NGO experts to brief on key developments at COP18

Media Advisory – Webcast Notice


[Doha – Qatar] – November 28, 2012 –  International experts from NGOs organized in the Climate Action Network (CAN) - a network of more than 700 organisations from over 90 countries – will brief the media on the latest developments in the climate negotiations at Doha, Qatar, tomorrow.

On youth and future generations day at the climate talks, Reem al Mealla, from the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) will outline plans for the first climate demonstration in a Gulf state which will call for Arab leaders to make a pledge to reduce carbon emissions.

Liz Gallagher, senior policy advisor at E3G, will to provide an update on the difficult negotiations over the LCA track's chair's text as well as any breaking developments at COP18.

The briefing takes place in Press Conference Room 2 in the Qatari National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar on Thursday 29 November, at 11am local time (8am GMT). It will be webcast live.

·      What: Briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Doha.

·      Where: Press Conference Room 2, QNCC, Doha, Qatar

·      Webcast Live at: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop18/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=231

·      When: 11am local Doha time, Thursday 29 November, 2012

·      Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations


Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

For more information, please contact CAN International Communications Coordinator Ria Voorhaar, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, local mobile: +974 33 38 6907.




LCA’s final boarding call for international transport

Today parties have their last and best chance to make progress on addressing emissions from international shipping and aviation, already contributing to more than 5 percent of global emissions and growing faster than any other sector. More than 15 years of negotiations in three UN bodies, including the UNFCCC and the sectoral bodies IMO and ICAO, have produced very little, especially regarding progress on market-based measures (MBMs) that can incentivise emissions reductions while generating significant financing for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, as well as for efficiency measures within these sectors.

The principal stumbling block has been disagreement on how to reconcile the UNFCCC’s principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC) with the principles and approaches in the IMO and ICAO, based on global approaches with equivalent treatment on all ships and aircraft, anywhere in the world. Technical work on exploring options for putting a price on carbon in these sectors is well advanced, but lack of agreement on how to reconcile the different principles is blocking progress.
Today the LCA spin-off group on sectoral approaches will consider text that addresses exactly this issue, and one text option on the table could hold the key to breaking this long-standing deadlock. Singapore has proposed a short elegant text that can provide the basis for a useful guidance to IMO and ICAO. Parties should simply agree here under the UNFCCC that measures to tackle emissions in these sectors under IMO and ICAO should be pursued through global approaches based on the principles of those bodies, while also taking into account UNFCCC principles, including CBDRRC, with perhaps direction on how – e.g., through the use of finance. This might be a simple solution that could be a great leap forward for these crucial sectors. Think about it!
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What a difference a year makes? 2012 has been all about tying up the loose ends of the Durban package, which by the end of Doha should form a nice bow of an amended Kyoto, concluded LCA, and work plans for both ADP tracks. (And ECO won’t object if any Party would like to throw ambition into that mix!!) Today’s ADP roundtable will begin to flesh out what the work programme to reach a 2015 Protocol should cover. ECO has a few initial thoughts.  

First, what to do about those remaining LCA issues?  Many of these are clearly relevant to the 2015 discussion.  Take equity for instance.  ECO is overjoyed that the LCA chair’s text included a work programme on equitable access to sustainable development, as this provides a good platform for discussions on equity principles and indicators, a key element for successful ADP outcome in 2015. We’ve had one productive workshop on the subject, but there is much more to say about what EASD looks like exactly. What are the principles that should guide this issue? And what does that mean for IPR, trade matters, human rights and any number of other issues in practice? This is a crucial discussion and one that clearly must inform the work of the ADP. Equally important is the review of the long-term global temperature goal; after all, it is high time that Parties quantified what Article 2 actually means. A strong body is needed to conduct this review and its results must also inform the ADP.  
The question of finance is omnipresent. In Doha, we need a COP decision covering all areas, including at least a doubling of fast-start financing for the 2013-2015 period. There will also need to be a political (not a technical) process on scaling up finance to the $100 billion per year level by 2020, as well as the sources for that finance. Clearly this work will inform all of the future discussions of the ADP. Finally, Parties will need to consider how all of the institutions created as part of the LCA at recent COPs fit and work together in the new agreement. For example, the linkages among the various bodies of the technology mechanism will determine how well it is able to respond to the needs of developing countries, and these linkage decisions clearly require political guidance. In short, there is a lot to discuss.
ECO cautions Parties, however, that 2013 cannot be just a talk shop. While a conceptual phase is needed to define an action plan with clear workplan and timelines, it must rapidly turn into very focused and in-depth discussions and negotiations. We have done this (almost) before! Submissions, workshops, technical papers, roundtables and continued high-level engagement are all needed, but ECO expects a compilation text of main elements by COP19. Whatever you may think of our deadlines, we assure you (along with the World Bank, IEA, IPCC and others) that there are clear planetary ones that humanity must absolutely respect – and those deadlines are already long past. There is no more time to waste.  
While Parties will discuss workstream 1 today, ECO cannot help but say a few things about near-term ambition, because, well, we’re ambitious. Here the options are endless (and really just need to be implemented), from increasing developed country targets, to new pledges from our host and their neighbours, to strong signals to the Montreal Protocol on HFCs, or phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. It is high time that Parties agree the near-term ambition workstream will not be an endless talk shop and set out here in Doha a firm timetable of quantifiable actions.
Enjoy your discussions today, but we look forward to seeing it in writing soon.
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CAN Intervention in the COP18 LCA Opening Plenary, 27 November, 2012


