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Communique by the Plurinational State of Bolivia
(October 10, 2010 – Tianjin, China) The proposals of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth have been maintained and expanded upon in the new negotiating text on climate change that emerged from the last round of negotiations in Tianjin, China.

Throughout the process in Tianjin, attempts were made to substitute the negotiating text, which contains the positions of all countries, with a text that would be limited to recognizing the principal elements of consensus for Cancun.

In some working groups, such as the one dealing with “various approaches for mitigation actions,” a proposal was presented which only contained the pro-market option. Following a long debate in which the right of all countries to have their proposals reflected in the negotiating text until a consensus is reached ultimately prevailed, a new text was agreed upon. That text now includes, among various options, the position of Cochabamba against the carbon market, and a passage asserting that the rights of nature must be recognized in mitigation actions.
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BASIC countries set out expectations for Cancun conference
13 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Beijing, 13 October (Chee Yoke Ling) – Ministers from the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) reiterated the importance of the two tracks approach under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol for climate change negotiations, and reaffirmed that the outcome of the climate conference in Cancun, Mexico in November should be based on the balance between and within these two negotiating tracks.

In a joint statement on 11 October released in Tianjin, China the Ministers emphasized that the Cancun Conference should be open, transparent, inclusive, Party-driven and based on consensus.

They reiterated that the BASIC as part of the G77 and China will continue to work and strengthen the unity of the group, and play a constructive role in facilitating climate change negotiations. (The BASIC platform was formed for the four countries to coordinate among themselves for the 2009 climate negotiations in Copenhagen and since then have broadened to cooperation at the experts and technical level as well.)

The Ministers also rejected unilateral measures on the ground of combating climate change that are incompatible with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC. They also agreed that intellectual property rights should not be allowed to become a barrier to technology transfer.

The 5th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held in Tianjin on 10-11 October, immediately after the negotiation session (4-9 October) in the same city of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).

Attending the BASIC meeting were Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, Jairam Ramesh, Minsiter of Environment and Forests of India, Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa, and Luiz Machado, Ambassador and Director-General of the Department for the Environment and Special Affairs of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil. Liu Zhenmin, Assistant Minister of China’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also present.

In line with the “BASIC-plus” approach started in the last ministerial meeting in Brazil, the Tianjin meeting there were also invited observers: representatives of Yemen (Chair of G77), Argentina (incoming Chair of G77 for 2011), Ethiopia (Chair of the African Union), Grenada (Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States), and Egypt (Chair of the 22-member Arab Group).

The BASIC meeting focused on issues related to the Cancun climate conference to be held late November this year.

The Ministers supported the reflection of the elements of the Copenhagen Accord that contains the political understandings in the negotiating texts of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP.

(The Accord is controversial as it was negotiated by a small group of heads of states in the 2009 Copenhagen meeting of the UNFCCC Parties, and when it was presented at the final plenary there was no consensus to adopt it, with the Parties only “taking note” of this political document. The BASIC countries have associated themselves with the Accord but maintain that while it contains “political understandings” the UN framework is the appropriate one.)
The Ministers reiterated the importance of the two tracks approach, which envisages an ambitious and comprehensive outcome for the negotiations under both working groups in Cancun. They also emphasized that the outcome in Cancun should pave the way for a legally binding outcome next year in South Africa (where the 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties will be held in late 2011).

They stressed that the Cancun outcome should not in any way deviate from the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. (This refers to the carefully negotiated mandate in the Bali Action Plan in the 2007 meeting of the Conference of Parties in Bali that launched “a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome” for a decision to be adopted in 2009 in Copenhagen. This deadline was not met and the AWG-LCA’s work continues. The other component of the Bali Roadmap is the Kyoto Protocol negotiations that started in 2006 for the second commitment period of greenhouse gases emission reductions by Annex 1 developed countries when the first one ends in 2012. The original deadline has also passed.)

On the USD 30 billion fast start finance now and up to 2012 (pledged under the Copenhagen Accord), the Ministers underscored that this will be the key to enhance confidence in the multilateral process and enable success in Cancun. They emphasised that this should be made available as soon as possible in a transparent manner, and expressed concern with the lack of transparency and the relevant information on that fast start finance, reiterating that these resources must be new and additional to the existing ODA and bilateral funds.

On mid- and long-term financial support provided by developed countries, the Ministers agreed that this is also an important part of the Cancun outcome. They affirmed their full support for the establishment of a new fund under the UNFCCC and agreed that the public funding provided by developed countries should be the primary source of this fund.

On emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period, they urged developed countries to commit to more ambitious targets, calling for developed countries that did not ratify the Protocol to undertake comparable emission reduction targets under the UNFCCC (this was referring to the United States that agreed under the Bali Action Plan to take on “comparable” efforts in relation to Protocol Parties).

The Ministers also noted the significant distinction between the emission reduction commitments by developed countries and the nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries both in terms of their nature and content.

(Under the UNFCCC developing countries do not have legally binding emission reduction commitments in recognition of their need for development and their historical low emission levels. BASIC countries have however announced their national mitigation actions, particularly in setting targets for reducing energy intensity per unit of GDP growth.)

On adaptation, the Ministers reiterated the need to deal with this as a matter of urgency in Cancun. They emphasized that developing countries are the most affected by the impact of climate change and that developed countries have an obligation to provide finance and technology support to developing countries for adaptation.

They further underscored the importance of developed countries fulfilling their obligations of technology transfer and agreed that intellectual property rights should not be allowed to become a barrier to technology transfer. They were of the view that positive progress should be made in Cancun for the establishment of effective mechanism for technology development and transfer.

The BASIC Ministers reaffirmed their support for the aspirational objective of keeping global temperature increase well below 2 degrees C, bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries. They also recognized diversity of views on more ambitious aspirational objectives (referring to the lack of consensus in the negotiations of “shared vision” in the AWG-LCA), and believed that the resolution to this issue links directly to reaching a political understanding of equity (referring to the concepts of historical responsibility of developed countries and the equitable sharing of remaining atmospheric space between developing and developed countries).

They also reaffirmed that equitable access to sustainable development will be the core of and foundation for any climate change agreement and that this will be the prerequisite for setting up any global emission reduction target. This must take into account historical responsibility of developed countries, the need for space and time to achieve sustainable development in developing countries, and the need for the provision of adequate finance, technology and capacity building support by developed countries to developing countries.

In addition to the ministerial meeting, experts from the BASIC countries also met on issues of equity, and trade and climate change as requested by the last meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  A similar experts meeting was held in Rio.

The Ministers welcomed the results of the BASIC experts consultations and underlined the need for further collaboration among them on the issues concerned. They emphasized the importance of the issue of equitable access to sustainable development as a central element in building a comprehensive and balanced outcome for climate change negotiations. They called for the experts to continue discussions and to extend them to the equity dimensions of adaptation.
They also rejected the notion of unilateral actions against the products and services of developing countries on grounds of combating climate change, including tax and non-tax, or other fiscal and non-fiscal border or other measures, which are incompatible with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and will seriously jeopardize international collaboration on climate change and international trade.

The next and 6th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change will be hosted by India in February 2011, and the “BASIC-plus” approach will be continued.

Developing countries stress on Party-driven text for Cancun
12 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 12 October (Hilary Chiew and Meena Raman) – Developing countries at the closing plenary of the 12th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held on 9 October in Tianjin, China, stressed that the basis of negotiations in Cancun must be the negotiating text which are driven by Parties.

The G77 and China stressed that its understanding was that the basis of negotiations for the 16th meeting of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Cancun in November must be the negotiating text of 13 August, and this understanding was confirmed by the AWG-LCA Chair, Margaret Mukhahanana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe.

This understanding was stressed in a three-hour closing plenary which was marked by confusion following the distribution of documents capturing the outputs from the drafting groups in Tianjin, after one week of discussions which began on 4 October.

Parties also expressed mixed feelings over what would be achieved in Cancun. (See accompanying article for further details.)

The AWG-LCA Chair said that the progress of the work of the drafting groups and some spin-off groups (from the drafting groups) was captured in draft texts which were distributed to Parties.  To take that work forward (to Cancun), an ‘INF’ (information) document would be produced by the Secretariat containing these draft texts, said the Chair. She also said that the negotiating text of 13 August will also be on the table for Cancun. Focus in Cancun will be on issues where there was not much progress, said the Chair further.

Confusion stemmed from the distribution of the different outputs of the four drafting groups on shared vision for long-term cooperative action; adaptation; mitigation; and finance, technology and capacity-building. Some drafting groups produced revised draft texts which were based on the 13 August negotiating texts which were, in some instances, accompanied by notes by their respective facilitators.

However, in the mitigation drafting group as regards developed countries’ mitigation [paragraph 1 (b)(i) of the Bali Action Plan] and developing countries’ mitigation [paragraph 1(b)(ii) of the Plan], the co-facilitators produced notes expressing their own ‘reflections on the issues discussed’. Work on the two paragraphs were facilitated by two different facilitators. Since negotiations were at an impasse there was no Party-produced negotiation text from these two groups.

The G77 and China as well as several other members of the Group raised issues regarding the status of the notes by the facilitators, which were subsequently clarified by the Chair as having no status or bearing on the negotiations.

The Chair, Margaret Mukhahana-Sangarwe also distributed her own report on ‘consultations with Parties on elements of the outcome’’ (for Cancun) which she first introduced at the midway ‘stock-taking meeting’ of the AWG-LCA on 6 October.

South Africa, speaking for the G77-China said that it had fundamental concerns over the process related to the formulation of the co-facilitators’ notes on paragraphs 1(b)(i) and (ii) of the Bali Action Plan on mitigation. It said unlike other drafting groups where Parties had provided inputs to the text by facilitators, in this case, due to a lack of time, there was no opportunity to engage on the co-facilitators’ notes and Parties only saw the text for the first time at the plenary. It said the understandings captured by the facilitators were not necessarily comprehensive or an accurate reflection (of the discussions).

South Africa said that the G77 and China at the beginning of the week had also objected to the structure of the facilitator’s text in relation to paragraph 1(b)(i) when it was presented, but  for the sake of progress, the Group agreed to begin substantive discussions. The document produced however reflected the facilitator’s structure. It also said that the Group could not accept the sub-titles in the structure of the facilitator’s note as the document reflected only the facilitator’s understanding.

It said further that the document in relation to paragraphs 1(b)(i) and 1(b) (ii) does not have a chapeau to clarify that the note reflects the understandings of the co-facilitators and that the negotiating text (of 13 August) is in fact the basis for the work of Parties in Cancun. It said the G77 and China was not in a position to accept the transmission of the co-facilitators’ text on paragraphs 1(b)(i) and 1(b)(ii) to Cancun as they stood.

In response, the Chair of the AWG-LCA asked the secretariat to read out the clarifying chapeau to be introduced under the two notes [of paragraphs 1(b)(i) and (ii)]. The secretariat said that the title under the two notes from the facilitators will be changed to “facilitators’ understandings of the issues discussed”. This will be followed by a chapeau as follows: “Co-facilitators understandings are derived from some statements made during the drafting group on mitigation. As such, the co-facilitators’ understandings will have no bearing on the negotiations. Negotiations will continue on the basis of the negotiating text (of August 13) without prejudice to the position of Parties.” The secretariat also informed Parties that the sub-titles in the note relating to paragraph 1(b)(i) will be deleted.

