Tag: KP

Poland and the EU’s KP ratification

Last week at the KP ministerial meeting, ECO again heard that commitment period two (CP2) ratifications were not advancing as we had hoped. So far, among industrialised countries, only Norway has managed to finalise the process. ECO understands that the EU environment ministers are discussing this issue at their council meeting on Thursday. But now, we hear rumours that there’s a problem. Yes, Dear Reader, you guessed right: the problem is Poland.

Poland is actually trying to use the CP2 ratification process to open and re-negotiate the whole of the European Union’s 2020 climate law. You know, the one adopted back in 2008. 

“It’s too mad, it can’t be true,” you say, and ECO agrees. Seriously, Poland. Stop — we’re not amused.  

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Fossil of the Day!

1st Place Fossil of the Day to the US and 2nd Place Fossil to Australia and New Zealand
The 1st place Fossil goes to the US for refusing to even discuss its mitigation and finance commitments under the Bali Action Plan.
In the developed country mitigation spin-off group yesterday, the US stated its disagreement to even discuss such vital elements for developed country action in the pre-2020 period as comparability – which includes common accounting – addressing the ambition gap and compliance. Important as workshops and technical papers are, they do not build a transparent regime that enables countries to show that they are acting in good faith to reduce their emissions. The good news is that he US did not state disagreement to discussing a QELRO for itself, so we look forward to seeing the US’s domestic carbon budget to 2020!
In the LCA finance contact group yesterday, some developing countries asked for a mid term finance commitment from their developed country counterparts. Instead of giving reassurance and using the opportunity to build trust in this currently toxic atmosphere, the US asked those developing countries if they had thought of a mid-term mitigation plan themselves to “deserve” this mid-term climate finance. However, the US seems to have forgotten that climate finance should not be held hostage by the mitigation discussion. Climate finance is needed to address adaptation needs for the most vulnerable countries. Besides, the US itself was the leader in brokering the $100bn deal three years ago.
 
The 2nd place Fossil goes to Australia and New Zealand for not submitting a QELRO carbon budget into the Kyoto Protocol. These countries continue to vacillate on whether they will follow the shameful example of Russia and Japan (and let us not even mention Canada). Our time in Bonn has shown that the international community is growing very impatient as it continues to wait and see if Australia and New Zealand deserve its scorn or its applause.

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Shorter Is Better

The 2020 deadline for the entry into force of legally binding commitments for all Parties is too late to meet the 2°C target unless pre-2020 ambition can be urgently and equitably increased. To do so, developed countries must step up in the KP and LCA, while the ADP can also help raise ambition in mitigation and the means of implementation.

In this spirit, ECO would like to remind Parties of the numerous benefits of shorter (5 year) commitment periods in the KP. They:

-Enable targets to be based on the best available science and updated frequently

-Reduce concerns about locking in low levels of ambition (and ECO has many of those!! Do I hear 30% anyone??)

-Maintain links with the political accountability cycle, which is typically 4 to 6 years (longer commitment periods make meeting targets someone else’s problem)

-Encourage early action (whereas it is easier to put off action with longer periods – just think: when did you do your homework as a child?)

It is also completely unacceptable for the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, and any other developed country that reneges on its Convention commitments to take the lead, to remain outside of a legal agreement for the rest of the decade.

Amendments, such as the ability to ratchet-up targets within a commitment period, should be included in the Kyoto amendments, independent of commitment period length. Further amendments could also be made to assuage any concerns about adopting a 5 year CP as well.

Finally, ECO is concerned that 8 years would establish a bad precedent, leading to even longer commitment periods in the future (i.e. 2030) and longer IPCC assessment cycles (i.e. 8-10 years) currently being pushed by some Parties. In other words, 8 years is the “gateway drug” to poor regime architecture long term.

Ours is an ask of all governments – to do more, faster, to save the planet.  The EU and the few other committed developed countries should start by adopting a 5 year commitment period for the Doha amendment.  To quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy – Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.  And we all know how that story ends.

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CAN Side Event: Pathway to Qatar and 2015


18:15-19:45 – Wind

How to build a workplan across KP, LCA and ADP to ensure a successful 2015 protocol

― Facilitator : Niranjali, CIEL

― Equity : Tim Gore, Oxfam

― Mitigation : Wael Hmaidan, CAN

― Support : Mahlet Eyassu, Forum for Environment, Ethiopia

― Elements of a 2012-2015 Workplan : Wendel Trio, CAN Europe

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Durban's Legacy: Get On With It

After a tumultuous week, ECO is concerned that some Parties might be in danger of losing sight of the forest amongst the trees. ECO would like to remind parties that in Durban they set themselves a tall order to undertake a LOT of work this year – now is the time to stop the shenanigans, roll your sleeves up and get on with it.

