While walking past the copy machine in the Maritim, ECO spotted a teacher's note intended for the 'Brollies' (Australian slang for the small tent-like device called an 'umbrella' designed to shield oneself from rain and other realities). It read as follows: Dear Brollies . . . You're good at the 3 R's (reading, [w]riting and [a]rithmetic), although you could improve on your maths. But your marks are not adequate at all on avoiding dangerous climate change. So this term, it's time to focus on the 3 C's – a Common Position leading to Common Rules and Strong Compliance. You have often lamented in class that any consolidation of commitments cannot be based on a 1992 world. Well, Brollies, it cuts both ways. The regime cannot afford to be based on a pre-1997 version of industrialized country commitments, yet your Umbrella Group submission in the LCA contact group on the MRV of Non-Annex I mitigation actions seems to suggest just that. Developed countries undertake commitments and they must be complied with. That is what leadership looks like. Merely reviewing progress toward a target isn't sufficient. Perhaps you should review the study plan for this term: Transparency in the developed country context isn't just about building trust amongst Parties, but also to detect when they aren't fulfilling their commitments. It is clear that the current regime lacks a robust early warning system for non-compliance (Canada, please stop hiding behind the umbrella). A policy review process could assist in enhancing the regime, but it can't be the end of the story. Strong compliance with legally binding commitments is crucial to building a regime for avoiding dangerous climate change. The question must be put: What happens if expert reviewers detect a problem? (And the answer can't be 'nothing'!) To assess compliance, common accounting and reporting standards are needed. This applies just as much to calculating emissions reductions as it does to the support provided by industrialized countries. It's encouraging that you Brollies can come to a common position, so it shouldn't be a big step to agree common rules. There is plenty of material to draw from and improve upon (for example, look in your Kyoto lesson plan)! If you are questioning the need for common accounting and reporting rules, please refer to the fast start financing reports published by the US (at the April MEF session) and the EU (both at and before this session). While the depth and quality of reports are welcome, other Brollies must follow suit and report on the state of your fast-start financing. This includes defining the terms and revising the relevant National Communication guidelines for reporting on financial, technological and capacity building support. Remember, progress on MRV rules will be key to ensuring a successful outcome in Cancun. However, this means detailed progress on all fronts: Annex I emission reduction commitments, Non-Annex I nationally appropriate mitigation actions and support for them provided by you and the non-Brollie Annex I countries. You're making some progress, but to pass this term, remember that your grade depends on all 3 Cs: a Common Position leading to Common Rules and Strong Compliance. The final exam is in Cancun, so don't fall behind in your work going forward! /signed/ Professor M.R.V.
Most developed countries came to Copenhagen asking the world to ignore planned increases in greenhouse gas emissions from logging and erase them from the books. It was a proposal that never deserved to see the light of day at a climate conference. Now it has to be put to rest.
The Climate Action Network has developed and proposed to negotiators a reasonable, technically sound and objective way to close the logging loophole: Account for all changes in forest management emissions compared to the average level of emissions between 1990-2007. It is so simple and so obvious that it’s boring.
It is imperative this loophole is closed if we are to have an agreement with environmental integrity. Closing this loophole will also strengthen overall targets by nearly 4%.
Will developed countries make this most basic commitment to environmental integrity or will they insist on keeping increased forestry emissions out of accounting even though they are in the atmosphere.
Austria, Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden – ECO is looking right at you.
Australia seems to be making progress – moving recently from its insistence on ending at 6pm to allow an extra hour of fun for KP discussions. But Australia, this simply will not do.
We cannot get to an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen under such conditions. You have got to do away with the pleated pants and pocket protectors, let your hair down and get ready for some late nights and long fights, but we promise the climate will thank you in the end. Furthermore, what are you possibly going to do in Barcelona at 6pm? The restaurants are not serving dinner and those “friends” of yours are a bad influence.
Australia, it is time for you to become climate cool.