|June 11/ 18:00/ Bonn
|Overwhelming opposition to the advance draft LCA text, AWG-KP adjourned again
|Both content and the process of drafting criticised by developing countries
There is false sense of progress being projected when there is none. Progress in both AWGs has been held up. Most Parties feel that new LCA text has taken the process backwards instead of moving forward. Just now AWG-KP has been adjourned again. Japan holding up saying till there is progress in LCA and all developed countries take comparable reduction targets they cannot proceed in AWG-KP too.
Criticism is not just limited to the contents of the advance text but the process adopted by the AWG-LCA Chair. In the last two weeks no real negotiations have taken place in the LCA. Chair had framed questions and asked the Parties to come up with their responses. Based on that she has prepared this non-paper. In the Plenary many developing countries criticized this process and said that they were not negotiating with the Chair but with Parties. They argued that such huge changes in the text cannot be done by the Chair by making her own interpretations of what the Parties submitted.
Now, what exactly are the problems with the advance draft LCA non-paper.
1. The text is heavily biased and reflects the US and EU positions while submissions by G-77 and China and developing country Parties have been ignored. In fact some of their submission which were there earlier in the first version which came in May have been completely deleted.
2. Various controversial paragraphs have been inserted and that too without brackets as if there is consensus on them when there is none.
3. On MRV most of the focus is on developing countries with little on developed country Parties.
4. There is nothing on unilateral trade measures. India with 15 other countries had made a submission against unilateral trade measure but it is completely missing from the text.
5. Some forward movement on finance but the text does not specify where the money would come from.
6. Para 13 of the text reads: “Developed country Parties commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020, to be submitted by these Parties in the format given in Appendix I; Annex I Parties that are Party to the Kyoto Protocol will thereby further strengthen the emissions reduction initiated by the Kyoto Protocol”. This language seems to imply as if KP was a thing of the past and no more exists. In fact the text is written in a manner which implies as if the two tracks have been merged and thereby implying that the KP does not exist anymore.
7. There is unbracketed reference to all Parties peaking in the year 2020. There has been no agreement ever on a peaking year. This further implies that since all countries need to peak by 2020, not only the developed but developing countries will also take legally-binding reduction targets.
Closing plenary of the AWG-LCA turned into a show of strong protest with developing countries, one after another taking the floor to register their disapproval of the advance draft text put forward by the LCA Chair. This is what some of them said:
India: Text has glaring omissions which affects its balance. New unbracketed paragraphs have appeared giving an impression as if there is agreement on them. Complete absence of reference to equity and burden sharing principles as a part of the shared vision. Gives an impression that the two-track process has been abandoned. Blurring the distinction between actions of Annex I countries and voluntary actions of non-Annex I countries. Text completely silent on unilateral trade measures. Seek its inclusion.
China: Progress of negotiations not decided by Chair but by Parties. Chair only a facilitator. These are negotiations among Parties not a dialogue or negotiation with the Chair. The text deviates from the principle of the Convention and the Bali Road Map. Affects the continuation of the KP. You did not consult with Parties and deleted these references from the text.
Saudi Arabia: Great dismay. Problem in you kitchen. You present us with a meal which we cannot eat. You are getting closer to one team. If it is a new negotiation and we want to throw the Convention away then let us start fresh with a new mandate. You selectively unbracketed some of the text as if it was agreed but we all know they are not. Please do not join those who want to kill KP.
|June 11/ 15:30/ Bonn
|Has the work of last two weeks gone waste?
|Developing countries express serious reservations on the new advance draft text from the AWG-LCA
Say that the text contains the versions of only US and EU and reads as if it has been written by the EU
|June 11/ 11:30/ Bonn
|Highly controversial new LCA text out this morning
|Developing countries in a huddle to discuss the text. G-77 and China in a long meeting since 9 to discuss the text. Early indicators say that the developing countries very unhappy with the new text.
