Lima climate talks: an update

By Ramesh Jalan

The Conference of Parties 20 and  Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10) plenaries reconvened on Wednesday morning to open agenda items. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) contact group on item 3 considered the elements of adaptation and finance in parallel sessions, and mitigation once adaptation had concluded.

In the afternoon, the ADP contact group considered the draft text on advancing the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. A joint COP/CMP contact group also convened on issues related to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Informal consultations took place throughout the day on items under the SBI and SBSTA.

On loss and damage, AOSIS, the LDCs, AILAC, the AFRICAN GROUP and others, opposed by AUSTRALIA, emphasized that it should become a stand-alone element in the new agreement. NEW ZEALAND opposed any reinterpretation of the Warsaw decision on loss and damage.

The LDCs proposed a climate change displacement coordination unit, and a mechanism to deal with slow-onset events, including a compensation regime. The LMDCs said discussions on loss and damage are premature pending outcomes on the Executive Committee.

On Wednesday, delegates engaged in a “hands-on” mode of work both in ADP contact group sessions on the various elements of the future agreement, and in numerous meetings under the SBI and SBSTA. Many delegates continued to note the “new” pattern of contact group and informal consultation management, with chairs finishing on time and then sending parties off to consult among themselves.

This optimism was, however, overshadowed by a perceived lack of mutual confidence among parties. With positions and remaining points of contention clear on many issues, a sense of frustration grew in the corridors as many delegates raised concerns over the slow progress under the ADP.

In the group on finance, parties that viewed the adjectives “adequate” and “predictable” as problematic were challenged to explain “how inadequate and unpredictable finance could enhance climate action.” One seasoned delegate voiced a view shared by many: “we know where we stand; it’s high time we moved beyond the justify-your-position negotiating mode and built bridges.”

One delegate complained, “parties need to build confidence and trust, not only to reach the mandated decision on INDCs in Lima, but also to make progress towards Paris.”

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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)