Tag: AWG-LCA

Closing the Loose Ends for Adaptation

As COP 18 welcomes Ministers from around the world, ECO would like to focus their attention on significant matters related to adaptation. May we have your attention, Ministers: adaptation needs are closing in fast!

National Adaptation Plans. These are intended to address medium and long term adaptation needs.
 
Let’s keep this short and sweet:
 
First, guidance to the Global Environment Facility is needed now. LDCs are committed, the technical guidelines are out, and there is clear willingness among other developing country Parties. So really, there’s no excuse for delays. 
 
Second, use those funding bodies. The LDCF and SCCF are ready, willing and able to be capitalized.  There’s no denying that more funding is needed and this must be additional to that of NAPAs. Otherwise, all the good and benevolent intentions of NAPs are completely without effect.
 
Loss and Damage.  
Political opportunity cannot be lost here:
 
As negotiators are running out of steam from all their work on the L&D text, ECO will pitch in to make sure that this reaches success.
 
These points should steer you in the right direction:
 
• Loss and damage needs to be given the political space that it deserves; negotiators must keep the political will to keep loss and damage high on the agenda.
 
• The work programme on loss and damage must be approved and continued, with assurance that discussions on an international mechanism will be a focal point.
 
• The text cannot shy away from rehabilitation and compensation – these are key to the loss and damage debate and so outcomes should provide guidance on how to address these aspects further.
 
Ministers need to admit that loss and damage is the unfortunate consequence of the failure to mitigate and the limited international support for adaptation. Now, instead of dwelling on the cause, we must act on the solutions and not let this text fall through the cracks.
 
Some parting words to Ministers on adaptation in the ADP and LCA:
 
ADP: Don’t forget the Cancun Adaptation Framework! ECO wants you to make sure that it’s regularly reviewed in the ADP in light of mitigation ambition and the needs of -- and support to -- developing countries.
 
LCA: Finance is key – this goes without saying. Instead of re-emphasizing the importance of finance for adaptation, ECO expects Ministers to guarantee its delivery without any further delay. There’s ample evidence to prove the existence of sufficient funds so make the commitment!
 
And so the strenuous effort to address loss and damage has a well defined path to success. Let us not fail to achieve it!
 
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LCA Gaps: From Text to Tonnes

In Durban, Parties agreed to conclude the LCA here in Doha.  A successful closure necessitates that the critical issues are resolved or find homes in which further work can be done. In the LCA text tabled Monday, there were some gaping gaps, from text to tonnes.   

ECO was shocked that text on 2013-2015 financial support turned up missing. There needs to be at least a doubling of fast-start financing, and a mandate for a political process to scale up financing to reach the 2020 $100 billion per annum target.  Adding insult to injury these two issues are also missing from the financing text advancing under the COP. No wonder there are strong calls for the MRV of finance if this is the state of play! 
 
The 2-year Doha Capacity Action Plan and decisions on enabling environments including IPR and on the interlinkages between the different bodies under the Convention, including the CTCN and TEC, also seem to be missing in the the text.
 
Where there is text, ECO is concerned that it lacks ambition and environmental integrity.  The work programmes under the SBs for clarifying commitments and actions inspire little confidence that such processes will lead to the increase in mitigation ambition so sorely needed up to 2020 and beyond.  
 
Moreover, ECO is getting tired of seeing the same “rigorous, robust and transparent” text on common accounting.  Instead, it is high time Parties actually agree some rules to give those words substantive meaning.  A clear deadline to agree common accounting rules would help build confidence.  
 
In addition, there are even some issues like base year and GWPs that can be agreed in Doha.  Finally, only italics on the global goal and peak year – really?  ECO wonders whether the climate is responsive to typographic emphasis rather than actual commitments.
 
The core questions, of supreme relevance to theADP, are also unresolved – namely, equitable access to sustainable development and the review of the long-term temperature goal.  Here a one year process for equity and a narrowly defined review of the long-term temperature goal under a robust body would go a long way in ensuring the ADP is well informed.   
 
