Tag: MRV

Mmmmm mmmmm MRV!

Developing countries have long insisted on the need for transparent and coordinated provision of financial support, to enable independent review of the extent to which commitments are fulfilled, as well as maximise the effectiveness of the funding. Moreover, transparency is vital to ensuring that the funds are equitably distributed over all developing countries in need of support, with priority for the most vulnerable developing countries.

At present, though there have been some positive steps taken in this direction, unless ECO was not invited that magical day, there is no common framework for measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of international climate finance that fully captures existing financial flows.

ECO was happy to hear that at the end of 2011 the European Commission proposed a new EU regulation (referred to as the “MMR” Regulation) on monitoring and reporting for EU climate finance. The MMR (yet another acronym that delegates and observers should learn by heart) will standardize climate finance reporting requirements for EU Member States. We are glad to hear that the proposal is going through the EU legislative process this year, just in time to monitor the EU’s post-2012 financial commitments for climate action.

But the MMR still needs guidance from EU Member States on key concepts and methodologies to be included in the legislation: what is meant by climate finance and in particular “private climate finance”? What is “new and additional” climate finance and how are the baselines set for measuring this? How should the MMR count the climate-relevant activities and outcomes when reporting on projects with broader objectives?

In the grand tradition of EU stakeholder consultation processes, ECO knows that its ideas will be read and considered, and so takes the opportunity to recommend that the MMR include the following:

- detailed information on where the money is going

- comparable information that can be aggregated

- sources and recipient institutions as well as the channels used need to be visible in order to keep track of the financial flow

- Also, for this process to be really transparent, it is crucial that this information be made accessible to third parties, including recipient countries and NGOs and that the reported information be quadruple-checked by independent finance experts

But all this being said, ECO would like to remind all parties that any MMR or MRV proposal does not make any sense as long as there is no finance to MMR or MRV (or whatever you want to call it). At the end of the day, we need developed countries to start pledging substantial, scaled-up climate funding for 2013 onwards. Or the MMR will be yet another empty shell.

And because ECO knows that parties want to hear more about the major MRV reform behind the obscure acronym, the ACT Alliance and CAN-Europe went to great lengths to organize a side event on the role of private finance in climate action next Monday.

ECO will definitely be there.

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CAN Intervention - Informal consultations on Article 6 of the Convention - May 18

 

Thank you chair for giving us the opportunity to present our views on behalf of CAN international. Public support and engagement at the local and national level is critical to the success of meaningful climate mitigation and adaptation policies and we welcome the opportunity to offer a few concrete proposals. In relation to the timeframe of the next work programme, we would suggest that to established a permanent work program that is fully reviewed and amended every four years.

In order to ensure an in-depth review of the implementation of each of the elements of the amended New Delhi Work Programme we would suggest partial biannual reviews that tackle the thematic areas under two parallel groupings:

(1)  education, public awareness and training in one, and

(2)  public participation and access to information in the second, international cooperation being crosscutting.

These partial reviews should take place every two years on an alternate basis.  These reviews could include workshops as well as submissions made in advance focusing on best practices, challenges and gaps in implementation.

When reporting on implementation of article 6 related activities in their national communications, parties are encouraged to report specifically on actions taken for each of the six thematic areas and along the lines of indicators to be developed by the parties during the first partial review applying to each of the groupings.

We call for a mandate to the secretariat to request submissions and subsequently prepare a synthesis report on best practices related to the engagement of all stakeholders on national actions related to the UNFCCC.  These actions include:  preparation of national negotiating positions and reports to the UNFCCC (including national communications); and efforts to promote public participation in the negotiation process.

Thank you Mr Chair, we look forward to continue contributing to these discussions.

The Bonn Ultimatum

ECO is hopeful that countries will approach the Bonn intersessional with a renewed vigour for making real progress towards a fair, ambitious and globally binding deal that reflects the scientific, economic and humanitarian imperatives.

 Equity: All parties must make good faith efforts to understand each other's predicaments. The goal? Establish a commonly understood “equity corridor”, a channel of principles and approaches that could provide foundations towards more detailed, technical and difficult questions. Equity must explicitly and formally become integral to the ADP agenda.