Bolivia just did a press conference. Have rejected the new text.Bolivia comments on the new text: Text to complicate negotiations. Our views have not been taken into account in the first text. Text does not include new proposal from G-77 and China. Excluded elements from our proposal and only highlights Copenhagen accord and from the umbrella group. This text is one-sided. It cannot be a base for negotiations. We need to have a process that is party driven and not Chair driven. Last 2 weeks we have not negotiated, we have only made statements. Chair has on her own interpreted what we said and come out with this new text. We wanted to highlight the 2-track approach and reinforce the Kyoto Protocol. Instead of reinforcing it has disappeared. We wanted a clear reference that finance should not depend on markets and should be public finance. It is not their in the new text. Basically Chair has interpreted what she understands as consensus. That is not fair Worst than the earlier text. Represents only one point of view and does not taken into account the principles of the convention. Proposal from Bolovia for one degree is now erased. The new text is merely Copenhagen Accord plus. We are not going to negotiate on text that is Copenhagen accord. We will negotiate on text which reflects all positions. Lot of reference to MRV. They are trying to divide developing world.
|June 10/ 17:15/ Bonn
|When two developing countries fought
|Brazil and Saudi Arabia kill each other’s proposals in the SBSTA
Brazil’s proposal for including “forests in exhaustion” into CDM activities was not allowed due to opposition from Saudi Arabia after their proposal to consider carbon, capture and storage (CCS) under CDM activities was opposed by Brazil
A very interesting fight unveiled in the SBSTA meetings over the last two days. A fight between two developing country members of the G-77 and China. Saudi Arabia with support of Norway has been, since the Poznan CoP, consistently demanding that CCS activities be considered for inclusion as a CDM project activity.
Most developing countries including Brazil have been opposing this saying that the technology is not a proven and there are a number of issues like site availability, safety of gas pumped inside and several other liability issues. The same was repeated in this SBSTA session as well and, as has been happening in the past, the matter was deferred to the next SBSTA meeting which will be held in Cancun now along with the CoP 16.
During this meeting of SBSTA Brazil made a case for what it defines as “forest in exhaustion” being included under the eligible list of activities under the CDM projects. Under the current CDM regime any activity taking place in a forest land which has been cut after 1989 is not allowed as a CDM project. Brazil has thousands of hectares of land which been under industrial plantation and have been harvested after 1989. These lands have been constantly planted and harvested over the decades and are very degraded. Brazil has defined these as “forest in exhaustion” and asking for them to be eligible for CDM activities. Already hurt over being denied the inclusion of CCS in CDM, Saudi Arabia objected to this. They said that this cannot be allowed as this would mean changing definitions and amendments in the Kyoto Protocol itself. No consensus. This matter was also deferred to the next meeting of SBSTA in December this year.
After the meeting Saudi Arabian negotiators were asked about their interest in forestry as the country hardly had any forest. There reasons were clear. They wanted a trade-off. Allow CCS to be considered under CDM and we will also not block the “forest in exhaustion” proposal.
And we thought these negotiations were only about climate change.
|June 10/ 15:45/ Bonn
|No immediate hope of getting a complete climate deal: UNFCCC climate bosses
Yesterday the outgoing UNFCCC chief Yvo de Boer and his successor, Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica both expressed skepticism about getting a full-fledged climate deal anywhere in the near future. While speaking to agency reporters Figueres warned that political decisions will lag behind scientific warning on climate change for years to come. “I don't believe that we will ever have a final agreement on climate... in my lifetime,” she said. “Maybe in yours,” she told the reporters. She said that getting a final treaty could take up to 40 more years. de Boer was however more optimistic saying that a full deal can be reached within the next 10-15 years.
|June 10/ 15:15/ Bonn
|The half degree fight
|Appeal to let SBSTA prepare a technical paper on options of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by 2050 stuck down by oil-producing nations
Yesterday’s SBSTA plenary was suspended twice over the issue as nations after nations wanted the Body to prepare a technical paper on limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. But Saudi Arabia supported by Kuwait, Oman and Qatar kept strongly objecting to such an idea. Yesterday Venezuela was also opposing the idea. After two suspension and no consensus in sight the plenary was finally suspended a little after 10 PM on Wednesday to reconvene on Thursday
Today morning after the Body reconvened the informal consultation and lobbying seemed to have made some difference. Venezuela offered a compromise saying in “constructive spirit” and made a language proposal. The language they proposed was:
“The SBSTA requests the secretariat, on their own responsibility, to prepare an informal technical paper before 33 second session.”