So how did we get here?  Well . . . we all know that the U.S. is not willing to negotiate certain issues.Other ship-jumpers, like Canada, Russia, Japan and New Zealand, aren’t helping things progress either, despite noise and sound bites in the capitals.  
 
So please pay attention: successful closure of the LCA is vital in order to allow the ADP to get on with its own work to raise ambition in the near-term and to conclude a new, comprehensive global deal no later than 2015.
 
Therefore ECO asks Parties to engage with the text in constructive manner and work towards a successful outcome and closure of the LCA.  Come on negotiators and ministers . . . we know you can do it!
Topics: 
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Instructions Enclosed for Non-Negotiable Planetary Deadline

Dear Ministers:

This is the non-negotiable planetary deadline. The recent UNEP and World Bank reports have been unequivocal: the window to stabilize temperature increase below 2° C, and thus avoid the most dangerous climate impacts, is closing rapidly. Durban set a number of other deadlines for Doha which must be respected. They include adoption of the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, the successful closure of the LCA, and agreement on work programmes for both the 2015 Protocol negotiations and raising near-term ambition. So roll up your sleeves, Ministers: there is much to do!  As always, ECO has some helpful hints to make your week easier.

#1 Don’t cheat – it doesn’t help the climate or build confidence 

The amendments to the Kyoto Protocol must be adopted in Doha, progressing the only legally binding climate agreement in order to streamline the process. 

Keeping Kyoto alive is crucial for two reasons – first, it has key architectural elements that must be reflected in the 2015 Protocol. These include overall and national carbon budgets, economy-wide targets, common rules-based accounting, compliance and five year commitment periods. Second, it was part of the Durban package and its adoption will enable progress next year on both elements of the ADP -- its 2015 Protocol negotiations and near-term ambition. Pending its entry into force, it should be provisionally applied from1 January 2013.

But there are some things that should be left behind – the 13 gigatonnes of CO2eq ‘hot air’ from the first commitment period.  It does nothing for the climate and it’s high time to expel it from the system. The next COP President, Poland, must show leadership now and stop stalling efforts in the EU on this issue. 

The good elements of the Kyoto Protocol should not, however, remain the exclusive property of KP parties. We’re looking forward to our ‘ship jumpers’ in the LCA proving that they aren’t evading responsibility.  They can do so by agreeing the same accounting standards and setting carbon budgets here at Doha. 

#2 Face the issues head on

In 2015 the world must conclude a deal that matters for the climate. Parties will need to address two crucial questions: first, what do we need to do to avoid dangerous climate change; and second, how are we going to do that? 

In Doha, to help answer the first question, it is critical to agree on a review of the long-term temperature goal that focuses on exactly that, is narrow in scope, and takes placeunder a robust body. 

Given that equity and ambition are two sides of the same coin, we must also have a one year process exploring equity issues, reporting into the ADP at COP 19 and allowing the ADP to mainstream the progress.

Finally, confronting these issues head on means facing up to the impacts of climate change that are happening now.  Addressing loss and damage is essential to assure the most vulnerable countries that their future prospects are being fully protected. 

#3 Deliver the resources you promised

Vital work to adapt to climate change and transition to a low carbon economy cannot happen without resources.  So delivering on existing finance commitments and planning to meet additional needs must be at the heart of the Doha outcome. Committing to a minimum of $20 billion a year for the 2012-2015 period is the very minimum of the first stepsrequired.  

But in addition, ministers, you must also make sure there is a rigorous system to track the delivery of all money promised, ensuring that it is new and additional, and not quietly recycled from one vitally needed programme to pay for another.  

You must also commit to a political process with the weight to ensure that developed countries scale up climate finance to the promised level of $100 billion per year by 2020. We must not become bogged down in endless technical analysis -- there are already good options on the table. All that is needed to turn them into reality is political will.

Finance is not an add-on to our work on climate; it is what drives our work, and it’s what gives the victims of climate change at least a fighting chance in adapting to the impacts. Finance must be at the center of your attention in the new negotiations under the ADP.

