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Volume 12 Number 540 - Saturday, 19 May 2012
SB 36 AND AWG HIGHLIGHTS
Friday, 18 May 2012

In the afternoon, the opening plenary of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) reconvened. In the afternoon, an in-session workshop took place under the AWG-LCA to further the understanding of the diversity of NAMAs by developing countries. In the morning and afternoon, a number of contact groups and informal consultations took place under the SBI, SBSTA, AWG-KP and AWG-LCA.

ADP

In the evening, the ADP opening plenary reconvened, presided by COP Vice-President Robert Van Lierop (Suriname).

 CHINA, supported by SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, INDIA and KUWAIT, made a point of order, emphasizing a potential conflict of interest given that COP Vice-President Van Lierop was nominated to the COP Bureau by the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC). He stressed that the COP Vice-President represents the same regional group as one of the three candidates for the ADP Chair and should therefore refrain from taking part in the proceedings concerning the election of the ADP Bureau.

BARBADOS, supported by the US, the EU, GRENADA, AUSTRALIA and others, said that the COP Vice-President has been elected to serve by the COP and calls for his removal are “unjustified” and “unfortunate.”

The Secretariat clarified that members of the COP Bureau do not represent party or regional interests and there is an assumption of impartially. He also pointed out that the COP President, in her absence, can designate a COP Vice-President to preside at a meeting and that in doing so, the COP Vice-President would not represent the interests of GRULAC.

COP Vice-President Lierop declined to recuse himself, undertaking to conduct himself impartially. He explained that consultations on the election of the ADP Bureau by Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa, had been inconclusive.

Reporting on the consultations, Ambassador Diseko raised the possibility of the ADP Bureau being elected by a vote in accordance with the COP draft rules of procedure.

 Expressing regret for the situation, the Gambia, for LDCs, supported by Guyana, for GRULAC, the EU, the US, AUSTRALIA, AOSIS and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, proposed that the COP Presidency preside over the ADP until matters concerning the election of its Bureau are resolved. Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for consultations to be concluded during the current session in Bonn.

After further discussion, including a request for clarification from China on what the “COP Presidency” refers to and who the COP President could designate to chair on her behalf, parties agreed that the COP Presidency would preside over the ADP during the Bonn session, while consultations continue on the election of officers.

AWG-LCA

In the afternoon, the AWG-LCA in-session workshop to further the understanding of the diversity of NAMAs by developing country parties, underlying assumptions, and any support needed for implementation of these actions took place.

BRAZIL observed that his country’s mitigation actions are expected to result in a reduction of 36.1-38.9% below projected emissions in 2020 and highlighted reductions in deforestation and emission reductions in agriculture and energy sectors.

AOSIS called for common accounting rules for non-Annex I parties and cautioned that even if indicators presented by China, Brazil and India are achieved, their emissions will increase. She also elaborated on innovative mitigation initiatives in SIDS.

The GAMBIA presented on his country’s NAMAs, focusing on the energy and transport sectors. He emphasized the need for financial, technological and capacity-building assistance.

The REPUBLIC OF KOREA presented on his country’s low-carbon green growth strategy of reducing emissions by 30% compared to business as usual. He also emphasized that legislation on a national emissions trading scheme has been adopted.

BANGLADESH said his country is in the initial stages of developing NAMAs and that mitigation action will be focused on energy transformation and consumption, LULUCF and industry.

GEORGIA said his country pursues the goal of becoming a major regional exporter of “green power,” and elaborated on a potential NAMA in the energy sector on renewable energy.

CHINA highlighted that his country has submitted a pledge to lower emissions by 40-45% per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020 compared with the 2005 level. He underscored his country’s work programme for national economic and social development aimed at emission reductions and said mitigation actions are implemented through, inter alia: promoting energy conservation, developing low-carbon energy and increasing carbon sinks.

CHILE said a national low-emissions development strategy is being developed through a government-led, multistakeholder, participative process and presented a list of NAMAs under development, including in the transport, forestry, transportation and waste sectors.

