Canada – COP17 UPDATE

by Ani and Chris

UPDATE:

06:00

Thanks-you comments ensued

05:05am

The formal meeting commenced with the purpose to pass all outstanding texts, notably the KP and LCA texts deferred to the COP/CMP.

Amendment that the length of commitment period of for AWG-KP for the KP2 to be determined at next sitting of the group. Bolivia request to bracket elements of market mechanisms for LULUCF was disregarded by Papua New Guinea suggesting that they work together for non-market mechanisms. They are specifically concerned that there are market-based mechanisms that have not been decided on in the LCA. Bolivia requested that it be registered that it does not agree with this clause but would allow it to carry forward. However, the president did jump the gun a little bit and decided to pass the text before it could hear Bolivia’s registered objection. The text with the amendment passed.

The AWG-LCA was then presented to the COP for adoption. There were no objections so the text automatically passed. This agreement however entailed appointments to several commitments. The president suggested that parties submit nominations to the COP by 31 March 2012. Once the nomination is received they will be deemed elected.

The next item was then the adoption of the AWG – Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (DPEA). Russia suggested that they didn’t understand the informal and unannounced consultations that took place on this proposal, they claimed that this format was unacceptable under normal diplomatic practice. This, however was not an objection to the proposal but they wanted to know what sections was added to the text resulting from these consultations.

The president then presented a text on the establishment of a transitional committee for the Green Climate Fund. There was no objections so it was passed.

A report on SBSTA to take into account all undecided items was then presented. There were no objections so  it passed.

A report on SBI to take into account all undecided items was then presented. There were no objections so it was passed.

02:29am

The informal meeting of the COP/CMP was facilitated by the COP17 president.  What was presented was a suggestion for the parties to adopt the “Durban Package”. The European Union immediately proposed that a second period of the Kyoto Protocol include legal mechanisms by 2018, which was a concession from its original proposal for 2020 – a six year period with weak ambition instead of eight. India the argued that their request to have equity in the language of the text was omitted and asserted that it be the “centrepiece” because of its need for development and the protection of livelihoods. China then registered concerns for how legal mechanisms would be implemented.  After several hours of debate the parties took a break to reconcile concessions. When the conference resumed, the EU said that it would accept an amendment to include equity, which concluded the informal session.

11:32pm

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Longterm Cooperative Action text was presented to the parties. There was concern by the parties that there is little ambition in the text and it is not legally binding.  ALBA countries also expressed that there is no regard for common but differentiated responsibility. AOSIS lead by Papua New Guinea pointed out that there needs to be more balance between adaptation and mitigation. Bolivia stated that the text “opens the door wide open to market mechanisms”, which are dangerous in ensuring that parties meet their targets.

Parties that were supporting the package were developed countries, especially the United States and Europe. Bolivia and Venezuela among several other G77 countries expressed a block to the text. When the chair moved that the session be closed with the controversial elements remain bracketed and the text going to the COP/CMP session, like the KP earlier, no further interventions were noted and the chair proceeded to discuss next steps. All of a sudden Venezuela started tapping her placard loudly, which was ignored by the chair. The she stood up and got on her chair while still banging loudly with the placard. The chair noted that the list for amendments was closed and the party was out of order. She then interrupted saying that she requested to be added to the list and was ignored. On top of this, she was allegedly approached in the hallway and “threatened” to accept the text.

“Here we are not selling Kyoto for $100 billion … We are not going to be bought for $100 billion” – Venezuela

She said that she would not be bullied and continued to demand that the text be more ambitious. The chair ignored the plea and concluded with the text moved to COP noting the disagreement of Venezuela and Bolivia.

10:25pm

Countries discussed wording of the text. The text does not seem to be ambitious enough. Developing countries call for legally-binding commitments not voluntary pledges.

Colombia stands with the EU. “We should admire their leadership. Don’t delay this – let’s get together again.”

ALBA doesn’t want to waste its time with consultations if parties cannot come to a truly legally-binding agreement. Brazil points out we are in difficult position where we need movement. We need a major breakthrough even bigger than the Berlin Mandate.

The night seems to go into another round of negotiations.

Plenary is closing and work has been concluded and Minister will go back into another round of negotiations is closed! No outcome! The text will be forwarded to the Conference of the Parties. Key issues are 2013-2017 vs. 2013-2020 and total ambition from developed countries. Developing countries would like to see ambition in order to prevent global warming from more than 2°C. Observers expected the text to be a bit more clean but the plenary session reveals that there is still a lot of work which needs to be done.

Right now the Kyoto Protocol is an empty shell which only includes the European Union while countries like Japan, Canada and Russia did not take on new targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The world is far away from tackling climate change.

9:45pm:

We are sitting in the closing session of discussion of the Kyoto Protocol. The 2. period will run from 2013-2017 according to the text. Countries have been complaining they don’t have the most updated version of the text as well as that there is no text available other than in English. Bolivia complains that targets are not clear enough and some countries have not offered targets for 2. period of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Chair says some issues seem to be impossible to resolve here. The EU proposes a second commitment period from 2013-2020 taking into context the Long-Term Action negotiations. They want to prevent a gap between the end of the Kyoto Protocol and a new legally binding agreement which would start in 2020 according to the current LCA text.

South Africa is having a hard time managing all country positions.

Venezuela wants to see democracy in this process! The second commitment period is an empty shell so they can have a nice press conference. Applause in the plenary room.

EU: We are the only ones who are taking on a second commitment period.

Text for Long-Term Cooperative Action is out: so far the text is very weak on shared vision and mitigation, but sufficient on technology and adaptation. Finance okay-ish.

This morning there has been draft text around the LCA (long-term cooperative action) and Kyoto Protocol. The LCA text is very weak on the mitigation side, on shared vision, but it does seem sufficient on identifying long-term sources of finance, technology and adaptation.

The Kyoto Protocol text calls for a 5-year continuation period but countries do not have to adjust the emission reductions targets after they are supposed to table them in May next year. The second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol shall begin on 1 January 2013 and end on 31 December 2017

Everything is going to take place behind closed doors. Many of us have stayed up late to get their hands on the new texts. The European Union presented a text yesterday afternoon which put off a new legal regime until 2020 and only weakly supported the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol. It was rejected by most parties other than Australia, Canada and the United States. Mostly because the text did not include a timeline for ratification or indication of how to close the gap other than the EU and only the EU would commit to a second period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Now, 8 hours later we have new texts for the Green Climate Fund and the working group for the Kyoto Protocol. The questions which remain open is who will govern the Green Climate Fund and where will the secretariat be located. It seems to be a major issue between developed countries and developing countries whether the World Bank should be the dealer of the Fund. The text does not make any indication about potential sources like a financial transaction tax or taxes from bunker fuels to fill the fund. It remains a big secret.

During the negotiations for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol India pointed out that they are astonished and disturbed by the comments of their colleague from Canada who was pointing at them as to why we are against the roadmap of the EU. India stated it is “disturbed to find that a legally binding Protocol to the Convention, negotiated 14 years ago is now being junked in a cavalier manner. Countries which have signed and ratified it are walking away without even a polite goodbye. And yet, pointing at others.”

One of the big concerns is that the current bigger picture text does not make any reference to “common but differentiated responsibilities” – It looks like some countries will get exactly what they want.

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