Tag: Kyoto

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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Keep Ambition on the Agenda(s)!

ECO is gravely concerned that the Emissions Gap continues to grow, and that there is insufficient political will to close it as urgently as possible.

ECO insists that we must have greater action from developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol and LCA, and is concerned that some countries appear to be running away from these commitments.

ECO maintains that a work plan on pre-2020 ambition is also vital under the ADP, and a key element of the Durban package. This work plan should lead to urgent, specific, concrete decisions that work to close the Emissions Gap at COP18 and each subsequent COP.

ECO understands that this ADP work plan on scaling-up pre-2020 ambition will be implemented under the existing legal regime of the Framework Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, and other existing legal frameworks.

This ADP work plan should ensure enhanced mitigation commitments by developed countries and actions by developing countries, com-parability of effort among developed countries, and means of implementation for developing countries, as expressed in the Bali Action Plan.

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Two for the Price of None

Over the past week, we’ve heard discussions in a variety of forums here in Bonn on how to address the urgency of climate change by increasing emissions reductions and mo-bilizing enough climate finance to help fund the transition to a climate resilient future for all. Well, ECO has found just the source to help both of these efforts – end fossil fuel subsidies by 2015!

Let’s start by raising mitigation ambition. The UNFCCC re-ceived many submissions on raising ambition. 111 countries were represented in the sub-missions citing phasing out fossil fuel subsidies as a po-tential source of additional emission reductions repre-sent. And how often does that happen?

Perhaps all 111 countries saw the recent statements by the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, who said that phasing out fossil fuel subsidies could provide half of the emission reductions needed to stave off dangerous climate change between now and 2020. Now, because the devil is often in the details, phasing out these  government handouts could go a substantial way in helping close the gigatonne gap. The ambition work programme under the ADP would be well-served to include this in its deliberations.

Now, on to finance. Recent estimates show that fossil fuel subsidies in rich countries could be in the tens of billions of US dollars, to perhaps as much as $100 billion. How about, instead, governments spend that money to support climate change fighting efforts? ECO encourages delegates to include this in discussions of both short-term and long-term finance.

While we’re at it, let’s all make sure we’re talking about the same stuff.  The numbers quoted above are estimates, mainly because the data out there isn’t transparent enough to allow for more precise figures. But, wouldn't you know, the UNFCCC could provide just the tools to increase transparency in this area through its national communications and biennial reports.  And since so many UNFCCC parties want to remove these subsidies, why not report on their existence and efforts to remove them? Who doesn’t like taking credit for doing good things, after all?

ECO hopes parties here at the UNFCCC will take note of the multiple benefits of removing fossil fuel subsidies. ECO encourages delegates to speak to their colleagues in the G20 and Rio+20 negotiations as well, so that progress can be made wherever possible, in order to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2015.

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From Tokyo to Bonn: A Target Heard 'Round the World

In Bonn, while most nations are clarifying their pledges, as agreed, Japan is not saying a word about its 25% target. We know that Japan has been revising its 2030 energy strategy. While we welcome the intensive discussion on that, we hope that Japan also contributes to the discussion we are having here – reduction targets for post-2012 and, importantly, raising ambition!

In Bonn, while most nations are clarifying their pledges, as agreed, Japan is not saying a word about its 25% target. We know that Japan has been revising its 2030 energy strategy. While we welcome the intensive discussion on that, we hope that Japan also contributes to the discussion we are having here – reduction targets for post-2012 and, importantly, raising ambition! At the minimum, Japan needs to reaffirm its 25% from 1990 levels by 2020 target and show the world it will keep to the path of a low carbon future, even while recovering from the catastrophe that struck last year. In fact, some Japanese NGOs have shown that the 25% target is achievable even while phasing out all nuclear. Japan can make a sizeable contribution to the world by transitioning toward a safe, low carbon economy. Japan should use its discussion at home to raise its voice at Bonn and reach a more ambitious target by Bangkok!

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Mmmmm mmmmm MRV!

Developing countries have long insisted on the need for transparent and coordinated provision of financial support, to enable independent review of the extent to which commitments are fulfilled, as well as maximise the effectiveness of the funding. Moreover, transparency is vital to ensuring that the funds are equitably distributed over all developing countries in need of support, with priority for the most vulnerable developing countries.

