Summary report, 30 August – 5 September 2012
Bangkok Climate Change Conference - August 2012
The informal additional sessions of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) took place at the UN Conference Centre of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand, from 30 August to 5 September 2012.
Under the ADP, parties convened in roundtable sessions to discuss their vision and aspirations for the ADP, the desired results of its work and how these results can be achieved. Parties also discussed how to enhance ambition, the role of means of implementation and how to strengthen international cooperative initiatives, as well as the elements that could frame the ADP’s work.
The AWG-KP session was devoted to resolving outstanding issues to ensure the successful completion of the group’s work in Doha, Qatar, in December 2012, by recommending an amendment to the Conference of the Parties (COP) serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) for adoption. This amendment would allow a second commitment period under the Protocol to start immediately from 1 January 2013. The AWG-KP produced an informal paper outlining the elements for a Doha decision adopting the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. Many parties welcomed progress made in Bangkok, particularly the increased clarity on options to address the transition to the second commitment period.
The AWG-LCA continued working on practical solutions to fulfill specific mandates from COP 17 in Durban. The focus was on what outcomes might be needed to conclude the group’s work in Doha, how the elements will be reflected in the final outcome of the AWG-LCA, and whether additional work might be required beyond COP 18 and, if so, identifying concrete issues and whether those issues would require technical work or political consideration. Five workshops based on Decision 2/CP.17 (outcome of the work of the AWG-LCA) also convened in Bangkok. The work of the AWG-LCA was captured in an informal overview note of the AWG-LCA Chair to help clarify areas of convergence. Some parties expressed concern over the lack of distinction between items mandated for further consideration in Durban and other elements of the Bali Action Plan (BAP) and the fact that the Chair’s paper did not fully reflect discussions during the session.
While some were concerned that the meeting had not achieved adequate results in the run-up to Doha, others welcomed progress made, particularly under the Kyoto Protocol discussions.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFCCC AND THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, which sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has 195 parties.
In December 1997, delegates to COP 3 in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a Protocol to the UNFCCC that commits industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve emission reduction targets. These countries, known as Annex I parties under the UNFCCC, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 (first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 and now has 192 parties.
LONG-TERM NEGOTIATIONS IN 2005-2009: Convening in Montreal, Canada, at the end of 2005, the first session of the CMP decided to establish the AWG-KP under Protocol Article 3.9, which mandates consideration of Annex I parties’ further commitments at least seven years before the end of the first commitment period. COP 11 also created a process to consider long-term cooperation under the Convention through a series of four workshops known as “the Convention Dialogue.”
In December 2007, COP 13 and CMP 3 in Bali, Indonesia, resulted in agreement on the Bali Roadmap on long-term issues. COP 13 adopted the Bali Action Plan and established the AWG-LCA with a mandate to focus on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action. Negotiations on Annex I parties’ further commitments continued under the AWG-KP. The deadline for concluding the two-track negotiations was in Copenhagen in December 2009. In preparation, both AWGs held several negotiating sessions in 2008-2009.
COPENHAGEN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, took place in December 2009. The high-profile event was marked by disputes over transparency and process. During the high-level segment, informal negotiations took place in a group consisting of major economies and representatives of regional and other negotiating groups. Late in the evening of 18 December, these talks resulted in a political agreement, the “Copenhagen Accord,” which was then presented to the COP plenary for adoption. After 13 hours of debate, delegates ultimately agreed to “take note” of the Copenhagen Accord. In 2010, over 140 countries indicated support for the Accord. More than 80 countries also provided information on their national mitigation targets or actions. Parties also agreed to extend the mandates of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP until COP 16 and CMP 6, respectively.
CANCUN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, took place in December 2010, where parties finalized the Cancun Agreements. Under the Convention track, Decision 1/CP.16 recognized the need for deep cuts in global emissions in order to limit global average temperature rise to 2°C. Parties agreed to keep the global long-term goal under regular review and consider strengthening it during a review by 2015, including in relation to a proposed 1.5°C target. They took note of emission reduction targets and nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) communicated by developed and developing countries, respectively (FCCC/SB/2011/INF.1/Rev.1 and FCCC/ AWGLCA/2011/INF.1, both issued after Cancun). Decision 1/CP.16 also addressed other aspects of mitigation, such as: measuring, reporting and verification (MRV); and REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries).
The Cancun Agreements also established several new institutions and processes, including the Cancun Adaptation Framework and the Adaptation Committee, and the Technology Mechanism, which includes the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was created and designated as a new operating entity of the Convention’s financial mechanism, governed by a 24-member board. Parties agreed to set up a Transitional Committee tasked with the Fund’s design, and a Standing Committee to assist the COP with respect to the financial mechanism. Parties also recognized the commitment by developed countries to provide US$30 billion of fast-start finance in 2010-2012, and to jointly mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020.
Under the Protocol track, the CMP urged Annex I parties to raise the level of ambition towards achieving aggregate emission reductions consistent with the range identified in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and adopted Decision 2/CMP.6 on land use, land-use change and forestry.
The mandates of the two AWGs were extended to COP 17 and CMP 7 in Durban.
DURBAN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, took place from 28 November to 11 December 2011. The Durban outcomes cover a wide range of topics, notably the establishment of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, a decision on long-term cooperative action under the Convention, and agreement on the operationalization of the GCF. Parties also agreed to launch the new ADP with a mandate “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.” The new negotiating process, which began in May 2012, is scheduled to end by 2015. The outcome should come into effect and be implemented from 2020 onwards.
The mandates of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP were again extended to COP 18 and CMP 8 in Doha.
BONN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE 2012: The Bonn Climate Change Conference took place from 14-25 May 2012 in Bonn, Germany. The conference comprised the 36th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). It also included AWG-LCA 15, AWG-KP 17 and the first session of the ADP. Under the AWG-KP, the focus was on issues to be finalized for adopting a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and for the AWG-KP to conclude its work at CMP 8. Many outstanding questions remained, including the length of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and carry-over of surplus units.
Under the AWG-LCA, after agreement on the agenda, debates continued on which issues require consideration so that the AWG-LCA can finalize its work at COP 18. Developed countries stressed “significant progress” through the various new institutions established in Cancun and Durban. Many developing countries identified the need to continue discussing issues required to fulfill the Bali Action Plan mandate.
Under the ADP, discussions centered on the agenda and the election of officers. After nearly two weeks of discussions, the ADP plenary adopted the agenda, initiating two workstreams: one addressing matters related to paragraphs 2-6 of Decision 1/CP.17 (post-2020 regime) and the other on paragraphs 7-8 (enhancing mitigation ambition during the pre-2020 timeframe), and agreed on the election of officers during the final day of the conference.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
The Bangkok Climate Talks opened on Thursday morning, 30 August 2012. This report summarizes the informal discussions of the following three bodies:
- Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP);
- Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP); and
- Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).
AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON THE DURBAN PLATFORM FOR ENHANCED ACTION
The ADP, co-chaired by Harald Dovland (Norway) and Jayant Moreshwar Mauskar (India), held its first substantive discussions in Bangkok. After the informal opening plenary on Thursday, 30 August, the work of the ADP was organized into roundtables on two workstreams addressing vision for the ADP and ambition. On Sunday, 2 September, the ADP Co-Chairs held informal consultations on how to proceed during the second half of the meeting in Bangkok and based on these consultations, held additional roundtable sessions on Monday and Tuesday to further consider some of the specific issues raised during the initial exchange of views. On Wednesday morning, the Co-Chairs convened an informal consultation so that delegates could exchange views on how to organize the work of the ADP going forward to Doha and beyond.
OPENING PLENARY: ADP Co-Chair Dovland opened the ADP informal plenary on Thursday, noting work would be undertaken in roundtable sessions on the two workstreams. He emphasized that the roundtables should be interactive in nature, promote frank discussions and forward concrete ideas.
Algeria, for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), said the Durban Platform must ensure strong linkages among mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, and include the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR). Switzerland, for the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), said Doha must set out a work plan up to 2015, including milestones. Swaziland, for the African Group, supported limited use of carbon markets, and highlighted the need for establishing accounting rules and processes for technology transfer, among other measures.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, said assistance should be provided through existing mechanisms, called for a legally binding regime applicable to all parties, and stressed the need to update the existing regime in line with 21st century realities.
Nauru, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), questioned whether adaptation can provide a sufficient solution to the impacts of climate change in small island developing states and whether the Green Climate Fund can afford to pay for such measures, and called for prioritizing mitigation under the ADP. She opposed a separate roundtable on principles, noting the principles should guide the work of the two workstreams.
The Dominican Republic, on behalf of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, said closing the ambition gap requires a REDD+ mechanism in the future climate regime.
South Africa, for BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China), stressed that the ADP outcome should be in complete accordance with all the Convention principles, particularly CBDR and equity.
Argentina, for Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mali, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Venezuela, reiterated that all ADP work is under the Convention and must adhere to its principles, and said universality of application is not uniformity of application. He said the ADP should not become the means by which developed countries “jump ship” from their legally binding commitments. He said substantive work by the ADP on issues still being considered by the other AWGs should not be undertaken until the successful conclusion of work of those bodies.
Cyprus, for the European Union (EU), underscored the need to discuss how the Convention principles will be applied in a post-2020 framework so all parties take on commitments, and that any work going forward must adhere to the two workstreams. Bolivia, for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), called for developed countries to meet their historical responsibilities. Nicaragua, for the Central American Integration System (SICA), said work under the ADP should include all pillars of the BAP.
Singapore urged developed countries to refrain from taking unilateral measures, and to accommodate and acknowledge national circumstances.
Climate Action Network called for: agreement on CBDR in MRV; and an ADP work programme with options for fair allocation of responsibility in global efforts.
Climate Justice Network expressed concern about shifting the burden of mitigation actions to the poor, and said ADP work should not prejudice negotiations undertaken by the other working groups.
ROUNDTABLE: Vision for the ADP: This roundtable, addressing Workstream 1, met four times during the Bangkok session. During initial discussions from Thursday to Saturday, participants were invited to address: vision for the main contours and elements of the ADP’s work; and the work that is required between now and 2015, in particular in 2013, to achieve those results.
