28 November 2012

What a difference a year makes? 2012 has been all about tying up the loose ends of the Durban package, which by the end of Doha should form a nice bow of an amended Kyoto, concluded LCA, and work plans for both ADP tracks. (And ECO won’t object if any Party would like to throw ambition into that mix!!) Today’s ADP roundtable will begin to flesh out what the work programme to reach a 2015 Protocol should cover. ECO has a few initial thoughts.  

First, what to do about those remaining LCA issues?  Many of these are clearly relevant to the 2015 discussion.  Take equity for instance.  ECO is overjoyed that the LCA chair’s text included a work programme on equitable access to sustainable development, as this provides a good platform for discussions on equity principles and indicators, a key element for successful ADP outcome in 2015. We’ve had one productive workshop on the subject, but there is much more to say about what EASD looks like exactly. What are the principles that should guide this issue? And what does that mean for IPR, trade matters, human rights and any number of other issues in practice? This is a crucial discussion and one that clearly must inform the work of the ADP. Equally important is the review of the long-term global temperature goal; after all, it is high time that Parties quantified what Article 2 actually means. A strong body is needed to conduct this review and its results must also inform the ADP.  
The question of finance is omnipresent. In Doha, we need a COP decision covering all areas, including at least a doubling of fast-start financing for the 2013-2015 period. There will also need to be a political (not a technical) process on scaling up finance to the $100 billion per year level by 2020, as well as the sources for that finance. Clearly this work will inform all of the future discussions of the ADP. Finally, Parties will need to consider how all of the institutions created as part of the LCA at recent COPs fit and work together in the new agreement. For example, the linkages among the various bodies of the technology mechanism will determine how well it is able to respond to the needs of developing countries, and these linkage decisions clearly require political guidance. In short, there is a lot to discuss.
ECO cautions Parties, however, that 2013 cannot be just a talk shop. While a conceptual phase is needed to define an action plan with clear workplan and timelines, it must rapidly turn into very focused and in-depth discussions and negotiations. We have done this (almost) before! Submissions, workshops, technical papers, roundtables and continued high-level engagement are all needed, but ECO expects a compilation text of main elements by COP19. Whatever you may think of our deadlines, we assure you (along with the World Bank, IEA, IPCC and others) that there are clear planetary ones that humanity must absolutely respect – and those deadlines are already long past. There is no more time to waste.  
While Parties will discuss workstream 1 today, ECO cannot help but say a few things about near-term ambition, because, well, we’re ambitious. Here the options are endless (and really just need to be implemented), from increasing developed country targets, to new pledges from our host and their neighbours, to strong signals to the Montreal Protocol on HFCs, or phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. It is high time that Parties agree the near-term ambition workstream will not be an endless talk shop and set out here in Doha a firm timetable of quantifiable actions.
Enjoy your discussions today, but we look forward to seeing it in writing soon.

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