Madam President, Distinguished Delegates,
My name is Yang Ailun from China. I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network, a global network of over 500 NGOs.
Today you have an opportunity to establish a process to resolve one of the many vexing problems that is contributing to the inability of these negotiations to make substantial progress towards a Fair, Ambitious and Legally Binding outcome.
CAN has consistently supported an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that will establish a second commitment period – thus preserving the legal and institutional structure we have all worked so hard to build.
At the same time, the COP has a chance to establish a contact group to consider the proposals that have been on the table for over a year now, that reflect different approaches to the legal form of the outcome of the LCA negotiations.
We urge you to establish a contact group now to consider these proposals in an open and transparent manner with a view to providing greater focus to the negotiations going into Durban next year.
Without clarity as to where the negotiations are heading, it will be hard to get there.
My name is Irina Stavchuk of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine. I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
We are concerned about the carry-over of surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from the 1st commitment period. Estimates place this surplus at 7 to 11Gt CO2e, or roughly one third of current 2020 emissions reduction targets pledged by Annex I countries. Thus, surplus AAUs have the potential to undermine the environmental integrity and effectiveness of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
This problem can be addressed by replacing Paragraph 13 of Article 3. We advocate setting a stringent discount factor, so that the annual average level of emissions carried over is severely restricted. These limited number of AAUs that have been carried over may only be used domestically in surplus holding countries for compliance in the next commitment period.
Let's be honest: the huge Kyoto surplus in Ukraine and Russia arose from a mistake in the estimate of projected business-as-usual scenario and not due to the implementation of effective climate change mitigation policies.
If the issue of surplus AAUs is not adequately addressed, developed countries can continue on a business-as-usual pathway. CAN questions the continuation of international emissions trading as a mechanism after 2012 if the Kyoto surplus issue is not fully addressed.
There are no excuses for not addressing the issue of surplus AAUs here in Cancun.
The beginning of the UN climate negotiations in Cancun, COP16 began with very low expectations by the majority of states. After the bursting of last year's bubble of COP15 in Copenhagen , states have entered this year with a sense of disappointment and an attempt to rebuild the trust that was lost. A common vision among parties for this year is a set of COP decisions on specific issues that will essentially feed into a larger deal to be agreed upon in full by next year's COP17 in Durban, South Africa. A potential agreement on technology transfer, capacity building, a new framework for adaptation, and a finance mechanism that will establish a new Climate Fund to be operational by Durban, are all elements of potential concurrence among parties this year. There are however some key controversial issues that stand out like thorns in the process including emission reduction targets, a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and an assessment of vulnerabilities under adaptation.
Under adaptation there is a debate to open up the definition of vulnerabilities. This debate is endless and has no viable solution and will only open up a Pandora's box that cannot be sealed. To define vulnerabilities means to label states that are most vulnerable, and hence rank them and prioritize funding for those that are most vulnerable. Under the convention, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are currently given some priority with respect to LDC fund however no other priority with respect to vulnerabilities has been defined. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African states with hot spot areas become prioritized in terms of vulnerabilities based on their ability to cope with such disasters caused by Climate Change. Different proposals and definitions have been posed. Some propose to assess the most vulnerable states based on the socio-economic impacts of climate change, while others look strictly at the physical and environmental aspects. Naturally different countries vary in their ranking of vulnerability based on each aspect. A synthesis of all assessments may be a feasible option, however may still open some controversial doors. India's proposal for it to be based on the per capita principle will obviously be refused by states such as Qatar or UAE which have a very high GDP per capita.
It is imperative however to assess vulnerabilities both on a national as well as regional level. Regional cooperation is necessary for effective adaptive capacity of all states. This is especially relevant within the context of country specific proposals submitted to the Adaptation Fund Board. A proposal for instance submitted by Ethiopia to increase its adaptive capacity with the construction of a dam on the Blue Nile against floods, may actually increase the vulnerability of states further downstream such as Egypt. This essentially defeats the purpose of the overall context of the UNFCCC process. Hence it is necessary when discussing the context of vulnerability within adaptation to promote cooperation and collaboration on a regional level and enhance regional projects of adaptation against vulnerabilities. This is especially important for states with shared resources. A common understanding of equity within this process is the only way to ensure a workable and fair agreement for our future generations.
Lama El Hatow
Negotiations update: Cancun Climate Talks
Thursday Media briefing
[Cancún, Mexico] Climate Action Network will host a briefing update on the UNFCCC climate negotiations underway in Cancún, Mexico, on Thursday, December 2, at 11:30 local (17:30 GMT).
NGO experts on the panel include Antonio Hill, Oxfam International; Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid; and Melanie Coath, Bird Life International.
What: Briefing on progress in UNFCCC Cancún climate negotiations
Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room Luna,Moon Palace, Cancún
When: 11:30 local (17:30 GMT), Thursday, December 2, 2010
Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 450 non-governmental organizations working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org.
For more information contact:
Hunter Cutting: +1 415-420-7498
Cancun, Mexico – From Norway to New Zealand and Algeria to Australia, thirteen countries shared the “prize” of two Fossils of the Day for promoting carbon capture and storage in the Clean Development Mechanism, and trying to preserve the “hot air” of surplus Assigned Amount Units in future commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Fossils as presented read:
“The 2nd place Fossil is awarded to Ukraine, Russia, New Zealand, and Australia for blocking the discussion of solutions that would prevent surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from fatally weakening the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Let's be honest: the huge Kyoto surplus in Ukraine and Russia arose from a mistake in the estimate of projected business-as-usual scenarios and not due to the implementation of effective climate change mitigation policies.
If the issue of surplus AAUs is not adequately addressed, developed countries can continue on a business-as-usual pathway. CAN questions the continuation of international emissions trading as a mechanism after 2012 if the Kyoto surplus issue is not fully addressed. This was addressed in Australia’s own draft emissions trading scheme, so it is surprising that they are not working constructively to find a way to ensure that those who have deepened their emissions reductions can be rewarded for doing so in a way that does not compromise the environmental integrity of future commitments.”
“The 1st place Fossil is awarded to Saudi Arabia, Norway, Kuwait, Algeria, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, & Jordan for continuing to block progress in the negotiations by proposing the inappropriate inclusion of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.
This proposal was made in the CMP Plenary by Saudi Arabia and supported by a number of countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan. It reflects a similar proposal yesterday supported by Norway.
They claim that CCS is already a proven, viable technology – which it currently is not – whereas the other technologies included in the CDM can facilitate clean and green development for developing countries.”
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999 in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.