Tag: NAMAs

Did Anyone see the Elephant in the (Workshop) Room?

While ECO found it extremely pleasant to hear Chile, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Kenya, Bolivia and Cote d'Ivoire’s plans to contribute to global climate action during yesterday's workshop on Non Annex 1 mitigation action, ECO wonders why some of the big emitters from the developing world tried to hide under their desks. You can’t hide an elephant... or its emissions. ECO knows that some of these countries have big plans, and would like to see more information about their targets and their plans. Take some countries with high emissions from deforestation. Brazil and Indonesia made short interventions in Bangkok, but we were expecting some more information in Bonn. Especially given the news that reached ECO about the proposals to “reform” the Brazilian Forest Code and the message from a large amount of Brazilian scientists that the proposed amendments would make it difficult if not impossible for Brazil to achieve the pledges it has inscribed into the famous INF documents. And ECO still misses news about the target of DRC, and wonders why the government's ambition to reduce emissions from deforestation to zero below 2030 has not been submitted to the UNFCCC. Similarly, it would be quite interesting to get more information from countries like Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Thailand, who are all part of the biggest emitters.

Obviously, if all these countries, led by Argentina, would send their pledges to the UNFCCC, that would make an important contribution to closing the gigatonne gap, as ECO learned from a presentation by AOSIS, showing that also developing countries have a contribution to make in the fight against the gap.

Clarification on all these plans will allow Parties to look at the real contribution of current developing country plans, and would allow a discussion on what more can be done, by looking into what other supported action could be taken. Which makes a discussion on innovative sources for long-term climate financing all the more important. ECO knows that most Parties are aware of that but has heard it couldn't pass some umbrellas. Perhaps some of the suggestions made at the end of the workshop, including the development of formats and guidelines, and an initiative to ensure Parties learn from each others’ experiences and good practices could help.

Inventories look daunting but they can help with national policy making, NAMA design, tracking energy use which helps with national budgets etc. Also the suggestion for the secretariat to develop a technical paper on developing countries action could help the negotiations to move forward. The elephant caravan left from Bangkok, but all the elephants have yet to show up. They cannot hide forever.      We hope they show up by Durban.

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NAMA Dreaming / Dreaming of NAMAs

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?!

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Expectations For Bonn

Friends, delegates:

We find ourselves at a crucial time.  A record increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year, to the highest carbon output in history, puts your target of keeping warming below 2 degrees in jeopardy.  It puts the more important temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees – the limit needed to keep the sovereignty of many small island states intact – in even more grave danger. 

Parties, delegates, this is your moment.  The threat of climate change has never been more evident; just ask the hundreds of millions of people in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa who are already experiencing a food crisis.

Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA, says that disaster can be averted, if governments heed the warning. "If we have bold, decisive and urgent action, very soon, we still have a chance of succeeding."

The decisive action you must take, delegates, is to be productive at this Bonn intersessional, set yourselves a workplan for this year, that allows substantial progress to be made at Durban.  This work includes the following:

Advance the Adaptation Committee so that it becomes a driver for promoting coherence on adaptation under the UNFCCC. Agree on a Work Programme on Loss and Damage in Bonn and a further phase of the Nairobi Work Programme. Also advance modalities and guidelines for national adaptation planning that follow an inclusive and integrated approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems.

Bonn must take concrete steps to close the gigatonne gap. The first baby step towards that end is for developed and developing countries to clarify their pledges, including their assumptions on LULUCF, AAU carry over and carbon offsets, so that we know what amount of GHGs the atmosphere will see in 2020.

Ambition in the LULUCF sector can be increased by measures that include incentivizing emissions reductions below historical levels to add to overall effort and assist with deep, early cuts and increased targets. Parties must also move to address the bioenergy / biofuels emissions accounting loophole, ensuring that all bioenergy emissions are accounted for, either in the energy or LULUCF sector.

Parties must also talk about conditions that countries have attached to the high end of their pledged ranges – how will we know when these conditions have been met?  All that done, what do developed country Parties propose to do about the fact that their pledges are (far) below the 25-40% range and in some cases even below something Kyoto 1 targets.

Developing countries should be invited to make submissions on key factors underlying their BAU projections as well as the level and form of international climate finance needed to implement NAMAs that are conditional on such finance.

REDD+ negotiations need to start promptly in Bonn on all of the subjects that were mandated in Cancun.  By the end of the year, the COP needs to be able to decide on a mechanism for REDD+ that delivers adequate, predictable and sustainable

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CAN Presentation - Observations on NAMA and PLEDGES BY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES - 4 

Guiding Principles

Significantly Enhanced Global Effort by all Parties
Environmental Integrity and Equity
Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities
Developed countries should take the lead on emission reductions and support
Developing country actions taken in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication

To view the full presentation, view pdf above.

Additional Background Information.


Developing Country Mitigation Getting on Track but not Quite There Yet…

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.

The Emperor’s Clothes

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.


Looking Ahead: 
LCA Mitigation

As we eagerly anticipate the release of an actual LCA mitigation text, ECO is confident that it is realistic to expect substantial progress here in Cancun.
The new text will need to tackle some very controversial issues. One of the biggest debates currently underway is the inscription of emission pledges by parties. Not only does the magnitude of the pledges determine of the size of the Gigatonne Gap, the question of where they are placed reaches right into the heart of these negotiations. Should pledges be placed in the KP, the LCA or both, or should there be an independent decision on these pledges and how to go about monitoring them?
It is isn’t surprising that a lot of time is being spent on discussing this structural issue, but the concerns need to be guided by the willingness to move forward.
No balanced climate package can be achieved without resolution on ambitious mitigation targets by developed countries within the text. The bottom line is that developed countries still need to agree an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, with emissions peaking in 2015. The Gigatonne Gap should still be acknowledged and measures to bridge this gap addressed within the text.
Meanwhile, developing countries must define their nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) that contribute to sustainable development, with technical support provided to help design and implement them.
Each country must agree to develop a low carbon climate-resilient development strategy – in the case of developed countries, a zero carbon approach, and in the case of developing countries, contingent on support with NAMAs providing the building blocks. These should be long term strategic plans to decarbonize a country’s economy by 2050.
Monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) and international consultation and Analysis (ICA) must be developed in a way that adheres to the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, whilst ensuring environmental integrity. Agreeing MRV rules for developed countries under the Convention that are comparable to the Kyoto Protocol must be as important as ICA for developing countries.
Meaningful progress on all of these issues is eminently within reach in Cancun. A strong mitigation text is necessary as a first step to ensure progress on all other fronts. Let’s ensure this balanced package leads to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding deal in Durban next year.

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