During the discussions, many countries reaffirmed: the primacy of the Convention in the work of the ADP; and that in no way should the ADP’s work involve a rewriting of the Convention.
The EU supported a new protocol in which all parties would take on commitments, and emphasized that the context in which the Convention principles are being applied has changed and that mitigation must be at the heart of the new agreement. Grenada supported a new protocol that would be “climate-effective,” and acknowledged the varying interpretations of Decision 1/CP.17 (establishment of the ADP).
Venezuela, for ALBA, expressed concern with some parties questioning the validity of the Convention after 20 years and “reinterpreting” certain terms. He cautioned that a flexible system of bilateral and plurilateral agreements might undermine the multilateral rules-based system.
Bolivia highlighted equity and the right to development, Ecuador urged addressing the impacts of climate change from a human rights perspective, and Tanzania emphasized that support to countries suffering the impacts of climate change is an equity issue.
India urged differentiation based on equity, CBDR and historical responsibility, and that post-2020 arrangements include quantified and specific terms for developed country support to developing countries. She said the ADP should be flexible to allow consideration of new elements, including from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the 2013-15 Review and the other AWGs.
Chile, for Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama, called for means of implementation to address both mitigation and adaptation. He supported discussing CBDR in the context of specific adaptation and mitigation issues, and within the two workstreams.
Switzerland urged viewing the two workstreams as mutually supportive. The Philippines highlighted the importance of: coherence between workstreams; and an integrated approach to finance, technology and capacity building. Barbados said, inter alia, that the new legally-binding agreement must address adaptation, mitigation, finance and technology.
Singapore urged consideration of national circumstances and of countries’ “three Cs”: their differing contexts, constraints and contributions. Japan supported consideration of national circumstances. The United Arab Emirates said that the CBDR principle could be reinforced, while enabling a wider group of parties to play “a fair role” in reducing emissions, considering national circumstances, such as demographics and resource endowments.
The Russian Federation cautioned against disregarding current realities and urged removing the “notorious firewall” between developed and developing countries. Australia supported a “climate-effective” agreement that: is applicable to all; is capable of evolving over time to promote increasing ambition as countries’ capabilities and confidence grow; and provides incentives for taking action. Stressing the Convention principles are enduring but dynamic, he supported “actionable differentiation” under the new agreement.
Norway said the new agreement must be effective, fair, realistic, flexible and science-based, and include mitigation commitments relative to responsibilities and capabilities. He envisaged a legally-binding, rules-based multilateral regime that addresses “dynamic differentiation.” The Republic of Korea supported incentives for developing country participation that take into account national circumstances, such as population growth rate and density, energy mix, renewable energy endowment, and the extent of coastline.
The LDCs called for a new protocol and robust MRV to ensure compliance and transparency. The African Group said any future legal outcome should be a further articulation of commitments reflected in the Convention, such as financing commitments to developing countries, appropriate burden sharing, and acceptance of all sources of finance.
Pakistan emphasized: that applicability to all must not override CBDR and the notion of equity; lack of a common understanding regarding how much circumstances have changed; maintaining the existing differentiated structure; and an effective compliance mechanism.
Regarding work between now and 2015, Japan suggested an in-session workshop or ministerial roundtable in Doha on the elements of a future framework, brainstorming sessions involving various stakeholders, and moving from a general to more structured discussion in 2013. The US suggested continuing the current format of roundtables and convening workshops on technical issues that may come up, and supported reflecting on issues and exploring workable options before developing text. Brazil said beginning to negotiate the instrument too early would “contaminate” the real deliverables for Doha, which he said is the work under the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA.
The Marshall Islands suggested that the “binary division” between countries under the Kyoto Protocol could be replaced by lists with varying levels of differentiation, from which countries could “graduate” to more stringent requirements as their circumstances change.
On Sunday, the Co-Chairs held informal consultations with parties on how to proceed with work under the ADP in Bangkok.
On Monday, delegates addressed questions posed by the Co-Chairs based on some of the issues raised during the first three days of roundtable discussions, and for which further elaboration might be useful. Questions related to: what is meant by “national circumstances” and how they can be accommodated in the ADP’s work; understanding of the term “applicable to all”; how broader participation can be encouraged; incorporating “flexibility” in the ADP’s work; and how the Convention principles should be applied in the context of vision for the ADP.
On the term “applicable to all,” countries emphasized that universality of application does not mean uniformity of application. Pakistan underlined that “applicable to all” must take into consideration both national circumstances and the Convention principles. Barbados said universality should not imply a “race to the bottom” in terms of legal form or rules, and called for a careful balance between designing a climate-effective agreement that is fair, and that enjoys the confidence of all parties.
On national circumstances, Singapore emphasized understanding the context and constraints of national circumstances before talking about parties’ contributions. He said this template implies: no formulas or “one size fits all” approach; mitigation actions will be nationally determined not internationally imposed and without prejudice to the question of legal form; and universal participation must acknowledge and accommodate national circumstances. Supporting Singapore, Saudi Arabia added that any country’s contribution “is, has been and will be nationally driven.”
On incorporating flexibility in the ADP’s work, Grenada emphasized that flexibility allowed for “differentiated participation,” and that “ambitious adaptation” is the path that brings climate change and sustainable development together.
On broader participation, the Gambia, for the LDCs, said this can only be effective if developed countries demonstrate leadership. The Philippines emphasized means of implementation in order to achieve broader participation. Japan stressed the need to balance broader participation through inclusion of initiatives outside the UNFCCC.
On principles, India stressed the importance of equity and CBDR as “guiding norms” in determining obligations and the nature and level of efforts. Chile said CBDR should not be interpreted in a way that blocks ambition or evades responsibility, and that development and climate protection should be seen as complementary, and not clashing, goals. Japan called for interpreting the Convention principles according to evolving socioeconomic situations. Bolivia recalled that the Rio+20 outcome document reaffirmed the Convention principles, particularly equity and CBDR. The US said the principles should not constitute an artificial divide between developed and developing countries.
Chile stressed flexibility regarding how individual commitments are met, incentives for high ambition and rewards for achieving such ambition, and a common understanding of equity and fairness.
The EU stressed: delinking emissions from economic growth; least-cost mitigation actions addressing all drivers of emissions; absolute economy-wide emission reduction targets for those most capable; and scope and stringency reflected in a “spectrum of commitments.”
The US stressed: diversity is in the actions themselves, not in whether a party acts; universal participation, new technologies and linking climate policy encourage more action; and the need for a flexible instrument that stands the test of time.
Noting continuing poverty and lack of access to energy and sanitation in developing countries, Bolivia said action requires technological and financial support, and that access to this support must be facilitated.
In closing, ADP Co-Chair Dovland said he looked forward to hearing parties’ ideas on how to organize and structure the ADP’s work in Doha and that further consultations on this would take place on Wednesday.
ROUNDTABLE: Ambition: The roundtable on enhancing mitigation ambition (Workstream 2) convened on Friday and Saturday. Participants addressed the mitigation gap and options and ways to increase the level of ambition. On Friday, Socorro Flores (Mexico) introduced the workshop report on increasing the level of ambition under paragraph 8 of Decision 1/CP.17 held in Bonn, Germany, in May 2012 (FCCC/ADP/2012/INF.1).
AOSIS and the LDCs called for prioritizing this workstream. The African Group stressed that this work should not replace Kyoto Protocol commitments, or negotiations on mitigation under the AWG-LCA.
The LDCs and the EU supported convening a high-level forum before Doha, with the EU suggesting a focus on such issues as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), bunker fuels, REDD+, fossil fuel subsidies and private-sector finance. The LDCs, the EU, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia and Peru encouraged developing countries to put forward NAMAs. The US said there could be various pathways to a 2°C goal, including: submission of pledges by countries that have not done so; and voluntary actions, which he said should not require recognition or approval under the UNFCCC. The African Group, supported by the EU, said efforts by other multilateral bodies should be recognized under the Convention, for accountability and transparency purposes. India cautioned against unilateral measures “in the name of climate change.”
Many developing countries highlighted that ambition must address adaptation, mitigation and means of implementation, reiterating the call for parties to present their pledges, if they have not done so, and to provide means of implementation to developing countries.
Parties further discussed transparency of mitigation actions, with Norway and Bolivia calling for clear rules on emission reduction accounting. Ecuador proposed a compliance regime linked to the International Court of Justice. Brazil put forward the World Trade Organization and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as examples the climate regime could consider, and Colombia proposed that climate change be placed on the Security Council’s agenda.
On complementary initiatives, Singapore said that these are relevant, and should strengthen the multilateral system. China warned that “supplementary actions” should not justify unilateral measures. Australia and the US encouraged complementary activities outside the UNFCCC, including by non-state actors, with the US suggesting the COP could be a venue for catalyzing such actions. Australia highlighted the importance of credible carbon markets. Micronesia, supported by the US, highlighted the value of initiatives outside the UNFCCC, such as those focused on HFCs, black carbon, methane and ground-level ozone. The EU suggested the Secretariat prepare a technical paper with structured and quantified options on complementary initiatives.
On Tuesday morning, 4 September, delegates addressed questions posed by the Co-Chairs based on informal consultations and on the previous days’ discussions. Questions related to: how the work of the ADP should relate to relevant work within and outside the UNFCCC; which international cooperative initiatives have the potential to deliver sizeable emission reductions to close the gap, and how they can be supported and scaled up; how the work plan can help to scale up and intensify support to enhance mitigation action by developing countries; and how the principles of the Convention should be applied in the context of the workstream on ambition.
AOSIS and Venezuela welcomed complementary activities to raise ambition, cautioning these should not detract from UNFCCC activities. The EU called for submissions by parties before Doha on possible initiatives, a Secretariat summary and intersessional workshops.
Barbados emphasized the “expansive mandate” of the ambition workstream, noting it could extend beyond international cooperative action. He recommended focusing on options in UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report, including strengthening land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) rules, avoiding double counting and delivering on means of implementation. Brazil highlighted the importance of action by cities, and underscored the Rio+20 agreement to create sustainable development goals (SDGs). Colombia stressed that SDG process should not be “contaminated” by the climate negotiations.