#4 Be Ambitious!

Ministers, we expect you to increase your mitigation and finance ambition right here in Doha. The EU 20% has already been met, the Australian unconditional target of 99.5% is shamefully weak and the U.S. steers away from anything approaching something in the required scientific range.  

Meanwhile, ECO is still waiting to see even one finance figure for the post-2012 period. As a first step toward improving this woeful record, the EU should listen to the German Minister and increase its target to 30% here at COP 18.

The Doha outcome alone will not save the planet, so don't imagine your work is done when you get on the plane going home. The developed world will still need to increase its mitigation and finance ambition massively.  Because your work here will not nearly begin to fill the ambition gap in either area, you will also need to agree this week on both a high level and technical workplan to do so in 2013. 

We cannot afford to waste any more time. All countries need to capitalize on initiatives to raise ambition, whether inside or outside of the UNFCCC -- from reducing HFCs to phasing out fossil fuel subsides.  ECO is also waiting with bated breath for announcements from our Qatari hosts and Gulf neighbours on their contribution to the global effort.

Ministers: You are here to lay the foundations for a new Protocol.  You must therefore instruct your negotiators that they move in the middle of 2013 from conceptual brainstorming to concrete discussions, resulting in a ‘compilation text’  of proposals by COP19. Brainstorm and build -- that’s ECO’s motto!  The re-election of President Obama and the new leadership in China has created the potential for change.  Let’s capitalize on that in Doha and beyond. 

#5 Leave the laggards behind

The planet cannot wait for action. Some countries are clearly not serious about our common endeavor to address the threat of dangerous climate change. 

We cannot afford to wait for Russia, who won’t put a target on the table, but still wants any ‘goodies’ that might be around -- whether it means holding onto its ‘hot air’ or having access to revenues fromcarbon trading.  

We cannot allow the pace to be set by Canada, who failed to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and then withdrew in order to avoid the consequences.  

And New Zealand will need to make a choice -- is it serious about climate protection, or does it wish to be singled out as an obstacle to progress? These countries risk becoming increasingly sidelined, as the global community works to forge consensus on a new logic under the ADP.

Ministers, we need you to finish the work begun here in Doha. You must close the loopholes, deliver the money, addressissues head on, and map out a clear course for the negotiations under the ADP. Then you need to go home and act! 

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Today´s good deed: Donate Your DSA to the Adaptation Fund

In his remarks to the Parties on Wednesday, the Adaptation Fund (AF) chair underscored the great achievement made by the Fund this year. He emphasised, among other things, that the AF has now accredited twelve National Implementing Entities, which allow for direct access of developing countries to the funds of the AF. Experience shows that this has also triggered the strengthening of institutional capacities to manage project funds. For ECO, this is evidence that direct access is no longer a pilot test programme perceived as highly risky, but rather a reality. In addition, two years after its first call for proposals, the AF has approved 25 concrete urgent adaptation projects covering all fields of adaptation, with several more in the pipeline. A key objective is to target the most vulnerable groups. 

Because of these significant achievements of the AF and at the same time the scarce resources at its disposal, ECO is seriously worried about the dwindling resources and lack of predictability that poor countries are facing. Due to the over-supply of permits, the lack of mitigation ambition and the global economic downturn, prices for CERs, which provide the main source of income for  the AF, have gone down to record lows below US$2.
 
While almost everybody is looking at  the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which will hopefully lead to the long awaited transformational change needed to tackle the climate crisis, ECO would like to draw the attention of Parties to the Adaptation Fund. It is the only operating fund providing direct access under the Convention.  ECO believes that the AF should play an important role until the GCF is operationalised, and beyond. So let us now secure the survival of the AF.
 
