

The 2016 facilitative dialogue, finance high-level event, agreement on a capacity building work program, engagement of the high-level champions, and the high-level event to strengthen cooperative initiatives within the Global Climate Action Agenda can all be harnessed to help drive greater ambition.

The COP22 facilitative dialogue should aim to capture over-achievement by various countries and regional groups on the Cancun pledges, and should explore how NAMAs in the UNFCCC NAMA Registry pipeline could be supported to unlock potential short-term mitigation ambition even before Marrakesh. ECO also calls for developed countries to have a close look at what concrete sectoral commitments they can bring to the table.

At SB44, we saw the first ever technical expert meetings (TEMs) on adaptation, and two TEMs with follow-up dialogues on mitigation. The biggest challenge is converting the TEMs from a knowledge forum to an implementation one, developing a synergistic relationship with the various institutional bodies within UNFCCC and the broader Action Agenda.

ECO warmly welcomes the appointment of Laurence Tubiana and Hakima El Haité as the global high-level champions for pre-2020 climate action. In the next month, both must focus on developing a roadmap, which should lay out strategies to scale up transformative initiatives, and address the barriers to rapid deployment of climate-friendly technologies identified by the TEMs. They must also focus on championing the emerging Action Agenda.

Morocco should work transparently with France, Peru, the Secretariat, and the UNSG’s team to develop the necessary light-touch institutional infrastructure to strengthen the Global Climate Action Agenda. ECO proposes the establishment of a small permanent support team and funding arrangements, with clear links to the on-going UNFCCC technical examination processes for mitigation and adaptation.

There also needs to be an agreed set of criteria to bring initiatives into the Action Agenda. While it’s encouraging to follow the science-based target setting of some progressive business coalitions, it’s maddening to see the continued green-washing and sometimes blatant lying of the laggards (#ExxonKnew). ECO worries that giving the UN stamp of approval to such actors will not only undermine the credibility of the UNFCCC and the Action Agenda, but also put us further away from 1.5°C.

Then there’s the role of non-Party stakeholders. The Action Agenda must be about facilitating, enabling, and amplifying the interplay between states and non-state actors (with the exception, obviously, of those fossil fuel laggards!).

All these intended national actions cannot be scaled-up without the necessary finance. COP22 provides the opportunity for developed countries to finally “put their money where their mouth is,” enabling developing countries to upscale their NDCs. And to think about how they will move innovative sources of finance forward.

Lastly, capacity building will be the key to unlock much of the adaptation and mitigation potential of developing countries in the coming years. At COP22, Parties need to get the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) off the ground to address gaps and needs, both current and emerging, to build capacity in developing countries.

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Wanted: Good News on Shipping and Aviation by Marrakech

In the two decades that ECO has been calling for action on shipping and aviation emissions, the period between now and Marrakech might be the best opportunity ever for some good news on both fronts.

The need for action has become even clearer in the recent UNFCCC aggregate assessment of the impacts of the INDCs. The report finds that mitigation INDCs of 189 countries now cover 95.7% of global emissions. This leaves 4.3% of global emissions outside of such emissions goals. Most of these are from international aviation and maritime transport, which are not covered by either national emissions targets or sectoral emissions caps.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set its assembly in October as a deadline to finalise its Market Based Measure to implement the goal of “carbon neutral growth from 2020”. This means they will offset emissions growth above 2020 levels in future years, by purchasing credits from outside the sector.

ECO urges the industry to demonstrate leadership and take a solid first step toward tackling the sector’s rapid growth in emissions. Despite facing headwinds, some progress was made in a high level meeting a couple of weeks ago in Montreal. This included making the offset criteria to be adopted mandatory and not just guidelines, and included a review and ratchet clause that explicitly provides for considering further ways that the aviation industry might contribute its fair share towards the long-term temperature goals in the Paris Agreement. On October 7, the global spotlight will be on ICAO to meet its commitment.