Many developing countries highlighted the mid-term financing gap and the need to provide clear signals and predictability to the private sector, as well as provide technology transfer and address questions related to intellectual property rights (IPRs), so as to enable and encourage concrete implementation. The African Group proposed that the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) work on energy efficiency issues. Singapore proposed a forum for information sharing among international organizations.
On the ADP work plan, the Philippines stressed that ambition must be addressed in the context of the mandates of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP, and requested tracking of financial flows and climate finance performance, including through a transparent mechanism for publication of information. The African Group called for greater clarity on how the work of the ADP will relate to the 2013-2015 Review. China proposed including a specific process or mechanism for scaling up intensified support to developing countries.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: On Wednesday morning, Co-Chair Dovland highlighted the need to draft outcomes that will define aspects of the ADP’s work in 2013, possibly including the number of meetings planned, opportunities for input, and intersessional meetings and workshops. He invited delegates to express their views on how the ADP’s work should be organized going forward, including in the first half of 2013.
Discussions revolved around work modalities in the lead-up to and in Doha. Divergent views were expressed regarding, inter alia: establishing contact groups on the two workstreams; convening ministerial roundtables and/or workshops in the pre-COP, to be held in the Republic of Korea in late October, and in Doha; and holding more workshops/intersessional meetings in addition to the pre-COP and Doha. Delegates also discussed further submissions or technical papers that may be required. Many supported keeping the two workstream discussions separate, and that flexibility in the format of discussions and working modalities should be maintained going forward.
On contact groups, many parties supported establishing contact groups in Doha on the two workstreams. Others opposed establishing formal contact groups and supported further exploring the issues in workshops or maintaining the current roundtable format. A number of parties suggested convening sub-roundtables on certain issues.
On the convening of ministerial roundtables, many supported holding such roundtables at the pre-COP and in Doha, while others cautioned that convening ministerial roundtables was premature, with one reiterating the ADP is in a “nascent stage.” One developing country said the ADP should first be allowed to work for a year and that ministers should focus their attention on the other two tracks.
Some suggested ministerial roundtables on both vision and ambition, while others said the roundtables must also address the other AWGs. Ministerial discussions were also suggested on complementary initiatives and equity. One party said the ministerial discussions should be exploratory and visionary in Doha, rather than requiring the type of formal outcome that would be expected from the other AWGs.
One party said ministerial discussions were instrumental in providing visibility for the ADP. Another said the absence of ministerial oversight was one of the reasons difficulties were encountered in the other AWGs, and that firm ministerial guidance was necessary toward 2015. Others stressed that discussions in Doha should focus on successful conclusion of the work of the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA, with one cautioning that “Doha should not be contaminated by the ADP discussions, and vice versa.”
On ambition, one proposal called for further submissions on complementary initiatives that quantify mitigation, supported discussing them at the pre-COP, and proposed that a Secretariat technical paper be prepared before Doha. While agreeing complementary actions should be incentivized, one country opposed bringing the issue of complementary actions into the process.
Delegates also discussed the future work plan, with some expressing hope that Doha would agree on a work plan with milestones for 2013. Proposals for future work included: adopting in Doha a work plan for 2013 and the following years; submissions in early 2013 from parties and non-state actors on how the ADP should proceed and on elements to be included in a post-2020 outcome; intersessional workshops on vision, differentiation and how to capture a spectrum of commitments, and decoupling emissions from growth; holding discussions on non-state actor involvement; and a specific paper elaborating on what has worked and what has not worked.
Some reiterated the ADP outcome in Doha will be part of a package, based on progress in the other AWGs. Others stressed that efforts in Doha should focus on developing a work plan, not on negotiating and formulating text, with one arguing that this is still a phase of conceptualizing ideas and discussing options.
Some parties cautioned against getting “bogged down” in lengthy discussions on the work plan, and that a formal work plan was not necessary to move ahead. One argued for a step-by-step approach and cautioned against timetables and work plans.
One country urged ensuring from the outset that adaptation be given equal importance to mitigation, while another emphasized that Doha must send a strong common message on mitigation.
One party said the ADP will need to work out how to: ensure flexibility for national circumstances without endangering ambition; ensure the system remains dynamic within changing economic realities; and enable mutual understanding of parties’ commitments so as to trigger increased ambition.
On holding further workshops, some developed countries supported in-session workshops in Doha, as well as in-session and intersessional workshops in 2013, while some developing countries emphasized in-session work to allow for broad participation. Some parties believed that no further intersessional meetings, workshops, submissions or technical papers were required before Doha, and that time would be better spent reflecting and coordinating internally on work done in Bangkok. One said additional sessions were not needed between now and mid-2013.
Some welcomed the opportunity for submissions on the structure of the ADP work, while others supported beginning the submission process after Doha. On ambition, a number of parties supported party submissions on the different options for increasing mitigation ambition, and asked that the Secretariat compile this information in a technical paper before Doha.
Many countries called for a summary and a technical paper to be prepared by the Co-Chairs synthesizing the ADP discussions in Bangkok, with some stressing the summary should not be seen as a negotiated text. Another stated such a summary could be used to develop focused questions for the next phase of discussions and proposed taking stock at the end of Doha.
In conclusion, Co-Chair Dovland urged delegates to be flexible due to a limit on the number of parallel meetings that can be convened at in Doha.
CLOSING PLENARY: The ADP closing plenary took place on Wednesday, 5 September. Co-Chair Mauskar advised delegates that summaries of the discussion would be made available on the UNFCCC website, as would a note containing the reflections of the Co-Chairs on the session as a whole and looking forward to Doha and beyond. Many countries commended the Co-Chairs for successfully guiding the discussions in Bangkok.
Germany briefed delegates on the climate dialogue that convened in Berlin on 16 July 2012, involving climate ministers from 30 countries. She highlighted that raising ambition does not only refer to mitigation, but includes providing means of implementation and technology transfer. She stressed that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is seen as an important step, and that countries will continue to have different responsibilities in a future climate regime, observing that Doha will be “a point of transition where one journey ends and another begins.”
The G-77/China stressed that completing the work of the AWG-LCA will provide the necessary and solid basis for the Durban Platform, and that the ADP must not be “an exercise of rewriting the Convention,” and must be in accordance with the principles of equity, CBDR and respective capabilities. He described Workstream 1 discussions as still in the phase of clarifying conceptual ideas, while Workstream 2 required more detailed work in order to move forward.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, supported organizing ministerial roundtables in Doha. On a new climate agreement, he proposed open discussions on how to design an agreement that: takes into account national circumstances; builds ambition; elicits broad participation; incorporates lessons learned; understands countries’ domestic drivers; stimulates low-emission development strategies; and is capable of responding to changing circumstances. On ambition, he highlighted the need to explore drivers for enhancing ambition, particularly of those parties that have not yet made pledges, and how best to encourage complementary measures, including, for example, the engagement of cities and the private sector.
The EU called for “concrete initiatives” and the application of clear milestones, underlining the urgency of raising ambition. He proposed that “sufficient time” be devoted to the ADP next year, including intersessional meetings, saying that an immediate priority should be to “clarify and capture” next steps in 2013. He supported a compilation of options by the Secretariat, including implications in terms of emission reductions. With AOSIS, he endorsed: holding ministerial discussions on pre-2020 mitigation ambition at the pre-COP and in Doha; and establishing contact groups on the two workstreams, emphasizing different timescales for deliverables.
Switzerland, for the EIG, supported a work plan with broad guidelines and milestones for continuing work to 2015, as well as focused and technical work and mitigation action in addition to what is already on the table.
Stating that the ADP work is critical to the final package in Doha, AOSIS said that the workstream on ambition was of fundamental importance and a priority for AOSIS, and that ways of increasing ambition identified in UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report should be part of the Doha outcome. He stressed: the need for developed countries to increase their means of implementation to enable developing countries to implement existing NAMAs and to adopt more ambitious ones; and the work plan should support, not detract, from raising ambition under the other AWGs.
Swaziland, for the African Group, said Workstream 1 should culminate in an enhanced multilateral rules-based regime, and adhere to historical responsibility, CBDR and the development priorities of developing countries. He said that Workstream 2 should emphasize ambition actions beyond the commitments inscribed under the Bali Roadmap, and that the work plan should not be a substitute for commitments under the Bali Roadmap.
The Gambia, for the LDCs, supported: establishing contact groups to progress deliberations; deepening understanding on the ADP roadmap to be adopted in Doha; and progressive discussions on a 2013 work plan on ambition. He hoped for more clarification on complementary measures, the contribution of these initiatives to closing the gap, and provision of costs and associated means of implementation. He said proposed initiatives should be prioritized, and suggested the Secretariat play a role in leveraging these efforts. He supported holding ministerial-level discussions in Doha.
Egypt, for the Arab Group, said the ADP should take as its departure point the results of the other AWGs. He proposed: the Co-Chairs prepare a matrix incorporating the various elements of Decision 1.CP/17 and present their proposals on how these could be implemented at the beginning of 2013; convening two roundtables in Doha on means of implementation and equity; and a briefing on the conclusions of the long-term finance workshop. He said equity must be the “gateway to ambition” and that no contradiction exists between the two.
Cuba, for ALBA, said: the Kyoto Protocol must be safeguarded; the fate of Doha depends on the fate of the second commitment period; the new regime must not be weaker than the existing one; and historical responsibility and the use of common space cannot be sidelined. He called for discussions on sustainable patterns of consumption and production and equity, and said developing countries are showing more ambition than developed countries on a voluntary basis.
South Africa, for BASIC, stressed that 2012 should focus on the Kyoto Protocol amendment, the adoption of an agreed outcome under the AWG-LCA, and the launching of the Durban Platform. He underlined that the work of the ADP must build on that of the other AWGs, and called for continuing the roundtable working format in Doha.
Nicaragua, for SICA, expressed concern over the slow progress in Bangkok, and urged all parties to make greater commitments, and advance in a balanced and equitable manner on both Convention tracks.
Papua New Guinea, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, stressed the need to agree on a clear and ambitious action plan for the ADP, which should include REDD+ implementation as a primary element. Referring to international cooperative initiatives on REDD+, she said the REDD+ Partnership failed in fulfilling its role for the effective disbursement of phase 1 and 2 committed support.
