Report of main proceedings for 6 December 2012
Doha Climate Change Conference - November 2012
In the morning, the AWG-KP held its closing plenary. Throughout the day on Thursday, the COP 18 and CMP 8 high-level segment took place. Various contact groups and informal consultations also convened under the COP, CMP, ADP, AWG-LCA and AWG-KP. In the evening, the COP President’s INFORMAL STOCKTAKING PLENARY WAS HELD.
During the evening’s informal stocktaking plenary, AWG-KP Chair Diouf reported that the AWG-KP concluded its work on Thursday morning.
AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb reported good progress on all elements, while indicating that there are areas that require streamlining. He expressed hope that all elements would be brought together in one document “by some time tonight.”
ADP Co-Chair Dovland reported on informal consultations on the revised co-chairs’ proposal for a draft decision and draft conclusions. He observed that parties’ focus on the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA prevented the ADP from holding a closing plenary Thursday afternoon. He expressed confidence that the ADP will send a strong signal that it is on track to reaching an agreement by 2015 and to addressing the pre-2020 ambition gap.
Luis Figueiredo Machado (Brazil) reported on his ministerial outreach with Bård Solhjell (Norway) on outstanding issues concerning the AWG-KP and its outcome document (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/L.3). He noted their intention to continue consultations with several groups.
Mariyam Shakeela (Maldives) reported that, with Bruno Oberle (Switzerland), she had consulted with various regional groups on finance and held an informal session with parties. She said parties had been invited to provide textual input and that a draft text was under preparation.
Mark Dreyfus (Australia) and Fatou Gaye (the Gambia) reported that parties are closer to an agreement on reporting guidelines.
Edna Molewa (South Africa) reported on informal ministerial consultations on loss and damage. She said that the main political issue revolves around the potential establishment of an institutional arrangement, such as a mechanism.
Maria del Socorro Flores (Mexico) reported progress on informal consultations on the composition of the CTCN Advisory Board, expressing hope that parties will reach agreement by Friday.
Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted three main pillars of a Doha outcome: an ambitious second commitment period that would allow for a higher level of ambition from all Annex I parties; finance under the AWG-LCA; and a balanced treatment of all elements under the ADP.
Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for text addressing the full set of issues in the Bali Action Plan, and for a second commitment period that enables scaling up ambition before 2014. Noting that parties may not achieve all they hoped for, Switzerland, for the EIG, called for: a solution to the carry-over of surplus AAUs that ensures the environmental integrity of the second commitment period; building on lessons learned from fast-start finance; and developing a path for finance for 2020.
Supporting further ministerial engagement, Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, urged agreement on access to market mechanisms during the second commitment period, and called for concluding discussions under the AWG-LCA, acknowledging achievements and moving towards implementation.
Underscoring environmental integrity, Nauru, for AOSIS, stated that AOSIS “has not lost faith,” but will continue working to ensure that “we leave with something better than what we came with.”
The EU underscored the need to speed up the conclusion of the AWG-LCA and supported the COP President’s call for the AWG-LCA Chair to finish the group’s work on Thurday night. The Gambia, for the LDCs, underlined the importance of a second commitment period that ensures environmental integrity, takes account of the rules-based regime and limits access to the flexibility mechanisms to Annex I parties with commitments. Chile, for AILAC, expressed his confidence that parties would “deliver the milestone of a legally-binding agreement by 2015.”
Observing that the “pieces of the package are coming together,” COP President Al-Attiyah called on delegates to increase their efforts to find common ground and for ministers to complete their work on Thursday night, in order to present clear political choices by Friday. He said an informal stocktaking meeting will convene on Friday.
AWG-KP CLOSING PLENARY
On Thursday morning, AWG-KP Chair Diouf reported that work had been undertaken until the early hours of Thursday morning to streamline her proposal to facilitate negotiations under the AWG-KP (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/CRP.3). She explained that the results of this work, which aim to provide ministers with clear options, had been incorporated in her draft conclusion text on the outcome of the work of the AWG-KP (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/L.3), which she proposed to forward to the CMP for adoption.
Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted outstanding issues, including operationalization of an ambitious second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol beginning on 1 January 2013, and commitment by Annex I parties to ambitious QELROs. With the Gambia, for the LDCs, he called for a decision to restrict access to the flexibility mechanisms to those Annex I parties that take on commitments under the second commitment period. The LDCs further supported an ambitious five-year second commitment period with provisional application.
Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, expressed hope that ministers will be able to take the necessary political decisions. He said the second commitment period should: exclude the carry-over of surplus AAUs; enable only parties with second commitment period QELROs to participate in the flexibility mechanisms; and include a mechanism for increasing mitigation ambition within two years of the start of the commitment period.
