"Apple of discord" on SBI 38

Andrey Zhelieznyi
The National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU)

International cooperation on tackling climate change has a deadline for a new global agreement in 2015. The agreement must be ambitious, legal and fair. Before this can be agreed a lot has to be done at the Un climate negotiations.

The regular session ended in June, but with very slow progress. The Subsidiary body for Implementation under UNFCCC has not started proper work, not brining any added value to the process. This was done because of rising submission from Russia on behalf of Belarus and Ukraine, which have "special" status as "Economies in transition," around the legal adoption of rules and procedures in UNFCCC process.
Of course, during negotiations proper understanding of rules and procedures are important, but not surprisingly  EiT raised concerns at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Doha, where new rules for a 2nd period of the Kyoto Protocol were adopted, braking objections of EiT countries, eliminated around 3.6 billion of "hot air." There is no doubt that violation of rules and procedures is unacceptable, and today countries share the importance of this issue. However, no progress during negotiations was made raising the issue to high political opposition. No matter what the Doha outcome should not be indulgent.
So why are the rules and procedures the "apple of discord?" There might be political reasons from both sides from a post-2020 period. For countries with EiT, this principle it may be to keep flexible treatment under Convention referencing their "special" status and to get opportunity for economical benefits. On other hand developing countries also oppose mitigation responsibility not only for Annex 1 countries. So, it seems, rules and procedures become as a shield during negotiation for a new deal that covers the political interests of delegates.
Before 2020, countries that oppose on the issues of rules and procedures have nothing to lose: Russia beyond commitments on the 2nd period of Kyoto and emergency developing economies also with voluntary commitments. Moreover how long, objectivly, can economies can be in transition?
A review of the shared responsibility in mitigation is needed for all countries. It is clear, that Russia is tactically significant and keeps the face of vindicator for a fair way of decision adoption on SBI 38 and having no economic value from Doha decisions. Issues of rising voice for strengthening positions is a way of solving situations when violation of interests has place for "top 5" countries. In 2015, a new clear and fair formula for sharing responsibility must be implemented. This should not be put under concern with questions regarding legitimacy. 
Survival during global climate change is not a question of rules and procedures or interests of big economies. Today we are on track for 4C. And science says that today projections are worst than in 1990. There are no options for adaptation in a wide sense when 4C happens.


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