Saudi Arabia immediately objected saying that they had heard Venezuela carefully but they still strongly object. He said that there position remained the same and there is no point in postponing decision. “Even if you talk tomorrow evening our position will remain the same,” he said asking for the item be deferred to future sessions. Oman supported Saudi Arabia saying that limiting at 2 degrees has scientific justification and that it was not the right time to discuss this issue. The most vulnerable then spoke one after another lamenting the objection and saying that they are the ones who will bear the brunt of temperature rise.
Barbados said that such a paper would have helped them and they found it ironic that fellow developing countries were blocking an effort that would help the smallest and most vulnerable nation.
South Africa, Colombia, Australia, Spain, Jamaica, Bolivia and Nigeria all expressed their disappointment at the rejection. In fact Bolivia had earlier requested for a technical paper on for limiting temperature rise to 1 degree.
In another fight between Parties, Papua New Guniea supported by the US and Europe called for a high-level segment involving heads of state to be organized before the start of CoP16 in Cancun. Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia opposed this saying that they saw no reason on involving the heads of states in the process. Finally, it was left for Mexico decide.
|June 9/ 17:30/ Bonn
|Addressing the gigatonne gap
|Draft conclusions of both AWG-LCA and AWG-KP just out
Draft conclusions seek to address the gap in increasing emissions and current poor pledges and implications of gap between first and second commitment periods under the KP
Draft text conclusions from the Chairs of AWG-LCA and AWG-KP have just come out. Both the conclusions focus on gap between the current reduction pledges made by Parties and the increasing emissions. The draft conclusion of AWG-LCA says:
“In order to advance the work relating to paragraph 1 (b) (i) of the Bali Action Plan (emissions reduction from developed country Parties), the AWG-LCA under the Convention requested the secretariat to prepare, for consideration by the AWG-LCA at its eleventh session, an initial compilation of information Parties submitted to the secretariat to date.”
Draft conclusion makes a similar request for compiling “information on nationally appropriate mitigation actions by the developing country Parties submitted to the secretariat to date”.
The draft conclusion of AWG-KP has addresses the issue of gap in the first and second commitment periods under the Kyoto Protocol and its implications. It asks the secretariat to prepare a paper that:
“(a) Identifies the legal consequences and implications of a possible gap between the first and second commitment periods, including the effect on the institutions established under the Kyoto Protocol and the impact on the future of the flexibility mechanisms…”
“(b) Provides an initial assessment of the legal options available to address a possible gap, including the operational implications of such options for the proposals of Parties…taking into account the objective of environmental integrity.”
|June 9/ 16:30/ Bonn
|Today morning there was a briefing for journalists from negotiators of various countries including India and China. Below are the views of the negotiators on their expectations out of the Cancun CoP 16.
J M Mauskar, head of Indian delegation
We should be positive. Need a balanced outcome on pillars of Bali Action Plan rather than aiming at a deal in Cancun. We have to look at transfer of new technologies, we cannot imagine today, but would be relevant in 2025-30.”
Yu Qingtai, chief negotiator, China
“Countries need to show maximum flexibility for a positive outcome in Cancun. We have to shed trust deficit and expand in the areas of consensus. We may have a binding agreement only in South Africa (in 2011) as still we have to cover a lot of distance.”
Collin Beck, negotiator from Solomon Island on behalf of SIDS
“We cannot afford any delay. We would want a fair and equitable agreement at Cancun. If a political agreement was possible in Copenhagen, a binding agreement is possible in Cancun provided there is a political will.”
Sergio Serra, climate ambassador, Brazil
“Not having a legally binding agreement at Cancun will not mean the conference has failed. We have to see Cancun as a step ahead of Copenhagen and a step towards Cape Town.”
Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, climate negotiator of Bangladesh representing LDCs
“Our expectations at Cancun are of a fair and legally binding agreement with an objective of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius. We also need a framework for finance for adapting to climate change.”
Artur Runge Metzger, chief negotiator, European Commission
“Trust lost in Copenhagen has been restored. We are on track on our finance commitment made at Copenhagen. We will have to change gear and work for something substantial at Cancun.”
|June 9/ 14:15/ Bonn
|New LCA text on Thursday
|New text of AWG-LCA is expected to be out on Thursday. But instead of being a formal negotiating text, Chair of the AWG-LCA, Mukahanana-Sangarwe said that she will issue a non-paper compiling the work done in this session and that the non-paper will be an official document for consideration in the August session. NGOs are disappointed that formal negotiating text will not be issued and there is already a campaign on to get the Parties to agree to give the mandate to the LCA Chair to come up with a negotiating text before the start of August session.
Like in Copenhagen, MRV of developing country actions remains a hot issue. Yesterday in the contact group nations made submission concentrating on nature of MRV, the body which should frame guidelines and clear distinction nature of review between supported and unsupported actions.
Earlier in the day, in a separate forum, the Mexican UN ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba had said that Mexico is proposing a new system for MRV. Instead of current approach of policing actions under a MRV regime, Mexico proposed a peer-reviewed system similar to the one under the UN human rights convention.
In the contact group meeting developing countries made it clear that only the supported actions were subject to an international review and not the unsupported action which will be subject to a domestic review. United States suggested that developing countries do domestic review using international standards and international consultation and analysis (ICA). South Africa said that ICA guidelines must respect national sovereignty.
On the body to frame guidelines for MRV there was clear divide between developed and developing countries. India, China and other developing countries asserted that the Subsidiary Body on Implementation was the appropriate body to frame guideline. USA and Australia said that this should be done by the AWG-LCA.
|June 8/ 20:00/ Bonn
|Voluntary actions of developing countries should under no circumstances be seen as them taking on internationally legally binding commitments: India
|India made a submission in the just concluded Contact group on MRV of mitigation actions of non-Annex I countries. Excerpts from the submission
"The fundamental feature of developing countries mitigation actions is that such action are voluntary in nature and are to be taken in the context of sustainable development. The NAMAs of developing countries will therefore be guided primarily by national priorities of social and economic development including the energy needs of people and the eradication of poverty."
"The fact that developing countries are prepared to undertake NAMAs out of their own volition and in the interest of global goal of climate stabilization can, in no way, imply that NAMAs of developing countries constitute a part of internationally legally-binding mitigation commitment. Some developing countries like India are endeavoring to undertake ambitious and specific NAMAs out of their own resources. Such actions can, of course, be enhanced if international support and enablement in terms of technology mandated under the Convention is available from the developed countries Parties in requisite measure. But, voluntary actions should, under no circumstances, be seen as, ours taking on internationally legally binding commitments."
"Equally importantly India would like to emphasise that planning and elaboration of NAMAs is purely a voluntary and national exercise. It does not in any way constitute the precondition for support and enablement for specific project-based NAMAs. In other words it is not mandatory activity or exercise to be projected to international verification for seeking and receiving international support for NAMAs."
"Let me, in this context dwell briefly on the idea of low carbon growth strategy or emission pathway which has been referred to by some Parties as a necessary condition for elaboration and support of NAMAs. We are clear that a low carbon development strategy is not part of internationally agreed mechanism of funding the NAMAs because it is a national and autonomous exercise. International finance for NAMAs must flow in order to fulfill the nationally declared goal of domestic mitigation actions. Such goal consists of reduction of emissions intensity of GDP. Our delegation is of the view that there can be no prior judgment of the conditions and circumstances of a developing country and there can be no ground for subjecting the national plans and unsupported activities to international verification in the name of low carbon strategy or pathway. The Convention and BAP made it clear that the guiding principle is the sustainable development of the developing countries."
"While we agree with the idea of providing financial support for planning and elaboration of NAMAs, we also endorse the demand of G-77 and China that such financing support should cover enabling manner, the full costs of such activities and not just assessment of needs."
