Tag: 2020

COP 18 Doha: Pledge, People, Pledge!


Towards the end of the most hilarious annual conference on climate change in the world, Doha's COP 18, finance is still a big issue to handle. The year of 2012 is crucial, because it is the last year for Fast Start Finance to flow, and, starting 2013, a USD 100 billion by 2020 should be dispursed from developed countries to developing countries.

Numbers are not yet on the table, except one from UK that’s pledging for £ 2,9 billion by 2015, which was announced through their press conference in Doha, on December 4th 2012. EU, with their unfinished budget discussions back home, is definitely got pushed by NGOs to give some numbers, ensuring that they will continue their funding. Too many statements from developed countries, saying ‘we will continue funding’, is unaccceptable. A predictability of the funding is highly crucial, as well as having a clear pathway towards the USD 100 billion to 2020.

Learning from the Fast Start Finance for the last two years, developing countries have learned, that certainty of finance sources is highly needed. Climate finance should be new and additional than the existing funding. Therefore, transparency, of course, should be on board for developed countries to regain the trust of developing countries.There are so many innovative resources that can be explored by the developed countries. Even the long term finance workshops that have happened twice in 2012 (not to mention the webminars), have clearly showed that those sources of fund are real and possible, to meet the USD 100 billion by 2020.

Pledge, people, pledge! Not only the financial pledge, but also your emission reduction pledge. And please, leave the hot air behind. 


CAN Collectibles: JApan!

Caution May Be Mitigation Forming
Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase TheirAmbition in Qatar


Main export goods: Baseball players and hybrid cars, besides Playstations
Annual tuna consumption (raw): 500,000t 4kg per person
Best things about Japan: Best sushi restaurants in the world. Cherry blossom beautiful asset now flowering in March rather than in April because of global warming.
Worst things about Japan: Dangerous addiction to nuclear and oil. 80% of the population is allergic to cedar because we planted too many of them
Things you did not know: CO2 emissions in 2011 did not increase compared to 2010, even though Japan had to stop several nuclear reactors. (Amazing commitment by people/firms to save energy made this possible!) There are studies and analyses showing that the 25% target by 2020 is achievable even if Japan phases out nuclear
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: (None)
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, but under review towards LOWERING the pledge
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: At least confirm 25% GHG below 1990 levels by 2020 by Bangkok and make it unconditional. Set a concrete target at least 80% by 2050 in the process of Low Carbon Development Strategy planning.
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Shorter Is Better

The 2020 deadline for the entry into force of legally binding commitments for all Parties is too late to meet the 2°C target unless pre-2020 ambition can be urgently and equitably increased. To do so, developed countries must step up in the KP and LCA, while the ADP can also help raise ambition in mitigation and the means of implementation.

In this spirit, ECO would like to remind Parties of the numerous benefits of shorter (5 year) commitment periods in the KP. They:

-Enable targets to be based on the best available science and updated frequently

-Reduce concerns about locking in low levels of ambition (and ECO has many of those!! Do I hear 30% anyone??)

-Maintain links with the political accountability cycle, which is typically 4 to 6 years (longer commitment periods make meeting targets someone else’s problem)

-Encourage early action (whereas it is easier to put off action with longer periods – just think: when did you do your homework as a child?)

It is also completely unacceptable for the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, and any other developed country that reneges on its Convention commitments to take the lead, to remain outside of a legal agreement for the rest of the decade.

Amendments, such as the ability to ratchet-up targets within a commitment period, should be included in the Kyoto amendments, independent of commitment period length. Further amendments could also be made to assuage any concerns about adopting a 5 year CP as well.

Finally, ECO is concerned that 8 years would establish a bad precedent, leading to even longer commitment periods in the future (i.e. 2030) and longer IPCC assessment cycles (i.e. 8-10 years) currently being pushed by some Parties. In other words, 8 years is the “gateway drug” to poor regime architecture long term.

Ours is an ask of all governments – to do more, faster, to save the planet.  The EU and the few other committed developed countries should start by adopting a 5 year commitment period for the Doha amendment.  To quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy – Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.  And we all know how that story ends.

