Summary report, 1–12 December 2008
Poznań Climate Change Conference - December 2008
In support of these two main bodies, four subsidiary bodies convened: the fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 4); the resumed sixth session of the Ad HocWorking Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 6); and the twenty-ninth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 29) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 29).
These events drew over 9250 participants, including almost 4000 government officials, 4500 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, and more than 800 accredited members of the media.
These meetings resulted in the adoption of COP decisions, COP/MOP decisions and a number of conclusions by the subsidiary bodies. These outcomes covered a wide range of topics, including the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol, the 2009 work programmes of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP, and outcomes on technology transfer, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), capacity building, national communications, financial and administrative matters, and various methodological issues.
The main focus in Poznań, however, was on long-term cooperation and the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires. In December 2007, negotiators meeting in Bali had approved the Bali Action Plan and Roadmap setting COP 15 in December 2009 as the deadline for agreeing on a framework for action after 2012. Poznań therefore marked the halfway mark towards the December 2009 deadline. While the Poznań negotiations did result in some progress, there were no significant breakthroughs, and negotiators face a hectic 12 months of talks leading up to the critical deadline of December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This report summarizes the discussions, decisions and conclusions based on the agendas of the COP, COP/MOP and the subsidiary bodies. It includes sections on the COP and COP/MOP, also covering the reports of the SBI and SBSTA (which contribute to the COP and COP/MOP’s work). It also includes separate sections on the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA, which focused on work under the Bali Roadmap and Action Plan.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFCCC AND THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, and now has 192 parties.
In December 1997, delegates at the third Conference of the Parties (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 targets. These countries, known under the UNFCCC as Annex I parties, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005, and now has 180 parties.
The first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1) took place in Montreal, Canada in 2005. This meeting established the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), to consider commitments by Annex I countries after the Protocol’s first “commitment period” concludes in 2012. In addition, COP 11 agreed to consider long-term cooperation under the Convention through a series of four workshops constituting a “Dialogue” until COP 13.
COP 13 and COP/MOP 3 took place in December 2007, in Bali, Indonesia. The focus of the Bali conference was on long-term issues, and negotiators spent much of their time seeking agreement on a two-year process, or “Bali Roadmap,” to conclude negotiations by COP 15 in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This roadmap includes “tracks” under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Negotiations on the follow-up to the Convention Dialogue resulted in agreement on a Bali Action Plan that established the AWG-LCA, which was mandated to launch a comprehensive process on long-term cooperative action under the Convention. The Bali Action Plan identifies four key elements: mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology. The Plan also contains a non-exhaustive list of issues to be considered under each of these areas and calls for articulating a “shared vision for long-term cooperative action.”
The first session of the AWG-LCA and fifth session of the AWG-KP took place from 31 March to 4 April 2008, in Bangkok, Thailand. Further sessions were held in June 2008 in Bonn, Germany and in August 2008 in Accra, Ghana. For additional history of the process, see http://enb.iisd.org/process/climate_atm-fcccintro.htm
REPORT OF COP 14
COP 13 President Rachmat Witoelar (Indonesia) opened COP 14 on Monday, 1 December, describing it as an important “bridge from Bali to Copenhagen.” Delegates then elected Maciej Nowicki, Minister of Environment of Poland, as COP 14 President. He stated that the key goal in Poznań was to articulate a “shared vision.”
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk urged “global solidarity” and said the economic crisis should not dampen countries’ determination to combat climate change.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, said combating climate change was the right choice both from an environmental and economic perspective.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair Rajendra Pachauri highlighted scientific realities and urged consideration of whether limiting temperature rise to 2°C from pre-industrial levels would be sufficient.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer highlighted recent progress and the “assembly paper” of the AWG-LCA Chair summarizing parties’ views.
Antigua and Barbuda, speaking for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), lamented that the negotiations have not reflected a sense of urgency about climate change and called for progress on the AWG-KP and developed country commitments.
France, for the European Union (EU), said the fight against climate change could not wait for a recovery from the economic recession and stressed that the EU’s goals are clear even if internal debate is taking place on legislation to implement the target of a 20% reduction by 2020.
Grenada, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said the AWG-LCA must expedite its work and AWG-KP 6 should agree on emission reduction ranges for industrialized countries as a group.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group (a loose coalition of non-European Union developed countries) called for effective work programmes for 2009, and underscored the importance of the Article 9 review for Protocol parties.
The Maldives, for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), supported enhancing the financial mechanism under the COP, and highlighted the importance of national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) and the need for progress on the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP).
Switzerland, for the Environmental Integrity Group, highlighted the need to move to negotiating mode in 2009 and underlined Switzerland’s proposal on financing.
Algeria, for the African Group, said the financial crisis should not delay action and welcomed efforts to improve distribution of CDM projects.
On 1 December, parties agreed to continue applying the draft rules of procedure with the exception of draft rule 42 on voting (FCCC/CP/1996/2). They also adopted the COP agenda (FCCC/CP/2008/1 and Add.1), with the exception of the item on the second review of the adequacy of UNFCCC Article 4.2(a) and (b) (policies and measures on emissions and removals from sinks), which has been held in abeyance since COP 4.
On 12 December, the COP (and COP/MOP) elected officers other than the President. The COP Vice-Presidents are: Mohammad Al-Sabban (Saudi Arabia), Mohammed Barkindo (Nigeria), Colin Beck (Solomon Islands), Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica), Eric Mugurusi (Tanzania), Vlad Trusca (Romania), and Philip Weech (Bahamas). Gertraud Wollansky (Austria) was elected Rapporteur. Liana Bratasida (Indonesia) was elected Chair of SBI, Helen Plume (New Zealand) was re-elected as SBSTA Chair, and Michael Zammit Cutajar (Malta) was elected AWG-LCA Chair for 2009.
In addition, delegates approved the list of organizations admitted as observers (FCCC/CP/2008/3) and the report on credentials submitted by parties (FCCC/CP/2008/4).
On 12 December, the COP also adopted a decision on the dates of future COPs.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2008/L.6), the COP decides to change by one week the dates for COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009 (to avoid overlap with the Eid Al-Adha Islamic festival). The dates will now be 7-18 December 2009. Also, the COP invites offers to host COP 16 (which should come from Latin America and the Caribbean), and accepts South Africa’s offer to host COP 17 in 2011, subject to confirmation by the COP Bureau. Finally, the COP adopts the dates of 3-14 June and 11-22 November for the sessional periods in 2013.
REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMITMENTS AND OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE CONVENTION
Under this agenda item, the COP reviewed implementation of commitments and other provisions relating to the financial mechanism, national communications, technology transfer, capacity building, and adverse effects and response measures.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: This agenda item, which includes sub-items on the fourth review of the financial mechanism, on the report of, and guidance to, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) (FCCC/CP/2008/2) and on the LDC Fund (FCCC/SBI/2008/MISC.8), was first introduced in SBI plenary on 2 December. Sub-items on the fourth review and on the report of and guidance to the GEF were then taken up in a contact group and in informal consultations chaired by Deborah Fulton (Australia) and Surya Sethi (India). Informal consultations on the LDC Fund were facilitated by Margaret Sangarwe (Zimbabwe) and Michelle Campbell (Canada).
Fourth review of the financial mechanism: Parties discussed the heavily bracketed text for a draft decision on the fourth review, which was compiled at SBI 28. Developed countries generally expressed their satisfaction with the GEF’s performance, while developing countries had numerous concerns, particularly with regard to the GEF’s fifth replenishment, complementarity of the financial mechanism to other sources of financing, proliferation of funds outside of the Convention and outcomes of the mid-term review of the Resource Allocation Framework (RAF). A short compromise text was eventually agreed, and on 10 December the SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded a draft decision to the COP for its consideration. The COP adopted the decision on 12 December.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.29), the COP, inter alia: calls upon developed country parties and invites other parties that make financial contributions to secure a successful fifth replenishment of the GEF and to ensure that the findings of the mid-term review of the RAF are fully taken into account; and requests the SBI to recommend a draft decision on the review for adoption by COP 15.
GEF report and guidance to the GEF: Discussions on this sub-item were also difficult. Developing countries stressed their concerns with the RAF, access to funds, in particular by LDCs, small island developing states (SIDS) and African countries, co-financing requirements for GEF projects, and transparency of the GEF process. No agreement was reached, and SBI conclusions and a draft COP decision, containing bracketed text, were adopted on 10 December. This was then brought forward to COP President Nowicki and additional consultations resulted in agreement on a compromise text. A draft decision was adopted by the COP on 12 December.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2008/L.5), the COP, inter alia, requests the GEF to: fully address issues raised over the implementation of the RAF; provide information on a regular basis on the composition and objective of co-financing for projects funded by the GEF; continue to improve access for all developing countries, in particular LDCs, SIDS and countries in Africa, to the GEF’s resources; and continue to encourage its implementing and executing agencies to perform their functions as efficiently and transparently as possible, in accordance with guidance from the COP.
LDC Fund: In informal consultations, LDCs expressed concerns with insufficient resources and the long and complicated process of implementing NAPAs, and parties discussed options for expediting this process. The SBI adopted conclusions on 10 December and forwarded a draft decision on further guidance for the operation of the LDC Fund to the COP for its consideration. The COP adopted the decision on 12 December.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.21), the SBI, inter alia, welcomes information submitted by parties and intergovernmental organizations on the implementation of NAPAs, and notes with appreciation that donors have provided US$172 million to the LDC Fund.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.21/Add.1), the COP, inter alia: requests the GEF to work with its agencies to improve communication with LDCs and speed up the process through, for instance, establishing a time frame within which LDCs can access funding and other support for the preparation and implementation of projects identified in NAPAs; invites the GEF to raise awareness of the need for adequate and predictable resources under the LDC Fund; and requests SBI 33 to review progress.
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Annex I Communications: On 1 December, the SBI plenary noted information on national communications and greenhouse gas inventory data from parties included in Annex I to the Convention (FCCC/SBI/2008/12, Corr.1 and FCCC/SBI/2008/INF.7). The COP took note of this action.
Non-Annex I Communications: Three specific issues were originally under the SBI’s draft agenda relating to non-Annex I parties’ national communications. These addressed the work of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on non-Annex I communications, the provision of financial and technical support, and information contained in non-Annex I communications. However, due to objections from developing countries, the item on information from non-Annex I communications was not considered, and will be held in abeyance until SBI 30. An account of the discussions and outcomes on the other two matters is contained in the section below.
CGE: The SBI first considered this item (FCCC/SBI/2007/10/Add.1, FCCC/SBI/2007/MISC.7, Adds.1-2) in plenary on 2 December and then in contact groups and informal consultations co-chaired by Ricardo Moita (Portugal) and Arthur Rolle (Bahamas). The main item for consideration was the review of the CGE’s mandate and terms of reference. The CGE’s mandate expired at COP 13, and parties were unable to agree on the renewed mandate. During discussions at SBI 28, parties were still unable to agree, but adopted SBI conclusions containing draft bracketed text and agreed to base discussions at SBI 29 on this text. During the consultations at this session, parties expressed willingness to base discussions on this text. The US also presented a proposal to assess the progress of implementing Convention Article 10.2(a) (assessment of Convention implementation information), and to consider and discuss this at SBI 30.
