Tag: Pledges

How Much Climate Finance Will Developed Countries Provide in 2013 and Beyond?


Based on pledges/statements made in UNFCCC…

Finland, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK were first off the blocks in making financial pledges in Doha.  This was welcome. But the adequacy and the clarity of these pledges vary significantly and need to be pinned down.

And then there’s the rest…

No developed country Party should be coming back to this process empty handed! ALL developed countries need to urgently commit to what climate finance they will provide in 2013 and beyond, in a way that is transparent, comparable and makes clear how finance is new and additional.

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Where are the NAMAs for Arab Countries?

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. 

ECO supports Greenpeace's call for east-west regional integration in the Arab world with regard to the research, financing and development of renewable energy technologies. This regional cooperation can build on the work already done by individual states in renewable energy development, while developing a new role for regional states at the forefront of clean energy technology innovation.
Renewable energy cooperation will also promote economies of scale and fraternal ties crucial to dealing with the other pressing climate impacts faced by many regional states: growing water scarcity amid shifting weather patterns and, in some, projected sea-level rises on coastal communities and aquifers.
Climate mitigation requires both regional and global efforts to switch from dirty fossil fuels to safe renewable energy sources. 
ECO favours a regional approach in which economic diversification crucial to future prosperity is built on sustainable national and regional energy strategies—where renewable energy progressively takes the lead role in generation. This includes a transformation away from fossil fuel over-reliance.
Qatar and fellow Gulf States have the economic capacity to make this shift and simultaneously play a key role in climate change financing. For equity reasons, this should only occur in the context of Annex 1 fulfilling their commitments to climate finance.
Where market adjustments are made, Greenpeace has demonstrated in its Energy [R]evolution that the capacity of Middle East States and the world as a whole can make the rapid switch to solar and other renewable energies, which are already becoming cost competitive, despite the massive subsidy advantages that fossil fuels enjoy. 
For Arab states, renewables provide the promise of energy sovereignty and the path to sustainable development and prosperity. But the Arab states are not the only ones who have not submitted their NAMAs.
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“CAN Collectibles”: AUSTRALIA

 “CAN Collectibles”: Bet You Can't Read Just One!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar

Collect 3, Get 1 Free!


National term of endearment/greeting: Mate
Annual alcohol consumption: 10 litres per person per year
Annual cheese consumption: 12 kilograms per person per year
Best things about Australia: Sun, surf, sand. Great Barrier Reef irreplaceable natural asset currently under threat from the coal industry. Excellent coffee.
Worst things about Australia: World's smallest, killer jellyfish. Dangerous addiction to coal.
Things you didn't know: 89% of Australians live in an urban area. 24% of Australians were born in another country. No one drinks Fosters.
Existing unconditional pledge on the table: 5% below 2000 levels by 2020 (4% below 1990)
Existing conditional pledge (upper end): 25% below 2000 levels by 2020
Next step to increase ambition by COP18: This year: a KP QELRO consistent with cuts of at least 25% below 2000 levels by 2020. And a commitment to work in the ADP process to raise ambition further (toward 40% by 2020)
Rationale: Australia has set conditions for moving its target from 5% to 15% to 25%. The conditions for the 15% target have been met, according to government briefings
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Increasing Ambition & Common Accounting – What are you Waiting for?

As negotiations have now gone into a somewhat un-transparent mode, ECO had little choice but to catch delegates on their way out of the developed country mitigation informal yesterday – and was pleasantly surprised that indeed Parties used the session to address two of the elephants in the room – the lack of ambition of developed countries’ pledges, and the need for common accounting rules. It came as no surprise that while almost everyone recognized the latter, a few considered that such accounting would pose inconvenient hurdles they weren’t ready to take. This “unhelpfully resisting the numbers,” as one delegate put it after the session, doesn’t strike ECO as particularly plausible for a country that in other circumstances insists on level playing fields (when it suits them).

 ECO was pleased to hear the EU referring to its submission on options for increasing ambition. Their proposal indeed contains a useful list to start with. However, the most obvious “option” for the EU does not require a submission but bold action – upping its own target to 30% reductions by 2020. One (large) developed country has been reported to have suggested that the meeting was not the place to discuss increasing ambition by developed countries. If not here, then where, wonders ECO. Yet, there has been no lack of ideas to increase ambition. ECO cannot resist to line them up into four broad steps, as a service to the hurried negotiator and to help the upcoming next informal meeting today:

Step 1would seek full clarity on developed countries’ net domestic emissions in 2020 resulting from current pledges, based on assumptions on LULUCF accounting, AAU carry-over, or the use of carbon offsets.

Step 2would close the damn loopholes. For instance, LULUCF rules would use historic reference levels rather than some bogus projections into the future; AAU carry-over would be limited and no new hot air allowed to enter the system – you get the picture.

Step 3would move developed countries to the high end of their pledges as a first step. Where needed, countries would clarify (a) what part of the conditions have been met so far and (b) what would fulfill the remaining conditions.

And finally, Step 4, developed countries would go beyond the high end of their current pledges to get them into the 25-40% IPCC range, and then (double-check with them if they are still up for 2°C) to at least 40% cuts by 2020. Difficult? Ask Denmark.

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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Does Anyone think that there is no gap?

Hearing no objection it is so decided. So can ECO take it then, that, thanks to the challenging question by the European Union in Thursday’s workshop on developed country mitigation pledges, there is universal agreement that there is a gap? Fine.

