Tag: South Asia

Farewell Bonn, Hello… Who Knows?

At the time ECO went to press, we’d heard all sorts of rumors about where the next intersessional might be: Panama, Bangkok, Mars? But despite this week’s lunar eclipse, our thoughts are firmly earthbound. ECO is confident that parties can see the sense in holding another intersessional, including workshops, technical negotiations, and the resumed sessions of the two AWGs. But, dear delegates, please leave behind the tedious haggling-over-the-agenda sessions. An additional meeting must be used productively so that Durban has a better chance of delivering the basis for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement. 

First, developed countries must acknowledge there is no alternative to a Kyoto Protocol second commitment period. Period.

We deplore the current stance taken by Japan, Canada and Russia. The hypocrisy is staggering. Japan presided over the COP that produced the KP. Russia’s support for the KP brought the treaty into force. Canada deftly launched the negotiations for a second commitment period (CP2) in Montreal. Where are those climate ambitions now?

The rest of the pack – the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland – used Bonn to elaborate their conditions for joining a KP CP2. We expect these countries to declare their full support for extending Kyoto’s commitments beyond 2012, and to come to Durban with pledges that top their current commitments. The world shouldn’t accept anything less!

The unvarnished truth, however, is that what is on the table now is not going to deliver a safe climate. Even the US has acknowledged that developed countries need to decarbonise their economies by 2050, based on low-carbon development strategies; as agreed in Cancún. These low carbon development strategies should contain a 2050 decarbonization goal, a plan to get there, and initial reduction targets of more than 40% by 2020, based on     common     accounting     rules     and

enhanced   national   communications  and biennial reporting as essential ingredients.

A second piece of the puzzle should be tackled by developing countries.

As AOSIS noted in their workshop presentation, developing countries also have a role to play in closing the gigatonne gap. ECO looks to all developing countries who have not yet submitted pledges to the UNFCCC or have not elaborated their plans further, including Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, DRC, Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It’s not on their shoulders alone. But they need to make it clear how they can reach their ambitions through a mix of supported and unsupported actions. 

The third major element of the Durban package is finance.

Finance negotiators have been hard at work on designing the Green Climate Fund and the Standing Committee. But all too many are missing the big picture: that the best-designed financial institutions in the world will be quite useless without substantial finance to govern. Concrete decisions must be made at COP17 to move us firmly onto a pathway to increase climate finance so as to reach $100bn per year by 2020, as committed by developed countries in Cancún.

Here in Bonn, the US has worked furiously to block much-needed discussions on all sources of finance, from budgetary contributions to supplementary innovative financing options such as bunkers, FTTs and SDRs. Discussion is also needed on common but differentiated responsibility for climate finance, no net incidence and compensation. We’re relieved to see some countries are asking for workshops to pave the way to a appropriately ramped-up 2013-2020 climate finance plan; all developed countries need to come to Durban prepared to put forward their mid-term financing commitments from 2013 onwards.

Finally, Durban must launch negotiations on a complementary legally binding agreement to Kyoto.

This agreement should address the major elements of the Bali Accord: comparable mitigation commitments by the United States, expanded financial commitments by developed countries, and developing country action.  Virtually every country says they support a legally binding agreement; in Durban, they must rise above their well-known differences on the exact form of such an agreement and commit to turning those words into action. 

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Fossil of the Day Awards - Bonn - June 14, 2011: India Earns First place (and only) Fossil of the Day

       
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  14 June 2011
Contact:
Kyle Gracey
kylegracey@gmail.com
+1 814 659 2405


India Earns First place (and only) Fossil of the Day

Bonn, Germany – Alone among countries shamed for doing the most to block
progress in the United Nations climate negotiations today, India earned the first and
only place Fossil for supporting nuclear power as a “clean” option
under the UN's
Clean Development Mechanism, 3 months and 3 days after the Fukushima crisis.