The G-77/China said it needed time to coordinate before making a decision on this proposal, and also expressed concern about possible linkage with the issue of the review of non-Annex I communications being held in abeyance. The US said it would be unable to make any final decision on the draft bracketed text. Parties were therefore unable to agree on the mandate and revised terms of reference of the CGE and reflected this in SBI conclusions, which were adopted on 10 December. The COP took note of the lack of agreement in its closing plenary on 12 December.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.23), the SBI indicates its inability to reach conclusions on the mandate and revised terms of reference of the CGE and agrees to continue its deliberations at SBI 30.
Financial and Technical Support: The SBI first considered this item on 2 December, when the GEF reported on financial support provided for non-Annex I communications (FCCC/CP/2008/2 and FCCC/SBI/2008/INF.10). The item was then taken up in contact groups and informal consultations co-chaired by Ricardo Moita (Portugal) and Arthur Rolle (Bahamas). Parties considered the information provided by the GEF. Their recommendations are contained in SBI conclusions adopted by SBI on 10 December.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.24), the SBI invites the GEF to continue to provide detailed and complete information on its activities relating to preparation of non-Annex I communications, including information on the dates of approval of funding and disbursement of funds, for consideration at SBI 30. The SBI also recommends that COP 14 request the GEF to ensure sufficient financial resources to meet the agreed full costs incurred by developing countries in complying with their obligations under Convention Article 12.1 (national communications), noting and welcoming the fact that a number of non-Annex I parties plan to initiate the preparation of their third or fourth communications by the end of the fourth GEF replenishment.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The SBSTA took up this issue in plenary on 1 December and the SBI addressed it on 2 December, when the Chair of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT), Jukka Uosukainen (Finland), reported on the EGTT’s work (FCCC/SB/2008/INFs.5-8). Matters relating to the EGTT were subsequently considered in a joint SBI/SBSTA contact group chaired by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Holger Liptow (Germany). Discussions were not controversial and the group finished its work early. SBSTA and SBI conclusions were adopted on 9 December.
Other matters under the SBI agenda item on this issue (FCCC/SBI/2008/16-17) were taken up in a contact group chaired by Philip Gwage (Uganda) and Jukka Uosukainen (Finland), with a focus on the GEF strategic programme to scale up investment in technology transfer, and the development of the terms of reference for the review of the implementation of Convention Article 4.1(c) and 4.5. SBI conclusions containing an annex and draft COP decision were adopted by the SBI on 10 December, and the COP adopted the draft decision on 12 December. During adoption of the COP decision, the strategic programme was renamed the “Poznań strategic programme on technology transfer.”
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.16), the SBSTA notes progress made in the EGTT’s work and the interim reports by its Chair on performance indicators, financing options and a long-term strategy to facilitate the development, deployment, diffusion and transfer of technologies (FCCC/SB/2008/INFs 6-8). The SBSTA also requests the EGTT to take into consideration the deliberations among parties at this session when preparing the final versions of these reports.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.28), the SBI requests the EGTT to take into consideration the deliberations among parties at this session when preparing the final versions of the reports on performance indicators, financing options and a long-term strategy. The SBI also agrees on terms of reference for the review and assessment of the effectiveness of the implementation of Convention Article 4.1(c) and 4.5, contained in an annex that sets out the mandate, objectives, scope, areas of focus, and approach and timing of the review.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.28/Add.1), the COP welcomes the Poznań strategic programme on technology transfer, and requests the GEF to:
- promptly initiate and facilitate the preparation of projects for approval and implementation under the programme;
- collaborate with its implementing agencies to provide technical support to developing countries to prepare or update their technology needs assessments, using the updated handbook;
- consider the long-term implementation of the strategic programme, including addressing gaps in current GEF operations relating to technology transfer, leveraging private sector investment, and promoting innovative project development; and
- provide interim reports to SBI 30 and 31 and a report to COP 16 on progress to date.
The COP also invites parties and relevant organizations to make submissions to the Secretariat based on the areas of focus set out in the terms of reference for the review of implementation of Convention Article 4.1(c) and 4.5. The deadline for submissions is 16 February 2009.
CAPACITY BUILDING UNDER THE CONVENTION: This agenda item (FCCC/SBI/2008/11, 15, MISCs.5-6, FCCC/CP/2008/2 and FCCC/TP/2008/5) was first considered by the SBI in plenary on 2 December, and subsequently in informal consultations facilitated by Crispin D’Auvergne (Saint Lucia) and Helmut Hojesky (Austria). During consultations, disagreements persisted on language relating to support provided by the GEF in the implementation of the capacity building framework, and the use of performance indicators for monitoring and evaluation. The G-77/China preferred language expressing disappointment with implementation of the framework and particularly the support provided by the GEF. Most developed countries opposed this, stating that no review had been carried out and such language was inappropriate. In addition, the G-77/China supported the development of performance indicators for monitoring and evaluating capacity building, which developed countries opposed as unnecessary. Parties finally agreed on compromise language and SBI conclusions were adopted on 10 December. A COP decision, which was agreed at SBI 28, was adopted by the COP on 12 December.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.25), the SBI:
- notes the concern expressed by some parties regarding lack of progress in implementing the capacity-building framework;
- recommends that the COP reiterate its request to the GEF to continue efforts to provide adequate financial resources to support the implementation of capacity-building activities;
- invites submissions on experiences and lessons learned on the use of performance indicators for monitoring and evaluation; and
- requests the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report on this issue, including the possible use of performance indicators, for consideration at SBI 30.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/8/Add.1), the COP requests SBI 30 to prepare a draft decision for adoption at COP 15, on the outcome of the second comprehensive review of the implementation of the capacity-building framework in developing countries.
CONVENTION ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9 (ADVERSE EFFECTS AND RESPONSE MEASURES): Parties considered a number of issues in relation to the adverse effects of climate change and impacts of response measures. These included the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures (decision 1/CP.10), the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation and the needs of LDCs.
Decision 1/CP.10: This agenda item was considered by the SBI on 2 December, and subsequently in contact groups and informal consultations chaired by Leon Charles (Grenada). The two main tasks were: assessment of the implementation of Convention Article 4.8 and decisions 5/CP.7 and 1/CP.10; and identification of actions that could be carried out to further implement decision 1/CP.10. A round table was organized on 3 December as part of the assessment, for parties to exchange experiences, lessons and best practices, and parties continued this exchange during informal consultations, together with discussions on identifying further actions. However, parties were unable to agree on the further actions to be carried out, and were also unable to agree on text on the status of the implementation of decision 1/CP.10, due mainly to disagreement over the treatment of the impact of response measures. No outcome was reached and the COP took note of this during its closing plenary on 12 December. The item will be included on SBI 30’s agenda.
Nairobi Work Programme: This agenda item (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/9, 10, 12, INF.5, FCCC/TP/2008/3-4) was first considered by SBSTA on 1 December. Discussions continued in contact groups and informal consultations chaired by Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) and Don Lemmen (Canada). The main issues for discussion were: identification of recommendations from implementation of the NWP to be forwarded to the SBI for its consideration; and consideration of the need for a group of experts and its possible role. On the second issue, most developing countries were in support of a group of experts to support implementation of the NWP, while most developed countries, while not directly opposing establishment of such a group, questioned its benefit considering that many experts already participate in the NWP. Parties eventually agreed to have an expanded roster of experts, rather than a group of experts, and agreed to invite submissions on names for the roster. The SBI adopted conclusions and an annex on 10 December.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.22), the SBSTA, inter alia: invites parties to expand the roster of experts to ensure that all areas of expertise relevant to the NWP are represented; agrees to continue consideration of this matter at SBSTA 32; and provides the SBI, for its possible consideration, as appropriate, information and advice emerging from the implementation of the first phase of the NWP, as contained in the annex. The annex covers relevant information and advice to the SBI relating to methods and tools, data and observations; climate modeling, scenarios and downscaling; climate-related risks and extreme events; socioeconomic information; adaptation planning and practices; research; technologies for adaptation; and economic diversification.
Least Developed Countries: The SBI first considered this issue on 2 December, when the Chair of the LDC Expert Group (LEG) delivered a report on the 14th meeting of the LEG (FCCC/SBI/2008/14). The issue was subsequently taken up in informal consultations facilitated by Margaret Sangarwe (Zimbabwe), and proved straightforward. The SBI adopted conclusions on 10 December.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.22), the SBI notes that 39 NAPAs had been submitted by 10 December, that only one project is under implementation, and that 18 others have been approved for development. The SBI also, inter alia, invites the LEG to assess the support needed to implement NAPA projects, and encourages the LEG to provide technical support and training in development of NAPA projects for implementation.
OTHER MATTERS REFERRED TO COP BY SUBSIDIARY BODIES: Activities implemented jointly (AIJ) under the pilot phase: Joint climate mitigation activities between parties were envisaged under Convention Article 4.2, and a pilot phase for AIJ was agreed at COP 1 in 1995 to give interested parties experience in the joint implementation of projects. Unlike the Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, however, AIJ pilot phase activities do not result in credits for parties.
At COP 12, parties agreed to continue the pilot phase, and to consider the eighth synthesis report of submissions at SBSTA 29. However, because no new information on AIJ projects was received, the Secretariat did not produce a synthesis report. As a result, SBSTA 29 decided to change the deadline for the eighth synthesis, and on 12 December the COP adopted a short decision text confirming this recommendation.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.19), the SBSTA notes that the eighth synthesis report on AIJ has not yet been prepared because no new information was submitted.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.19/Add.1), the COP decides to continue the pilot phase and sets a deadline of 1 June 2010 for the submission of information for inclusion in the eighth synthesis report.
ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL MATTERS
This agenda item concerns audited financial statements for the biennium 2006-2007 (FCCC/SBI/2008/13 and Adds.1 and 2), performance for the biennium 2008-2009 (FCCC/SBI/2008/10 and INF.9) and continuing review of the functions and operations of the Secretariat. The item was taken up in SBI plenary on 2 December, and then addressed jointly with COP/MOP-related administrative, financial and institutional matters in informal consultations coordinated by Talieh Wogerbauer-Mamdouhi (Austria). The item proved uncontroversial, and SBI conclusions and a draft COP decision were adopted on 10 December. The COP adopted the decision on 12 December 2008.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.17), the SBI takes note of the auditors’ reports and information on income, budget performance and status of contributions, and notes with satisfaction the efforts of the Secretariat to ensure equitable geographic distribution among staff, and encourages continued efforts to improve gender balance.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.17/Add.1/Rev.1), the COP, inter alia: urges parties to further contribute to the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process and to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities; urges parties to make contributions to help cover the shortfall due to exchange rate fluctuations; and invites the UN Secretary-General to undertake an independent review of the Secretariat’s structure.
