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cc Subject CoP15
Dear colleagues, Attached are some reflections on what I think happend. Yvo (See attached file: looking back aCCoP1S.doc)
Dear colleagues dear friends. At the beginning ofthe CoP I called for a three-layered cake. What we ended-up with was a muffin of questionable parentage. That was the result of a multitude of factors mainly beyond our control. I will try to unravel some of what happened in this message but getting the full picture will probably take more time more insights from you and more reflection. What is important to recognise is that we you delivered an incredible e ent. ay what you will about the outcome but the fact remains that we managed to support a huge event. Un-precedented attendance un-precedented comple ity and unprecedented pressure. Certainly there are lessons to learn and we must take the time to learn them. The main point though is that we you did everything humanly possible and more - to deliver what was in our power. Of this you can be very very proud. The result, or I should say the Copenhagen Accord is being portrayed by different people in different ways for different reasons. There is of course a lot more than the Accord. We went through a diplomatic time warp by making it from the mess we left Barcelona with to draft l/CoP15 and l/CMP5 decisions. Although the underlying decisions are not finalised as a package many of them are close to ready and some could have been adopted. The CGE was reborn we ha e made huge advances on REDD there is willingness to reform the CDM and a host of other issues ha e been resolved. Most of this happened in what was probably less than a week. I have to add that in that week and in the one that followed, many of you worked through several nights and I saw something emerge that was close to a shift system. ay of the Accord what you will it has given the process an important sense of direction. It has captured important advances on commitments actions reporting and finance. Thanks to Lumumba, a backroom deal decried by many turned into a letter of intent rejected by few. The challenge now is to build on this in a careful and thoughtful way_ We ha e a very unusual e ent behind us I will be unusually frank in describing it and I count on your usual discretion in keeping this message to yourself.
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o what happened to the cake? Everyone recognised that CoPt5 would be significant. This led to a heightened sense of nervousness among Parties throughout the year. A few unfortunate rno es aside The Danish Presidency (layer managed to build quit a lot of trust in spite of this. The Greenland Dialogues focussed the attention of a core group of Ministers and managed to build a con ergence of thinking on a number of key issues especially how to deal with measuring reporting and verification. At the pre-CoP there was I think broad support for a package of decisions that would lay the foundation for the subsequent adoption of a new legal instrument under the Convention and something close to consensus on a second Kyoto period.
le Danish paper pr sented at an informal meeting a eek before the CoP destroyed years of effort in one fell s oop. All our attempts to pre ent this paper happening liled. The meeting at which it was presented as unannounced and the paper nbalanced. It also r ealed that there were two school of thought within the Dani h 'residency. Earlier references to a politically binding agreement (an oxymoron if e er . saw one) had already heightened nervousness. ow it became clear that a omprehensive package as perhaps not e eryone s iew of a desirable outcom . ubsequent announcements of papers that never came but still some aw had two significant impacts. First delegates were ready to embrace enthusiastically what they had thus far resisted: text from Michael and John. Thi attempt by Parties to get things back under their control had two important con equences. First it gave us two documents or sets of documents that we can continue to work with. econdly suspicion that something else was being cooked behind the cene the early arrival of Ministers and the launch of a process among a small number of HoS paralys d the ability of Parties to make ad ances on the key political issues in the informal plenary and some of the contact groups. maller group meetings did not enjo consensu. Ministers had turned heir attention to their Ho . The focus of the process hifted. The first layer broke down.
The s cond layer was mi ed with the first. It centr d around a vie from within th PM s office that the outcome of the CoP should b a declaration rather than a package of decisions. Although a second Danish paper never formally saw the light of day at the b ginning of the second week consolations ere taking place. The announcement of the Prime Minister taking-o er shifted attention a ay from the formal proce s. 24 hours were lost in trying to e tablish some kind of small group process. When Connie finally managed to arrange a meeting with the G77 on how to proceed the process under the PM had taken 0 er. After another 12 hours had passed the PM finally managed to bring a small group together. This group was built around the Copenhagen Commitment ircle a small number of Ho that had been regularly di cussing progress in the run-up to the CoP. eeing that further ork in this group would undermine trust and transparency e en more the P backed a ay from taking further initiative. The third layer consisted of a small number of countries trying to rescue the CoP and still achie e a result. Bilateral and trilateral consultations among Parties did not lead to a coherent way forward and the PM was asked to take control again. This he did by bringing together the 30 or so countries that brokered the Accord. Our attempts to create a basis for discussion that would ad ance agreement on lICoP15 and 1/CMP5 failed. The text was silent on the future of the KP and an reference to a future legally binding instrument. Through a disorganised and ill-directed sherpa process a document emerged that became the Accord. Frantic behind the scenes diplomacy b major countries led to it s ultimate adoption in the small circle. By then e had the Frida informal High Le el E ent behind us. A small group of countries reflecting a much broader discontent with the process made it clear that they would not accept a backroom deal brokered by the sup r powers. ot enough was done to sell the Accord especial 1 within the 077. Wh n it reached the plenary attempts to get r gional groups to discuss it fail d. Complete chao resulted. EU and Umbrella call d for the Accord to b hammered-through as a decision.
Here we reached the very edge of the abyss. Although here was by then almost uni ersal support to adopt the Accord hammering it though against consensus would have created mass protest. Attempts to 0 errule his ould have destroyed the credibility of the process. Consensus may be difficult to achieve but if it is what you have it must be respected. The Lumumba effect then kicked-in. The outrageous statements made prompted many Parties to take the floor and say they were in fact willing to accept the Accord as an outcome. I think it took about five hours to get through the worst plenary I can remember and finally a decision was taken to note the Accord. In the fmal part of the plenary it became ery clear that we need to be very careful in how we take it forward and how we position the ecretariat in relation to it. Handled carefully it can b an important statement of intent in moving forward. Attempts to use it to forge a consensus outside the FCCC will have the opposite effect. Do s this spell the end of he UNFCC process? That is what many were saying. Parties that participate in the most un-transparent backroom dealing I have ever se n are certainly expression frustration at their failure to force a stronger result. 0 er time I hope they will see this failure as a blessing. Democracy is time consuming and can be frustrating but it builds a stronger future. We have an incredible architecture under the CC and attempts to reconstruct it among a smaller circle could take a decade. Investing in managing our process properly is a better way to go.
In iting Ho seemed like a good idea, but it seriously backfired. Their early arrival as well as that of Ministers did not have the catalytic effect hoped-for. The process became paralysed. Rumour and intrigue took over.
At the final press conference a journalist asked if I will now leave. My answer was that if I felt responsible I would have. We did everything in our power to discourage bad moves and work the best we could to limit damage once and make the best of it once they were made. The level of engagement took things out of our hands. What I ha e written is only the tip of the iceberg. Much more went on. As said we need to think this though more deeply and learn from it. But let s do that after a good rest! I thank. you for a tremendous effort. I wish you all a happy holiday and year-end.
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