Mitigation

ECO should not need to remind Parties how urgent it is to increase mitigation ambition! We need to make great progress this year in the KP and LCA, and in the ADP workplan.

As the KP rumbles on without urgency, Parties have not yet got to discuss how they will reduce the AAU loophole, nor the technical details of the QELROs. CP2 Parties and the ditherers need to up their game, so that their pollution reductions and targets contribute significantly and fairly towards closing the gigatonne gap.

Rapid progress in the LCA is needed on 1(b)(i), which lags far behind the KP in developing the QELROs promised in the Bali Action Plan. Countries that have jumped ship from the Kyoto Protocol need to show that their pledges are capable of being compared through common accounting and MRV systems.

ECO is disappointed with the silence from the 1(b)(ii) counties that have not yet brought forward pledges. We look for all countries to table NAMAs, both those that can do so unilaterally and those that need support.

The workplan to increase ambition must go on until the ambition gap has been closed. Agreement to have an agenda item and progress on the workplan on increasing short term ambition in the ADP is a non-negotiable and essential element of the regime. The ADP has a dual role on mitigation: to negotiate a fair, ambitious and binding deal by 2015 and to increase ambition in the short term by all Parties. This is a crucial space where some of the elements of the gigatonne gap-closing agenda can be addressed.

Finance

ECO fancies the work pro-gramme on long term finance as a constructive way to mobilize US$100 billion a year, but is kept awake at night worrying that, if not clearly connected to the LCA negotiations, it could come to nought. ECO does not want the co-chairs’ report to the COP18 to sit on yet another dusty shelf. ECO needs this report to actually spur decisions on new and additional sources of public finance to address urgent adaptation and mitigation needs. ECO is still not sure why some parties would choose to block the creation of this important spin-off group on finance under the LCA. ECO is painfully crossing both fingers and toes that all parties finally agree on the need for negotiating space to start drafting text before Doha for a decision on finance to be adopted there.

Adaptation

ECO is pleased that Parties have made progress on the NAPs, with a draft conclusion text outlining funding modalities. But more progress is needed this week – Parties need to show how support will be scaled up, including through direct access. NAPs preparation needs to commence as soon as possible so that they can provide input into post-2020 considerations, whilst simultaneously enhancing the implementation of existing NAPAs.

Given that the major work on loss and damage in 2012 will happen through the work programme expert meetings, Parties should agree on holding an informal meeting before the COP to assess the achievements of these expert meetings, and draft decision text there. A failure to sufficiently increase mitigation pledges will lead to an increase in loss and damage, which must be recognised.  And ways to explore the institutional options from Durban and Cancun must be outlined in the run-up to 2015.

Shared Vision

Listening to last week’s spin-off group on shared vision had a distinctly “Groundhog Day” feel, as Parties expressed their long known views. The first workshop on equity had some interesting and relevant discussion, which leads ECO to suggest that Parties focus their efforts on agreeing to the peak year in Doha. In order to stay below 2°C and keep 1.5°C within reach, the Qatari Presidency must highlight the need for Parties to agree to an early peak year. Consider the gauntlet thrown – this will be a key measure of success at Doha.

Review

It is no secret that ECO favours a narrow scope of the first periodic Review, sticking to the Cancun agreed definition, which would support the effectiveness of the Review. ECO is hopeful that Parties can reach agreement in Doha through solution-oriented discussions in the spin-off group.

Capacity Building

Lately, capacity building has been treated like Parties' forgotten child. ECO is therefore looking forward to two whole afternoons this week of the Durban Forum on Capacity Building. ECO hopes the Forum will concentrate on reviewing action on capacity building in the context of the many current and future capacity needs of developing countries, rather than those that applied in 2001.

Technology Transfer

Parties don’t seem to be much closer to choosing a CTCN host from among the three ranked  possibilities. Nor have they moved much in addressing the constitution of the advisory board. Additionally, the LCA contact group raised the issue of IPR as motivation for a spin-off group. As a result, some who are wary of IPR discussions pointed to the TEC as the appropriate venue. It's solidly within the TEC's mandate. Let's get on with it!

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Canada: Nothing to Fear But Itself

While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after the Durban overtime, the Canadians had no such luck. Barely off the plane, Canada’s Environment Minister wasted no time in confirming the COP’s worst kept secret, that Canada was officially pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Many delegates probably had already given up on Canada at that point, but those of us in CAN who live within that vast, beautiful, hockey-loving country have had to continue to bear witness to what can only be called the government of polluters’ puppets. Since bailing on their 9-year ratification relationship with the Kyoto Protocol, the Canadian government has only gone further downhill when it comes to climate action. The highlights lowlights:

1)A report from the government watchdog on our environment and climate goals made clear last week that it would be nearly impossible under current policy for Canada to meet its (embarrassingly weak) target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. After all, the report said, there aren’t even any greenhouse gas regulations on Canada’s fastest growing source of pollution ¨C the oil and gas sector (read: Tar Sands). The official numbers according to the government’s own data? Current and proposed policies for emissions reductions will result in a 7% increase over 2005 levels (that's ~33% above 1990 levels) instead of the promised 17% decrease.