On international shipping, Parties have a perfect opportunity to kick-start a real discussion of the sector’s fair contribution to the Paris climate objectives. Parties had, as they say “a range of views”, at the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organisation meeting. The MEPC decided to consider again the case for creating a working group to address these proposals at the next meeting in October.

There is no reason to delay this further. The IMO is expected to formally agree on a CO2 emissions reporting MRV system for ship emissions later this year. There is already sufficient information and data related to this sector to underpin these important discussions of targets and measures to address emissions. ICAO and IMO, it’s time to align your plans with globally agreed climate objectives.

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Green 7?

The 2015 G7 saw Angela Merkel use it as an opportunity to emphasise the need for climate action, and as a way to keep G7 leaders engaged in the run up to Paris.

Now it is time for Japan to take the lead and galvanise the other G7 countries. However, it seems that they don’t have the same fervour as the previous hosts. The Japanese seem to have been fairly lacklustre in their attempts to make climate change a core component of the agenda. But never fear, ECO is here with some helpful suggestions about how our dear leaders can help the Japanese deliver.

We need the G7 to up the ante on the mid-century plans. It’s great that the US and Canada have promised to get going this year with Germany to follow suit. There are promising signs from France and China. Whilst this enthusiasm bodes well, the proof is in the pudding. We need major emitters to develop their low-carbon plans before the 2018 stocktake to inform the upgrading of (I)NDCs. The G7 should move first, and ensure these plans are finalised well before 2018. They need to lay out clear pathways to deliver both their climate and development objectives to drive and guide investment. If done well, the 2050 plans, called for in the Paris Agreement, offer an excellent opportunity to engage citizens and business in this visioning exercise, sowing the seeds for a much deeper and wider appetite for transformative ambition.

In 2015, the G7 announced support for specific initiatives that ECO is very excited about, the Africa Renewables Initiative and the Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance. ECO strongly encourages the G7 to deliver scaled up support to ensure that these initiatives are fully funded and able to meet the needs of communities. And let’s not forget the G7 promise to deliver the $100bn by 2020. They need to scale up finance in line with this promise.

Japan can use its G7 Presidency to signal its reemergence as a progressive force on climate change by outlining proactive collaboration on key elements of the international agenda. And wouldn’t it be great if Japan and other G7 countries used this meeting to announce their ratification of the Paris Agreement?

Topics: 
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Outflanked and Exposed, Japan Has Run Out of Excuses

Japan started on the right path when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. It has since gone downhill. Paris delivered on the main negotiating demand that Japan proposed: action from all Parties and a framework for transparency and accountability. Ahead of the Japan G7, ECO believes Japan needs to do more.

1) Japan has all the national ingredients to advance a prosperous and thriving zero-carbon economy. Along with the US and Germany, Japan is one of the leaders in innovation of energy technologies, including wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power.

2) Japan is running out of friends. At one time, Japan was sheltered by a wide group of laggards it could hide behind—not so any more. A new government in Canada has now joined the Obama administration in pushing for a low-GHG agenda.

3) Japan is being outflanked by its neighbour, China. In 2015, total renewable energy investment in China rose 17% to US$102 billion–more than double that of Japan, where investment has remained flat over the past two years.

4) Japan is one of last remaining major donors for coal financing worldwide. Between 2007 and 2015, Japan financed more coal projects compared to any other G7 country, totalling approximately $22 billion. And worse still, Japan is considering more financing for coal to the tune of almost $10 billion. Let’s not even get started on Japan’s continual claims around “efficient” coal. Just keep it in the ground, Japan!

5) Japan still plans to increase its coal use domestically. This will compromise the country’s 2030 NDC and Japan could face $60 billion in stranded assets.

Japan has a rich history of innovation and advanced technology. It’s no wonder that ECO is left perplexed by their obsession with an old fossil like coal. Japan, it’s time to lead the world, instead of being shamed as an outdated player.

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Bob Dylan on the APA

As people celebrated Bob Dylan’s birthday yesterday, negotiations in Bonn were ‘tangled up in blue’. ECO would like to inspire negotiators in answering the questions posed by the APA Co-Chairs.

