ECO is hopeful that countries will approach the Bonn intersessional with a renewed vigour for making real progress towards a fair, ambitious and globally binding deal that reflects the scientific, economic and humanitarian imperatives.
Equity: All parties must make good faith efforts to understand each other's predicaments. The goal? Establish a commonly understood “equity corridor”, a channel of principles and approaches that could provide foundations towards more detailed, technical and difficult questions. Equity must explicitly and formally become integral to the ADP agenda.
Mitigation: The work of the Kyoto Protocol track needs to be completed by the end of 2012 with a ratifiable outcome agreed in Doha. The QELROs inscribed in Qatar need to be as strong as possible, with Parties moving to at least the top ends of their pledges. The EU needs to make good on their long-dangled promise of a move to 30%. This move has to be solely through domestic action in order to meet their own target of reducing emissions by 95% by 2050. Another priority for Doha should be that the massive loopholes should be closed, including severely limiting AAU carry over and preventing double counting across the mechanisms and NAMAs.
In LCA, non-KP developed countries need to define their QELROs, again with increased ambition and closed loopholes. Developing countries that have not come forward with NAMAs or pledges need to. ECO looks to countries like Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Thailand and particularly our COP host Qatar. Their combined efforts have significant potential to close a part of the gigatonne gap. All countries need to use the upcoming workshops to give absolute clarity on the assumptions behind their pledges.
Review: Bonn needs to continue from the Durban decision by preparing decisions for Qatar on the first periodic review’s scope and other modalities, such as the body to responsible. It is crucial to reach agreement on these remaining items in order to guarantee a timely start in 2013 and for the review to advise the COP’s decision in 2014 and its action in 2015. The opportunity to reinforce science-based knowledge into the highly political UNFCCC negotiations should not be missed.
International Transport: Discussions to address fast-rising emissions from international shipping and aviation are under way in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but have been deadlocked on certain issues. Parties can speed progress there through guidance in the UNFCCC on how to address CBDRRC, and in particular inviting them to direct revenue raised to the Green Climate Fund, in accordance with the principals of the Climate Convention.
Finance: Fast Start Finance comes to an end in 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like rich countries are planning for Fast Finish Finance instead. For example, the EU's finance ministers meeting this Tuesday may only agree to "continue" climate finance post-2012. ECO knows that this could mean a drop in funding levels compared to the 3 years since Copenhagen. Parties must use this year's Work Programme on Long-term Finance to agree on a pathway and promising sources of public finance. At Doha, parties need to capitalise the Green Climate Fund, set the Board in place and finalise the GCF host.
Flex Mex: In order to prevent repeating past mistakes, ECO would like to see strong environmental and social safeguards for the new market-based systems under LCA. In SBI, Parties have another chance to adopt a meaningful CDM appeals procedure that would empower all local and global stakeholders, including project-affected peoples and communities.
Adaptation: On National Adaptation Plans, Parties have to move forward by scaling up financial support immediately to allow LDCs and others to carry out well-designed, participatory planning. These processes should also inform the ADP negotiations towards 2015. On loss and damage, ECO reminds Parties that in Qatar they need to advance items like the consideration of approaches, including an international loss and damage mechanism and climate risk insurance facility.
MRV: There are two outstanding issues on MRV that the LCA must address. First, there is the need to agree on common accounting rules – without these there can be no robust IAR/ICA processes nor rigorous carbon markets. Second, ECO is disappointed that all references to NGO participation in the IAR and ICA processes were deleted and expects that there will be opportunities to input into these process as they occur.
Legal: ECO would assume that parties have now agreed that what they are negotiating will be legally binding. It is time to move forward, building off the agreements from Durban, with substantive discussions. An immediate priority should be that a work plan is developed under the ADP with clear milestones for each year leading up to 2015. The work plan should also agree that at some stage there will be a legal group to sort out the outstanding legal issues.
Capacity Building: There is a chasm between ambition established by the Marrakech Framework and reality today. Over the last 11 years, a small set of developing countries and blocs (BASIC, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Israel, etc.) have built their capacity on their own, not as a result of outside support. That still leaves around 140 developing countries lacking the capacity to tackle climate change, even in the near future. In Bonn, the Durban Forum on Capacity Building must scale up capacity development and delivery. LCA should maintain its dedicated sub-item for capacity building.