The G77 and China then accepted this proposal.

[The notes by the facilitator on paragraph 1(b)(i) was controversial, for among other contentious aspects, it contained among other matters reference to the concept of “graduation” and criteria for countries to be included in Annex 1 and the reclassification of Annex 1 (developed country) and non-Annex 1 (developing country) Parties.]

Bernarditas Muller of the Philippines, who is also coordinator of the G77 and China for the AWG-LCA as well as for finance and technology transfer for the Group, noted that the list of elements for the outcome prepared by the Chair for Cancun did not have any status as informed by the Chair.

Referring to the issue of finance, she said that the G77 and China had presented its submission for a draft decision for new fund and so did another Party. These proposals were set aside in favour of the facilitator’s note. She also said that the process was a problem.

Muller stressed that for Cancun, work must proceed on the basis of texts developed by Parties and that the negotiating text was the only basis of negotiations. She said that her understanding was that the notes of the facilitators were like an aide memoire and would not have any status in Cancun. Her understanding on the matter was confirmed by the Chair.

China sought further clarification on the issue as it said that there was confusion. It said that its understanding was that the negotiating text was the basis for continued negotiations. The notes by the facilitators served as a memoire and do not enjoy formal legal status nor are the basis for future negations. It said that the whole process was Party-driven and the negotiating text from a Party-driven process should be the basis of the work of the next AWG-LCA session. China was not clear if the ‘INF’ document can serve the same purpose.

In response, the AWG-LCA Chair said that the ‘INF’ document was to capture what was discussed in Tianjin. The notes of facilitators have no status in relation to the negotiations and were like an aide memoire and will not have any bearing. The Chair further stated that the chapeau in relation to paragraphs 1(b)(i) and (ii) can be extended to all the notes of the facilitators on the other issues as well.

Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group said that whatever was the status of the outputs from the drafting groups, the note by the co-facilitators in relation to paragraphs 1(b)(i) and (ii) were different as it was not discussed and was not the basis of negotiations and despite the clarification by the chapeau, had a lesser status.

Argentina, the G77 and China coordinator in relation to adaptation, also sought clarification regarding the introduction of a new text by a Party after the concluding of negotiations (in the Tianjin session) and expressed surprise as this was not the methodology adopted during the negotiations. It said that the text had to be corrected in this regard and suggested that the new text be moved to the note by the facilitator.

(Argentina was referring to an additional input by a Party for paragraph 6 under Option 2 on page 3 of the revised text on adaptation. That paragraph provides for “priority to be given to particularly vulnerable developing countries, especially LDCs, SIDs and other developing countries…taking into account the needs of countries affected by droughts, floods and sea-level and temperature rise in Africa and Asia.” The issue of who is a particularly vulnerable country has been contentious in the negotiations.)

Guatemala speaking for several countries wanted the inclusion of countries from Latin America and the Caribbean in the new text in this regard.

The Chair of the AWG-LCA agreed to move the said paragraph to the note of the facilitator.

The Chair also distributed her report on ‘Consultations with Parties on elements of the outcome’ which she first introduced at the midway ‘stock-taking meeting’ of the AWG-LCA on 6 October. In her report, she said that “there was a shared desire for a balanced outcome in Cancun from the AWG-LCA across all elements of the Bali Action Plan that will not prejudge prospects for a legally binding outcome and that respects the two-track approach (between the AWG-LCA and the working group under the Kyoto Protocol).”

The report contained a list of possible elements of such a package, which the Chair said “would need to be advanced to a comparable level of detail.” The elements listed in the paper were as follows:

On  shared vision  – shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions and process to review the long-term global goal and overall progress towards meeting that goal;

On Adaptation – adaptation framework and institutional arrangements for its implementation and approach to address loss and damage;

On Mitigation  – economy-wide emission reduction commitments or actions by developed country Parties; MRV for developed country Parties’ commitments or actions; MRV of support; NAMAS by developing country Parties; MRV for developing countries NAMAS; MRV of support; readiness phases of activities that contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector (REDD-plus); general framework on cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions, including agriculture and on international bunker fuels; various approaches including opportunities for using markets to enhance the cost-effectiveness of and to promote mitigation actions and the economic and social consequences of response measures;

On finance, technology and capacity-building  – long-term finance; fast-start finance for 2010-2012; establishment of a new fund and process for its design; arrangements to improve coherence and coordination in climate change financing; mobilization of long-term finance; establishment of the Technology Mechanism, the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network and capacity -building.
China stressed that the Chair’s report would not be part of the information document for Cancun and was without any status in the work of the Working Group at the next session. It also reiterated that balanced text on all elements of the Bali Action Plan was the only basis for a possible balance. It said that there was no need to re-interpret the Bali Action Plan which was a delicate balance. If some elements were quoted and not others, the balance would be destroyed.

India also sought clarification from the Chair on the status of the Chair’s report and other papers prepared by the facilitators on their own understanding.

The Chair reiterated that her report and that of the facilitators had no status.

Saudi Arabia referred to the list of elements produced by the Chair and said that that list was supposed to follow the Bali Action Plan. It said that under shared vision in the Plan, there is no review plan. Also under paragraph 1(b)(iv) of the Plan on cooperative sectoral approaches, it does not provide for a general framework for cooperation on agriculture and bunker fuels. These issues were not part of the Plan. The list of elements could be an indicative list but it could not agree that these elements are the package for the Cancun outcome.

Parties voice concern over limited progress in Tianjin climate talks
12 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 12 October (Hilary Chiew and Meena Raman) – Parties at the closing plenary of the 12th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held on 9 October in Tianjin, China, expressed that there was limited progress in the climate negotiations.

Developing and developed countries also voiced varied expectations for the Cancun meeting of the Conference of Parties in late November this year.

It was clear that deep divisions continued to remain on key issues, especially on mitigation, and developing countries called for greater political will on the part of developed countries for positive outcomes.

The G77 and China and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) also urged developed countries not to hold back progress in the negotiations especially in relation to the establishment of the Climate Fund under the UNFCCC just because developed countries did not get what they want from developing countries in the area of mitigation.

The G77 and China emphasised the need for a comprehensive set of decisions at Cancun that   must be in line with the Bali Action Plan, covering all its elements. It also called for balance between the two negotiating tracks (of the AWG-LCA and the Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol on further emissions reduction targets of developed countries), and balance in decisions within each track.

Referring to the need for a balanced outcome on all the elements of the package in Cancun, Bernarditas Muller of the Phlippines, speaking for the G77 and China said that in Tianjin, negotiations on some elements were being held back just because some Parties were not getting what they wanted and this was unfair.

(Muller was referring to negotiations on the establishment of a new fund under the UNFCCC which was being held back by the United States as it wanted to see progress on new mitigation obligations for developing countries.)

AOSIS also expressed similar sentiments saying that it was not helpful to hold hostage the establishment of the fund by events elsewhere. It stressed further that the perception of a balance in the Cancun outcome did not include movement in the mitigation block and that AOSIS “was not prepared to play poker”, as the stakes were far too high for them.

Ambassador Abdullah M. Alsaidi of Yemen, speaking on behalf of the G77 and China, said that the Group had argued for a comprehensive set of decisions at Cancun and stressed that these decisions must be in line with the Bali Action Plan (BAP), covering all its elements; that a balance between the two negotiating tracks (of the AWG-LCA and the Kyoto Protocol working group) must be respected and the balance in decisions within each track must be maintained. It also stressed that whatever outcome reached in Cancun must not compromise the overall objective of a comprehensive ambitious and legally binding outcome.

The G77 and China said climate change is a universal threat that respects no borders in time or space. It said that its people were suffering and their developmental prospects were at stake, as well as their very existence jeopardised. It was a matter of life and death for many countries. Therefore, it called for urgency in the negotiations.

The Group said further that it was incumbent on all Parties, particularly the developed countries given their historical responsibility, to address climate change within the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, by adhering to the provisions and principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

It urged Parties to approach Cancun with determination to do more and that the Group has negotiated in good faith notwithstanding impediments to achieve concrete steps necessary for the edifice of a comprehensive and legally binding outcome.

Grenada representing AOSIS said that the 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancun later this year must deliver comprehensive and ambitious outcome, rebuild confidence and generate momentum in delivering a tangible result in South Africa in 2011 (at the 17th Conference of Parties).

It said the AWG-LCA process outcome must sit alongside the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and Parties must avoid further uncertainty by addressing the continuation of this architecture in Cancun.  It said that while there was some movement in the negotiations in Tianjin, Parties remained deeply divided in many elements of the discussion.

Given the scale and impact of well documented effects of climate change and their consequences, it asked what more was needed to spur them on (to resolve the deadlock). Grenada called for action to match the rhetoric. It said that it was irresponsible, unethical and unjustifiable in failing to meet the challenge demanded by science.

It added that the contours of a balanced package were clear and true leadership was needed. It said that it was not helpful to hold hostage the establishment of the fund under the UNFCCC by events elsewhere.

Grenada said that the perception of balance does not include movement in the mitigation block and that AOSIS was not prepared to play poker as the stakes are far too high for them.

Lesotho speaking for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) drew attention to the flood in the Hainan province of China where more than 1.6 million people have been affected. It said the magnitude of extreme weather events and their impacts can no longer be over emphasised and with the rise of sea surface temperatures as a result of climate change, the extent of destruction and loss of property and lives can never be imagined.

It reiterated its previous call to have an outcome on a set of decisions that adequately address elements of the BAP to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention now, up to and beyond 2012 which would eventually lead to a legally binding agreement.

It said the set of decisions must include an agreement on the establishment of a new Fund and a decision on a committee that will lead the process to operationalise the Fund. As adaptation was a priority of LDCs, the group underscored the need for the COP to reach agreement on the Adaptation Framework for Implementation and the associated means of support for implementation. This framework should include a process for LDCs to develop medium and long term adaptation plans that build on the NAPAs (National Adaptation Plan of Action).

On capacity building, it said as it is essential for LDCs to fully engage in the implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions, it expects the issue to be addressed. As the best option to adapt is to start mitigating now, the LDCs expect a decision that would enable technology development and transfer. It also hoped that consultations will be carried out in an inclusive, open and transparent manner with the intention of maintaining trust within the UNFCCC process.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, representing the African Group, said that while the work in Tianjin had been instructive, there was much left to be resolved if Parties are to expect an ambitious outcome in Cancun and negotiations are progressing far too slowly to respond to the needs of developing countries.

It stressed that for the period beyond 2012, the outcome of negotiations must be firstly, a shared vision for long-term cooperative action which includes a global goal for emission reductions, adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building in a balanced and comprehensive manner to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention.

Secondly, it said, the agreed outcome of the comprehensive process mandated in the BAP must be a legally binding outcome under the Convention. Thirdly, finance is a cornerstone for achieving a balanced deal that ensures the enhancement of the climate change regime and supports developing countries efforts’ to adapt and to take voluntary actions to reduce their emissions as part of the global effort to deal with the issue of climate change.

It expressed its disappointment that there was no clarity on any of these issues and suggested that Parties focus efforts on making progress in several overarching areas:

- that the AWG-LCA take into account the requirements for rationalisation and coherence of the arrangements for the means of implementation, including finance, adaptation, technology and capacity building, and undertake the preparatory work in order to ensure the effective functioning of proposed institutions, mechanisms, procedures and processes.

