Article 2: Activities that Annex 1 countries should take to meet their commitments

September 07, 2011

2.1 This sub-paragraph lists a number of activities that Annex 1 nations can undertake to achieve their "quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments" (QUELROS). These activities are:

  • enhancement of energy efficiency;

  • protection and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol and promotion of sustainable forest management, afforestation and reforestation;

  • promotion of sustainable agriculture;

  • research and promotion of new and renewable sources of energy, carbon dioxide sequestration technologies, and innovative environmentally-sound technologies;

  • changes in fiscal policies, including subsidies in all greenhouse gas emitting sectors;

  • reforms in relevant sectors;

  • limit and/or reduce greenhouse gases from the transport sector; and,

  • limit and/or reduce methane emissions through better management of wastes and of the energy sector.

The article also says that countries should cooperate with each other to enhance their individual and combined effectiveness. The COP serving as the first meeting of Parties (MOP) to the KP will consider ways to facilitate such cooperation.

2.2 Nations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation and marine sectors working through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

2.3 Measures taken by Annex 1 nations must minimise adverse effects, including adverse effects:

  • of climate change;

  • of measures taken to address climate change on international trade; and,

  • social, environmental and economic impacts on other nations, especially developing countries and in particular small island nations; countries with low-lying coastal areas; countries with arid and semi-arid areas, forested areas and areas liable to forest decay; countries with areas prone to natural disasters; countries with areas liable to drought and desertification; countries with areas of high urban atmospheric pollution; countries with areas with fragile ecosystems, including mountainous ecosystems; countries whose economies are highly dependent on income generated from production, processing and export, and/or on consumption of fossil fuels and associated energy-intensive products; land-locked and transit countries; and, least developed countries.

Measures must take into account the guiding principles of Article 3 of FCCC described above.
The MOP will take action to promote the implemention of this sub-paragraph.

2.4 The MOP can set up mechanisms to coordinate the policies identified in sub-paragraph 2.1(a) if it considers such coordination to be beneficial.

Article 3: Emission reduction targets
This article mainly deals with emissions reduction targets of Annex 1 countries.

3.1: Commitment period and reduction targets
This sub-paragraph details the first commitment period and the overall reduction targets. It says, that a reduction in "...overall emission of such gases by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008-2012" has to be achieved by Annex 1 countries as a whole. The greenhouse gases are listed in Annex A of the KP and the QUELROS are listed in Annex B.

This sub-paragraph also states that Annex 1 nations can meet their reduction targets individually or jointly. It also clarifies that their "aggregate anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of the greenhouse gases" should not exceed their ‘assigned amounts’.

In other words, even if the emissions of one greenhouse gas goes up, emissions in other greenhouse gases should be enough to meet the reduction target in aggregate. Separate targets have not been set for the different greenhouse gases which was a demand of many countries and environmental groups.

3.2: Demonstratable progress
This sub-paragraph says that by 2005 nations should "have made demonstratable progress in achieving commitments .."

But what is "demonstratable progress" has not been defined. However, this is a provision to ensure that effective greenhouse gas accounting systems have been created domestically by then. Particularly in relation to tradeable emissions and joint implementation, a "certifiable national system" would be necessary to ensure and judge compliance. This system could then become the basis for rating countries so that an investor has confidence that it will definitely get certifiable emission reduction units. It is possible that the legal onus of compliance will rest with the party selling emission units and not the buyer. This would be similar to the current concept of rating countries for investment. The market would then be able to judge the compliance quality of the trading partner. There is discussion going on — given the uncertainty of trading partners — to propose a "cap within a cap", that is, a discounting system which allows countries to build in uncertainties into their commitments.

3.3 & 3.4: Emissions from Land-Use Changes and Forestry
In order to meet their commitments, Annex I nations can take into account changes in emissions resulting from "human-induced land-use change and forestry activities, limited to afforestation, reforestation and deforestation since 1990" as long as they can be measured as verifiable changes in "carbon stocks" in each commitment period. These changes will be reported in a transparent and verifiable manner and they will be reviewed in accordance with Articles 7 and 8 of the KP which spell out the information that will be contained in ‘national communications’ to the FCCC secretariat and the processes that will be adopted for expert review of the information contained in these communications.

It is further stated that:

Each Annex 1 country will provide data which will be sufficient to establish its carbon stocks in 1990 and to enable an estimate to be made of the changes in carbon stocks in subsequent years. This data will be provided before the first MOP and will be considered by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SUBSTA) created by the FCCC.

The first MOP or subsequent MOPs will, as soon as practicable, decide the modalities, rules and guidelines as to how, and which, additional human-induced activities which lead to changes in greenhouse gas emissions can be taken into account. This will relate to agricultural soils, land-use changes and forestry. These guidelines will take into account concerns like uncertainties, transparency and verifiability.

While such a decision shall apply to the second and subsequent commitment periods, a nation can take the benefit of these additional human-induced activities if it can prove that these activities have taken place since 1990.