Daily report for 8 December 2005
UNFCCC COP 11
On Thursday, the joint COP 11 and COP/MOP 1 high-level segment continued, with statements from 75 ministers and other high-level government officials. Delegates also convened for consultations on Protocol Articles 3.9 (future commitments) and 9 (review of the Protocol), the way forward under the UNFCCC, and adaptation.
COUNTRY STATEMENTS: Ministers and heads of delegation highlighted issues such as adaptation, deforestation, extreme weather events, CDM reform, funding and capacity building, commitments under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, technology transfer, the post-2012 process, and the adoption of the Marrakesh Accords.
Adaptation: BENIN and MAURITIUS highlighted the need to prioritize and implement adaptation projects. SAMOA outlined various adaptation initiatives and bilateral collaboration. NIUE urged a focus on adaptation measures and the GAMBIA highlighted the adaptation needs of LDCs and SIDS. BHUTAN called for operationalizing the LDC Fund to enable implementation of NAPAs. MICRONESIA emphasized the need to integrate the Mauritius Strategy into the UNFCCC agenda. KENYA stressed concrete action under the programme of work on adaptation.
Avoided Deforestation: PAPUA NEW GUINEA proposed to start, on voluntary basis, reductions of emissions through avoided deforestation. Noting his country's Payment for Environmental Services system, COSTA RICA welcomed a process that would provide incentives to reduce deforestation. GABON, PARAGUAY and CAMEROON supported this initiative. Emphasizing the need to consider avoided deforestation under the Protocol, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO said a decision should be taken at COP 12 / COP/MOP 2. PAKISTAN highlighted the role of deforestation and land degradation in accentuating earthquake damage. GUINEA stressed the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the need to address vulnerability.
Commitments: CROATIA requested consideration of its special circumstances to enable its ratification of the Protocol. KAZAKHSTAN asked Parties to treat voluntary commitments undertaken by his country with understanding. CUBA drew attention to increasing and historical emissions in developed countries, and criticized some countries for being indifferent to international efforts against climate change. MONACO said it will soon ratify the Protocol. BELARUS emphasized that it hopes to be included in Annex B of the Protocol and undertake quantitative commitments. Highlighting that it is in the process of ratifying the Protocol, ZAMBIA and MAURITANIA urged all countries to implement their commitments. PERU said developed countries must take the lead and demonstrate their compliance with the Protocol. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES urged Annex I Parties to respect their Convention and Kyoto commitments.
Extreme Weather Events: Many speakers, including MADAGASCAR, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, and URUGUAY, drew attention to recent extreme weather events. ROMANIA and SWITZERLAND reported on the impact of extensive flooding in 2005. MALAWI and LESOTHO underscored the increasing frequency and intensity of climatic impacts, particularly in agriculture, food security and achieving sustainable development. EL SALVADOR underscored extreme weather events, particularly tropical storms. THAILAND identified the need for early warning systems and capacity building for communities. PERU highlighted the rapid retreat of glaciers.
Flexible Mechanisms: Highlighting the need to improve the CDM’s administration and streamline the procedures, IRAN welcomed the draft decision on national programmes under the CDM. ECUADOR emphasized that the CDM is a compliance instrument that must ensure environmental integrity of carbon credits. BURKINA FASO said the CDM should be implemented in a way that brings equity to small countries. SWEDEN highlighted the catalytic role of the mechanisms and the EU emissions trading scheme. SENEGAL and MADAGASCAR emphasized the need for equitable regional distribution of CDM projects, with RWANDA calling for increased participation of African countries in mitigation projects. CAMBODIA emphasized the CDM’s role in promoting sustainable development. URUGUAY said appropriate CDM indicators should enable all countries to participate in CDM projects. ARMENIA proposed allowing developing countries who accept voluntary emissions reductions to participate in all flexible mechanisms after 2012. ARMENIA and ARGENTINA noted the need for longer-term certainty in the CDM. BULGARIA highlighted the Green Investment Scheme as an opportunity for economies in transition to trade Assigned Amount Units while ensuring the Protocol’s environmental integrity.
Funding and Capacity Building: LIBYA, SAUDI ARABIA and NIGERIA called on Annex I Parties to honor commitments to developing countries, particularly those that are highly dependent on oil exports. NIGERIA urged greater support for the SCCF, and said Annex I Parties should “do more than pay lip service” to funding and capacity building. NEPAL said the three funds agreed at COP 7 should be operationalized and strengthened, with particular focus on LDCs. EL SALVADOR supported flexible and reduced co-financing requirements from the GEF. VENEZUELA said oil revenues can be used to promote sustainable development, mitigation and adaptation. LAOS identified institutional capacity and links with poverty eradication programmes as key challenges.
Mitigation: SWEDEN highlighted its success in decoupling economic growth from emissions and JAPAN reported on its domestic efforts to reduce emissions, including awareness raising activities. AUSTRIA highlighted the goal of keeping global average temperatures from increasing more than 2°C. PORTUGAL underscored policies and measures and renewable energy, particularly windpower.
Observation Systems: SENEGAL, CAMEROON and GABON proposed creating an observation system in Africa to develop indicators and monitor and reinforce operational capacity to evaluate carbon sequestration.
