UNFCCC Presents - Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2012

http://unfccc.int/meetings/bonn_may_2012/meeting/6599.php

The 36th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), the seventeenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) will take place concurrently from 14 to 25 May. All sessions will be held at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn.

CAN intervention - Opening AWG-KP Plenary - June 7, 2011

 
Thank you Mr Chair,
 
Distinguished delegates,
 
My name is Maike Pilitati. I’ll speak on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
 
As CAN has consistently emphasized, the Kyoto Protocol is important to help close the
gigatonne gap between your pledges and what is needed for the well-below 2C ambition that
YOU have agreed – let alone the 1.5C limit that is more consistent with the ultimate objective of
the Convention.
 
The gigatonne gap can be addressed through the KP in 2 key ways:
 
First, developed countries need to increase their pledges. Currently we only have 12-18%
reductions from 1990 levels – and that meager offer is from the group of countries legally
obliged to “take the lead” to avoid climate catastrophe. But even if developed countries move to
the high end of their pledges, this will not get us anywhere near the 25-40% IPCC range required
to limit warming even to 2.0-2.4C increases. We simply don’t understand: why are developed
countries, by dragging their feet now, choosing to put themselves on a more expensive and less
efficient path to decarbonization? QELROs are meant to drive domestic transformation to a low
carbon economy.
 
Second, CAN reminds delegates that, as the current economic crisis shows, dodgy accounting
leads to collapse. Developed countries are merrily using smoke and mirrors to undermine their
low ambition even further through proposing ever more loopholes, – leading us to a 3, 4 – or
more – degree world. And you all know what that means for all of us. Let us be clear: what the
atmosphere sees is what counts.  
 
Distinguished delegates, In Bonn you need to clarify the assumptions underlying your pledges on
domestic action, LULUCF accounting, hot air carry over and offset use. That would help us to
build on Kyoto’s existing common accounting framework and agree QELROs that are fair and
adequately ambitious.
 
Thank you Mr Chair.

CAN Intervention - Opening KP - 5 April 2011

Opening LWG-KP Plenary – Bangkok
CAN intervention, April 5, 2011

Thank you Mr. Chair,

My name is Sven Harmeling. I’m speak on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
 
The KP track’s work this year can play an important role in narrowing the gigatonne gap.        According to UNEP, this gap could be up to 9 Gigatonnes in 2020 globally, equivalent to the combined annual emissions of China and Russia. CAN urges higher ambition than that assumed by UNEP, so sees an even bigger chasm between the pledges and needed action.

To help close the gap, first, Parties need to address the loopholes we heard about in        Sunday’s workshop, used perversely by some to stall their own low-carbon transformation.

o LULUCF rules should increase accountability and such that these sectors deliver        emissions reductions.  This means:
•    Not using questionable projected reference levels but using historical reference levels.
•    Not hiding emissions but accounting for all emissions, including other land uses such as cropland and grazing land management, and rewetting and drainage.

o Rules for any new market and non market mechanisms shouldn’t diminish already low        levels of ambition and must not allow double counting, ensuring additional emissions reductions and funding flows.
o  Rules are needed to minimise environmental damage from hot air.
 
Once these loopholes are closed, Parties need to increase their aggregate pledges so that they add up to more than 40% - top end of the 25-40% range that you acknowledged in Cancun. This is needed to put us on a pathway with a reasonable probability of achieving the well-below 2C goal, and keep the 1.5C goal in reach.
 
Additionally, CAN would like to take this opportunity to remind Parties of some of the        quite-literally vitally important elements of the KP architecture that need to be conserved and developed post-2012,  namely its:
o    long-term viability as a framework that can be appropriately updated for each commitment period;
o    aggregate goal for developed countries, allowing appropriate consideration of the science;
o    legally-binding, economy-wide, absolute emissions reduction targets;
o    common accounting, MRV and compliance.

We urge Parties not to throw away the good work of the last 14 years, and to commit to a second          commitment period in Durban.
 

Japan: No to Kyoto 
Under Any Circumstances

When leadership was needed most, the home country of the Kyoto Protocol made a destructive statement in the KP plenary. It rejected a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol by saying ‘Japan will not inscribe its target under the KP on any conditions or under any circumstances’.
‘Preferring’ a single-treaty approach is one thing, but aggressively denying the future of Kyoto is quite another. The statement upset many Parties and created an unconstructive atmosphere.
This COP was supposed to be the place to rebuild trust among parties, but Japan’s move not only could degrade trust but even potentially wreck the negotiations.
At a time when the world is seeking to strengthen the climate regime, Japan’s hard stance, in the guise of getting the US and China to make mitigation commitments, risks leaving us with no deal at all.
A large majority of Parties have said they want a legally binding outcome.  It’s time they hold firm to the legally binding treaty that was so hard-won in those late nights in Kyoto.  Japan should honour the basic framework that all countries agreed in Bali, which is for developed country Parties to continue their mitigation obligations under the KP, for a legally binding agreement under the LCA track to include comparable efforts for the US, and for the developing countries to undertake nationally appropriate mitigation actions that are supported by finance, technology and capacity building.
Does Japan really want to be known for the burial of the Protocol that was born in one of its beautiful cities?

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Cancun Personals

ANNEX 1 COUNTRY SEEKING 
TREATY FOR NO-STRINGS ATTACHED 
HOLIDAY ROMANCE IN MEXICO.