Peru, for Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, highlighted the need for reassurance that developed countries will take the lead through ambitious and binding climate action and reliable finance.
Malaysia, for Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mali, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Venezuela, stressed that it was premature to launch contact groups before Doha and to hold ministerial meetings on the ADP in Doha, considering the early and exploratory stage of the discussions under the ADP. He called for the principles of equity and CBDR to be applied to the work under both streams of the ADP, and emphasized that Doha should focus on the successful conclusion of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP.
Thailand, as host country, said the Bangkok talks were a starting point for the Doha talks. In conclusion, the Co-Chairs said they would reflect on the ideas raised in the discussions in Bangkok and commended the spirit of cooperation shown by delegates. The ADP informal plenary closed at 4:24 pm.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON FURTHER COMMITMENTS FOR ANNEX I PARTIES UNDER THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
Opening the session on Thursday, 30 August, AWG-KP Chair Madeleine Diouf (Senegal) encouraged parties to make progress on outstanding issues, including: the length of the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period; quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs); implications of carry-over of assigned amount units (AAUs); access to mechanisms for parties not participating in a second commitment period; and legal issues to ensure the smooth transition from the first to the second commitment period. A contact group convened, as well as a spin-off group on numbers/text and informal consultations on the second commitment period.
CONTACT GROUP: During the contact group that convened immediately following the opening plenary, delegates gave their opening statements. Algeria, on behalf of the G-77/China, encouraged Annex I parties to raise their level of ambition, and urged those parties who have not put forward QELROs to do so. The Republic of Korea, for the EIG, with the EU, expressed support for an eight-year second commitment period, emphasizing the mid-term review of QELROs and the need to maintain a flexible process.
The EU emphasized that the second commitment period is only one part of the “Durban package,” and proposed a review in 2015 of the level of ambition of parties’ commitments, in line with the AWG-LCA Review.
AOSIS, the LDCs and the African Group supported a five-year commitment period. AOSIS raised concerns over “window dressing,” such as accounting tricks and conditionalities.
Swaziland, for the African Group, called for: a higher level of ambition; swiftly resolving the issue of carry-over of surplus AAUs; and restricting the flexibility mechanisms to parties entering a second commitment period.
The Gambia, for the LDCs, called for successful completion of the AWG-KP in order to make progress on a new protocol under the ADP.
Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Arab Group, called on developed countries to continue the legally-binding nature of their obligations and to avoid a gap between commitment periods.
Venezuela, for ALBA, called on developed countries to live up to their historical responsibilities in adopting a “clear and meaningful” second commitment period in Doha.
South Africa, on behalf of BASIC, urged raising the level of ambition of current pledges, and said the adoption of amendments to the Protocol is “the cornerstone” for a successful outcome in Doha.
The Philippines, for Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mali, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Venezuela, cautioned against adopting a pledge-based approach, emphasizing the need for an aggregate system, common accounting and comparability of efforts.
ANNEX I FURTHER COMMITMENTS: Continuing from Bonn, a spin-off group on numbers/text convened, co-facilitated by Jürgen Lefevere (EU) and Sandea de Wet (South Africa), met throughout the week. Legal and technical issues on the transition from the first commitment period to the second were considered in informal consultations facilitated by AWG-KP Vice-Chair Jukka Uosukainen (Finland).
Numbers/Text: Parties discussed a number of proposals for amendments, which were compiled into a non-paper by the co-facilitators. Parties also heard presentations from the Secretariat related to technical papers on: quantitative implications on the carry-over options; and QELROs expressed as a percentage of base year and absolute emission levels. Ukraine presented on the assumptions behind its forthcoming QELRO.
On QELROs, parties received information from Ukraine on the assumptions behind its point-year target of a 20% reduction by 2020 and work conducted to transform the target into a QELRO. Developed countries that had not yet put forward their QELROs were urged to do so. In bilateral consultations, parties discussed the possible forthcoming QELRO submissions from Belarus and Kazakhstan.
On ambition, many parties expressed sharing a common goal of raising the level of ambition, but divergent views remained regarding how and when. Many developing countries expressed concerns that an eight-year commitment period would lock in the current low level of ambition. In order to raise the ambition of the QELROs, parties discussed conducting a mid-term review. Delegates exchanged views on: which body should conduct the review of the second commitment period; and the relationship between the second commitment period review and the 2015 Review under the Convention. Also related to ambition, Brazil proposed an amendment to the protocol that will enable parties to raise the level of ambition of their commitments at any time they wish to do so, with immediate effect under international law. Parties noted the need for ministerial-level discussions on ambition and review before Doha.
On carry-over of surplus AAUs, parties discussed the proposals to limit the carry-over surplus by AOSIS, the African Group and Brazil, which were consolidated into a new proposal by the G-77/China, in which 2.5% of the second commitment period forms the ceiling of carry-over. The option not to limit the carry-over is also on the table. Parties noted that the quantitative implications of the surplus from the first commitment period were significant, but also limited to few parties, namely the EU, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Strict limitations to carry-over were supported by all developing countries, while some developed countries said that the regime should approach the carry-over issue from a comprehensive perspective and be careful not to signal penalizing over-achievement.
On eligibility, parties discussed whether access to the Kyoto mechanisms should be possible for: only countries who apply provisional application; countries who have submitted their QELROs; countries that have indicated that they will join the second commitment period; all parties to the Kyoto Protocol; or all parties to the Convention. Most developing countries supported limiting access to the flexible mechanisms, most importantly the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), to countries who join the second commitment period. Many developed countries underscored the importance of maintaining demand for CDM credits, and said that ensuring operational continuity is not enough without ensuring demand. Some also flagged the dangers of “the Wild West” of disparate carbon markets.
On a second commitment period, during informal consultations facilitated by Vice-Chair Uosukainen, parties discussed number of textual proposals for decisions in Doha to address the gap between the commitment periods. Many parties stressed the need to ensure a “seamless continuation” of the Protocol beyond 2012, concerning, for example, the flexible mechanisms. Parties reviewed options and discussed elements needed in decisions in Doha.
Parties discussed textual proposals from AOSIS, the African Group, Brazil, Australia, the EU and Brazil, which were compiled into a non-paper. The paper clustered the various proposals into eight categories, including: preamble; adoption of amendments; a paragraph urging parties to ratify; provisional application; additional language related to legal continuity; operational and technical continuity; consequential revisions to previous CMP decisions; and other proposals, such as welcoming unilateral declarations. Many parties underscored that some proposed elements are mutually supportive, not exclusive. In the discussions, parties raised concerns over the non-legally binding nature of CMP decisions, while others noted the difficulties and time requirements associated with provisional application. Some parties underscored that anything short of provisional application would not be legally binding internationally, and thus would not address the legal consequences of the gap, highlighting the need for “maximum bindingness with maximum coverage.” Several parties said that text emerging from Bangkok on the second commitment period is especially important in order to ensure a clear mandate from capitals for Doha.
CLOSING PLENARY: During the informal closing plenary on Wednesday afternoon, AWG-KP Chair Diouf indicated agreement over the comprehensiveness of the proposed text. She informed parties that she will issue a text capturing progress made so far, which should be a major step in preparation of the pre-COP in Seoul and a basis for negotiations in Doha. She said the text will be made available on the UNFCCC website, hopefully by the beginning of October.
Algeria, for the G-77/China, highlighted the importance of a second commitment period that is ambitious in terms of emission reductions and that begins on 1 January 2013. Calling for a strong and legally-binding outcome in Doha, he stressed that Annex I parties not taking legally-binding commitments under the AWG-KP should not seek to benefit from its flexible mechanisms. He urged parties that have not yet put forward QELROs to do so, and said that those who have should consider greatly improving the ambition of their QELROs by Doha.
Switzerland, for the EIG, said that the text to be prepared by the Chair contains all elements that will allow for a smooth transition to a second commitment period and successful conclusion of the AWG-KP in Doha.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, called for work in Doha to focus on the outstanding issues, including managing the transition to the second commitment period from 1 January 2013, and ensuring that Kyoto Protocol infrastructure and mechanisms continue to deliver.
The EU stressed the need to: adopt a ratifiable amendment to the Protocol; inscribe QELROs in Annex B; and agree on an eight-year second commitment period, which should be combined with a review process. He emphasized the importance of enabling continued use of Kyoto mechanisms, especially for those parties accepting a second commitment period, and urged Annex B parties that have signaled their intention not to take part in the second commitment period to reconsider their position in light of the progress made in Durban towards a single global agreement.
Swaziland, for the African Group, expressed concern over the slow progress in the AWG-KP discussions, and said that Annex I parties should not use the “excuse” of national circumstances and domestic laws as a justification for leaving the Protocol, staying out of the second commitment period, or not taking up QELROs. Lamenting the lack of leadership by Annex I parties, their low pledges and intent to lock their low level of ambition into an eight-year commitment period, he condemned this as “a reckless disregard of human rights.”
The Gambia, for the LDCs and AOSIS, called for: Annex I parties, including those that have not taken up QELROs, to raise the ambition and submit legally-binding single-number QELROs without conditions for inclusion in an amended Annex B of the Protocol; a five-year second commitment period; and a dramatic cut in surplus AAUs from the first commitment period. He stressed that: QELROs inscribed in Annex B for the second commitment period are required for all Annex I parties wishing to participate in the mechanisms; and non-Kyoto parties should undertake ambitious commitments under the AWG-LCA.
Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, stressed the importance of reaching agreement in Doha on a second commitment period that begins on 1 January 2013. He expressed concern over developed countries’ efforts to make their mitigation action contingent on that of developing countries, and, together with ALBA countries, said that access to the CDM should be conditional on ratification of the second commitment period.
Underscoring that the Kyoto Protocol is the only legal instrument to tackle the increase in developed countries’ emissions, Dominica, for ALBA, expressed concern over diverting the Kyoto Protocol discussions to the ADP.
Iran, for Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mali, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Venezuela, said success in Doha will require: an ambitious and legally-binding second commitment period that includes a fair and science-based contribution by Annex I parties to closing the ambition gap; an ambitious agreed outcome under the BAP that ensures comparable mitigation ambition by non-Kyoto parties, financing ambition and addressing other unfinished business under the BAP; and greater clarity on the ADP work.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, said REDD+ can offer a significant contribution to the closure of the ambition gap provided that finance to support results-based actions is ensured.