In order to increase funds for the AF, Parties are discussing the extension of the CER levy to other mechanisms. Furthermore, since yesterday, individuals can donate funds into the AF through a simple procedure on its website. Dear COP participants: Why not donate one DSA into the AF for your daily good? (The donation function is also open to individuals from non-Kyoto Parties, and, by the way, hosted in the US). The more people contribute, the stronger the signal to incoming ministers that there is support for the AF. Looking into the books of the AF, ECO has found out that some not too poor countries, such as Japan, Norway, France and Canada, have not yet made contributions to fund projects. ECO wants to see additional contributions being pledged in Doha. The system allows for amounts of up to 13 digits (that may be sufficient to solve all adaptation problems now!). So ministers, bring credit cards to Doha!
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MORE FOSSILS FOR NEW ZEALAND, USA AND CANADA: ACCOUNTANTS NEEDED TO TALLY TOTALS

 


Photo Credit: CAN Europe

The First Place Fossil goes to New Zealand and the USA for not wanting to advance common accounting rules here in Doha.  CAN was shocked in today’s spin off group on 1b1 when New Zealand had the gall to declare that countries will not agree on common accounting in Doha and thus a pragmatic approach would be to continue talking.  Oh New Zealand, if only that approach would work on climate change!!  But we all know, as Hurricane Sandy dramatically reminded us, climate change waits for no government. So the pragmatic approach would, in fact, be to finally agree that a tonne is a tonne is a tonne and all must be reduced!  The USA has long not moved on this issue and today’s session was no different. But as South Africa helpfully reminded us, it is no longer acceptable to just refer to the system as “rigorous, robust and transparent” but you actually need to agree on the rules to make that happen.  Time to get to work!

Canada wins the Second Place Fossil of the Day award. Oh Canada. When will you give fossil a break? You have failed on Kyoto and you are embarrassing on mitigation, but it seems you will not be content until you hit rock bottom on finance too. You won a first place fossil two days ago for holding finance in the green climate fund hostage, and now we have confirmed you are also breaking with agreed practice when it comes to NAMA support.

By walking away from the agreement to provide information on support available for NAMAs in the Registry, as you indicated yesterday in the SBI, you are not only breaking promises but you are destroying trust. Canada, it is true that we gave up on you a long time ago, but we had hoped if you weren’t going to do anything about your emissions you would at least do your fair share to support those suffering from your soaring pollution.

Lets break it down:

Oh Canada. When will you give fossil a break?
No money, no target, no pledges to make.
Mitigation? No way. Kyoto? Won't play.
GCF or NAMA no new money coming from our way.

Oh Canada, we thought you were done.
Promises broke, trust left with no-one,
Progress, you keep stalling. Your stock keeps on falling,
Positions on finance, mitigation, and more...frankly appalling

Region: 

Where are the NAMAs for Arab Countries?

Having COP18 in Qatar presents a unique opportunity to move forward with mitigation and adaptation efforts for climate change in the region, as well as for climate finance. With this in mind, ECO is calling for leadership from the Arab states beyond the conference hall. 

ECO supports Greenpeace's call for east-west regional integration in the Arab world with regard to the research, financing and development of renewable energy technologies. This regional cooperation can build on the work already done by individual states in renewable energy development, while developing a new role for regional states at the forefront of clean energy technology innovation.
 
Renewable energy cooperation will also promote economies of scale and fraternal ties crucial to dealing with the other pressing climate impacts faced by many regional states: growing water scarcity amid shifting weather patterns and, in some, projected sea-level rises on coastal communities and aquifers.
Climate mitigation requires both regional and global efforts to switch from dirty fossil fuels to safe renewable energy sources. 
 
ECO favours a regional approach in which economic diversification crucial to future prosperity is built on sustainable national and regional energy strategies—where renewable energy progressively takes the lead role in generation. This includes a transformation away from fossil fuel over-reliance.
 
Qatar and fellow Gulf States have the economic capacity to make this shift and simultaneously play a key role in climate change financing. For equity reasons, this should only occur in the context of Annex 1 fulfilling their commitments to climate finance.
 