VOLUNTARY COMMITMENTS FOR KAZAKHSTAN FOR 2008-2012
The item on information on voluntary quantitative commitments for Kazakhstan for the period of 2008-2012 was taken up by the COP on 2 December, when COP President Nowicki said he would consult informally. The issue had arisen as a result of notification by Kazakhstan that it intends to take on voluntary quantitative commitments for the period 2008-2012.
The COP President’s consultations resulted in a short COP decision, which was adopted on 12 December.
COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2008/L.2), the COP recalls that, upon ratifying the Protocol, Kazakhstan will become an Annex I party for the purposes of the Protocol, while remaining a non-Annex I party for the purposes of the Convention. The COP welcomes information from Kazakhstan on its voluntary commitment to limit its emissions for 2008-2012 at the same level as its 1992 emissions.
REPORTS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES
The SBI and SBSTA met for their twenty-ninth sessions from 1-10 December. SBI was chaired by Bagher Asadi (Iran), while SBSTA was chaired by Helen Plume (New Zealand). On 12 December, the COP took note of the reports of the twenty-ninth and twenty-eighth sessions of the SBSTA (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.14 and FCCC/SBSTA/2008/6) and SBI (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.15 and FCCC/SBSTA/2008/8 and Add.1). These reports include numerous items that were subsequently taken up by the COP and/or COP/MOP. All of these issues are taken up in this summary under their respective COP and COP/MOP agenda items.
However, there were also several items on which conclusions were adopted by the SBSTA but not directly addressed by the COP or COP/MOP. These items included reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD), research and systematic observation, various methodological issues, the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, and cooperation with the Montreal Protocol Secretariat. This section provides details on Convention-related issues taken up in the report of the SBSTA that were not included on the COP’s agenda.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD): This issue was first addressed in SBSTA plenary on 2 December (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/11), and subsequently in numerous contact groups and informal consultations co-chaired by Audun Rosland (Norway) and Lilian Portillo (Paraguay). Early discussions focused on assessing progress made and additional methodological work needed, including whether to hold additional expert consultations or request further party submissions.
Extended consultations focused on the presence of a semicolon in text recommending methodological guidance on “issues relating to 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.” This text, present in early drafts, was drawn from paragraph 1(b)(iii) of the Bali Action Plan. India and others, seeking a more central role for conservation and other activities, sought removal of the semicolon, which would give these issues more prominence in the text. The final text included a comma in place of the semicolon, a move many interpreted as a small victory for inclusion of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in any possible future REDD mechanism.
Further discussions focused on the language on indigenous peoples, with some parties seeking to include reference to the rights of indigenous peoples, or the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and others suggesting that these issues would be better dealt with in the AWG-LCA.
After lengthy discussions on these matters, the SBSTA adopted conclusions on a compromise text on 10 December.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.23) SBSTA, inter alia:
- requests its Chair to organize an expert meeting to focus on methodological issues relating to reference emission levels for deforestation and degradation, the relationship among the reference emission levels and relevant reference levels, and the role and contribution of conservation, sustainable management of forests, changes in forest cover and associated carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks to enhance action on mitigation of climate change and to the consideration of reference levels;
- recommends methodological guidance noting the importance of, inter alia, promoting readiness of developing countries, and further mobilization of resources, in relation to decision 2/CP.13 (REDD), as well as recognizing the need to promote the full and effective participation of indigenous people and local communities, taking into account national circumstances and noting relevant international agreements;
- recommends taking into account methodological guidance, including, inter alia: the use of the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines, and encouraging the use of the Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF, as appropriate.
- requests the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the cost of implementing methodologies and monitoring systems;
- invites parties and accredited observers to submit, if appropriate, their views on issues relating to indigenous people and local communities for the development and application of methodologies; and
- concludes that guidance from the AWG-LCA would facilitate further progress on methodological issues.
Research and Systematic Observation:Parties were briefed by representatives of the Global Terrestrial Observing System, Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, and Global Climate Observing System (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/MISCs.11-12). The SBSTA then agreed to defer a more detailed consideration of this issue until SBSTA 30, and adopted brief conclusions on 10 December.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.18), the SBSTA agrees to defer further consideration of this issue to SBSTA 30, when it will consider the implementation plan of the Global Climate Observing System. In this regard, it encourages parties to provide additional information on their national activities by 30 January 2009.
Methodological Issues: A number of methodological issues were taken up by SBSTA, including matters relating to greenhouse gas inventories, the greenhouse gas data interface, and emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport (also known as “bunker fuels”).
Greenhouse gas inventories: The SBSTA first took up this issue on 2 December (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/INF.4), followed by informal consultations facilitated by Dominique Blain (Canada). These consultations resulted in agreement on SBSTA conclusions, which were adopted by the SBSTA on 10 December.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.20), the SBSTA notes with concern difficulties experienced by the Secretariat in organizing reviews with complete expert review teams and reiterates its request to parties to nominate experts to the roster of experts, update the roster at least once a year and try to ensure that invited experts are able to participate in reviews. The SBSTA notes the importance of the training for inventory review experts and requests the Secretariat to update this programme for the period up to 2014. The SBSTA also notes the need to enhance consistency of the reviews.
Greenhouse gas data interface: Consideration of this item was deferred until SBSTA 32.
Bunker fuels: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) briefed parties in the SBSTA plenary on 2 December. SBSTA Chair Helen Plume prepared conclusions mandating consideration of this item in more detail at SBSTA 32. The SBSTA adopted the conclusions on 10 December.
SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.15), the SBSTA notes the information received from the ICAO and IMO Secretariats and invites them to report at future sessions of the SBSTA on outcomes of their work on this issue.
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was first taken up by SBSTA on 2 December, when Chair Helen Plume noted agreement at SBSTA 28 to conclude consideration of this matter at the 29th session. Chair Plume prepared SBSTA conclusions on this matter, which were adopted on 10 December.
SBSTA Conclusions:In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.17), the SBSTA stresses the importance of keeping parties informed about findings from the AR4 and notes plans for a Fifth Assessment Report and the invitation to parties to inform the IPCC about scientific and technical questions and information they would like considered in support of the UNFCCC process.
Other SBSTA Matters: Cooperation with the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol: This matter was taken up briefly on 2 December and subsequently on 10 December, when SBSTA conclusions were adopted.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.19), the SBSTA notes the decisions of the 20th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on the environmentally-sound management of banks of ozone-depleting substances and on convening an open-ended dialogue on high global warming potential alternatives for ozone-depleting substances. The SBSTA notes the planned workshops and encourages the UNFCCC Secretariat to attend.
REPORT OF THE AWG-LCA
On 12 December, the COP took note of the report of AWG-LCA 4 in Poznań, as well as the reports of the sessions held earlier in the year in March-April, June and August (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/L.9 and FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/9, 12 and Corr.1). The COP also adopted a decision on this process, entitled “Advancing the Bali Action Plan” (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/L.4), which notes progress and welcomes the Chair’s determination to shift into full negotiating mode in 2009. For a full account of the discussions and outcomes from the AWG-LCA in Poznań, see the AWG-LCA section of this report on page 12.
REPORT OF COP/MOP 4
COP and COP/MOP President Maciej Nowicki opened COP/MOP 4 on Monday, 1 December.
On 1 December, delegates adopted the COP/MOP agenda (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/1) and approved the proposed organization of work.
On 12 December, the COP/MOP approved its report on credentials (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/8) and nominations for membership of the CDM Executive Board and Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.1). COP/MOP Chair Nowicki informed parties that, because discussions on the AWG-KP Bureau had not been completed, the incumbent Chair (Harald Dovland, Norway) and Vice-Chair (Mama Konate, Mali) would continue in their posts.
CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM
Under this agenda item (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/4), parties focused on the operation of the CDM and its regional distribution. The issue was first taken up by the COP/MOP plenary on 3 December and then considered in a contact group and informal consultations co-chaired by Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica) and Georg Børsting (Norway). The COP/MOP plenary adopted the decision on 12 December (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.6).
Negotiations were lengthy, with outstanding issues addressed at the ministerial level. The main issues discussed included CDM governance, issues related to accreditation of Designated Operational Entities (DOEs), methodologies and the CDM’s regional and subregional distribution.
On governance, China, Japan and others expressed concern over recent delays in project registration and increase in review requests by the CDM Executive Board, as well as over unpredictability in the Board’s decision making. Delegates therefore agreed to text on governance noting delays and requesting the Board to speed up the “completeness check process.” Parties also agreed to request the Board to take several specific actions to improve transparency and consistency of its decision-making and refrain from retroactive application of its decisions.
China, Japan and others highlighted the need to simplify accreditation of Designated Operational Entities (DOEs) and delegates agreed, inter alia, to request the Board to complete “as its highest priority” revision of the accreditation process for DOEs and develop, by COP/MOP 5, a policy framework for addressing non-compliance by DOEs.
One of the last issues to be resolved related to methodologies and a proposal by Brazil to consider extending the eligibility criteria for afforestation/reforestation activities under the CDM to cover lands with forests in exhaustion. As of 11 December, the paragraph remained in brackets. It also contained bracketed text supported by Saudi Arabia on the inclusion of CCS in geological formations under the CDM. Ministers eventually agreed to refer both issues to the Executive Board for further consideration and requested the Board to report back to COP/MOP 5. In the COP/MOP closing plenary, Venezuela proposed that the Board set up a working group to study the technical and legal aspects of CCS, and delegates agreed to reflect Venezuela’s statement in the meeting’s record.
Another controversial issue concerned regional and subregional distribution of the CDM. The African Group and others highlighted the need to consider Africa’s interests, including by facilitating methodological work. Cambodia and others proposed simplifying the CDM procedures for LDCs. The EU and others supported simplifying CDM procedures and facilitating work on methodologies for Africa, LDCs and SIDS. However, Colombia, Saudi Arabia and some other developing countries opposed giving preference to LDCs, SIDS and Africa, especially regarding methodologies, and called for equal treatment for all non-Annex I countries with few CDM projects. After lengthy negotiations, text was agreed including special reference to Africa, LDCs and SIDS regarding streamlining of the CDM process. The paragraph on facilitating methodological work, however, only refers to “countries underrepresented” in the CDM.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.6), the COP/MOP notes with serious concern delays in project registration and CER issuance and urges the Board to take effective action to speed up the completeness check process.
The COP/MOP also requests the Board to:
- classify, index and publish decisions, clarify their hierarchy, demonstrate the relationship between new and previous decisions, and further substantiate decisions as soon as possible in 2009;
- summarize systematically the major issues that trigger review requests and compile and make publicly available the major criteria for decision-making during the review process;
- adhere to the principle that any decision, guidance, tool and rule shall not be applied retroactively;
- complete, as its highest priority, its revision of the DOE accreditation process and complete its accreditation standard;
- develop and apply, as a priority, a system for continuous monitoring of DOEs and improving their performance;
- facilitate accreditation of DOEs from developing countries;
- finalize prior to COP/MOP 5 work on a policy framework to address non-compliance by DOEs in a systematic manner, including transparent criteria for sanctions; and
- analyze possible arrangements for ensuring that projects under validation or verification by suspended DOEs are not prejudiced by suspension.
