Having COP18 in Qatar presents a unique opportunity to move forward with mitigation and adaptation efforts for climate change in the region, as well as for climate finance. With this in mind, ECO is calling for leadership from the Arab states beyond the conference hall.
CAN delivered a presentation to further the understanding of the diversity of nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties, underlying assumptions, and any support needed for implementation of these actions.
Do you sometimes wake up at night, thinking: I wish I knew what a credited NAMA was...? (If you do, you’ve clearly been here far too long - ECO recommends a cup of herbal tea and a walk along the Rhine.) Sadly, you are not alone. The wonderfully fuzzy clouds called NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) are taking shape without anyone really knowing how the three oft-mentioned types of NAMAs should co-exist. By this ECO means: ‘unilateral’ NAMAs, mitigation action implemented solely by developing countries; ‘supported’ NAMAs, mitigation action financially supported by donor countries; and ‘credited’ NAMAs, actions that, like the CDM, result in some form of trade-able carbon credits. Seems distinct enough, but upon further reflection, ECO has some nagging questions about credited NAMAs:
- What role do parties envisage for the new market-based mechanisms in a NAMA framework?
-What role will CDM play? Will new mechanisms be complementary to CDM or will they replace CDM?
– Who will ensure the quality and accounting of offsets coming from any new market mechanisms?
Some things we already know: The different NAMAs have to be clearly defined to avoid double counting of the emission reductions and the finance provided. A governance structure is required to ensure sound MRV so that we can truly move towards closing the perilous emissions gap we are facing. It is essential that new mechanisms will not lead to greater offsetting opportunities for developed countries. Clearly, there is a lot to figure out before we will know if NAMAs are going to be a troubling dream that resolves by morning or a nightmare we never wake up from.
By the way, do you ever wonder (sometime in the hazy night) how “Low Carbon Development Plans” relate to NAMAs?!
Yesterday’s second mitigation workshop put the spotlight on developing country actions. ECO was intrigued that developed countries didn’t use the opportunity to get payback for being grilled the day before on their pledges. This may have been, ECO speculates, because many developed countries are quite aware that their own pledges are pathetically below the 25-40% range, and full of loopholes. It may also be that developed countries have to admit that several of the developing countries, even if they haven’t yet pulled out all the stops, are much closer to their fair share of the global effort than their developed country friends. ECO would welcome such recognition but must insist that the gaping gigatonne gap is there because of a lack of ambition on many sides.
ECO was pleased by greater clarity by South Africa and India on the level of finance needed to implement developing country pledges. This may have helped remind developed countries that, as part of their fair share of the global mitigation effort, they need to support (through finance, technology and capacity building) ambitious mitigation actions by developing countries.
In order to ensure environmental integrity, ECO agrees with several developed country Parties that greater clarity on the assumptions behind business-as-usual baselines would help to bridge the trust deficit between countries. It would also go a long way to building trust to have a process under the UNFCCC to assess overall developed and developing country contributions to our global mitigation goals. ECO supports the Mexican notion that international guidance for establishing such baselines may be a next step to take en route to Durban. The suggestion to convert the long lists of NAMAs into information on expected economy wide emission levels would also be useful, with special treatment for LDCs and SIDS due to their particular circumstances.
Now that the two workshops are over, ECO expects Parties to feed the reports of both workshops into the LCA and KP negotiations. We support the Brazilian proposal that these workshops should have a connection to negotiations around ambition and finance. On the design of upcoming workshops ECO invites Parties to make future presentations more focused on the actual questions that need answers, e.g. assumptions behind pledges or baselines or crystal clear explanations on emissions accounting. This would enable better use of time and allow concrete conclusions to guide negotiations. Workshops could also benefit from more detailed presentations from experts and stakeholders, as well as their inclusion in ensuing discussions.
Next, ECO strongly suggests developed country Parties make submissions before Bonn on their assumptions on LULUCF accounting, AAU banking and access to international credits.
Developing countries should make submissions on the assumptions behind their BAU projections, including information on key factors such as energy use and prices, economic development, population, etc. ECO suggests that the secretariat paper focus on these assumptions.
Workshops in Bonn should then cover potential policy measures developed countries could undertake to go beyond current inadequate pledges and common guidelines for methodologies and assumptions underpinning the definition of BAUs – to get a better understanding of the combined effort of all Parties.
Yet, if it were not already crystal clear, there is one key message that ECO believes the workshops made obvious: Parties urgently need to address the gigatonne gap, and soon. And hey, why not start here in Bangkok, in order to produce substantial progress by Durban.
CAN lessons to be taken from the developing country mitigation workshop at Bangkok 4 April 2011.
Developing country action: Where are Parties after Cancun?
In Cancun Parties agreed on keeping warming below 2°C and agreed to consider moving to 1.5°C. It was also agreed
that developing country Parties take nationally appropriate mitigation actions in the context of sustainable
development that would be supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity building with the aim of
achieving a deviation in emissions relative to ‘business as usual’ emissions in 2020. Parties also decided to develop a
registry to record mitigation action seeking international support and to facilitating the matching of action and
support. Developing country parties were also encouraged to develop low-carbon development strategies or plans in
the context of sustainable development.
To read the full backgrounder, view the pdf above.
ECO keenly looks forward to today’s presentations on developing country action as we expect they will demonstrate more ambition and readiness for action than what was presented yesterday.
Many developing countries have recognized that their pledges and NAMAs can reduce emissions while growing their economies sustainably and creating a climate safe future. A future where people are lifted out of poverty, have access to clean safe energy, and the unavoidable impacts of climate change managed.
NAMAs should be developed within the context of Low Emission Development Strategies or Plans (LEDS/P) both to reduce emissions below business as usual in the short term and to fulfill their sustainable development objectives while also achieving a low carbon economy.
Specific steps which can be taken internationally this year include:
- Making operational a robust MRV system and Registry – enabling recognition of early action and matching enhanced action with support;
- Agreeing a concrete plan and timetable by Durban to clarify the assumptions, metrics and scope of actions, and related support required;
- Establishing an ongoing iterative process that involves hearing from every single country on their strategies and plans.
Early action is needed and the capability to act is there. However, technological and financial support as well as capacity building is crucial to realize the full potential of mitigation actions in developing countries.
There is thus a dual obligation on developed countries to both act and support. Fulfilling that obligation will give practical meaning to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. This support is essential for both preparation and implementation of Low Emission Development Strategies or Plans and NAMAs.
The ongoing lack of ambition by developed countries is a serious breach of trust in terms their existing obligations under both the Convention and the Protocol. To ensure environmental integrity in an equitable manner developed countries must reduce their emissions by more than 40% and leave sustainable development space for developing countries. But it is clear that all countries need to do far more, as ECO has said many times over. Those with more capabilities should act sooner and faster.