 Mitigation: The work of the Kyoto Protocol track needs to be completed by the end of 2012 with a ratifiable outcome agreed in Doha. The QELROs inscribed in Qatar need to be as strong as possible, with Parties moving to at least the top ends of their pledges. The EU needs to make good on their long-dangled promise of a move to 30%. This move has to be solely through domestic action in order to meet their own target of reducing emissions by 95% by 2050. Another priority for Doha should be that the massive loopholes should be closed, including severely limiting AAU carry over and preventing double counting across the mechanisms and NAMAs.

 In LCA, non-KP developed countries need to define their QELROs, again with increased ambition and closed loopholes. Developing countries that have not come forward with NAMAs or pledges need to. ECO looks to countries like Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Thailand and particularly our COP host Qatar. Their combined efforts have significant potential to close a part of the gigatonne gap. All countries need to use the upcoming workshops to give absolute clarity on the assumptions behind their pledges.

 Review: Bonn needs to continue from the Durban decision by preparing decisions for Qatar on the first periodic review’s scope and other modalities, such as the body to responsible. It is crucial to reach agreement on these remaining items in order to guarantee a timely start in 2013 and for the review to advise the COP’s decision in 2014 and its action in 2015. The opportunity to reinforce science-based knowledge into the highly political UNFCCC negotiations should not be missed.

 International Transport: Discussions to address fast-rising emissions from international shipping and aviation are under way in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but have been deadlocked on certain issues. Parties can speed progress there through guidance in the UNFCCC on how to address CBDRRC, and in particular inviting them to direct revenue raised to the Green Climate Fund, in accordance with the principals of the Climate Convention.

 Finance: Fast Start Finance comes to an end in 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like rich countries are planning for Fast Finish Finance instead. For example, the EU's finance ministers meeting this Tuesday may only agree to "continue" climate finance post-2012. ECO knows that this could mean a drop in funding levels compared to the 3 years since Copenhagen. Parties must use this year's Work Programme on Long-term Finance to agree on a pathway and promising sources of public finance. At Doha, parties need to capitalise the Green Climate Fund, set the Board in place and finalise the GCF host.

 Flex Mex: In order to prevent repeating past mistakes, ECO would like to see strong environmental and social safeguards for the new market-based systems under LCA. In SBI, Parties have another chance to adopt a meaningful CDM appeals procedure that would empower all local and global stakeholders, including project-affected peoples and communities.

 Adaptation: On National Adaptation Plans, Parties have to move forward by scaling up financial support immediately to allow LDCs and others to carry out well-designed, participatory planning. These processes should also inform the ADP negotiations towards 2015. On loss and damage, ECO reminds Parties that in Qatar they need to advance items like the consideration of approaches, including an international loss and damage mechanism and climate risk insurance facility.

 MRV: There are two outstanding issues on MRV that the LCA must address. First, there is the need to agree on common accounting rules – without these there can be no robust IAR/ICA processes nor rigorous carbon markets. Second, ECO is disappointed that all references to NGO participation in the IAR and ICA processes were deleted and expects that there will be opportunities to input into these process as they occur.

 Legal: ECO would assume that parties have now agreed that what they are negotiating will be legally binding. It is time to move forward, building off the agreements from Durban, with substantive discussions. An immediate priority should be that a work plan is developed under the ADP with clear milestones for each year leading up to 2015. The work plan should also agree that at some stage there will be a legal group to sort out the outstanding legal issues.

 Capacity Building: There is a chasm between ambition established by the Marrakech Framework and reality today. Over the last 11 years, a small set of developing countries and blocs (BASIC, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Israel, etc.) have built their capacity on their own, not as a result of outside support. That still leaves around 140 developing countries lacking the capacity to tackle climate change, even in the near future. In Bonn, the Durban Forum on Capacity Building must scale up capacity development and delivery. LCA should maintain its dedicated sub-item for capacity building.

 Technology: The Technology group needs to focus on two key issues this time. First, ECO asks for more information to be made public regarding the Climate Technology Centre and Network, before the report is presented to the SBI. Second, an effective ADP workplan must address the unfinished LCA technology issues in order to send the right political messages for an effective Technology mechanism.