The Fossil as presented read:

“The first place fossil goes to India for supporting the inclusion of nuclear energy in
the Clean Development Mechanism in Monday's AWG-KP mechanism spin-off
group. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, we don't understand why
anyone would want to go down that expensive and dangerous path when other
options, such as renewables, are available. The CDM is supposed to support
sustainable development, so let's develop safely, sustainably and in a climate-friendly
way.”
_____________________________________________________________________
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and
individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable
levels. www.climatenetwork.org

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate
talks in 1999  in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations
climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action
Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress
in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

###

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India Earns First place (and only) Fossil of the Day

                                                            14 June 2011

Bonn, Germany – Alone among countries shamed for doing the most to block
progress in the United Nations climate negotiations today, India earned the first and
only place Fossil for supporting nuclear power as a “clean” option under the UN's
Clean Development Mechanism, 3 months and 3 days after the Fukushima crisis.


The Fossil as presented read:


“The first place fossil goes to India for supporting the inclusion of nuclear energy in
the Clean Development Mechanism in Monday's AWG-KP mechanism spin-off
group. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, we don't understand why
anyone would want to go down that expensive and dangerous path when other
options, such as renewables, are available. The CDM is supposed to support
sustainable development, so let's develop safely, sustainably and in a climate-friendly
way.”
_____________________________________________________________________
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and
individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable
levels. www.climatenetwork.org
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate
talks in 1999  in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations
climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action
Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress
in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

###

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CAN position - HFC-23 abatement projects - Jun 2011

Following the request by the Conference of the Parties (COP)1 the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), will discuss options to address the implications of the establishment of new HCFC-22 facilities seeking to obtain Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) for the destruction of HFC-23. CAN strongly urges delegates to adopt option 1) Making new HCFC-22 facilities ineligible under the CDM.

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Negotiating on Character: paving way to D

Manjeet Dhakal
Clean Energy Nepal
Policy and Advocacy Officer/ Act. Program Director
Nepal

 

Brazil's second largest city, Rio de Janeiro, witnessed the first ever gathering of environmental campaigners/caretakers and produced an international environmental treaty (UNFCCC) with an objective to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference in 1992. After one and half decades, the discourse took new dimensions in Bali, developing a new road map as a two-year process of finalizing a binding agreement in 2009 in Copenhagen. But brushing aside this huge expectation, Copenhagen only produced a weak political statement titled the 'Copenhagen accord.’ The summit could not pave a way forward for this global issue.

The road from Copenhagen to Cancun, in 2010, was also not that easy.  Cancun set an excellent example how the outstanding leadership of a host country could effectively shape the discourse. It was a well known fact that many issues were still on the table that are still unresolved, need further discussion and more political willingness.

To my surprise, these climate discourses always opt for places/countries that start with an interesting first letter. Copenhagen was followed by three meetings in Bonn and semi-final at China's beautiful city Tianjin. Cancun was another important milestone that was also able to keep up trust on UN process. It was then followed by Bangkok and now at Bonn, both the climate capitals of Asia and Europe, respectively. One of the issues that needs resolution here is where will the next intersessional will be held. My opinion is to follow the ritual so go for places that start with initials B, C or D! But of course not Copenhagen!

Now on the way to the match in Durban, termed the "African COP," many issues need to be resolved to keep the trophy in Africa. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, issues on MRV, numbers in mitigation, institutional settings on adaptation and technology, and the Green Climate Fund are some of them that need some serious consideration to drive this [endless] negotiation to another chapter.

Expectations at Cancun were very low, however Cancun brought us some hope, but now we are in the quarter-final and semi-final before Durban, and it has to build on the issues that were left-over so we can have the base for legally binding deal at Durban, South Africa. Oh Durban! One step ahead fourth character!

This new journey began at B (Bali) on the way was C (Copenhagen-fail and Cancun-pass) will hopefully end at D (Durban).
So that we could hopefully say Durban Did!!!  
 

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LULUCF Briefing - Bioenergy

Under international accounting rules significant emissions from bioenergy are not being accounted for, meaning that bioenergy is not fulfilling its potential as a climate mitigation tool and in some cases emits more carbon than fossil fuels. This briefing explores the reasons for this accounting failure and what must be done to resolve this issue.