Currently struggling with a 13-year relationship, just looking for a good time in the Cancun sun.
Likes: excellent food, movies, comic books, robots and big industry. Dislikes: commitment, cooperation, compliance, science and targets.

If interested please email: 
scared_of_commitment@awg.kp

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The Legal Impasse: High Noon at the KP Corral

There are a number of puzzled-looking lawyers in the hallways in Tianjin right now, and ECO admits as well to being puzzled by the refusal of China and Brazil to allow the legal matters contact group to discuss elements set out in the KP chair’s scenario note this week.

It seems that since the beginning of time, developed countries have obstructed progress in the KP on the numbers discussion.  This may go some way to explaining the behaviour of some developing countries in the legal matters group.  However, this procedural dispute has now consumed every session of the contact group this week to the point where the KP chair was called in to intervene, to no avail.

Clearly China and Brazil are in favour of continuing the Kyoto Protocol.  So ECO is surprised at their opposition to a discussion of Option B, which includes number of important elements such as assessment and review, refinement of the compliance mechanism, and provisions for entry into force of amendments, among others.  Given how short the time is, these discussions are necessary to advance understanding of what the second commitment period will mean for Parties taking quantified emissions reduction commitments (QERCs). To do otherwise puts the future of the Protocol at risk.

In Wednesday’s stock-taking plenary, many developing countries strongly advocated for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  And the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Norway have stated that they are prepared to take new commitments under Kyoto.  However, they indicated that they can only do so once they have a clear idea of what the rules will be for the second commitment period, including the matters that were to be considered by the legal contact group this week.

ECO strongly supports the need to reach agreement on these underlying issues so that agreement can be reached on QERCs.  At the same time, ECO cautions that loopholes the developed country Parties have tried to negotiate for themselves must be removed, so as to ensure the environmental integrity of the agreement and help close the gigatonne gap. 

ECO encourages all parties to the Protocol to take the advice of the KP chair when he was called to arbitrate the dispute: Parties should listen to each other’s proposals and get on with the negotiations.  We couldn’t agree more. We don’t want a gap between commitment periods, and the KP should not be held for ransom by anyone.

Topics: 
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Stand and Deliver

Next Sunday, October 10, the day after the close of the Tianjin conference, the world will take action – over 5,000 actions, to be precise, in more than 165 countries around the globe.

The 10/10/10 Global Work Day organized by 350.org and many others will highlight the public appetite for action that has only grown stronger since Copenhagen.            

And herein lies one of the great ironies of our time.  Public support for action on climate change is mounting in every country, and yet at exactly the same time, the climate negotiations are increasingly coloured by calls for lowering expectations and questions about the credibility of the multilateral process.

There is a climate crisis, and there is a crisis of confidence in the international process. Both require urgent action. Following the stalemate of Copenhagen, this week’s meeting and the Cancun COP are critical.

Let’s not fool ourselves – a failure to
deliver now will land the UN process in a royal mess. Failure to deliver tangible
results in Cancun could well see a repeat of the WTO experience . . . meeting after
irrelevant meeting.

The Kyoto Protocol is the first needed and legally binding response. A second commitment period for the KP is one essential building block toward a fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal that needs to be finalized at COP 17 in South Africa.

We hear a lot in the KP discussions about the importance of ‘the other track’. ECO has no doubt on this point: only by showing good faith in the KP can Annex B parties secure progress in the LCA. They must stop stalling and commit at Cancun to the second commitment period of the KP.  It is crucial to the world’s effort to limit climate change.

Trust-building is essential.  And make no mistake, developed country leadership is central to that. The current pledges by Annex B parties and existing loopholes put us on a path that far overshoots the threshold for dangerous climate change. But all countries must show their commitment to the UN process by showing political will and flexible positions.

We must learn the lessons of Copenhagen and move beyond ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.  Reverting to the pre-Copenhagen grab bag of text is a recipe for recreating the Copenhagen stalemate.

To make real progress in Cancun, it is imperative to seek convergence and reduce the wide range of options in the text to workable proportions. That will allow for political decisions to be made at Cancun, where Parties must agree a clear mandate for a full fair, ambitious and binding deal to be concluded in South Africa.  It is no exaggeration: the credibility of this process and the fate of future generations are both at stake.

What are substantive examples of tangible progress?  Here is a starter kit to help go further and faster.

In the area of adaptation, the insurance mechanism can be put on track; a committee can start working with the most vulnerable countries on an insurance mechanism, and regional adaptation centers can be set up.

In the area of deforestation, the level of ambition should be quantified.

On finance, the governance of the new fund with a strong relationship with the Convention can be agreed, as well as the sources and scale of funding.

On mitigation, pledges should be formalized, and in doing so, the gigatonne gap needs to be recognized, and a process launched to deal with the gap.

On technology, a work programme can be agreed that empowers the committee to deliver specific technology action programs on solar concentrated power, building efficiency, and many others.

Finally, to fulfill the mandate contained in the Bali Action Plan, a decision on the next commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is needed. This decision should include clarity on the legal outcome to be delivered in South Africa.

This week, ECO again suggests, Parties should make offers, not demands.  The purpose here in Tianjin is not to force fouls, but to use teamwork to create a safe climate. 

Dear negotiators, we have said this before: you are the only team we have that can save the planet.

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