LCA Opening Plenary Intervention 

COP18, Doha

27 November, 2012

Photo Credit: IISD

Thank you Chairs. 

My name is Ben Namakin and I am from Kiribati speaking for CAN.

It is crucial that the LCA conclude here in Doha, however there is work to be done to ensure a meaningful outcome. 

Equity is a key component of the 2015 Protocol and needs to be in the discussion.

A new market mechanism and framework for various approaches must be based on international standards that guarantee real, permanent, additional and verified emission reductions, secure global net atmospheric benefits and avoid double-counting.

However, market mechanisms are useless without increased ambition. It is imperative that all developed countries:
-          Increase their 2020 pledges substantially
-          Express their 2020 targets as carbon budgets; and
-          agree on common accounting rules. 

Last year saw numerous climate related disasters. Climate finance for the 2013-2015 period needs to at least double that of Fast Start with a roadmap for scaling up to at least $100 billion per year by 2020.  It is crucial the outcome in Doha guarantees a high level political space for negotiations on finance to continue.  

One area that does not need further work is the scope of the review of the temperature goal, however Parties must decide on a strong body to conduct that review. 

Thank you. 



To our freshly arrived negotiators, get ready for a major wake up call (or at least a loud and not particularly polite noise) on finance, when the countries most vulnerable to climate change will be rightly asking: what happens when Fast Start Finance runs out at the end of this year?

And what happens now that we know Fast Start Finance (the money pledged between 2010 and 2012) was mostly a false start? Yes, ECO did the maths and estimates only 33% of FSF was “new” money (that is, additional to existing, pre-Copenhagen pledges), and around 24% additional to existing aid promises. Only one-fifth of finance was spent on adaptation, and less than half was available as grants. It seems developed countries need to re-learn some basics about climate finance. Which part of “new and additional, predictable, and adequate in relation to rapidly spiralling needs...with balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation” are they failing to understand?
And to those who need illustration of “spiralling needs”, please count the unprecedented number of climate related disasters in 2012 which - along with sea-level rise, and the gradual but deadly effects on agricultural and
fresh water systems - mean that the bill from carbon pollution just keeps going up and up. If we are to tackle the consequences of current inaction, the hundred billion annual figure promised before Copenhagen is now looking implausibly small.
Here in Doha, we are facing a “finance cliff” with fast start finance ending just at the point when we need ramping up. ECO is concerned that many developed countries have arrived in Doha unwilling to pledge new resources. For vulnerable countries this is a daunting prospect, and will hugely reduce their trust that these countries intend to make good on their $100 billion a year by 2020 promise. By holding back on money they have promised, developed countries are shooting the 2015 global deal in the foot.
Luckily, ECO is giving countries two extra weeks to do their homework on how to:
SCALE UP – ECO will not accept Doha as a success without reassurance that climate finance will go UP, not down and especially not off a cliff in 2013. For 2013-2015, developed countries should at least double the amount delivered under Fast Start Finance levels and channel US$10 to 15 billion to the Green Climate Fund.
PROGRESS ON SOURCES – To sleep tight, ECO needs to see a scaling up of climate finance to meet the $100 billion per year commitment by 2020. Advancing promising new sources of finance will be crucial to provide
predictable and scalable finance and needs genuine commitment by developed countries. ECO supports the recommendation on the Long Term Finance Work Programme to establish a high-level experts group across the ICAO, IMO and UNFCCC secretariats to examine finance-raising options from a fair carbon pricing mechanism. ECO will give top grades to the EU member states who allocate at least a quarter of the upcoming Financial Transaction Tax to the Green Climate Fund.
STRENGTHEN MRV – False Start Finance has taught ECO the tricks for how to count existing aid as new and additional. ECO is now looking forward to learning how to do things the right way. Parties now need to agree on MRV reporting formats on climate finance that help assess whether the promises are “new and additional” finance, and ensure “balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation”. It is high time that the reporting is transparent, verifiable and clarifies what is “real” and “legitimate” climate finance.
HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL PROCESS – Finally, ECO intends to be an ongoing and relentless nuisance, by insisting on a high level political space for negotiations on finance, if and when the AWG-LCA comes to an end after COP18. In whatever context negotiations continue, finance MUST NOT be relegated to the status of a “technical” issue. There is nothing technical about being on the receiving end of climate disaster. Lives and livelihoods are at stake, and we expect this issue to be treated with the political seriousness it deserves.


