FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8 June 2011
The first place Fossil of the Day Award goes to the United States of America. This fossil is awarded for opposing a discussion of sources of long-term finance in the LCA. Secretary Clinton herself pledged to work with other countries to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries. Meeting that commitment has to start with exploring options of innovative sources of public finance in the UNFCCC. The US must be open to a process under the LCA to at least start the conversation.
Papua New Guinea receives the second place Fossil. This award goes to PNG for saying Tuvalu did not have enough trees to be entitled to have an opinion on REDD or advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples. PNG has shown it is far removed from the reality of its Pacific island neighbours in terms of REDD. PNG's response to Tuvalu's call for transparency was tacky to say the least and reflects its ignorance of the 'Pacific Way'. Tuvalu took a principled position in supporting the interests of indigenous peoples - whether that is in the interest of Tuvalu is not the issue, as countries should not only defend their national interests but also global ones.
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.
This process must deliver concrete action to ambitiously address the climate change challenge. We need an agenda and a work plan to deliver on that by Durban.
The agenda discussions are important because they frame what countries want to, and will be able to, achieve in Durban.
CAN agrees with the sentiment expressed by many countries in the LCA opening last night, including EU, Australia, Norway, AOSIS, Singapore, Egypt, Chile on behalf of a number of Latin American countries, Pakistan, Philippines and China that we should use 2011 to BOTH implement the Cancun Agreements AND fill in the gaps that clearly resolve the issues that address the challenge of climate change (gigatonne gap, finance sources and others) that remain. This is easily possible by merging the various proposals for agendas as outlined below .
The priority issues for 2011 are italicised under the relevant heading. Where time allows, additional issues can be addressed in 2011. Issues that parties have agreed to address in other agendas (such as SB) should be focused there.
1. Opening of the session
2. Organisational matters
a. Adoption of the agenda
b. Organisation of the work of the session
3. Preparation of an outcome to be presented to the Conference of the Parties for adoption at its seventeenth session to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012.
3.1 a shared vision for long-term cooperative action
a) Global goal for emission reductions and global peaking
[Item 3 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
[Item 7 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.2.1 Mitigation commitments or actions by developed country Parties
a) Work programme on enhanced measurement, reporting and verification for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention
[Item 5 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
b) Quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention.
[Item 4bis of the supplementary provisional agenda]
c) Options and ways to increase the level of ambition of developed country Party economy-wide emission reduction targets
[Item 17(c) of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.2.2 Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties
a) Work programme on enhanced measurement, reporting and verification for Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention
[Item 6 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
b) Nationally appropriate mitigation actions to be implemented by Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention.
[Item 4ter of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.2.3 Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries
a) Financing options for the full implementation of mitigation action in the forest sector
[Item 8 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.2.4 Cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specifc actions, in order to enhance the implementation of article 4.1.c of the Convention
3.2.5 Various approaches to enhance cost effectiveness of mitigation actions
Combined sub-items for 3.2.4 and 3.2.5:
a) Market-based and non-marked-based mechanisms
[Item 11 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
[Item 17(d) of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.3 Enhance action on adaptation
a) Adaptation Committee
[Item 4 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.4 Enhanced action on technology development and transfer
Arrangements to fully operationalize the Technology Mechanism
[Item 12 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.5 Capacity Building
[Item 13 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
3.6 Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment
a) Standing Committee
[Item 9 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
b) Scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding to developing countries,in accordance with paragraph 97 of the Cancun Agreements
[Item 9 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
c) Review of information provided by developed countries on the resources provided to fulfil fast-start finance commitments
[Item 17(b) of the supplementary provisional agenda]
4. Review: further definition of its scope and development of its modalities
[Item 14 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
5. Legal options for an agreed outcome with the continued mandate of the AWGLCA
[Item 16 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
6. Other matters
a) International aviation and maritime transport;
[Item 17c of the supplementary provisional agenda]
b) any other matters
7. Work Programme 2011
CAN expects Bangkok to agree a detailed work programme for 2011, containing
- the number of sessions this year;
- What issues will be dealt with and when;
- Number, timing and content of technical workshops;
- Invitations for submissions from Parties and observers;
- Technical papers, etc.
8. Report of the session
CAN views on the work program on developing modalities and guidelines for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and International Assessment and Review (IAR) for developed country commitments and actions and on the development of modalities and guidelines for MRV and International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) of developing country actions, as well as on the initial scheduling of work for both developed and developing countries.
ECO is concerned that the small adaptation finance cake that is currently on offer leaves developing countries fighting over crumbs. Consider, however, that the best strategy against starvation is to increase the food
Countries regarding themselves particularly vulnerable should be clear and firm: adaptation finance must not be a small proportion of total flows compared to mitigation.