On methodologies and additionality, the COP/MOP requests the Board to further enhance the objectivity regarding approaches to demonstrating additionality and determination of emission baselines. It also requests the Board to provide, as a matter of urgency, guidance on the programme of activities, and asks the Board to assess the implications of the possible inclusion of CCS in geological formations as CDM activities, taking into account technical, methodological and legal issues, and report back to COP/MOP 5. Additionally, it requests the Board to assess the implications of the possible inclusion of lands “with forests in exhaustion” as afforestation and reforestation CDM activities, taking into account technical, methodological and legal issues, and report back to COP/MOP 5.
On regional and subregional distribution, the COP/MOP:
- encourages bilateral cooperation, and further private sector engagement in the CDM and DOEs to establish offices and partnerships in developing countries;
- requests the Board to develop, in cooperation with DOEs, ways to streamline the CDM process in countries hosting fewer than 10 projects, especially in LDCs, SIDS and Africa, without compromising environmental integrity;
- requests the Board, taking into account its workload, to facilitate the development and approval of methodologies based on the specific needs, and potential for, application in countries underrepresented in the CDM; and
- encourages parties and the private sector to support the identification and development of project design documents in countries hosting fewer than ten registered CDM projects, especially in LDCs, SIDS and Africa, and to meet the cost of validating these projects.
This issue was first addressed in the COP/MOP on 3 December, and subsequently in contact groups and informal consultations co-chaired by William Agyemang-Bonsu (Ghana) and Pedro Martins Barata (Portugal). The group focused discussion on issues related to the JI Supervisory Committee (JISC), with other JI-related discussions occurring under the agenda item on the second review of the Kyoto Protocol under Article 9. The COP/MOP adopted conclusions on 12 December.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.4), the COP/MOP, inter alia: encourages the JISC to continue enhancing the implementation of the verification procedure, taking into account the distinct characteristics of JI, and to emphasize that approaches specific to JI are available; encourages independent entities to continue to build and improve their capacity; and notes with concern that the income to date from charging of fees to cover administrative costs is significantly lower than the level required to cover the estimated costs.
The Compliance Committee’s annual report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/5) was taken up by the COP/MOP in plenary on 4 December, and then considered in a contact group and informal consultations co-chaired by Eric Mugurusi (Tanzania) and Jürgen Lefevere (European Community). The COP/MOP adopted the decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.2) on 12 December.
The key issue discussed concerned the Committee’s proposal on amendments to its rules of procedures. Sebastian Oberthür, Chair of the Compliance Committee’s Enforcement Branch, explained that the motivation was to: introduce transparent rules for the calculation of time periods; clarify parties’ right to be represented; and clarify rules concerning the submission and assessment of compliance action plans. Some developed countries stressed the need to avoid introducing new obligations. After informal consultations, parties agreed to adopt most of the modifications proposed by the Committee, with some further amendments.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.2), the COP/MOP, inter alia,adopts amendments to the Compliance Committee’s rules of procedure. The decision also contains an annex with the amended rules of procedure. These rules specify the calculation of time periods and set out situations where a party is entitled to designate one or more persons to represent it. The rules also identify issues to be addressed in compliance action plans, and set out the indicative timeframe for the consideration of such plans by the Enforcement Branch, as well as issues to be included in the review and assessment of the plan by the Enforcement Branch.
AMENDMENT TO THE PROTOCOL RELATING TO COMPLIANCE
This issue relates to a proposal by Saudi Arabia at COP/MOP 1 to amend the Protocol to entail legally binding consequences for non-compliance. It was briefly taken up by the SBI plenary on 2 December and SBI Chair Asadi said he would consult informally. On 10 December, the SBI closing plenary agreed to continue consideration of the issue at SBI 30 without adopting formal conclusions and the COP/MOP closing plenary took note of this action on 12 December.
ADAPTATION FUND BOARD REPORT
The issue was taken up in the COP/MOP plenary on 3 December and further discussed in a contact group and informal consultations co-chaired by Karsten Sach (Germany) and Surya Sethi (India). The issue concerns operationalization of the Adaptation Fund through adopting or taking note of the recommendations by the Adaptation Fund Board contained in the Board’s report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/2).
There was broad agreement among parties that the Adaptation Fund needs to become operational as soon as possible in 2009. However, extensive discussions took place on enabling direct access of parties to the Fund, which is one of the three tracks under the decision 1/CMP.3. The two other tracks are access through implementing entities and through accredited executing entities at the national level.
The G-77/China insisted on operationalizing parties’ direct access to funding by giving the Board the legal capacity to undertake contracts and fund projects. The EU cautioned against making decisions on the legal status at this time. With other developed countries, the EU also supported a feasibility study on the legal issues identified in the Board’s report. However, agreement was not reached and the issue was forwarded for consideration at the ministerial level. Ministers finally agreed to confer on the Board legal capacity to enable direct access by parties to the Fund.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.7), the COP/MOP, inter alia, adopts: the rules of procedure of the Adaptation Fund Board; the memorandum of understanding between the COP/MOP and the GEF Council regarding secretariat services to the Adaptation Fund Board, on an interim basis; the terms and conditions of services to be provided by the World Bank as trustee for the Adaptation Fund, on an interim basis; and the strategic priorities, policies and guidelines of the Adaptation Fund.
The COP/MOP also decides that the Adaptation Fund Board be conferred such legal capacity as necessary for the discharge of its functions with regard to direct access by eligible parties and implementing and executing entities. In addition, the COP/MOP determines that these provisions will be reviewed as part of the review envisaged in decision 1/CMP.3, paragraph 33, taking into account the feasibility study commissioned by the Adaptation Fund Board.
INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION LOG
On the international transaction log (ITL) for the flexible mechanisms, the Secretariat introduced the relevant document (FCCC/SBI/2008/7) during the SBI plenary on 2 December. SBI Chair Asadi undertook to draft conclusions in consultation with interested parties. The SBI adopted conclusions on 10 December, with the COP/MOP adopting these on 12 December.
COP/MOP Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI 2008/L.18), the COP/MOP notes that the Secretariat has completed the connection of the JI information system with the ITL. The COP/MOP also requests the ITL administrator to compile sufficient information on transactions in the ITL and provide it in its annual reports for 2009 and 2010.
This issue was first addressed in the SBI plenary on 2 December (FCCC/SBI/2008/INF.8 and MISC.7), and subsequently in informal consultations held by Dominique Blain (Canada). The SBI adopted conclusions on 10 December.
SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.19), the SBI, inter alia: requests the Secretariat to organize a meeting of the lead reviewers in the first half of 2009, and to prepare a note describing plans and priorities for 2010-2011, including resource requirements.
COMPILATION AND ACCOUNTING REPORT FOR ANNEX B PARTIES
This issue was first addressed in SBI plenary on 2 December under the agenda item on other matters (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/9/Rev.1, Add. 1 and Corr. 1). The matter proved uncontroversial and the COP/MOP adopted a decision on 12 December.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.16), the COP/MOP, inter alia: acknowledges that the outcomes of the initial review demonstrate the capacity of Annex B parties to account for their emissions and assigned amounts in the first commitment period and to meet eligibility requirements for participation in the flexibility mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol.
2ND REVIEW OF THE PROTOCOL UNDER ARTICLE 9
This agenda item relates to the second review of the Kyoto Protocol under Article 9. The first review took place at COP/MOP 2 where delegates also agreed on the timing and preparatory process for the second review.
During sessional and intersessional discussions held prior to COP/MOP 4, several issues had been identified for consideration during the second review, including: facilitating procedures for countries to take on emission targets under Protocol Annex B; improving the governance and distribution of the CDM; privileges and immunities; and extending the share of proceeds for adaptation to JI and emissions trading.
At COP/MOP 4, the issue (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/6; FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/INF.1-3; FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/MISC.1-3; FCCC/SBI/2008/8 & Add.1 and FCCC/TP/2008/6) was first taken up in plenary on 3 and 4 December. From 3-12 December it was considered in contact groups and numerous informal consultations co-chaired by Ana Maria Kleymeyr (Argentina) and Adrian Macey (New Zealand). In the COP/MOP plenary on 13 December, following late-night Friends of the Chair and ministerial consultations, COP/MOP President Nowicki announced that these consultations had not resulted in agreement on a comprehensive review.
On the review process, Saudi Arabia, China and others said the review should be completed in Poznań, while the EU, Australia and others identified the need to continue considering some issues under other bodies, such as the SBI. Consultations on the different aspects of the review took place separately, with an expert drafting group producing what was reported to be agreed text on the scope, effectiveness and functioning of the flexible mechanisms.
On the share of proceeds, many developing countries highlighted the importance of the issue and supported its finalization in Poznań. Some countries with economies in transition, however, opposed the proposal. South Africa proposed specific text on a two percent levy on the issuance of assigned amount units (AAUs) and removal units, to be monetized by the Adaptation Fund Board. The EU put forth less specific text noting the need to develop improved understanding of the financial potentials of available and new mechanisms. Parties were ultimately unable to reach agreement on the share of proceeds issue, with many developing countries expressing disappointment. In the early hours of Saturday, 13 December, the COP/MOP agreed to conclude the review without any substantive outcome or document.
CAPACITY BUILDING UNDER THE PROTOCOL
This agenda item (FCCC/SBI/2008/11, MISCs. 5-6, and FCCC/TP/2008/5) was first considered by the SBI on 2 December, when the G-77/China highlighted gaps in implementing capacity building, particularly in relation to enhancing capacity for implementing CDM projects in Africa, LDCs and SIDS. The item was subsequently taken up in informal consultations facilitated by Crispin D’Auvergne (Saint Lucia) and Helmut Hojesky (Austria), where the issue of performance indicators for monitoring and evaluating capacity building, and barriers to distribution of CDM projects were discussed. SBI conclusions were adopted on 10 December and the COP/MOP decision forwarded from the SBI was adopted by the COP/MOP on 12 December.
SBI Conclusions: The SBI conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.25) under this agenda item are similar to those on capacity building under the Convention, particularly on expertise and gaps in monitoring and evaluating capacity building, and the use of performance indicators. In addition to these conclusions, the SBI also notes the synthesis report on the implementation of the capacity-building framework and acknowledges the barriers to the equitable regional distribution of CDM projects.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/8/Add.1), the COP/MOP requests SBI 30 to prepare a draft decision for adoption at COP/MOP 5, on the outcome of the second comprehensive review of the implementation of the capacity-building framework in developing countries, and decides to take account of recommendations made by SBI 30 on further steps to regularly monitor and review the implementation of capacity building.
ARTICLES 3.14 AND 2.3
During SB 28, delegates agreed to establish a joint SBSTA/SBI contact group at SB 29 on the SBSTA agenda item on Protocol Article 2.3 (adverse effects of policies and measures) and the SBI item on Protocol Article 3.14 (adverse effects and response measures). Disagreement on considering these items jointly had resulted in the issue being deferred to successive SBI and SBSTA sessions.