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CAN Talking Points - MRV - Bonn June 2011

Bonn is a key moment to make progress on MRV issues. While there are a great many political issues at play, work on some technical issues needs to begin now.

Parties should agree on the structure, timing, and content of the workshops that are needed to discuss new or enhanced elements of MRV in the coming months.  These workshops should be informed by existing submissions of Parties and observers, and should involve calling for further submissions.

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First Week Wrap Up

ECO is pleased that parties finally managed to agree on agendas last week. (Imagine how much quicker it could have been if agenda discussions were held transparently in plenary, as opposed to shenanigans occurring behind closed doors). This week Parties must make up for lost time – and convince everyone that another intersessional would be productive.  After all, there is much work to be done between now and December so that Durban can successfully lay the basis for a fair, ambitious, and binding global climate change regime.

Essential to Durban’s success is securing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  Intrinsically linked is the binding outcome under the LCA, where Parties now need to discuss the substantive issues. Our ultimate objective must be a legally binding architecture, which is fair and ambitious.

Last week, the list of issues under shared vision began to resemble a bag of assorted cookies.  ECO suggests focusing on the agreed global goal with peak year, and only including issues essential for these discussions – such as effort sharing.  Agreement of a mid-term goal of -80% by 2050 and a 2015 peak year for emissions must be the aim.

On mitigation, some issues may look technical but are in reality political. This week ECO suggests focusing on the following three areas required to address the gigatonne gap: (i) clarifying assumptions; (ii) closing loopholes; and (iii) preparing to move beyond the high end of the current pledges by Durban. ECO assumes parties remain serious in their commitment to 1.5/2°C – you are aren’t you?

This week also offers opportunities for LULUCF.  The re-analysis of this issue as a significant loophole in the mitigation workshops could allow Annex I land and forests to contribute to genuine emissions reductions.  And technical discussions on force majeure provisions for forests could genuinely reflect extraordinary circumstances.  Or, if Annex I parties are up to their usual tricks, could this be yet another way to avoid accounting for emissions?

Parties should also take the opportunity to draft a CDM appeals procedure to grant affected communities and peoples access to justice.  And this week parties should move closer to  a  decision

to address climate forcing HFC in cooperation with the Montreal Protocol and exclude all new HCHC-22 facilities from the CDM.

The two groups on REDD+ (in the LCA and in SBSTA) got off to a good start last week. In this second week, ECO anticipates significant progress on both reference levels and information on safeguards, hopefully followed by expert meetings prior to Durban.

Adaptation negotiators should press ahead on substance to make the Cancún Adaptation Framework operational in Durban.  Parties should strengthen the role of the Adaptation Committee to promote coherence in adaptation, and to ensure meaningful stakeholder participation in its operations.  Furthermore, this week must see parties launch the activities of the work programme on loss and damage.

With the end of the fast start finance period only one year after Durban and no indication of how rapidly public finance will be scaled up from the $10 billion per year currently committed, parties need to start discussions here in Bonn on effort sharing, scaling up finance, and on new innovative public sources such as raising finance from international transport.  For this to happen, the US and its Umbrella Group allies need to stop blocking the discussion of sources and scale of long-term finance.

ECO has two requests for technology negotiators over the next week. First, fill up the nominations of the Technology Executive Committee. Secondly, decide on the terms of reference and likely locations of the Climate Technology Centre and Networks to maintain balance of adaptation and mitigation technology.

Among other issues that should be addressed, Parties need to deal with technical issues. ECO is waiting eagerly for some technical workshops and expert meetings. In the coming months, technical experts should make progress on technical issues such as biennial reports, reporting on support, IAR/ICA, REDD safeguards, etc.  These discussions must feed into the negotiating process.

Given the uncertainty over whether another intersessional will take place, the next five days will determine whether Parties will be able to secure an effective and balanced outcome of COP 17 in Durban. Parties should make the best use of this time and ensure both political and technical issues get addressed.

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