CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA NOV-DEC 2011 NGO NEWSLETTER
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CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA NOV-DEC 2011 NGO NEWSLETTER
ECO has been published by Non-Governmental Environmental Groups at major internaonal conferences since the Stockholm Environment Conference in 1972. This issue is produced cooperavely by the Climate Acon Network at the UNFCCC meengs in Durban in Nov-Dec 2011.ECO email: firstname.lastname@example.org – ECO website: hp://www.climatenetwork.org/eco-newsleers – Editorial/Producon: Fred Heue
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Launching the ‘Ambion Work Programme’
We are hearing delegates are having sleep-less nights because of the yawning gap be-tween current mitigation pledges and what’sneeded for a credible 2° C pathway. Perhapsnot all of them are genuinely worried becauseof the implications for humanity.Some may just feel uncomfortable to be re-minded that they have not done the homework they gave themselves back in Cancun. Devel-oped countries promised to look at options andways to increase levels of ambition, and thenactually increase them. It really isn’t a hardconcept to grasp.There may be some further relief in paras36-38 and paras 48-51 of last night’s newtexts. Both texts include a key line: the rec-ognition of the existence of the ambition gap.Parties that attempt to block this recognitioninto a COP decision can expect to be in a bright spotlight on this matter.The next logical step is contained in the newtext on developed country ambition: to launchwork to address (as in “close”) the gap.
The new UNEP report clearly identies this
possibility. But instead, we see some tenden-cies toward stalling rather than making pro-gress towards the 2° C objective. Work needs
to start now, as every year of further wafing
and delaying tactics will make the task muchharder.Closing the ambition gap will require efforton all sides -- both developed and developingcountries.Developing countries have pledged moremitigation until 2020 than developed coun-tries but can do more (and certainly must be
provided sufcient and reliable support to do
so). Not all developing countries have pledgedtheir NAMAs yet, and some countries maywell be able to increase ambition of already pledged NAMAs.
Words to the Wise
It would be really good for the work pro-gramme to have a deadline set for COP 18 inQatar as well as a set of clearly articulated out-comes. Otherwise we could end up here forev-er (or at least until the world melts around us).By COP18, Parties should have studied all possible options to close the ambition gap, anddeveloped countries should have moved uptheir pledges in line with science, i.e. to morethan 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.As for inputs, why not ask parties to pro-vide submissions on how to share out the 25-40% reductions, have the Secretariat compilea technical paper, and then negotiate the tar-gets and how to square them with the existing pledges.In turn, developing countries can register NAMAs that will result in emissions reduc-tions well below business as usual (with suf-
Much work remains to operationalise the NAMA Registry, to establish guidelines for NAMAs, and to register both NAMAs and
support. Once these not insignicant tasks are
completed (with substantial progress when wemeet in Bonn in May 2012), the Secretariatwill need to assess whether there is a shortfallin support, and how much this amounts to.One element of the ambition work pro-gramme that Parties should launch here inDurban includes those low carbon strategiesthat developed countries should launch andimplement to achieve near-zero decarbonisa-tion by 2050.And developing countries need to be en-couraged (whilst receiving the support theyneed) to develop their own strategies. SBSTAshould turn toward working out the guidelinesfor those strategies. All this would provide
a signicant rst step in a more productive
ECO laments the loss of NGO hopes for aradically upgraded and revitalised approachto capacity building (CB) in developingcountries. At the mid-point of COP-17, this possibility is in danger of sinking withouta trace.
ECO is also bafed. Bafed as to how
this situation has come about. Perhaps it
derives from some form of memory decit.
Just about a decade ago at COP-7, UNFC-CC agreed the Marrakech Capacity Build-ing Framework in 2/CP.7. This providedthe skeleton key to unblock a rather nasty
case of mistrust over nancial support by
developed countries for action by develop-ing countries responding to climate change.This is strikingly similar to the situationtoday in the LCA. COP 7 was examininghow to best utilise the fact that the BonnAgreements had secured some hastily cob-
bled-together nancial pledges along with barely-dened new nancial archirecture
(the Adaptation Fund, Least DevelopedCountries Fund and SCCF). Given the un-
certainty involved in both the new nancial
architecture and the scale and reliability of its sources, COP 7 decided the smart movewould be to concentrate on what matters:the front end of the delivery pipeline. Thatfront end is capacity building.Given the obvious comparability, it is
completely bafing as to how the LCA
ended up developing the CB text currentlyunder consideration. A year ago at the mid- point of Cancun, the Group of 77 and Chinawas arguing along very similar lines as civilsociety for a new UNFCCC structure for CB, tasked with the oversight, co-ordina-tion, streamlining and optimisation of ca- pacity building, using a newly-created bodycapable of interacting with the emergentnew architectures for mitigation, adaptation,
technology, nance and MRV.
Cancun deferred this issue to Durban.The mystery is how readily the G77 havealready dropped their demand for a new CBstructure under Cancun para 137 and agreedwith the EU and Umbrella Group that life isfar simpler if Durban just creates some sortof talking shop (“forum”) to review CB un-der Cancun para 136, thus killing two birdswith one stone.On the other hand, ECO still prefers the
Capacity BuildingSinking Without a Trace?
At one point in her Thursday brieng for
NGOs updating the 50+ issues under nego-tiation, the Executive Secretary spoke of how various texts were “maturing” sincePanama.What an interesting choice of words! Aswe prepare to head into the second week,ECO hopes that attitudes mature along withthe texts. Maturity implies a certain wisdomand yet at times this week there has been adistinct lack of such in these talks.For example, it is unwise to continue tostall on ambition while the evidence for dangerous climate change mounts, the vul-nerability of communities around the globeincreases, and the time to protect ecosys-tems and the people who depend on themdrains away.It is unwise to stall on a second commit-ment period for Kyoto, putting that instru-ment at risk and undermining political willthroughout the negotiations.It is unwise to block a mandate towards acomprehensive legally binding agreement,sending signals beyond the ICC that theinternational community is less than fullycommitted to solving the climate crisis. And
nally it is unwise to backtrack from imple
-menting Cancun when the hard-won gains
on nance, MRV and the Review are so vital
to the future of the climate response regime.CB Co-ordinating Body (CBCB) mappedout over two years ago. The problem is thatthe broad coalition of LDCs, SIDS, AOSISand African countries that co-operated so ef-fectively in getting a new approach to CBagreed in Marrakech appears to have sunk without a trace.ECO has certainly not given up on this.But we would respectfully request that de-veloping country Parties dig out the textthey were so forcefully promoting only ayear ago, and also remind themselves of thesuccess at Marrakech.