This matter was first considered on 2 December in the SBI and SBSTA plenary. Kamel Djemouai (Algeria) and Gertraud Wollansky (Austria) subsequently co-chaired several joint contact group sessions and informal consultations. Procedural issues were the subject of debate, in terms of how to resolve the precedent established by holding a joint SBI/SBSTA contact group. Parties discussed whether Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14 should be addressed in one joint SBI/SBSTA conclusion or whether there should be separate conclusions under each of the respective bodies. Parties eventually agreed on joint SBSTA/SBI conclusions under each of the respective bodies. Several Annex I countries also contended that adverse effects and response measures should be discussed jointly, while others maintained that these items should be considered separately with equal time allocated to each, as agreed at SB 28.
The issue of duplication was raised in the context of ongoing relevant discussions under other SBI agenda items, the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP and also in relation to a proposed workshop on adverse effects and response measures proposed for 2009. Potential overlaps with scheduled workshops on spillover effects under the AWG-KP and on economic and social impacts of response measures under the AWG-LCA were raised. Micronesia, for AOSIS, reiterated that discussions on response measures should be distinct from discussions on adaptation and called for the proposed workshop to have a narrow focus. SBSTA conclusions were adopted on 12 December.
SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.24), the SBSTA acknowledges the importance of addressing matters relating to Article 3.14 and Article 2.3 of the Protocol and establishes a joint contact group to address these matters. The SBSTA and SBI welcome the initial exchange of views on these matters and on opportunities for further action and agrees to continue these actions in a joint contact group at SB 30.
ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL MATTERS
This issue was taken up in SBI plenary on 2 December, and then addressed jointly with COP-related administrative, financial and institutional matters in informal consultations. The item proved uncontroversial, and the COP/MOP adopted a short decision on the matter during its closing plenary on 13 December.
COP/MOP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.17/Add.2/Rev.1), the COP/MOP, inter alia: urges parties to further contribute to the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process to ensure the widest possible participation in the negotiations in 2009, and to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities, particularly in view of increased number of sessions in 2008-2009.
REPORTS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES
On 12 December, the COP/MOP took note of the reports of the twenty-ninth and twenty-eighth sessions of the SBSTA (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.14 and FCCC/SBSTA/2008/6) and SBI (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.15 and FCCC/SBSTA/2008/8 and Add.1). These reports include numerous items that were subsequently taken up by the COP and/or COP/MOP and are summarized here under their respective COP and COP/MOP agenda items.
However, there were also two Protocol-related methodological issues on which conclusions were adopted by the SBSTA that were not directly addressed by the COP/MOP. This section provides details on these Protocol-related issues taken up in the report of the SBSTA that were not included on the COP/MOP’s agenda.
SBSTA: Methodological issues under the Protocol: Hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22 (HCFC-22) / Hydrofluorocarbon-23 (HFC-23): This issue was first addressed in plenary on 2 December, and in various informal consultations facilitated by Jeffery Spooner (Jamaica). It concerns the implications of crediting emission reductions for the destruction of HFC-23 under the CDM and, in so doing, providing a perverse incentive for the increased production of HCFC-22 – an ozone-depleting substance regulated under the Montreal Protocol. Parties were not able to reach agreement on this item and it will be taken up again at SBSTA 30.
Carbon capture and storage under the CDM: This issue (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/INFs.1 and 3 and MISC.10), was first introduced in plenary on 2 December and considered in contact group sessions and informal consultations facilitated by Gertraud Wollansky (Austria) and Mohammad Reazuddin (Bangladesh). Delegates considered various options, including an EU proposal for a CCS pilot phase under the CDM. Throughout discussions, views remained polarized among parties such as Saudi Arabia, Norway, the EU, Japan and others who supported including CCS under the CDM and Jamaica, Venezuela, Micronesia and Brazil who, while noting the potential of CCS maintained that the technology has not been fully tested or proven, but could be considered at a later stage. Draft text was heavily bracketed and differences remained on forwarding bracketed text to the COP/MOP or to a later SBSTA session.
During the SBSTA closing plenary, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Norway and Japan expressed regret that agreement had not been reached. Jamaica noted that CCS technology is not ready for use in an offset mechanism such as the CDM, while Brazil highlighted concerns relating to long-term permanence and host-country liabilities. The SBSTA adopted conclusions on 10 December. Informal ministerial consultations conducted on 12 December were not able to reach agreement on this matter. The item will therefore appear on the agenda at the SBSTA’s next session.
SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.21), the SBSTA takes note of the synthesis of views on issues relevant to the consideration of CCS in geological formations as CDM project activities and the views of parties and NGOs. The SBSTA, having considered the conclusions and the draft decisions proposed by the Chair, does not agree to adopt these conclusions and, therefore, cannot conclude its consideration of this issue.
REPORT OF THE AWG-KP
On 12 December, the COP/MOP took note of the report of the resumed AWG-KP 6 in Poznań, as well as the reports of the sessions held earlier in the year in March-April, June and August (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.16 and FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/2, 3, and 5). The COP/MOP also adopted a decision forwarded by the AWG-KP on “Advancing the work of the AWG-KP” (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.5), which looks forward to the development of texts that support the AWG-KP completing its work at COP/MOP 5. For a full account on the discussions and outcomes from the AWG-KP in Poznań, see the AWG-KP section of this report on page 14.
PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES: This item was first considered in the SBI plenary on 2 December, when parties supported considering this issue in the context of the second review of the Protocol under Article 9. Tuvalu proposed a new legally-binding instrument and the EU said it should be part of a post-2012 agreement.
Sebastian Oberthür (Germany) undertook informal consultations that resulted in three draft texts. One of these texts was intended for further consideration by the contact group undertaking the second review of the Protocol under Article 9, since the issue of privileges and immunities is connected to this wider review. This text addressed both short- and long-term arrangements, and was to be included in a draft decision under the Article 9 review. However, this draft decision was never adopted due to lack of agreement on other aspects of the review.
Two other texts were also developed during the informal consultations facilitated by Oberthür. One was an SBI conclusion and the other was a COP/MOP decision focused on short-term measures. These texts were approved by the SBI on 10 December, and the COP/MOP adopted the decision on 12 December under the agenda item on “Other Matters.”
SBI Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.20), the SBI encourages the constituted bodies established under the Kyoto Protocol to review their rules of procedure relating to breaches of conditions of service.
COP/ MOP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2008/L.20/Add.1), the COP/MOP encourages the Executive Secretary to continue to convene meetings of the constituted bodies at the seat of the Secretariat or at other venues where host country agreements or MoUs contain provisions for privileges and immunities for individuals serving on constituted bodies established under the Protocol. The COP/MOP encourages parties where feasible, to provide for adequate protection of the individuals serving on constituted bodies established under the Protocol until appropriate treaty provisions come into force.
REPORT OF AWG-LCA 4
On Monday, 1 December, AWG-LCA Chair Luiz Machado (Brazil) opened the session. The G-77/China highlighted its proposals on financing and technology. Australia, for the Umbrella Group, highlighted the need to move to full negotiation mode and discuss legal issues in 2009. Barbados, for AOSIS, called for serious negotiations and a focused work programme with concrete milestones. France, for the EU, stressed synergies between the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP and the importance of a shared vision as a statement of political will that translates the Convention’s ultimate objective into a vision of sustainable development.
Delegates adopted the agenda (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/14) and agreed on the organization of work. The following section reports the discussions and outcome of this work, based on the agenda, which was focused on a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financing, as well as on the work programme for 2009.
ENABLING THE FULL, EFFECTIVE AND SUSTAINED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION THROUGH LONG-TERM COOPERATIVE ACTION
Discussions on this agenda item focused on the key elements outlined in the Bali Action Plan (decision 1/ CP.13), including a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing. Three in-session workshops were held on: a shared vision for long-term cooperative action; risk management and risk reduction strategies, including risk sharing and transfer mechanisms such as insurance; and cooperation on research and development of current, new and innovative technology, including win-win solutions. An informal ministerial round table on a shared vision was also held. For more details of these workshops and the round table see: http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12387e.html, http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12388e.html, http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12389e.html, http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12391e.html and http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12394e.html
When this item was introduced on 1 December, Chair Machado explained that when the AWG-LCA concluded its third session in Accra, he had been invited to prepare an “assembly document” (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16) bringing together the ideas and proposals presented by parties (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/MISC.5 and Add.1) on the elements contained in paragraph 1 of the Bali Action Plan, taking into account the ideas and proposals presented by accredited observer organizations (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/MISC.6), and to make this assembly document available for the fourth session of the AWG-LCA in Poznań. Chair Machado also explained that he would update this assembly document before the close of the session in Poznań, taking into account a new round of submissions requested by 6 December, as well as the discussions held in Poznań.
Chair Machado subsequently proposed four contact groups on a shared vision, mitigation and means of implementation, adaptation and means of implementation, and delivering on technology and financing (including institutional arrangements). A lengthy debate ensued on the merits of establishing a contact group on a shared vision. Algeria, with Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, China, Malaysia and Egypt, opposed this as being premature. The general sentiment was that the contact group was unnecessary taking into account the in-session workshop on a shared vision and the informal ministerial round table on the same matter. Several parties said discussions on a shared vision should therefore be informed by outcomes of the round table and workshop. However, Japan, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Barbados, the EU, Ghana and Australia supported the establishment of the shared vision contact group maintaining that this had been agreed at AWG-LCA 3. After informal consultations, delegates agreed to establish all four contact groups, with only one session scheduled for the shared vision group. These discussions are outlined in the relevant sections below.
On 10 December, Chair Machado introduced the updated assembly document (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16/Rev.1), indicating that there had now been 164 submissions in total, amounting to more than 1000 pages of input. He suggested that this demonstrates the active interest and engagement of parties, and said the text would provide a strong basis for work in 2009. The AWG-LCA then approved a draft COP decision that welcomes the assembly document. This decision was adopted by the COP on 12 December (FCCC/CP/2008/L.4).
The in-depth discussions in plenary and contact groups held on a shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, and technology and financing, are set out in the section below, followed by a summary of the COP decision.
A SHARED VISION FOR LONG-TERM COOPERATIVE ACTION: This item was considered in an in-session workshop, contact group session and an informal ministerial round table. Discussion during the contact group, chaired by AWG-LCA Vice-Chair Michael Zammit Cutajar, focused on reactions to the shared vision workshop report, in relation to guiding principles, scope and objectives. Costa Rica, for the G-77/China, said efforts to address climate change should not be compromised by the current financial crisis. She also noted that adaptation and mitigation must be addressed as equal priorities, deep emission cuts should primarily be undertaken domestically by developed countries, and nationally appropriate mitigation actions for developing countries should be considered in the context of sustainable development.
The US noted recent economic circumstances and countries’ evolving capabilities to contribute to emission reductions. Barbados, for AOSIS, highlighted safeguarding vulnerable countries as the central element of a shared vision. Tuvalu proposed the inclusion of the principle of state responsibility.
MITIGATION AND MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: Issues related to mitigation and associated means of implementation were introduced in AWG-LCA plenary on 1 December. They were then taken up in a contact group chaired by AWG-LCA Vice-Chair Cutajar. Discussions focused on: who has to take actions, MRV and recognizing and registering mitigation actions.