"In the light of principles and provisions of the convention, a regime of MRV for developing countries cannot be more rigorous then that for developed country Parties, whether it is the periodicity or the content or its consideration. Voluntary mitigation actions of developing countries from own domestic resources will not be subject to international review. Domestic mitigation actions that are not supported by finance and technology under UNFCCC arrangements or unsupported NAMAs will be subject to only domestic arrangement for their MRV."
|June 8/ 18:45/ Bonn
|Norway PM made co-Chair of the UNSG’s high level group on climate finance
|Group to play advisory role
Today there a briefing for Parties from the United Nations Secretary General’ High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing.
The group is chaired by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. Few days back the Norwegian PM, Jens Stoltenberg was been asked to co-Chair and he has now agreed. In the briefing the Parties were informed that the Group will only play and advisory role to the UNFCCC. Under the group two working groups have been formed with one looking at the options of public financing while the other looking at private financing. Also there are eight work stream under the group out of which six are focusing on public financing and two on private financing. Civil society groups were assured that they will be consulted through the of UN civil society liaison office.
At the end of the briefing India made a request for further work even before the Group begins it work. He said that there are different kinds of needs for financing like risk mitigation, investment, capacity building etc and that funding for each would come from different sources. He said that it would be useful if a list of kinds of financing needs is made and further mapping is done on sources of funds.
|June 8/ 15:35/ Bonn
|Eurozone and UK financial crisis cast shadow over climate talks
|Biggest cuts in budgetary spending by Germany since World war two, financial crisis in Eurozone and UK planning huge budgetary cuts were today the main points of discussion at the Hotel Maritim, venue of Bonn climate talks
|For once climate was not the flavor of talks at the Bonn climate change talks. Delegates were busy discussing how EU’s severe financial crisis would affect the climate change talks. Many felt that this could weaken the level of ambition. And the first impacts could be felt on climate financing. Yu Qingtai, Chinese chief negotiator, said that the eurozone crisis is taking away governments’ attention from climate change issues.
EU is going through one of its worse financial crisis ever. Yesterday Angela Merkel, German chancellor, announced the country’s biggest cuts in budgetary spending since the World War II. The country plans to slash the budgetary deficit by over 80 billion euros over the next four years. This would mean drastic cuts in budgetary spending, reducing employment, and abolishing tax exemptions and subsidies. “In such a situation obviously climate finance would get least attention,” said a delegate from Bangladesh. Many delegates felt that the crisis had slowed the little progress that was being made in Bonn.
And its not just Germany.
David Cameroon, UK’s new prime minister yesterday admitted that the country’s financial woes were worse that the government thought and that that this would require cuts in public spending and benefits that could “affect our whole way of life”. In lighter vein one delegate commented that this could be a blessing in disguise and with change in lifestyle, emissions from these countries could come down. But others expressed serious concerns about spending cuts and said that in such situations the first casualties are areas like investing in research and this could mean that research on green energy and technologies could take a backseat over the next decade.
|June 8/ 14:55/ Bonn
|Mexico CoP not expected to deliver a legally binding ambitious treaty: Mexican UN envoy
|Instead seeks to reach agreement on areas of consensus
Unlike the run up to Copenhagen, where there were huge expectations of a ambitious and legally binding treaty, Mexico is downplaying any lofty ambitions of a full-fledged climate treaty emerging out of the 16th Conference of Party (CoP) to be held at Cancun, Mexico in December.
Luis Alfonso de Alba, Mexico’s UN ambassador said today that in a process like this it is difficult to expect a complete treaty in Mexico. He encouraged Parties to instead reach agreements on some the key issues like MRV, climate finance and adaptation. But when asked about comments being made by NGOs and few officials from UNFCCC that unlike Copenhagen, expectations from Cancun are far lesser he retorted saying that “to say that we cannot achieve anything in Cancun, without any basis, will be a big mistake”. “Legally binding treaty may not be possible in Cancun but we need to look forward and work towards areas where we know we can reach agreements. We need to be pragmatic and need to understand the ground realities. Such comments are not useful for the process itself,” de Alba said.
