What a difference a year makes? 2012 has been all about tying up the loose ends of the Durban package, which by the end of Doha should form a nice bow of an amended Kyoto, concluded LCA, and work plans for both ADP tracks. (And ECO won’t object if any Party would like to throw ambition into that mix!!) Today’s ADP roundtable will begin to flesh out what the work programme to reach a 2015 Protocol should cover. ECO has a few initial thoughts.
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.
Judging by the number of delegates and observers crowding the room over the last two days, there is certainly a keen interest in the legal form of the LCA outcome. ECO welcomes these discussions and urges the Parties to build on the bare bones outline of legal form options presented yesterday, by adding specific content that can inform deliberations in Durban. ECO is impressed by the surprisingly constructive tone and substantive content of the discussions. We can only imagine what would happen if a second commitment period under the KP were adopted!
While we recognize the often repeated line that form should follow function, we echo Colombia’s point that negotiators need some sense of where they are headed – a political declaration is very different from a long-term binding regime. ECO is appreciative that the meetings of the group are open to observers. We note however, that some confusion remains concerning the degree of “bindingness” of different legal options. We offer the brief table below to clarify.
While waiting (and waiting) for the AWG-LCA to begin, ECO thought it prudent to educate itself on the topic that seemed to be keeping everyone up late into the evening. Turns out that one word was holding everyone up: “Agenda”.
What does it really mean? Why does such a seemingly simple word cause such consternation and hungry dinner-less evenings?
Merriam-Webster defines “agenda” in two ways. First, it says an agenda is “a list or outline of things to be considered or done”. Seems pretty straightforward to us. ECO outlined this list of needed things to be considered in yesterday’s edition. Dear delegates, it was so easy – We even devoted a whole page so it could be easily presented!
However, the second definition from Merriam and Webster began to shed a light on what may have been delaying the evening’s events. The second definition interprets “agenda” as: “an underlying often ideological plan or program.”
In the AWG-KP, earlier in the day, the agenda in both senses of the word was clear. Agree to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and fix its loopholes. As was said, time and again, the politics must be dealt with so the details can be agreed.
But, what ideological plan should the AWG-LCA use to underpin its work? This too, is actually simple, despite the long discussions. Take the steps necessary to implement what’s been agreed, and move forward towards increasing ambition and achieving a comprehensive fair, ambitious, and legally binding agreement as soon as possible.
With this in mind, ECO welcomes the proposals made to include the critical elements missing from the Cancun Agreements, such as increasing the level of ambition in order to close the gigatonne gap, identifying sources of finance to fill the fund. ECO further agrees with many parties that items on elaborating further measuring, reporting, verification guidelines, and agreeing on the legal options for an agreed outcome should be included as well.
It was a long night of lists and ideology. ECO hopes today will be a day of agreement and action.
In this submission the Climate Action Network International looks at a non-exhaustive list of policies and measures which are aimed at directly or indirectly reducing or mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. For each of the measures a short analysis will be provided together with an assessment of their cost-effectiveness. The types of measures discussed are placed under the categories financial instruments or regulatory approaches, both in a broad sense.