Tag: Kyoto

Adapting, But Still Funding

The Adaptation Fund (AF) has entered into its fifth year of operation. A couple of weeks before this Bonn session, the Board of the Fund (AFB) at its 17th meeting made substantial decisions for further advancing the Fund´s provisions. In particular, these covered critical aspects such as the guidance for the consultative process, the consideration of most vulnerable communities, the establishment of complaints procedures and increased transparency regarding the technical review of project proposals. In the course of this week, the AFB had a chance to share information on its progress with interested Parties. The AFB can be congratulated for increasing its attention towards these issues and for learning from its own lessons.

This is important for the AF at its critical juncture of raising funds for meeting the adaptation needs of vulnerable countries and financing innovative projects that benefit the targeted areas. The prices for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), which is the innovative and main funding source of the AF, have drastically decreased over the last months. Part of this is due to the lack of global ambition in mitigation. The EU, with its Emissions Trading Scheme, is one of the key demanders of the CERs. However, the current EU target of  20% reduction is not only well below the ambition indicated by the IPCC with regard to the 2°C limit, but also affects the prospect of the ETS as a functioning setter of price signals for emissions. (Of course, other developed countries lag behind in their mitigation ambition as well).

The direct access  approach of the AF is speeding up, with more and more developing countries managing the associated accreditation process, while sadly the funding gap is increasing, making it almost impossible for the AF to respond to all funding requests.

Few resources have been dedicated to the AF, despite its innovativeness and its progress. Sweden has contributed this year for a second time; Spain is the top contributor, with 45 million Euro. There are still too many developed countries who have not paid into it, some of them sitting on the Board. (And one could also imagine that some developing countries would support the AF in their own interest, e.g. as a learning tool.)

To address this issue, the Adaptation Fund Board has now set the target to raise US$100 million additional funds by the end of 2013. ECO encourages all developed countries to put additional money into the Fund. These contributions should enable the AF to keep pace with need until the Green Climate Fund becomes fully operational, due to increasing funding demands from developing countries.

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On The Outside Looking In


Dear delegates,

Let us share with you our confusion.  We are very happy to hear your heart-warming reports of the added value that we as civil society bring to this process.  However, we are slightly discouraged by the fact that we are often not allowed in the rooms where the real negotiations are taking place.

The rules on observer participation promote that all negotiating sessions are open to observers in both contact groups and informals. The spirit of the SBI discussions over the past years led us to believe that we might expect to enter the rooms. When the doors are closed to us, we call on all parties in the room to systematically ask their colleagues whether there is a compelling reason preventing the holding of a transparent session.

The graph below demonstrates the stark reality NGOs faced last just June. Despite the SBI encouraging enhanced participation, civil society spent a significant amount of time wandering aimlessly through the Maritim corridors, engaging in more conversations with the ghosts of classical musicians its room are named for than with negotiators. (Though ECO is quick to note that Listz's views on technology transfer are particularly nuanced.)

You can trust us, we are currently MRVing the compliance of parties' commitment to “openness, transparency and inclusiveness”. Because, really, there is only so much one can observe from the corridors.

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“CAN Collectibles”: AUSTRALIA

 “CAN Collectibles”: Bet You Can't Read Just One!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar

Collect 3, Get 1 Free!


National term of endearment/greeting: Mate
Annual alcohol consumption: 10 litres per person per year
Annual cheese consumption: 12 kilograms per person per year
Best things about Australia: Sun, surf, sand. Great Barrier Reef irreplaceable natural asset currently under threat from the coal industry. Excellent coffee.
Worst things about Australia: World's smallest, killer jellyfish. Dangerous addiction to coal.
Things you didn't know: 89% of Australians live in an urban area. 24% of Australians were born in another country. No one drinks Fosters.
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: 5% below 2000 levels by 2020 (4% below 1990)
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): 25% below 2000 levels by 2020
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: This year: a KP QELRO consistent with cuts of at least 25% below 2000 levels by 2020. And a commitment to work in the ADP process to raise ambition further (toward 40% by 2020)
Rationale: Australia has set conditions for moving its target from 5% to 15% to 25%. The conditions for the 15% target have been met, according to government briefings
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Distracted Driving

The uninitiated ECO reader may think a driver is a less ostentatious term for a chauffeur, but in REDD+ a driver is an underlying cause of deforestation or forest degradation.

This week in Bonn, SBSTA has this on their agenda. ECO thinks it’s vital that all parties explore ways to identify, assess and address drivers. Otherwise we risk wasting REDD+ financing and failing to achieve our goal. Ultimately it is global demand that drives most deforestation and forest degradation. All parties therefore have a responsibility to act on this, as spelt out in the Cancún decision on REDD+.

What does this mean? Drivers should be dealt with at the level they occur, be it local, provincial, regional, national or global. In the forest country itself, issues of governance become significant, as does the need to satisfy the demand of local populations for things like cooking fuel. Marginalised, forest dependent communities should not bear the brunt of blame and retribution for their impact on forest areas when the impact from outsiders is much larger.

