Tag: MRV

Breaking news: 5.8% increase in global CO2 emissions in 2010

Parties, we have a problem!!!

Global CO2 emissions did a full swing after the recession, growing more than 5% in 2010, according to a report published last week by the Netherlands Environmental Protection Agency. The highest increase in the last two decades fuels the climate crisis. Without accounting for the land-use sector, global CO2 emissions reached 33 billion tonnes, a 45% increase since 1990. , driven mostly by a 7.6 % increase in coal consumption. This means the world now uses coal for a third of its energy demand – the highest share since 1970. Use of other fossil fuels soared too, with natural gas consumption increasing by 7% and oil consumption jumping by 3%. (This increase takes place mostly in the developing countries, in order to reach decent living standards.)

The report, which uses data from the Statistical Review of World Energy, shows that the growth of emissions was driven in part by economic growth in China and India, with 10% or 9% increases in 2010 respectively. While India’s per capita emissions remain fairly low, China’s 6.8 tonnes per head per year already overtake those of large historic and de-facto polluters such as France, Italy and Spain. This follows at least in part because of moving manufacturing industries into developing countries, the output of which are largely used by developed countries.

So, clearly all Parties, especially those bound by the existing commitments for emission reduction need to do their share in Durban to lay the foundation for a solution to the problem (hint, hint: KP 2nd commitment period, LCA mandate for legally binding instrument, close the gigatonne gap, operationalize the Green Climate Fund, develop the technology mechanism and a robust MRV framework). Inspiration can also be found in more and more countries - in particular in the developing world - working towards a shift to low carbon economies. While the upward spiral of emissions in China is concerning from a global point of view, the country managed to double its wind and solar capacity for the 6th year in a row. If the developed countries and other major emitters followed China’s lead and achieved similar renewable energy growth rates, along with a push for energy efficiency, the World’s prospects of staying below 1.5° C or 2°C would be much better than they are now.Parties, we have a problem!!!

Global CO2 emissions did a full swing after the recession, growing more than 5% in 2010, according to a report published last week by the Netherlands Environmental Protection Agency. The highest increase in the last two decades fuels the climate crisis. Without accounting for the land-use sector, global CO2 emissions reached 33 billion tonnes, a 45% increase since 1990. , driven mostly by a 7.6 % increase in coal consumption. This means the world now uses coal for a third of its energy demand – the highest share since 1970. Use of other fossil fuels soared too, with natural gas consumption increasing by 7% and oil consumption jumping by 3%. (This increase takes place mostly in the developing countries, in order to reach decent living standards.)

The report, which uses data from the Statistical Review of World Energy, shows that the growth of emissions was driven in part by economic growth in China and India, with 10% or 9% increases in 2010 respectively. While India’s per capita emissions remain fairly low, China’s 6.8 tonnes per head per year already overtake those of large historic and de-facto polluters such as France, Italy and Spain. This follows at least in part because of moving manufacturing industries into developing countries, the output of which are largely used by developed countries.

So, clearly all Parties, especially those bound by the existing commitments for emission reduction need to do their share in Durban to lay the foundation for a solution to the problem (hint, hint: KP 2nd commitment period, LCA mandate for legally binding instrument, close the gigatonne gap, operationalize the Green Climate Fund, develop the technology mechanism and a robust MRV framework). Inspiration can also be found in more and more countries - in particular in the developing world - working towards a shift to low carbon economies. While the upward spiral of emissions in China is concerning from a global point of view, the country managed to double its wind and solar capacity for the 6th year in a row. If the developed countries and other major emitters followed China’s lead and achieved similar renewable energy growth rates, along with a push for energy efficiency, the World’s prospects of staying below 1.5° C or 2°C would be much better than they are now.

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CAN letter to LCA Chair regarding submissions and expert meeting opportunities arising from Bonn June 2011 intersessional

CAN has identified the important submissions, technical expert meetings, workshops etc that should be undertaken to progress work in order that Durban should be successful in establishing the basis for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement.

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Getting to Know the MRV

ECO was excited that Parties started to discuss the more technical aspects of MRV. Has someone finally noticed our cries for progress? Of course, ECO is dismayed that except for some older agenda items in the SBI, none of these meetings have been open. The discussions around biennial reporting, IAR, and ICA (you know, the alphabet soup…) have been about as transparent as a brick wall. We might agree that MRV is a geeky exercise, but that doesn’t make it any less important. That said, ECO requests that certain developed-country Parties do not use MRV to impede progress on core issues.