- Annex I Parties should commit to long term finance based on assessed contributions of 1.5% of GDP and work towards establishing the new fund, including addressing the balance in allocation between adaptation and mitigation

- that the SBSTA (Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technology Advice) develops technical guidance for the implementation of REDD+ (forest related) activities and report to COP17

- the AWG-LCA should focus on clarifying the approach to enhance the ambition of Annex I countries not Party to the Kyoto Protocol (referrng to the US) and the issue of comparability as well design, function and institutional arrangements for the proposed Mitigation Mechanism supporting Non-Annex I countries relative to voluntary nationally appropriate mitigation actions.

Egypt representing 22 countries in the Arab Group said that while there is progress in finance and technology transfer, the session registered regression in the field of adaptation and capacity building. It said that divergences continued over emission reductions. It stressed the need for balance among the various elements of the BAP and in the two tracks of negotiations as well. It expressed concern over elements that are being proposed which are not in the BAP or the Convention. It said that it was important to have a financial mechanism in Cancun and there must be an agreed decision on a standing committee and the establishment of a fund.

Ecuador representing the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) Group (including Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Paraguay) said there has been no significant progress on the negotiating text and called for greater commitment is required from developed countries as without whose political will there could be no outcome. It stressed that there was no room for conditionalities and even less for the prevalence of financial and commercial interests. It said the negotiating process required absolute transparency and the inclusion of all Parties, guided by the UNFCCC. There was need for a legally binding outcome and hoped that Cancun would see a comprehensive set of decisions both in the AWG-LCA and the Kyoto Protocol. It expressed cautious optimism over the outcome in Cancun.

Pakistan was pleased to note progress in the negotiations in Tianjin. It said that it was congnisant that a search for an agreed outcome could take years but this should not lead to complacency. It said that the recent floods in Pakistan posed a new challenge and showed its vulnerability, with the loss of 1,700 lives and effects on 20 million people, with 8 million being made homeless. One-fifth of the country was under water and 2 million hectares of agricultural lands were damaged with loss of property running to billions of dollars. Pakistan said that there was need to have a more accurate view of the concept of ‘vulnerability’.

It said that efforts must be geared up at consolidating the trust built from Copenhagen to Tianjin and Cancun could provide fundamental agreements that could be operationalised, on areas such as institutional arrangements for nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries, REDD-plus framework, climate fund, its framework and principles, technology mechanism and an adaptation framework.

India said that for the further work in Cancun, Parties should stick to certain fundamental principles. First, it said, the outcomes and decisions must be comprehensive and be achieved in both tracks. An outcome on ambitious emissions reduction targets of Annex I Parties is key to success at Cancun. However, India expressed disappointment with the emerging signals as it has not seen willingness to fulfil legal obligations nor was there indication that Parties were anywhere near a comparable and rule-based regime of emissions reduction in the AWG-LCA track.

It said that equity was central to the composition and impact of the work of Parties and there was need to define it operationally with reference to equitable access to global atmospheric resources so that the development prospects of developing countries and the global eradication of poverty are not compromised.

India also said that Parties should avoid selective decisions as all four pillars of the BAP are equally important and critical to a balanced outcome. Balance has to be achieved not only in the two tracks but also in all pillars of the BAP.

Thirdly, it stressed that the nature of the results of the negotiations should not prejudge the agreed outcomes at Cancun. The legal shape of the outcome will be determined not by the form but the substance and the mandate of Parties was not to negotiate a fresh treaty or agreement. It emphasised that the UNFCCC is a legal treaty and the Kyoto Protocol is the legal instrument of the Convention. Whatever Parties choose to do must only enhance and not alter the principles and provisions of the Convention and the Protocol. Any other approach will not only amount to failure in meeting the existing legal obligations but also damage the credibility of any future legally binding outcomes.

It further stressed that success in Cancun will depend on the comprehensive, transparent and inclusive nature of the consultations which may be necessary in the run up to Cancun.

China said that when it decided to host the climate talks, it was preparing to welcome delegates to Hainan island, which was hit by heavy rains with 1.6 million people being affected, stressing the vulnerability of the country to climate change. It called for urgency and urged all countries, especially the developed countries to do something real and commit to emission reduction targets and provide technology transfer to developing countries. China stressed that the Convention and the BAP as the basis for the outcome in Cancun. There was need for balance in both negotiating tracks and within the various elements.

Marshall Islands chided Parties who remained cynical about fast-start finance. It said that it was caught in the middle of a downward spiral of the negotiations. To build a balanced and practical outcome, it said more work should be in crystalising mitigation targets, up-scaling of actions and advancing international consultations and analysis and MRV (measuring, reporting and verification of actions).

Singapore said that references to concepts such as the equitable sharing of atmospheric space were not helpful and it could not find convergence in the selective definition of the principle of equity.

Belgium speaking for the European Union said it could not but feel that this session (in Tianjin) did not live up to its expectations in terms of progress and of striking the right balance. It said that progress was simply too limited for some of the topics that are crucial to achieving a balanced package. In particular, it said Parties have not progressed enough on mitigation, MRV and market approaches which are essential elements for the EU in terms of a balanced packaged for Cancun.

The EU wanted all countries’ pledges to be reflected in the UNFCCC process and there was need initiate discussions to clarify them and to consider options for strengthening the collective level of ambition which remains insufficient in light of our 2 degree Celcius goal. It also stressed that this was without prejudice to the ongoing discussions on the further commitments under the Kyoto Protocol track and did not also mean that the EU would accept a pledge-and-review approach for Annex I Parties.

The EU sought to set up a framework for enhanced MRV taking into account the different responsibilities and capabilities of developed and developing countries as well as the different nature of their commitments. On market approaches, it said, although there was support from most Parties for progressing on this issue which is important for delivering results on mitigation, it wanted clarity in the text on key principles and to launch a work programme.

It said that during consultations, it became clear that many Parties were concerned that decisions on mitigation could move Parties away from the objective of a legally binding outcome for the AWG-LCA. The EU affirmed that it aimed for no less than a legally binding outcome for the Convention track and the Cancun outcome will have to define next steps to reach this goal.

The EU said that progress was achieved on the setting up of the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund and constructive decisions also took place on the Adaptation Framework, the technology mechanism, capacity building and their institutional arrangements and Parties are also closer to setting up the REDD-plus mechanism (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries etc.) but said much remained to be done to complete the work in Cancun. It counted on the Mexican government to create a sound environment for a focused political discussion to resolve the main outstanding issues.

Australia speaking for the Umbrella Group said it supported a durable, fair and effective legally binding outcome which includes the contribution by all major emitters. The Group affirmed support for the Copenhagen Accord which it said provided guidance on all elements of the Bali Action Plan. It said that a balanced package of decisions will allow progress towards an agreement.

It said the package should include elements on mitigation and MRV both for developed and developing countries. There was good progress on finance, adaptation and REDD-plus but progress on mitigation and MRV was limited.

It added that for a balanced outcome in Cancun, decisions on mitigation and MRV must be detailed and operational. The mitigation pledges of both developed and developing countries should be affirmed and it would also like new and updated pledges and begin a process for understanding these pledges. It wanted the pledges in appendices and said that the Accord provided guidance on this. In addition, a registry would provide avenue for developing countries to seek support for their actions. It said that transparency was key and there was need for a robust framework for MRV and ICA whith decisions on frequency, form and content for transparency post 2012.

Australia said that a package of decisions must be a package and not a list of individual elements.

The United States said that there was limited progress in Tianjin and there must be progress on all elements. On mitigation, it said that it tried to be flexible so could move forward in a differentiated manner on (mitigation) activities (between developed and developing countries). It expressed sadness that the notes by the facilitators on mitigation had not status. It said that there was need for time for key issues to ensure a balanced package.

Kyoto Protocol’s future still uncertain
11 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 11 October (Lim Li Lin) – The working group of the Kyoto Protocol closed on Saturday (9 October) in Tianjin, China with the Protocol’s future still hanging by a thread. Deep divisions between developed and developing countries over its survival and the further emission reduction commitments of Annex I (developed country) Parties under the Kyoto Protocol remain unresolved despite the legal mandate to conclude discussions at the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP) in Cancun, Mexico later this year.

This session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) was the last before Cancun. Developing countries all insisted that the amendment to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol must be adopted in Cancun, while developed countries all clearly have no intention of doing so.

(Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol lists the emission reduction targets of Annex 1 Parties for the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012.)

At the Tianjin session, four contact groups were set up: on the scale of Annex I Parties’ emission reductions (“numbers”) in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; on “other issues” including land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), emissions trading and the market mechanisms, and the baskets of methodological issues; potential consequences of response measures; and legal matters.

The legal contact group was deadlocked over the issue of the mandate of the AWG-KP (see TWN Tianjin News Updates #4 and #7). Developed countries would like to discuss amendments to the Kyoto Protocol that do not fall within the mandate of the group, but insist that they are “clarifying” the rules and that this is necessary for them to take further emission reduction commitments. At the same time, they are not putting on the table the necessary mitigation commitments as needed by science, nor committing to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol.

Yemen, speaking on behalf of the G77 and China, said that the discussion on the scale of emission reductions of Annex I Parties was delayed through the inability to resolve an array of technical issues. It appealed that now is the time to translate discussions into specific quantified emission reduction commitments for Annex I Parties in the second commitment period, rather than further delaying by setting preconditions or discussing subjects far from the mandate and work programme of the AWG-KP.

Yemen said that the continuity of the Kyoto Protocol is an essential and basic element for the future of the climate change regime, and that we need to avoid a gap between the commitment periods as it would have extremely serious consequences for Mother Earth and humanity. Defining new quantified emission reduction commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol is a legal obligation that must be met and the Kyoto Protocol must lead the way, and is the cornerstone of the Cancun outcome as a whole, it said.

The Group insists and will not compromise on the second commitment period for Annex I Parties, which must be from 2013 to 2017 and be measured against 1990 levels. To strengthen the global effort to address climate change, it is essential to have balance between the two negotiating tracks [the other being the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)], with all Annex I Parties showing leadership through ambitions emission reduction commitments, as the current level of Annex I mitigation pledges is insufficient and is an obstacle that must be overcome. The AWG-KP must deliver the result of its work pursuant to Decision 1/CMP.1 for adoption at CMP 6, Yemen said.

Belgium, speaking for the European Union, said that it is “fully engaged in the Kyoto Protocol track, and that we aim to make all the progress necessary for a balanced pack that would allow for a step towards a global comprehensive legally binding framework in line with the 2 degrees Celsius objective.”

It said that it is “open regarding the legal form of the outcome as long as it is binding. Ultimately we would still prefer a single legally binding instrument that would include the essential elements of the Kyoto Protocol. However, we are open to consider a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, as part of a wider more rigorous and ambitious framework and provided that certain conditions, founded on the urgent need for environmental integrity and effectiveness of international action, are met.”

The EU would like to have a series of CMP decisions from the AWG-KP process in Cancun and to pursue further work thereafter. Capturing progress in both negotiating tracks will be a vital step towards a legally binding result, it said. Its goal for Cancun is to achieve results on: further commitments of Annex I Parties, the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol architecture, and deciding on next steps with a view to a legally binding outcome.

Its position is that emission reductions by developed countries in aggregate by 2020 should be in the order of 30% below 1990, and that it is necessary for developed countries to enhance their pledges. Its own commitment is a 30% emission reduction, “if other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and if advanced developing countries contribute adequately and according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.”