Should the features and information on Nationally Determined Contributions be tailored to the type of NDCs or should they be tailored on some other basis? If so what? What lessons can be drawn in this respect from the INDCs already submitted?

‘ The times they are a-changin’ 

Yes, features of NDCs and supplementary information should be tailored but in a manner that facilitates comparability and provides further clarity in relation to what the countries intends to do nationally.

  • Explain Fairness: the Lima guidance on information requirement should be enhanced. Parties ought to explain why they consider their contribution to be “fair and ambitious”. Parties should be clear and specific about which baseline, indicators, global mitigation pathways and/or temperature limits they used and how they utilised them to make their determination of fairness and ambition.
  • Respect the preamble of the Paris Agreement: new guidance should call on Parties to clarify how they will protect human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equity, food security, ecosystem integrity and just transition when taking climate action.
  • Common five year timeframes: convergence on a single common five year timeframe for future NDCs would enhance comparability of Parties’ actions and avoid future inconsistency of end dates.
  • Conditional component feature of NDCs: many developing countries have formulated their current INDCs with a conditional component. This should be an official feature of NDC guidance and needs to specify the precise nature and scale of the support required to implement these conditional activities.
  • Not everyone is the same: LDCs and SIDS should be supported in their application of the guidance on the features and information in NDCs and should be allowed to exercise discretion with regards to how they use this guidance when developing their NDCs.
  • Nothing to hide: if countries are using market mechanisms (Article 6) to deliver their contribution that should be explicit within the NDC.

Can the existing guidance on accounting under the Convention be taken into account, and if so how? How detailed or general should the guidance be and what should it address

‘ I want you’ 

  • Apply the guidance ASAP: as the APA develops and finalises these accounting rules, Parties should aim to not just apply them in the next round of NDCs but should apply them retrospectively to their current NDCs.
  • No one should feel left out: guidance on accounting should apply to all Parties though applicability should be contingent on capacity levels within countries.
  • The details are important, the guidance should ensure that countries:
    • Account for anthropogenic emissions and removals, in accordance with methodologies and common metrics assessed by the IPCC and adopted by the COP.
    • Ensure methodological consistency and transparency, including historical baseline, such that the metrics are comparable historically and between countries.
    • Include all categories of anthropogenic emissions or removals as well as explain exclusion of any category.

What are adaptation communications seeking to achieve, especially in light of linkages with other issues, for e.g. with the global stocktake? What does that mean for the scope of the guidance needed?

Don’t think twice it’s alright’

  • Understanding need: adaptation communications should enhance understanding of the finance needs for adaptation in the short and longer term. This should be reflected in the guidance and should help the global stocktake to identify gaps in adaptation finance.
  • Connecting the dots: adaptation guidance would help countries design better adaptation contributions as well as help provide the necessary information to track progress towards the global goal for adaptation and identify gaps, which needs to be filled, including through significantly scaled-up finance.

How can a balance be achieved between the need for guidance for adaptation communications with the need for flexibility?

‘Shelter from the storm’

  • Don’t increase the burden: Art. 7.10 already provides initial guidance on important elements. In order to reflect countries’ circumstances, the guidance should not create additional burden for developing countries. Support such as capacity building and readiness programs should be delivered for developing countries to meet these reporting obligations.

What are some of the experiences and lessons learnt from existing MRV arrangements, and how could they provide a basis for an enhanced transparency framework on action and support?

Things have changed’

  • Learning from existing practices:
    • It is important to build on the existing MRV system, especially the ICA process of Facilitative Sharing of Views, as this could be a helpful platform to match conditional NAMAs to finance and technology needs. It could provide a strong basis for future linkage developing country NDCs with necessary finance, from the GCF or elsewhere.
    • Existing MRV arrangements, such as biennial reports, show a lot of inconsistencies because it is currently left to contributing countries, which tend to overestimate the climate relevance of bilateral finance. They allow countries to inflate the amount of actual support provided to developing countries by, for instance, counting loans at face value rather than only counting grants and grant-equivalent funding. They do not allow a proper assessment of the degree to which financial support is new and additional.
    • Bolster institutional capacity: countries will need to do more to support the UNFCCC Roster of Experts as there will likely be insufficient capacity for the scaling up required by the enhanced transparency system.

