Workshop on a Framework for Various Approaches

On May 19, a workshop organised by the UNFCCC under the AWG-LCA track was held at Bonn. The workshop was mandated by the UNFCCC at Durban last year in order to better understand the multiple approaches countries took towards achieving their mitigation targets. The purpose of this was to explore the concept of a framework through which these approaches could be recognized by the UNFCCC and counted towards national pledges.

The workshop consisted of three sessions featuring submissions from 10 speakers. The issues they raised included the feasibility of the proposed framework and how it could be made transparent and accountable. They also addressed the need to better differentiate market and non-market based mitigation approaches as well as how to tackle the problem of double counting in formulating the framework. 

Double counting is the possibility of counting identical mitigation efforts across more than one mechanism, while counting a country’s progress towards its mitigation pledges. A number suggestions were offered to solve this issue, including developing a detailed accounting system and as well as a clear set of guidelines for the framework. Ms. Kay Harrison, New Zealand offered the use of a Declaration model in the interim until this issue was resolved. The model would allow parties to declare their efforts towards mitigation and how they represent genuine verifiable emissions reductions.

On the question of transparency and accountability a number of different proposals were made. One of these was by Ms. Aimee Barnes, UAE a presenter in the first session, who discussed how the new framework could act as a platform for transparency in pursuing mitigation ambitions, through information sharing and a common set of basic elements that could reconcile the disparate mitigation processes.

A number of presentations also focused on clarifying exactly what the differences were between market-based and non-market based approaches towards mitigation. Presentations from organisations such as the Center for European Policy Studies and The European Defense Fund focused on the feasibility of pursuing market based mechanisms in the new framework. They also offered suggestions on how to improve their effectiveness. In this context there was an interesting presentation from Mr. Oscar Reyes, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). While discussing the lessons learnt during the during the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) process he highlighted the need for minimum standards and enhancing the appeals process in the CDM.

While a few issues still remained with regard to the approaches taken to achieve mitigation action, nevertheless the workshop helped to clarify many of the doubts that persisted on this issue.