As COP 18 welcomes Ministers from around the world, ECO would like to focus their attention on significant matters related to adaptation. May we have your attention, Ministers: adaptation needs are closing in fast!
In Durban, Parties agreed to conclude the LCA here in Doha. A successful closure necessitates that the critical issues are resolved or find homes in which further work can be done. In the LCA text tabled Monday, there were some gaping gaps, from text to tonnes.
This is the non-negotiable planetary deadline. The recent UNEP and World Bank reports have been unequivocal: the window to stabilize temperature increase below 2° C, and thus avoid the most dangerous climate impacts, is closing rapidly. Durban set a number of other deadlines for Doha which must be respected. They include adoption of the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, the successful closure of the LCA, and agreement on work programmes for both the 2015 Protocol negotiations and raising near-term ambition. So roll up your sleeves, Ministers: there is much to do! As always, ECO has some helpful hints to make your week easier.
#1 Don’t cheat – it doesn’t help the climate or build confidence
The amendments to the Kyoto Protocol must be adopted in Doha, progressing the only legally binding climate agreement in order to streamline the process.
Keeping Kyoto alive is crucial for two reasons – first, it has key architectural elements that must be reflected in the 2015 Protocol. These include overall and national carbon budgets, economy-wide targets, common rules-based accounting, compliance and five year commitment periods. Second, it was part of the Durban package and its adoption will enable progress next year on both elements of the ADP -- its 2015 Protocol negotiations and near-term ambition. Pending its entry into force, it should be provisionally applied from1 January 2013.
But there are some things that should be left behind – the 13 gigatonnes of CO2eq ‘hot air’ from the first commitment period. It does nothing for the climate and it’s high time to expel it from the system. The next COP President, Poland, must show leadership now and stop stalling efforts in the EU on this issue.
The good elements of the Kyoto Protocol should not, however, remain the exclusive property of KP parties. We’re looking forward to our ‘ship jumpers’ in the LCA proving that they aren’t evading responsibility. They can do so by agreeing the same accounting standards and setting carbon budgets here at Doha.
#2 Face the issues head on
In 2015 the world must conclude a deal that matters for the climate. Parties will need to address two crucial questions: first, what do we need to do to avoid dangerous climate change; and second, how are we going to do that?
In Doha, to help answer the first question, it is critical to agree on a review of the long-term temperature goal that focuses on exactly that, is narrow in scope, and takes placeunder a robust body.
Given that equity and ambition are two sides of the same coin, we must also have a one year process exploring equity issues, reporting into the ADP at COP 19 and allowing the ADP to mainstream the progress.
Finally, confronting these issues head on means facing up to the impacts of climate change that are happening now. Addressing loss and damage is essential to assure the most vulnerable countries that their future prospects are being fully protected.
#3 Deliver the resources you promised
Vital work to adapt to climate change and transition to a low carbon economy cannot happen without resources. So delivering on existing finance commitments and planning to meet additional needs must be at the heart of the Doha outcome. Committing to a minimum of $20 billion a year for the 2012-2015 period is the very minimum of the first stepsrequired.
But in addition, ministers, you must also make sure there is a rigorous system to track the delivery of all money promised, ensuring that it is new and additional, and not quietly recycled from one vitally needed programme to pay for another.
You must also commit to a political process with the weight to ensure that developed countries scale up climate finance to the promised level of $100 billion per year by 2020. We must not become bogged down in endless technical analysis -- there are already good options on the table. All that is needed to turn them into reality is political will.
Finance is not an add-on to our work on climate; it is what drives our work, and it’s what gives the victims of climate change at least a fighting chance in adapting to the impacts. Finance must be at the center of your attention in the new negotiations under the ADP.
#4 Be Ambitious!
Ministers, we expect you to increase your mitigation and finance ambition right here in Doha. The EU 20% has already been met, the Australian unconditional target of 99.5% is shamefully weak and the U.S. steers away from anything approaching something in the required scientific range.
Meanwhile, ECO is still waiting to see even one finance figure for the post-2012 period. As a first step toward improving this woeful record, the EU should listen to the German Minister and increase its target to 30% here at COP 18.
The Doha outcome alone will not save the planet, so don't imagine your work is done when you get on the plane going home. The developed world will still need to increase its mitigation and finance ambition massively. Because your work here will not nearly begin to fill the ambition gap in either area, you will also need to agree this week on both a high level and technical workplan to do so in 2013.
We cannot afford to waste any more time. All countries need to capitalize on initiatives to raise ambition, whether inside or outside of the UNFCCC -- from reducing HFCs to phasing out fossil fuel subsides. ECO is also waiting with bated breath for announcements from our Qatari hosts and Gulf neighbours on their contribution to the global effort.
Ministers: You are here to lay the foundations for a new Protocol. You must therefore instruct your negotiators that they move in the middle of 2013 from conceptual brainstorming to concrete discussions, resulting in a ‘compilation text’ of proposals by COP19. Brainstorm and build -- that’s ECO’s motto! The re-election of President Obama and the new leadership in China has created the potential for change. Let’s capitalize on that in Doha and beyond.