At least 50% of the new climate fund’s resources should be reserved for adaptation. ECO remains optimistic that Parties will agree to establish the fund here and clarify the sources to feed it.
Ministers, it’s ECO again. May we have a few moments with you? Yes, you guessed it – right here in your hands is our clean and manageable list of key decisions for the remainder of the week.
We’ve heard that you feel there are too many choices and papering over the differences in the negotiations might be the best achievable for the moment. But remember, that trick only works once.
A high level political statement by itself will not cut it. We need a real agreement in Cancun, not a repeat of Copenhagen’s climate shame. No magic moment is going to arrive when the hard choices become easy. But the path to achievement is just steps away.
ECO is wondering what is going on in the Shared Vision negotiations. We heard whispers of much needed improvements, such as the recognition of the need to reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to no more than 350 ppm and limit global temperature rise to 1.5° C, as well as the acknowledgement of historical responsibility and the link between human rights and climate change related actions.
All these elements must be included for a clear and robust shared vision that reflects our collective intention to ensure a liveable planet for us and for future generations.
But Ministers, ECO is going blue in the face! How many more times do we have to say ‘Gigatonne Gap’ before it finally sinks in? As UNEP affirmed in its authoritative report, there is a significant gap between the emissions pledges set forth in Copenhagen and the reductions the planet actually needs by 2020 to limit warming to 2° C, much less the 1.5° needed to avoid severe and even catastrophic impacts.
Yet the latest version of the Mitigation text contains no acknowledgement of the Gigatonne Gap, nor does it set forth a timely process to close it. A legitimate outcome in Cancun must explicitly provide the pathway to increased ambition.
ECO also calls on parties to anchor the pledges currently on the table so that commitments and actions can be strengthened over the next year before inscribing them in legally binding form in South Africa.
ECO is pleased that the MRV text has evolved in the past week from an empty 36-word shell to a real basis for negotiation.
But there’s a long way to go. The tables have turned here in Cancun and we’re finally hearing more about the need for enhanced MRV provisions for Annex I countries, including common accounting rules, as well as MRV of finance using a common reporting format.
This is only right – the United States and other developed countries have been calling for increased transparency for developing countries but have been shy about improving their own.
Establishing a Technology Mechanism and creating an operational Technology Executive Committee (TEC) is well within the remit here.
Unfortunately, the USA has been blocking progress on the TEC and CTCN discussions and negotiators are planning to kick many elements into the long grass, such as reporting lines and the link to the financial mechanism. This would be dangerous as it would leave too many issues to be dealt with during 2011.
The draft text is virtually content free when it comes to creating an operational framework for new, radically scaled-up, focused and integrated Capacity Building.
The stocktaking needs to clarify whether developed countries intend to take capacity building seriously (that is, on par with finance and technology), or whether they are happy enough just to leave it behind as crumbs in the corner.
On International Transport, the COP must guide ICAO and IMO in taking effective action to reduce emissions quickly, create a framework for these sectors to fairly contribute funds to mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and ensure no net incidence of impacts on developing countries.
On Adaptation, a Cancun decision must launch the committee to oversee technical and coordinating provisions for adaptation under the Convention. Further, response measures does not have a place under the adaptation agenda. The resources available for adaptation should not be use as compensation for the loss on oil revenue as a result of mitigation action.
By the end the week decisions on Financing must be taken to establish a climate fund under the guidance and authority of the COP, along with a process to clarify the scale of this fund and guarantee sufficient resources for adaptation, along with the mechanisms and instruments to generate the required revenue flows.
We have heard that some developed countries are raising doubts about their ability to contribute to a fund under the UNFCCC due to constitutional or other legal impediments. These are simply tactical maneuvers to delay a decision, using the fund as a bargaining chip to get concessions from developing countries on other issues such as international consultations and analysis.
Negotiations on the Flexible Mechanisms are (unsurprisingly) facing difficulty, including even which text should be used.
However, at least two things should be done. First, the loopholes in existing mechanisms must be closed now. A primary example is surplus AAUs. Second, relevant principles should be set for further negotiations in LCA. If any new mechanisms are to be discussed going forward, they must go beyond offsetting. And they have to close the Gigaton gap, not widen it. Other important principles should also be set such as preventing double counting, supplementarity and contribution to sustainable development.
A very disturbing development is that the option for keeping CCS out of the Clean Development Mechanism has vanished from the draft text being forwarded to the CMP. At the very least, SBSTA must address the creation of perverse incentives for increased dependence on fossil fuels.
On land and forests, the message is simple but let’s say it again: Close the loopholes!
With respect to legal form, ECO calls on Parties to establish open and transparent processes to discuss their proposals, both now and after Cancun. Likewise, just as the Berlin Mandate provided clarity on legal form to the negotiating process that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, Parties should agree mandates at Cancun to confirm the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol as well as a legally binding outcome in the LCA and set them up for adoption at COP 17 in South Africa.