Nicaragua, for SICA, expressed concern over slow progress in Bangkok, and questioned whether voluntary pledges will reach the level of mitigation demanded by science. He said that SICA countries are voluntarily using their own resources for mitigation activities.
AWG-KP Chair Diouf encouraged parties to focus on the proposals that are already on the table between Bangkok and Doha, and closed the informal plenary at 6:46 pm.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP FOR LONG-TERM COOPERATIVE ACTION UNDER THE CONVENTION
AWG-LCA Chair Aysar Tayeb (Saudi Arabia) opened the informal AWG-LCA plenary, noting tasks for the group in Bangkok, including continuing practical work and exploring other decisions that may be required, and developing a textual basis for the AWG-LCA outcome to be finalized in Doha. He noted the preparation of: matrix tables that provide an overview of issues from the BAP mandate and identify progress made since Bali; and informal notes on the issues that also reflect differing levels of maturity of various items.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, said no further decisions were required for the AWG-LCA to terminate in Doha. He urged identifying areas where consensus might be possible, observing that not all unresolved issues will garner consensus, and asked what outcome or product was envisaged at the conclusion of the Bangkok session.
Algeria, for the G-77/China, emphasized the need for: balance between mitigation and adaptation; and finance to ensure ambition is enhanced, highlighting public long-term finance and not transferring the financing burden to developing countries.
The EU advocated determining the most appropriate body or bodies to take work forward on individual issues when the AWG-LCA closes in Doha, and avoiding transferring them to the ADP. She said decisions related to closing the AWG-LCA should not delay progress in the ADP.
Swaziland, for the African Group, called for progress from developed countries on converting pledges to economy-wide emission reduction targets and, with the Gambia, for the LDCs, expressed concern over the lack of clear projections for mid-term financing. Ecuador, for ALBA, emphasized developed country mitigation as a critical pending issue from the BAP. He identified the principle of CBDR and respective capabilities as the main element for guiding the work of the group, and called for considering draft decision text by the group. South Africa, for BASIC, highlighted unresolved issues, including equity, IPRs and unilateral trade measures. Egypt, for the Arab Group, called for: affirming the Convention principles; effectively implementing the BAP; and considering how to carry forward any incomplete work from the AWG-LCA.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Venezuela, said termination of the AWG-LCA in Doha should only occur after a successful agreed outcome on all elements of the BAP mandate. He highlighted outstanding issues, including: improving joint understanding of what he called “contextual elements,” such as historical responsibility, equitable access to sustainable development and IPRs; enhancing mitigation ambition for a second commitment period; and ensuring comparability of efforts for those that are not party to the Protocol. Costa Rica, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, emphasized the need to reach agreement on market mechanisms and to increase investment in REDD+.
Nicaragua, for SICA, said reaching an agreed outcome on all pillars of the BAP was a precondition for terminating the AWG-LCA, and noted pending issues related to, inter alia, long-term finance and shared vision.
CONTACT GROUP (AGENDA ITEMS 3, 4 AND 5) AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb chaired the contact group, assisted by facilitators on the various issues. Following discussions in Bonn, parties continued consideration of issues mandated by COP 17 for further implementation in spin-off groups, including on: shared vision; developed country mitigation; developing country mitigation; the Review; REDD+; sectoral approaches; and various approaches, including markets.
Technology, adaptation, finance, capacity building, response measures, and economies in transition (EITs) were considered in the AWG-LCA contact group. The AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group was held on Monday, 3 September, where progress on all the items was reported. The AWG-LCA closing plenary took place on Wednesday, 5 September. Work conducted in Bangkok was captured in a 34-page informal overview note prepared by the AWG-LCA Chair.
Shared Vision: This issue was considered in a spin-off group facilitated by Zou Ji (China). AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb reported to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group that there was divergence of views regarding whether the context or the numbers for a global goal and peaking timeframe should be addressed first. He said parties had not yet discussed which body will undertake this issue after the closure of the AWG-LCA.
Mitigation: Developed country mitigation: This issue was considered in a spin-off group facilitated by Andrej Kranjc (Slovenia). Parties considered an informal note and a matrix table reflecting decisions taken since Bali. Many developed country parties highlighted progress made in areas, such as clarification of pledges and International Assessment and Review, while many developing country parties underscored their disappointment over, inter alia: lack of concrete results; the low level of ambition in existing developed country pledges; and gaps in comparability of efforts. Norway, supported by Australia and the EU, but opposed by Brazil, China, India and Kenya, suggested common accounting rules for all parties.
Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, Kranjc highlighted a useful exchange on substantive issues and the way forward, adding that parties agreed on the need to further engage in discussions on clarification of targets and approaches for measuring progress.
Developing country mitigation: This issue was considered in a spin-off group facilitated by Gary Theseira (Malaysia). Parties considered two facilitation tools: a matrix table providing a “bird’s eye view” of the work done on NAMAs by developing country parties since COP 13; and an informal note containing framing elements, elements on NAMAs communicated by parties, and elements on support to prepare and implement NAMAs.
The US, New Zealand, Norway, Canada, the EU, Australia, Switzerland, and the Marshall Islands, for AOSIS, stressed that the group’s mandate is to continue clarifying mitigation pledges by developing country parties, which is vital to build confidence and trust and to identify practical solutions for moving forward. They encouraged parties that have not yet submitted pledges to do so, and requested a more structured compilation of actions already submitted.
China, Brazil and South Africa stressed that further work is needed on the issue of MRV of support to developing countries. Opposing this, the EU said the matter is under consideration elsewhere and cautioned against duplicating work. China pointed out that the relevant NAMA information was compiled in the Registry. Mali called for support through regional workshops and a handbook on preparation and implementation of NAMAs for COP 18.
Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, Theseira highlighted that the spin-off group considered a note on elements that could become part of an outcome in Doha, saying elements identified by parties included: reiterating calls for NAMAs and enhanced provision of support; further discussions on understanding the diversity of NAMAs; development of guidelines for MRV of support; and proposals for building the capacity of countries to prepare and implement NAMAs.
REDD+: This issue was considered in a spin-off group facilitated by Yaw Osafo (Ghana). Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, Osafo said the group discussions built on the in-session workshop on REDD+, and focused on, inter alia: guiding principles; enabling conditions necessary for scaling-up and facilitating financing; issues that require further exploration; and signals required from Doha to incentivize financing for the full implementation of REDD+. He reported rich exchanges on the institutional arrangements required, including the establishment of a REDD+ board, registries, insurance or reserve mechanism, and review and regulatory bodies. He said an updated informal note would be prepared for parties’ consideration.
Sectoral approaches: This issue was considered in a spin-off group facilitatedby George Wamukoya (Kenya). Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, Wamukoya noted that parties exchanged views on four options on the general framework, and that diverging views remain. On bunker fuels, he reported discussions addressed five options that the group would continue to narrow down.
Various approaches: This issue was considered in a spin-off group facilitated by Alexa Kleysteuber (Chile). Kleysteuber reported to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group that the group discussions were based on an informal note containing a map of elements that need to be addressed. On a framework for various approaches, she said parties exchanged views on purposes and roles. On a new market mechanism she underscored productive exchanges on modalities and procedures.
Response measures: AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb reported to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group that different views were expressed on whether decision text should be prepared for Doha and which fora should consider the issue of unilateral measures.
Adaptation: During contact group discussions, chaired by Tayeb, parties considered an informal note on “enhanced action on adaptation,” highlighting framing elements and questions arising from the Bonn session, including: support for adaptation; national adaptation plans; strengthening the catalytic role of the Convention; and economic diversification to build resilience. A matrix table, illustrating decisions and action taken on adaptation from COP 13 to SB 36 was also introduced.
Argentina, for the G-77/China, Bangladesh, for the LDCs, and others noted the need to strengthen and intensify the means of implementation for adaptation. Bolivia, on behalf of a number of countries, proposed establishing a process through the Adaptation Committee, in collaboration with the Standing Committee, to develop recommendations with relevant Convention bodies and others on means to incentivize the implementation of adaptation actions, and to organize a workshop in parallel with SB 38 on ways to promote the implementation of enhanced action on adaptation in a coherent manner.
Nauru, for AOSIS, called for joint implementation of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, and stressed the need to strengthen national-level institutions.
Norway noted relevant decisions supporting and underpinning the work that will be done on adaptation. The US observed that relevant mechanisms, such as the Adaptation Committee, have been set up, but noted concerns on how the mechanisms would work. He pointed out that the issue of means of implementation was being considered by the finance group.
Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking plenary, Tayeb indicated that parties had identified issues requiring further work, including: means of implementation for adaptation; financing for 2013-2015; linkages with finance; national adaptation plans for non-LDCs; and the catalytic role of the Convention. He said divergent views remain on whether the AWG-LCA should further address these issues and if additional decisions are required.
Finance: In contact group discussions chaired by Tayeb, parties considered an informal note on “enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment to support action on mitigation and adaptation and technology cooperation,” highlighting framing elements and questions on: financing during the period 2012-2020; linkages with other bodies and financial institutions; MRV; fast-start finance; GCF; and long-term finance. A matrix table was also introduced, illustrating decisions and action taken since COP 13.
Divergent views were expressed on whether draft decision text was needed. Developed countries pointed to decisions from Cancun and Durban, maintaining that the AWG-LCA has already achieved significant results and other arrangements had been set up where finance discussions would continue. Several developed countries said the AWG-LCA is not the appropriate forum for discussing mid-term finance. Calling for a decision on finance in Doha, developing countries expressed concern over the mid-term financing gap, and noted the need to consider MRV of financial support and enhancing transparency of its provision.
During subsequent contact group sessions, parties discussed a revised note by the AWG-LCA Chair elaborating various options for continuity of climate finance during the period 2013-2020, fast-start finance, MRV, and arrangements between the GCF and the COP.
