Photo Credit: Leila Mead/IISD
Photo Credit: Leila Mead/IISD
Admitted UNFCCC observer organizations are invited to submit views, including experiences, positive and negative, on matters referred to in paragraphs 79 and 80 of the Durban decision of the AWG-LCA which establishes a work program to consider a Framework for Various Approaches (Framework). CAN welcomes the opportunity to submit views.
Ministers – thank goodness you are here. Your delegations may have been burning some midnight oil in the last few days – but they have left the hard decisions for you! Here’s what your agenda for the next 4 days looks like:
1. Don’t just “Mind the Gap” – do something! Ministers, at Durban you must show that you live on the same planet as the rest of us and acknowledge that the current mitigation pathway puts us on track for over 4° C warming. You must explicitly acknowledge the 6 to 11 Gigatonne gap, agree to a 2012 work plan to close the gap by increasing developed country targets to at least 40% by 2020, and provide guidelines and timeframes for NAMAs to be registered and supported where required. The ambition work plan must include clear markers through 2012, including submissions, technical papers and a dedicated intersessional meeting, to ensure we don’t have another year of wishy washy workshops with outcomes.
2. Commit for the long term. Negotiators have made no progress at all in setting a peak year and a long term global goal for emissions. Ministers now should explicitly agree that each country contribute their fair share to the globally needed mitigation effort, leading to a peak by 2015 and a reduction of global emissions of at least 80% below 1990 by 2050.
3. Stop spinning wheels in the Review. Ministers need to ensure that the Review will be effective, and limiting the scope will help it get off the ground as an effective instrument. We must focus on the important things: reviewing the long-term goal and the overall progress towards achieving it. Leave the biannual reports under MRV to cover the inputs like the means of implementation.
4. High Time for legally binding. A 5 year long second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is an absolute necessity as it contains important architectural elements which are crucial to ensure that mitigation commitments are legally binding and have environmental integrity. Nobody believes that a temperature rise of 4° C might be OK. So now is the moment to act decisively. An LCA mandate to agree a comprehensive legally binding instrument can build on the KP. Parties need to go beyond their long stated positions and immediately kick off negotiations toward a comprehensive, fair, ambitious and binding agreement to be agreed no later than 2015.
6. KP is essential – but it must have integrity. When added together, loopholes in the KP could wipe out Annex I ambition for the second commitment period.
In LULUCF, hidden and unaccounted emissions could significantly undermine Annex I targets, and cause us to doubt your commitment. Ministers must therefore ensure emissions from forests and land use are accurately accounted and reject the options on the table with the lowest environmental integrity.
All of the parties to this relationship know that the hot air / carried over AAUs is a bad joke that threatens to sour our relationship. To keep it pure we need you to retire your surplus AAUs, or at least reduce them to 1%. Flexible mechanisms need clear rules and governance structures to avoid double counting of both emissions and finance, strengthen additionality testing and ensuring the standardization frenzy does not leave us with a highway for free-riders. Let’s start by keeping CCS and nuclear out of the CDM and let’s exclude coal power projects. Last but not least, we do indeed need stakeholder involvement in the CDM. Don’t back down, we are counting on you!
PS: CDM’s little brother JI has been up to a bunch of no-good stuff: hot air gussied up in new clothes (ERUs) is still hot air.
7. Fill the Fund. Operationalising the GCF in Durban is essential but not nearly enough – an empty fund is no good to anyone. We need initial capitalization of the GCF from developed country Parties in Durban. Reaching $100 billion per year by 2020 will require a commitment to scaled up finance from 2013 onward and clear progress on innovative approaches to generate finance. In Durban, parties should move forward on the establishment of mechanisms in the shipping and aviation sectors in a way that reduces emissions, generates finance, and ensures no burdens and costs on developing countries. Countries must also agree to a detailed one year work programme under the UNFCCC to consider a full range of innovative sources of public finance and report back to COP 18 with a proposal for action.
8. Gear Up and Deliver Technology. Technology is heading in the right direction, but speed is needed! Don’t be held back by other laggards. The Tech Mechanism could be operational by the end of COP 18.