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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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CAN Intervention - AWG-KP Opening Plenary - May 15, 2012

Thank you Chair
I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network. The lack of ambition and leadership shown by most developed countries is putting humanity and the natural systems on which we rely at risk.
The IEA recently found that projections for energy use and emissions could be putting us on course for a 6C temperature increase, which would have a high probability of activating a number of potential global-scale tipping points.
Keeping global temperature increase to below 2°C, much less 1.5ºC, requires emissions to peak by 2015 while science tells us that developed countries must reduce emissions by more than 40% by 2020. Low pledges from developed countries are further weakened through loopholes, attempts to shift the ambition discussion to post-2020, andby Parties walking away from the Kyoto Protocol.  We are utterly dismayed and disappointed with the decision by the Canadian government to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. Repealing all environmental legislation on the statute books will not make climate change go away. We urge Australia and NZ to fulfill their commitments and not follow in Canada's dirty footsteps.The legal and governance structure of the Kyoto Protocol is crucial to ensuring that mitigation commitments are legally binding and have environmental integrity. 
We call on Parties:
 To immediately raise ambition at least to the top ends of the pledges.
 To agree on an adjustment procedure to enable developed countries to increase their 2020 pledges at any time until 2020 without requiring ratification by all Parties. 
 To translate pledges into QELROs with the highest possible environmental integrity without de facto weakening of the pledges. 
 To eliminate loopholes that threaten the environmental integrity and viability of a second Kyoto commitment period. These include surplus AAUs, weak rules for CDM and JI offsets and LULUCF, and possible double-counting of financial flows related to offsets as climate finance.
Thank you Chair
Related Member Organization: 

CAN Intervention First Indaba Durban, November 30, 2011

Thank you, Madame President. 

My name is Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists, and I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

CAN believes there are three sets of actions that Parties must take here in Durban:

First, Kyoto Protocol parties must commit at Durban to a ratifiable second commitment period that starts in 2013 and ends in 2017. Also, the loopholes threatening the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol must be closed.

Second, it is essential that the commitments and actions of all Parties be inscribed in one or more legally binding instruments. To that end, Parties must agree here in Durban to launch negotiation of such an instrument to be adopted by 2015, and to be in force by 2018 at the latest.  These negotiations should bebased on principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities, equity and adequacy.  The purpose is notto renegotiate the Convention, but to further advance its effective implementation and help fulfil the Bali Action Plan.

Third, we need a set of decisions in Durban to advance all of the elements of the Bali Action Plan: adaptation, finance, mitigation, technology, and capacity building.

On adaptation, we need a clear roadmap to ramp up assistance to vulnerable countries who are already suffering serious impacts of climate change.

On Finance, Parties should adopt the governing instrument of the Green Climate Fund, agree a trajectory to ramp up financing towards the 2020 goal of at least $100 billion per year, and adopt a work plan to consider innovative sources of public finance to help meet this goal.

Finally, if we are to meet the 2 degrees C target and keep alive the option of staying below 1.5 degrees C, we can’t wait until 2020 – or even until completion of the science review in 2015 – to substantially raise ambition on mitigation. Here in Durban, Parties must agree upon a dedicated work program for 2012, with the goal of taking specific actions on mitigation at COP 18 in Qatar that will help close the well-recognized gigatonnes gap. 

This is admittedly an ambitious agenda.  But the peoples of the world expect no less. 

Thank you again, Madame President, for this opportunity to share our views.


2020: Too Late to Wait

In Durban, we are at a crucial turning point in addressing climate change. Governments will choose either to delay progress or recognize that meaningful action is needed now. The world  is dangerously close to passing the threshold for runaway climate  change. Delaying the negotiation of a global binding deal to 2020 will condemn people worldwide to suffering accelerating and uncontrollable effects of climate change for generations to come.

COP 17 has the potential to be a catalyst for positive change on a global scale. Parties should be laser-focused on addressing the climate crisis and creating the sustainable energy future that will benefit us all. The world needs a successful climate deal more urgently than ever. If a less than positive outcome is achieved in Durban, we risk losing the multilateral process that has kept alive our hope for a sustainable future. The science is compelling, the economics make sense, so why are countries holding back from achieving the progress the world so badly needs?

Success in Durban will come from forging a meaningful way forward on climate change action based on science and recognition that time is running out. The most positive outcome in Durban includes agreeing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, securing a mandate to negotiate a legally binding instrument under the LCA to be adopted no later than 2015, and implementation of the Cancun Agreements. 

EU leadership is absolutely crucial. The EU holds the key to the Durban outcome.  If the EU  does not come to Durban with the clear goal of adopting a second commitment period – and not some fuzzy “political commitment” – the Kyoto Protocol will wither and die.

