Next Steps for the LCA Text

Parties, observers and the media alike are avidly awaiting the unveiling of new LCA draft text this week.  ECO has hopes that the amendations really will be 'new and improved!' and, more saliently, to the text being adopted by Parties as the basis for negotiations.

In the spirit of starting negotiations with the best foot forward, we offer the following input:

Shared Vision

ECO recommends the inclusion of a temperature threshhold, a peak year within the next 5 year commitment period, as well as a long term global emission reduction target of 80% cuts on 1990 levels by 2050.  The text should include the earliest possible date for the review, to be completed by 2015 at the latest, taking into account the work of the IPCC and the most recent science.

The assessment of overall progress under paragraph 4 option 1 should stay in but should be supplemented with:

* A clause should be added to para 4 option 1 to trigger action based on the outcomes of the assessment of overall progress.

* A 5 year commitment period that is timed around IPCC reports.

Trust can be strengthened if a compliance clause is included with a process to deal with inadequate developed country mitigation and insufficient finance.

Mitigation

For developed country mitigation it is vital that science-based, top-down, economy-wide quantified emission reduction obligations are adopted rather the pledge-and-review approach proposed as an option. These targets should amount to at least 40% cuts on 1990 levels by 2020, primarily achieved through domestic efforts, and text to the contrary should be removed. The text on zero carbon emission plans must be maintained – these are a key way to demonstrate that developed countries have the policies in place to meet their emission obligations and a long-term vision to decarbonize their economies by 2050.

For developing countries, it is critical that substantial finance, technology and capacity building support is provided by developed countries to enable them to develop supported NAMAs and low carbon development plans.  Low carbon emissions plans (voluntary for the most vulnerable countries) should be retained as an opportunity to plan for sustainable low-carbon development and to help avoid double counting between supported NAMAs and offsets.

The text is missing a crucial overall element – a recognition of the gigatonne gap and new sources and sectors of emissions that can help bridge it.

Adaptation

There are a number of items in the adaptation text that are “no brainers” – and should be easily agreed:

* An adaptation framework that facilitates and ensures the provision of financial support.

* The establishment of an adaptation committee to assess the adequacy of financial support in relation to needs, and make recommendations to the COP for further action in the event of insufficient support.

* Needs and priorities for adaptation identified at the national level through in country plans; with planning, implementation and evaluation of adaptation to be transparent and participatory, involving stakeholders at all levels including vulnerable groups and communities.

An equally important piece, but one that ECO expects will remain bracketed, is recognition of the need for an international mechanism to address unavoidable loss and damage from climate change, through risk reduction and management, insurance and rehabilitation when adaptation is no longer possible due to the severity of impacts.

Finance

We look forward to greater clarity on the financial mechanism and its architecture in the text. The governance structure of the financial mechanism should allow for critical functions to be discharged, such as the establishment of a framework that will result in equitable distribution of resources between countries as well as a balance among financing of thematic issues.  In addition, we hope that the governance structure will result in the establishment of a registry that will map financial flows for climate in channels other than those under the authority of the COP, thereby enabling the financial mechanism to bring about a balance in the flow of funds through the multilateral COP controlled fund.

We also expect the new text to indicate a process for further discussion on new and innovative sources of climate funding including recommendations of the high level advisory group on climate finance. In addition, we would like to see greater clarity on the scale of public financing that will be made available to support developing country adaptation and mitigation activities.

Technology development and transfer

ECO applauds the scope of the technology chapter, which contains many essential elements for a deal in Cancun.  However, the brackets in paragraph 7(f) must be removed. The Technology Executive Committee must be empowered to address barriers to technology development and transfer.

The Climate Technology Centre and the Network are fundamental. Without these, any institutional structure set up by the UNFCCC will remain an empty shell, replicating the present failures of implementation of technology cooperation and sharing.

It is crucial that global research, development and demonstration be at least doubled. There has to be a global target around which national policy revolves and that gives a strong signal to the international market.

REDD

Thanks to the hard work of the Parties, the REDD text is already at a state ready for negotiations.

BUNKERS

So far we have only a placeholder on bunkers referring back to the last text that was used in Copenhagen. That text is in reasonable shape, is a balanced representation of Parties' views, and should come back in as the starting point for negotiations.

We hope that the formal and informal consultative processes initiated by the Chair have yielded the input required to make these constructive changes to the LCA text.

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