Regarding arrangements between the GCF and the COP, parties discussed: whether the GEF provided a good model; ensuring proper dialogue between the GCF and the COP; and guidance to the Standing Committee to develop arrangements for the GCF. Australia said this was not the proper place for discussions on this issue. Barbados said a decision should be taken in relation to the GCF host, arrangements between the COP and the GCF, and initial capitalization, to provide some degree of certainty. On continuity of climate financing during the period 2013-2020, some developing countries asked for elaboration of reassurances by developed countries. The US distinguished between providing reassurance about continuity of finance after 2012 and having a numerical target, noting that his country was scaling up financing. While commending work undertaken, Colombia said that this did not provide adequate reassurance that the US$100 billion target would be met.
Tayeb reported to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, inter alia, that disagreement remains on whether further decisions under the AWG-LCA are necessary, and on how and where finance issues could be further considered.
Technology: In contact group discussions chaired by Tayeb, parties considered an informal note entitled “enhanced action on technology development and transfer,” including: framing elements; functions of the CTCN and the Technology Executive Committee (TEC); and linkages with the financial mechanism and other thematic bodies. He also presented a matrix table on the technology decisions taken since adopting the BAP. In the ensuing discussion, parties presented their views, inter alia: on the relationship between the TEC and CTCN; the functions and the mandate of these new bodies; the need to discuss items beyond those decided in Durban; the scope of decisions needed in Doha; and whether to address IPR issues under the UNFCCC.
Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, Tayeb said parties identified pending issues, such as: the relationship between the CTCN and the TEC; possible additional functions for both bodies; and IPRs. He reported agreement on the need to further consider these issues but disagreements on how and when to do it.
Capacity Building: This issue was considered in the AWG-LCA contact group. Reporting to the AWG-LCA stocktaking contact group, Tayeb observed that views diverge on where and how to address outstanding issues and on whether the AWG-LCA should provide further guidance.
Review: This issue was considered in a spin-off groupfacilitated by Gertraud Wollansky (Austria). Wollansky reported to the stocktaking contact group that two options on the scope of the Review are on the table, one based on Decision 1/CP.16 para 138 (Review) and the other further defining the scope to include the assessment of the implementation of commitments under the Convention, including means of implementation provided to developing countries. On expert consideration of inputs, he underscored two options under discussion: a review expert group to be established in Doha; and a joint contact group of SBSTA and SBI.
EIT and countries whose special circumstances have been recognized by the COP: Tayeb reported that consultations being conducted by the AWG-LCA Vice-Chair were still ongoing.
AWG-LCA Stocktaking Contact Group: Delegates made interventions on progress made thus far. Switzerland, on behalf of the EIG, cautioned parties “not to change the focus and character” of the contact group, called for focusing energies on discussions in the spin-off groups and said topics for discussion should complement the agreed outcome under the AWG-LCA. He highlighted achievements under the AWG-LCA, including mitigation pledges from 87 countries, and renewed focus on adaptation, technology and finance.
Australia, on behalf of the Umbrella Group, said that building “permanent homes” for finance, technology and capacity building has been no small feat, and emphasized that this work will continue through the newly established mechanisms.
The Philippines urged parties to consider where progress has and has not been made on implementing the BAP, highlighting that the AWG-LCA’s work is not complete. She underscored the importance of providing means of implementation in order for developing countries to meet their obligations under the Convention.
The EU highlighted the need to build “a better technical understanding” of the scale of the implementation gap, calling for clarification of pledges, and progress on REDD+ finance and bunker fuels.
Colombia said the BAP had set up “a long-term horizon,” and does not have a definite end point. She recommended exploring a transition into a post-AWG-LCA scenario.
Kenya, for the African Group, called for a process to take forward technical issues, saying a “very comprehensive” decision on this will be needed in Doha.
India recommended identifying the technical and political issues that may not be completed in Doha, including a timeframe for peaking of emissions, and issues of long-term finance and trade-related IPRs, in order to determine how to take forward that work. He noted that “successful closure” of the AWG-LCA was a key part of the Durban decision.
South Africa noted lack of clarity on key elements, such as comparability, finance, technology and adaptation. He said the institutions established in Cancun and Durban are not the right platform to discuss commitments under the Convention, and urged engaging on substantive discussion on these issues to bring them to a logical conclusion in Doha.
Singapore said the updates provide a “sobering reality” of what is happening in the AWG-LCA, and that we have “crystallized our divergences,” but have not made much progress towards convergence. He said a decision was needed for closure of the AWG-LCA in Doha. The US said that a decision to close the AWG-LCA is not needed, but that a formal decision would be required to extend it.
Saudi Arabia said convergence must be reached on areas where there is disagreement and that innovative ways to address them must be found or they will “keep coming back” in the future.
AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb said that closing an agenda item does not mean discussion on that issue ends or that work cannot continue, and that everyone wants to close the work of the AWG-LCA.
AWG-LCA IN-SESSION WORKSHOPS: On Thursday, 30 August, a workshop took place on Financing Options for the Full Implementation of Results-based Actions Relating to REDD+, including Modalities and Procedures for Financing. For detailed coverage of the workshop, see http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12549e.html
On Friday, 31 August, two workshops were held on: a Framework for Various Approaches; and the new market mechanism. For detailed coverage, see http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12550e.html
On Sunday, 2 September, two workshops took place on: Quantified Economy-wide Emission Reduction Targets by Developed Country Parties; and Understanding of the Diversity of NAMAs by Developing Country Parties, Underlying Assumptions, and any support needed for implementation of these actions. For detailed coverage, see http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12552e.html
CLOSING PLENARY: During the closing plenary on Wednesday afternoon, AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb recalled the process undertaken and presented his “informal overview note,” which, he said, brought together the issues covered in Bangkok.He said the 34-page document reflects the exchanges on the various topics on the AWG-LCA agenda and possible ways to address the issues, but that it does not represent consensus regarding the content, forum or way forward, including on possible decision text. He said the note draws from views, interventions and options presented by parties, advising delegates that the note was intended to assist parties in their reflection on progress made and remaining challenges.
Algeria, for the G-77/China, called on parties to address the 2012-2020 funding gap; long-term finance; arrangements between the COP and the GCF; and MRV of financial support, particularly in light of new obligations from Durban.
The Gambia, for LDCs, requested: a decision on the long-term global goal for emission reductions; assessment on the adequacy of the long-term global goal under the Review process; adoption of common accounting rules; assistance for developing countries to make pledges, including development of a handbook for preparing and implementing NAMAs; a decision on long-term finance with reference to the GCF; MRV of support; and mid-term finance to 2020.
Swaziland, for the African Group, called for decisions on means of implementation, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building, and expressed concern about the 2013-2020 financing gap. He called for common accounting rules on mitigation by developed countries and emphasized that parties cannot “pick and choose” parts of the Durban package.
Nauru, for AOSIS, called for greater urgency appropriate to the scale of the challenge, especially in identifying a time frame for peaking of global emissions. He reminded parties that the scope and modalities of the 2013-15 Review were agreed as part of a political compromise for acceptance of the goal. He requested comparability of pledges and targets through a common accounting framework, and adoption of a mid-term financial target to provide clarity and predictability.
Venezuela, for ALBA, called for efforts on: a global goal on greenhouse gas reductions and a timeframe for global peaking of emissions; means of implementation for developing countries, with finance and technology transfer through the institutions created in Cancun; and a system of clear rules and methodologies to promote environmental integrity. He requested agreed outcomes be expressed in substantive decisions, and in procedural decisions where agreement is not possible.
Switzerland, for the EIG, assured parties that concluding the AWG-LCA at COP 18 will not end work on financing and adaptation, and lamented that the Chair’s informal note did not reflect progress made in Bangkok.
Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, called for the full and fair implementation of the Durban package and the successful closure of the AWG-LCA upon reaching an agreed outcome pursuant to the BAP.
Papua New Guinea, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, expressed concern that developed countries were not moving forward on financing for REDD+ results-based payments.
Cyprus, for the EU, expressed disappointment with the lack of distinction in the informal overview note between issues mandated by Durban and other issues. He emphasized that the closure of the AWG-LCA would not lead to a vacuum and the issues would be a key part of the regime from 2012-2020.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, observed that there had been useful progress on most of the Durban-mandated tasks. He pointed out lack of agreement on additional issues that the contact group should consider, and that the Chair’s informal overview note did not fully reflect exchanges over the past week. He said the AWG-LCA should focus on the few mandated issues from Durban.
Nicaragua, for SICA, expressed disappointment and frustration with lack of progress under the AWG-LCA, pointing to the lack of decisions that would allow work to be advanced, and called for draft decision text between now and Doha, as well as greater clarity on what is going to happen with unresolved and pending issues.
Bolivia, speaking for Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mali, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Venezuela, said they had proposed draft decision text on nearly all elements of the BAP and highlighted the need to reach agreement on ambitious and equitable results on all elements of BAP in order to close the AWG-LCA. He called for a list indicating successfully concluded issues and those that are still outstanding.
The Dominican Republic, for Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru, underscored the sizeable steps taken on the AWG-LCA since Bali. She said that rather than endpoints, the climate process is characterized by milestones that mark achievements, and that closing the AWG-LCA does not mean closing talks on all its issues.
The US voiced concerns about the process. He said that that the agreement in Durban and Bonn was to focus the work on, inter alia, REDD+, shared vision and market mechanisms. He emphasized that countries could examine the other issues if consensus could be found to discuss them, but that this had not been the case in Bangkok. He said that the lack of balance in the document was “disturbing” and lamented that comments made by his delegation, including on accounting for developing countries and work on finance undertaken in other UNFCCC bodies, were not adequately reflected. He said the Chair’s informal note did not provide a useful framing for Doha and noted it brings in 34 pages of “contested” text, including a new chapter on response measures.
Singapore said that in order to achieve results in Doha, parties must capture both convergence and divergence as accurately as possible. He raised concerns over the Chair’s overview note, which he said is unbalanced and misrepresents a proposal on trade by Singapore.
The United Arab Emirates said that the AWG-LCA has “served us well” and achieved a great deal of progress.
Indonesia welcomed the Chair’s informal note, but also raised concerns about the lack of progress, especially on adaptation and means of implementation. He urged parties to submit all textual proposals to be considered in Doha as soon as possible.