Belgium said that current pledges in the negotiations should be reflected, but this is not a suggestion to consolidate the current unsatisfactory level of ambition. Cancun needs to send a strong message that we want to preserve and enhance the architecture of the Kyoto Protocol. We should confirm the use of common and robust accounting rules, the continued use of the flexibility mechanisms and their improvement, and the continuation of Kyoto Protocol institutions.

It emphasized ensuring the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol and the necessity for improvements to the Kyoto Protocol rules, especially with regard to LULUCF and the flexibility mechanisms. The use of surplus assigned amount units (AAUs) should be addressed in Cancun, it said, and we should set a basis for new market mechanisms. The scope of the Kyoto Protocol should be extended to other sectors and gases. All this will avoid unnecessary uncertainties for policy makers, stakeholders, markets and citizens, in line with the ambition to avoid a gap between the first and second commitment periods.

It said that it relies on the Chair of the AWG-KP and the incoming Presidency of CMP 6 (Mexico) to prepare the documentation and to actively consult Parties in the run up to Cancun. In Cancun, political options on outstanding issues should be addressed. It emphasized that progress is needed towards a legally binding and balanced outcome in both negotiating tracks, with broad participation from Parties.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, on behalf of the African Group, said that a long-term solution to the climate crisis is a global effort. Agreement to a second commitment period is absolutely essential to facilitate agreement under the AWG-KP. The African Groups’ expectations for Cancun are for the adoption of the amendment to Annex B for Annex I Parties’ emission reductions in the second commitment period. Emission reduction commitments should be strengthened to be consistent with the goal of limiting temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

It emphasized that the rules should be resolved in a manner does that does not delay the work on the numbers and lead to a gap between the first and second commitment periods. It re-affirmed the two track approach of the negotiations and said that reaching agree on the second commitment period is crucial for reaching agreeing in the AWG-LCA.

Australia, on behalf of the Umbrella Group, said that clarity on the rules is necessary to consider what emission reductions are possible. It said that the legal discussion on the rules should be a priority early at the next session of the AWG-KP in Cancun. It emphasized the need for a balanced, fair and effective legally binding outcome that includes all major emitters, and that the Kyoto Protocol is part of the comprehensive outcome in Cancun. All developed countries have put forward quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives in the context of a comprehensive climate framework, and these are contained in Appendix 1 of the Copenhagen Accord, it said.

Grenada, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said that the longer the delay on ambitious emission reductions by Annex I Parties, the more difficult and costly it is to guarantee the survival of small island developing states and other vulnerable countries. Annex I Parties must take the lead in committing to binding economy wide emission reductions that are sufficiently ambitious in scale in the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period.

It expressed satisfaction that AOSIS’ proposals for amendment of the Kyoto Protocol with regard to market mechanisms, carry over of surplus AAUs and new gases are reflected clearly in the Chair’s draft proposed text, and are for maintaining environmental integrity. The proposals aims to reduce uncertainty and increase the scale of Annex I Parties’ emission reductions as a number of proposed options are likely to undermine the environmental effectiveness of pledges on table, it said.

Grenada said that far more ambitious targets are needed as current pledges are consistent with a temperature increase of 3.5 degrees Celsius or more. AOSIS’ position is that Annex I Parties should reduce their emissions by 45% below 1990 levels by 2020, according to the best available science. CMP 6 must adopt the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for Annex I Parties’ emission reductions in the second commitment period, in accordance with Decision1/CMP.1.

Switzerland, on behalf of the Environmental Integrity Group said that some progress had been made on key elements for Cancun, with a view toward a balanced package of decisions. It said that the Kyoto Protocol was still important but alone, would not solve the global climate change challenge. Further improvements to the valuable features of the Kyoto Protocol in Cancun are needed, including progress on LULUCF and market mechanisms. The package under the AWG-KP must be balanced with the AWG-LCA, and there should be balance within the decision of the AWG-KP. The Kyoto regime should be strengthened and its mandate fulfilled.

Lesotho, on behalf of the least developed countries (LDCs), said that it was disappointed with the AWG-KP outcome in Tianjin. An ambitious post-2012 regime that is backed by the best available science is needed, and political will to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it said. It welcomed the statements of some developed countries for a two track legally binding outcome and expressed hope that it would also be the position of all developed countries. It said that the amendment of the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period of Annex I Parties’ emission reductions is of paramount importance, and that it must enter into force by 1 January 2013.

Egypt, on behalf of the Arab Group of 22 countries, said that it was concerned about the results of the negotiations in the AWG-KP. Delays continue to prevail in the numbers group, and there were no serious discussions on loopholes (that allow Annex I Parties to avoid taking real emission reductions). It said that some Parties insisted on discussing controversial issues on legal matters, when the mandate of the group is to determine Annex I Parties’ emission reductions for the second commitment period according to Article 3.9 of the Kyoto Protocol and Decision 1/CMP.1.

The Arab Group will not accept terminating the Kyoto Protocol, and refuses any such attempt by the major players that do not have any intention of committing to a second commitment period, which is the real key to unlocking the impasse in the negotiating process. Egypt said that we should agree as early as possible in Cancun on the second commitment period, which must be ambitious and in line with environmental integrity.

Bolivia, on behalf of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), said that the second commitment period is absolutely necessary, and that Annex I Parties are obliged to commit to quantified emission reductions. The proposals on market mechanisms would enable them to hand over their responsibility to developing countries. Developed countries should not condition their commitments on rules which give greater flexibility to them, it said.

It said that proposals for emission reductions by Annex I Parties are not consistent with science, the need for development by developing countries, or fair and equitable sharing of the atmospheric space. It supported the existing climate change regime, and that temperature rise must be limited to 1 to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It asked the Chair of the AWG-KP to outline an effective schedule, so that the group can debate and agree results for Annex I Parties’ emission reductions in the second commitment period. It said that the international negotiating process must be respected. The Chair’s scenario note was accepted, but it was not a blank cheque to change the mandate of the group. The group’s mandate derives from Article 3.9 of the Kyoto Protocol and Decision 1/CMP.1, it said.

Norway said that it supported the Kyoto Protocol and would like to have a second commitment period as part of a broader framework. The Kyoto Protocol has quality elements and is a strong environmental agreement because of the form of its emission reductions commitment, with compliance, etc. and flexibility for governments in fulfilling their commitments.

However, its second commitment period is not enough, it said, and all major emitters must do their fair share, to be environmentally meaningful. It said that it is necessary to keep warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, and it is important to ensure transparency by all Parties to reduce emissions. The level of ambition for emission reductions must be raised, and substantive discussion on the rules, legal issues, and numbers are necessary for a second commitment period, it said.

The work done in Tianjin this week has been reflected in a new text – “Draft proposal by the Chair to facilitate preparations for negotiations”. This document will be forwarded to Cancun. The Chair invited Parties to submit their views on the text by 31 October.

Divergent views remain over Kyoto Protocol second commitment period
9 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 9 October (Hilary Chiew) – There is still no agreement among developed countries on the post 2012 commitment period of greenhouse gases emission reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.

On Friday afternoon (8 October) an informal plenary of the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) that met to take stock of progress in the four contact groups set up on 4 October showed this lack of consensus.

Although the European Union and Norway expressed their willingness to adopt a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, other Non-Annex I Parties, notably Japan and the Russian Federation, were firmly opposing the move.

The EU however reiterated its preference for a single legally binding instrument that would include the essential elements of the Kyoto Protocol.

Others maintained that their emission reduction pledges were conditional upon ‘other major emitters’ also take on binding emission reductions.

Developing countries reiterated their position as expressed at the beginning of the Tianjin meeting that they would not compromise on the requirement of a second commitment period as this is fundamental to a balanced outcome in Cancun by year’s end.

[The 16th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 6th COP serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) will be held Cancun, Mexico.]

Some non-Annex I Parties (developing countries) also openly spoke out against Annex I Parties for stalling negotiations and using the excuse of the absence of rules to justify their reluctance to commit to a second commitment period.

Chair John Ashe from Antigua and Barbuda said the stock-taking meeting offers an opportunity for Parties to express what would constitute a balanced outcome in Cancun.

Yemen, speaking on behalf of G77 and China said it has serious concern with the extremely slow pace of progress in the AWG-KP and that it is lagging behind in completing the central task of its work programme.

It urged Annex I Parties to show leadership by accelerating its emission reduction targets in light of historical responsibilities and equity and in accordance with science. It is essential that the Kyoto Protocol continues (into a second commitment period) and the elements of the Kyoto Protocol are very important for the future of a climate change regime.

In that connection, it said, any gap in the commitment period would have serious implications. It reminded Parties that a new quantified emission reduction target is a legal obligation that must be met and is fundamental to the success of Cancun.

It emphasised that the Group will not compromise with the requirement of the second commitment period, the historical responsibilities principle and interests of developing countries. Therefore, it said, the focus should be an amendment to Annex B and definition of Annex I (Parties’) commitment.

Failure to do so will send a negative signal of Annex I Parties to take forward their legal obligation and their readiness to forge a strong climate change regime.

Australia said that Parties should capture progress so far and settle the forward agenda for the year ahead. In terms of capturing progress, it said it is important to seek decision on a number of matters related to rules: those that cover the metrics under the Kyoto Protocol to create synergy for target setting; accounting rules for Land use, Land use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and a decision on emission trading which would help Parties in establishing quantified emission reduction targets.

It said it intends to commit to quantified emission reductions but would like it to be based on sound rules. The sooner Parties settled it, the better would the progress be, it added.

Belgium, representing the European Union said it has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the work of the AWG-KP and that it sees progress in this group as an essential part of joint efforts under both tracks of the Bali Roadmap to deliver a successful outcome in Cancun.

It said while the EU continues to have a preference for a single legally binding instrument that would include the essential elements of the Kyoto Protocol, it is flexible about the legal form as long as it is binding.

It said a positive and successful outcome in Cancun that captures progress in both the AWG- KP and the AWG-LCA (Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention) is an interim step towards reaching a legally binding outcome as soon as possible.

Achieving such a success in Cancun, it said, would required balance both within the proposals on the table in the AWG-KP as well as balance across negotiating tracks and that it is important to capture progress on the following three elements of the negotiation text in Cancun: reduction commitments; a confirmation of the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol architecture; and a characterisation of further work.

On further commitments of Annex I Parties (referring to scale of emission reductions), Parties should aim to consolidate the progress made so far by clarifying the underlying assumptions and conditionalities of those pledges.

From the EU perspective, it would not be an endorsement of the current level of ambition implied by those pledges as those pledges are not yet sufficiently ambitious and neither would it be a stepping stone for a pledge and review approach.

(A pledge and review approach would be contrary to the system envisaged for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol where an aggregate target is first set from which individual or joint targets of Annex 1 Parties are determined, backed by the compliance regime of the Kyoto Protocol.)

It further said that the EU would continue efforts to inscribe further emission reduction commitments by Annex I Parties into a legal instrument and further step up those commitments to a level that constitutes a fair and ambitious contribution towards the common goal of staying below 2 degree Celsius (in temperature increase from pre-industrial levels).

On the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol architecture, the EU said it is important in Cancun to send a strong message to the world that Parties want to preserve and enhance the architecture of the Protocol. To do so, it is essential to confirm the use of common and robust accounting rules, confirm the continued use of the flexible mechanisms and their improvement to enhance their environmental effectiveness, geographical distribution and contribution to sustainable development.

