Tag: AWG-LCA

CAN Submission: Views on new market-based mechanisms, February 2011

CAN welcomes the opportunity to respond to the invitation to present views on the establishment of new market-based mechanisms (decision -/CP.16, paragraphs 80-82).

CAN strongly believes that any new market-based mechanisms must take into account and build upon the lessons learned from the operation of existing market-based mechanisms during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to ensure the environmental integrity of any new mechanisms as well as the overall UNFCCC regime.

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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Agenda for Adaptation

With a new negotiating text for negotiations under the LCA track, ECO finds many valuable elements but we nevertheless have some important concerns.  First and foremost, there seems to be the tendency, by developed countries in particular, to push towards the weaker options. 

In order to make the adaptation framework a driver for action in developing countries, rather than an empty shell, Parties must strive to provide clear linkages in the adaptation framework between plans and implementation, institutions and finance.  What is needed is a legal commitment to fund adaptation in the vulnerable countries according to their own priorities and preferred measures.

There are more than enough arguments for scaling up action. Here are three good suggestions made by the LCA Chair, fully supported by ECO.  Achieving progress on these issues in Tianjin will make a big step towards a successful and effective agreement in Cancun.

1. On institutional arrangements, ECO supports the establishment of an Adaptation Committee. While the Nairobi Work Programme generated important knowledge and lessons learnt, it is limited to scientific and technical work.  An Adaptation Committee not only can benefit from the NWP but also would have the task and the mandate to give additional impetus for large scale implementation, as well as providing the COP with the insights needed for more concrete direction-setting.

2. On the issue of monitoring and reporting of both finance and activities, ECO considers that developed countries should report on the support they deliver, and developing countries should report on their actions, progress achieved and lessons learnt.

However, the two types of reporting have to be considered separately. Based on their obligations, developed countries must report in the context of a defined, stringent monitoring system of finance (MRV). Reporting by developing countries on their actions is required to provide information and outcomes of the funded activities and analysis of the effects, but should not be used to deny future funding. Including local-level monitoring is crucial to ensuring that local populations targeted by the actions are given the opportunity to present their views.

3. Finally, the chair wants ideas on how to address loss and damage from climate change. ECO supports the demand put forward by the particularly vulnerable countries facing climate impacts for which adaptation will not be possible, for an international mechanism to address their losses and damage.  This should be established as soon as possible, but it must prioritise the particularly vulnerable countries and people. Conversely, inclusion of response measures is not acceptable at all; to begin with it would divert resources from the most vulnerable. The negotiating text (option 1) already provides a good overview of the required functions. While more time for technical considerations may be appropriate, an open-ended process of further consideration and a vague commitment of cooperation, as suggested through option 2 in paragraph 8 of the adaptation text, would not be appropriate. ECO highlights how important it is to move forward right here, right now.

The outcomes at Cancun will have a serious impact on the future of the UNFCCC process, with the most vulnerable countries having the most to lose from falling short or even outright failure.

Parties must carefully weigh the shortcomings in the current text and find a way to agree a framework that will signify success in the UNFCCC process. 

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