United States has failed to fulfill its responsibility to the rest of the world on climate change. There are low expectations that the US will do its fair share in the near future.  But the targets the US has put forward are much lower than others, including the EU, and the US has not put a finance offer on the table that is in line with its responsibilities. ECO would like the US to show leadership.  But if it can’t or won’t, the US needs to get out of the way so that other countries can move forward.  The US should let the rest of the world move ahead with building a climate regime that will facilitate a shift to green economic growth, and join when its own political situation is more forward-looking.  Blocking won’t lead to the US getting its preconditions met, it will instead lead to acrimony and finger pointing.

ECO agrees with China in forcefully advocating for a second  commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and higher ambition from developed countries.  However, as the largest emitter in the world today. China’s actions at home make it clear it is aware of this responsibility and is willing to act on it. China should match that progress within the international negotiations by agreeing to work toward a comprehensive, legally binding and ambitious agreement to be concluded in 2015 and can be implemented by 2018 at the latest.

Congratulations Australia on getting your carbon price legislation through Parliament.  It was truly an achievement.  But Australia must not rest on its laurels, and has an important role to play in preserving the Kyoto Protocol, so as to provide the basis for a more comprehensive regime in the future.  Australia also has a crucial role to play in bringing together parties to ensure that a comprehensive regime is agreed as soon as possible – and should push for a mandate that ends in 2015 and maps out a clear pathway for  implementation by 2018 at the  latest.  As the most vulnerable developed country, Australia has the most to gain on a successful outcome in Durban.

Ukraine should move closer to the progressive countries in the EU by not only agreeing to a second commitment period of the KP, but also increasing its target to a more ambitious level relative to its business as usual emissions (forecast to be 54% below 1990 levels by 2020), showing flexibility on its ‘hot air’ and ensuring that carry-over AAUs are minimized.

India aims to be a global champion of the poor and vulnerable by working constructively in the multilateral environment. ECO agrees with India’s equity based approach and its demand for operationalisation, starting with its strong demand for second commitment period. But India needs to be more pragmatic on the issue of legally binding outcome under the LCA for a comprehensive future climate regime that protects the rights of poor communities and countries. 

Japan, Russia and Canada.  ECO joins many in worrying about the direction being taken by Japan, Russia and Canada.  As three heavily climate-affected countries, they should agree to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol since they haven’t offered any effective alternatives.

South Africa / COP Presidency.  There is wide appreciation for South Africa’s open and transparent approach in the run-up to Durban.  Now is the time to move out of pure ‘listening mode’.  In its Presidency, South Africa should keep focus squarely on open and transparent exchange that drives the negotiations to a positive conclusion, whilst its national delegation champions the positions of the Africa Group and particularly the interests of the poor.  ECO appreciates the scope of the work ahead and has confidence that South Africa can achieve its broad and ambitious goals in Durba

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Reassessing priorities on long-term finance

Back in Bonn, Eco complained that the finance negotiations seemed more concerned with designing finance institutions than deciding where the long-term finance to fund them should come from. The result could be a Green Climate Fund that is an empty shell, and a Standing Committee that is left to stand still.

Paying a quick visit to yesterday’s finance informal, Eco was pleased to see a number of parties stress the need to readdress this balance. When Durban draws to a close, the world’s citizens will find it extraordinary if the African COP does not deliver the resources that poor and vulnerable people in Africa and elsewhere need to adapt to climate change and shift to a low-carbon development path.

A meaningful decision on long-term finance in Durban should cover at least three elements. First, a roadmap is needed for scaling-up climate finance from 2013 to 2020 to at least meet the $100 billion per year commitment by 2020. This should include a commitment from developed countries that there will be no gap after the end of the Fast Start Finance period. The roadmap should recognise that $100 billion is needed from public finance – mobilised first and foremost through assessed budgetary contributions of developed countries, and through supplementary sources of public finance, such as carbon pricing of international transport or financial transaction taxes.

Finally the roadmap should include a detailed workplan to drive towards the further decisions needed at COP-18, including technical workshops and submissions from parties, experts and observers.

But negotiators should not be satisfied with agreeing a roadmap alone. They must also get the finance car on the road and start driving down it.

The second key area to address in Durban is the initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund. Eco wants to be clear that an initial capitalisation should not merely cover the running costs of the Secretariat and Board of the new fund over the next year, but must extend commitment to a substantial first tranche of funding to enable the disbursement of climate finance to developing countries from 2013.

Finally, there should be a decision in Durban to move ahead with the most promising supplementary sources of public finance. Eco notes that the International Maritime Organisation is ready to get to work on designing an instrument to apply a universal carbon price to international shipping, which would both control high and rising emissions from the sector, and raise substantial new revenues. But the IMO process is waiting for guidance from the UNFCCC COP on how to do so while respecting CBDR.