It also wanted to see the continuation of various Kyoto Protocol institutions like the Adaptation Fund, Clean Development Mechanism and Compliance Committee.

On further work, it said it is essential that Parties agree in Cancun on a way forward to a legally binding outcome. It said that the outlined package would ensure the preservation of the institutional architecture of the Kyoto Protocol with a view to avoiding unnecessary uncertainties for policy makers, stakeholders, markets and citizens in general.

It urged Parties to work constructively and turn to a full discussion based on the text and identify the political options with a view to agreeing on an overall package in Cancun, but concluded that ambitious commitments of Annex I Parties in isolation would not be enough and a legally binding outcome in both tracks is needed.

Norway said it is worried about the slow pace in the AWG-KP and that it is a friend of the Kyoto Protocol and would commit itself to a second commitment period where it pledges a 30% nationwide emission cut.

It added that it has no hidden agenda and is confident that a good solution under the AWG- KP is possible and essential to the final outcome. It supported the EU statement on the essential elements for AWG-KP in establishing a new and stronger framework for the future.

Switzerland said having a balance package is important and acknowledged that the current pledges are insufficient. It said it considers a legally binding and quantified emission reduction after 2012 as part of a broader and comprehensive package defining the future climate change regime but it is flexible on two legally binding instruments.

Japan said it participated in the AWG-KP negotiation with the expectation of achieving clarity on rules in LULUCF, mechanisms and the methodological issues.

It said all the pledges by Annex I Parties are premised on the establishment of a fair and effective global deal which would include all major emitters and market mechanisms as the main outcome.

It also said Japan inscribed the 25% target premised on a fair framework. Hence, it said it would not support a second commitment period as it does not constitute a fair and effective framework, and implies an imbalance of a legal nature.

New Zealand said it is not engaging in tit-for tat negotiation tactics as talked about by one group of Parties (referring to some developing countries). It said it is reasonable that Annex I Parties know the rules before setting targets and sign a legally binding commitment. It is concerned that some Parties are pursuing an all or nothing approach which would not lead to a final decision in this negotiation track. It said refusal by some Parties to address legitimate concerns would not drive Annex I Parties to take on targets and that it would not support an outcome that is not fair. (Please see TWN Tianjin News Update No. 7 on the debate and deadlock in the legal contact group on the issues of the AWG-KP’s mandate.)

Micronesia speaking for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said it is time to confirm and consolidate the Kyoto Protocol foundation as it is designed for emissions reductions but current pledges only add up to a 12 and 18% reduction from 1990 levels and there is no effort to get closer to a 45% reduction to limit temperature rise to well below 1.5 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Rather than scoring political points, it said Annex I Parties need to commit and follow through with the amendment of Annex B (to the Kyoto Protocol that sets out the reduction targets). Any further ambiguities would prolong the deadlock. It said many developing countries have expressed with absolute clarity for AWG-LCA to produce a legally binding agreement so it needs to achieve symmetry with AWG-KP. These two instruments will form the global architecture which is the AOSIS architecture vision as well.

Tuvalu expressed its frustration on one particular LULUCF issue and urged the Chair to seek some sanity in the process. It said the endless computations, permutations and delays by key Parties negotiating LULUCF should not create a procedural blockage to the entry into force of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol nor should it undermine meaningful emission reductions.

It said a joint proposal by the G77, the EU and others relating to accounting for forest management will make it difficult to conclude the accounting rules for LULUCF by CMP7 (7th meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) or even beyond.

In effect the G77, the EU and others are creating a gap in the commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol, it added. It said it is unacceptable that on the verge of CMP6 it is being told that there will be no conclusion in Cancun and even at South Africa (that will host CMP7).

South Africa said Parties should develop an overarching decision that outlines the elements of a complete package for the AWG-KP and AWG- LCA. In Cancun, it said, Parties should capture progress as building blocks to a legally binding two-track agreement.

In doing so, it will give comfort to Parties that they are working towards a two-track outcome, which allows them to capture progress and that areas with less progress will develop as the process unfolds.

It urged the Chair to consult with Parties in terms of adopting decisions in Cancun and facilitate the work going forward.

The Russian Federation said it is highly unlikely that it would go ahead with the Kyoto Protocol track without a clear vision of the global climate architecture for a post-2012 regime. It said to date the Copenhagen Accord is the only blueprint that might provide a basis for moving forward.

China said even though Parties talked about a balanced outcome there are those who want to kill the Kyoto Protocol especially one that has the Protocol named after one of its cities, in clear reference to Japan. It said any balanced outcome must include the two tracks, a second commitment period, finance and technology transfer and stressed that China will not compromise on these key elements.

It said “legally binding” extends beyond historical responsibilities but also legal responsibilities as Parties cannot throw out a legal instrument like the Kyoto Protocol but must comply with obligations under the treaty.

It said to rebuild trust and confidence, Annex I Parties must take the lead in producing a fair, balanced and legally binding outcome.

India said the Kyoto Protocol is the heart of the challenge in the global cooperation for climate change mitigation. It said Parties should remain committed to the tasks before them and in the absence of success in Tianjin, Parties will fail to create legally binding obligations in Cancun.

Venezuela said commitment under the Kyoto Protocol should not be bargained against other positions in the AWG-LCA track. As the Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding agreement, so are its principles. As such, (Non-Annex I) Parties cannot accept the line of thought that some countries will fulfill their obligations in exchange for something else.

It said a new, legally binding obligation in the AWG-LCA track is not the way for Parties to get out of the Kyoto Protocol but they should use Article 27 under the Protocol to do so if they so wish (referring to withdrawal provision of the Protocol). It urged Parties to work towards two protocols – the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and the one to be born (under the AWG-LCA track).

Saudi Arabia said the primary objective of the AWG-KP is adhering to the legal mandate of Article 3.9 which is the amendment of Annex B. In this context, it said, it noted with great concern that many Annex I Parties have not yet made concrete proposals.

It said without concrete actions and balance, Parties would fail to reach an equitable outcome. It hoped Annex I Parties will show leadership and allow AWG-KP to achieve concrete results in completing its work programme in Cancun to avoid any gaps between the commitment periods.

Brazil praised Norway which clearly spoke about its commitment and that it (Norway) is a lonely voice amidst other Annex I Parties which seemed to have the utmost difficulty in uttering words referring to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

It said other Annex I Parties spoke of rules, norms, architecture and markets but all of them seemed void of linkage to a true second commitment period.

It stressed that Brazil does not belittle the importance of strong rules but to say that without rules one cannot commit is far from the truth. It said in reality, (some Parties) used that as a guise in wanting to renegotiate the whole Kyoto Protocol.

It said leadership is needed and that Brazil has committed to a set of actions that are much more ambitious than the pledges of many Annex I Parties without asking for knowing the rules in advance. Leadership and actions are lacking from those Annex I Parties that still refuse to adopt the second commitment period.

It said discussion about rules must be clearly linked to an unequivocal second commitment period otherwise it will not make any sense. It urged Parties to work together towards adopting a balanced set of decisions that includes a clear commitment to the second commitment period.

Third World Network speaking as a member of civil society stressed that the Kyoto Protocol is the lynchpin of the whole climate negotiations and reminded Parties that the AWG-KP started long before the AWG-LCA. There must be continuation of the Protocol as it is the only legally binding treaty. If it fails, it warned, everything else is in danger of collapse.

It said the worst scenario would be if the legally binding Kyoto Protocol regime were to be replaced by a new regime in which Annex I Parties only make national pledges without them having to be adequate and there is no aggregate Annex I targets. Even if this new voluntary regime becomes legally binding, it would be a disaster because it would be a climb down from comparable and adequate efforts into a regime of mere voluntary efforts which may only yield a 13% target by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and with loopholes it may even be zero.

Thus, it called on all Kyoto Protocol Parties to complete the negotiations for a second commitment period by Cancun, adding that this important result would unlock everything else in the LCA track.

Chair John Ashe said the diverse views from the stock-take showed that there is general recognition that there ought to be a balanced package in Cancun, but no consensus on what it should be. But there is some still some time until Cancun (to work out the problems).

Long way to go on fast start finance – says development NGO

9 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 9 October (Meena Raman) – Of the $30 billion promised by developed countries under the Copenhagen Accord, only 13 per cent or $3.9 billion has actually been given so far and just 7 per cent or $2.2 billion is additional to pre-existing aid commitments, said the World Development Movement, a U. K based NGO in a report entitled ‘A long way to go’ on the state of fast start climate finance.

“Most countries are double-counting all of their fast start finance as helping to meet their aid commitments as well,” said the report further.

“Of the $30 billion, only $27.5 billion was ever pledged. Just 26 per cent ($7.9 billion) has actually been committed to specific bilateral or multilateral programmes.”

“Of the $7.9 billion which has been committed so far, 42 per cent or $3.3 billion is to be given to the World Bank and 47 per cent or $3.7 billion is to be given to programmes which will give loans rather than grants,” the report added.

The report which provides an update on the state of the fast start finance was released end of September before the climate talks began in Tianjin, China.

According to the controversial Copenhagen Accord (which was not adopted by the Conference of Parties), developed countries were “to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012,” referred to as fast-start finance.

According to the WDM report, ” ‘new’ would commonly be understood to mean that it was money which had not been announced before and ‘additional’ means it would be additional to developed countries pre-existing aid commitments.”

“However, nine months into 2010, developed countries have done little to reveal how they are meeting their pledges. On 3 September, the Netherlands published a voluntary database where governments can disclose how they are meeting their pledges and on what money is being spent. So far, only six countries have put information on this website, and not all have given full details of their spending,” said the report.

“Using the Dutch website, and information in the public domain, we did the work of developed countries for them “to reveal how much money has been pledged, committed and actually given, how much is additional and new, and how much is being given through the World Bank and as loans,” said the report.

The research showed that “of the $30 billion, only $27.5 billion was ever pledged. Just 26 per cent ($7.9 billion) has actually been committed to specific bilateral or multilateral programmes. For example, Canada, Denmark, Finland and Ireland have not yet made any announcements as to how their money will be spent.”

“Just 13 per cent ($3.9 billion) has actually been given so far. The vast majority of this is from Japan’s Cool Earth Partnership, which was first announced in 2008,” said the report.

“Just 7 per cent ($2.2 billion) is additional to pre- existing aid commitments. The Netherlands has made all of its fast start finance additional to its aid commitments. However, most countries, including the U. K, are double-counting all of their fast start finance as helping to meet their aid commitments as well, such as those agreed at the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005,” it added.

“Just 17 per cent ($5.2 billion) is clearly new money which had not been announced before Copenhagen. For example, $770 million of UK fast start finance was first announced in 2007. $14 billion of Japan’s $15 billion pledge was first announced in 2008 (and it includes money from the private sector in this total as well), said the report.

“Moreover, of the $7.9 billion which has been committed so far, 42 per cent ($3.3 billion) is to be given to the World Bank; 47 per cent ($3.7 billion) is to be given to programmes which will give loans rather than grants; less than 1 per cent ($70 million) is to be given to the UN Adaptation Fund, the main fund established by international negotiations to help developing countries adapt to climate change,” said the report.

According to the WDM report, “the UK pledged £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) over three years, £500 million a year, at Copenhagen. Of this, £519 million has been committed to particular programmes; £190 million has been given so far and none of it is additional to aid commitments.”

