Report of main proceedings for 27 November 2012
Doha Climate Change Conference - November 2012
On Tuesday, delegates met for the opening sessions of the AWG-KP, AWG-LCA and the ADP. The SBI plenary was also resumed. Participants heard opening statements from negotiating groups and gave preliminary consideration to the various agenda items under these bodies. In addition, contact groups and informal consultations began on a range of issues across the various bodies.
AWG-LCA Chair Aysar Tayeb (Saudi Arabia) opened the meeting asking parties to work toward solutions where agreement is possible and to identify appropriate “homes” for issues where agreement is not possible in Doha. He introduced the informal overview text (FCCC/AWGLCA/2012/CRP.3) explaining that it is based on intersessional consultations with parties and is intended to reflect the views and options discussed in Bangkok on the elements of the Bali Action Plan.
OPENING STATEMENTS: Many developing countries highlighted the need to provide clarity on mid-term finance.
The UMBRELLA GROUP urged transition to a full implementation phase of post-2012 undertakings. He emphasized that the fast-start finance commitment has been collectively surpassed. Cyprus, for the EU, on climate finance, said the EU will continue to provide support after 2012 and will work to scale up finance towards 2020. PERU, for Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama, said parties in Durban decided to bring the AWG-LCA to its operative end, which implies the need to define next steps for implementation and closure of the negotiation track. He supported: providing the institutions and processes with a specific mandate for implementation and; resolving pending issues at COP 18 and, if necessary, delegating specific tasks to the SBs and other processes. Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said the Doha meeting must result in agreement on: a comparability and compliance framework for developed countries’ mitigation efforts; and clear mid-term targets for finance. Nauru, for AOSIS, suggested focusing on the work mandated in Durban, including on a science-based Review narrow in scope. The Gambia, for the LDCs, said parties in Doha must decide to establish a separate expert body for the Review to feed into the ADP and establish a platform for developing common accounting rules. China, for BASIC, emphasized that a successful completion of AWG-LCA must address all elements of the Bali Action Plan and must not leave key issues off the table, including equitable access to sustainable development and technology related to IPRs. Egypt, for the ARAB GROUP, suggested working towards agreement on outstanding issues and, where there is no agreement, to consider transferring issues to other Convention bodies.
Parties’ views diverged on the AWG-LCA Chair’s text. CHINA, the PHILIPPINES, the ARAB GROUP and others, supported using the text as a basis for further work, with some noting that it reflected a wide range of views. The UMBRELLA GROUP, EIG, the EU, CANADA and others, opposed this. Some suggested starting work under the contact group and spin-off groups to look for commonalities. Responding to comments, Chair Tayeb noted that the overview text reflected the views of parties.
AWG-KP Chair Madeleine Diouf (Senegal) opened the resumed 17th session of the AWG-KP and proposed that the AWG-KP continues with the same organization of work adopted at the first part of the 17th session in Bonn. She introduced her proposal to facilitate negotiations (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/CRP.1), explaining that this document will be revised as discussions progress.
Chair Diouf provided parties with an update on discussions undertaken outside of the AWG-KP, including discussions at the pre-COP meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 23-24 October 2012, and informal meetings convened by the Chair on eligibility issues relating to the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period.
Chair Diouf also informed parties that the Secretariat had received two further submissions on QELROs, and that these are contained in document FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/MISC.1/Add.2 (Information by Annex I Parties on their Second Commitment Period QELROs).
OPENING STATEMENTS: Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, suggested the following benchmarks for a successful outcome in Doha: an ambitious second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol effective as of 1 January 2013; ambitious QELROs by Annex I parties; limited access to flexibility mechanisms by Annex I parties that have not adopted commitments for the second commitment period; and addressing carry-over of surplus AAUs.
Cyprus, for the EU, highlighted: the EU’s immediate implementation of their second commitment period commitments regardless of other parties’ ratification timing; the need for broad participation and flexibility based on environmental integrity; and the need to resolve the issue of carry-over of surplus AAUs.
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, emphasized that the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol needs to be implementable on 1 January 2013, for an eight-year period. He expressed concern that “the benefits of the Kyoto Protocol flexibility mechanisms are threatened here in Doha” and called for ensuring “broad access to these.”
Liechtenstein, on behalf of the EIG, emphasized that the objective in Doha is to finalize work on the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period and outlined three outstanding issues: length of the second commitment period; level of ambition; and the smooth transition to the second commitment period.
Nauru, for AOSIS, underscored that the overarching issue for consideration in Doha is the level of ambition of Annex I parties’ commitments, observing that the proposed QELROs derive from previous pledges that are “plainly inadequate” for the scale of the challenge.
Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed that the meeting should focus only on rules that will apply during the second commitment period and necessary amendments, and refer consequential amendments to the SBS for future consideration.
Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, urged Annex I parties to commit themselves to scaled-up emission reduction objectives in line with science and the reports of the IPCC.
Papua New Guinea, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, stated the Group’s preference for a five-year second commitment period but expressed willingness to consider an eight-year term provided it includes: a mid-term review mechanism requiring deeper targets consistent with the upcoming fifth IPCC Report; REDD+ actions under a national reference level; and national MRV systems to safeguard environmental integrity in another four-year commitment period.
The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Venezuela, called on developed country parties to commit to QELROs to reduce emissions by at least 40-50% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 25-40% by 2017. He further urged developed country parties not participating in the second commitment period to undertake quantifiable emission reductions and reiterated that these parties should not have access to the flexibility mechanisms.
China, for BASIC, urged developed countries to raise their level of ambition in line with science and their historical responsibility, and suggested further discussions on ambition under the COP or CMP.
The International Emissions Trading Association, for BINGOs, said it was “absolutely critical” to improve accounting rules and encouraged parties to widen access to carbon market mechanisms to allow for broader demand.
Climate Action Now, on behalf of ENGOS, commended countries that are committing to the second commitment period, but denounced the level of commitments as “dangerously inadequate.” She called for increased ambition, more environmentally robust flexibility mechanisms, and a ban on the carry-over of surplus AAUs.
Friends of the Earth, speaking for CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW, said the Group would not collude in a “lie” that Doha has secured a second commitment period, if that agreement locks in an eight-year commitment period that will lead the world to disaster.
The INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ CONCLAVE called for the human rights, land rights, customary rights and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples to be recognized, respected and incorporated into any new agreement.
OTHER MATTERS: The Gambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by Nauru, for AOSIS, proposed a session to discuss ambition, noting that the numbers on the table are “very low.” Chair Diouf stated that this proposal could be discussed in the contact group on item 3 (consideration of further commitments of Annex I parties under the AWG-KP).
AWG-KP CONTACT GROUP ON ITEM 3: AWG-KP Chair Diouf opened the session and explained that work will continue in contact group and spinoff group settings. She outlined outstanding issues that need to be resolved in Doha as follows: length of the second commitment period; mitigation ambition; legal and operational continuity of the second commitment period from 1 January 2013; eligibility to participate in the flexibility mechanisms; and carry-over of surplus AAUs.
AWG-KP Vice-Chair Jukka Uosukainen (Finland) explained that discussions will be based on the Chair’s proposal to facilitate negotiations (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/CRP.1) and that the ultimate goal is to present streamlined text to the Chair on Saturday.
Parties then commented on the interlinkages between the ambition and the issue of carry-over of surplus AAUs, as well as the duration of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. Consultations will continue.
AWG-KP SPINOFF GROUP (NUMBERS/TEXT): The AWG-KP spin-off group on numbers/text convened on Tuesday afternoon. Delegates listened to presentations from Australia, Kazakhstan and Monaco on their proposed QELROs for the second commitment period, including the figures and the basis for them. A question-and-answer session followed each presentation, during which delegates sought clarification on the numbers and data presented.
Norway made a short presentation clarifying their submitted QELROs. Consultations will continue.
ADP Co-Chair Jayant Moreshwar Mauskar (India), recognizing progress in Bangkok and underlining the importance of delivering an agreement by 2015, urged parties to work cooperatively in the spirit of Bangkok to achieve this goal.
OPENING STATEMENTS: Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed that discussions under the ADP must be party-driven, fully inclusive and transparent, and that the outcome should be in accordance with equity and the CBDR principle.
Egypt, for the ARAB GROUP, called for: agreement on results-based objectives; conformity with Convention principles; and consideration of mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation. Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, called for the ADP to outline a clear plan for taking forward the work required to deliver its mandate.
The EU stressed that for Doha to deliver a balanced outcome, work in the ADP must result in a decision that captures agreed next steps and provides political momentum for adopting an agreement in 2015. Switzerland, on behalf of the EIG, said a future agreement must be legally-binding, have global application, recognize differentiation and contain comparable and transparent targets.
Nauru, for AOSIS, said the process launched under the Durban platform should result in a new protocol under the Convention that strengthens the rules-based and legally-binding regime. The Gambia, for the LDCs, said their priorities in Doha include the adoption of a legally-binding, ratifiable second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and strong financial commitments.
Papua New Guinea, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, urged parties to adopt a clear and ambitious action plan and work programme that incorporates REDD+ implementation as a key component. THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, for India, China, the Philippines, El Salvador, Dominica, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, Argentina, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Venezuela, Malaysia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Algeria and Iran, and China, for BASIC, underscored that the ADP is not a venue to “renegotiate, rewrite, or reinterpret” the Convention principles.