On MRV itself, ECO has a lot of ideas – we’ve spent time getting up to speed on technical issues and attending side events while we were locked out of the negotiations. While Durban may be too soon to figure out the entire MRV system, there are some baby steps that can be taken. In no particular order, they are:

1. Guidelines for Biennial Reporting– We’ve heard that there’s some confusion on this point. For now, ECO will say that whether it is a developed-country biennial report or a developing country biennial update report (based on national circumstances), guidelines still need to be agreed. Separate guidelines, mind you – but in both cases an enhancement over the current ones, which are well overdue for revision. Developed countries, this does mean you actually have to step up and provide adequate support, not only for domestic systems, but also for the actual reports! And while we’re on the subject of support, let’s not forget the need for delivering and reporting on support obligations (CRF anyone?)

2. Accounting– First, the KP rules! KP Parties must commit to a second commitment period and follow the MRV rules contained there. Developments in the LCA should complement, and in no way replace, these rules. Indeed, it would be great if the KP rules we know and love are strengthened in the KP track. Oh, and for the one remaining non-KP developed- country Party (we haven't forgotten about you), you really need to agree to common rules.

3. IAR/ICA– Here, we ask that if you can’t take a baby step, then at the very least crawl. An outline of the scope and functions needs consideration in tandem with the reporting discussions. Again, this should complement and not replace the verification and compliance processes for KP Parties.

4. Take a leaf out of the REDD+ negotiators’ books– the REDD+ discussions in the LCA and SBSTA have been open for the most part. Also, some of it actually dealt with accounting and reporting on REDD+ activities and the information-sharing system for safeguards! While you discuss the value of openness with your REDD+ colleagues, you may also want to touch on how the REDD+ monitoring system and the information-sharing system for safeguards fit into the overall MRV framework. (Hint: Consider putting on your biennial reporting caps.)

ECO welcomes some serious technical thinking on these points. Maybe some technical workshops or expert meetings are in order? This would certainly be money well spent. We ask that you keep this in mind as you finalize plans for the next few months.

CAN Talking Points - MRV - Bonn June 2011

Bonn is a key moment to make progress on MRV issues. While there are a great many political issues at play, work on some technical issues needs to begin now.

Parties should agree on the structure, timing, and content of the workshops that are needed to discuss new or enhanced elements of MRV in the coming months.  These workshops should be informed by existing submissions of Parties and observers, and should involve calling for further submissions.

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First Week Wrap Up

ECO is pleased that parties finally managed to agree on agendas last week. (Imagine how much quicker it could have been if agenda discussions were held transparently in plenary, as opposed to shenanigans occurring behind closed doors). This week Parties must make up for lost time – and convince everyone that another intersessional would be productive.  After all, there is much work to be done between now and December so that Durban can successfully lay the basis for a fair, ambitious, and binding global climate change regime.

Essential to Durban’s success is securing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  Intrinsically linked is the binding outcome under the LCA, where Parties now need to discuss the substantive issues. Our ultimate objective must be a legally binding architecture, which is fair and ambitious.

Last week, the list of issues under shared vision began to resemble a bag of assorted cookies.  ECO suggests focusing on the agreed global goal with peak year, and only including issues essential for these discussions – such as effort sharing.  Agreement of a mid-term goal of -80% by 2050 and a 2015 peak year for emissions must be the aim.

On mitigation, some issues may look technical but are in reality political. This week ECO suggests focusing on the following three areas required to address the gigatonne gap: (i) clarifying assumptions; (ii) closing loopholes; and (iii) preparing to move beyond the high end of the current pledges by Durban. ECO assumes parties remain serious in their commitment to 1.5/2°C – you are aren’t you?

This week also offers opportunities for LULUCF.  The re-analysis of this issue as a significant loophole in the mitigation workshops could allow Annex I land and forests to contribute to genuine emissions reductions.  And technical discussions on force majeure provisions for forests could genuinely reflect extraordinary circumstances.  Or, if Annex I parties are up to their usual tricks, could this be yet another way to avoid accounting for emissions?

Parties should also take the opportunity to draft a CDM appeals procedure to grant affected communities and peoples access to justice.  And this week parties should move closer to  a  decision

to address climate forcing HFC in cooperation with the Montreal Protocol and exclude all new HCHC-22 facilities from the CDM.

The two groups on REDD+ (in the LCA and in SBSTA) got off to a good start last week. In this second week, ECO anticipates significant progress on both reference levels and information on safeguards, hopefully followed by expert meetings prior to Durban.

Adaptation negotiators should press ahead on substance to make the Cancún Adaptation Framework operational in Durban.  Parties should strengthen the role of the Adaptation Committee to promote coherence in adaptation, and to ensure meaningful stakeholder participation in its operations.  Furthermore, this week must see parties launch the activities of the work programme on loss and damage.

With the end of the fast start finance period only one year after Durban and no indication of how rapidly public finance will be scaled up from the $10 billion per year currently committed, parties need to start discussions here in Bonn on effort sharing, scaling up finance, and on new innovative public sources such as raising finance from international transport.  For this to happen, the US and its Umbrella Group allies need to stop blocking the discussion of sources and scale of long-term finance.