Technology: The Technology group needs to focus on two key issues this time. First, ECO asks for more information to be made public regarding the Climate Technology Centre and Network, before the report is presented to the SBI. Second, an effective ADP workplan must address the unfinished LCA technology issues in order to send the right political messages for an effective Technology mechanism.
Agriculture: ECO expects the agriculture discussion will focus on the goal of maintaining and sustainably increasing food security, particularly in developing countries, whilst putting strong focus on the agricultural sector's adaptation needs. These issues are urgent, as most of the rural poor in developing countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Negotiations must assist small-scale food producers and other vulnerable groups in becoming more climate change-resilient.
As delegates bounce back to the Maritim, high off their post-Durban buzz, ECO thinks it’s worthwhile reminding them of the gravity of what they are negotiating. Durban very nearly failed. Had it done so, it would have empowered the formidable naysayers across the global economy, providing them with ample fuel to dismiss not only climate change but the multilateral system altogether.
Whilst the Durban outcome was far from perfect, delegates still had the Cancun prophecy ringing in their ears – “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. What we got from Durban was an opportunity, as opposed to an outcome, of a hard deadline of 2015. And, importantly, we got the world caring again. When the Indians and Europeans battled it out in the grand “huddle”, determined to come to a resolution, international leaders and investors finally looked up from their navels and took notice.
Now, back in the confines of the Maritim, we need all parties to knuckle down, and begin the long, hard slog to negotiate the final outcome. Opening up old wounds will not prevent climate chaos.
As Cancun pointed out, tactical negotiating will not be enough to secure us a 1.5 degrees C future. Skilled diplomacy has not required any of the critical countries to move beyond the red lines we grew to know, love and hate in Copenhagen. Parties acknowledged that the politics aren’t yet right to secure a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal. But what we got in Durban was a grace period.
The politics of 2015 do, however, provide an opportunity for more ambition compared to 2011. “It’s the economy, stupid”, barely encompasses the political preoccupation across Europe and OECD countries. But by 2015, it is likely that the worst of the recession will be over. And importantly, the rhythm of the electoral cycle across a swathe of key polluters to 2015 gives hope and promise to greater levels of ambition and political commitment. Unless countries recognise the very real danger that climate change poses to their national interests, they will not budge any further than their pre-Copenhagen mandates.
But it’s not only the politics of ambition which need to be mastered. That little old chestnut, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, also needs some help. And it would appear as if, finally, most Annex 1 countries have received the message loud and clear (ECO does not need to spell it out; we all know who the deaf countries are). Unless a fair settlement is sought, a deal in 2015 is unrealistic. Fairness is not a hurdle towards greater ambition, but a key component to incentivise a successful deal. Scepticism that 2015 will be “Copenhagen the Sequel” misreads the politics since COP15. Anyone daft enough to think politicians and their negotiators would endure another Copenhagen should be doomed to eat Maritim sandwiches for the rest of their lives. 2015 will be very different.
Firstly, a key advantage for 2015 is that the political change we need to see can now be leveraged off significant quantities of low carbon investment and confidence across a broad range of countries. Adding to this, the UNFCCC has made significant progress in defining the mechanisms which can be ramped up to deliver ambition. Secondly, the embryonic Durban Alliance and Cartagena Dialogue can help keep their Annex 1 partners on their toes, and help shape a Fair, Ambitious and Binding (FAB) deal over the years ahead. And finally, 2015 will no doubt be an important milestone on the road to a global low carbon economy, alongside Rio, Qatar and other high profile events.
But we must not focus on the glitz and glamour at the expense of harvesting incremental achievements, building session by session the systems and instruments needed to deliver success along the way. Putting all our eggs in one basket, when the scale of the challenge is enormous, is no longer a feasible option. Parties are now acknowledging that success in 2015 will be measured by a combination of progress inside and outside the UNFCCC, top-down and bottom up measures, in shaping emissions trajectories to 2030.
In Bonn, ECO will not take the promise of post-2020 ambition as an excuse for lack of short-term measures. Broaching the gigatonne gap, outlining ambitious proposals for the review of adequacy and beginning to map out the process for developing an equitable outcome will be vital in securing a 2015 deal. Haggling over the text that has already been gavelled through contradicts the constructive spirit reached in South Africa.