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CAN Submission: Doha Milestones and Action, November 2012

The planet is giving warning as to what dangerous climate change looks like – from historic droughts in East Africa, the United States and Mexico, to catastrophic floods in Brazil and China, and heat waves in Europe and elsewhere.  The spectre of worldwide food shortages is growing.  These warnings are being ignored by governments whose current lack of ambition has the world heading towards 3.5-6°C of warming and runaway climate catastrophe.

Agreements at Durban opened a window of opportunity for governments to put the world on a low emissions pathway, ready to leverage clean technologies for green development and create green jobs, investment and economic development, and to take important steps to build resilience to unavoidable impacts of climate change.  However this window of opportunity is precarious.  Fulfilling it will require governments to take decisive action at COP18/CMP8 in Doha.  Short term (pre-2020) ambition must be urgently increased and a clear pathway mapped to negotiate a fair, ambitious and binding deal in 2015.

Essential elements to be concluded at Doha include:

  • A Doha amendment for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol applying immediately to a range of countries, including Australia and New Zealand; targets within the 25-40% range, with an adjustment procedure to increase ambition; removing false emission reductions by minimising carried over AAUs and improving CDM and JI rules;
  • Non Kyoto developed countries must demonstrate that they are genuine about their responsibilities by adopting stringent quantified emission reduction commitments, comparable in effort and transparency with Kyoto Parties.
    • Developing countries should register their mitigation actions and required support, and all developing countries should make pledges – including Qatar;
    • Agreement that global emissions will peak in 2015 which means that developed countries need to reduce their emissions much more quickly, and provide support for developing countries to take more mitigation action;
    • Developed country commitment to provide a 2013-2015 public finance package that (a) is at least double the amount of the Fast Start Finance period (2010-12) and ensures early and rapid progress towards the $100 billion goal, and (b) includes at least $10-15bn in new public finance for the Green Climate Fund over 2013-2015;
    • Commitment to take meaningful steps to develop innovative sources of public financing and agree on a process to reassess the adequacy of financial pledges with the first reassessment in 2013;
    • Funding modalities for National Adaptation Plans established in order to scale-up work immediately and a second phase of the work program for loss & damage established to elaborate on the principles, functions, and institutional structure of an International mechanism to address loss and damage associated with climate impacts (including for rehabilitation and compensation);
    • Operationalising the GCF, the Standing Committee, the NAMA registry, the Adaptation Committee, and the Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network.  Including initial capitalisation of the GCF and the Technology Mechanism.

At Doha an ADP workplan to increase short term ambition must be agreed:

  • Informed by a technical paper assessing the gap in ambition and ways to close it and by the progress of the Review; increasing developed country economy wide targets to close the gap between existing ambition and that needed to keep warming below 1.5oC; ensuring that any new market mechanisms add to overall ambition with stringent rules;  facilitating developing countries to reduce their emissions by rapidly scaling-up public climate finance, focusing on economy-wide or sector-wide actions that would rapidly and significantly lower emission trajectories and supporting initiatives that reduce costs and eliminate barriers and perceived risk, so that low and zero carbon technologies and approaches can quickly become competitive;
  • To enable developing countries to increase their mitigation and adequately deal with adaptation public finance from 2013-15 must be at least double the amount of the Fast Start Finance, and there should be a process to reassess the adequacy of financial pledges in terms of overall scale required, thematic balance and geographical distribution starting in 2013.  A 2 year Doha Capacity Action Plan should be initiated.

Parties must learn from the disaster at Copenhagen by mapping out an ADP workplan at COP18 with clear timelines, milestones and deadlines for agreeing key issues on the pathway to negotiate a fair, ambitious and binding global agreement in 2015.  Key milestones are mapped on the following page.  The ADP workplan to 2015 must be:

  • Informed by the Review incorporating IPCC drafts, and by an equity work program beginning immediately;
  • Consistent with a 1.5ºC global carbon budget with high likelihood of success, including targets and actions within an equitable framework that provides the financial, technology and capacity building support to countries in need; 
  • Built on, developing and improving the rules already agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention, including transparency through common and accurate accounting and effective compliance processes, respecting the principles of equity;
  • Serious about ensuring sufficient support for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate change; and
  • Shepherded by a consistent Bureau responsible for producing a compilation text by COP19, complete negotiating text by COP20, and a draft fair, ambitious and legally binding protocol circulated by May 2015.

