The Doha Decisions

7 December 2012

Today is the day to press the reset button. The planet is shouting warning signs at us but the Conference is sleepwalking off the cliff of climate disaster. A political deal was struck in Durban and all need to stand by it.
Ministers, while you bemoan the impending doom in high sounding high-level speeches and promise to do everything within your power to stop it, your negotiators dig in ever deeper in the back rooms of the QNCC.
The Doha deal ECO believes is still within reach would take immediate steps to improve the short-term ambition we urgently need. Your political ambitions need to be matched by targets and pledges more ambitious than the ones currently on offer.

Speaking of pledges: whatever hap-pened to the ambition of the Gulf countries to become climate leaders? What or who is holding them back? Was this the cause of the commotion at the Qatar Airways desk yesterday?
Clearly, much hard work lies ahead to close the growing gigatonne gap. This must start right away with an ambition ‘ratchet’ mechanism (KP) and plan of work with specific milestones (ADP). 

Which brings us to the most uncooperative track of all, the LCA. With 53 (!) outstanding issues, this feels like the playroom after a toddler’s birthday party. Is that what you mean by Party-driven process? Where is the leadership, who can take the reins? Surely, with good will, the spirit of compromise and some elbow grease the real crunch issues can be dealt with by ministers. And the outstanding ones can be moved forward to a suitable home before the sun sets here at Doha.

Now – no more delays, no more excuses – you must adopt strong amendments to the Kyoto Protocol that strengthen its environmental integrity by limiting hot air. To those that abandon Kyoto in search of a warmer climate: shame on you.

There are some encouraging signals that progress was made on the workplan needed to keep us on track for a fair, ambitious and binding Paris Agreement in 2015. We must of course learn from past mistakes (pssst, Copenhagen)! This workplan needs clear deadlines and milestones. We strongly recommend delivering a consolidation text by the end of next year and negotiating text at COP 20 at the latest.
Also essential to a Doha deal are concrete inclusive steps to be agreed on implementing the 'fairness' principles of the Convention in our new 2015 deal.  We need clarity on what 'equity' means for you and what it means for me?  If even the U.S. can learn to talk about it, so can we all. But talk is cheap and these ‘discussions’ need to inform negotiations starting in 2013. 

Announcements on finance are awaited from those countries that have yet to make theirs. But in order for developing countries to have confidence that the $100 billion per year commitment will be kept by 2020, the LCA must close with a clear collective commitment that public finance will increase above Fast Start levels in 2013, and amount to at least $60 billion in new and additional public finance by 2015. To do otherwise is to leave the poorest communities without any assurance that they will be supported to cope with climate impacts.

Looking back in 2015 we might find the real story of the Doha climate talks was not that yet another compromise deal was struck — a tiny step forward when step change was needed. The Doha deal must start to pave the way for the most vulnerable, the victims of climate change whose faces we saw on Al Jazeera, who are facing loss and damage this very day in their communities and cultures. You must agree today to set up and pilot an international loss and damage mechanism.

Doha may still be remembered as the place where you rediscovered your will to cooperate. Just maybe. Much like you did to save the banking sector in 2009. The planetary crisis looming over us dwarfs that finance crisis.
Ministers, delegates, today we are in your hands. You are playing for the whole planet.

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