“Of the U. K money so far committed, 89 per cent (£463 million) has been given or committed to the World Bank; 72 per cent (£376 million) has been given or committed to programmes which will give loans rather than grants,” it said further.

According to the WDM report, “the coalition government has re-committed the U. K to spend £1.5 billion out of the aid budget on climate change between 2010 and 2012. It has yet to decide how to allocate money which has not already been spent.”

“The Conservative Party policy is as far as possible, to give aid as grants not loans, and will encourage other donors such as the World Bank to give aid for social objectives, whenever possible, as grants. However, all UK money to the World Bank’s two main climate funds, the Clean Technology Fund and Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience, will be given on as loans,” according to the report.

AWG-KP legal matters group deadlocked
8 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 7 October (Lim Li Lin) – The legal contact group of the 14th session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) is deadlocked over the issue of the mandate of the group. Two sessions were held on Thursday, following an initial session on Tuesday (see TWN Tianjin News Update No. 4) but the group was still unable to resolve differences.

The issue that has bogged down the group is the long-standing issue over the mandate of the AWG- KP. The mandate of the AWG-KP (contained in Decision 1/CMP. 1 that established the working group) is for determining further emission reduction commitments for Annex I (developed country) Parties for the second commitment period in accordance with Article 3.9 of the Kyoto Protocol. Article 3.9 sets out the legal obligation of Parties to establish commitments for subsequent periods for Annex I Parties in the form of an amendment to Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol, which contains the individual commitments of Annex I Parties for the first commitment period (2008-2012).

Over the course of the negotiations, other issues have been introduced into the work programme of the AWG-KP. These relate to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), market mechanisms, methodological issues, and potential consequences of response measures. These issues are contained in the draft text proposed by the Chair of the AWG-KP (John Ashe from Antigua and Barbuda). They are contained in Chapters II to V, in the form of draft CMP (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties) decisions.

Chapter I contains the proposed amendments to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period as well as related consequential amendments to a few Articles of the Kyoto Protocol (in Option A). Option B contains the same consequential amendments as well as other proposals by some Parties for further amendments to the Kyoto Protocol that are not consequential amendments arising from the amendment to Annex B for the second commitment period.

In the AWG-KP Chair’s scenario note for this session, he had proposed that the legal contact group consider the parts of the Chair’s proposed text relating to entry into force of any amendments to be adopted by the CMP as well as those that are not considered by any of the other contact groups. He outlines a number of sections that are contained in Option B for discussion.

The understanding, based on past practice at previous session of the AWG-KP, has been that the legal contact group only convenes when there are legal matters referred to it by the other contact groups (on the scale of Annex I Parties’ emission reductions, on the other issues and on potential consequences).

After the hotly disputed session on Tuesday, the Co-Chairs Gerhard Loibl from Austria and Daniel Ortega from Ecuador conducted informal consultations with the Parties. They opened the second session of the contact group by announcing that there is an emerging consensus that the group could work on some text, and proposed dropping a couple of sections from the list in the Chair’s scenario note (which contains Option B issues that are not consequential amendments).

This prompted firm reactions from developing countries.

Brazil speaking on behalf of the G77 and China said that they were only prepared to discuss legal matters relating to the amendment to Annex B and consequential amendments that are within the mandate of the AWG-KP.

China, Micronesia, Ghana, Sudan, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Egypt, India and Benin all spoke up in support of the G77 and China position.

China said that it was not authorized to discuss any amendments to the Kyoto Protocol other than to Annex B. With regards to “improving” the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, it said that “A more beautiful Kyoto Protocol without the second commitment period is a dead treaty. This is a way of blocking the process, and under no circumstances can we do that.”

It proposed that instead of selecting issues in Option B, to first focus on issues in Option A, as that is our focus and mandate. Only with consensus and progress in Option A, then we can move on to discuss a better second commitment period. It suggested doing this line by line in the text, and then to a have a discussion on how to avoid a gap between the first and second commitment period in the next session of the contact group.

Brazil went on to say that the mandate of the AWG-KP was very precise and that amendments proposed to Article 21 for example in Option B are not consequential amendments, and was a diversion. This does not prevent any Party from discussing the issue in the CMP. It said that the issue of the mandate of the group should be discussed in the AWG-KP plenary. We are not here to make a new protocol, or make it a beautiful instrument, it said.

Ghana also wanted the legal contact group to discuss the possible implications of a gap between the first and second commitment periods.

Bolivia contended that the Chair’s scenario note is just a note, and it was up to Parties to decide.

Egypt agreed that the issues have to be discussed in the right place, and urged to focus first on the scale of Annex I Parties’ emission reductions.

However, Micronesia had a broader understanding of consequential amendments and considered that proposals dealing with the level of ambition such as those by AOSIS relating to the carry over of surplus AAUs (assigned amount units), extending the share of proceeds from other market mechanisms, etc. are relevant.

(The AOSIS proposals relate largely to the scale of Annex I Parties’ emission reductions and are linked to determining the second commitment period in so far as the second commitment period relates to Annex I emission reductions after 2012. They are however, not direct consequential amendments.

Many of the proposals by Annex I Parties for additional amendments to the Kyoto Protocol would result in a quite a different legal instrument. Most developed countries would like to terminate the Kyoto Protocol and replace it with another treaty. Parties can, at any time, propose amendments to the Kyoto Protocol in accordance with Article 20, and these proposals are taken up by the CMP.)

Tuvalu requested the Co-Chairs to rule on this matter so that the group could proceed, and said that the mandate was established by the Chair to have a discussion on the entire text.

Developed countries urged for a broader view on the mandate.

Australia considered that everything in the Chair’s scenario note (including issues mentioned in Option B) is within the mandate of the AWG-KP and wanted to discuss its proposal on conditional application of the Kyoto Protocol. It said that it did not see the point of discussing the scale of Annex I emission reduction commitments (“numbers”) unless this was discussed. It accused developing countries of blocking progress in the AWG-KP by not allowing the opportunity to discuss other issues. It suggested that the impasse may have to be dealt with at an AWG-KP plenary session with the Chair, and said that it had no idea what we are intending to have as the Cancun outcome.

Belgium, speaking for the European Union, expressed that the CMP may not be able to handle all the issues that needed to be discussed under Option B. It said that the mandate discussion had a good track record of blocking progress, and that we have different interpretations of the mandate, and in the past have found a way to move forward. Without improved rules, the Kyoto Protocol is also a dead treaty, it said. As long as we discuss all issues, it could live with addressing Option A first. It also wanted to discuss implications of a possible gap between the commitment periods.

New Zealand contended that it was necessary to discuss all that is necessary to do to bring a new commitment period into being, and that legal certainty is very important. It said that Option B did not reflect on what the mandate is, but were proposals that were not allowed to be included in Option A. It accused Brazil of being inconsistent as it had a proposal in Option B.

Brazil responded by saying that opening each and every Article of the Kyoto Protocol, would create uncertainty. It said that its proposal is in Option B as it is not a consequential amendment. It had made this proposal to put some ideas on the table, but not to engage on it. However, it could be discussed if Parties want to, when the time comes. It said that the intention of killing the Kyoto Protocol by trying to reopen all the Articles of the Kyoto Protocol at this late hour, is what is blocking the negotiations.

China said that the legal issues relating to the Annex B amendment are quite straightforward, and rejected the delaying tactics by developed countries. It said that the mandate of the AWG- KP, adopted in a decision in Montreal is very clear. Until we discuss Option A, we should not be distracted. Option A and the discussion on numbers, will set the necessary basis for the CMP decisions in Cancun.

Switzerland requested for the AWG-KP Chair to join the group in order to understand his proposal so that the group can continue working.

The Co-Chair announced that the AWG-KP Chair was not available. He said that the group was given the mandate at the start of the AWG-KP session to look at option B, and that it had no mandate to look at Option A.

China challenged the fact that that a mandate for the legal group had been adopted, and said that there was nothing in the Chair’s scenario note that suggested that we cannot address Option A. It said that the Chair’s scenario note is not a decision for the mandate of the organisation of group’s work. We did not know what should be discussed, and how much time was being allocated to the group, it said. If necessary, another AWG-KP plenary was needed to take a decision on this matter.

New Zealand said that as they did not hear anyone object to Chair’s proposal for work at the AWG-KP opening plenary, they assumed that that was the consensus at that time.

Brazil said that the scenario note is not decision, but a suggestion by the Chair. When it was time to consider it, we said that we are not willing to discuss Option B. The Chair has no authority to go against the mandate of the AWG-KP.

Ghana then made a proposal to start work from Option A, then to move on to work that flows from that, and then if there is time, other issues. This was supported by Benin and Bangladesh.

Switzerland and the EU wanted to have certainty and agreement that there would be a a space to discuss all the issues that are contained in the text.

Ghana further proposed asking the Secretariat to identify what are the consequential amendments.

Micronesia suggested that those who do not want to discuss do not have to engage or say anything, but those who do, can discuss.

At the start of the third session of the contact group in the afternoon, the Co-Chairs announced that they would like to have informal consultations with the Parties on the Ghanaian proposal.

China said that while it appreciated the Ghanaian suggestion as a way to move forward, it doubted that the Secretariat should undertake the task, as that is the job of Parties. It said that it is clear that Option A contains the consequential amendments. It urged for sequencing and focusing the work of the group, as Option A together with progress in numbers contact group, could be basis for draft decisions in Cancun.

Australia and the EU agreed that it would not be useful for the Secretariat to undertake the task, as Parties would still disagree.

The Legal Advisor of the Secretariat, Dan Ogolla said that the task would be putting the Secretariat in a difficult position. He referred to a previous paper by the Secretariat that identified possible elements for an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to Article 3.9 that informs on the Secretariat’s view on what are consequential amendments.

(The document FCCC/KP/AWG/2009/3, confirms that only the Articles in Option A are consequential amendments, as it deals with Article 3.1, 3.7 and 3.9. Two other provisions that are contained in Option A are not considered in the Secretariat’s paper (Article 4.2 and 4.3) and Mr. Ogolla stated that in his view, they are also consequential amendments, and the Secretariat’s document should have included those Articles.)

The Co-Chair said that they would conduct consultations to see what are elements in Option A and then in Option B that Parties are willing to discuss.

This immediately led to Parties re-stating their positions. Australia said that it would expect everything to be addressed.

Brazil and Bolivia said that Option B is not in the mandate of the AWG-KP.

China said that it preferred Option A and that it was not simply an issue of time whether or not Option B is discussed, and that confirmation by the Chair of the AWG-KP is needed that the legal contact group should follow the mandate of the AWG-KP.

New Zealand said that is was disingenuous to say that we are not supposed to discuss anything not in the mandate, but that yesterday the Brazilian proposals on how to deal with carry over of surplus AAUs were discussed. (These were discussed in the contact group on numbers.)

The Co-Chair said that in Option A the group could only discuss what is not being discussed in other contact groups. Then it could move on to Option B. The issue of the mandate would have to be discussed in a plenary session of the AWG-KP.

Brazil said that it could not accept the Co-Chair’s proposal and agreed with China that the mandate of the AWG-KP would have to be clarified in a plenary session of the AWG-KP. China also said that the status of the AWG-KP Chair’s scenario note had to be clarified.

The Co-Chair said that they would conduct informal consultations and that the AWG-KP would have to consider the issue of mandate.

