Opening Moves

Cancun should deliver a substantial package of decisions that provides a clear framework for climate action. Such a package will move forward toward a legally binding agreement and put positive pressure on countries to go beyond their current quite inadequate pledg­es and commitments. The Cancun package must progress both the KP and LCA tracks and secure agreements on all building blocks, namely mitigation/MRV, finance, adaptation, REDD, technology, the legal form, the sci­ence review, and a road map for South Africa and beyond.

This means all countries must do their fair share to secure success in Cancun. And so ECO would like to take the liberty of identi­fying some opening moves that key countries should make so that Cancun starts on a con­structive note, open negotiating space for the coming two weeks, and deliver outcomes that will set us on the pathway towards the ambi­tious, global treaty we need.

ECO supports the United States objective of increasing the transparency of mitigation actions by developing countries, but it must be part of a broader framework that includes greater transparency of developed country actions on both mitigation and finance. And so instead of pressurizing others, the US should announce its willingness to increase the transparency of its own actions. The draft decision text being circulated by the EU call­ing for more detailed information in Annex 1 national communications would be a very good way to start. Making it clear that sup­porting enhanced transparency for everybody includes the US itself will make adoption of a balanced package of decisions here in Can­cun much more likely. Just say yes!

ECO expects the European Union to speak out much more clearly in favour of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, so that a constructive dialogue between de­veloped and developing countries leading to a legally binding agreement from both tracks can be achieved. To provide further support for the Kyoto Protocol the EU should also help close the loopholes in its own position on AAU surplus and LULUCF. Those helpful moves on the Kyoto track can be bolstered by the EU championing the establishment of the UNFCCC climate fund.

China should take a more progressive role in the international negotiations instead of just continually reacting to provocations from others. That way, China can building strongly on its domestic momentum for low carbon and clean energy development. For Cancun, this means China should now put forth its own views on the form international consultation and analysis should take, as well as challenge the US to clearly commit itself to proper MRV, along with other developed countries.

Japan must show more flexibility about the second commitment period of the Kyo­to Protocol. Upfront rejection will create an unconstructive atmosphere for the entire negotiations. Kyoto was the product of hard negotiations, not only for the specific targets, but also for a top-down approach so that ag­gregate emission reductions are driven by the science. ECO hopes that Japan still remem­bers the sleepless nights in Kyoto and knows that while the Protocol is not perfect, there is still a lot to be proud of. More openness on Kyoto will signal that it acknowledges that the Kyoto architecture is important to a vast majority of Parties and opens the way forward for securing a stronger global architecture.

India should help broker a solution to the dilemma of international consultation and analysis by tabling its own ICA proposal, un­equivocally stating that it will work towards creating a rule-based system of multilateral governance within the UNFCCC and ensur­ing transparency and accountability. Another constructive move will be to support efforts to identify substantial and innovative sources of public finance for the new global climate fund.

Brazil could come forward as a champion for the creation of a fair climate fund in Can­cun, supported through innovative sources of public funding, which fully funds not only mitigation but equally so adaptation. Brazil also should come forward as a leading coun­try fighting for responsible and transparent LULUCF accounting rules to help reduce and close the Gigatonne Gap.

It’s time for Mexico to play a more crea­tive role in its welcome efforts toward trust-building in the COP 16 presidency. Mexico is well positioned to spur Parties to tackle the issues that could otherwise drive the negotia­tions into deadlock: legal form, the road map on crunch issues post-Cancun, the Gigatonne Gap, the science review and more.

Russia has an AAU surplus of 6 billion tonnes of CO2 that is creating grave uncer­tainty for the negotiations, carbon markets and the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol. It’s time for clear statements from Russia that it will not sell its AAU surplus from the 1st commitment period. That kind of good political will can go a long way to ensuring progress can be made in Cancun on dealing with AAU surplus, and give a big boost to closing the Gigatonne Gap.

ECO hopes this list of substantial but manageable first moves will help clarify the middle game on the Cancun chess­board and lead to a solution that makes everyone a winner.

Related Newsletter : 

UN High-Level Climate Finance Group delivers a low-level response to the poorest people, says Tearfund

 

5th November 2010

A UN High-Level Advisory Group set up to analyse how to raise urgently needed climate finance announced details of its report today.