The EU underscored that the text before parties shows that the AWG-KP will contribute to the balanced outcome Doha is expected to deliver. He identified the need to secure uninterrupted access to market mechanisms for all parties who will take on commitments during the second commitment period, noting that the current text addresses this concern. On the possibility of Annex B parties strengthening their QELROs during the second commitment period, the EU indicated willingness to explore the ambition mechanism proposed by the G-77/China. He recognized the importance of the issue of carry-over of surplus AAUs, but noted that there will be minimal demand for such AAUs between 2013 and 2020.
Australia, for several UMBRELLA GROUP members, noted convergence on many issues and highlighted key elements that require agreement, including an eight-year second commitment period and expanded participation in market mechanisms. He underlined that the AWG-KP is “part of a much broader, shared endeavor.”
The PHILIPPINES drew attention to the Bopha typhoon afflicting his country. He appealed to parties to “open their eyes to the stark reality we face” in order to “let this be the year we found the courage to take responsibility for the future we want,” and asked delegates: “If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?”
Switzerland, for the EIG, said adopting the Protocol amendments in Doha will ensure a seamless transition to the second commitment period. He stressed the need to: ensure environmental integrity of the second commitment period through the limitation of carry-over of surplus AAUs from the first commitment period; and allow those Annex I parties that will not take on QELROs to participate in the CDM. He expressed solidarity with the people of the Philippines, as did BOLIVIA, who stated that the current situation in that country is “a testimony of what can be expected to take place more frequently.” BOLIVIA cautioned against “empty promises” and described the low level of ambition as a “death sentence” to some people. He opposed the idea of voluntary commitments, saying that since developed countries have not managed to raise the level of ambition in seven years, “why should they be believed now.”
Saint Lucia, for AOSIS, called for, inter alia: a five-year commitment period; Annex I parties moving to the top end of their pledges and beyond, and dropping their conditionalities; provisional application of the Protocol amendments to be adopted in Doha; and limiting participation in the flexibility mechanisms to Annex I parties with commitments under the second commitment period. She noted that the G-77/China’s proposal on the ambition mechanism is missing from the AWG-KP text, underlining her view that this proposal “remains on the table,” and stressed that the mechanism must “bear fruit” by 2014 at the latest.
AWG-KP Chair Diouf proposed forwarding the report on the AWG-KP’s work to the CMP. AOSIS requested bracketing parts of the text, including sections containing: the amended Protocol Annex B with parties’ mitigation commitments; text on eligibility to participate in the flexibility mechanisms; and text on the fulfillment of the AWG-KP’s mandate and conclusion of its work. Parties agreed to forward the outcome of the work of the AWG-KP (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/L.3), as orally amended by AOSIS, to the CMP for consideration and finalization.
Chair Diouf recalled earlier agreement to form a group that will conduct a legal review of the text forwarded to the CMP, saying the review will not reopen any substantive discussions. She said the group will comprise members from all regional groups and SIDS, and explained that she would report to the CMP President if any changes are required based on the findings of the legal review.
The AWG-KP adopted its report (FCCC/KP/AWG/2012/L.2) and Chair Diouf closed the session at 12:24pm.
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The COP 18 and CMP 8 high-level segment continued with statements from ministers and other heads of delegation. A webcast of the statements is available at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/doha_nov_2012/meeting/6815/php/view/webcasts.php.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Emerging from what most likely was the AWG-KP’s “ultimate closing plenary,” some confessed to feeling nostalgic. However, for many, this sentiment was combined with deep frustration that there was no celebration at the end of the AWG-KP, just bracketed text and options to forward to the ministers. Many also commented on the touching AWG-KP intervention by the delegate from the Philippines who emotionally implored delegates to “open their eyes to the stark reality we face,” informing delegates that typhoon Bopha has regained strength and is approaching another part of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, negotiations continued under the AWG-LCA, with finance as one of the key pieces of its complex puzzle. The question was subject to informal ministerial consultations that lasted most of Thursday. Despite the “intense” consultations, as one party put it, as of late evening, some parties were still unclear about what the outcome would be, but one fatigued delegate said he was “still earnestly hoping for the best.” Efforts to advance under the AWG-LCA meant that the ADP closing plenary, originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon, was postponed until Friday.
The evening stocktaking plenary saw a climate skeptic hijack a party’s microphone and request a review of climate science. His statement was greeted by loud boos from the room and many delegates were outraged afterwards, expressing hope that he will be “debadged” and banned from the COP. This strong reaction prompted one delegate to note that, “even though we have a long way to go before we’re able to say that we’ve avoided dangerous climate change, based on everyone’s reaction, we all seem to at least agree that climate change is a problem to be taken seriously.”
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the Doha Climate Change Conference will be available on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 online at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop18/enb/