#5 Leave the laggards behind
The planet cannot wait for action. Some countries are clearly not serious about our common endeavor to address the threat of dangerous climate change.
We cannot afford to wait for Russia, who won’t put a target on the table, but still wants any ‘goodies’ that might be around -- whether it means holding onto its ‘hot air’ or having access to revenues fromcarbon trading.
We cannot allow the pace to be set by Canada, who failed to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and then withdrew in order to avoid the consequences.
And New Zealand will need to make a choice -- is it serious about climate protection, or does it wish to be singled out as an obstacle to progress? These countries risk becoming increasingly sidelined, as the global community works to forge consensus on a new logic under the ADP.
Ministers, we need you to finish the work begun here in Doha. You must close the loopholes, deliver the money, addressissues head on, and map out a clear course for the negotiations under the ADP. Then you need to go home and act!
Senior Program Officer on Energy and Climate Change
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)
The Bangkok Informal Meeting 2012 has ended. This informal meeting came out at the last minute after the Bonn session, which had left many uncertainties. “The name of United States has been removed from the list at their request”, said the Kyoto Protocol (KP) chair at its closing plenary here in Bangkok . Developed countries left no pledges on mid-term finance (2013-2015) and words like “there won’t be any finance gap” were used instead. Thus, they must prefer the ‘no text’ option for LCA ‘final’ decision in Doha.
For developing countries, it is difficult for us not having concrete finance pledges on the table, especially for the implementation of all development plans that we, the developing countries, have produced. The pushes from developing countries to developed countries to resolve the 1bi of the Bali Action Plan came to a gridlock. Developed countries would like to see the developing countries have ‘meaningful mitigation action’. We’ve actually agreed in the Convention that the developed countries should take the lead, so developed countries need to get their domestic mitigation ambition on the table first!
Though Bangkok is an informal meeting, it plays a big role in preparation for the coming up Doha talks. The clock is ticking: many people are affected by climate change-induced damage and billions of dollars need to be injected into these suffering countries. But, there’s still no evidence that developed countries will increase their ambitions on either pledges or implementations.
As the LCA is indicated to be closed at Doha and the Kyoto Protocol needs to move forward to its second commitment period, several outstanding issues need to be resolved. Between now and the end of November 2012, we can only hope for miracles to happen in Doha- hopefully meaning that there will be pledges on emission reductions and financial assurance from on board developed countries to developing countries. Developed countries, don’t violate the trust...
Thank you for this opportunity to speak. I am from WWF and speak here on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
- We are seeing a rich and wide-ranging discussion in many areas here in Bangkok, in particular a very interesting discussion in the ADP round tables, with many thoughtful and creative interventions about the shape of long-term efforts to address climate change;
- Would be good for some of that same spirit to filter through into this group on the way to Doha, and to see some new thinking on how to break out of the same pattern of the past 10 years. I’m sure many of you are tired of saying the same things year after year. - What we need from the LCA this year under sectoral approaches is some way to break the deadlock and polarization that currently exists in the IMO and ICAO on market based measures;
- How to do this – a signal to these bodies, or to parties to these bodies (to use a potentially useful wording from Japan), on how to address convention principals in the context of their own established approaches and customary practices.
- Singapore provided a useful compromise – take account of the principals and provisions of the UNFCCC in the context of global measures under the IMO and ICAO, but it would be useful to go beyond this and say how this might be done.
- One way would be through the use of revenue generated by MBMs, that can be used to address any impacts on developing countries, to support technology transfer and cooperation and transfer for developing countries, especially the most vulnerable, in implementing these measures, and also to provide financing for developing countries, while making sure that only financing raised from developed countries counts towards the commitments of those countries.
- We are pleased to see the EU submission introduces the issue of finance, and perhaps these two text can be combined in a way that gives appropriate guidance on how to address CBDR, in global measures under the sectoral bodies.
Doha is the last chance to produce some useful outcomes from your five years of deliberations, and we urge you not to waste that opportunity.
We stand at the precipice of what could be the final stroke of the LCA at COP18 in Doha, and the conversation is turning ever more to the question of how political decisions for various elements of the LCA that have not been fully resolved will be handled post-COP18. ECO sees that the discussion on technology transfer, which cuts across mitigation and adaptation, provides a stark view of what's at stake if the LCA's closing is not properly done, in the light of the sometimes yawning gap between the understandings of developed and the developing countries.
If you mark the IPCC Assessment Report 1 (1990) as the starting point, the discussion on technology transfer has been ongoing for more than two decades. That’s a lot of work to sit idle if the Technology Mechanism suddenly faced a lack of support, and a staggering missed opportunity to close the mitigation gap and address the growing need for climate adaptation.