Tearfund's Director of Advocacy Paul Cook said: "The Climate Finance panel was set up to analyse how to raise the $100 billion a year by 2020 and the report shows that it is feasible to raise at least this amount by using public sources alone. However, what we have seen today doesn't go far enough and still amounts to leaving the most vulnerable people in countries like Bangladesh to clean up the mess rich countries have made."

The aid agency said climate change is the greatest development issue we face.  What was needed was a report that demonstrated how we are going to raise at least $200bn a year by 2020 for developing countries to adapt to a changing climate and reduce their emissions.

This money must be new and additional to existing aid budgets. It must come from innovative sources of public finance, like a Robin Hood Tax on banks and from levies on fuel and tickets for international aviation and shipping. Instead the AGF has delivered the low-level $100bn.

Tearfund warned that while it is good that the group recognises that the money required is in the range of billions of dollars, $100bn is not and has never been enough.

"Developed countries must think in terms of an evolving understanding of the science and of developing countries needs, rather than what they can get away with.

"We are pleased that the report shows how a combination of innovative sources can be used to raise the money for the long term. Today's launch is not the end of these discussions on innovative sources of public finance - rather it must be the starting point. Getting an international agreement for climate money is a crucial step towards agreeing an international climate treaty." Cook continues.

 Tearfund welcomed the UK's commitment to playing its part in the creation of new innovative sources and urged them to continue championing these to ensure progress is made within the UN climate talks.

 

Notes to Editor

 

For a briefing with one of Tearfund's Climate Change Policy Team, or an interview please contact the Media Team on:

0208 943 7779 / 0208 943 7792 / 07710 573749

Or email esther.williams@tearfund.org

 

Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency building a global network of local churches to help eradicate poverty. Tearfund is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. www.tearfund.org

Topics: 

Christian Aid: It's time for governments to use their financial imaginations - response to UN report on climate change

 

Today’s United Nations report on how to raise $100 billion a year to tackle climate change in poor countries relies too heavily on hopes that the market will help the world’s poorest people cope with global warming and get the clean energy they need, Christian Aid warned today. 



However, the charity also praised suggestions by the UN High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing that governments should tax the aviation and shipping industries as one way of raising the money needed – and urged governments to back other such innovative sources of public funds. 



‘So far, market responses to climate change have failed to meet the needs of the poorest people in developing countries, who are least responsible but worst affected by climate change,’ said Sol Oyuela, Christian Aid’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change and Poverty. 



‘So it’s important that governments play a key role in funding and regulating climate action. Especially today, when many governments don’t have ambitious climate policies, it is crucial that most if not all the $100 billion comes from new sources of public funding, such as taxes on planes, ships and financial transactions. It’s time for governments to use their financial imaginations.’ 



Christian Aid believes that this is not just a question of who’s most able to protect the most vulnerable families, who lack spending power – it is also a matter of justice. It is rich countries which are overwhelmingly responsible for climate change and it is their governments which should now take responsibility for coming up with the $100 billion. 



Ms Oyuela added: ‘We know that the financial crisis has put huge pressure on public funds around the world difficult but the effects of climate change are so devastating for poor countries – we are talking about worsening  poverty, hunger, conflict and disease – that we cannot ignore their desperate need.’ 



In the UK, Christian Aid believes that there is no excuse for government inaction on climate finance now that the Advisory Group has published its report. If the coalition is committed to tackling climate change and global poverty, then it should take the lead with other rich countries to ensure that the $100 billion comes from innovative sources of public funds. It should also start actually raising the money. 



Ms Oyuela added: ‘We would also like to see the UK government give serious backing to the Advisory Group’s suggestion for a tax on aviation and shipping. Such a tax would have a double benefit: it would put downward pressure on emissions from planes and ships while also raising some of the billions which people living in poverty urgently need.



‘Christian Aid has one other message for the UK government: every penny of the money that we contribute towards the $100 billion should be clearly additional to the funds we already spend on international development. 



