Civil society has been left with little choice but to spend the last three days camping out in the basement of the conference centre. Despite the strong objections of the G77+China and Mexico—that’s 135 Parties out of a possible 195—the co-chairs have still barred observers from the negotiations. Rumours abound when all that can be done is wait for scraps of news, often delivered third- or fourth-hand.
Eco Digital Blog
The EU seems to be resorting to silence worryingly often, ECO wonders if this is a new negotiations tactic.
ECO first noticed this practice on Tuesday, when the EU failed to offer support to the G77+China group’s call for observers to be allowed in the spin-off groups.
Later in the week, the EU again fell silent over the Umbrella Group’s proposal to remove loss and damage as a standalone article in the agreement, which would leave already vulnerable countries even more vulnerable.
September saw a relatively positive environment on loss and damage. It left ECO optimistic coming into this session that Parties would continue to work together constructively. Alas, this meeting has seen Parties move further apart with two diametrically opposite options, in the one text. Is this an all or nothing approach?
ECO hears rumours that Parties have discussed the possibility of having a Technical Examination Process (TEP) on adaptation, and we’d be delighted if this was true. After all, there are more gaps in these negotiations than even ECO can keep track of, from gigatonnes to dollars. Adaptation appears to be one of the victims of process, and seemingly never has its time to shine. Finance for adaptation remains grossly insufficient, and more action is needed to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems.
Transparency is good, as it is clarity because it can help countries direct policy and allocate resources appropriately. The co-chairs’ non-paper includes MRV and accounting-related provisions throughout, highlighting the cross-cutting nature of this issue and its overall relevance to the deal. This is vital for success.
Symphonies are works of genius. Composing them requires foresight, precision and consideration of the role of every individual within the orchestra. In the context of ambition and climate change, ECO has been thinking about how we can all play from the same music sheet. Ideas like a global review strike the right chord, but Parties remain out of tune. Bonn’s slow staccato of progress is not moving toward the great symphony where the world moves to close the gap in ambition that the Parties have put forward for up until 2020. But that’s not all—the INDCs don’t sound any better.
ECO is heartened to see that language on emissions from ships and planes is back in the negotiating text. If these sectors are left out of the Paris agreement, they have emissions that are not only large enough but, also growing fast enough to undermine global efforts to stay below 1.5°C.
In the words of one developing country active on the issue, these emissions have the potential to create major loopholes in the global emissions limitations and environmental integrity. Under a 1.5°C scenario they could count for up to 42% of allowable emissions.
ECO nearly had a heart attack when it saw that Total and other fossil fuel companies were allowed into the NAZCA platform and LPAA webpage. Maybe this is just a fever dream brought on by nights spent lying awake, thinking of polluters. ECO is hopeful that the LPAA partners will apply some fundamental rules to this party before it gets out of control.
Pop quiz time. Question one: Do you remember when G20 leaders pledged to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies? That bold and necessary pledge took place in 2009 and was greeted with much rejoicing. Question two: Do you remember the date when those fossil fuel subsidies actually got eliminated?
ECO doesn’t know, either—because it’s never actually happened.
Six years on, it’s time to stop sitting around and waiting. On November 14, citizens around the world will mobilise in the streets and online, calling for world leaders to #Stop Funding Fossils.
Setting up a first date is a nerve-racking process. ECO has been there: spending hours overanalysing the details of what your crush did or didn’t say, writing vague texts that don’t express what you really mean, trying to play it cool by acting non-committal…