There is no reason to delay giving that guidance to ensure the IMO gets down to work from March next year. A Durban decision should establish the principle that CBDR can be addressed by directing revenues as compensation to developing countries and to the Green Climate Fund. Further work will still be needed on the details of implementation, but better to start those discussions next year than wait another 12 months.

With progress on these elements in Panama, Eco is confident that Durban can yet deliver an balanced outcome on finance which helps both to operationalize the new finance institutions needed, and to mobilize the long-term revenues. The people watching the African COP will expect nothing less.


Does Anyone think that there is no gap?

Hearing no objection it is so decided. So can ECO take it then, that, thanks to the challenging question by the European Union in Thursday’s workshop on developed country mitigation pledges, there is universal agreement that there is a gap? Fine.

So let’s move to the next step: looking at ways to increase ambition (to close the said gap), which was among the agreed purposes of the workshop, yet tacitly but plainly avoided by most developed country presenters. The European Union, at least, made a good faith attempt on the issue, and, yes, including more gases and sectors is among the things to look at. Yet ECO missed a slide explaining what the MRV- able conditions the EU has to move to (at least!) a 30% target. Instead, we were slightly amused when told that even the 20% target would be hard work. ECO reminds Parties that current EU legislation allows for more than half of the effort needed between 2013 and 2020 to be covered by carbon offsets instead of domestic action. That would also mean that with current emission levels (-16% below 1990 levels), no more domestic action is needed until 2020.

Yet, ECO’s readers will know the story of the one-eyed among the blind. Canada merrily implied that its pathetic target be comparable to the EU’s (considering that Canada is suggesting an increase over 1990 levels), and smartly dodged the question by a delegate how a target that is even weaker than its current Kyoto target could possibly constitute progress towards meeting the 1.5°C/2°C challenge. Canada’s Southern neighbours had, likewise, not much to offer, except maybe the notion that one needn’t be worried about the gap now because the review could maybe fix it later. ECO wonders if the US understands that leaving the gap unaddressed now, will require very, very steep reductions to make up for the delay, and if the US will be the country to champion that.

Delegates planning to attend today’s spin- off groups on developed country mitigation might want to keep in mind the conclusion by the co-chairs at the end of the workshop: that there is a gap, that there is some resolve to address it, and that further work needs to be done. ECO couldn’t agree more and suggests a four step approach for today’s informal sessions: (1) Developed countries make clear what their net domestic emissions will be in 2020; (2) Parties agree to close the loopholes by Durban, e.g. on hot air or carbon offset use, and have Parties not use bogus LULUCF projections meant to hide emissions but use historic reference levels and cover all emissions (see separate article in this issue); (3) Developed countries move to the high end of their pledges, by Durban, as a first important step; and (4) begin addressing the remaining gigatonne gap, by recognizing its size and a firm resolve in Durban to close it through a fair sharing of the globally needed mitigation effort, based on responsibility for emissions and capability to cut them.

And now: it is so decided!

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Umbrella Series Part 3: Ukraine Needs Realistic Goal Posts Urgently!

As an economy in transition, Ukraine, a member of the Umbrella Group, is a country with a special status in the UNFCCC framework. Nevertheless, this special treatment cannot extend to the setting of 2020 targets. Experts from the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) analyzed and compared the pledged emissions reduction targets of all Annex I countries. IIASA concluded that Ukraine’s emissions reduction pledge of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 was highly inadequate, since Ukraine’s business as usual scenario for 2020 will be as much as 54% below 1990 levels. Moreover, such a target means that Ukraine expects a huge amount of new hot air for trading. One should characterize Ukraine’s proposal not as an actual emissions reduction target, but a “no emission reduction measures necessary” target.

Experts have estimated that Ukraine could easily take a target of at least 57% below 1990 levels by 2020, with the added benefit of actually making money! With its National Climate Mitigation Strategy not yet in place, Ukraine should perhaps use this opportunity to develop a mitigation strategy that is not only realistic and economically viable but also delivers for the climate. ECO would be very interested to hear a presentation from Ukraine about its national climate change policies and assumptions and conditions related to a 2020 target. Such a presentation was notably missing in the workshops in Bangkok and Bonn.

While it is obviously one of the Ukraine’s priorities to see a continuation of its current special status, it should understand that it cannot also have its other demands met, like full carry-over of AAUs or continuing with a way-above business as usual scenario target.



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