The First Place Fossil goes to India for continuing to be a spoiler on equity at the ADP sessions. The previous fossil to India was for their push to get the only mention of equity in the text to be deleted. At yesterday’s late night ADP session, India once again spoke against equity opposing South Africa’s proposal on the Equity Reference Framework and wanting to cancel the workshop on equity at the upcoming ADP session in Bonn. We certainly expect more from a Party that showed promise of being an equity champion just two years ago in Durban, saying they could not see a future deal without equity embedded in it.
Photo: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator
The first place fossil goes to India for continuing to be a spoiled sport on equity at the ADP sessions. The previous fossil to India was for their push to get the only mention of equity in the text to be deleted. At yesterday’s late night ADP session, India once again spoke against equity opposing South Africa’s proposal on the Equity Reference Framework and wanting to cancel the workshop on equity at the upcoming ADP session in Bonn. CAN certainly expects more from a party that showed promise of being an equity champion just two years ago in Durban, saying they could not see a future deal without equity embedded in it.
Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator
The first place fossil goes to India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and China for proposing to delete the only reference to equity in the ADP text! (And for the wonks, we mean paragraph 9 in the ADP text). Equity is key to the 2015 agreement and Parties must leave Warsaw with a clear understanding of how the ex ante review will be conducted. This includes – at a minimum - details on submissions, expert workshops, and the development of a technical paper on a basket of indicators covering: adequacy, historical responsibility, capability, and development and adaptation need). Details that are really hard to achieve if you just delete the whole paragraph. We were shocked that with all the discussions here and in Bonn, equity did not yield more than a passing reference in the first version of the ADP text. The next iteration must expand and not ‘streamline’ references to equity. To these members of the Like-Minded Group, we urge you to engage in the development of an ex ante review, rather than hovering over the delete button.
The second place in today’s fossil goes to Australia, who along with some other developed countries is impeding progress towards setting up an international mechanism on loss and damage here in Warsaw, as proposed by G77 and China. Trying to keep out key text elements proposed by more than 130 developing countries (such as on non-economic losses and permanent losses), delaying negotiation progress through procedural manoeuvres, and lacking a clear commitment to strong support provisions in the decision text is highly concerning. Australia is the leader of those lacking constructive spirit.
We call on the other developed countries to work seriously for the needs of the most vulnerable countries and help in establishing an effective international mechanism on loss and damage here in Warsaw.
With negotiations for a draft ADP text entering their third day, the debate on equity is surely heating up. This is the moment to ensure that an important aspect of effort sharing is on the agenda: the equitable provision of finance and other means of implementation – especially to the most vulnerable.
As a number of Parties noted this week, equity must apply to all pillars of international global climate response. In contributing their fair share of the global effort, developed countries need to both control their own emissions and support further mitigation through the provision of climate finance, by helping poorer countries implement their low-carbon development strategies.
Does this mean that wealthier countries can buy their way out of making substantial emissions reductions at home? Sorry Japan, it most definitely does not. To close the emissions gap we must make every possible effort to reduce emissions within our borders. Period.
But, what about the global adaptation effort, you ask? Who pays for that? Given the neglect of adaptation finance in favor of mitigation, it is more important than ever to ensure that countries also make a fair contribution to the adaptation challenge. There is a core equity element here: the polluter pays principle.
And whether it amounts to increasing the flow of funds, sharing risks, or both, a new international mechanism to address loss and damage will become another element in the overall contribution to addressing climate change.
No one ever said that fixing the climate crisis or resolving the all-important equity challenge would be easy. Right now we face a situation of profound inequity. Those with the least responsibility for climate change are suffering its impacts the most. The efforts of some of the poorest nations are in many cases trumping those of the big emitters. Parties should agree on a small but robust set of quantifiable equity indicators that capture these principles and help guide parties in forming and reviewing their commitments. That list should include adequacy, responsi- bility, capability, development needs and adaptation needs.
There’s one more disturbing trend this week – the overwhelming preoccupation of certain Parties with private finance, at the expense of putting any serious effort into scaling-up public finance. Of course we recognize that the private sector has an important role to play in meeting the challenges of climate change. But let’s be clear – private finance pays little attention to equity. By its very nature, it goes where money is to be made.
We already know that private climate finance flows largely to the wealthier developing countries because they are more capable of attracting and absorbing investment. And we know that private finance favors mitigation activities over adaptation. For example, a seawall or a community-based adaptation program, might be vital to an area’s very survival, but it simply won’t offer the short-term return on investment that private investors demand.
In short, private climate finance just can’t meet the mounting adaptation needs of poor and marginalized people across developing countries. Neglecting public finance risks widening an already unacceptable equity gap even further. Urgent efforts to scale up public finance and rebalance flows between adaptation and mitigation are important steps on the road to a fair and ambitious new climate agreement. So is establishing, through the Green Climate Fund, a strong multilateral climate finance regime, in which funds are distributed in accordance with a country-driven approach that ensures the needs of vulnerable communities are prioritized.