2)The Government ramped up McCarthyist attacks on anyone worried about numbers like these. This has included outrageous attacks on civil society, First Nations and politicians, calling them radicals, terrorists, adversaries and enemies of the people of Canada. Amazingly, there have even been accusations that environmental groups writ  large are money launderers.

(Have they seen our budgets? What's there to launder?)

3)And to make it even easier for them to do as little as possible, the 2012 federal budget bill contained “a few additional items” for quick passage without democratic debate. These included the complete repeal of Canada’s environmental assessment act and a thorough gutting of decades of environmental regulations. These deletions were misrepresented as “streamlining” of approvals processes for projects such as massive pipelines that, if built, would allow the projected tripling of tar sands growth that the government is so desperate for. It is streamlining all right ¨C streamlining the path towards climate catastrophe.

The only thing the Canadian example will prove, with its fragile Arctic, vulnerable coasts and tarred economy, is that you can't withdraw from climate change.

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10 Points of Action

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.

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JAPAN NEEDS ATTENTION

Last year in Cancun, Japan was heavily criticized and often appeared in media breaking stories when they announced that they would never accept the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

A year later in Durban, the Japanese delegation seems a lot more relaxed.  Nobody is writing about them and they haven’t even been designated for a Fossil yet.

Does this mean that Japan has reformed its ways and taken a revised position that is now acceptable?  Of course not!  Japan’s position is just as destructive as it was before, during and after Cancun. In fact, their position seems only to be getting worse with recent reconsideration of their 25% domestic target.

So let’s review. Japan has come to Durban with a position to refuse the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol while having no strategic alternative or strong domestic policy in place. It is actually a very sad thing that a country that wishes to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council just cannot seem to play a positive role in these crucially important international negotiations on climate response.

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Taking the High Road to a Mandate

ECO has long insisted it is necessary to agree a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. All developed countries under the KP should ratify their new 5-year QEROs (quantified emission reduction obligations), base year 1990, having a level of ambition consistent with a fair share towards their agreed 2º C goal. Yet it is clear that the multilateral system will need to evolve through time toward becoming a truly adequate, fair, legally binding global agreement.

The essential complement in Durban will be extension and clarification of the mandate of the AWG-LCA for a comprehensive legally binding agreement as the agreed outcome. This mandate must enhance implementation of the Convention, not overhaul it, building explicitly on and fully respecting its principles so that Parties do indeed, in a fair framework, fulfill the promise of the ultimate objective of the Convention: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.

This mandate at a minimum must include:

(1) The result of the negotiations, specifying that Parties are building on and moving beyond the Bali Action Plan’s “agreed outcome”, showing that the world is prepared to affirm and act on the ultimate objective of the Convention by working towards a legally binding instrument with legally binding commitments.

(2) Reaffirmation and full respect of the principles of the Convention to guide the negotiations, which must include equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, as well as environmental integrity and adequacy

(3) End date. ECO repudiates the calls from some Parties that negotiations should begin in 2015. Much needs to be done to develop essential elements of finance, adaptation, technology and of course mitigation going forward towards the legal agreement. Negotiations are not yet guided by a timeline or clear agreed goal. Agreement reached in 2015 would allow time not only to build a framework analogous to the Kyoto Protocol, but that span of time would allow more effective development of content closer to that achieved over the four years of negotiations between the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakesh Accords. And entry into force in 2018 would allow a more rapid response to new science.

(4) The scope, building on the Bali Action Plan, Cancun Agreement, and the Kyoto Protocol acquis.

(5) The process to fulfill the mandate.

ECO expects the Chair to address these principles in the draft legal decision text to come out of Friday’s ‘informal informal’ under the ‘principles’ bullet.

Ambition can and must be ratcheted up massively, in particular by developed countries, to jointly achieve real emissions reductions of at least 40% by 2020. A legally binding instrument under the AWG-LCA is needed to secure full participation by the US, which has repudiated the KP, the only existing international legally binding instrument to reduce emissions and ensure that responsibilities for  technology and financing support for developing countries are made legally binding.

The mandate will also show that all Parties are taking action under common rules and guidelines that can showcase successes. The world must respond in a clear and unambiguous way to the urgency from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). A mandate is needed here in Durban to provide a common framework for these principles and dramatically scaled up response to our climate crisis.

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