‘Climate funding is a matter of justice, not charity. The men, women and children who currently benefit from UK aid spending should not be forced to pay our contribution towards global climate funds, which is what will happen if ministers raid the aid budget to pay for climate change.’ 





- Ends -

For more information and to arrange an interview with Sol Oyuela, please contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446, 07545 501 749 orrbaird@christian-aid.org

Topics: 
Related Member Organization: 

UN Advisory Group on Climate Finance Report Falls Flat

Recommendations Downplay Role of Public Finance, Rely Too Much on Private Finance

A new report on climate change financing options released today by a U.N. Advisory Group unwisely emphasizes carbon markets and other private finance options, while irresponsibly advocating an increased role for multilateral development banks (MDBs). Despite concluding that public sources of climate finance are available and promising, the report’s findings downplay the role that public finance can and must play in helping developing countries deal with climate change.

The U.N. Secretary General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) issued its report today ahead of the annual U.N. climate summit in Cancún that begins November 29. The report outlines a number of public and private options to raise money to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

“The AGF recommendations are unfortunately based on unduly optimistic econometric projections and a blind faith in the capacity of highly volatile and unreliable carbon price signals to induce long-term investments in low carbon energy production and manufacturing,” said Steve Suppan of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “A better start on climate finance would be for developed countries to make good on their $30 billion pledge for immediate funding to allow developing countries to adapt agricultural production and water management systems to the imminent ravages of climate change.”

“It was inappropriate for the AGF Report to make reference to the role of multilateral development banks. MDBs are not a source of climate finance, but are used as a channel. And they are not acceptable even as a channel. MDBs are a part of the climate problem, not the solution. The World Bank and other MDBs are far, far more adept at causing climate pollution than in helping countries to mitigate or adapt to it. Using MDBs as a channel would also mean climate finance in the form of loans or other debt-creating instruments,” said Lidy Nacpill of Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

“Adaptation funding, in particular, is compensation for damages done by developed countries and should only be given in grants. It is untenable that the AGF suggests otherwise. The enormous costs of dealing with climate change must not add to the already heavy debt burdens experienced by many developing countries,” added Nacpil.

“The AGF report—as limited in scope and conservative in its estimates as it is—still shows that there are numerous viable options to generate public finance for climate change,” said Ilana Solomon of ActionAid USA. “Developed countries have no excuse for inaction. The options are there. They must work through the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to come to agreement on a combination of public sources to generate the desperately needed resources to help developing countries confront climate change."

“The AGF acknowledges that meeting the needs of developing countries will take a ‘systemic approach’ to financing climate adaptation and mitigation,” noted Janet Redman, co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies. “Options like a financial transaction tax meet the mark: stabilizing the economy by curbing dangerous speculation and raising hundreds of billions of dollars each year for global public goods like combating climate change. The AGF is undercutting its own mission by underestimating the revenue generated by a feasible and popular source of public finance."

The groups expressed concern that the AGF was guided by a pledge developed countries made in Copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 in public and private finance—a pledge which falls short of reasonable estimates of climate financing.

“$100 billion is an arbitrary, political figure that is based neither on need nor on equity. If the U.S. government rapidly mobilized trillions to bail out Wall Street, why cannot at least equal effort be put toward bailing out the planet from a climate crisis that rich countries caused?” said Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth U.S.

In October, at the global climate talks in Tianjin, more than 25 civil society organizations sent a letter to the co-chairs of the AGF outlining their recommendations for climate finance.

ActionAid USA, Friends of the Earth U.S., Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Institute for Policy Studies, Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

###

Topics: 

Greenpeace: UN climate finance report wipes out developed country excuses to delay action

New York – 4 November 2010—Responding to the publication of the report of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance (AGF), Steve Herz of Greenpeace International said: “Developed countries now have no excuse to delay meeting their promise to raise $100bn a year by 2020 to support climate action in the developing world.

“It is now clear that it is both technically feasible and politically possible for governments to raise substantial amounts of public money for climate action from new mechanisms, such as pricing emissions from international air travel and shipping.”

“In fact, developed countries can meet their Copenhagen commitments without raiding existing aid programs, and without counting the face value of loans or private sector investments, rather than their grant component.”

