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.