 Agriculture: ECO expects the agriculture discussion will focus on the goal of maintaining and sustainably increasing food security, particularly in developing countries, whilst putting strong focus on the agricultural sector's adaptation needs. These issues are urgent, as most of the rural poor in developing countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Negotiations must assist small-scale food producers and other vulnerable groups in becoming more climate change-resilient.

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2015 – Setting the Pace in the Race for Ambition

 As delegates bounce back to the Maritim, high off their post-Durban buzz, ECO thinks it’s worthwhile reminding them of the gravity of what they are negotiating. Durban very nearly failed. Had it done so, it would have empowered the formidable naysayers across the global economy, providing them with ample fuel to dismiss not only climate change but the multilateral system altogether.

 Whilst the Durban outcome was far from perfect, delegates still had the Cancun prophecy ringing in their ears – “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. What we got from Durban was an opportunity, as opposed to an outcome, of a hard deadline of 2015. And, importantly, we got the world caring again. When the Indians and Europeans battled it out in the grand “huddle”, determined to come to a resolution, international leaders and investors finally looked up from their navels and took notice.

 Now, back in the confines of the Maritim, we need all parties to knuckle down, and begin the long, hard slog to negotiate the final outcome. Opening up old wounds will not prevent climate chaos.

 As Cancun pointed out, tactical negotiating will not be enough to secure us a 1.5 degrees C future. Skilled diplomacy has not required any of the critical countries to move beyond the red lines we grew to know, love and hate in Copenhagen. Parties acknowledged that the politics aren’t yet right to secure a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal. But what we got in Durban was a grace period.

 The politics of 2015 do, however, provide an opportunity for more ambition compared to 2011. “It’s the economy, stupid”, barely encompasses the political preoccupation across Europe and OECD countries. But by 2015, it is likely that the worst of the recession will be over. And importantly, the rhythm of the electoral cycle across a swathe of key polluters to 2015 gives hope and promise to greater levels of ambition and political commitment. Unless countries recognise the very real danger that climate change poses to their national interests, they will not budge any further than their pre-Copenhagen mandates.

 But it’s not only the politics of ambition which need to be mastered. That little old chestnut, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, also needs some help. And it would appear as if, finally, most Annex 1 countries have received the message loud and clear (ECO does not need to spell it out; we all know who the deaf countries are). Unless a fair settlement is sought, a deal in 2015 is unrealistic. Fairness is not a hurdle towards greater ambition, but a key component to incentivise a successful deal. Scepticism that 2015 will be “Copenhagen the Sequel” misreads the politics since COP15. Anyone daft enough to think politicians and their negotiators would endure another Copenhagen should be doomed to eat Maritim sandwiches for the rest of their lives. 2015 will be very different.

 Firstly, a key advantage for 2015 is that the political change we need to see can now be leveraged off significant quantities of low carbon investment and confidence across a broad range of countries. Adding to this, the UNFCCC has made significant progress in defining the mechanisms which can be ramped up to deliver ambition. Secondly, the embryonic Durban Alliance and Cartagena Dialogue can help keep their Annex 1 partners on their toes, and help shape a Fair, Ambitious and Binding (FAB) deal over the years ahead. And finally, 2015 will no doubt be an important milestone on the road to a global low carbon economy, alongside Rio, Qatar and other high profile events.

 But we must not focus on the glitz and glamour at the expense of harvesting incremental achievements, building session by session the systems and instruments needed to deliver success along the way. Putting all our eggs in one basket, when the scale of the challenge is enormous, is no longer a feasible option. Parties are now acknowledging that success in 2015 will be measured by a combination of progress inside and outside the UNFCCC, top-down and bottom up measures, in shaping emissions trajectories to 2030.

 In Bonn, ECO will not take the promise of post-2020 ambition as an excuse for lack of short-term measures. Broaching the gigatonne gap, outlining ambitious proposals for the review of adequacy and beginning to map out the process for developing an equitable outcome will be vital in securing a 2015 deal. Haggling over the text that has already been gavelled through contradicts the constructive spirit reached in South Africa.

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