The Leadership Development Program (LDP) is one of CAN’s cornerstone programs that aims to strengthen its national and regional nodes and build professional leadership within the network....
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 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.
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.
Gerardo Honty from Uruguay and organization CEUTA reflects on Day 1 of the CAN workshop in Mexico.
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