India underscored that the AWG-LCA must fulfill its mandate in Doha, which was a central element of the balance in the Durban package. He said that large, unresolved political issues should be forwarded to the ADP, and technical ones to the new UNFCCC bodies.
China emphasized that the Durban decision does not terminate the AWG-LCA, but rather should continue the work of the AWG-LCA until a successful outcome is reached.
Urging parties to close the rich chapter of AWG-LCA in Doha, Chair Tayeb closed the session at 8:47 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE MEETING
The informal Bangkok climate talks convened against the backdrop of depressing and sobering news concerning the melting of Arctic sea ice, which in August broke the previous record set in 2007. Leading scientists affirm that the ice over the Arctic Sea could vanish altogether in as little as four years’ time. Elsewhere, extreme weather events, often attributed to climate change, were experienced as hurricanes battered cities and coastlines, devastating droughts ravaged crops and farmland, and destructive wildfires raged.
Delegates in Bangkok did not reach any agreements on new measures to combat climate change, yet they did make some progress that will hopefully enable there to be a successful outcome and balanced package of measures to be adopted at the Doha Climate Change Conference at year’s end. This was very much a “roll up your sleeves and work session,” as the UNFCCC Executive Secretary said in her opening press conference, referring in particular to the informal nature of the meeting. The informal Bangkok session, which almost did not happen due to lack of funding, had a full plate, with one delegate clearly elaborating what should be on the menu: a Doha amendment(s) to the Kyoto Protocol to deliver a robust second commitment period; the successful closure of the AWG-LCA; and initial consolidation of the work of the ADP that will map out the path towards concluding negotiations on a new legal regime by 2015 to be implemented beginning in 2020.
This analysis will examine the Bangkok meeting in the context of these three elements and discuss how far the session went towards contributing to a successful outcome in Doha.
WHEN YOU’RE COMMITTED TO SOMETHING, YOU ACCEPT NO EXCUSES, ONLY RESULTS — KENNETH BLANCHARD
Discussions on the Kyoto Protocol track focused on the second commitment period. A robust second commitment period envisages several elements, including a “smooth” or “seamless transition” between the first and second commitment periods, as well as legal and technical and operational continuity. To ensure legal continuity, QELROs or commitments from industrialized countries presented in a second commitment period have to be legally-binding as of 1 January 2013, when the second commitment period is due to begin. Adoption of a Doha Amendment(s) to the Kyoto Protocol could address this, but ratification of such an amendment is a lengthy domestic process for many countries. Having missed the opportunity to get the ball rolling by adopting an amendment in Cancun or Durban, parties now have to exercise a great deal of creative and legal ingenuity to circumvent the inevitable ratification gap.
Developing countries, particularly AOSIS, favor provisional application, whereby the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol would be applied provisionally from 1 January 2013, pending entry into force or ratification by individual parties. Precedent for this does exist. For example, the GATT, which preceded the WTO, was famously provisionally applied from 1948 to 1995. However, due to domestic legislative constraints in some countries, this might not be an option open to all parties. For example, provisional application appears to be an obstacle for countries like Australia, whose constitution does not allow for their executive to provisionally apply treaties unless it is “urgent and in the public good.” Delegates in Doha will need to find agreement on how to proceed on the issue of providing legal certainty of the second commitment period.
Another issue to be resolved during a second commitment period is eligibility to use the Kyoto Protocol’s flexibility mechanisms. Different views remain, with AOSIS proposing that only countries that have signed onto a second commitment period, and are provisionally applying the Protocol amendments or have deposited their instrument of acceptance, should have access to the mechanisms. Parties will also have to decide in Doha whether countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol and also those who are parties but do not intend to participate in the second commitment period will be eligible to use these mechanisms.
Delegates have also not yet reached agreement on having a five-year or eight-year commitment period. Some who support an eight-year commitment period believe that “it is easier to have an overlap than a gap,” referring to the fact that a bit of overlap will exist with any new regime that will be implemented in 2020, as opposed to having to address another gap in 2018 if a five-year commitment period is adopted. Those supporting a five-year commitment period believe that a longer commitment period would lock in a lower level of ambition. Some proposed addressing this issue with a review of commitments or with an amendment that would enable increasing ambition at any time.
In Bangkok, parties made some progress on these issues, which was captured in the AWG-KP Vice Chair’s non-paper on possible amendments for a Doha decision adopting the Kyoto Protocol amendment(s). Parties still have a lot of work to do in Doha, but at least this non-paper goes a long way towards putting possible options on the table.
EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT IN THE END…AND IF IT IS NOT ALL RIGHT, THEN IT IS NOT THE END —INDIAN PROVERB
On the AWG-LCA side, delegates grappled with the various elements of the Bali Action Plan, with countries “worlds apart” on some issues regarding whether more work was required under the AWG-LCA. As laid out in Decision 1/CP.17 in Durban, delegates agreed to extend the AWG-LCA’s “mandate for one year in order for it to continue its work and reach the agreed outcome pursuant to the Bali Action Plan, at which it “shall be terminated.” The language itself is “purposefully ambiguous and open to interpretation,” an observer opined. Durban mandated further work to be taken to Doha on specific issues, namely: shared vision; developed country mitigation; developing country mitigation; REDD+; sectoral approaches; various approaches, including markets; and Review. In Bonn, parties agreed to launch spin-off groups on those issues, and informal discussions continued in Bangkok, together with several workshops.
Disagreement persists, however, on whether issues under the Bali Action Plan not being considered in spin-off groups need to be addressed before the closure of the AWG-LCA. Developed countries consider that many issues mandated by the Bali Action Plan have already been sufficiently addressed and forwarded to different bodies for further consideration, including institutions created for that purpose in Cancun and Durban. In this view, if any relevant issues are not solved in Doha, the permanent Subsidiary Bodies or the COP will be able to address them. Many developing countries, however, adamantly disagree that issues, such as finance for the 2012-2020 period, have been adequately addressed. This resulted in speculation in Bangkok as to whether the AWG-LCA would actually conclude in Doha if these issues are not addressed. “We did not agree to extend the AWG-LCA only to terminate it,” said one developing country delegate. “We have to have a successful outcome on those issues that we deem to be of critical importance to us.” These diametrically opposing views led some countries to speculate on whether a decision—and therefore consensus—would be required for terminating or extending the AWG-LCA. What is certain for many is that some form of text containing the work accomplished since Durban by the AWG-LCA will have to be presented in Doha.
During the last day of the Bangkok meeting, the AWG-LCA Chair presented an informal overview note intended to assist parties in their reflection on progress made and remaining challenges. While many developing countries expressed satisfaction with the compilation, many developed countries said that they “would not consider it as a basis for negotiations.” In the closing remarks, some parties complained that the note “did not sufficiently distinguish between elements mandated for discussion by Durban and those other issues that some, but not others, believed required further consideration.” A veteran negotiator explained: “a successful outcome in Doha will depend, to a great extent, on whether parties can build trust with one another and really agree on which, where and how key pending issues under the AWG-LCA will continue to be addressed.”
DON’T BURY YOUR THOUGHTS; PUT YOUR VISION TO REALITY — BOB MARLEY
As for the ADP, after parties spent most of the time in June agreeing on the agenda and the election of officers, in Bangkok they were able to have an initial exchange of views on the workstreams agreed to in Bonn. Under the agreed ADP agenda, the workstreams address matters related to paragraphs 2-6 of Decision 1/CP.17 (post-2020 regime) and paragraphs 7-8 (enhancing mitigation ambition during the pre-2020 timeframe). In Bangkok, discussions on the ADP were held as roundtables that provided parties a space to “shed light” on what they envisioned for the post-2020 regime, how to address the work on ambition for the pre-2020 period, and how to organize their work for Doha and beyond. As one delegate aptly put it, “The ADP airplane has taken off under the charge of two copilots, but it may be too early to unbuckle our seatbelts because of turbulence ahead, but we are flying, and the journey has begun.”
As in Bonn, parties expressed different views on how principles should guide the work of the ADP and what “applicable to all” implies. Different groupings of developing countries maintained that the common but differentiated responsibilities and the equity principles, as currently interpreted, should continue to apply since the ADP is framed under the Convention. They added that “universality of application” should not become “uniformity of application” and that universal participation must take into account the variety of national circumstances. Meanwhile, developed countries increasingly referring to current socio-economic realities, called for flexible and dynamic structures that could “evolve over time to promote increasing ambition as countries’ capabilities and confidence grow.”
Whether focus should be retained on mitigation or equally consider the other Bali pillars remained controversial under both workstreams. While most developed countries suggested focusing on mitigation, particularly on raising the level of ambition for the pre-2020 era, developing countries said adaptation, finance and technology should be also considered. On the differences in views, an experienced negotiator explained that “many fear that the ADP could become the new dumping ground for unresolved AWG-LCA issues,” rather than enabling real progress or bridging gaps for a future climate regime. Views on the way forward also diverged in Bangkok, as some countries believed discussions under this body should play a central role in Doha and be balanced with progress in the other AWGs. Others, however, noted that “beginning to negotiate the instrument too early would contaminate the real deliverables for Doha,” which they said is the work under the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA.”
Moreover, some developed countries see the work in and beyond Doha could be better advanced if a work plan with concrete milestones is agreed and if ministers are engaged in ADP roundtables, while others believed that focusing on the “happy ending” of the other two AWGs should be the priority.
WHAT MAKES THE DESERT BEAUTIFUL IS THAT SOMETIMES IT HIDES A WELL — ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY
At the end of the week, most delegates acknowledged that some progress had been made on all three tracks, although with varying degrees. The next important meeting is the pre-COP to be held in the Republic of Korea towards the end of October. “We have to bring the three groups together in Doha,” said one. Many developing countries believe that work cannot progress in the ADP until they are satisfied with the conclusions of the other two AWGs. In this context, many think that Bangkok met its objectives in illuminating the linkages and tradeoffs among the three AWGs. While some, in the end, questioned the necessity of holding the Bangkok meeting, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary was optimistic in her closing press conference, noting Bangkok created the space for a “landing zone” in Doha. Doha will not be an easy meeting. “I feel like here in Bangkok we were lining up our armies and everyone was taking their positions, but no shots were fired,” said one delegate who is positioning herself on the front line. The real battle will come in the desert in December.
