Monthly Archives: December 2014

Lima calls for climate action, and more

By Ramesh Jalan

In its decision, the Lima Call for Climate Action,  the Conference of Parties (CoP):

•         reiterates that the work of the ADP shall be under the Convention and guided by its principles;

•         recalls the objective of the Convention;

•         recalls all the relevant decisions of the COP, particularly Decisions 1/CP.17, 2/CP.18 and 1/CP.19;

•         affirms its determination to strengthen adaptation action through the protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention to be adopted at COP 21;

•         recalls Decisions 2/CP.19 and X/CP.20 and welcomes the progress made in Lima, Peru, towards the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage; and

•         notes with grave concern the significant gap between the aggregate effect of parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of GHGs by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

•         In paragraphs on advancing the work of the ADP and elaborating a negotiating text for the 2015 agreement, the COP:

•         confirms that the ADP shall complete the work referred to in Decision 1/CP.17, paragraph 2, as early as possible in order for COP 21 to adopt a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties;

•         decides that the protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties shall address in a balanced manner, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, MOI and transparency of action and support;

•         underscores its commitment to reaching an ambitious agreement in 2015 that reflects the principle of CBDRRC, in light of different national circumstances;

•         urges developed country parties to provide and mobilize enhanced financial support to developing country parties for ambitious mitigation and adaptation actions, especially to parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, and recognizes complementary support by other parties;

•         acknowledges the progress made in Lima in elaborating the elements for a draft negotiating text as contained in the annex to the decision, including a footnote that states: “These elements for a draft negotiating text reflect work in progress. They neither indicate convergence on the proposals presented nor do they preclude new proposals from emerging in the course of the negotiations in 2015;”

•         decides that the ADP will intensify its work, with a view to making available a negotiating text for a protocol, other legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties before May 2015; and

•         requests the Secretariat to communicate the negotiating text, referred to above, to parties in accordance with provisions of the Convention and the applied rules of procedure, while noting that such communication will not prejudice whether the outcome will be a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties.

•         In paragraphs on INDCs and their communication, the COP:

•         notes that the arrangements specified in this decision in relation to INDCs are without prejudice to the legal nature and content of the INDCs of parties or to the content of the protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties;

•         reiterates its invitation to each party to communicate to the Secretariat its INDC towards achieving the objective of the Convention;

•         agrees that each party’s INDC towards achieving the objective of the Convention will represent a progression beyond the current undertaking of that party;

•         also agrees that the LDCs and SIDS may communicate information on strategies, plans and actions for low GHG emission development reflecting their special circumstances in the context of INDCs;

•         invites all parties to consider communicating their undertakings in adaptation planning or consider including an adaptation component in their INDCs;

•         reiterates its invitation to all parties to communicate their INDCs well in advance of COP 21 (by the first quarter of 2015 by those parties ready to do so) in a manner that facilitates the clarity, transparency and understanding of the INDCs;

•         agrees that the information to be provided by parties communicating their INDCs, may include, as appropriate, inter alia, quantifiable information on the reference point (including, as appropriate, a base year), time frames and/or periods for implementation, scope and coverage, planning processes, assumptions and methodological approaches including those for estimating and accounting for anthropogenic GHG emissions and, as appropriate, removals, and how the party considers that its INDC is fair and ambitious, in light of its national circumstances, and how it contributes towards achieving the objective of the Convention;

•         reiterates its call to developed country parties, the operating entities of the financial mechanism and any other organizations in a position to do so to provide support for the preparation and communication of the INDCs of parties that may need such support; and

•         requests the Secretariat to publish the INDCs as communicated on the UNFCCC website and prepare by 1 November 2015 a synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the INDCs communicated by parties by 1 October 2015.