Differentiation among developing countries was one of the areas where parties’ views diverged. Japan suggested broadening the scope of developed countries and differentiating among developing countries with the possibility of graduation, while Brazil, for the G-77/China, firmly rejected any proposals for differentiation among non-Annex I parties. Singapore said that diverse national circumstances should be taken into account.
Parties also discussed monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV), in particular, its scope of application and mechanism for implementation. The EU explained that reporting by developing countries should be more frequent and based on international guidance, and that verification should take place internationally, building on existing experience. South Africa said MRV must be applied to legally-binding mitigation commitments by developed countries, mitigation actions in developing countries based on technological and financial assistance, and implementation of financing, technology and capacity-building commitments by developed countries. Saudi Arabia proposed a new developing country action mechanism, whereby resource commitments by developed countries and action pledges by developing countries are pooled together.
In addition, parties addressed the idea of establishing a registry of nationally appropriate mitigation actions in developing countries. Brazil agreed that the registry should bring actions and resources together, and the Republic of Korea said it should be voluntary. The EU suggested also registering outcomes of actions while India stressed that there should be no review of adequacy of developing country actions. The US identified the need to consider the spectrum of countries’ national circumstances and said the registry approach should be considered for both developed and developing countries, while Brazil said developed countries must take on commitments and stressed the need to consider comparability of their efforts.
ADAPTATION AND MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: The contact group on adaptation and its associated means of implementation, co-chaired by Thomas Kolly (Switzerland) and William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu (Ghana), met three times.
Several parties made specific proposals. The EU reiterated its proposed framework for action on adaptation. Sri Lanka and Palau, speaking also for Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, proposed an ecosystem approach to adaptation. The African Group, India, Norway and others supported establishment of regional adaptation centers. Switzerland noted his proposed global carbon dioxide levy to generate resources for adaptation and China suggested establishing a Convention adaptation fund and adaptation committee. Micronesia, for AOSIS, proposed a new multi-window mechanism that would include insurance, rehabilitation and compensation, and risk management.
Barbados, for AOSIS, said enhanced action on adaptation should deal first with current, then anticipated, climate change impacts. South Africa, for the African Group, highlighted the need for early warning systems, vulnerability mapping and information exchange. The Gambia, for LDCs, said that although integration of adaptation into development planning is important, implementation of NAPAs must not be delayed by this process.
On incentivizing adaptation and creating enabling environments, Bangladesh underlined the need to involve and incentivize the private sector and the US highlighted that recipient countries, not just donors, must play a role in providing incentives for adaptation. On the issue of risk management, the EU emphasized strengthening resilience, improving preparedness, enhancing the role of the private sector, and creating an enabling environment. Regarding economic diversification, Saudi Arabia highlighted links to risk management and AOSIS supported identification of options to enhance capacity for diversification. On the role of the Convention, Peru suggested enhancing synergies with the UNCCD and CBD and Australia emphasized the role of the UNFCCC process in determining a method for prioritizing support to vulnerable countries based, inter alia, on physical impacts and adaptive capacity.
DELIVERING ON TECHNOLOGY AND FINANCING: The issues related to technology and financing were introduced in the plenary on 1 December and discussed in a contact group chaired by AWG-LCA Chair Machado.
Parties discussed principles of financing, with the EU, supported by New Zealand and Canada, suggesting that any financial architecture should be based on principles of effectiveness, efficiency and equity. South Africa, with the EU, noted a country-driven approach and programmatic financing.
On mobilization of financial resources, Australia underlined the importance of sources both inside and outside the Convention, enabling environments to mobilize private investments and addressing barriers to public investment flows. Barbados, for AOSIS, highlighted that mixed resources are the best approach and that the state’s role is vital for financing for adaptation. Japan said that private sector investments are an absolute necessity and that some non-Annex I countries should contribute financial resources based on the “polluter pays” principle.
On institutional arrangements, discussions centered on existing or new institutions and on a technology mechanism. The US, EU, Canada and Australia said that the new financial framework should be built on existing institutions, while many developing countries highlighted the need for new financial architecture. The Bahamas, for AOSIS, noted that the current financial crisis demonstrates that existing institutions do not work.
On a technology mechanism, Canada supported maximizing existing institutions inside and outside of the Convention. Argentina proposed a new subsidiary body on technology issues under the Convention, which would include a strategic planning committee, technical panels focused on different sectors, and a verification group. Japan proposed establishing sectoral sub-groups, with the participation of the private sector.
Regarding technology development and transfer, the US said the issue should be considered as part of a broader strategy on mitigation and adaptation. India, the EU and Iceland underlined the need to enhance regional capacity.
Intellectual property rights (IPRs) was another issue on which many parties commented. The G-77/China underlined IPRs as a barrier to technology transfer and highlighted experiences in the public health sector. To this, Japan noted that in many industries IPRs constitute a small part of the total cost and that there are other barriers to technology transfer, while Switzerland said IPRs are insignificant in the housing and transport sectors.
COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/CP/2008/L.4), the COP welcomes the progress achieved by the AWG-LCA in addressing all the elements contained in paragraph 1 of decision 1/CP.13 (the Bali Action Plan), and takes note of the report of the AWG-LCA on progress made. The COP welcomes the assembly by the AWG-LCA Chair of the ideas and proposals on the elements contained in paragraph 1 of the Bali Action Plan and takes note of the conclusions of the AWG-LCA on its work programme for 2009 and the invitation to its Chair to help focus the negotiating process by preparing further documents, including a negotiating text. The COP welcomes the determination of the AWG-LCA to shift into full negotiating mode in 2009 and its invitation to all parties to put forward further proposals regarding the content and form of the agreed outcome as early as possible.
2009 WORK PROGRAMME
This issue was first taken up in plenary on 1 December, when AWG-LCA Chair Machado noted that the issue of convening an additional session in 2009 would have to be decided in Poznań. Informal consultations were subsequently conducted, facilitated by AWG-LCA Vice-Chair Cutajar.
The informal consultations resulted in agreement on the AWG-LCA’s work programme in 2009. The AWG-LCA adopted its conclusions on 10 December.
AWG-LCA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/L.10), the AWG-LCA invites the Chair to prepare, under his own responsibility, and building upon the ideas and proposals of parties, and upon the assembly document (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16/Rev.1): a document for consideration at AWG-LCA 5, taking account of further submissions received from parties by 6 February 2009, that would further focus the negotiating process on the fulfilment of the Bali Action Plan; and a negotiating text for consideration at AWG-LCA 6, taking account of the proceedings of AWG-LCA 5 and further submissions received from parties by 24 April 2009. The AWG-LCA also requests the Chair to keep the need for additional meeting time in 2009 under review in consultation with parties, the COP Bureau and the Executive Secretary, and to propose any action that might need to be taken by the AWG-LCA in a manner that would ensure the effective participation of all parties, particularly developing country parties.
REPORT OF THE AWG-KP
On Monday, 1 December, AWG-KP Chair Harald Dovland (Norway) reconvened AWG-KP 6, which had started its sixth session in Accra, Ghana, in August 2008, and was due to conclude this session in Poznań. Chair Dovland proposed holding a strategic discussion in Poznań on the broader picture and to consider most elements of the work programme simultaneously.
In an opening statement, Antigua and Barbuda, for the G-77/China, expressed concern over slow progress and said conclusions on several agenda items should be adopted in Poznań. Tuvalu, for AOSIS, said the AWG-KP should establish emission reduction ranges, distribute responsibility, and apply simplicity and continuity to means and methodologies. France, for the EU, called for a global and comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen and expressed readiness to move to full negotiation mode. Australia, for the Umbrella Group, stressed relevant work under the AWG-LCA, the Article 9 review and REDD, and proposed joint sessions for the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA.
Delegates agreed to the organization of work (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/6-7). The following section summarizes the discussions and outcome of this work, which was focused in particular on means to reach emission reduction targets, relevant methodological issues, the “spillover effects” of policies and measures used by Annex I parties, “mitigation potentials,” and the range of further commitments for Annex I parties, as well as the work programme for 2009.
MEANS, METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES, MITIGATION POTENTIAL AND RANGES OF EMISSION REDUCTION OBJECTIVES, AND CONSIDERATION OF FURTHER COMMITMENTS
These issues were first taken up by the AWG-KP plenary on 1 December. On 3 December, parties held an in-session workshop on mitigation potentials (for more details on this workshop, see: http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12388e.html). Based on AWG-KP Chair Dovland’s scenario note (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/7), which proposed a strategic discussion on the elements of the AWG-KP’s work programme, parties agreed to consider jointly the agenda items on: means to reach emission reduction targets; methodological issues; analysis of mitigation potentials and identification of ranges of emission reduction objectives of Annex I parties; and further commitments by Annex I parties. These issues were then considered in a contact group and informal and Friends of the Chair consultations chaired by AWG-KP Chair Dovland. The AWG-KP plenary adopted conclusions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.18) on 10 December 2008.
Early discussions focused on elaborating the relationship between climate science, a possible aggregate range of emission reductions for Annex I parties, and individual targets. Developing countries highlighted the IPCC AR4 and called for a mid-term aggregate emission reduction range for Annex I parties of 25-40% by 2020. They sought agreement on this point before moving to individual country commitments, in the form of quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs). Some developed countries, however, rejected setting an overall range as a basis for individual commitments, emphasizing their national circumstances, and preferred instead to pledge their individual emission reduction targets.
In the final compromise, both the scale of Annex I emission reductions in aggregate and individual party commitments are addressed, but the relationship between the two is not clearly laid out. On the aggregate range, the outcome contains language similar to the AWG-KP’s previous conclusions noting that further consideration of this issue should be informed by recent scientific information, including the AR4, and referring to the 25-40% range. On the nature of commitments, parties agreed after extended discussions that these should “principally” take the form of QELROs. However, instead of describing how these QELROs might be derived from the overall range, as initially sought by developing countries, parties note existing pledges for emission reduction targets, and invite submission of information on possible QELROs.
AWG-KP Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.18), the AWG-KP, inter alia:
- agrees that future commitments for Annex I parties under the Protocol should, for the next commitment period, principally take the form of QELROs;
- initiates the consideration of the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I parties in aggregate as a contribution of these parties to the overall efforts to meet the ultimate objective of the Convention, and notes that further consideration of this issue should be informed by recent scientific information, including the AR4;
- notes that the contributions of Annex I parties to the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I parties in aggregate should be informed by consideration of, inter alia, the analysis of the mitigation potential, effectiveness, efficiency, costs and benefits of current and future policies, measures and technologies at the disposal of Annex I parties, appropriate in different national circumstances; and recognizes that this may lead to a spread of values for QELROs among individual Annex I parties;
- notes that emissions trading and the project-based mechanisms, as well as LULUCF, should continue to be available to Annex I parties, and recalls that use of the mechanisms should be supplemental to domestic actions; and
- takes note of the pledges for emission reduction targets made to date, and invites other Annex I parties, in a position to do so, to submit information on their possible QELROs before the next session of the AWG-KP.
POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES, INCLUDING SPILLOVER EFFECTS, OF TOOLS, POLICIES, MEASURES AND METHODOLOGIES AVAILABLE TO ANNEX I PARTIES
This issue was first taken up in plenary on 1 December, and subsequently in contact groups and informal consultations co-chaired by Jennifer Kerr (Canada) and Kamel Djemouai (Algeria). In plenary and contact group sessions, parties disagreed on whether to refer to positive as well as negative potential consequences, with the EU, Canada, Japan and others supporting the inclusion of both, India opposing, and others suggesting a focus on negative effects with positive effects potentially discussed in the future. Parties also discussed prioritizing parties or referencing the most vulnerable parties, with Argentina, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others initially opposed. The AWG-KP plenary adopted conclusions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.17) on 10 December 2008.
AWG-KP Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.17), the AWG-KP, inter alia: notes that there could be both negative and positive potential consequences; recognizes that the level of impact of potential consequences will vary among parties and that attention should be given to the negative consequences on developing countries; and notes that parties will continue discussing these issues at the workshop referred to in its work programme for 2009.
WORK PROGRAMME 2009
This issue was first taken up by the AWG-KP plenary on 4 December, and subsequently in informal consultations by AWG-KP Chair Dovland.
Given the agreement at COP/MOP 3 that the AWG-KP will report the results of its work to COP/MOP 5 in Copenhagen, the work programme for 2009 was one of the key issues for the AWG-KP in Poznań. During the informal consultations, developed countries generally supported coherence between the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA and an iterative approach to discussing issues included in the AWG-KP’s work programme. Developing parties generally sought clear sequencing of tasks, focusing first on identifying the aggregate range of emission reductions for Annex I parties and then determining individual targets. The conclusions affirm the programme’s iterative nature and agree to maintain a coherent approach between the Convention and the Protocol.
Included in the work programme were also outcomes from informal consultations under the agenda item on means to reach emission targets. These consultations focused on two sub-items: the flexibility mechanisms, with discussions co-chaired by Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica) and Nuno Lacasta (Portugal); and LULUCF, with discussions co-chaired by Marcelo Rocha (Brazil) and Bryan Smith (New Zealand). The main outcome from these consultations was agreement to continue considering these issues, request new submissions and request the AWG-KP Chair to further elaborate the possible improvements to the flexibility mechanisms and options, elements and issues related to LULUCF by AWG-KP 7. The AWG-KP adopted conclusions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.29) on 10 December.
AWG-KP Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/L.19), the AWG-KP, inter alia:
- decides that, if required, it will hold an additional session in 2009;
- recognizes the need for work to be conducted on consideration of the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I parties in aggregate, and consideration of the contribution of Annex I parties to the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I parties in aggregate, among other issues;
- invites party submissions in these areas, and requests the Secretariat to organize a workshop on these matters before or during the AWG-KP 7;
- agrees to continue its deliberations on possible improvements to the flexible mechanisms, and definitions, modalities, rules and guidelines for LULUCF, with the aid of further party submissions and additional elaboration of options by the Chair;
- invites party submissions on potential consequences (spillover effects), and requests the Secretariat to organize a workshop on this issue during the AWG-KP 7;
- requests its Chair to prepare notes on: possible elements for amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, pursuant to Article 3.9; and possible elements of a text regarding further commitments for Annex I parties; and
- will seek, noting the iterative nature of its work programme, to: adopt conclusions on the aggregate scale of Annex I emission reductions at its seventh session; adopt conclusions on the contribution of Annex I parties to the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I parties in aggregate at its eighth session; consider issues relating to rules and modalities of possible improvements relating to means to reach emission reduction targets; methodological issues, and potential consequences, at its ninth and tenth sessions; and consider a draft text on further commitments by Annex I parties at its tenth session.
COP/MOP Decision: As well as the AWG-KP conclusions, the COP/MOP adopted a short decision on the work of the AWG-KP during its closing plenary. In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.5), the COP/MOP, inter alia: looks forward to the development of texts regarding further commitments for Annex I parties, and possible elements for amendments to the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to Article 3.9.
The joint high-level segment of COP 13 and COP/MOP 3 took place from 11-12 December. During the segment, four heads of state or government delivered statements, along with more than 100 ministers and other high-level government officials, senior representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, UN bodies and specialized agencies, and a range of stakeholders. Speakers reflected on a wide range of issues relating to climate change, the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
COUNTRY STATEMENTS: Many parties spoke about the Bali Action Plan and Roadmap leading towards the Copenhagen Conference in late 2009. Many also reaffirmed their commitment to an equitable and comprehensive post-2012 framework, and said the global financial crisis should be viewed as an opportunity rather than an impediment to action. A number of speakers addressed mid- and long-term targets and shifting to a low-carbon economy. Some outlined domestic mitigation and adaptation actions, and highlighted the need for technology transfer and financial support.
Antigua and Barbuda, speaking for the G-77/China, expressed regret that expectations for Poznań had not been met, calling for a radical change in approach. France, for the EU, reaffirmed the EU’s emission target for 2020, urged a reaffirmation of multilateral will in Poznań, and highlighted linkages between climate change, biodiversity, poverty and inequality.
Maldives, for the LDCs, said a 2°C temperature rise would take the world into the “danger zone.” Both AOSIS and LDCs urged a limit of 1.5°C temperature rise and greenhouse gas concentrations of no more than 350 ppm, as well as 40% emission reductions by developed countries by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, said Copenhagen should produce a robust and resilient foundation to steer collective efforts, and welcomed discussions on a shared vision. Algeria, for the African Group, said two decades of negotiations had not produced the expected results, and developed countries were not meeting even the modest goals agreed in Kyoto.
Colombia said his country was the victim of climate change caused by industrialized countries. He advocated flexibility in market-based mechanisms, including a REDD mechanism. Belgium supported guaranteed funding for REDD.
Ireland said science tells us that even the IPCC AR4 is out of date. He said we should be trying to achieve global carbon neutrality in the second half of the century. Chile offered to host a round of talks in 2009, if needed. Egypt said sectoral actions should be country driven and rejected any attempt to impose developing country commitments. Nigeria supported progress on CCS.
The Russian Federation proposed differentiating among countries using GDP per capita and other objective criteria, and stated his opposition to setting ranges for Annex I targets, noting that this should be done at the national level. Mongolia highlighted subregional cooperation.
India underscored government-led action on technology and finance and a mechanism that procures the required technologies for developing countries. He also proposed a regional technology innovation center.
Iran discouraged differentiation among developing countries through the creation of new country categories. Belarus encouraged parties to ratify the Belarus amendment to Protocol Annex B to enable his country to participate in the Protocol’s flexible mechanisms.
Burkina Faso called on Annex I countries to change their attitudes concerning patents, intellectual property, technology transfer and worldwide solidarity.
Seychelles said Annex I parties have stalled and “backpedalled” and must agree on a progressive deal in Copenhagen. Solomon Islands said its people are in danger of becoming climate refugees.
STATEMENTS FROM OBSERVER ORGANIZATIONS: As well as the presentations by parties, there were also statements by a number of intergovernmental and civil society organizations. IUCN warned that a 2°C temperature rise would destroy 85 percent of corals, and dangerously raise sea levels.
Indigenous Peoples called for suspension of all REDD initiatives and carbon market regimes, supporting instead cutting emissions at the source.
The Women’s Caucus opposed the use of nuclear energy to mitigate climate change, stating that these activities can never be safe, and the World Council of Churches urged parties to share the responsibility of being conscious caretakers of the world.
Youth representatives expressed outrage and anger at the lack of progress in talks, arguing that if developed countries do not take the lead in combating climate change it would represent the most unconscionable act in the history of humanity.
As well as delivering statements, ministers and other high-level government officials also met for an informal ministerial round table on a shared vision for long-term cooperative action. This took place on 11 December.
For a more detailed written report on the high-level segment, see: http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12394e.html.
Complete webcast records of these speeches are available online at: http://copportal1.man.Poznań.pl
CLOSING COP AND COP/MOP PLENARY
Late on Friday night, 12 December, President Maciej Nowicki held the closing meetings of the COP and COP/MOP. Parties adopted the reports of the COP (FCCC/CP/2007/L.1/Add.1) and COP/MOP (FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.1). Parties also adopted a decision expressing their gratitude to the Government of Poland for hosting the conference and to the people of Poland for their hospitality (FCCC/CP/2008/L.3 and FCCC/KP/CMP/2008/L.3).
The Czech Republic, speaking as the incoming EU presidency, noted the agreement among EU leaders on measures to combat climate change reached earlier in the day at a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, and emphasized the EU’s commitment to a Copenhagen agreement.
President Nowicki stated that, despite disappointment over the lack of a result on the share of proceeds under the second review of the Protocol under Article 9, the meeting had still been productive and provided momentum towards Copenhagen. He noted that Poznań had set out work programmes and plans for 2009. He also highlighted the informal ministerial round table on a shared vision, and hoped that it had established a spirit of cooperation for the year ahead.
President Nowicki highlighted the resolution of the issue of the legal capacity of the Adaptation Fund Board, which, he said, will help move forward on adaptation action. He also highlighted agreement on the Poznań Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer, and progress in discussions on REDD and the LDC Fund.
Wishing delegates well for the next year’s negotiations, he declared the meeting closed at 2:59 am on Saturday, 13 December.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF COP 14 AND COP/MOP 4
POZNAŃ AND THE (LONG) ROAD TO COPENHAGEN
A year after the historic Bali Climate Change Conference, negotiators are now at the halfway point on the Bali Roadmap, which launched a two-year process to strengthen international climate change cooperation. Looking back, progress has been achieved in 2008 through four sessions and discussions on the key elements of the future regime. However, pressure is mounting for the remaining 12 months: serious negotiations must begin as soon as possible in 2009 to secure an agreement in Copenhagen next December.
This analysis takes stock of progress made at the Poznań Climate Change Conference and analyzes the key remaining issues for the critical year ahead. It will first discuss the political context in which the Poznań Conference took place. It will then review the main expectations for the meeting and analyze the results, asking whether they are sufficient for a successful outcome in Copenhagen next year.
(POLITICAL) CLIMATE AT THE END OF 2008
The political context for the Poznań Conference was somewhat different from the Bali negotiations in 2007. In Bali, the atmosphere was characterized by the strong international reaction to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a sense of urgency about climate change. In Poznań, by contrast, the negotiations took place against the backdrop of a rapidly worsening global financial situation. Many were concerned about climate policy falling victim to the crisis – and even the most optimistic were expecting the financial crisis to have some impact on the process.
The European Union and others at the Conference tried to stress their ongoing commitment to combating climate change, arguing that a transition to a low carbon society entails not only costs but also important economic opportunities. However, at the same time as the Poznań Conference, protracted negotiations were taking place on the EU’s climate and energy policy package to implement a 20% emission reduction target by 2020, causing some to question whether the EU’s leadership on climate policy is faltering. On the last day of the Poznań Conference, delegates were pleased to hear news that agreement had been reached in Brussels on the EU package, even though some NGOs criticized the concessions made to secure the compromise. The package, covering the period from 2013 to 2020, lays down rules for the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), details individual emission targets for EU Member States in sectors not covered by the ETS, and contains a 20% target for renewable energy, a 10% target for biofuels and a 20% target for increasing energy efficiency by 2020.