69th Meeting of the CDM Executive Board: The Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will hold its 69th meeting to consider matters relating to the operation of the CDM. dates: 9-13 September 2012 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
14th Regular Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment: The 14th Regular Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN-14) will provide a platform for African Ministers to debate the key outcomes of the UNCSD (Rio+20), and address other emerging issues. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the Ministers to refine their strategies in preparation for UNFCCC COP 18. dates: 10-14 September 2012 location: Arusha, Tanzania contact: Angele Luh Sy phone: +254-20-762-4292 email: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/roa/amcen/
Transitions to Low Carbon Energy Systems: Which Pathways to Energy Access for All? This workshop is organized by the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network and hosted by the University of Sussex, UK. It will reflect on the outcomes of the UNCSD and consider how low-carbon development can simultaneously address energy access, poverty reduction, human development and economic growth. The aim of the workshop is to identify and discuss priority questions that need to be answered to meet the UN goal of “Sustainable energy for all.” dates: 10-11 September 2012 location: Brighton, United Kingdom contact: Dr. Rob Byrne phone: +44-1273-873-217 email: [email protected] www: http://www.ukcds.org.uk/event-Transitions_to_low_carbon_energy_systems__which_pathways_to_energy_access_for_all_-1819.html
International Conference on Climate, Water and Policy: This conference will bring together climate scientists, water resource managers and other specialists to discuss the impacts of climate change on water resources across four categories: climate variability impacts on water availability and floods at short term to seasonal time scales; climate change and variability impacts on water security and flood damage at decadal and inter decadal time scales; dissemination of probabilistic climate and water information for operational planning and decision making; and building international cooperation and policy coordination for adaptation to climate change. dates: 11-13 September 2012 location: Busan, Republic of Korea contact: Jin-Ho Yoo email: [email protected] www: http://www.apcc21.org/eng/acts/int/ann/japcc020701.jsp
Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World: This symposium is sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research (SCOR), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. The symposium aims to attract over 300 of the world’s leading scientists to discuss the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms, ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles. It will also cover socioeconomic consequences of ocean acidification, including policy and management implications. dates: 24-27 September 2012 location: Monterey, California, USA email: [email protected] www: http://www.highco2-iii.org
30th Meeting of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee: The Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee will meet in September. dates: 26-28 September 2012 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49- 228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
22nd LEG meeting: The Least Developed Countries Expert Group will meet in late September 2012. dates: 26-29 September 2012 location: Funafuti, Tuvalu contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
UNU-WIDER Conference on Climate Change and Development Policy: The UN University (UNU)-World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) conference on “Climate Change and Development Policy” aims to reflect the diverse range of perspectives on how to balance climate and development objectives. The conference will evaluate how research can inform development policy and identify existing knowledge gaps, focusing on both low-carbon development (mitigation) and climate-resilient strategies (adaptation). dates: 28-29 September 2012 location: Helsinki, Finland contact: Anne Ruohonen email:[email protected] www: http://www.wider.unu.edu/events/2012-conferences/Climate-change-2012/en_GB/28-09-2012/
LEG workshop for Pacific LDCs: The LEG workshop for Pacific LDCs will be held in Tuvalu. dates: 28 September - 3 October 2012 location: Funafuti, Tuvalu contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/ unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
Second Workshop on long-term finance: The aim of the long-term finance work programme is to contribute to the on-going efforts to scale up the mobilization of climate change finance after 2012. dates: 1-3 October 2012 location: Cape Town, South Africa contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/cooperation_support/financial_mechanism/long-term_finance/items/6814txt.php
October CDM Meetings: The 8th CDM Assessment team workshop will be held from 1-2 October, the 39th meeting of the CDM small-scale working group will be held from 9-12 October, the 5th CDM roundtable will be held on 12 October, the 58th meeting of the CDM Methodology Panel will be held from 15-19 October, and the 62nd meeting of the CDM Accreditation Panel will be held from 22-25 October 2012. location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
Pre-COP 18 Ministerial Meeting: This ministerial meeting will be held in preparation for the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC. dates: 21-23 October 2012 location: Seoul, Republic of Korea contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int
African Sustainable Energy Finance Summer Academy: The Sustainable Energy Finance Academy, held within the new framework of the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance, will provide a comprehensive framework on renewable energy and energy efficiency financing in Nairobi, Kenya, with a special emphasis on renewable energy in Africa. dates: 21-26 October 2012 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Summer Academy Team phone: +49-069-154008-692 fax: +49-069-154008-4692 email: [email protected] www: http://www.frankfurt-school.de/content/en/consulting/ias/summer_and_winter_academies/sustainable_energy_finance_nairobi.html
Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction: The Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) will be jointly hosted by the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), with support from regional and international development partners. AMCDRR will convene under the theme “Strengthening Local Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).” dates: 22-25 October 2012 location: Yogyakarta, Indonesia phone: +62-21-4452-1802 fax: +62-21-3860-745 email: [email protected] www: http://5thamcdrr-indonesia.net/
Assistance for Action: Aviation and Climate Change: This seminar is organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and will provide states and other stakeholders with an opportunity to exchange views and information on the assistance required to develop and implement policies and actions related to international aviation and climate change. In addition, the seminar will consider synergies, existing measures and mechanisms by which ICAO and other relevant stakeholders can assist states in developing and implementing climate policies and actions. Topics will include: capacity building; alternative fuels; financing for emissions reduction actions; technology transfer; and technical support – ICAO web-based tools and databases. dates: 23-24 October 2012 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, contact: ICAO Secretariat Environment Branch Air Transport Bureau phone: +1-514-954-8219, ext. 8243 email: [email protected] www: http://www.icao.int/meetings/acli/Pages/default.aspx
Eighth African Development Forum: The eighth African Development Forum (ADF) is being held under the theme “Governing and Harnessing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development.” The ADF will focus on the following six areas: knowledge base, human and institutional capacities; policy, legal and regulatory issues; economic issues; governance, human rights and social issues; participation and ownership of natural resources; and environmental, material stewardship and climate change. dates: 23-25 October 2012 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contact: Isatou Gaye phone: +251-11-544- 5098 fax: +251-11-551-0365 email: [email protected] www: http://new.uneca.org/adfviii/adf_news.aspx
Ninth Meeting of the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board: Pre-meetings to the ninth meeting of the UN-REDD Policy Programme Board will be held on 25 October. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Participants Committee meeting will take place in the same location 21-23 October, and an optional field visit for participants of both meetings will take place on 24 October. dates: 26-27 October 2012 location: Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo contact: Rosa Andolfato, UN-REDD Programme Secretariat phone: +41-22 917-8946 email: [email protected] www: http://www.un-redd.org/PolicyBoard/tabid/102628/Default.aspx
Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo: The Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo will bring together renewable energy and power professionals, government and civil society representatives, as well as over 200 exhibiting companies from all over the world. It aims to: create a platform for all stakeholders to network and transfer knowledge and skills; raise awareness and educate the public about climate change; and showcase both local and international initiatives and technologies that are at the forefront of renewable energy and climate change resilience. dates: 29-31 October 2012 location: Cultural Centre Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria contact: Conference Organizers phone: +234-9-480-6271 email: [email protected] www: http://www.nigeriaalternativeenergyexpo.org/
Climate Investment Funds Partnership Forum and Associated Meetings: The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are co-hosting the CIF 2012 Partnership Forum, on 6-7 November 2012, as well as associated meetings. The Forum will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to deepening global understanding of the linkages between climate change and development as they have been addressed within the context of the CIF. The Forum will be preceded by Pilot Country meetings for all CIF programs (the Clean Technology Fund, the Forest Investment Program, the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, and the Program for Scaling-Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries), from 30 October-1 November, and a Private Sector Forum, on 5 November. dates: 30 October - 7 November 2012 location: Istanbul, Turkey contact: CIF Administrative Unit email: c[email protected] www: http://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/partnership_forum_2012_home
World Energy Outlook 2012 Launch: The International Energy Agency (IEA) will launch its flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2012. The WEO-2012 will include analysis and insights into global energy market trends and their meaning for energy security, environmental protection and economic development. It will also contain updated forecasts to 2035 of energy production and demand, investment, trade and emissions, broken down by country, fuel and sector. The WEO-2012 will also investigate specific strategic energy issues, including: “golden rules” for the coming “Golden Age of Gas,” an in-depth examination of the value of improving energy efficiency; the increasing importance of the water-energy nexus; climate feedbacks on energy trends; and the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. date: 12 November 2012 location: Paris, France contact: Paweł Olejarnik, IEA phone: +33-1-40- 57-67-57 email: [email protected] www: http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/publications/weo-2012/
70th Meeting of the CDM Executive Board: The 70th meeting of the CDM Executive Board precedes UNFCCC COP 18/CMP 8. dates: 19-23 November 2012 location: Doha, Qatar contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228- 815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
Bogota Summit: Cities and Climate Change: Organized by the Mayor of Bogota, with support from the Latin American Development Bank, the French Embassy, the French Development Agency (AFD), Avina Foundation, FINDETER bank, the El Tiempo news group, UN-HABITAT and others, this summit aims to bring together experts, finance organizations, international organizations and Latin American regional, national and municipal leaders to discuss concrete actions Latin American cities can take to mitigate and adapt to climate change and convert them into resilient, low-carbon cities. The conference will include a series of thematic debates and workshops on key issues, such as housing density, sustainable construction, energy efficiency, water services, risk management and mobility management. dates: 19-21 November 2012 location: Bogota, Colombia contact: Eleonora Betancur, International Affairs, Office of the Mayor email: [email protected] www: http://www.ciudadesycambioclimatico.org/
14th meeting of the CDM DNA Forum: The 14th meeting of the CDM Designated National Authorities (DNA) Forum will be held in late November. dates: 24 -25 November 2012 location: Doha, Qatar contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/ items/2655.php
UNFCCC COP 18: The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8), among other associated meetings, are scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar. dates: 26 November - 7 December 2012 location: Doha, Qatar contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/doha_nov_2012/meeting/6815.php
Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action