Unless developed country Governments keep their promise to provide long-term finance, a global agreement on climate action would be nearly impossible to reach.

“It is now time for developed country governments to come up with a clear workplan and timeline for implementing a suite of sources of finance that can meet the long-term need,” added Herz.

 The AGF has shown that significant new public resources can be mobilised through mechanisms such as

-       auctioning emissions allowances in developed countries,

-       pricing emissions from international shipping and aviation, and

-       eliminating developed country subsidies to fossil fuels and using these resources to support climate action.

Greenpeace is calling on Governments gathering at the upcoming climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, to make clear progress on outlining how decisions on innovative sources of funding will be taken and to build upon their Copenhagen commitments by agreeing that they will provide at least $100bn in public finance that is new and additional to existing aid targets, as a significant milestone towards achieving the public funding that is actually needed. .

For information/interviews

Steve Herz, Greenpeace International (based in San Francisco):  +1 510-338-123

Wendel Trio, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director (in Belgium) +32 473 17 08 87

Szabina Mozes, Greenpeace International Communications (Amsterdam): +31 646 162 023

Topics: 
Region: 

WWF: Climate money can be generated, political will needs to come from Cancun

New York, USA:  A high level analysis of climate finance submitted to the UN today has demonstrated the feasibility of putting up by 2020 US$100 billion a year in public funding to fight climate change.

According to WWF, this conservative analysis by the special High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance (AGF) sets the stage for a finance agreement to come out of the UN climate summit starting late this month in Cancun, Mexico.

“The Secretary General’s high level group has come up with the financial mechanisms, now we look to governments to come up with the political mechanisms to get the finance actually flowing,” said Gordon Shepherd, leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

Financing, agreed in principle under the Copenhagen Accord from the last UN climate summit, is needed to support action in developing countries to halt the destruction of tropical forests, speed the transition away from high-emission models of development, and to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change impacts.

 “These public funds are critical to speed up the development and implementation of new technologies, as well as for adaptation and resilience building, new energy efficient infrastructure, and for construction. It will also be used to leverage private sector finance which will contribute much of the investments needed in clean energy technologies,” said Shepherd.

“Our experience is that public investment and initiatives play key roles in mobilising and directing private investment.”

The AGF report gives strong support for financing from carbon pricing mechanisms, with one of the most promising sectors being international aviation and maritime transport, whose emissions are as yet unregulated. “We expect decisive action in Cancun to put this finance source on a fast track to implementation”, said Shepherd.

Other promising sources were downplayed because of opposition from some individual group members, with the chief casualty being the financial transaction tax (FTT).

““Financial transaction taxes have been successfully implemented in more than a dozen countries and at this point we should be examining all potential sources of finance on their merits”, said Shepherd.

Although the assumptions used by the AGF to assess the scale of potential financing generated are extremely conservative, and some members placed undue emphasis on private sector investments in meeting the $100 billion per year financing milestone, the report provides a useful starting point for moving forward.

Parties in Cancun can build upon the AGF recommendation on the way to establishing a much needed new UN Climate Fund and could contribute to host country Mexico’s wish for progress on all elements of a “balanced” Cancun package.

The AGF was set up by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in February, Co-chaired by Prime Minister Stoltenberg from Norway, and Prime Minister Zenawi from Ethiopia, to explore innovative financing sources and mobilize the financing promised for climate change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December. 

For any further information and interviews contact:

Gordon Shepherd,Leader WWF Global Climate Initiative, gshepherd@wwfint.org, Ph: +41 794567959

(On European time-zone)

Mark Lutes, Finance Policy Coordinator, WWF Global Climate Initiative, mark.lutes@wwf.panda.org, Ph: +1 416 484-7723; mobile: +1 416 473-5919;(On Toronto, Canadian time-zone)

Ashwini Prabha, Communications Manager, WWF Global Climate Initiative, aprabha@wwfint.org, +41 798741682

 

More information on financing for climate change and AGF: www.panda.org/climatefinance

Related Member Organization: 

CANCUN BUILDING BLOCKS - Summary - Oct 2010

Cancun Building Blocks: Essential steps on the road to a fair, ambitious & binding deal outlines the balanced package of outcomes from Cancun, and the benchmark by which CAN’s 500 member organisations, and their millions of supporters, will judge the Cancun negotiations.