•         The COP also decides to continue the technical examination of opportunities with high mitigation potential, including those with adaptation, health and sustainable development co-benefits, in the period 2015-2020, by requesting the Secretariat to organize a series of in-session TEMs that:

•         facilitate parties in the identification of policy options, practices and technologies and in planning for their implementation in accordance with nationally-defined development priorities;

•         build on and utilize the related activities of, and further enhance collaboration and synergies among, the TEC, the CTCN, the Durban Forum on capacity-building, the CDM EB and the operating entities of the financial mechanism;

•         build on previous TEMs in order to hone and focus on actionable policy options;

•         provide meaningful and regular opportunities for the effective engagement of experts from parties, relevant international organizations, civil society, indigenous peoples, women, youth, academic institutions, the private sector, and subnational authorities nominated by their respective countries;

•         support the accelerated implementation of policy options and enhanced mitigation action, including through international cooperation; and

•         facilitate the enhanced engagement of all parties through the announcement of topics to be addressed, agendas and related materials at least two months in advance of TEMs.

•         The COP also requests the Secretariat to update, following the TEMs, the technical paper on the mitigation benefits of actions, and on initiatives and options to enhance mitigation ambition, compiling information provided in submissions from parties and observer organizations and the discussions held at the TEMs and drawing on other relevant information on the implementation of policy options at all levels, including through multilateral cooperation, and to disseminate the information, including by publishing a summary for policy makers.

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(Dr Ramesh Kumar Jalan is the Resource Person and Moderator of the Climate Change Community of Practice, Solution Exchange, UNDP, New Delhi)

Gore at Lima: “We are designing the future of human kind.”

By Ramesh Jalan

Lima Climate Action High-Level Meeting took place on Thursday, morning. The ADP contact group on item 3 briefly convened in the morning and was then suspended pending consultations among negotiating groups on the way forward. The contact group reconvened late in the afternoon but agreement could not be reached on how to move forward. Informal consultations took place throughout the day under the COP and CMP. An informal stocktaking plenary took place in the evening. Later in the evening the ADP contact group convened shortly for the ADP Co-Chairs to present a revised draft decision text, which parties agreed to discuss on Friday morning.

LIMA CLIMATE ACTION HIGH-LEVEL MEETING : COP 20/CMP 10 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal noted that the conference hall was illuminated with the Nazca Lines accompanied by text inviting participants to “create,” “connect,” “act” and  “transform.” He highlighted that non-state actors are already finding solutions, and asked how their initiatives could be scaled up and how collaboration with them could be improved.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the ambitious initiatives and actors that came together at the September UN Climate Summit. Noting that action begets ambition, he said actions now will set a strong foundation for Paris.

IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri highlighted key messages from AR5, saying the pursuit of efficiency and equity will drive the most cost-effective solutions.

Underlining that there is general agreement that the solution to climate change lies in economic transformation, Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group, Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, noted that while “the economics are compelling, the politics remain challenging.”

Al Gore, former US Vice President, said that in Lima and Paris “we are designing the future of human kind.”

COP/CMP JOINT STOCKTAKING PLENARY :  Highlighting Thursday, 11 December, as the last day for all outstanding issues to be resolved, COP 20/CMP 10 President Pulgar-Vidal urged parties to move the negotiations forward. He invited Ministers Edna Molewa (South Africa) and Edward Davey (UK) to conduct ministerial outreach on long-term finance and the GCF. ADP Co-Chair Kumarsingh highlighted the lack of consensus amongst parties on how to proceed with textual negotiations.

Pulgar-Vidal emphasized the need to take decisions to capture the achievements of this COP and invited parties to table constructive proposals, urging them not to leave Lima “empty handed.” He assured parties of a transparent and party-driven working process. Pulgar-Vidal noted the need for a strong decision on upfront information required for INDCs and pre-2020 actions, and a draft negotiating text containing a variety of views on elements of the 2015 agreement.

After nearly two weeks of intensive deliberations, many felt deflated as, on day 10 of the COP, the ADP seemed to lose momentum, with over 50 pages of bracketed text and no agreement on the way forward in sight.

Some wondered if the contours of the Lima outcome had started to become visible. Inspired by the positive spirit of the morning high-level meeting on climate action, one delegate mused: “maybe, like the Nazca Lines, we just need to climb up the hill to see the full picture.”

With the likelihood of a sleepless night dawning on the delegates, many felt that the clear direction given by the COP/CMP President had inspired them to climb up the steep hill ahead.

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(Dr Ramesh Kumar Jalan is the Resource Person and Moderator of the Climate Change Community of Practice, Solution Exchange, UNDP, New Delhi)