So there you have it, Ministers. When you jump head first into the finance debate, bring your very best concrete ideas on how to operationalize equity within.
At the ADP session last night on the chairs’ (now Parties’) text there was at least one thing in common: nobody likes it very much.
ECO is with you on that, but at least there is a text. That’s an important milestone in a long journey. We’ll heed the Chairs’ advice and not provide per paragraph comments but provide some initial impressions.
On Workstream 2, an ‘action agenda’ is sorely needed, but cannot be in name only. We’ve seen the laundry list of options before, but what is needed in 2014 is tangible action, and that starts with a strong, clear workplan for 2014 with precise deliverables.
And the place to start is that all developed countries must increase their targets by June 2014 at the latest – and signal their intention to do so here in Warsaw, rather than indulge in the usual delays. And we need to see further responses from developing countries, particularly those that have not yet announced pledges.
More specificity is also needed on how the ‘technical development of opportunities’ is going to be organized, with a clear focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and links to a political process to ensure delivery.
For Workstream 1, a deadline is needed for tabling targets in 2014 with sufficient information for analysis in an equity/adequacy review. We happen to think the Ban Ki-moon summit is an excellent moment for that.
ECO was amazed that with all the discussions here and in Bonn, equity did not yield more than a passing reference in one paragraph. Equity is key to the 2015 agreement and Parties must leave Warsaw with a clear understanding of how the ex ante review will be conducted. This includes the development of a technical paper, in advance of the June ADP session, on the Convention’s core equity principles. This report would identify a small list of core equity indicators (adequacy, historical responsibility, capability, development need, and adaptation need, inter alia) which, taken together in a meaningful way, can operationalize the Convention’s core equity principles.
In parallel, there should be submissions from Parties and Observers on the Convention’s equity principles, and on the quantifiable equity indicators that can most robustly operationalize these principles, helping to build trust and momentum while driving increased ambition on all fronts.
The goal is a list of equity indicators that the Parties can use in both the preparation of their post-2020 offers and in the later review of these offers. Thus there is a need for this work to be completed no later than June in order to respect a 2014 deadline.
It is a tantalizing thought that the indicative elements annex could be the 'first page' of the 2015 agreement. While there are some kinks to work out and omissions to rectify (like a reference to compliance, as LDCs and others pointed out), the most important things is that Parties leave Warsaw with a clear sense of the contours of the 2015 agreement and the process forward next year in order to produce a completed draft in Lima.
Parties have serious work ahead this week to negotiate a meaningful ADP outcome from this meeting. The key to making that happen – could this be any surprise given that we have been saying it since Doha -- is finance, finance, finance! A few sentences in the ADP text is just not enough.
There must be a global finance roadmap with agreed interim milestones for how public finance will be scaled up before 2020, including a complementary agreement to clarify how finance will progress at a national level.
Full operationalization of the GCF is also required, including an explicit confirmation by the COP that a first round of pledges to the GCF is expected no later than the Ban Ki-moon summit.
The Co-Chairs have provided at least a starter course with the initial draft of the ADP. Now we need to progress to the mains and produce a meaningful outcome.
The climate system is a heritage held in trust and passed on from generation to generation. Although the ADP is currently deadlocked, the principle of intergenerational equity (‘Inteq’) could help find common ground. Not only could Inteq bridge generations, it could also heal the divide between developed and developing countries.
Inteq is the principle that the Earth should be handed on to future generations in a state that is no worse than it was received. This means that future generations should have the same access to resources and ecological services that we enjoy today. This has clear implications for the global temperature target and for the assessment of 1.5° and 2° degree pathways. Inteq reminds us of the common goal: our shared future.
Not only does that goal unify, but it is also the first-mentioned principle of the Convention in Article 3. But Parties appear to have some amnesia, as this principle has been missing from their dialogue on equity and targets in the ADP. So how can future generations be considered in 2015, both in words and action?
Parties need to recognize that future generations have the same rights to a healthy and sustainable environment as current ones, and the global temperature limit should reflect this.
Negotiations should concretely embrace Inteq as a guiding principle within the ADP. And the 2015 agreement should explicitly recognize Inteq as a fundamental principle, along with the mechanisms to implement it.
No one will be surprised to hear that the Brazilian Proposal – which is to say Brazil’s move to reintroduce its classic 1997 analysis of historical responsibility – has been a bit controversial. But as a proposal to kick off a formal work program on Equity Indicators, Brazil’s move should be welcomed.
Historical Responsibility, after all, is a keystone Equity Indicator. In fact, it is one of five – Ambition, Responsibility, Capability, Development Need and Adaptation Need. Any serious attempt to operationalize equity must take them all into due and proper consideration.
Not that this will be easy. While it’s clear that there can be no acceptable road to climate stabilization that doesn't take into account both responsibility and capacity, and both development and adaptation needs, it’s equally clear that there’s no precise agreement on the meaning of these terms.
