Tag: Finance

Midweek MRV

Halfway through the meeting in Panama, ECO would like to present an assessment of progress made thus far. Overall, ECO is happy to note that Parties are very busy preparing and discussing text.  There are still potential storm clouds on the horizon for Durban, however ECO hopes that by the end of this week Parties can get agreement on producing a set of decision text that can narrow the remaining political differences and lay the groundwork for important steps forward in Durban. While not comprehensive, here is ECO’s take on some of the issues under discussion here this in Panama.
Substantive discussions on issues related to legal architecture have percolated up in Panama - including in the LCA informal group on Legal Options (despite Saudi Arabia's best efforts to squelch those discussions).  But there is clearly no meaningful convergence on these issues, and the process lacks a forum for having the cross cutting dialogue necessary to ensure coherent outcomes of the two tracks in Durban.  While outside the main talks here, the Mexico-PNG proposal to address voting procedures is a welcome attempt to focus attention on improving the efficiency of the UNFCCC process.
On the pathetically low levels of developed country ambition – Parties have shown signs that they are at least at step one: recognising they have a problem.   ECO hopes that Parties can come up with a clear process on how to address the gigatonne gap in Durban and happy to see there are some proposals on the table.
On the LULUCF issue being addressed in the Kyoto Protocol track, ECO applauds the principle put forward by the G77 this week in its proposal to treat natural disturbances using a statistical approach. ECO is waiting to see if this new proposal will also be transparent, robust and conservative.  On the other hand, the implications of New Zealand’s proposal for “flexible land use” raises significant concerns that this could wreck other parts of the LULUCF accounting rules and has the potential to cause further damage if used in REDD.
The opening informal on finance kicked off with clashes over whether to negotiate the Standing Committee or long-term finance (scaling up 2013-2020 finance as well as sources).  After Bonn, ECO anticipated that Parties would finally agree to focus on long-term finance.  But it didn’t take long for disappointment to take hold as the US, other umbrella group members and even some EU countries refused to discuss text  – with the US insisting that responsibility lies with individual parties to determine how they will reach the $100bn Cancun commitment.  If that’s the case, ECO thinks the US should be made to say what their plan is! Chief among the innovative finance sources that should be addressed is bunkers, where a decision under sectoral approaches to guide the International Maritime Organization to design a carbon pricing instrument taking into account the principle of CBDR would be a significant outcome in Durban.
Discussions on the scope and modalities of the 2013-15 Review happily included an IPCC briefing on the scope and timing of its Fifth Assessment Report and how its findings could contribute to the review process.   ECO urges Parties to creatively design and adopt at Durban a three-year work program that creates an ‘upward spiral of ambition’.
ECO welcomes that views on the Adaptation Committee became clearer during the last few days and that more and more Parties are considering ways that civil society can be an active part of the committee. But in the next three days, nothing less than draft decision text will do -- especially as seven other critical issues on adaptation remain to be addressed in Durban.
The technology facilitator has shown commendable initiative in developing draft decision text. However, the first reading of the text throws into relief the developed countries’ attempts to thwart progress by bracketing various critical elements and options essential for operationalizing the Technology Mechanism by 2012. ECO urges parties to ratchet up the speed of drafting decision text through pointed discussion around critical issues and ensuring that the Cancun Agreement timelines for operationalizing the technology mechanism are met.
Finally, ECO is pleased that negotiators are intensively addressing the myriad issues involved on MRV, including ICA, IAR, and biennial reports, that text is being developed, and that NGO participation in the IAR process is under serious consideration.  Similar consideration, though should be given to such participation in the ICA process.  

First Place Fossil Goes to the USA, while Saudi Arabia Earns Its 2nd Second Place Fossil

Photo Credit: Adopt a Negotiator

First place Fossil is awarded to the USA. There are three excellent reasons to award today's first prize Fossil to the United States:

First, recent news has surfaced that the US State Department has a bias towards carbon polluting pipelines--namely, the Keystone XL, which is a 1,700-mile fuse to the largest Carbon bomb on the planet, the Alberta tar sands. The State Department is currently conducting a review for the pipeline, but has been receiving significant counsel from the pipeline company's own lobbyists.

Exploiting the tar sands is a dangerous step in the wrong direction, and one that President Obama will decide upon before the year is out. This troubling relationship obscures the fact that saying no to Keystone XL is a positive step for the US to demonstrate seriousness in face of the climate crisis.

Given this bias, it's no wonder there is further cause to award the US a Fossil. In today’s LCA discussion on legal form, the U.S. expressed its unwillingness to reach agreement on a mandate.  To sum up, the US doesn't think the likely outcome would suit them, so they would rather not bother continuing the discussion. The US expressed that a strong mandate is in fact in the US interest, but expending the energy to reach it appears not to be.

Finally, yesterday's finance informal resulted in the US stating that no discussion of sources of finance should continue, but rather, proceed into the g20 as a venue. The US is only interested in discussing the standing committee--which is only one of four important areas of focus to ensure adequate financing. Innovative sources of financing are crucial and should be taken up here.

For these three reasons, we award the United States a first-prize Fossil.

Saudi Arabia gets the 2nd place Fossil of the Day for attempting to block the Chair of the Legal Options Informal Group from outlining the options on legal form.  Hmmm - let's go over that one, one more time - the Saudis do not want the Chair, who has been mandated by Parties to convene a group to talk about legal options, to talk about legal options??  Come on!  A mandate is a mandate and progress in this group on legal form is crucial to a successful outcome in Durban.  Luckily, the Chair is well aware of her mandate and will proceed with the discussions on options tomorrow.  Good on her!  A legally binding agreement is the highest form of commitment and with an issue as serious and as pressing as climate change, the highest form of commitment is sorely needed from all countries.  The first step to getting there and bridging the divide is to have a clear overview of the options currently on the table in terms of legal form and where countries stand on them.  We are looking forward to the continued discussions tomorrow, but without any further procedural shenanigans!