CHILE, for Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru, noted changing national circumstances and the need for incentives for developing countries to move to a low-carbon growth model. Ecuador, for ALBA, highlighted that the future of the Durban Platform is intertwined with the adoption in Doha of ambitious legally-binding commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, underlined that work on pre-2020 mitigation provides additional opportunities to close the ambition gap but is not an alternative to commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and the AWG-LCA.
CAN, for ENGOs, cited recent severe weather events as a warning of the dangerous path the world is on, and called on developed countries to increase their emission reduction targets to at least 40% below 1990 levels. CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW expressed concern that Doha could mark a milestone where developed countries seek to escape from their commitments despite much talk about ambition.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES called for an overarching human rights-based approach that includes recognition of indigenous governance structures, traditional knowledge and technology. TUNGOs said all trade unions are hoping for a transition that will deliver sustainability and social justice in a safe climate. YOUTH suggested that equity is not only the most fair, but also the most effective pathway under the Convention.
BINGOs called for protection of IPRs in a future agreement, noting that this would encourage investment and enhance business participation.
OPENING STATEMENTS: Many developing countries drew attention to the need to: operationalize international consultation and analysis (ICA) in a non-intrusive and non-punitive manner through the provision of adequate financial resources, and to provide support for the national adaptation plans of developing countries other than LDCs. Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, called for enhancing the means of implementation to meet the additional reporting requirements established in Cancun.
The EU observed that the fifth review of the financial mechanism is an opportunity to have a comprehensive overview of how the division of labor among the different operating entities could be enhanced. The EU and the UMBRELLA GROUP called for agreement on modalities and procedures for the technical experts for ICA. Many parties highlighted issues requiring agreement in Doha, including: loss and damage; a workplan for the Adaptation Committee; recommending to the COP for approval of the host of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and continuing consideration of the constitution of the Advisory Board.
The Gambia, for the LDCs, also highlighted issues related to the LDC Fund and continued support for NAPAs. Nauru, for AOSIS, called for, inter alia: a compilation of non-Annex I parties’ national communications; enhanced capacity building support; and continuation of the Consultative Group of Experts on non-Annex I national communications (CGE) with an expanded mandate. ALBA called for an urgent decision on financial resources noting that the financial mechanism cannot be an “empty shell.” COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS expressed concern over the lack of funding for the implementation of REDD+ activities, and failure to provide new and additional fast-start financial support. INDIA emphasized the need to address the issue of IPRs “in all its dimensions.”
TUNGOs and GENDER emphasized that climate change responses should target vulnerable groups within countries.
BINGOs said new channels for input from business and other observers have to be warranted as the Convention moves into implementation. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES called for a consultative technical body to assist UNFCCC negotiations. YOUTH called for moving beyond adaptation and also addressing compensation for loss and damage.
MATTERS RELATING TO THE LDCs: Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu) presented the report of the LDC Expert Group (LEG). Several parties welcomed the guidelines for national adaptation plans. The Gambia, for the LDCs, expressed concerns about the implementation of national adaptation plans, and stressed transparency and additionality of financial resources. Nicaragua, for SICA, proposed adopting a programme on education and training under Convention Article 6 and said priority should be given to the consideration of loss and damage over risk assessment. Informal consultations will be held.
The following agenda items were also briefly considered and forwarded for further consideration to contact groups or informal consultations:
- report of the Adaptation Committee;
- national adaptation plans;
- report of the Technology Executive Committee (joint consultations with SBSTA);
- matters relating to the CTCN: selection of the host and constitution of the advisory board;
- Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer;
- capacity building (Convention);
- amendment of the Kyoto Protocol in respect of procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance procedures;
- mechanisms and institutional arrangements for appeals against the decisions of the Executive Board of the CDM;
- review of the design of the commitment period reserve;
- report of the administrator of the international transaction log; and
- administrative, financial and institutional matters.
OTHER MATTERS: The EU, supported by ICELAND, SWITZERLAND and CHILE, indicated its intention to table a draft decision on enhancing the role of women in climate change decision-making under the UNFCCC.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As delegates got down to work under the AWG-KP, the number one issue on most minds was the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period. Many delegates were heard discussing which of the two opposing sides would concede on the issue of eligibility to participate in the flexibility mechanisms for those countries not participating in the second commitment period. “Someone has to back down,” opined one NGO participant, “and since participation in the mechanisms is one of the main incentives for countries signing on to a second commitment period, I’m sure you can guess which side I support.”
On a more encouraging note, Brazil announced that his country had reduced the deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon by a further 27% compared to last year, noting that this is its lowest deforestation rate on record. This news was received with applause by delegates, many of whom, since the beginning of the conference, had been commenting on the IEA report showing that 2011 was the year with the highest greenhouse gas emissions on record. One developing country delegate noted, “this shows that developing countries, even without binding commitments, are making greater efforts than many developed countries.”