So let’s move to the next step: looking at ways to increase ambition (to close the said gap), which was among the agreed purposes of the workshop, yet tacitly but plainly avoided by most developed country presenters. The European Union, at least, made a good faith attempt on the issue, and, yes, including more gases and sectors is among the things to look at. Yet ECO missed a slide explaining what the MRV- able conditions the EU has to move to (at least!) a 30% target. Instead, we were slightly amused when told that even the 20% target would be hard work. ECO reminds Parties that current EU legislation allows for more than half of the effort needed between 2013 and 2020 to be covered by carbon offsets instead of domestic action. That would also mean that with current emission levels (-16% below 1990 levels), no more domestic action is needed until 2020.

Yet, ECO’s readers will know the story of the one-eyed among the blind. Canada merrily implied that its pathetic target be comparable to the EU’s (considering that Canada is suggesting an increase over 1990 levels), and smartly dodged the question by a delegate how a target that is even weaker than its current Kyoto target could possibly constitute progress towards meeting the 1.5°C/2°C challenge. Canada’s Southern neighbours had, likewise, not much to offer, except maybe the notion that one needn’t be worried about the gap now because the review could maybe fix it later. ECO wonders if the US understands that leaving the gap unaddressed now, will require very, very steep reductions to make up for the delay, and if the US will be the country to champion that.

Delegates planning to attend today’s spin- off groups on developed country mitigation might want to keep in mind the conclusion by the co-chairs at the end of the workshop: that there is a gap, that there is some resolve to address it, and that further work needs to be done. ECO couldn’t agree more and suggests a four step approach for today’s informal sessions: (1) Developed countries make clear what their net domestic emissions will be in 2020; (2) Parties agree to close the loopholes by Durban, e.g. on hot air or carbon offset use, and have Parties not use bogus LULUCF projections meant to hide emissions but use historic reference levels and cover all emissions (see separate article in this issue); (3) Developed countries move to the high end of their pledges, by Durban, as a first important step; and (4) begin addressing the remaining gigatonne gap, by recognizing its size and a firm resolve in Durban to close it through a fair sharing of the globally needed mitigation effort, based on responsibility for emissions and capability to cut them.

And now: it is so decided!

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Lessons to be taken from the Workshop on developed country QELROs - May 2011

Developed country pledges: Where are Parties after Cancun?
In Cancun Parties agreed on keeping warming below 2°C and agreed to consider moving to
1.5°C. Parties also recognised the 25-40% range for developed countries. At the same time
developed countries recognised that current pledges are too low, that deep cuts are needed
and that mitigation efforts must be ‘scaled-up’ - with developed countries showing
The workshop revealed that there is urgent clarity needed on the following points:
1. Developed countries must clarify what their true emissions will be, i.e. their
assumptions on forests and other land use accounting, the use of carbon offsets and
hot air carry-over, in order to close all loopholes.
2. Developed countries with current pledges below the 25-40% range must explain how
their low pledges
- should be compensated for by other developed countries making higher cuts
- are consistent with their fair share of the globally needed mitigation effort.
3. Developed countries whose pledges are
- below their current Kyoto targets, and/or
- below BAU under existing domestic legislation and targets (e.g. efficiency
must explain how those pledges constitute progress.
4. Developed countries must explain how their 2020 pledges will allow them to
achieve near-zero emissions by 2050.

... to read the full document, view the pdf above.

View the presentation.

The Truth About Mitigation – It’s Still Inconvenient!

The bright and shiny moments in yesterday’s workshop on mitigation targets of developed countries were noticeable, albeit sparse, and mostly rhetorical. It seems to ECO, the truth is still inconvenient!

We learned that reducing emissions is good for the economy. Many countries re- affirmed the need to increase the ambition level and were very aware of the gap between current pledges and the cuts needed to stay below 2 degrees of warming, let alone the needed 1.5°C limit. And nearly everyone – except the U.S. – acknowledged the need for common accounting standards to ensure the environmental integrity of this global climate cooperation.

But, to put it simply, knowing a thing and doing a thing isn’t the same thing...

On the difficult questions CAN posed; negotiators did not have such positive answers. For example, what will their true emissions be? Assumptions on forests and other land use accounting, the use of carbon offsets and hot air carry-over are all huge potential loopholes. While there was some conversation on this subject – with the U.S. promising to count both sources and sinks in its land-based accounting approach and challenging other countries’ approaches – there was no definitive account of those true emissions. Russia, Iceland and others didn’t take up the challenge, but you know, there’s those inconvenient ‘national circumstances’ to consider. The offsets question was kicked to the MRV discussion...so stay tuned.

CAN expected that developed countries with current pledges below the 25-40% range would explain how their low pledges are consistent with their fair share of the needed global mitigation efforts. We did not get answers. We just heard a lot about ‘conditions’ that must be met before they will tell us their real target.

CAN expected developed countries whose pledges are below their current Kyoto targets, and/or below business as usual under existing domestic legislation and targets, to explain how those pledges constitute progress. To ECO’s dismay, one candidate for this question, Canada, didn’t even sit for the exam. Another, the EU, wiggled free of the challenge by explaining that member states really want to achieve their long-agreed voluntary energy efficiency targets which is needed to cut their domestic emissions overall by 25%. ECO, along with the Philippines, would like to ask how that makes the EU a climate leader.

ECO also wanted to know how their 2020 pledges will allow them to achieve near-zero emissions by 2050.        Only Norway seemed to come even close to answering, but Germany did present indicative decadal targets for -80% by 2050, while the UK’s trajectory to -80% is enshrined in national law. The UK’s model is overall not a bad model for a low-emission development strategy. There was a potentially encouraging admission by Poland that it was too addicted to coal and was embracing energy efficiency. Now, if only Poland took that realisation to Brussels.

While additional details remain to be tabled, equally important work must begin to enable the leading industrialized countries of the world to ensure the environmental integrity of their emissions targets.

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