You can’t solve problems in a forest for long simply by taking the chainsaw from a logger. You also need to address demand for paper products or luxury furniture that is motivating the logging company. The same issues of deforestation apply to our consumption of products from oil palm, beef or soy production, which are produced mainly for international consumption.

This year, a decision is needed on the root causes of deforestation and forest degradation. One that recognises REDD+ host countries require financial assistance to do this, and identifies the need for all parties, north and south, to take responsibility for their role.

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Progress on the Path to $100 billion

This year’s long term finance work programme provides a critical opportunity for focused and constructive engagement on sources of climate finance and developing country financing needs. 2012 should be a pivotal year for climate finance, as Fast Start Finance comes to an end and developed countries start on the path to US$100 billion per year by 2020

Negotiations on long-term finance have faced significant headwinds in recent years, and analytical work has been limited to ad-hoc and one-off initiatives like the UN Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, and fora with limited and exclusive memberships such as the G20. If rich countries want to show climate finance is not just another broken promise to poor countries, they must use this year’s work programme to help make significant progress on agreeing to a roadmap to scale up funding over the next eight years to $100 billion per year by 2020.

To help ensure this ambition is realised, ECO would like to highlight the following objectives for the work programme, for consideration by parties attending today’s UNFCCC consultation on its scope

It is vital the work programme contributes to decision(s) at COP18 that make concrete progress towards scaling up finance, including:

- Identifying and advancing promising sources of predictable and assured finance, especially public sources, such as providing guidance to the International Maritime Organisation and International Civil Aviation Organisation on generating financing from measures to address emissions from international shipping and aviation, as well as financial transaction taxes and public finance liberated in developed countries through the elimination of their fossil fuel subsidies

- Providing a roadmap for reaching agreement on a pathway to mobilising $100 billion by 2020, including maximisation of public sources channelled through the Green Climate Fund, an appropriate role for the private sector and a trajectory for developed countries to scale up

- Establishing a shared understanding of developing country financing needs, based on a review of recent literature on mitigation and adaptation financing requirements

- Clear commitments to provide scaled up finance from 2013 onwards, including for the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund

This work is all the more urgent given the link between raising and delivering climate finance and reaching the goal of staying below 1.5/2 degrees C of warming. Scaled up finance to support increased ambition in developing countries is critical to move them towards low carbon development pathways.

In addition to constructive engagement on these areas through the work programme, all parties must be afforded sufficient spin-off group time in Bonn, Bangkok and Doha to participate in defining vital decisions for agreement at COP 18. In this respect it is imperative the Work Programme is seen as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, negotiations involving all parties.

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Oil King Turns Solar Pioneer?

Have a strong coffee, shake your head and rub your eyes. Saudi Arabia, the well-known guardian of fossil fuel interests, is planning a massive renewable energy scheme in its country. So says the news in the region and rumours from inside the Royal Family and their ministries. Apparently 52 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable power will come online by 2030, 130% of existing electricity generation capacity - most of it as concentrated solar power and the remainder as solar photovoltaics and wind. Reportedly, the government is looking for a quick start, with about three GW to be installed in 2013 and another four GW in 2014.

It all started about one year ago when Saudi Arabia announced a US $100 billion investment for solar power, which was followed shortly after by oil minister Al-Naimi declaring to the media "Saudi Arabia plans to generate solar electricity equalling the amount of its energy from crude exports”. Although the current plan does not come close to that ambition, it still represents a remarkable and substantive move. For comparison, in 2011, which was another renewable energy boom year, total newly installed renewable power worldwide was about 80 GW.

ECO is not naïve. We know that high oil prices on world markets of more than $100 per barrel are strong incentives for any oil exporter to save the crude domestically and reap the benefits of exports. Certainly one, if not the key, motivation for the Saudis presently.

But there is another logic. Saudi Arabia admits that using renewable energy makes much more sense than “abundant” fossil fuels. And expanding renewables substantially, for whatever reason, is good for our atmosphere and the climate. Each ton of CO2 saved through renewables is one ton saved permanently. Could we also imagine that some clever folks in Saudi Arabia assume that the desire for fossil fuels in the world economy will end some time before we physically run out of them? We should be reminded that OPEC’s call for increased oil prices in the early 80s met with this advice from the then oil minister Yamani of Saudi Arabia to his peers: “The stone age did not finish because mankind ran out of stones”. Is it now time to assume that the Saudis are seriously preparing to export solar and become a technological hub for solar industry manufacturing?

Before ECO applauds Saudi Arabia’s constructive contribution to climate change policy, ECO would like this renewable energy target officially confirmed in Riyadh and announced internationally. If this happens, ECO will rub its eyes again and be happy to publicly acknowledge a landslide in Saudi policy, especially when those with greater responsibility are shirking their pollution reduction obligations.

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