These building blocks were chosen not only because they provide a pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change but also because they pave a road which can be travelled, even taking into account political constraints. 

Success in Cancun will require meaningful progress in each area, agree­ment to work toward a legally binding deal in both tracks, including an indication that the Kyoto Protocol will continue, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations.

Cancun Building Blocks include:

  • Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties.
  • Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to se­cure sufficient scale and sources of finance.
  • Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and princi­ples and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.
  • Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.
  • Agree to stop deforestation and degrada­tion of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.
  • Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.
  • Acknowledge the gigatonne gap be­tween current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.
  • Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reduc­tions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).
  • Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17.
  • Commission at COP 16 a technical pa­per to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5°C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.
  • Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

No Time to Lose

Dearest delegates, we gather you’ve been working hard behind those mostly closed doors. But let’s face it, following the failure of Copenhagen to deliver a fair, ambitious and binding agreement, the refusal all this year to set aside differences and focus on areas of convergence may yet scupper the UNFCCC talks. At Cancun, you will bear a heavy responsibility.
If one were to believe the international media, the story of Tianjin has been a high stakes standoff between the US and China, ‘I won’t do till you do’ stalling, and negotiating paralysis. So let’s unpack that a bit.
On the one side there is the United States, the emissions superpower that so far has not submitted itself to internationally binding carbon reduction commitments, and really has to do far more than a measly 4% reduction target on 1990 levels. A commitment on long-term finance would suit the Americans much better than a tone of righteous indignation. And though it pains us to say it, as in Bali, the US should step aside if it is not able to make real commitments, and let the world conclude an ambitious deal.
On the other side, China has been working hard at home to implement a commendable low carbon vision. China could propel the negotiations forward by agreeing to international consultation and analysis of its low carbon actions.
There are, however, more than two countries in the world and every country has something to offer in the negotiations. Whilst things have not gone smoothly this week, we gather that Parties made some incremental progress. However, incremental progress does not cut it with the planet, nor will it be sufficient at Cancun.
Creating momentum requires commitment. At Cancun we need to refuel and take aim at the most ambitious level of agreement possible across all elements. Crucially, we need to map out the next important step of our journey to a fair, ambitious and binding deal in South Africa. A failure to plan our route – with a timeline, workplans and format for negotiations – will have us meandering along the dirt tracks as if we had all the time in the world, whilst climate destruction takes the fast road.
A positive development at this meeting is that negotiators have begun to grapple with the package for Cancun. The fact that a vast majority of Parties are seeking a legally binding outcome in the LCA track is self-evident.
But we are also pleased that so many Parties have expressed willingness to recommit to the Kyoto Protocol with a second commitment period. That must be crystal clear in the Cancun package.
It is essential that the stand-off in the legal matters group ends, otherwise there may be unintended consequences to the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
Parties gave assurance in Bali that there would be no gap between commitment periods. But that’s not what is happening, and carbon markets, already soft since Copenhagen, will likely weaken further.
Here are essential elements of the package to contemplate between Tianjin and Cancun:
FINANCE
Discussions on finance have focused on the establishment of a new fund under the Convention. The COP should also establish an oversight body to perform crucial functions such as ensuring coherence of the financial mechanism, coordination, and assuring a balance of funding.
We know that some countries have been working hard to bridge the divisions on these issues. At Cancun we expect that Parties will establish a Fund with democratic governance, providing direct access for developing countries, and functioning under the guidance and authority of the COP.
TECHNOLOGY
Technology often tops the lists of potential outcomes in Cancun, yet the details have remained elusive in Tianjin. The key question is the institutional arrangements of a multilateral mechanism, with the aim to scale up and speed up the use of climate friendly technologies. Here again, governance should be placed under the authority of an entity whose mission is focused on limiting warming to 1.5o C.
MITIGATION
Mitigation clearly is a most essential element of the package. Despite this, negotiators chose to dive into contention rather than seeking convergence. A focus on developed country pledges, the NAMA mechanism, as well as NAMA design, preparation and implementation took form only on Thursday.
In preparation for Cancun, Parties should replace their ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse with a willingness to agree rules that will ensure the environmental integrity of their emissions reductions.
Before Cancun, we recommend catching up on the science. Preventing dangerous climate change clearly requires more substantial emissions reductions. A balanced Cancun package will require Annex I parties to show how they are going to meet their moral obligations and to act in line with the science. We recommend acknowledging the gigatonne gap between current pledges and science based targets, and agreeing a route to South Africa that addresses ways to close the gap.
CAPACITY BUILDING
Everybody appears to agree that capacity building is both vital to success and key to movement in Cancun. The principles were well-established as early as COP 7, and developing countries (particularly LDCs, SIDs and Africa) have been clamouring for years for a dedicated capacity building framework with real resources and a genuine desire to succeed. And yet still nothing happens. How long will it take at this rate?
LULUCF
The logging industry must be thrilled at how forest negotiators mangled the
LULUCF accounting rules this week. The proposal forwarded to Cancun undermines the environmental integrity of Kyoto by hiding increases in emissions and awarding false credits to loggers.
Because so much time was spent on devising these accounting tricks, minimal
attention got paid to emissions from land-use change beyond forests – another potential loophole. The only proposal for managing forests that has any environmental integrity was given short shrift.
Furthermore, the damage this proposed decision can do to REDD accounting is not to be underestimated. To prevent another Marrakesh, the damaging impact of forest accounting on the targets will have to be addressed in the broader KP numbers discussion.
REDD
From time to time this week, the curtain has lifted on the Dante-esque world of the REDD+ Partnership. We have been mesmerised by the heroic, if misguided, struggle between the co-chairs and the rest of the world. However, we are also saddened that what could be a valuable institution has become a farce. We can only hope that things will get better.
ADAPTATION
A focused atmosphere prevailed in the adaptation talks, which are progressing on content and may eventually deliver a compromise agreement. ECO reminds parties that the adaptation framework must include operational elements and result in action on the ground.
To move forward, Cancun must clarify the functions of the adaptation committee, enable a tangible solution on loss and damage, finally put response measures back in its box, and search for balance between adaptation and mitigation funding, including a pre-allocation scheme.
 

