After this morning a set of 2 negotiation texts, giving the “bigger picture” for the Durban outcome were presented, and later rejected by the G77, now a second trial has been presented.

Let’s see what it says.

1) It takes note of a decision — still unknown — under the CMP which would “secure a ratifiable second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol” Well, or you just adopt a new commitment period. Or you don’t, and you can’t secure what parties will do in the future. Seeing the list of unfulfilled promises, and the amount of announces that developed countries have made stating they don’t want a second commitment period, it is quite doubtful that a 2nd commitment period can be ‘secured’.

2) It decides to brings into life a new ad hoc working group, responsible for developing a Protocol or another legal instrument applicable to all Parties . On this, several problematic issues:

  • There shall be a new protocol or legal instrument. Many have been calling for this since long time. But:
    • How to make sure it will be RATIFIED by the US, if they didn’t do with the first Protocol?
    • How to make sure it will have COMMITMENTS in it, not just voluntary pledges?
    • How to make sure there will be a COMPLIANCE REGIME in it? Without compliance, anything ‘legaly binding’ is just worthless!
  • It is to be ‘applicable to all Parties’ This implies: no more “Common but Differentiated Responsabilities”, one of the basic principles of the Convention. It means: those countries which emit 2 tons of GHG per capita per year, and suffer all the impacts of climate change, have to take commitments as well as those which emit 20 tons per capita per year!

3) It extents with one year the AWG-LCA, looking for an outcome for the Bali Action Plan, which is on: mitigation, adaptation, finance and transfer of technology. But then, the new AWG, responsible for the new Protocol, has the responsibility to work on “inter alia mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building”. So, we will have two AWGs, essentially with the same tasks. Quite probable the new one will just absorb the work of the old one!

And what it doesn’t say.

The new version of the text doesn’t state a date in which the new Protocol would get into force. Well let’s see… the Kyoto Protocol took eight (8!) years to get into force. Finishing this negotiations in 2015, this would imply entry into force by 2023. Or shall the new one have better luck?

It doen’t say anything on level of ambition. It is very clear that the actual ‘pledges’ are totally insufficient. But in the actual circumstances, there doesn’t seem to be much possibility to actually raise those pledges, before the new Protocol enters into force, which is loosing a decade. A decade of time which, believing scientists, we don’t have.
The new text gives us a new mandate,… on all the issues of tha Bali Action Plan. The way this was framed in the Bali Action Plan took two years to negotiate. Can they now decide in one night how to frame the future decision? Or will it be “free design” next year?

The end of an era

If this is approved, it would mean the end of an era, the end of a climate regime that started in 1992 and was based on science and responsibility.

Hereby we would enter in a new era… of insecure voluntary pledges, … of evading historical responsibilities,… of not responding to science. It would be the new era of climate chaos.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Nele

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on the negotiations.

    I want to ask again, which country, if any in the G77 is considering radical moves to jolt the COP into a world of reality?
    I have been suggesting the need for this since before the Copenhagen failure but lateral thinking does not appear to be on any county’s agenda and perhaps the same is true for civil society?
    Surely if one country was to say – The world has far too many private cars, We will import no more, We will not help make any more, We will lead the way to slashing energy waste. The world cannot afford to squander energy flying people or goods from place to place. We will close our airports….
    … then a shock wave would reverberate through the conference.
    Why not a small island state, threatened by wild and rising seas saying – Foreign guests are welcome to extend their holidays and return home by sea and we prefer them to stay until a binding agreement to slash emissions is in place? How many 1st World countries would go into a flap and begin to take the climate challenge seriously when they see the sudden inconvenience forced upon their nationals?

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