Mitigation | Centre for Science and Environment


Mitigation

 

 
 
 
Bali Action Plan:1(b) (i) and (ii): Enhanced national and international action on climate change on mitigation commitments or actions by developed country and developing country parties

Background

Under the Bali Action Plan it was agreed to address:

(i) Measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions, including quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives, by all developed country Parties, while ensuring the comparability of efforts among them, taking into account differences in their national circumstances;

(ii) Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner.

 

Quick summary
Country stances turn shrill when clarifying what they wish to do to mitigate climate change. The US, for instance, wants to redefine the ‘common’ in ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ in the context of mitigation.

It wants to redefine ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries based on economic and emission trends, and that all countries should put forward their actions in a ‘measurable, reportable and verifiable’ manner.

Moreover, referring to the nature of national mitigation commitments and actions by developed countries, the US suggests applying the same ‘character’ of various countries’ efforts (legally binding or voluntary) to all countries.

Its wish is clearly to cancel out, in one diplomatic stroke, any scope of difference between countries.

Similarly, although not using the same language, the EU wants developing countries ‘as a group’ to take on commitments; it also wants to ‘differentiate’ among developing countries, based on level of development, to assign different levels of mitigation targets.

It wishes more advanced developing countries contribute adequately, a word open to interpretation, according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities. Japan goes further, creating three categories of developing countries.

The G-77 bloc of developing countries has equally sharp counter-proposals. China warns that ‘the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” between developed and deve­loping countries is the keystone of the Convention and the Bali Action Plan.

Any further sub-categorization of developing countries runs against the Convention itself and is not in conformity with the consensus reached in the Bali Action Plan’.

China (misc.5)
All developed country Parties to the Convention shall commit to a reduction in GHG emissions by at least 25-40% below 1990 levels in 2020 and by approximately 80-95% in 2050.
 
Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties shall be taken in the context of their sustainable development and, supported and enabled by technology transfer, financial assistance and capacity building to be provided by the developed country Parties;

Technology transfer and the provisions of financial support and capacity building by developed country Parties for national mitigation actions in developing country Parties shall be new and additional to ODA.  

The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” between developed and developing countries is the keystone of the Convention and the Bali Action Plan.

Any further sub-categorization of developing countries runs against the Convention itself and is not in conformity with the consensus reached in the Bali Action Plan.

The aim of cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions is to enhance cooperation between Parties at sectoral level for the purpose of promoting development, deployment, diffusion and transfer of GHG emissions control technologies, practices and processes.

Any twist of this understanding or discussion under the AWG-LCA leading to global sectoral standards, benchmarks or emission reduction targets is not acceptable.

European Union (misc.2)
Wants clear mid-term targets with fair contributions from all Parties, according to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Wants developed countries to collectively reduce GHGs emissions by 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 and by 80 to 95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

The EU has already endorsed an objective of a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 as its contribution to a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2012, provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and that economically more advanced developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Wants developing countries as a group, in particular the most advanced among them, to reduce their emissions by 15 to 30% below business as usual by 2020, based on their respective capabilities.

Wants to differentiate the developing countries, based on the different levels of development and the respective capabilities of developing countries, so as to assign different levels of mitigation targets. It also wants to link financial and technological support to different levels of capabilities of developing countries.

Proposes the following mechanism to involve developing countries in reducing their emissions:

  • Nationally appropriate actions that can be implemented unilaterally by the country (including actions at low or negative costs or those where co-benefits outweigh costs, possibly with some support for addressing implementation barriers) and
  • Additional nationally appropriate actions that can be supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building. Combined with the unilateral contribution these actions should lead to an appropriate deviation from baseline by 2020.
  • Further mitigation actions beyond those identified above that could be supported by using international carbon crediting mechanisms.

In developing countries, nationally appropriate mitigation actions in key emitting sectors will contribute to the effectiveness of the strengthened climate regime. Therefore coverage of certain sectors (“which sectors to include”) would depend on both relevance (the contribution of emissions of these sectors to global emissions within these) as well as capability of countries to take action in those sectors.

For countries with high capability, coverage can extend to all sectors (e.g. economy-wide targets for Non-Annex I Parties that are at comparable levels of development compared to some developed countries).

Depending on capacity, the type of actions can include sectoral approaches including sectoral trading and crediting, carbon pricing, technology deployment programmes or standards (e.g. for renewable energy), energy efficiency standards and sustainable development policies and measures (SD-PAMs).