ECO has two requests for technology negotiators over the next week. First, fill up the nominations of the Technology Executive Committee. Secondly, decide on the terms of reference and likely locations of the Climate Technology Centre and Networks to maintain balance of adaptation and mitigation technology.

Among other issues that should be addressed, Parties need to deal with technical issues. ECO is waiting eagerly for some technical workshops and expert meetings. In the coming months, technical experts should make progress on technical issues such as biennial reports, reporting on support, IAR/ICA, REDD safeguards, etc.  These discussions must feed into the negotiating process.

Given the uncertainty over whether another intersessional will take place, the next five days will determine whether Parties will be able to secure an effective and balanced outcome of COP 17 in Durban. Parties should make the best use of this time and ensure both political and technical issues get addressed.

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Related Newsletter : 

ECO 3, Bonn 2011, Spanish Version

En esta Edición:

  • ¿La Mitigación, cuándo es “significativa”? 
  • El drama de las agendas SBI & SBSTA 
  • ¡Este es nuestro hogar también!
  • Avances en Adaptación, posibles en Bonn
  • El Rayo del día
  • Ludwig en Bonn
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SBI & SBSTA Agenda Woes

ECO watched with dismay the two-day (and counting…) negotiation over the agenda of the subsidiary bodies.  We were happy to see that the Ad hoc Working Groups got underway in a constructive fashion yesterday and hope to see quick resolution to the issues holding up the SBI and SBSTA.

Since these discussions are taking place (sadly, once again) behind closed doors, ECO is not in a position to judge what is really happening. We do realise that there are high political stakes in the issues being talked about broadly in these negotiations. Developing countries are being asked to do more in terms of MRV of actions and reporting while finance commitments are inadequate and reduction targets are slipping.  The fact that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is uncertain weighs heavily on many parties mind and on ours as well.

The work of the subsidiary bodies is critical to moving forward on many issues, but particularly for Adaptation, REDD, and MRV.  In Cancún, the advances in these three issues represented a real breakthrough for the last few years of negotiations. Those decisions set the stage for real action on the ground if Parties can begin working out how to operationalise them.  And getting these details right could help pave the way for the political decisions needed from the LCA and from the KP. While there are, no doubt, serious issues involved in the discussions around the agenda, the disagreement among Parties is undermining the  ability of the UNFCCC to effectively and efficiently  conduct the process to reach a FAB deal. 

ECO is unwavering in its belief that the UNFCCC is the most appropriate place for global cooperation on climate to take place so it  wants to see the UNFCCC more empowered.  We hope the parties can find a way to resolve these agenda disputes, preferably before they arrive at the meeting, in a way that strengthens the power and capabilities of the UNFCCC for the “full, effective, sustained, implementation” of the Convention, which is fundamental to life on Earth.

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Improving LULUCF Data Quality: An Issue of Political Will

ECO feels strongly that Parties should stop hiding behind the issue of data quality in order to avoid accounting for emissions from their lands sector. Indeed this is an issue that should be tackled in SBSTA discussions on methodological grounds this week. Under current LULUCF proposals, countries can choose which land use activities under article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol they want to account for. It is essential that, instead, we move to comprehensive accounting for emissions from land use. However, Parties often express the concern that they are not yet able to manage the necessary inventories and monitoring, and that existing methods tend to be expensive.

As a result, only a small proportion of the emissions from land use activities are accounted for. This means that many feasible and ‘low hanging fruit’ mitigation opportunities are missed. Furthermore, the emissions from the land use sector remain ‘hidden’ from Parties’ accounts and can increase without penalty.

ECO wants developed countries to agree on ambitious emissions reductions targets and therefore urges for Parties to move to improve data quality in LULUCF. The lack of high-quality data is no excuse for limiting the accounting regime. Getting the data right is not so much a question of lacking technologies and methodologies. Instead it is, above all, a matter of the lack of political of political will to improve capacity for better monitoring and reporting, and to allocate the funds needed to achieve this. Time and resources have been invested in MRV-ing REDD+. Surely then, developed countries should also be able to make similar investments for the land sector in their own countries.

All the capacity, methodologies and guidance for reporting and accounting for the most significant pools of emissions are already available or within reach before the start of the second KP commitment period. ECO therefore thinks the following stepping-stones could be achieved in the second commitment period:

 Mandatory accounting for all existing and new land use activities as soon as data quality can be achieved.

 Concentrate MRV efforts in the near term on hotspots (areas of land with the most significant emissions) and quantify these as accurately as possible.

 If data quality is not sufficient, estimates could be based on conservative values.

Parties can establish joint work programmes to support countries that lack capacity.

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