April 3

April 03, 2009

6:30:21 PM

The talks are halfway through but not much progress has been made till now. In fact today at the meeting on Contact group on Annex I emissions reduction under the AGW-KP, a lot of work done earlier was undone with no clear conclusion or progress on drafting negotiations text.

It is increasingly becoming a flip flop game between G-77, China, India and some African nations forming one group and EU, Australia, Japan and others the other group. Developing countries are demanding clear aggregate and individual targets for the Annex I countries should be decided under the AWG-KP and made part of negotiation text. But EU and others have been saying that before deciding on targets they must have the rules on LULUCF and the base year. These discussions are taking place in AWG-LCA. So it’s a chicken and egg story here where developed countries want conclusions from AWG-LCA first before committing on reductions while developing countries asking for targets first under the AWG-KP. Japan has been asking for major developing countries to take ‘appropriate action’ saying their emissions now surpass many developed countries. China has been constantly stressing on historical emissions principal being the basis for setting targets.

How much reduction is enough?
Today and the contact group meeting on AWG-KP there were intense discussions how much reduction is to be done by the Annex I countries. AOSIS said 40 percent by 2020 and more than 95 per cent by 2050. G-77 and China have been saying that and aggregate of 95 per cent by 2050 and quoting the IPCC figure of 25-40 per cent by 2020 by Annex I countries. But suddenly with Japan’s intervention the target debate went out of the window. Japan said that this 25-40 per cent just one of the several scenario and ranges proposed by IPCC and is just a summary and not a conclusion. It cannot be used as a basis for policy making summary.

Then Czech Republic intervened on behalf of EU saying that IPCC was asked not to give any decisions on reduction targets and leave it to the policy makers. Finally the meeting ended with no clear conclusion. Many delegates wanted to know the offers for reductions made by various individual countries and blocks. So now the UNFCCC secretariat is preparing a document listing out all these offers or pledges. Zambia made a very nice comment saying this is not a pledging club. We need clear binding commitments. The document should be ready by Sunday and expected to contain also the commitments of each Annex I party under KP and progress.

Technology and financing
Not much progress here again as there is till now no money on the table. But lots of discussions are taking place (mostly outside the meetings) on financing and the new carbon trading regime.

Surya Sethi, Dasgupta and Mauskar in the Indian camp are till now pessimistic about the outcome. Yesterday Yvo De Boer made some very interesting comments on the talks and generally about the road to Copenhagen. His point is that developed counties must be convinced to leave the protection of Kyoto agreement where they do not have any binding obligations. For this developed countries need to take ambitious individual targets and also make a significant and predictable financial architecture for developing countries. Any new legal instrument cannot be finalised unless this happens.

He refered to the G-2 and said that it is US and China who will be the key and if they can come to a common understanding lot of things will work out.