SBI & SBSTA Agenda Woes

8 June 2011

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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