LULUCF on the Leading Edge of Failure

The LULUCF negotiations are heading towards the worst possible outcome for forests and are dragging down climate mitigation as a whole.  With each passing day it looks more and more likely a deal will be cut that allows developed countries to increase their annual emissions into the foreseeable future without any real accountability.  Do the national leaders who committed to ‘deep cuts’ in Copenhagen really know what is happening here in Tianjin?  Shouldn’t somebody tell them?

Yesterday Parties had a chance to consider an alternate path.  In an open session, Tuvalu proposed that countries should take responsibility if their emissions increase relative to the first commitment period.  It’s one way to create some basic accountability for changes in forest management. 

But this proposal was roundly rejected by some Annex I Parties with the excuse that it would be too politically difficult to account for these emissions in a fair manner.  The cursory treatment of Tuvalu’s proposal lasted less than an hour, leaving the distinct impression that developed countries would be happy never to discuss it again. 

The quick dismissal of viable accounting options is a travesty in light of the nearly two years wasted on developing a ‘reference levels’ approach that would allow developed countries to increase exploitation of their forests and artificially enhance their weak national targets.

And it gets even worse.  A large proportion of emissions from bioenergy, supposedly a low carbon energy source, will disappear entirely – unaccounted for while trees are harvested under weak forest management rules and counted as zero carbon in power stations.

ECO has learned not to expect much at all from the LULUCF negotiations.  But the citizens of a world increasingly threatened by climate change should reject this blatant abdication of accountability and responsibility, and demand that developed countries live up to their commitments to reduce emissions and protect and enhance forest carbon sinks.

Topics: 
Related Newsletter : 

Building Blocks for a Cancún Package: Presentation by CAN International

Media Advisory
October 6, 2010
Building Blocks for a Cancún Package
Presentation by CAN International
 
[Tianjin, China] CAN International will propose and detail a package of achievable
and fair decisions for countries to adopt at the upcoming UNFCCC talks in Cancún,
Mexico, on Wednesday, October 6, 18:00 – 19:30, in room Yinchuan, Meijing
Conference Centre, Tianjin, China.
 
Parties to the talks currently underway in Tianjin, China, are increasingly calling
for adoption of a “balanced package” in Cancún.  The Building Blocks proposal
by CAN International details the components that could plug into such a feasible
yet fair package, one that would provide the foundation for final deal a year later
in South Africa.  The Cancún Building Blocks proposal also provides a yardstick
for measuring the fairness and environmental integrity of any deal reached in
Cancún.
 
The presentation will include formal response by respondents from several
country delegations.
 
CAN panel:
 
• David Turnbull, CAN-International
 
• Wendel Trio, Greenpeace International
 
• Sandra Guzman, Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA)
 
• Raju Pandit Chhetri, United Mission to Nepal (UMN)
 
• Niranjali Amerasinghe, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)  
 
What: Presentation of a fair, balanced and achievable package for Cancún  
 
Where: Room Yinchuan, Meijing Conference Centre, Tianjin
 
When: 18:00 – 19:30, Wednesday, Oct. 6
 
Who: CAN International representatives and respondents from country delegations
 
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 500 non-governmental
organizations working to limit climate change to sustainable levels.  For more
information go to: www.climatenetwork.org.
 
Contact:  Hunter Cutting: +1 415-420-7498
 
      ###
 

The Cancun Building Blocks

Whilst parties are coming to the realisation that we need to move on from ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’, there is not much movement yet toward ‘nothing is agreed until enough is agreed’.  For those who don’t yet have a firm grasp on what ‘enough’ is, have no fear. ECO is here to show the way.

‘Enough’ is a set of outcomes that doesn’t just harvest the low hanging fruit but also cracks some serious political nuts and builds essential trust, so that next year negotiations don’t go around in the same circles as this year . . . and the year before that, and . . .   

‘Enough’ clarifies the road ahead: what it is that Parties are negotiating towards (a Fair, Ambitious and legally Binding agreement), by when (COP 17 in South Africa) and through which milestones.

So here are some highlights from the Cancun Building Blocks which will be unveiled by the Climate Action Network at its side event today:

• Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties, and outlines key principles for global cooperation.

• Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to secure sufficient scale and sources of finance.

• Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and principles and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.

• Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.

• Agree to stop deforestation and degradation of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.

• Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.

• Acknowledge the gigatonne gap between current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.

• Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

• Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.

• Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reductions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).

• Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17. 

• Commission at COP 16 a technical paper to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5° C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.

• Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  It is this clear pathway forward, with an agreed destination and an agreed route, that will make agreement at Cancun possible. 

Meaningful progress in each area, agreement to work toward a legally binding deal, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations, will deliver a successful and balanced package.

Related Newsletter : 

BonnIII 2010 ECO 3

Articles in this issue:

  1. Open Your Eyes to Success in Cancún
  2. REDD+ Partnership: No Foot in the Door for Stakeholders?
  3. The Russian BAU Riddle 
  4. Remembering Dr. Stephen H. Schneider (1945-2010)
     

How to Avoid a 'COP-Flop' in Cancún

ECO salutes Tuvalu for exposing the weak ambition of the Umbrella Group in the LCA on Tuesday, warning that there was a risk of Cancún turning into another 'COP flop'.  This was a timely reminder that developed countries need to step up and show leadership by taking on strong commitments. The Umbrella Group need to do much better than merely offering a list of areas for progress at Cancún that somehow leaves aside developed country targets.  Even if they get their ‘comprehensive deal’ and remove all conditions, the targets offered at the present time, other than Norway and Japan, are woefully lacking in ambition. As is often the case, ECO wonders whether the Umbrella Group is at a different negotiation from the rest of us.  At the KP they announced they were pleased with progress.  Does this mean they’re on the verge of signing up to those very overdue KP second commitment period obligations? Finally, before the EU gets too self-assured, ECO would like to remind their negotiators that with the recession, the cost of achieving a 30% target is about the same as previously expected for a 20% target.  In fact, the EU has already achieved  emissions in 2009 that were 14% less than 1990 levels.  It would be a great signal of EU leadership to adopt a unilateral 30% target as a bridge-building initiative.

Related Newsletter : 

Pages

Subscribe to Tag: Cancun