At present, though there have been some positive steps taken in this direction, unless ECO was not invited that magical day, there is no common framework for measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of international climate finance that fully captures existing financial flows.

ECO was happy to hear that at the end of 2011 the European Commission proposed a new EU regulation (referred to as the “MMR” Regulation) on monitoring and reporting for EU climate finance. The MMR (yet another acronym that delegates and observers should learn by heart) will standardize climate finance reporting requirements for EU Member States. We are glad to hear that the proposal is going through the EU legislative process this year, just in time to monitor the EU’s post-2012 financial commitments for climate action.

But the MMR still needs guidance from EU Member States on key concepts and methodologies to be included in the legislation: what is meant by climate finance and in particular “private climate finance”? What is “new and additional” climate finance and how are the baselines set for measuring this? How should the MMR count the climate-relevant activities and outcomes when reporting on projects with broader objectives?

In the grand tradition of EU stakeholder consultation processes, ECO knows that its ideas will be read and considered, and so takes the opportunity to recommend that the MMR include the following:

- detailed information on where the money is going

- comparable information that can be aggregated

- sources and recipient institutions as well as the channels used need to be visible in order to keep track of the financial flow

- Also, for this process to be really transparent, it is crucial that this information be made accessible to third parties, including recipient countries and NGOs and that the reported information be quadruple-checked by independent finance experts

But all this being said, ECO would like to remind all parties that any MMR or MRV proposal does not make any sense as long as there is no finance to MMR or MRV (or whatever you want to call it). At the end of the day, we need developed countries to start pledging substantial, scaled-up climate funding for 2013 onwards. Or the MMR will be yet another empty shell.

And because ECO knows that parties want to hear more about the major MRV reform behind the obscure acronym, the ACT Alliance and CAN-Europe went to great lengths to organize a side event on the role of private finance in climate action next Monday.

ECO will definitely be there.

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“CAN Collectibles”: South Africa

We Put the “fun” in “Mitigashun”!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar!

Bonus Double Saturday Edition!

National term of greeting:

Howzit? / Heyta!

Annual alcohol consumption:

>200 litres per person per year (beer equivalent)

Annual cheese consumption:

We prefer meat.

Best things about South Africa:

Sun, surf, sand (take that, Australia!). Lots of unspoilt open spaces.

Worst things about South Africa:

Our soccer team. Lots of unspoilt open spaces targeted for fracking.

Things you didn't know:

South Africa has 3 capitals separated by as much as 1600 km.

Existing action on the table:

Peak national emissions between 2020 and 2025, plateau for up to a decade and then decline. Bring emissions below business-as-usual trajectory by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025, conditional on receipt of adequate support. 9% of SA’s electricity supply from new renewables (excluding hydro) by 2030.

Additional actions South Africa should agree to as its 2020 contribution, at a minimum:

Peak emissions by 2020 and as far as possible below 550 Mt/annum. Achieve 15% of electricity from new renewable energy technologies by 2020. Adopt a process, with timeline, to establish a national carbon budget, or at least sectoral budgets covering at least 80% of national emissions, by mid-October 2013. Deploy over 25 million m2 of solar water heating collection. Enforce comprehensive energy efficiency labelling regulations.

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“CAN Collectibles”: France

Double Your Pleasure, Halve Your Pollution!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar!

Bonus Double Saturday Edition!


National term of endearment/greeting: Garçon! (only for use in oldstyle cafés, in Paris, by innocent foreigners)
Annual wine consumption: 54 litres/person/year (decreasing due to Frech winery climate change impacts)
Annual cheese consumption: 24 kgs/person/year (increasing to make up for decreased wine drinking)
Best things about France: The wine and the cheese (see above). Beaches in Brittany up north now that one can enjoy warm and sunny summers there (see: global warming).
Worst things about France: Dangerous addiction to nuclear energy. Unemployment due to lack of green jobs (see: dangerous addiction to nuclear energy).
Things you didn't know: Frog legs taste just like chicken.
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: The EU's 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): The EU's 30% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: This year: a KP QELRO consistent with cuts of at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. And a commitment to work in the ADP process to raise ambition to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Rationale: The EU, including France, is  close to reaching its 2020 target, a mere 8 years, too early. Moving to an interim 30% target this year would be honest, boost our economy, provide jobs and reduce health budgets. What else can a new President want?
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