Meeting of Contact group on Annex I Emissions reductions under the AWG-KP

June 8, 2009
Today most of the comments and interventions revolved around the time-frame of the second (and third) commitment periods and the base year. The proposal on second and third commitment periods ranged from having two five year periods, 2013-2017 and 2013-2022 or having one eight year period beyond 2012 or having two 8-year periods. Evolving climate change science and need to review targets were also discussed.

India proposed one 8-year commitment period of 2013-2020 but also asked for a mid-term review in 2016 based on new science. Justifying the 8-year cycle India said that:
“A typical policy making cycle is at least three years, before investment decisions can be made. At the end of the policy making cycle is the investment decision cycle, of at least another 3 yrs. And then the investments have to get started. If you fix on a specific year a number of events might occur in weather, economy etc. We need a band of time. For all these reasons a pragmatic way to go forward is to start in 2013 and end in 2020”.

Bolivia proposed a “short period of 5 yrs makes it easier to follow science” Philippines pointed out that looking at the track record of meeting commitments under Kyoto the compliance issues are very important especially when recommending a 8-year commitment period.

Japan once again was isolated in the group mostly because they keep saying no to everything and are very reluctant to accept any kind of commitment. They said that they did not find their option in Chair’s summary. They rejected both the 2013-2017 period as well as having two commitment periods. They again (and have been doing it continuously) raised the issue of distinction between the developed countries and the advanced developing countries and said that having two commitment periods for Annex I countries will lock them for too long. They asked for inclusion of option of 2013-V for the Annex I countries.

Australia asked that how can one numbers be adjusted in the middle of a five year commitment period.

South Africa speaking on behalf of G-77 and China supported the base year of 1990. They said that it was advantageous to stick to this year in political perspective. It was “clear and unambiguous and also referred to in the convention. We then don’t have to go back and adjust the numbers”.

European Union, Switzerland, Norway, South Korea and New Zealand all supported having 1990 as the base year. Japan once again disagreed saying that 1990 as a base-year was advantageous to certain countries. They said that having 1990 as a base year would not be good for including newly developed countries. They suggested having commitments as absolute emission targets thus avoiding the base year issue.

India then raised a question to Japan:
Japan has always been talking about carbon dioxide (CO2) density of the industry. Why does he not suggest that one way to look at it is to look at the CO2 density compared to 1990 levels.

Micronesia speaking on behalf of AOSIS said that for transparency and consistency reason keep 1990. China supported 1990 saying that change of base year makes some countries look better but it doesn’t solve any problem.