In the lead-up to Copenhagen and since, climate finance ranked has ranked higher and higher on the list of make-or-break issues. It’s both vitally important and politically challenging. As COP16 kicks off, however, there are worrying signs that negotiators may be taking their eye off the ball and sleepwalking toward a result that does little to resolve the inadequacies of existing institutional arrangements.
To be sure, there is good news also. Over the course of 2010, talks on a new global climate fund have been productive – and now there are proposals and options on the table to provide for its establishment here in Cancun, with details to be worked out in time for COP17. But the establishment of the Fund and related climate finance decisions are far from a done deal. Many of the emerging ‘areas of convergence’ on the table may not deliver the fair, legitimate and effective climate fund that’s really needed.
For example, many Parties appear ready to accept equal representation between Annex I and non-Annex I on the Fund Board. Because there are roughly three times as many developing countries, this means that each developing country will have one-third the voice in the Fund’s governance. This notion of ‘equal representation’ is a big step backward from the precedent established by the Adaptation Fund, which additionally has two seats from each of the UN regional groups plus one each for LDCs and SIDS. It’s hard to see how, in the end, this would deliver arrangements that are any different from the GEF. Is this the “balanced’ guarantee of interests needed for all UNFCCC members?
Secondly, none of the textual proposals tabled so far guarantee any balance between adaptation and mitigation funding – something most countries agree in principle even though it has not been delivered in practice to date.
Adaptation currently receives scarcely 10% of the overall climate finance portfolio. Unless Parties agree a dedicated adaptation window in the new Fund with at least 50% of the monies channelled to it, we can only assume the current trend will continue. Is this what Parties really mean by ‘balance’?
Third, textual proposals for guidelines to ensure that the most vulnerable communities, especially women in rural areas, will ultimately benefit aren’t difficult to improve – only because right now there aren’t any such proposals. But this is easy to address with a few lines of text and it’s hard to imagine any country opposing it. Who is against guarantees that gender equity will receive particular attention in adaptation support?
Finally, everyone knows building another near-empty fund is pointless. Several options to deliver predictable sources of innovative financing – such as a levy on international shipping and aviation as part of an emissions reduction scheme – were presented by the UN Secretary General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Finance less than a month ago.
In fact, it’s clear from the AGF Report that raising $100 billion or more in public finance is possible. But unless Parties work in concert to map out options for putting such proposals into practice, a decision to establish a new Fund could deliver an empty shell. Is this what Parties had in mind in Bali when they agreed to ‘improve access to adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources’?
The decisions taken here in Cancun may not result in the FAB deal that is increasingly overdue. But they will have profound, long-standing implications for the institutional architecture of the future international climate regime.
A fair climate fund is definitely within reach, and ECO calls on all Parties to stand up for it.
5th November 2010
A UN High-Level Advisory Group set up to analyse how to raise urgently needed climate finance announced details of its report today.
Tearfund's Director of Advocacy Paul Cook said: "The Climate Finance panel was set up to analyse how to raise the $100 billion a year by 2020 and the report shows that it is feasible to raise at least this amount by using public sources alone. However, what we have seen today doesn't go far enough and still amounts to leaving the most vulnerable people in countries like Bangladesh to clean up the mess rich countries have made."
The aid agency said climate change is the greatest development issue we face. What was needed was a report that demonstrated how we are going to raise at least $200bn a year by 2020 for developing countries to adapt to a changing climate and reduce their emissions.
This money must be new and additional to existing aid budgets. It must come from innovative sources of public finance, like a Robin Hood Tax on banks and from levies on fuel and tickets for international aviation and shipping. Instead the AGF has delivered the low-level $100bn.
Tearfund warned that while it is good that the group recognises that the money required is in the range of billions of dollars, $100bn is not and has never been enough.
"Developed countries must think in terms of an evolving understanding of the science and of developing countries needs, rather than what they can get away with.
"We are pleased that the report shows how a combination of innovative sources can be used to raise the money for the long term. Today's launch is not the end of these discussions on innovative sources of public finance - rather it must be the starting point. Getting an international agreement for climate money is a crucial step towards agreeing an international climate treaty." Cook continues.
Tearfund welcomed the UK's commitment to playing its part in the creation of new innovative sources and urged them to continue championing these to ensure progress is made within the UN climate talks.
Notes to Editor
For a briefing with one of Tearfund's Climate Change Policy Team, or an interview please contact the Media Team on:
0208 943 7779 / 0208 943 7792 / 07710 573749
Or email email@example.com
Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency building a global network of local churches to help eradicate poverty. Tearfund is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. www.tearfund.org