Endorses sectoral commitments for key emitting sectors in developing countries. For countries with high capability, coverage can extend to all sectors (e.g. economy-wide targets for Non-Annex I Parties that are at comparable levels of development compared to some developed countries).

Depending on capacity, the type of actions can include sectoral approaches including sectoral trading and crediting, carbon pricing, technology deployment programmes or standards (e.g. for renewable energy), energy efficiency standards and sustainable development policies and measures (SD-PAMs).

US (misc.5)
The world has changed after 1992 and the Convention needs to take this change into account to be relevant.

Wants to redefine common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (“CBDR”). Wants to redefine ‘common’ in context of mitigation and which elements of the agreed outcome on mitigation will be “common” for all Parties.

Says that there are mitigation commitments for all parties under Article 4.1 of the convention and the assertion of the developing countries that it has no mitigation commitment is wrong.

Wants to redefine ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries based on economic and emissions trends.

Wants all countries to put forward their nationally appropriate mitigation actions in a manner that is measurable, reportable, and internationally verifiable.

It wants the Convention to catalyze and encourage sectoral cooperation.

India (October 17, 2008)
The paragraph 1 (b) (i) of the Bali Action Plan sets out mitigation commitments of developed countries in conformity with article 4.2 of the Convention. Two elements of the formulation need attention:

  1. The term ‘nationally appropriate’ could be interpreted as ‘nationally determined but as this is qualified with the agreement to negotiate the ‘comparable efforts’ among all developed parties, the commitments or actions of these countries, may be nationally formulated but must be finalized on the basis of UNFCCC negotiations.
  2. The Bali Action Plan requires all developed country parties to adopt quantified emission limitation, regardless of whether a party chooses to describe this as a commitment or action.

The Convention requires developed countries to “take the lead” in climate change mitigation. It is a matter of great concern, that instead of registering a sharp decline after 2000, emissions of developed countries actually increased by 2.6%.

The decline in the level of economic activity by Economies in Transition (EITs), initially masked the rising emissions from other developed countries, but now even emissions of EITs have began to exhibit a rising trend. Attainment of the ultimate objective of the convention will be impossible unless these alarming trends are seedily reversed.

The developed countries must sharply reduce their emissions so as to release atmospheric space for the development of poorer countries, at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.

To achieve this stabilization goal, Annex 1 countries must reduce emissions by more than 25-40% by 2020, from the 1990 baseline. Annex 1 targets should also be noted and reported in per capita terms. Changes in the suite of gases and LuLuCF rules should not be used to circumvent the climate imperative for reducing anthropogenic emissions.

FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16

On the nature of national mitigation commitments or actions by developed countries, Parties proposed:   

(a) Establishing binding commitments (Pakistan, MISC.1/Add.1), and deep and binding    emissions cuts for developed countries in the context of a second commitment period    under the Kyoto Protocol (Argentina, MISC.5);  

(b) Considering a full range of options, including national emissions caps, intensity targets, regulations, energy-efficiency commitments, and policy initiatives such as innovative technology partnerships between Annex I countries and emerging economies (Canada, MISC.1/Add.2);   

(c) Introducing mid-term (China, MISC.5) and long-term emission reduction targets with    individual short-term benchmarks plans for each Party (Turkey, MISC.1) in absolute terms (Ukraine, MISC.2/Add.1);  

(d) Not introducing a collective range for reduction of emissions for a group of countries; the    specified long-term goal should not be a starting point for a “top-down” approach in distributing commitments on reduction of GHG emissions among the countries and setting a collective range for reduction of emissions for a group of countries (Russian Federation, MISC.5) (see also chapter II);   

(e) Applying the same “character” of various countries’ efforts (e.g. legally binding or    voluntary) for all countries, whether developed or developing, although the substantive    content may differ (United States, MISC.5);   

(f) Using or following a sectoral approach in setting targets or identifying actions (Norway, Turkey, MISC.1; Japan, Russian Federation, MISC.5) (see also chapter III D);   

(g) Expanding carbon markets and enhancing the use of project-based mechanisms (Norway, Sri Lanka, MISC.1; Ukraine, MISC.2/Add.2), better including the land-use, land-use    change and forestry (LULUCF) sector (Argentina, EC and its member States, MISC.1; Australia, Norway, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, MISC.2/Add.2) (see also chapters III C    and III E);   

(h) Making voluntary but binding commitments that reflect countries’ abilities and  circumstances (Russia, MISC.5).