9. Feel the Love for Transparency and Stakeholders. Your negotiators excised stakeholders’ right to participate from the IAR text and subject to heavy bracketing in ICA. But we know, Ministers, that you recognize the worth of engaging stakeholders to create a better process – rather than having us only campaign from the outside. Current text also falls short on common accounting rules for Annex I countries and clarification of pledges for all countries. Surely we’ve learned from the financial crisis! Robust reporting, such as Biennial Reviews and Biennial Update Report guidelines, including tables for reporting actions, and a common reporting format for finance must be agreed in Durban, so countries can complete their biennial reports in time for the first review. And where would this relationship between us and the planet, be without compliance for our commitments!
10. An ambitious adaptation package at the African COP. Good agreements on Loss and Damage and the Nairobi Work Programme have already been reached. Wrapping up the package will require agreement on a strong Adaptation Committee including active civil society observers and direct reporting to the COP (as well to the SBs when COP does not meet). Furthermore, guidelines for National Adaptation Plans for Least Developed Countries must be adopted, plus modalities on how other developing countries can take these up. The prioritisation for LDCs must of course not be undermined.
A strong role for local, affected communities and civil society in national planning processes, building on the principles agreed in the Cancun Adaptation Framework, is essential. Finally, Parties must ensure that the Adaptation Fund does not dry up because of decreasing CER prices and lack of new pledges to the Fund from developed countries.
Treating the world’s most carbon intensive fossil fuel as an emissions offset may sound like a joke but it’s no laughing matter.
You know, ECO is usually pretty quick on the uptake, but even we were shocked to learn that there are 45 – count them! -- coal projects in the CDM pipeline.
If all of the proposed projects are approved, they would emit 400 million tons of CO2 every year for many decades -- more than the France or South Africa.
Diverting billions of euros in scarce climate finance to an already lavishly subsidized industry that causes severe human health and ecosystem damage will run our common mission right into the ditch.
How could this be? It’s a scandal that the CDM and the UNFCCC can ill afford. The demand to permanently exclude coal from the CDM makes complete sense.
The call for exclusion comes on the heels of last week’s CDM Executive Board suspension of the crediting rules for coal power projects. The suspension was decided after an investigation found that the flawed rules could lead to over-issuance of millions of carbon credits that do not reflect real and additional emission reductions.
It was good to see the suspension, but that doesn’t close the matter. Merely adjusting the current rules will not be a solution.
An independent study confirmed the flaws in the methodology and says those flaws are inherent to this project type. In essence, there is no way to revise the methodology and ensure emissions reductions.
Given the urgency of the climate crisis, only the exclusion of coal from the CDM at COP 17 can ensure that these projects do not undermine developed countries’ mitigation commitments under the Kyoto Protocol or divert significant levels of scarce climate finance to dirty energy projects.
That represents a clear and definite opportunity toward restoring the environmental integrity of the CDM here in Durban.
This year marks a decade since the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established at COP 7 in Marrakesh to finance the most urgent adaptation needs of least developed countries. Unfortunately little is said about the LDCF and there is less to celebrate. Ten years on, and only $415 million has been pledged towards a total $2 billion identified to prepare and implement national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), the fund’s purpose.
Negotiators in Durban cannot reverse what has been a lost decade for adaptation finance. But they can and must secure an outcome in Durban that leads to reliable, sufficient and predictable flows of adaptation finance to developing countries in the decade ahead.
Apart from a few exceptions, we haven’t seen much evidence yet that climate finance won’t be falling off a cliff when fast start finance runs out at the end of 2013. Finance for adaptation in particular is an overriding priority for LDCs, SIDS and the most vulnerable countries. But it remains an orphan in the bigger finance picture past, present and future. The current nose-diving of the international carbon price also means that the Adaptation Fund, which takes a fixed share of 2% from CDM projects, is at risk of having barely any money next year.
With emissions levels surpassing the IPCC’s worst case scenarios, it’s clear that huge amounts of money will be needed to address impacts of both more frequent extreme weather events and slow onset events. With emissions levels surpassing the IPCC’s worst case scenarios it is clear that huge amounts of money will be needed to address the impacts of both more frequent extreme weather events and slow onset events.
Yet only 18% of US) and 30% of EU fast start finance is being spent on adaptation in 2011. Australia provides a better example, with over half its climate finance spend dedicated to adaptation this year).