Post-2012: ROMANIA welcomed discussions on a post-2012 framework as an opportunity for “intense cooperation among all governments.” HUNGARY said changes since the 1990s meant it was timely to review approaches to climate change, and supported President Dion’s efforts. JAPAN said Kyoto should be used as a springboard on the “long journey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” and supported work on Article 3.9 and a broader approach to create an effective framework where all Parties participate. FINLAND said the negotiations on Article 3.9 should be placed in the wider context of global efforts and common but differentiated responsibilities. Many speakers, including TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, INDONESIA, ISRAEL, CHILE, PERU and PARAGUAY also supported discussions in the context of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
CANADA emphasized the need to engage in parallel efforts, both under Article 3.9 and under the Convention. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION called for a new mechanism allowing countries to take voluntary emissions commitments. SWITZERLAND emphasized its commitment to continue the Protocol beyond 2012, while stressing the need to expand the multilateral framework and for emerging countries to participate. The PHILIPPINES urged developed countries to engage in future commitments and MALDIVES also called for industrialized country leadership. BRAZIL noted the importance of positive incentives for developing countries to adopt mitigation plans, and said common but differentiated responsibilities do not imply an absence of responsibilities. Noting low per capita emissions, high projected growth and the need for sustainable development, INDIA stressed cooperative action on technology research and dissemination, in particular on energy efficiency and risk management. ARGENTINA supported wide participation in a future regime, and recognition of the environmental debt generated by imposing adaptation costs on developing countries.
Synergies and Cooperation: The CZECH REPUBLIC called for solidarity in combating climate change. GREECE said agreements reached here should assure the continuation of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and assist those that feel the effects of climate change. ISRAEL said political differences should not impede countries from engaging in a global effort to protect the environment. ALGERIA and TUNISIA highlighted the links between desertification and climate change. ANGOLA said climate change and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol should be resolved in a global political framework for poverty alleviation.
Technology Development and Transfer: ENIN, COTE D’IVOIRE, PARAGUAY, EGYPT and ALGERIA highlighted the importance of technology transfer to address climate change. UGANDA said the first step on technology transfer has yet to be taken, and called for incentives and access to clean technology. SAUDI ARABIA stressed the need to find ways to continue to use fossil fuels while reducing emissions. LIBYA welcomed the IPCC report on carbon dioxide capture and storage. KUWAIT highlighted carbon dioxide capture and storage and urged addressing adaptation to response measures and economic diversification under UNFCCC Article 2.3. SPAIN stressed that climate change is an ethical challenge and the role of renewable energies. TURKEY emphasized renewable energies, in particular hydropower.
(Note: Complete webcast records of these speeches will be available online at: http://unfccc.streamlogics.com/unfccc/agenda.asp).
CONSULTATIONS ON POST-2012
Consultations on how to move forward post-2012 took place throughout Thursday in numerous meetings focused both on the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. Many Parties appeared to support moving forward under multiple tracks involving Protocol Articles 3.9 (future commitments) and 9 (review of the Protocol) and the UNFCCC, although some concerns remained about various elements in this “package” approach.
FUTURE ACTIONS UNDER THE UNFCCC: Informal discussions on future actions under the UNFCCC focused on President Dion’s revised proposal. Under the proposal, Parties would resolve to engage in discussions on cooperative action to address climate change, including advancing development goals sustainably, reducing impacts on developing countries, and acting on adaptation, technology and market issues. Parties would also agree to hold workshops open to all Parties and to complete discussions at COP 13.
PROTOCOL ARTICLE 3.9: Followingmeetings heldthroughout the day, Co-Chairs Alf Wills (South Africa) and David Drake (Canada) convened a contact group and introduced a bracketed draft containing two options with four sections each. Co-Chair Wills explained that the first section contains a decision, the second section addresses issues raised in relation to the “global response,” the third deals with issues related to Article 9 (review of the Protocol), and the fourth addresses both the global response and Article 9.
Shortly before 9:00 pm, delegates agreed to the text as presented. As of 11:15 pm, President Dion was holding a high-level meeting to discuss the entire “package” of issues on post-2012.
CONSULTATIONS ON ADAPTATION
Informal consultations were held throughout the day in an attempt to remove brackets from the draft COP decision. Under discussion was reference to SIDS in the objective of the programme of work, economic diversification, and reference to the Arctic, along with LDCs and SIDS, as particularly vulnerable regions. Consultations continued throughout the day.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Progress on Article 3.9 on Thursday night had some delegates smiling but “vaguely confused.” The agreement on a bracketed decision that sets out various options for how to proceed was being interpreted as “highly unusual but still a positive outcome” by one insider. Further high-level discussions were taking place late on Thursday night on the entire package of issues.
While news from the small group negotiations was positive, some concerns were being expressed about the dwindling numbers in plenary. Many ministers and high-level officials were left to address a largely empty hall, prompting several delegates to propose a more “interactive” approach involving thematic roundtables and panel discussions. However, no one disputed the overall usefulness of the high-level segment, which increases visibility and political commitment to the process, and allows for a multitude of bilateral meetings to take place.
In other talk, many participants seemed excited at the imminent prospect of former US President Bill Clinton’s visit on Friday.