What constitutes flexibility for developing countries and how could it be applied through modalities, procedures and guidelines in a way that supports full and effective participation in the transparency framework?

‘I shall be released’ 

  • Little by little: there could be flexibility in terms of scope, economic sectors / gases covered, methodological tiers/granularity for estimating emissions and removals and reporting frequency though the IPCC guidance for estimating emissions and removals should be common.
  • Progression: there should be a “best efforts” starting point, and those who have previously reported to a certain standard / frequency etc. should do at least that in the new system. Progression to better reporting and estimation over time is critical. It must however be recognised that it has taken many years for developed countries to build and improve their systems so developing countries will also need time to improve their systems.

What input is needed for conducting the global stocktake, by when and from whom? What mechanism/channels could be used to feed this input into the global stocktake? 

‘ Blowin’ in the wind’ 

  • The following inputs should feed into the stocktake:
    • The results from the Second Periodical Review (SPR) of the Convention, which has the Sixth Assessment Report of IPCC and its three Special Reports as main sources, is supposed to consider the adequacy of the long term goal and it should be the main scientific input to the global stocktake in 2023.
    • Assessment of support provided and received: Review of assessment and reports from the SCF, Financial Mechanism, Technology Mechanism, and annual reporting of capacity building activities, in addition to the technical expert review under Article 13 of the PA.
    • National reports under the Transparency Framework for Action and Support (mitigation and adaption).
    • Other inputs from relevant UNFCCC thematic bodies including lessons learned from the Technical Expert Meetings and technical examination.
    • A proper assessment of fulfilment of Article 9 of the Paris Agreement as well as 4.3 and 4.4 of the Convention, drawing on existing work for instance by the SCF.
  • Assessing Equity: Considering that the global stocktake is mandated to be conducted “in light of equity”, Parties will need to identify relevant sources of information and expertise to guide their taking stock of equity matters. In addition to relevant information contained in IPCC assessment reports, inputs from academia and broader civil society should  be invited.

How will the global stocktake be conducted, keeping in mind the need for simplicity and relevance, ownership and inclusiveness? 

‘Forever young’ 

  • Open and Participatory: The global stocktake should be conducted in an open, participatory manner that ensures voices from stakeholders other than parties are taken into consideration.
  • Political Momentum: The global stocktake should be conducted at ministerial level to formulate an effective COP decision resulting from the work of the SPR. With the SPR and the associated Joint Contact Group of SBSTA and SBI the same process and body will interact with the 2018 facilitative dialogue and the global stocktake in 2023.
  • Science at the heart: The IPCC should be a key participant in the stocktake. Among other functions, it should inform parties on predicted impacts. For example, if Parties’ aggregate mitigation efforts are projected to lead to 3°C of warming, the associated impacts must be clearly communicated and juxtaposed to scenarios with 2 and 1.5°C of warming. It is crucial to have this ready for 2018, based on IPCC AR5.

What is the relationship, if any, between the global stocktake and the facilitative dialogue to be conducted in 2018?

Knockin’ on heaven’s doors’ 

  • Trial: Parties should use the opportunity of the 2018 stocktake (the “facilitative dialogue” pursuant to para 20 1/CP.21) to trial the modalities for the 2023 stocktake as much as possible. This would mean that modalities for the 2023 stocktake would have to be near final by COP23 in 2017, or SB48 in 2018 the latest, in time for testing at the 2018 facilitative dialogue.
  • Learning: there will be an opportunity to learn from the 2018 experience and to improve the modalities for the 2023 global stocktake thereafter in accordance with the lessons learned.
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