Tag: Flexible Mechanisms

CAN intervention - COP Agenda Item 5: Article 17 - COP 16 - 1 December 2010

Madam President, Distinguished Delegates,

My name is Yang Ailun from China. I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network, a global network of over 500 NGOs.

Today you have an opportunity to establish a process to resolve one of the many vexing problems that is contributing to the inability of these negotiations to make substantial progress towards a Fair, Ambitious and Legally Binding outcome. 

CAN has consistently supported an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that will establish a second commitment period – thus preserving the legal and institutional structure we have all worked so hard to build. 

At the same time, the COP has a chance to establish a contact group to consider the proposals that have been on the table for over a year now, that reflect different approaches to the legal form of the outcome of the LCA negotiations. 

We urge you to establish a contact group now to consider these proposals in an open and transparent manner with a view to providing greater focus to the negotiations going into Durban next year. 

Without clarity as to where the negotiations are heading, it will be hard to get there.

CAN intervention - CMP Agenda Item 5 - 1 December 2010

Dear Chair,

My name is Irina Stavchuk of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine. I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

We are concerned about the carry-over of surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from the 1st commitment period. Estimates place this surplus at 7 to 11Gt CO2e, or roughly one third of current 2020 emissions reduction targets pledged by Annex I countries. Thus, surplus AAUs have the potential to undermine the environmental integrity and effectiveness of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. 

This problem can be addressed by replacing Paragraph 13 of Article 3. We advocate setting a stringent discount factor, so that the annual average level of emissions carried over is severely restricted.  These limited number of AAUs that have been carried over may only be used domestically in surplus holding countries for compliance in the next commitment period.

Let's be honest: the huge Kyoto surplus in Ukraine and Russia arose from a mistake in the estimate of projected business-as-usual scenario and not due to the implementation of effective climate change mitigation policies.

If the issue of surplus AAUs is not adequately addressed, developed countries can continue on a business-as-usual pathway. CAN questions the continuation of international emissions trading as a mechanism after 2012 if the Kyoto surplus issue is not fully addressed.

There are no excuses for not addressing the issue of surplus AAUs here in Cancun.


Over a Dozen Countries Share Fossils for Carbon Capture & Storage and “Hot Air”

Fossil of the Day - Day 3 - Cancun, Mexico COP16 (Dec 1st)

Cancun, Mexico – From Norway to New Zealand and Algeria to Australia, thirteen countries shared the “prize” of two Fossils of the Day for promoting carbon capture and storage in the Clean Development Mechanism, and trying to preserve the “hot air” of surplus Assigned Amount Units in future commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Fossils as presented read:

“The 2nd place Fossil is awarded to Ukraine, Russia, New Zealand, and Australia for blocking the discussion of solutions that would prevent surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from fatally weakening the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Let's be honest: the huge Kyoto surplus in Ukraine and Russia arose from a mistake in the estimate of projected business-as-usual scenarios and not due to the implementation of effective climate change mitigation policies.

If the issue of surplus AAUs is not adequately addressed, developed countries can continue on a business-as-usual pathway. CAN questions the continuation of international emissions trading as a mechanism after 2012 if the Kyoto surplus issue is not fully addressed. This was addressed in Australia’s own draft emissions trading scheme, so it is surprising that they are not working constructively to find a way to ensure that those who have deepened their emissions reductions can be rewarded for doing so in a way that does not compromise the environmental integrity of future commitments.”
“The 1st place Fossil is awarded to Saudi Arabia, Norway, Kuwait, Algeria, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, & Jordan for continuing to block progress in the negotiations by proposing the inappropriate inclusion of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.
This proposal was made in the CMP Plenary by Saudi Arabia and supported by a number of countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan. It reflects a similar proposal yesterday supported by Norway.
They claim that CCS is already a proven, viable technology – which it currently is not – whereas the other technologies included in the CDM can facilitate clean and green development for developing countries.”

About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced 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.

The Climate 

As the SBSTA opens today, ECO would like to remind delegates of a crucial item on the agenda: the proposal for a technical review of the science relating to long-term temperature increases of more than 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels.
What’s this all about? It’s about clarifying what is really at stake here. It’s about urgently bringing in the latest science to inform the ongoing negotiations, and spelling out the choice that governments now face – a choice between raising ambition to a level high enough to avoid climate chaos, or accepting the devastating consequences of a failure to act in time and at scale.
This issue was first put on the agenda in Bonn in June.  There, AOSIS – alarmed by recent reports suggesting that the future of their nations could be at risk even if global temperature rise is stabilized at 2° C – proposed that the Secretariat produce a summary of recent scientific studies.
During the negotiations in Bonn it was clarified that this task lies well within the mandate and capabilities of the Secretariat, and that this by no means would be duplicating the work of the IPCC. With these common understandings in place, the vast majority of governments supported the proposal from the small island states.
In the end, however, a few governments still resisted the idea of an overview of recent science.  One even went so far as to suggest that vulnerable countries who wanted to know more about the impacts they are facing from climate change could just use Google.
Cancun must not be the COP where governments decide to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the latest science relating to the consequences of the path they are now taking.
Furthermore, governments must remember that while some countries are confronting imminent threats to their very existence, every last one faces severe climate risk. AOSIS and the rest of the world’s most vulnerable countries are standing at the front of the line, but the rest of the world is right behind.
Clarifying the scientific realities about climate change must not be an issue just for AOSIS to push. Dear governments – speak no evil – don’t block a technical review to clarify the impacts facing us all if we exceed a long-term temperature rise of 1.5° C. Sooner or later all countries are highly vulnerable, and we all have a right to know.

