Looking Ahead: 
LCA Mitigation

2 December 2010

As we eagerly anticipate the release of an actual LCA mitigation text, ECO is confident that it is realistic to expect substantial progress here in Cancun.
The new text will need to tackle some very controversial issues. One of the biggest debates currently underway is the inscription of emission pledges by parties. Not only does the magnitude of the pledges determine of the size of the Gigatonne Gap, the question of where they are placed reaches right into the heart of these negotiations. Should pledges be placed in the KP, the LCA or both, or should there be an independent decision on these pledges and how to go about monitoring them?
It is isn’t surprising that a lot of time is being spent on discussing this structural issue, but the concerns need to be guided by the willingness to move forward.
No balanced climate package can be achieved without resolution on ambitious mitigation targets by developed countries within the text. The bottom line is that developed countries still need to agree an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, with emissions peaking in 2015. The Gigatonne Gap should still be acknowledged and measures to bridge this gap addressed within the text.
Meanwhile, developing countries must define their nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) that contribute to sustainable development, with technical support provided to help design and implement them.
Each country must agree to develop a low carbon climate-resilient development strategy – in the case of developed countries, a zero carbon approach, and in the case of developing countries, contingent on support with NAMAs providing the building blocks. These should be long term strategic plans to decarbonize a country’s economy by 2050.
Monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) and international consultation and Analysis (ICA) must be developed in a way that adheres to the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, whilst ensuring environmental integrity. Agreeing MRV rules for developed countries under the Convention that are comparable to the Kyoto Protocol must be as important as ICA for developing countries.
Meaningful progress on all of these issues is eminently within reach in Cancun. A strong mitigation text is necessary as a first step to ensure progress on all other fronts. Let’s ensure this balanced package leads to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding deal in Durban next year.

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