Interestingly de Alba also stressed on the need to ensure actions by both developed and developing countries. “We need to give a push for Annex I targets for second commitment periods under the Kyoto Protocol (KP), but this is not enough. We need to go beyond that. We need participation from the United States which not there in KP. We also need participation of developing countries and I am not saying just China and India but Mexico and others too. Just by keeping KP beyond 2012, we are not going to solve the problem. Developing countries are growing in a dangerous way,” he added.
Mexico is also seeking to avoid a Copenhagen like situation when heads of state gathered on the last day leading to pandemonium and ending with a weak Copenhagen Accord. Mexico is proposing a three-tiered process. First in October they plan to have a ministerial level meeting of the major economies. Then possibly a head of the states meeting before the Cancun meeting to give the political mandate and finally the CoP where negotiators would come together to finalise concrete texts on areas of consensus.
|One week gone but not much sense of progress
|Halfway through the session of Bonn climate change talks, there is not much sense of progress being made. In fact many delegates feel a sense of déjà vu as most contentious issues seem to remain the same as they were during the last year’s June session in Bonn.
At the start of second week the most critical issue is what kind of new negotiating text will AWG-LCA deliver at the end of this week. Many negotiators feel that the new Chair of the AWG-LCA, Margaret Mukhahana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe, is taking a somewhat unorthodox approach to developing the text. At the start of the session she presented a 40+ page facilitating text. Since then every day she has been picking up specific issues and has been framing question on that particular issue and asking the Parties to come with answers. Some of the issues on which she has framed question during the past week include:
* Opportunities for using markets to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions
* Mitigation actions by developing country Parties and associated measurement, reporting and verification
* Measurement, reporting and verification of support provided by developed country parties
* A shared vision for long-term cooperative action
On Monday, June 7, she put forward question on two more issues. On the issue of “Enhanced action on technology development and transfer” the questions she has put up are:
* How will the Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network interact with each other to ensure effectiveness?
* What would be the respective roles of the SBI, SBSTA and the Technology Executive Committee?
* What should be the interlinkages between the Technology Mechanism (Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network) and non-financial aspects of the existing and proposed institutional arrangements for adaptation and mitigation?
On “Measurement, reporting and verification of mitigation commitments or actions by developed country Parties” the questions before the Parties are:
* What subjects or topics should be covered by developed country Parties in their .reporting. within the overall MRV framework?
* How frequently should specific topics or subjects be reported?
* What should be the form or format of reporting?
Doing away with legally binding targets
The LCA chair has included most of the components of contentious “Copenhagen accord” in the facilitating text issued last week. These also include both the top-down approach of emissions reductions through legally binding targets and also the pledge and review system of emission reduction. US supported by Japan, Canada and Australia has been strongly supporting the weak pledge and review system where countries will do only what they can and not undertake ambitious science-based reduction targets. Many observers fear that the entire approach to emissions reduction might be changed and Kyoto might be replaced with the very weak voluntary reduction targets system. Developing countries have been asking for a ambitious and science-based legally binding reduction targets taking into account the historical responsibility.
There is a sense that by the end of the week some sort of text will come out of AWG-LCA on the basis of the answers provided by the Parties. But there is also a fear that if Parties are not happy with the text then each one would put forward their own version. This would lead to a last year like situation when a 200+ page heavily bracketed document emerged out of the June session.
|US: Won’t have anything to do with Kyoto
|Mukhahana-Sangarwe had last week suggested that some sort of joint space be developed between the AWG-LCA and AWG-LCA to discuss the emission reductions of developed country Parties. Immediately Jonathan Pershing, the US negotiator, raised a point of order saying that the US has never signed the Kyoto Protocol not does it intend to and therefore they are not in favour of this kind of joint space be created between the two AWG’s.
|Source: Times Of India
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|19 December, 2009
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|16 December, 2009
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|14 December, 2009
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|12 December, 2009
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|09 December, 2009
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|07 December, 2009