As it now stands, the Technology Mechanism lacks full funding even on a short-term basis, its governance and reporting structure are incomplete, its linkages with other bodies inside the Convention are hampered by the chicken/egg dilemma, its cross-cutting support for NAMAs and NAPAs/NAPs is uncertain and ill-defined, and the conversation on what is likely the most political decision of all – how priorities are to be set within the TEC and CTCN – has barely been broached, if at all. Undoubtedly, some of these issues will be addressed and hopefully resolved in Doha, but some of them have little or no hope of finding true resolution in that timeframe, and some are likely to require ongoing political guidance.
As for funding, which must stand above all other issues in terms of a critical path forward, the organisation requested by COP17 to financially support the early operations of the CTCN failed to be chosen, and CTCN support disappeared with the nomination.
So how do we avoid leaving the CTCN – the technology mechanism's "boots on the ground" – up in the air?
As the shaman of Pride Rock, Rafiki, says: "It is time." Let's get those boots grounded with at least five years of interim public funding and let's go kick some adaptation and mitigation bootie! Oh, and by the way, maybe we might also find a concrete way to ensure appropriate follow-up care for all the outstanding technology transfer and other LCA issues that risk being stranded?
SPEAKING NOTES – Pat Finnegan on behalf of CAN-International
- Thanks and Introduction
- As the US has noted, this is a relatively small group of negotiators, and there is a sense of community
- However, equally, this morning it is clear that the debate continues to be largely binary, and is polarised into two largely opposing sets of views
- The role of NGO's is very often (we like to think anyway) to assist Parties to move forward and make progress
- In that light, CAN would like to respond to the US view that there is no text on the table, there is no decision to have text, and there is no mandate for text
- The secretariat has (as usual) done its usual excellent work in providing material for this session
- Nevertheless, CAN would like to point out that missing from the decision matrix is any reference to 13/CP-17 (the Durban decision on CB that this group agreed)
- 13/CP-17 para 6 decides to further enhance the framework for capacity building under four main headings:
- But para 6 contains no detail on how to implement and deliver these decisions
- As the EU has observed, there are other opportunities to move this forward
- With all due respect to the Durban Forum on Capacity Building (as mentioned by the EU and others) CAN does not believe that is capable of moving fast enough, or substantially enough, given that it is just a one day session to be held once a year and is not scheduled to be held again until next June (2013)
- CAN is suggesting Parties concentrate their forces right now instead on working towards a substantive COP-18 decision in Doha establishing an intensive two year programme of work in the SBI, dedicated to further enhancing developing country capacity and means of support, and to building an institutional structure capable of ensuring universal delivery by 2014
- Such a decision does not actually require a mandate from the LCA. But CAN suggests that a LCA decision to provide one would give the appropriate stamp of approval for some concentrated work through the COP and in the SBI between 2013-2014
- We hope this suggestion may help Parties in moving forward.
- Thanks again Chair and delegates for this opportunity
- We look forward to further opportunities to offer our assistance and views
ECO was feeling a bit nostalgic, what with all this talk about the LCA and what comes next. So, it dug through the ECO archives and came across this article from Bonn 2008 on what the LCA could deliver. ECO hopes it brings out the same mixed feelings for you as it did for ECO:
Bonn, Poznan and Beyond
Let’s not forget what’s at stake: if current emissions trends continue, global average temperatures will rise by around 3-7°C above preindustrial levels, with catastrophic consequences for all.
Sometimes these negotiations are like listening to a group of people on a badly-leaking lifeboat arguing over who should actually start bailing as the water rises inexorably, when the obvious answer is that all should be doing what they can to avoid the boat sinking completely. Those with the greatest capacity should be bailing the hardest, sufficiently motivated by their historical responsibility to be doing their best to help keep the others afloat, and making sure everyone has access to the lifejackets.
So what should you be doing? What can Bonn deliver to keep us from sinking?
Parties need to reach a common understanding of what their shared vision is – how far up towards the rim of the boat they will allow the water to rise, as it were.
The LCA needs to break out into contact groups on developed country mitigation, developing country mitigation, REDD, adaptation, technology and finance. What Parties want to see reflected in the Copenhagen agreement should be brought to the table here and now as concrete proposals, to allow sufficient time for their exploration and analysis by other Parties and Civil Society.
ECO recognizes that the negotiations are complicated, with issues spread throughout the agenda and similar items appearing under both AWG and LCA. Parties need to trust each other and consolidate these building blocks. Remember, there will be a reevaluation exercise in Poznan. The most important thing is not where an issue is discussed, but that it is discussed, in a coherent and constructive way.
ECO expects outcomes from the LCA far beyond Chair’s draft conclusions: but for contact groups to begin to produce actual draft negotiating texts that will define the real negotiating issues to be ready for negotiation in Poznan, to allow the work done in the Dialogue and in more recent discussions to be realized.
The AWG should also be producing negotiating texts and beginning their refinement, so that there are bracketed texts on the table by Poznan.
Delegates, to stop the boat sinking ever lower, don’t bail out of your (common but differentiated) responsibilities.
Parties! - Join ECO and draw in the crucial LCA decisions you'll finalise in Doha! Don't be shy – everyone can be a policy artist.
Close ambition gap
Long-term financing for art classes for ECO