Durban's Legacy: Get On With It

After a tumultuous week, ECO is concerned that some Parties might be in danger of losing sight of the forest amongst the trees. ECO would like to remind parties that in Durban they set themselves a tall order to undertake a LOT of work this year – now is the time to stop the shenanigans, roll your sleeves up and get on with it.

Mitigation

ECO should not need to remind Parties how urgent it is to increase mitigation ambition! We need to make great progress this year in the KP and LCA, and in the ADP workplan.

As the KP rumbles on without urgency, Parties have not yet got to discuss how they will reduce the AAU loophole, nor the technical details of the QELROs. CP2 Parties and the ditherers need to up their game, so that their pollution reductions and targets contribute significantly and fairly towards closing the gigatonne gap.

Rapid progress in the LCA is needed on 1(b)(i), which lags far behind the KP in developing the QELROs promised in the Bali Action Plan. Countries that have jumped ship from the Kyoto Protocol need to show that their pledges are capable of being compared through common accounting and MRV systems.

ECO is disappointed with the silence from the 1(b)(ii) counties that have not yet brought forward pledges. We look for all countries to table NAMAs, both those that can do so unilaterally and those that need support.

The workplan to increase ambition must go on until the ambition gap has been closed. Agreement to have an agenda item and progress on the workplan on increasing short term ambition in the ADP is a non-negotiable and essential element of the regime. The ADP has a dual role on mitigation: to negotiate a fair, ambitious and binding deal by 2015 and to increase ambition in the short term by all Parties. This is a crucial space where some of the elements of the gigatonne gap-closing agenda can be addressed.

Finance

ECO fancies the work pro-gramme on long term finance as a constructive way to mobilize US$100 billion a year, but is kept awake at night worrying that, if not clearly connected to the LCA negotiations, it could come to nought. ECO does not want the co-chairs’ report to the COP18 to sit on yet another dusty shelf. ECO needs this report to actually spur decisions on new and additional sources of public finance to address urgent adaptation and mitigation needs. ECO is still not sure why some parties would choose to block the creation of this important spin-off group on finance under the LCA. ECO is painfully crossing both fingers and toes that all parties finally agree on the need for negotiating space to start drafting text before Doha for a decision on finance to be adopted there.

Adaptation

ECO is pleased that Parties have made progress on the NAPs, with a draft conclusion text outlining funding modalities. But more progress is needed this week – Parties need to show how support will be scaled up, including through direct access. NAPs preparation needs to commence as soon as possible so that they can provide input into post-2020 considerations, whilst simultaneously enhancing the implementation of existing NAPAs.

Given that the major work on loss and damage in 2012 will happen through the work programme expert meetings, Parties should agree on holding an informal meeting before the COP to assess the achievements of these expert meetings, and draft decision text there. A failure to sufficiently increase mitigation pledges will lead to an increase in loss and damage, which must be recognised.  And ways to explore the institutional options from Durban and Cancun must be outlined in the run-up to 2015.

Shared Vision

Listening to last week’s spin-off group on shared vision had a distinctly “Groundhog Day” feel, as Parties expressed their long known views. The first workshop on equity had some interesting and relevant discussion, which leads ECO to suggest that Parties focus their efforts on agreeing to the peak year in Doha. In order to stay below 2°C and keep 1.5°C within reach, the Qatari Presidency must highlight the need for Parties to agree to an early peak year. Consider the gauntlet thrown – this will be a key measure of success at Doha.

Review

It is no secret that ECO favours a narrow scope of the first periodic Review, sticking to the Cancun agreed definition, which would support the effectiveness of the Review. ECO is hopeful that Parties can reach agreement in Doha through solution-oriented discussions in the spin-off group.

Capacity Building

Lately, capacity building has been treated like Parties' forgotten child. ECO is therefore looking forward to two whole afternoons this week of the Durban Forum on Capacity Building. ECO hopes the Forum will concentrate on reviewing action on capacity building in the context of the many current and future capacity needs of developing countries, rather than those that applied in 2001.

Technology Transfer

Parties don’t seem to be much closer to choosing a CTCN host from among the three ranked  possibilities. Nor have they moved much in addressing the constitution of the advisory board. Additionally, the LCA contact group raised the issue of IPR as motivation for a spin-off group. As a result, some who are wary of IPR discussions pointed to the TEC as the appropriate venue. It's solidly within the TEC's mandate. Let's get on with it!

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