Related Newsletter : 

The Legal Impasse: High Noon at the KP Corral

There are a number of puzzled-looking lawyers in the hallways in Tianjin right now, and ECO admits as well to being puzzled by the refusal of China and Brazil to allow the legal matters contact group to discuss elements set out in the KP chair’s scenario note this week.

It seems that since the beginning of time, developed countries have obstructed progress in the KP on the numbers discussion.  This may go some way to explaining the behaviour of some developing countries in the legal matters group.  However, this procedural dispute has now consumed every session of the contact group this week to the point where the KP chair was called in to intervene, to no avail.

Clearly China and Brazil are in favour of continuing the Kyoto Protocol.  So ECO is surprised at their opposition to a discussion of Option B, which includes number of important elements such as assessment and review, refinement of the compliance mechanism, and provisions for entry into force of amendments, among others.  Given how short the time is, these discussions are necessary to advance understanding of what the second commitment period will mean for Parties taking quantified emissions reduction commitments (QERCs). To do otherwise puts the future of the Protocol at risk.

In Wednesday’s stock-taking plenary, many developing countries strongly advocated for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  And the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Norway have stated that they are prepared to take new commitments under Kyoto.  However, they indicated that they can only do so once they have a clear idea of what the rules will be for the second commitment period, including the matters that were to be considered by the legal contact group this week.

ECO strongly supports the need to reach agreement on these underlying issues so that agreement can be reached on QERCs.  At the same time, ECO cautions that loopholes the developed country Parties have tried to negotiate for themselves must be removed, so as to ensure the environmental integrity of the agreement and help close the gigatonne gap. 

ECO encourages all parties to the Protocol to take the advice of the KP chair when he was called to arbitrate the dispute: Parties should listen to each other’s proposals and get on with the negotiations.  We couldn’t agree more. We don’t want a gap between commitment periods, and the KP should not be held for ransom by anyone.

Topics: 
Related Newsletter : 

Pages

Subscribe to Tag: Cancun