First Place Fossil Goes to the USA, while Saudi Arabia Earns Its Second Second Place Fossil

Photo Credit: Adopt a Negotiator


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     4 October 2011
Panamá City, Panamá

Contact:
David Turnbull
dturnbull@climatenetwork.org
Home mobile: +12023162499
Local mobile: (+507) 64751851

First place Fossil is awarded to the USA. There are three excellent reasons to award today's first prize Fossil to the United States:

First, recent news has surfaced that the US State Department has a bias towards carbon polluting pipelines--namely, the Keystone XL, which is a 1,700-mile fuse to the largest Carbon bomb on the planet, the Alberta tar sands. The State Department is currently conducting a review for the pipeline, but has been receiving significant counsel from the pipeline company's own lobbyists.

Exploiting the tar sands is a dangerous step in the wrong direction, and one that President Obama will decide upon before the year is out. This troubling relationship obscures the fact that saying no to Keystone XL is a positive step for the US to demonstrate seriousness in face of the climate crisis.

Given this bias, it's no wonder there is further cause to award the US a Fossil. In today’s LCA discussion on legal form, the U.S. expressed its unwillingness to reach agreement on a mandate.  To sum up, the US doesn't think the likely outcome would suit them, so they would rather not bother continuing the discussion. The US expressed that a strong mandate is in fact in the US interest, but expending the energy to reach it appears not to be.

Finally, yesterday's finance informal resulted in the US stating that no discussion of sources of finance should continue, but rather, proceed into the g20 as a venue. The US is only interested in discussing the standing committee--which is only one of four important areas of focus to ensure adequate financing. Innovative sources of financing are crucial and should be taken up here.

For these three reasons, we award the United States a first-prize Fossil.

Saudi Arabia gets the 2nd place Fossil of the Day for attempting to block the Chair of the Legal Options Informal Group from outlining the options on legal form.  Hmmm - let's go over that one, one more time - the Saudis do not want the Chair, who has been mandated by Parties to convene a group to talk about legal options, to talk about legal options??  Come on!  A mandate is a mandate and progress in this group on legal form is crucial to a successful outcome in Durban.  Luckily, the Chair is well aware of her mandate and will proceed with the discussions on options tomorrow.  Good on her!  A legally binding agreement is the highest form of commitment and with an issue as serious and as pressing as climate change, the highest form of commitment is sorely needed from all countries.  The first step to getting there and bridging the divide is to have a clear overview of the options currently on the table in terms of legal form and where countries stand on them.  We are looking forward to the continued discussions tomorrow, but without any further procedural shenanigans!

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

About the Fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.  

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CAN SIDE EVENT -

Scaling-up Climate Finance from 2013

16:30-18:00 - Miraflores (Sheraton)

How to ensure sufficient and scalable longterm public climate finance starting in 2013, after the end of FSF. CAN will discuss the need for new and additional budget contributions and assess options for mobilizing supplementary sources of innovative public finance, consistent with CBDR.

 

Topics: 

Reassessing priorities on long-term finance

Back in Bonn, Eco complained that the finance negotiations seemed more concerned with designing finance institutions than deciding where the long-term finance to fund them should come from. The result could be a Green Climate Fund that is an empty shell, and a Standing Committee that is left to stand still.

Paying a quick visit to yesterday’s finance informal, Eco was pleased to see a number of parties stress the need to readdress this balance. When Durban draws to a close, the world’s citizens will find it extraordinary if the African COP does not deliver the resources that poor and vulnerable people in Africa and elsewhere need to adapt to climate change and shift to a low-carbon development path.

A meaningful decision on long-term finance in Durban should cover at least three elements. First, a roadmap is needed for scaling-up climate finance from 2013 to 2020 to at least meet the $100 billion per year commitment by 2020. This should include a commitment from developed countries that there will be no gap after the end of the Fast Start Finance period. The roadmap should recognise that $100 billion is needed from public finance – mobilised first and foremost through assessed budgetary contributions of developed countries, and through supplementary sources of public finance, such as carbon pricing of international transport or financial transaction taxes.

Finally the roadmap should include a detailed workplan to drive towards the further decisions needed at COP-18, including technical workshops and submissions from parties, experts and observers.

But negotiators should not be satisfied with agreeing a roadmap alone. They must also get the finance car on the road and start driving down it.

The second key area to address in Durban is the initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund. Eco wants to be clear that an initial capitalisation should not merely cover the running costs of the Secretariat and Board of the new fund over the next year, but must extend commitment to a substantial first tranche of funding to enable the disbursement of climate finance to developing countries from 2013.

Finally, there should be a decision in Durban to move ahead with the most promising supplementary sources of public finance. Eco notes that the International Maritime Organisation is ready to get to work on designing an instrument to apply a universal carbon price to international shipping, which would both control high and rising emissions from the sector, and raise substantial new revenues. But the IMO process is waiting for guidance from the UNFCCC COP on how to do so while respecting CBDR.

There is no reason to delay giving that guidance to ensure the IMO gets down to work from March next year. A Durban decision should establish the principle that CBDR can be addressed by directing revenues as compensation to developing countries and to the Green Climate Fund. Further work will still be needed on the details of implementation, but better to start those discussions next year than wait another 12 months.

With progress on these elements in Panama, Eco is confident that Durban can yet deliver an balanced outcome on finance which helps both to operationalize the new finance institutions needed, and to mobilize the long-term revenues. The people watching the African COP will expect nothing less.

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