On the nature of NAMAs by developing countries, Parties proposed that:
(a) The actions should be voluntary and non-binding and correspond to the capabilities of each Party (Brazil, MISC.1; South Africa, MISC.1/Add.1; Singapore, MISC. 2; China, Republic of Korea, South Africa, MISC.5);

(b) The “character” of various countries’ efforts (e.g. legally binding or voluntary) needs to be the same for all countries, whether developed or developing, although the substantive content may differ (United States, MISC.5);

(c) The nature of actions and/or commitments of different groups of developing countries should be different (Egypt, MISC.1; Australia, MISC.1/Add.2; EC and its member States, Japan, MISC.2; Japan, Russian Federation, Turkey, MISC.5);

(d) Mitigation actions can include the following:

(i) Sustainable development policies and measures (SD-PAMs) (Philippines, Singapore, MISC.1; EC and its member States, MISC. 2; Republic of Korea, South Africa, MISC.5);

(ii) National low-carbon development plans, including specific energy policies aimed at improving the carbon and energy intensity (EC and its member States, MISC.2; South Africa, MISC.5);

(iii) Increased participation in the carbon market (Uzbekistan, MISC.1; Canada, MISC.1/Add.2; EC and its member States, MISC. 2; Mongolia, MISC.2/Add.1; Republic of Korea, South Africa, MISC.5);

(iv) Sectoral trading and sectoral crediting mechanisms (Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, MISC.1; Canada, MISC.1/Add.2; EC and its member States, MISC. 2; Australia, MISC.2/Add.2; Japan, South Africa, MISC.5);

(v) Programmatic CDM (EC and its member States, MISC. 2; Japan, South Africa, MISC.5);

(vi) No-lose sectoral crediting baselines (EC and its member States, MISC. 2; Japan, South Africa, MISC.5);

(vii) National actions that are recognized and rewarded with carbon credit used for improving commercial viability of investment in mitigation actions (Republic of Korea, finance workshop)

Actions and commitments for different groups of countries should include:

  • A full range of contributions from major emitters, including national emission caps, intensity targets, regulations, energy efficiency commitments, and policy initiatives, including innovative technology partnerships between Annex I Parties and “emerging economies” (Canada, MISC.1/Add.2);
  • Nationally appropriate mitigation commitments and NAMAs from all major emitting countries (Iceland, MISC.1; Australia, Canada, MISC.1/Add.2; EC and its member States, MISC.2; New Zealand, MISC.5), including their unilateral national action plans (EC and its member States, MISC.2) and a common determination by all major economies, over an appropriate time frame, to slow, stop and reverse the global growth of emissions and move towards a low-carbon society (Russian Federation, MISC.5)
    (see also chapter II);
  • Binding targets for “GHG emissions per GDP” or “energy consumption per GDP” in major sectors and/or economy-wide, taking into consideration national circumstances, with specific reporting and verification requirements from particular groups of developing countries, such as major GHG-emitting countries (Japan, MISC.5);
  • Non-mandatory, voluntary actions and national action plans from particular groups of developing countries, such as low-GHG-emitting and vulnerable ones, including LDCs and SIDS (EC and its member States, MISC.2; Japan, MISC.5);
  • A requirement for non-Annex I Parties that have already become members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and those on a par with Annex I Parties in their economic development to take corresponding commitments as developed country Parties (Japan, MISC.2);
  • Expanding the number of countries included in Annex II of the Convention based on current capacity to provide support under Article 4.3 and 4.4 of the Convention, and establishing a new annex that would identify the most vulnerable Parties, with a graduation mechanism to allow such an Annex the flexibility to continue to prioritize support over time (Australia, MISC.1/Add.2);
  • Circumstances of Parties “with economies that are highly dependent on income generated from the production, processing and export and/or consumption of fossil fuels” (Article 4.10 of the Convention) should be fully taken into account (Russian Federation, Singapore, MISC.
 

CoP19
CoP19/Warsaw
CoP18
Doha, Qatar
CoP9
Milan, Italy
CoP17
Durban, South Africa
CoP8
New Delhi, India
CoP16
Cancun, Mexico
CoP7
Marrakech, Morocco
CoP15
Copenhagen, Denmark
CoP6
The Hague, Netherlands
CoP14
Bonn/Poznan
CoP5
CoP5 Bonn, Germany
CoP13
Bali, Indonesia
CoP4
Buenos Aires, Argentina
CoP12
Nairobi, Kenya
CoP3
Kyoto, Japan
CoP11
Montreal, Canada CMP 1
CoP2
Geneva, Switzerland
CoP10
Buenos Aires, Argentina
CoP1
Berlin, Germany
 

Arjuna Srinidhi
Email: arjuna@cseindia.org
Tel: +011 29955124, 29956394, 29956399
Extn. (307)