Reasonable people can disagree about the proper definitions of responsibility and capability, and the relationship between the two. Which is exactly why we need an expert process to study the proper formulation of equity indicators, and why that debate must be mainstreamed into the ADP.
We’re long past the point where historical responsibility, taken alone, can usefully stand for the overarching problem of climate equity. And this is why Brazil’s reintroduction of its old proposal – though helpful – is also a bit limited.
The real challenge before us is to find a new approach to equity, one that’s actually robust enough to be helpful when evaluating pledges. And this requires an entire set of core equity indicators, not just historical responsibility.
And there is really no choice but to take this challenge head on. We finally have reached an important moment: all agree that equity cannot be ignored. Ambition cannot be achieved without equity, and equity is beyond our grasp without ambition.
The way forward must include an open exchange on equity indicators, one that clarifies the trade-offs, builds consensus and prepares the ground upon which Parties will soon make pledges of action that are both strong and fair.
So we welcome Brazil’s proposal on historical responsibility. Responsibility alone is not a sufficient basis for meaningful equity review, but Brazil’s proposal provides a well-considered starting point and responsibility is a necessary pillar of any such review.
The challenge now is to build upon Brazil’s proposal, expand it into a larger process designed to clarify the core, measurable characteristics of pledges, assessing the extent to which they are fair enough to pass muster in the challenging years ahead.
[Warsaw – Poland] – November 14, 2013: Countries have just begun negotiating the questions of where, when and how countries make their climate action offers for the 2015 global action plan at the Warsaw talks, according to CAN policy experts.
Jennifer Morgan from WRI said it was imperative a more transparent and systematic approach was taken to lodging offers.
The failure to agree what information to include in offers and the fact that they were lodged very late in the game negatively affected the outcome of the last major climate negotiation session in Copenhagen in 2009.
"We need to be able to measure overall climate action effort can be measured and countries need to be able to contrast and compare each others' effort," Morgan said.
"This could be one of the key outcomes of this meeting, and though its early stages, these discussions are happening," she said.
Tom Athanasiou from EcoEquity said many countries were also beginning to speak – in general terms – about a way to analyze and review whether pledges were fair.
"But it's time to get far more specific, and to speak of simple things. We have a science review, but how are we going to do an equity review, which we need just as desperately," Athanasiou said.
"Dealing with fairness needs to go from being a blocker in these negotiations to a solution."
ON DEMAND WEBCAST of PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6901&theme=unfccc
READ WRI's PAPER ON SETTING AND REVIEW PLEDGES: (http://www.wri.org/publication/pathway-climate-change-agreement-2015-options-setting-and-reviewing-ghg-emission) http://www.wri.org/publication/pathway-climate-change-agreement-2015-options-setting-and-reviewing-ghg-emission
For more information or for one-on-one interviews with NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or email@example.com.
Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries.
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At the ADP opening yesterday, ECO waited in vain for bold and innovative ideas to ensure each Party proposes its equitable share of the global effort. We are all agreed that equity matters (the WHY) – so let's figure out the HOW.
The COP and ADP opened with clarion calls for ambition – and the key to ambition is equity. Your mission this week, dear Parties, is to move beyond vague statements about fairness and map the all-important Convention principles onto a common list of equity indicators.
We hope you’ve been busy since Bonn doing your homework on this, but just to help out, here is some know-HOW.
ECO believes there are five indicators that really matter: Adequacy, Responsibility, Capacity, Development Need, and Adaptation Need. These are the minimum indicators required to operationalize the core equity principles enshrined in the Convention.
For a fair 2015 outcome, Warsaw must deliver a consensus on the indicators that should guide Parties in formulating their pledges, and against which their pledges will be reviewed and strengthened as necessary. And there is no time to lose!
Thank you Co-Chairs,
My name is Uthra Radhakrishnan, and I’m speaking for Climate Action Network.
As communities around the world get swept under the climate disaster rug, we have little time left. This means getting ambitious about ambition.
In CAN’s opinion, the key to ambition is equity, and not equity as vague words like “fairness” that can mean anything or nothing. Equity must mean an agreed list of indicators that are based upon the Convention. This list must include indicators for Adequacy, Responsibility, Capacity, Development Need and Adaption Need – which all Parties know, prior to tabling their pledges, which be used to evaluate those pledges.
Let us not mince words. As we all know the Philippines is the latest to feel the brutal reality of climate disruption. The point of the equity indicators approach is to identify the front runners that are actually proposing to do their fair share, and the free riders that are proposing to waste even more time.
Here in Warsaw, Parties will be discussing the timeline and process by which pledges can be made and reviewed and strengthened as necessary. CAN is calling for a process to include the development of a common set of equity principles and indicators.
Let us be clear, the pledges must include finance as well as mitigation. And given that they must be made next year, we need equity indicators to be discussed here and now.