The Cancun Building Blocks

Whilst parties are coming to the realisation that we need to move on from ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’, there is not much movement yet toward ‘nothing is agreed until enough is agreed’.  For those who don’t yet have a firm grasp on what ‘enough’ is, have no fear. ECO is here to show the way.

‘Enough’ is a set of outcomes that doesn’t just harvest the low hanging fruit but also cracks some serious political nuts and builds essential trust, so that next year negotiations don’t go around in the same circles as this year . . . and the year before that, and . . .   

‘Enough’ clarifies the road ahead: what it is that Parties are negotiating towards (a Fair, Ambitious and legally Binding agreement), by when (COP 17 in South Africa) and through which milestones.

So here are some highlights from the Cancun Building Blocks which will be unveiled by the Climate Action Network at its side event today:

• Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties, and outlines key principles for global cooperation.

• Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to secure sufficient scale and sources of finance.

• Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and principles and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.

• Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.

• Agree to stop deforestation and degradation of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.

• Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.

• Acknowledge the gigatonne gap between current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.

• Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

• Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.

• Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reductions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).

• Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17. 

• Commission at COP 16 a technical paper to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5° C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.

• Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  It is this clear pathway forward, with an agreed destination and an agreed route, that will make agreement at Cancun possible. 

Meaningful progress in each area, agreement to work toward a legally binding deal, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations, will deliver a successful and balanced package.

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