The amalgamated LCA text has the potential to start addressing some of these significant shortcomings. There is concrete text on the table assuring developing countries there will not be a gap after 2012, and that climate finance will scale up between 2013 and 2020.
Another important matter is the balance between mitigation and adaptation finance, in particular option 2 which would guarantee at least 50% of all climate finance is earmarked for adaptation.
Finally, a work programme is needed to identify predictable and reliable long term sources of finance. As currently stated in the text, this should lead to concrete decisions by COP 18 and provide the best chance to agree the most promising sources of climate finance, including innovative sources such as a financial transaction tax, and a global price on emissions from international shipping and aviation that has no net incidence of cost on developing countries.
Negotiators can aim to land in a zone where clear guarantees can be given to developing countries that they will not be left ‘high and dry’ (or maybe that should be ‘hot, low and wet’) without any money to address the climate impacts that they have done nothing to cause. As all Parties have committed to set up the Green Climate Fund here in Durban, let’s make sure it is not an empty shell.
Excuse me Australia,
I know it’s a closed session, but I would like to ask a question...on rights
Who’s got the right to light-up a furnace
And just watch it burn through the blackest, darkest
Light of a blind man’s midnight – and while its fire still flickers,
Whittle their will
down to a fine-toothed comb
That splits my skin
and crinkles my curls
as I work it through my head.
‘Cos I learned, only yesterday
That the Australian delegation
Want to relegate human rights appeals
From their current place in the
Nose-bleed seats of the CDM stadium;
to an empty beat
in what once was bracketed text
that gave businUSs and us
a one sentenced, equal bet, at the right to appeal.
But maybe I should have guessed
That when you’re sitting at a desk,
It’s not so easy to remember
what it feels like to set your filing cabinet on fire,
and find yourself without your suit and tie,
but as a real-life person that hurts sometimes,
and would really appreciate one night
to appeal their day-to-day, CDM-struggle
– Chris Wright
In Cancun, Parties decided that CCS is eligible in the CDM – provided that certain issues such as leakage and liability are resolved. As delegates are negotiating the details of modalities and procedures for this very questionable project type, it looks like Big Fossil is winning once again. This despite the fact that the viability of CCS as a mitigation technology has yet to be proven.
Here in Durban, only a small number of developing countries have raised concerns about the potential long term impacts of CCS. All others have remained suspiciously silent (hello small islands of the world – where are you?) or are eagerly approving paragraph after paragraph. Somehow it doesn’t seem likely that they really wanted to negotiate night and day to ensure that the fossil fuel industry gets yet another cash cow to milk!
The current text does not exclude ”enhanced oil recovery” – EOR. This is a method to increase the amount of oil that can be recovered from an underground oil reservoir. By pumping CO2 underground, previously unrecoverable oil can be pumped up. This can increase the recoverable oil by 30 to 60%. Once all of the oil has been pumped, the depleted reservoir is used a storage site for the CO2.
On top of the huge profits from the sale of oil and the large fossil fuel subsidies, oil producers could make millions by selling CDM credits for the CO2 they store. Dear delegates, please get your priorities right! CCS in the CDM is unproven at commercial scale with plenty of scientific uncertainties. More work needs to be done for these lingering issues to be resolved. We do not need yet another loophole for generating carbon credits. Before rushing into setting up a new source for millions of carbon offsets, you might want to get yourselves some QEROs first!
ECO cannot stop wondering; what will it take to make Japan come to its senses? Nuclear is neither safe nor clean. If the ongoing, dreadful tragedies in Fukushima cannot make this simple fact clear, what will it take?
And still, in the KP spin off group meeting yesterday, Japan, supported by India, once again refused to drop the option to include nuclear in CDM. This means the country still wants to get credits for exporting to developing countries the very technology that brought such tremendous hardship upon its own people.
This is inappropriate, irresponsible and even morally wrong.
The country still has not been able to stabilize the reactors and has not been able to take care of the residents in the heavily contaminated areas, nor dispose of radioactive waste arising from decontamination and from water treatment sludge.
How can Japan take this position in the midst of the nuclear crisis?
Just as a reminder, this technology does not fit one of the objectives of CDM, which is to contribute to sustainable development.
It is time for all Parties to make a simple decision: drop the option to "include nuclear in CDM." The world expresses great disapproval towards the Japanese position of continuing to promote nuclear in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.