The following text was written before the approval of the decision on the second commitment period. It was approved in the early hours of Sunday 11th December in Durban, as part of a more extented “Durban Package”.

In essence, all the analysis stayed the same. The only very remarkable point is that in the proposal, it the commitment period would have been 5 years. Now it is in doubt if it will be 5 or 8 years!

In the approved decision, it says:

1.  Decides that the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol shall begin on 1 January 2013 and end either on 31 December 2017 or 31 December 2020, to be decided by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its seventeenth session;

Throughout the whole “proposed amendment Annex” the text has both options in brackets: e.g in 3.1bis: “(…) in the commitment period 2013 to [2017][2020]“. 

Thereby, it is fundamental to take into account that a reduction of 20% in an 8-year period, is in fact 50% less than 20% reduction in a 5 year period!

On all other issues, the analysis written before the approval of the text is unchanged.

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(Original text)

The new text proposal for the Kyoto Protocol states that a second commitment period will be established. That seems good news; it was what everybody was waiting for.

But, a second commitment period for what? For the sake of having it? For the sake of carbon markets? For calming public opinion?
Let’s see the good points and the bad points of the actual proposal. More »

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. More »

Decisions are there to be implemented, mandates are there to be fulfilled. That’s the basis of a multilateral legal regime. If decisions and mandates are not followed anymore, then there is no confidence to build upon. There is no use in ‘saving’ the multilateral regime in such a way that nobody believes in it anymore.

Therefore, the legal instruments of the Climate Change Convention are fundamental: More »

One of the longest chapters in the Durban negotiation text (cf pages 35 – 52), and with most ‘new’ ideas in it — in terms of legal text — is the chapter on “Various approaches, including opportunities for using markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, bearing in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries” (Chapter 1bv).

Why such a long title, and why do I even bother to retake it completely?

Well, it is important to state what the Bali Action Plan was looking for: ‘various approaches, to enhance cost-effectiveness and to promote mitigation action’. Many consider this chapter to be on carbon markets. But in fact, carbon markets are just a means of financing mitigation actions, and in order to consider them to be included in the various approaches they should demostrate to be cost-effective, and More »

Last saturday a new negotiation text was published in the Climate Change Negotiations in Durban.
The text presents a few interesting points, many of which come from the People Agreement of Cochabamba. See the article on those interesting points here. The problem is, it is quite probable that those proposals don’t get into the final COP decisions.
On the contrary, there is a big push to get all the bad ideas in the decisions. It is impossible to be exhaustive, but I will be reflecting on some of the major problems.

No real mitigation being projected

What the whole climate change negotiations should be looking for in the very first place, is for the necessary mitigation commitments by developed countries More »

After one week of negotiations in Durban, a compilation of negotiation texts was presented, which essentially builds on work during the whole year. There are several very problematic issues in this text, but let’s start with the good news: several issues from the Peoples’ Agreement are present in the text, especially in the Shared Vision chapter1.

Stabilising the Climate in a fair and equitable way

First, the key issue: making sure the climate gets stabilised. More »


For Part 1 on the Kyoto Protocol negotiations click here

The Mandate for the AWG-LCA

As the Climate Change Convention only has principles and general objectives, and the Kyoto Protocol is limited to mitigation issues only, the  Bali Action Plan decided in 2007 that the Convention should be implemented in all the  relevant issues: mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building. In order to bring all those aspects, as well as the Kyoto Protocol, in a general framework, the chapter of Shared Vision was introduced.

By this decision a working group on ‘Long Term Cooperative Action’ (AWG-LCA)  was installed, and mandated to find an outcome on all relevant implementation issues. More »