April 4

4 April 2009 7:29:44 PM

Yesterday (April 3) afternoon was the plenary session of the Contact group on enhanced action on mitigation and its associated means of implementation to discuss Article 1 b (ii) of the Protocol. Highlight of the session was the spat between India and Japan.

Tanzania on behalf of LDCs called for a sense of urgency in dealing with increasing observed impacts in LDCs. They also called for support on finance, technology and capacity building and that this support should also be measurable, reportable and verifiable.

Singapore questioned per capita GDP continued to be used as a basis for mitigation measures. They said that it was flawed criteria and irrelevant. They referred to Article 4.10 on limitations of countries highly dependent on fossil fuels and highlighted their specific situation where water supply processes in Singapore are highly energy-intensive and thus limit their potential to move away from fossil fuels.

China said that NAMA’s should have four main factors.
1. They should be completely voluntary and developed by individual countries.
2. They should reflect priority needs of developing countries
3. Should be concrete actions
4. Supported by technology finance and capacity building.

Developing country should first identify the actions and the support they need for these actions.

India (Surya Sethi) said that presentations of developed countries do not reflect the task before the AWG-KP. Developed countries are deviating from the Article 4.1 which says they provide agreed full incremental costs” for mitigation actions in developing countries.

Then he criticised the developed countries on several accounts.
--Developed countries have ignored historical emissions.
--They are creating suspect future emissions scenario for developing countries.
--They are creating new categories like “more advanced developing countries”.
--They are demanding low carbon pathways from developing countries without yielding anything on finance and technology.
--They are doing little at home

India said that such an approach is not likely to take us very far. If we are to move forward we cannot keep coming back to the negotiated text. He also said that “registry” in NAMAs window of financial mechanism.

Responding directly to India Japan made a very categorical statement: “Japanese government cannot accept any scenario of simple extension of Kyoto Protocol which does not include non-parties (US) and major developing countries, including you India.” By this statement Japan has made it clear that there no possibility of a deal until China and India take commitments.

Saudi Arabia then said: “We are sure our Indian colleagues will have capability to answer Japan but my question to Japan is that are we re-negotiating the Kyoto treaty or the Bali Action Plan because the word ‘major developing countries’ is not there at all. It is too late for that if we need some agreement at Copenhagen”.

Chair then gave India the opportunity to respond and Sethi said: “We are thankful to Japan for at least clarifying what the agenda is.”

Saudi Arabia also raised the issue of concept of registry. They said that registry will end up being a list of NAMAs and developed countries will then pick and choose which of these can be done on their own and which ones they want to support. This will lead to cherry picking. This is the idea of registry that we get from developed countries.

Overall in the entire plenary developing many raised the issue of registry and its operating mechanism saying in the currently proposed format it will not work. This will be further discussed.

This open spat between India and Japan led to speculation in the evening that the talks on the verge of breaking down.