New proposal by LDCs

December 08, 2011

Durban, December 2: As the UN climate change talks enter the 5th day in Durban, tempo in the negotiation rooms is gradually picking up.  While about 50 odd items are being discussed and the chairs of the different groups are trying to piece in the negotiating texts by Saturday, before the high level ministerial segment begins, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have proposed a middle-of-the-road solution to keep the climate change talks active. A draft proposal the LDCs submitted advocates a set of parallel treaties that will not only take into account emissions reduction targets for the Annex 1 parties but also for non-Kyoto parties like the United States and emerging economies like China and India.

Developing countries described the new draft as the way to keep the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol alive and at the same time give countries like US space to take legally binding cuts outside the Kyoto Protocol. The draft says that in order to stop global temperatures from crossing 1.5°C  and stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions at 350 part per million, global emissions should peak by no later than 2015. It proposes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Developing countries think their proposal could be a stepping stone, because the draft links any legally binding treaty to the concepts of equity and common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR). And, it is based on the guiding principles of the Bali Roadmap . The draft proposes a mechanism to periodically review the adequacy of the commitments and a process to enhance ambitions over time. It also talks about provisions for compliance and enforcement.

A senior negotiator from India said that while they were “not unhappy” with the proposal, it still required a lot of fine-tuning. For one, the draft does not say that the legally binding instrument will be made operational using CBDR. Two, certain terminologies with respect to entry of emerging economies like India and China into  legally binding commitment are still very vague. “We want other countries to add to this draft, keeping the basic principles of equity, CBDR and Bali Roadmap intact,” said a senior negotiator of African group.