According to Decision 11/CMP.7 paragraph 14 admitted UNFCCC observer organizations are invited to submit views, on the revision of the joint implementation guidelines, taking into account, as appropriate, their experience of implementing the mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol. The above mentioned NGOs welcome the opportunity to submit their views.
First we must put the future of the Joint Implementation mechanism (JI) in context. The window of opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing. Several studies show that current pledges are not only woefully insufficient to keep warming below 2oC; loopholes, such as the surplus allowances (AAUs) from the first Kyoto commitment period (commonly referred to as ‘hot air’) could negate all current pledges and enable developed countries to meet mitigation targets while continuing with business-as-usual. We are now on an emissions path that could lead to warming of 4oC or more. In addition, impacts associated with 2oC have been revised upwards and are now considered ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’. ...
Maintaining a reasonable likelihood of limiting temperature increases to within 2°C will require commitments in the next few years to considerably higher levels of ambition by all nations.
Durban, South Africa – At the final day of the United Nations climate negotiations for 2011, countries received their biggest shaming yet for blocking greater progress in the talks. With the final outcome of negotiations not yet decided, it was at least clear enough which nations had done their worst in the last day and the entire two weeks. New Zealand took the infamous 1st prize for its strongest statement yet against continuing Kyoto. But Canada earned yet another Colossal Fossil for scoring the most dirty points at these negotiations, though they earned isolation and a minute of silence more than another fossilized award. Instead, the United States of America took the Colossal Fossil, too, for coming in second place in overall Fossil points and showing serious lack of action for such a major polluter. The Fossils as presented read:
“New Zealand wins the 1st place Fossil. The New Zealand government got a Fossil this week for severely mixed messages about its Kyoto Protocol 2nd Commitment Period stance. This time, it made it clear, describing Kyoto as 'actually an insult to New Zealand'. The only insult is to the citizens of New Zealand and the rest of the world, who will have to suffer the costs of climate change.”
“Canada wins a Colossal Fossil by mathematical majority. The Canadian government has made headlines and earned criticism from the international community in Durban for refusing to sign onto a second Kyoto commitment period, calling critical climate financing 'guilt payments', and bullying least developed countries into leaving the Kyoto Protocol. And over the two week negotiation period, Canada has won a staggering total of 6 Fossil of the Day awards. Mathematically, they are the undisputed winner of the 2011 Colossal Fossil award.
But when environment minister Peter Kent announced Canada’s third fossil of COP 17 on the floor of the House of Commons, members of his Conservative government cheered and applauded. The minister brought that reckless arrogance with him to Durban, where he’s maintained a hard line and refused to budge on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and fought hard to put polluters before people.
Canada remains the only country in the world to have weakened its emissions targets after returning from COP 15 in Copenhagen and the only country to have signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol and then say that it has no intention of meeting its targets. The Government killed the only major federal renewable energy program in the country while plowing over 1 billion dollars a year of subsidies into the oil sector.
The Government’s lack of ambition or action to combat climate change is no laughing matter. Climate change is one of the most serious issues that humanity has ever faced, and it is already affecting millions of people – including vulnerable communities in Canada.
(minute of silence)
While a colossal fossil might be a fitting reward for such egregious behaviour, we’d prefer to confer that title on a country whose actions are still having an effect on the negotiations taking place, and not a laggard who’s been pushed to the sidelines of this debate. Until Canada is prepared to become a real leader on climate change, it’s time to turn our backs on the government’s policies and move on with a coalition of the willing built from people, cities and provinces that understand the urgent need for action.”
“And so, the United States of America wins a Colossal Fossil for sheer (un)ambition. For a country that in 2009 claimed to come back to the negotiations full of hope and change, it has mostly just brought more of the same – no commitments, no Kyoto, plenty of rhetoric, and minimal money. Whether because of a conservative Congress or an administration that hid behind it when its President and negotiators could have done more, we can only 'hope' that the U.S.A. 'changes' its stance and doesn't spend the next 4 years earning Colossal Fossils like Canada spent the last 4. This is not the kind of international cooperation CAN had in mind.”
Video Production: BunkerFilms.com