This led to further disagreement. The Chair of the AWG-KP appeared in the room and was greeted with applause.

The AWG-KP Chair said that the legal contact group was convened based on recommendations he made. There was no a priori assumption that everything he referred to was what Parties could agree to. He was inviting the Parties to engage in discussions without prejudicing the outcome. He said that at a minimum, Parties could exchange views on those items, and had not intended for a discussion of mandate, which is for the CMP. He said that the Parties should engage in a discussion and report to CMP 6, on the basis of the report from CMP 5 which contained all the proposals from Parties. He said that he would be happy to make proposals and was in the Parties’ hands on how to proceed. He urged Parties to listen and hear the rationale, and not to refuse to even before beginning, even if some proposals may be difficult to accept.

Brazil said that the legal contact group is not supposed to discuss proposals, as these should be discussed in the substantive contact groups. Option B is not in the mandate of the AWG-KP and at this late point in time, it should not discuss other amendments to the Kyoto Protocol as these should be discussed in the CMP.

China said that it was right to conduct substantive discussions to fulfill the mandate of the AWG-KP. It said that issues relating to the scale of emission reductions for Annex I Parties should be discussed in the numbers contact group. In the Chair’s scenario note, the issues listed from Option B are legal issues but have nothing to do with the mandate of the AWG-KP. Legal issues are confusing, but they should not be used to change the mandate of the contact group. The legal group is not supposed to discuss all legal matters relating to the Kyoto Protocol. It does not have the authority to amend the whole Kyoto Protocol.

It said that the issues listed in the Chair’s scenario note has changed the mandate of the AWG-KP and prejudged its outcome. Option A is not mentioned, but it cannot be that we cannot discuss Option A. We had a very rushed and quick opening plenary without an opportunity to discuss what would be discussed, it said. There was no clear understanding of the time allocation.

India agreed that what the legal group is supposed to do flows from the AWG-KP mandate.

Micronesia, speaking for AOSIS, said that Parties should be allowed to explain why they have made proposals.

New Zealand said that it was not possible to discuss the other amendments at the CMP as Ministers would not understand. (However, the regular meetings of the CMP is at the negotiators level.)

The AWG-KP Chair said that the purpose of legal group is to consider proposals by Parties, and not for Parties to say prior to that that they are not prepared to consider those proposals. He said that “You could give common courtesy to that Party to listen to their proposals. You could let them know that you don’t agree.”

(However, this is not the agreement of the AWG- KP on the nature of the legal group, which is to consider legal matters that are referred to it by the other contact groups.)

He referred to the work programme adopted in Poznan. (This work programme contains “other issues” that are being taken up in the other contact groups, and are addressed in draft CMP decisions in the Chair’s proposed text. This is distinct from the additional proposals to amend the Kyoto Protocol.)

Ghana said that it agreed with China and Brazil and suggested starting with Option A, then using the Secretariat’s paper as a guide, to consider Option B to see if there are other consequential amendments there, as perhaps the Secretariat’s paper was not exhaustive.

The AWG-KP Chair proposed that the group should consider Ghana’s proposal and discuss when it meets again.

China expressed concern that three slots had already been used by the contact group and if there was sufficient time for the numbers discussion. It asked if there would be another legal contact group.

Australia said that it wanted a clear understanding that everything will be discussed, and it might be necessary to carve out some time from the other contact groups. It asserted that as the legal group did not progress, other groups had not been able to progress.

The AWG-KP Chair said he would consult on all these matters.

Call for a permanent forum on potential consequences from response measures to climate change
8 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, 8 October (Hilary Chiew) – Developing countries have proposed a single permanent forum to deal with the issue of potential consequences from response measures to climate change that is currently being negotiated in both the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperation under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).

Parties are currently negotiating in four contact groups that are set up under the AWG-KP to deal with the five chapters of the draft proposal by the Chair, Mr. John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda.

At the contact group on potential consequences on 7 October morning, supporters of Option 1 under Chapter V (Consideration of information on potential environmental, economic and social consequences, including spillover effects, of tools, policies, measures and methodologies available to Annex I Parties) clarified their proposal and assured Parties especially those in Annex I (developed countries) that the discussion in the two negotiating tracks are heading in the same direction.

Option 1 reads as follow: Decides to establish a permanent forum as a means for Parties to report and evaluate impacts and consequences of policies and measures; this would offer a common space where Parties may provide information on their specific needs and concerns relating to such consequences, and identify ways to minimise negative consequences of the policies and measures adopted by Annex I Parties on non-Annex I Parties.

Argentina said what proponents have in mind is one forum that will report separately to the Conference of Parties (COP) and the COP serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). For the CMP, the forum will look at the consequences of Annex I Parties’ actions on Non-Annex I Parties and for the COP, it will assess the consequences of developed countries’ action on developing countries.

It further said the forum will offer a common space to allow for sharing of information and interactive dialogue to discuss the matter since it has been agreed by all that it is challenging to anticipate, attribute and quantify potential consequences.

Saudi Arabia said at the present time it is unclear if the AWG-LCA will agree to establish the forum but once the issue has been decided by any of the bodies, it will end up as one forum with unified language. It said it is prepared to work together on the terms of reference, what to accomplish and who should be involved once there is an agreement on the forum which should help all Parties, both that are affected by and those contemplating the actions.

Annex I Parties like New Zealand, the European Union and Switzerland say that the need for information and data could be provided through the National Communication and clarification can be sought at the meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice, the bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Hence, their preference for Option 2 which reads: Decides that Parties should use existing channels, including national communications, and report on observed impacts and specific needs and concerns relating to social, environmental and economic consequences of mitigation actions taken by Parties.

At an earlier meeting of the contact group on Wednesday (6 October) China said it supported the establishment of a permanent forum as the existing channel was inadequate in addressing all the potential consequences and focus has largely been on potential consequences in Annex I countries but not abroad.

New Zealand said the existing channel process has not failed but it should be given a chance to be strengthened. It said many Annex I countries have reported in their National Communication on the potential and its own report in accordance with obligations under Article 2.3 (of the UNFCCC) came to 122 pages about the activities that it had been doing in striving to minimise the impacts of its actions in reducing greenhouse gases emissions.

It also said Annex I Parties are not required to report on the potential consequences until the fifth National Communication. Acknowledging the shortcomings in the first four National Communications, it said what is important is the fact that they are now reporting with great details and the point is to be forward looking.

In response to China, New Zealand said its National Communication covered what happened in other countries and not only domestically.

Switzerland acknowledged that Annex I Parties have to strive to reduce impacts of their mitigation policies on third parties and it is important to work together to collect information on these efforts and deepening understanding and listening to experiences a country may have but said that the existing channel is the approach which involved trial and error.

Belgium, representing the European Union, said there remained differences and inconsistencies in the negotiation text on the same matter under the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP where the former has three options and the latter has two. It suggested that the text should mirror each other to ensure convergence into a single forum later (if such a forum is agreed on), noting that at least one Party of Annex I that is not Party to the Kyoto Protocol (referring to the United Stated) should be included in this forum and not left out.

It agreed with the flow of information and the need for a place to discuss them but it would like to seek clarification on additional information on top of those provided through the National Communication and inventories that already contained substantial amount of information.

At the Thursday (7 October) contact group meeting, New Zealand pointed out that a substantial amount of information on climate change (including potential consequences of response measures) is already made available in other international avenues and diplomatic dialogues like the G20, besides at the UNFCCC.

Saudi Arabia said the idea of the permanent forum can be viewed as the UNFCCC contribution and cooperation with those avenues and it will not render the other avenues redundant and neither would the forum be redundant.

It said the forum will be cost-effective and not burden any Parties as it is proposed to take place in conjunction with the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies’ meetings in the same location.

On the forum’s function, it said it will involved Parties, intergovernmental organisations and the participation of scientific, financial and research communities to review and evaluate the various options and develop a work programme and the SBI can then report once a year to the COP on the findings of the forum, and make recommendations to the Parties.

Argentina stressed that the central body for climate change is the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. Recognising that there are huge amounts of information out there but the information should be organised in the UNFCCC and issues should be resolved within the UNFCCC, let’s not undermine the central role of the UNFCCC, it said.

China said the existing channel approach could not assure others that Annex I will fulfill their commitments as shown by their failure, except the EU, that they will meet their targets.

New Zealand said it was surprised with China’s conclusion as it is completely unknown if Annex I will meet their commitment until 2014 when all data are compiled but added that New Zealand is fully on track to meet its first commitment period targets.

The EU, Russian Federation and Australia also said they are on track to meeting the targets.

China replied that it stands to be corrected and will be patient to wait till 2014 to see the final results.

“Stock-taking meeting” midway through Tianjin shows divergence of views on process and outcome for Cancun
7 October 2010, www.twnside.org.sg

Tianjin, October 7 (Meena Raman) – At the UNFCCC climate talks in Tianjin, a “stock-taking” meeting was held on October 6 which revealed divergent views among several Parties on what the outcome of the forthcoming Cancun conference should be and how the process should move forward from Tianjin to Cancun.

The stock-taking exercise was carried out under the contact group of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long- term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG- LCA), for delegates to assess how much progress has been made so far during this one-week session in Tianjin, which is the last before the Cancun conference.

Differences of views emerged from among developing countries as well as among and with developed countries on their expectations for Cancun, with most Parties expressing disappointment on the slow and uneven progress of the negotiations so far this week.

While all Parties expressed the need for a balanced outcome under the AWG-LCA, there were divergent views on what “balance” means and what the content of the elements for a Cancun outcome should be.

Several developing countries stressed that “balance” must also importantly take account of the progress (or non progress) in the other track in the Kyoto Protocol. They stressed the importance of having an outcome in the Kyoto Protocol working group, for the protocol’s second commitment period. (It is notable that Norway also called for an outcome for the second commitment period of the protocol). Some of the countries also questioned the inclusion of some of the elements or terms in the Chair’s paper.

On the other hand, several developed countries stressed that there was not enough progress in the negotiations on mitigation. Some of them promoted accepting the Copenhagen Accord as the solution, with the United States stating that the balance sought was already in the Accord and if Parties started from the Accord, there would be an outcome and if not, “the process was unhelpful.”

There was also lack of clarity on how to arrive at draft decision/decisions in Cancun and what would be the legal form of the outcome.

Much of the time of the meeting was also taken up by responses from Parties to a new one-page paper distributed by the Chair of the AWG-LCA Margarete Mukahanana-Sangarwe on ‘Possible elements of the Cancun outcome’ that she said she had produced following informal consultations. Sangarwe said that there “was a great deal of commonality” among Parties and that her paper reflected “some of issues of commonality”.

It was not clear what was the specific purpose of the listing of issues, whether it was meant to be a list of issues that could possibly be the subject of separate decisions in Cancun, or of a single decision, or whether it would merely serve as a guide to the drafting groups.

In their response, many countries said that not all elements listed were ripe for decisions and that there were elements which were also missing. Some developing countries were also worried that focusing on elements of an outcome would create a diversion from negotiations on the 13 August text. Bolivia and Nicaragua were concerned that on one hand Parties were supposed to be negotiating the text in drafting groups, as agreed to at the last session in Bonn, but on the other hand there were now separate discussions taking place on the elements for a Cancun outcome that were not based on the text-negotiations and which was diverting from the negotiations on text and which was not in line with the agreement that the work should now be focused on the text.