After the disaster of Copenhagen, leaders do not have another ‘trick up their sleeve’.  Countries must deliver a fair, ambitious and binding deal by 2015 at the latest, putting in place the first steps in the pre 2020 ambition workplan in 2012, to ensure that we prevent catastrophic climate change.  There is no atmospheric nor political space for a second failure.



Bridging the Gap

Manjeet Dhakal
Clean Energy Nepal (CEN), Nepal

It has been nearly three years since I started following the climate change negotiations. I first attended the UNFCCC intersessional meeting in Barcelona organised just before COP15, a well-known Copenhagen climate summit. After that, I got selected as a Southern Capacity Building Fellow of CAN International for two years (2010 and 2011). Southern Capacity Building Program is more about strengthening capacity of civil society members from developing countries on climate change negotiation. I attended every COP and intersessions during 2010 and 2011 as a fellow.

After having some experience at the grassroots level and this short engagement in the UNFCCC process, I find it very challenging to link the expectations of communities with the progress of ongoing negotiations. Last week, after attending the Bangkok intersession, I faced a similar situation- having to update the communities within my country about the current state of negotiation. The Bangkok intersession was about exchanging of ideas on key issues to build on Durban decisions and finding ways to bring one of the Ad-hoc working groups to conclusion. This is not easy to convey to the grassroots people, who were waiting for action, not discussion.

Furthermore, the Bangkok session focussed on how to raise ambition and strengthen international cooperation while finding ways to frame the Ad-hoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP) to deal with what will be implemented by 2020. Similarly, AWG-KP and LCA were focussed on fulfilling specific mandates from COP 17 and to resolve outstanding issues to ensure the successful completion of the group’s work in COP18. In reality, this makes little sense to the communities.

Unless such discussions and decisions at the international level do not adequately address the expectation of vulnerable communities at grassroots level, people will attach less importance to such meetings. The time has come for negotiators to take decisions to save the Earth and not only to sustain their national economy in the short run. By lengthening the process, we are only contributing towards the problem and not the solution. The ultimate goal of such international conventions and the development of a treaty is to make this Earth liveable for every living being. But, one way or another, we are stuck with petty discussions and negotiating in pieces – this is very problematic.

This is not to say that nothing happened in the Bangkok meeting: some progress was made. The AWG-KP produced an informal paper outlining the elements for a Doha decision and increased clarity on options to address the transition to the second commitment period. Similarly, the work of the AWG-LCA was captured in an informal overview note of the AWG-LCA Chair to help clarify areas of convergence.

But again, how can I share these updates to the people back in my country who are waiting for some concrete decisions for action? How should I explain to the farmers that we are advocating for actions at the global level, after having been told their agriculture yield will be impacted by climate change? Also, how could I convince the Sherpa in the Himalayas, who have recently replaced flat stone roofs with slope roofs, because nowadays they’ve started getting rain instead of snow? These are only a few examples, but again: how can I convince them that we have pushed the global deal for 2015 -that will be only implemented by 2020? Must they just adapt with what they have? It seems so, because we have no progress on reducing emissions, building on financial need or building the institutions on adaptation, technology or finance. 

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Don't Violate the Trust

Henriette Imelda
Senior Program Officer on Energy and Climate Change
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

The Bangkok Informal Meeting 2012 has ended. This informal meeting came out at the last minute after the Bonn session, which had left many uncertainties. “The name of United States has been removed from the list at their request”, said the Kyoto Protocol (KP) chair at its closing plenary here in Bangkok . Developed countries left no pledges on mid-term finance (2013-2015) and words like “there won’t be any finance gap” were used instead. Thus, they must prefer the ‘no text’ option for LCA ‘final’ decision in Doha.

For developing countries, it is difficult for us not having concrete finance pledges on the table, especially for the implementation of all development plans that we, the developing countries, have produced. The pushes from developing countries to developed countries to resolve the 1bi of the Bali Action Plan came to a gridlock. Developed countries would like to see the developing countries  have ‘meaningful mitigation action’. We’ve actually agreed in the Convention that the developed countries should take the lead, so developed countries need to get their domestic mitigation ambition on the table first!

Though Bangkok is an informal meeting, it plays a big role in preparation for the coming up Doha talks. The clock is ticking: many people are affected by climate change-induced damage and billions of dollars need to be injected into these suffering countries. But, there’s still no evidence that developed countries will increase their ambitions on either pledges or implementations.

As the LCA is indicated to be closed at Doha and the Kyoto Protocol needs to move forward to its second commitment period, several outstanding issues need to be resolved. Between now and the end of November 2012, we can only hope for miracles to happen in Doha- hopefully meaning that there will be pledges on emission reductions and financial assurance from on board developed countries to developing countries. Developed countries, don’t violate the trust... 

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