Where market adjustments are made, Greenpeace has demonstrated in its Energy [R]evolution that the capacity of Middle East States and the world as a whole can make the rapid switch to solar and other renewable energies, which are already becoming cost competitive, despite the massive subsidy advantages that fossil fuels enjoy. 
For Arab states, renewables provide the promise of energy sovereignty and the path to sustainable development and prosperity. But the Arab states are not the only ones who have not submitted their NAMAs.
Topics: 
Region: 
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Wild West Carbon Markets

The LCA is discussing the establishment of a new market mechanism (NMM) and a Framework for Various Approaches (FVA), including the use of markets. But well into the 1st week, it is still unclear what these two work programmes could be about. 

There is a common view that the FVA is supposed to give recognition to national emission reduction systems and, if Parties want to, make the emission reductions units that are achieved by these systems internationally tradable and eligible for meeting national emission reduction targets (QELROs). Under the NMM on the other hand, countries could put forward national emission reduction systems to the UNFCCC to be approved for the issuance of credits. Both work streams could end up hosting the same types of emission reduction systems, ranging from market-based instruments to renewable feed-in tariffs. ECO is therefore wondering why bother with two different work streams?! 
 
The answer is clear if one looks at the politics. Although the same types of emission reduction systems could be hosted, the NMM requires international common standards and UNFCCC approval before credits could be issued and used for compliance. The FVA on the other hand could allow countries to develop whatever systems they want and offer the resulting emission credits for compliance without the UNFCCC taking a close look at them, something strongly wished for by Japan, New Zealand and the US. 
 
If the FVA became part of a new agreement mandated by the Durban Platform, this would potentially enable Parties to meet part of their commitments using units of other domestic market mechanisms.
 
This means that future carbon markets could resemble the wild west, where units from multiple market and non-market mechanisms are traded wildly and internationally. In a world without a clear set of international standards, this wild trading would certainly lead to double, potentially triple counting and would leave us with no certainty on how much 1 tonne of CO2 really is. 
 
Before any firm decision on either the NMM or the FVA can be taken, delegates need to get their heads around what they actually want and whether we really need more carbon credits. ECO calls for caution: any decision must depend on a set of international standards that guarantee real, permanent, additional and verified emission reductions, including a registry for transparent accounting and tracking of all emissions units, economy and sector emission caps, and transactions. These standards must also ensure that mitigation actions secure global net atmospheric benefits, avoid double-counting and deliver sustainable development benefits.
 
Dear delegate, take a good look at the lessons learnt with the JI: centralised governance for international consistency of standards hasn’t worked. Step down from your horse and start working on common core standards!
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Lost Points and Damaged Text

Reading the current text, ECO is concerned that a possible Doha decision may miss the key, overarching points. First, in light of the lack of mitigation ambition, there is cause for grave concern. The low mitigation ambition will determine the level of loss and damage in the future. Second, this results in a high urgency to take action on all fronts of mitigation and adaptation, with the primary objective to reduce loss and damage as much as possible. ECO expects that those who have contributed most to the problem take the responsibility for support. Third, the key reason that vulnerable developing country Parties have put loss and damage on the agenda is the dire situation that the limits of adaptation will likely be surpassed in many regions. 

Addressing the impacts where adaptation will no longer be possible is crucial for this discussion. Because of this, the Convention must provide leadership in developing a global strategic response to address loss and damage. Parts of the required actions can be pursued through the existing institutions, such as the Adaptation Committee, the Nairobi Work Programme or the Least Developed Countries Expert Group. These bodies can carry out important activities relevant to addressing loss and damage. But, do any of these institutions have the mandate or capacity to explore the broader implications of lack of ambition in mitigation and the associated loss and damage?  Can they deal with situations such as permanent loss of land and livelihoods? Or, decide how to ensure that relevant policy processes work together? ECO does not think so.
 
Therefore it supports almost 100 developing countries’ call for an international mechanism to address loss and damage, which can be operated by making use of the work of the existing bodies. ECO expects that when the ministers are here, they would want to leave Doha with tangible results that show the world that these most vulnerable peoples and countries are not left alone. Stepping up the negotiating process in this area must be an element of the Doha package.
 
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