Sangarwe said that the paper was “not for approval but was a progress report on what Parties had started to do among themselves.” She said that there was need for further discussions on the elements and invited Parties to give their views on what Cancun could deliver. In response to a question by Pakistan on the status of the paper, the Chair said that the paper “had no status” and if Parties could agree on the elements, it could guide the work in the drafting groups.

The elements listed in the paper were as follows:
On  shared vision  – shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions and process to review the long-term global goal and overall progress towards meeting that goal;
On Adaptation  – adaptation framework and institutional arrangements for its implementation and approach to address loss and damage;
On Mitigation  – economy-wide emission reduction commitments or actions by developed country Parties; MRV for developed country Parties’ commitments or actions; NAMAS by developing country Parties and associated support; MRV for developing countries NAMAS; readiness phases of activities that contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector (REDD-plus); work programme on mitigation in the agricultural sector; reducing emissions from bunker fuels; various approaches including opportunities for using markets to enhance the cost-effectiveness of and to promote mitigation actions and the economic and social consequences of response measures;
On finance, technology and capacity-building  –  reporting on fast-start finance for 2010-2012; establishment of a new fund and process for its design; arrangements to improve coherence and coordination in climate change financing; mobilization of long-term finance; MRV of support; establishment of the Technology Mechanism, the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network and capacity -building.
Facilitators of the drafting groups also presented updates on the negotiations. The facilitator of the shared vision drafting group, Anders Turesson of Sweden said that two meetings were held and Parties had an initial consideration of paragraphs in the negotiating text on the review of the long-term goal and had come up with new text (relating to paragraphs 68-71 of chapter 1). Turesson said that the scope of the review needs to be resolved. He added that the elements of the Bali Action Plan could not be addressed. On the long-term global goal for emission reductions, there were different ways of expressing this and there was need for restructuring of the text for more clarity.

Kisihan Kumarsingh of Trinidad and Tobago, who facilitated the drafting group on adaptation, said that Parties had agreed to continue the work as they did in Bonn, discussing clusters of issues rather than dealing with paragraphs line by line. He said that the discussions were going well to the point that Parties had exhausted discussions on the clusters. He expressed hope that a revised text would be presented by the end of week.

Auden Rosland of Norway who co-facilitated the mitigation contact group said that work advanced on the consideration of elements of mitigation which was constructive. He said that there was an exchange of views on key issues in relation to paragraphs 1(b)(i) (relating to the mitigation commitments of developed countries) and 1(b)(ii) (on the nationally appropriate actions of developing countries) of the Bali Action Plan. Although the exchange was substantive, difficult issues remain. In the case of paragraph 1(b)(i), the issues were on the inscription of economy wide targets for developed countries, their measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and relation to the Kyoto Protocol and various aspects of comparability of efforts.

In relation to paragraph 1(b)(ii), the issues were about the registration of NAMAS, their MRV, national communications, GHG inventories and international consultation and analysis (of unsupported mitigation actions).

Rosland said that there was good progress in relation to paragraph 1(b)(iii) on REDD-plus (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries etc.)

Burhan Gafoor of Singapore co-facilitated the drafting group on finance, technology and capacity-building. He reported on the negotiations regarding finance and said that 3 meetings were held which dealt with the establishment of the new fund; a new body and fast-start finance. On the new fund, there was a spin-off group where discussions were constructive. On the new body, there continues to be divergence of views and on how such a body is linked to other institutional structures within the financial architecture and the broader architecture. Gafoor said that there was divergence of views on fast start finance as to whether and how the issue is to be dealt with in Cancun.

Marinus Goote of Netherlands reported on the work on technology transfer and said that Parties discussed the relationship of the issue to finance and the mandate and composition of the Technology Executive Committee. He commented that the discussions were continuing and were productive.

Following the report of the facilitators, the Chair invited Parties to give their views.

Pakistan said that work on the possible elements for Cancun must come from a party driven process and that any process that remains exclusive will be deficient. It said that there was no discussion yet on the issue of ‘vulnerability’ in relation to adaptation and this element was not reflected.

China while expressing appreciation for the effort of the Chair, said that the process was party- driven and governed by the Bali Action Plan. On the possible elements for Cancun, Parties must bear in mind the mandate of the BAP and the need for balance in the structure of those elements as well as balance in the two negotiating tracks (AWG-LCA and Ad-hoc Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol) and within the two tracks.

China said that it was better to follow the elements of the BAP. It was surprised to find (in the Chair’s paper) separation in the concept of MRV of support and of NAMAS. The MRV in the BAP is of mitigation actions that are supported and enabled by finance, technology and capacity-building which are both MRV-ed (the actions supported and the support itself) it said. On fast-start finance, what was important was actual delivery of finance and not just the making of any pledges and there was need for guidelines on reporting to avoid double counting of elements.

South Africa said that Parties were working under the mandate of the BAP and the Bali Roadmap under the two tracks. The Cancun outcome should be legally binding and there was need for balanced progress on the Bali Roadmap. It said that there was language in the text that may compromise the final outcome in terms of integrity and outcome.

South Africa proposed the need for decisions for an enhanced climate change regime beyond 2012. There was need to have clear language that these decisions are advancing key elements of the building blocks of the BAP towards a legally-binding agreement. It said that decisions could be either in a single omnibus or an overarching process decision where there is decision on the legal form of the outcome.

South Africa said that there must be decisions in the two tracks with amendments to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol or alternative decision/decisions that reflect the commitments of Parties to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The BAP talks of implementation now, up to and beyond 2012 and so, there was need for a set of operational decisions taken in that respect. Its key concern was the framing of decisions in a manner that would compromise a legally binding agreement.

Grenada, speaking for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) expressed concern over the lack of time and on procedural tactics to block progress in substance. It wanted progress for a balanced package that creates the post 2012 regime in the context of the BAP where there would be a legally binding outcome along side the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. It welcomed the Chair’s paper as a useful map.

Peru, speaking also for Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama agreed with the paper produced by the Chair and said that further elaboration was needed and hoped for progress on draft decisions by the end of the week. It said that a set of decisions for Cancun are a milestone for a legally binding outcome in South Africa and for also a second commitment period for emissions reductions by Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol.

Egypt said that it was not sure if there can be results before Cancun on the issue of (carbon) ‘markets’. It reiterated that a fundamental element for a Cancun outcome under the AWG-LCA was a parallel outcome for a second commitment period by Annex 1 Parties for emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Venezuela said that the Chair’s paper only relates to outcomes in the AWG-LCA and that there was no movement in the Kyoto Protocol track and this cannot be the approach. It said that on the issue of reporting on fast-start finance, there must be delivery of finance before there is reporting.

Cuba said that the shared vision section is not only about the long-term global goal but also of other details. The whole core of the finance discussion or package is on long-term financing. He expressed concern that the Chair’s paper talks about “mobilizing finance” when what is reflected in the BAP instead is for the provision of new, additional and predictable finance and not “mobilization” which is an alien concept.

India said that while it appreciated the Chair’s efforts at making efforts to expedite progress in the negotiations, there was need to take into account realistically the level of consensus that remains. It also stressed the need for balanced outcome in the two tracks which should be comprehensive and consistent with the BAP and the Convention. In relation to the Chair’s paper on the possible elements for Cancun, it said that the issue of unilateral trade measures must be reflected in the shared vision and it was unsure of the issue of bunker fuels was a mature for consideration when it should remain an issue under the Kyoto Protocol. It said that the elements must emerge from what the drafting groups have said.

Bolivia said that when Parties left Bonn in August, they said they will work on the negotiating text to clean it up and remove brackets. Three days had gone-by and no brackets have been removed. Parties have instead gone to repeat process that they had in July this year where there was an exchange in points of view of possible elements for an outcome in Cancun. With facilitators drafting decisions, Parties were losing the process that was arrived at in August. It said that Parties should be working on the negotiating text to come back to a shorter text and the process was now unclear. Another concern Bolivia had was that the texts which are being drafted are more about the process than about the substance. It said that Parties were not negotiating but were exchanging views on possible elements for an outcome in Cancun. On the paper distributed by the Chair, Bolivia said that it had problems with the some elements and they were some elements which were missing.

Nicaragua also expressed sadness that Parties were repeating a process that they had previously gone through. There was need for more flexibility and political will for more progress in the negotiations. In relation to the Chair’s paper on the elements, it said that some elements were not ripe yet for inclusion and some were missing

Brazil said that a balanced set of decisions were needed for all elements of the BAP and for decisions in the two track negotiations. It was important to capture the essence of issues knowing that Cancun will not be the final word on all issues. It must however be a step forward. Hence, there was need to for an approach that moves with comprehensiveness but not with the exhaustion of all the elements. It said that the Chair’s paper on the possible elements provided a fair basis to continue work. It expressed hope for Parties in Cancun to be able to adopt a package of decisions for the sake of the multilateral system.

Saudi Arabia said that the Chair’s paper was in a way picking and choosing of elements and was not comprehensive in all the elements of the BAP. The elements must reflect what Parties were negotiating in the text.

Singapore said that any balanced outcome must address the legal form and a legally binding agreement and should not hasten the demise of the Kyoto Protocol

Mexico said that as the incoming Presidency of the COP in Cancun, there was need to admit that Parties were not making enough progress. The package for Cancun must truly be a package that can deliver immediate action for implementation of the Convention and should built on a legally binding agreement. It also needs to be one that addresses the two negotiating tracks.

Belgium for the European Union said that for a balanced package, it was clear this was without prejudice to the legally binding outcome for both negotiating tracks for all Parties. In mitigation and MRV, it said that there had been no progress. It said there was need to understand the mitigation pledges in the AWG-LCA track. There was not enough progress and balance between paragraphs 1(b)(i) and 1(b)(ii).

The United States said that at this stage of the process, it appeared as if Parties were bogged down. It said that it was foolish to waste time in areas where there is no agreement. It said that vast countries have associated with the Copenhagen Accord which was balanced in key issues and key elements for all Parties. Referring to the Accord, the US said that there was balance in the context of mitigation for both developed and developing countries, transparency in relation to MRV of supported actions and of support, and for unsupported actions, the ICA. There was also balance in relation to finance. It said that there was need to start from the Copenhagen Accord and if Parties did, there would be time to have an outcome. If not, the process was unhelpful. It said that the process must work on the hard areas and negotiate agreement.

The US said that a number of countries had referred to its domestic realities and it stressed that it was committed to continuing its efforts on reducing GHGs and in being fully engaged in meeting its mitigation and finance commitments.

Australia said that for the Umbrella Group, mitigation, MRV, ICA, REDD-plus, finance and technology are all part of a carefully designed package. It said that there has not been progress in relation to mitigation, MRV and ICA and asked for focus on these issues. There was need for affirmation of the mitigation pledges of developed and developing countries and for update of the pledges in the AWG-LCA and also the Kyoto Protocol. It stressed the need for an operational framework for MRV and ICA.

Japan said that more time should not be used in relation to the negotiating text as there would be no progress but instead, time should be used to extract the elements for decisions by the Conference of Parties in Cancun which are based on the Copenhagen Accord. It said that the Chair of the AWG-LCA should put effort in drafting decisions for Cancun.

Russia said that the results of work were below expectations. It was seeking a comprehensive treaty outcome encompassing all Parties and there was a need for a set of decisions to design this.