At the same time, Barack Obama’s victory in the US Presidential elections was a reason for optimism in Poznań. Obama has promised to make climate change a high priority and highlighted a green energy economy as a remedy for the ongoing economic crisis. In Poznań, the US was still represented by the Bush administration and remained relatively subdued during the official negotiations. Some felt that uncertainty about the US position in 2009 caused other countries to refrain from making significant political advances in Poznań, and few expect developing countries to make significant moves before developed countries have clarified their positions on emission reductions and financing. Overall, most felt that the political circumstances surrounding the Poznań Conference were not ideal for major political breakthroughs, which could justify its modest results. “One of those less exciting in-between COPs,” was how some veterans characterized the meeting.
(VARIED) EXPECTATIONS AND OUTCOMES
The agenda in Poznań was exceptionally full, with six bodies considering more than 90 agenda items and sub-items. This put a strain on many delegations and highlighted the importance of prioritizing work. This meant that some of the less urgent agenda items were not given as much attention as usual, leading to a focus on issues related to the Bali Roadmap: the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments by Annex I Countries under the Protocol (AWG-KP) and the second review of the Kyoto Protocol under Article 9. Delegates also focused on a few other agenda items included the operationalization of the Adaptation Fund and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
AWG-LCA: At its fourth meeting, the AWG-LCA spent a lot of time considering “a shared vision for long-term cooperative action,” which was the subject of an in-session workshop, contact group and a ministerial round table. According to the Bali Action Plan, “a shared vision” includes a global goal for emission reductions. While some optimists had hoped for an agreement in Poznań on a long-term global emission goal to guide the negotiations in 2009, there were no serious attempts to achieve such an outcome. Instead, many veterans are predicting that this question will not be resolved until Copenhagen, since it seems likely to be a key part of whatever package deal is reached. They took it as a positive sign, however, that a common understanding seemed to be emerging in Poznań that “a shared vision” covers all the key building blocks of the Action Plan, namely mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance. Many also felt that progress was made on the concept of monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) and the idea of a registry for nationally appropriate mitigation actions in developing countries.
In contrast, suggestions for differentiation among developing countries were firmly rejected by some groups within the G-77/China – while being endorsed by many industrialized countries. Some proposals on adaptation were also made more concrete, including the insurance mechanism proposed by AOSIS. These and many other ideas were incorporated in the “assembly document,” a collection of submissions and proposals, which was one of the key outcomes of AWG-LCA 4 and is expected to evolve into a formal negotiating text during the first half of 2009.
AWG-KP: For the AWG-KP, the focus was on a strategic discussion of all the key items on its agenda and on the work programme for 2009, with a view to agreeing on further actions required to finalize Annex I countries’ post-2012 commitments in Copenhagen. Some observers and developing countries were hoping for a clear decision on the aggregate range of mid-term emission reductions by industrialized countries. However, while the 25-40% range by 2020 from the AR4 once again appears in the AWG-KP’s conclusions, the language is similar to that used in previous conclusions and falls short of a definitive commitment. According to some negotiators, this was mostly due to the reluctance of some Umbrella Group countries to commit to a mid-term range at this point. However, many also noted the lack of serious attempts to reach an agreement on this issue in Poznań, possibly because delegates realized the political climate was not yet ripe for such discussions. Overall, most felt that the outcomes from the AWG-KP were modest, limited to the 2009 work programme and to agreement that Annex I countries’ further commitments should “principally” take the form of quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs). Those with lower expectations for the meeting noted that little more than this might have been expected, as parties wait for the bottom of the market downturn and the arrival of the new US administration.
ADAPTATION FUND: Along with the Poznań work programme on technology transfer, the only concrete outcome of the Poznań conference was the operationalization of the Adaptation Fund. The COP/MOP adopted several decisions to make the Fund operational, including on arrangements with the Global Environment Facility and World Bank. Importantly, all three tracks to access funds – through implementing entities, accredited national entities, and direct access by parties – have been enabled. The Fund is, therefore, expected to start financing adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries in the next year.
The success on the Adaptation Fund was tempered by the inability to secure additional resources for the Fund due to lack of agreement on extending the share of proceeds (or “adaptation levy”) to Joint Implementation and emissions trading under the second review of the Protocol under Article 9. As many had predicted, these consultations were difficult and were unable to produce an agreement, leading COP/MOP 4 to conclude the second review of the Protocol without any substantive outcome. Most developing countries expressed deep disappointment at the failure to increase adaptation funding.
While many parties and private sector representatives had also hoped for improvements to the CDM under the Article 9 review, the lack of outcome on the review meant that the improvements negotiated in Poznań were not adopted. The AWG-KP, however, agreed to further consider issues related to the mechanisms in the post-2012 period in its March/April session.
FROM POZNAŃ TO COPENHAGEN: KEY TASKS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
Leaving Poznań, there was little doubt in participants’ minds that plenty of critical work remains for 2009 under the Bali Roadmap. For both the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA, one of the first key tasks is generating formal negotiating texts that must be communicated to the parties at least six months before Copenhagen to comply with legal formalities. The Poznań Conference was widely seen as a successful step in that direction as the Chairs of both AWGs were mandated to prepare documents for the March/April meeting in Bonn.
The task of the AWG-LCA for 2009 will not be easy. The group will have to finalize an agreement on all four building blocks and a shared vision. It is the only body where all countries, including the US and developing countries, participate in discussions on mitigation. Thus, negotiations on a global long-term goal, comparability of mitigation efforts by developed countries and MRV in the context of nationally appropriate developing country mitigation actions are expected to be central. Importantly, MRV also applies to developed country support to developing countries through technology, finance and capacity-building, so ways of doing this will have to be identified. With regard to financing and technology, the AWG-LCA faces the challenge of reaching agreement on the architecture to both finance mitigation and adaptation actions, and facilitate technology development and transfer. Evaluation of proposals contained in the assembly document will be part of this task.
The AWG-KP has a clear objective for 2009: to agree on further commitments for Annex I countries in the post-2012 period. Some developing countries were therefore somewhat disappointed at the lack of clear sequencing of tasks in the AWG-KP’s 2009 work programme. Many developed countries were, however, pleased with text reaffirming the programme’s iterative nature and agreement to “maintain a coherent approach” between the Convention and the Protocol in relation to Annex I parties’ commitments.
Based on some signals in Poznań, some are predicting that the relationship between the Convention and Protocol tracks could become increasingly relevant in 2009. Many developed countries maintain that the work of the two AWGs should be coordinated given that both, for instance, address mitigation by developed countries. In Poznań, Norway, the EU and others also alluded to a “package” and “comprehensive agreement” in Copenhagen, and New Zealand proposed forming a Committee of the Whole and proceeding on the basis of a single negotiating text in June 2009. However, many developing countries and the US have sternly opposed attempts to link the Convention and Protocol tracks, with many developing countries concerned that this could take focus away from new emission reduction targets for industrialized countries under the Protocol, and the US seeking to avoid any proposals that would draw it into discussions related to the Protocol. It therefore remains to be decided in 2009 how to avoid duplication of work under the different tracks of the Bali Roadmap and what the legal outcome of the negotiations will ultimately be. Important as the legal and procedural questions are for the negotiators gathering in Copenhagen, most predict that it will be political will that determines the outcome.
ALL ROAD(MAPS) LEAD TO COPENHAGEN
While many agreed that the Poznań meeting resulted in some progress and positive steps forward, the general feeling was that negotiators had not achieved any major breakthroughs. Those who had hoped for decisive action blamed a lack of political leadership and determination they think would have signaled impending success in the coming year. Instead, many predict that agreement on the most critical issues, including mid- and long-term emission goals and finance, will not be reached before Copenhagen. This has led some to reconsider their expectations of what would constitute success in Copenhagen, and how many details of the new climate regime will need to be finalized after 2009.
Understandably, some participants left Poznań somewhat worried, feeling that while scientific evidence on climate change is strengthening, the “spirit of Bali” is weakening along with countries’ determination to fight climate change in light of the serious economic crisis.
Others, though, were not willing to abandon their optimism just yet. They referred to statements from both the EU and the US on measures to tackle the economic crisis that would also contribute to climate change mitigation and transition to a low carbon economy. Some veterans who are more used to the ups-and-downs of international negotiating processes also suggested that Poznań’s modest outcome could be a positive thing in the larger scheme of things. In the words of one observer, “delegates needed to be reminded that success is not inevitable, and that without strong political will it is quite possible that they will fail to make the historic breakthrough needed in Copenhagen.”
INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE: GLOBAL RISKS, CHALLENGES AND DECISIONS: The Congress will be convened from 10-12 March 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Organized by the University of Copenhagen in cooperation with partners in the International Alliance of Research Universities, the Congress will include a session on adapting coastal zone and marine resources to climate change. For more information, contact: Torben Mandrup Timmermann, University of Copenhagen; tel: +45-3532-4106; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://climatecongress.ku.dk/
AWG-LCA 5 AND AWG-KP 7: The fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the seventh session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) are scheduled to take place from 30 March - 9 April 2009, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php?year=2009
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ GLOBAL SUMMIT ON CLIMATE CHANGE: This conference will be held from 20-24 April 2009, in Anchorage, Alaska, US. The aims of the conference include bringing indigenous peoples together to talk about common issues and raising the visibility and participation of indigenous peoples in local, national and international processes. For more information, contact: Inuit Circumpolar Council; tel: +1-907-274-9058; fax: +1-907-274-3861; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.iccalaska.org/Media/Flyer_Summit.pdf
30TH SESSIONS OF THE UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES, AWG-LCA 6, AND AWG-KP 8: The 30th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) – are scheduled to take place from 1-12 June 2009, in Bonn, Germany. At the same time, AWG-LCA 6 and AWG-KP 8 will also take place. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php?year=2009
AWG-LCA 7 AND AWG-KP 9: The seventh meeting of the AWG-LCA and the ninth session of the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place in August 2009, in a location to be determined. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php?year=2009
WORLD CLIMATE CONFERENCE 3: The Third World Climate Conference will take place from 31 August - 4 September 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. The First and Second World Climate Conferences, held in 1979 and 1990 respectively, resulted in major movement on climate change issues. The third conference will take as its theme “Better climate information for a better future,” and will focus on how humankind can benefit from the advances in climate prediction and knowledge. It will also serve as input to COP 15. For more information, contact: Buruhani Nyenzi, WCC-3 Secretariat, WMO; tel: +41-22-730-8273; fax: +41-22-730-8042; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.wmo.int/pages/world_climate_conferenceUNFCCC COP 15 AND KYOTO PROTOCOL COP/MOP 5: The fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and fifth meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to take place from 7-18 December 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. These meetings will coincide with the 31st meetings of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies. Under the “roadmap” agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007, COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 are expected to finalize an agreement on a framework for combating climate change post-2012 (when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends). For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://unfccc.int/