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CRP.1: Steps toward a Package

Many parties commented in the COP plenary about this year’s record temperatures and extreme weather events. This comes as ECO reflects on the Royal Society’s recent treatise on a rapidly warming +4 degree world . . . the kind of world resulting from a lack of ambition. The need for dramatic action on mitigation has never been so clear.
Which brings us to the LCA. ECO welcomes the work by the Chair this year. Her approach to helping parties reach consensus is to be commended.  In a spirit of mutual support, we present the following recommendations on the Chair’s possible elements.

The Shared Vision must safeguard the planet for future generations.  Limiting warming to 1.5° C is necessary to avoid severe impacts, such as a loss of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, a small part of which is off the shores of Cancun, the second longest in the world and a locale for priceless biodiversity. Parties must aim for a 1.5° C temperature threshold, commit to a process that examines this objective, and agree a global peak in emissions no later than 2015.  Mere preparation of a review in 2015, as currently proposed, would not be a call to action but a homily to squander a once-only opportunity.
The Finance section of the Chair’s note is useful in streamlining the text and identifying potential middle ground in some areas.  It is also missing some crucial elements, such as a proper balance between mitigation and 
adaptation finance, participation of vulnerable populations, civil society and women.  And yet it is a very promising basis to build on. With additional refinement, it can provide a way forward to a substantive decision on creation of a new fund under the COP, establishment of an effective oversight body, and a process to decide on sources of funding, including innovative sources of public finance.
The text on Technology unfortunately does not ensure that the technology mechanism will be under the authority of and accountable to the COP. This weakens the objectives of setting up the architecture of cooperation through the Technology Executive Committee and Technology Network Centres, as there is no rules-based multilateral mechanism proposed. It also allows an ad hoc set of arrangements to emerge that invites prominent roles for the World Bank and regional development banks. Just to be clear, they still fund fossil fuels over conservation, energy efficiency and renewables.  Even US clean energy companies are sceptical of the role of the World Bank.  They and others would benefit from institutional arrangements that are clearly under the COP’s guidance.
CRP.1 as drafted effectively sidetracks CAN’s proposed building blocks for Capacity Building. The text drops the proposed CB Technical Panel, which should be the front end of a design-and-build programme for new, real and integrated CB to start happening in real places, in real time, backed by real and new resources.  Without the front end the entire pathway essentially vanishes. Additionally, the text drops a proposed legal lock creating an obligation on developed countries to adequately support new CB.
The establishment of a strong Adaptation Framework for Implementation is essential and within reach. While not perfect, the Chair’s text lays out steps for a post-NAPA process for developing country parties and for loss and damage. The text also demands a decision on an Adaptation Committee but remains weak on linking the provision of finance to adaptation actions, a necessary connection.  ECO is most pleased that references to response measures have been removed from the text.
Ironically, while Mitigation is arguably the most important element of a climate agreement, progress has seemed beyond reach. While the Chair’s text delivers only a very general and concise outline of the expected outcome, agreement on specific elements of mitigation is an essential part of the outcome from Cancun.  Elements could include the creation of a mitigation registry to track action and provide support, recognition of the Gigatonne Gap that exists between targets and the level of action required, a process for addressing the gap, and preparation of zero and low carbon action plans.
Given the complexity of issues related to Mechanisms (both market-based and non-market-based), the Chair’s suggestion to establish formal processes to examine them is sensible.
The principles laid out in the Annex V include some useful language such as ‘moving beyond offsets’ to ‘net decrease in global GHGs’ and ‘preventing double counting’ of emissions.  However, Parties should bear in mind that there is no room – or indeed need – for offsets with the current inadequately low pledges by developed countries.
The MRV text remains a blank canvas. A mere 36 words are dedicated to an issue that has blocked progress in these negotiations. Robust MRV is crucial for environmental integrity, but it must be equitable. Critical issues such as common accounting standards for Annex 1 countries, modalities for MRV of support in national communications, and a differentiated approach for verification of voluntary/unsupported actions taken by developing countries must be tackled in these negotiations. Let’s not forget that transparency should apply to the MRV process as well, assuring public access and participation throughout, and developing countries must be supported in their efforts to build domestic MRV capacity.
Finally, the text is silent on the ultimate Legal Form of the LCA outcome. Parties are going to have to come to terms with this question soon, since it is inextricably tied to progressing a second commitment period under the KP. Moreover, the text is silent on what mandate the LCA will have going forward. A clear sense of how both the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA will proceed after Cancun is essential to ensure progress towards a Fair, Ambitious and Binding deal.
The analogy of Swiss cheese has been suggested in this regard. Dearest delegates, ECO urges you to plug the remaining holes in this text – the result of which could well be the politically balanced package you have been looking for.

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