 MALAWI underscored his country’s intention to prepare more detailed concept notes for NAMAs to be implemented as pilot projects in the energy, agriculture, forestry and waste sectors, saying criteria for NAMA selection includes, inter alia: high level of replicability and potential entry points for business investments.

MEXICO indicated his country's pledge to reduce emissions by 30% compared to business as usual by 2020 subject to financial and technological support. He elaborated on his country´s Special Programme on Climate Change (PECC), which at present, is implemented unconditionally and through their national budget.

The EU underscored uncertainties around assumptions and conditions attached to NAMAs. He emphasized that these can have a substantial impact on expected global emissions, highlighting uncertainties relating to the definition of “business as usual.” He supported requesting that the Secretariat develop a technical paper to drive the discussion forward and organizing another workshop, focusing on capturing the diversity of NAMAs in a structured manner, including information on the implementation of pledges and low-emissions development strategies.

The CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK (CAN) elaborated on the role of low-carbon development strategies in enabling equitable access to sustainable development and said credited NAMAs should avoid undermining the environmental integrity of global mitigation action and double counting.

Following the presentations, parties discussed, inter alia: intensity targets by some countries; inclusion of CDM in NAMAs; reporting and accounting rules for non-Annex I parties; greenhouse gases and sectors covered; avoiding double counting; national monitoring systems; and institutional arrangements.

CONTACT GROUPS AND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS

AGRICULTURE (SBSTA): During morning informal consultations, parties exchanged views on how issues relating to agriculture should be taken up under the SBSTA. Many parties referred to their submissions (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/MISC.6 and Adds. 1-2), highlighting the need to, inter alia: ensure that work on agriculture is consistent with the SBSTA mandate in Convention Article 9 (the scope of technical, scientific and methodological work); assess existing scientific and technological knowledge on agriculture and climate change; increase knowledge sharing; enhance information on “knowledge gaps;” improve agricultural productivity and resilience in the context of climate change; and improve capacity building in developing countries.

Many developing countries underscored the importance of adaptation and its relative priority compared to mitigation. They also highlighted the need to achieve food security and the importance of technology transfer. Some countries called for a dialogue on how to facilitate, inter alia, technology transfer and innovation. Others called for a work programme to move the process forward. A developing country suggested workshops as a useful way forward. A developed country noted the need to learn more from external bodies and organizations, such as the IPCC. Another developed country highlighted the need to recognize the site-specific nature of agriculture. A representative from the IPCC provided an overview of how agriculture is being treated in the Fifth Assessment Report.

Informal consultations will continue.

LOSS AND DAMAGE (SBI): During the morning informal consultations that were open to observers, parties exchanged views on the Co-Chairs’ draft text and proposal by the G-77/China to annex a draft decision text to the conclusions.

LDCs, the AFRICAN GROUP and AOSIS expressed readiness to work on framing the decision. Stressing the importance of staying within the group’s mandate, several developed countries said it is premature to annex decision text before considering a technical paper on slow-onset events and the outcomes of the four upcoming workshops. As a way forward, Co-Chair Lemmen proposed an informal meeting to be held immediately before Doha to consider inputs from the workshops and the technical paper. Several parties indicated the need to consider the Co-Chairs’ proposal within negotiating groups.

On the text, parties flagged some points that have not been reflected and the US pointed to convergence on key messages.

The Co-Chairs will consult informally and a drafting group will convene.

AWG-LCA CONTACT GROUP: In the morning contact group, parties focused on identifying elements that require further consideration and have not been assigned to spin-off groups.

On response measures, SAUDI ARABIA proposed considering intellectual property rights (IPRs). With CHINA, KUWAIT, VENEZUELA, ARGENTINA, INDIA and others, opposed by the EU, SINGAPORE, MEXICO, AUSTRALIA and the US, he also suggested considering trade measures.

Algeria, for the AFRICAN GROUP, the PHILIPPINES, ARGENTINA, NICARAGUA and other developing countries called for establishing a spin-off group on adaptation, noting the need to further consider national adaptation plans for developing countries that are not LDCs. On adaptation, Bangladesh, for LDCs, also drew attention to gaps in terms of scaling up support, transparency, accounting, risk management and risk reduction strategies. SAUDI ARABIA called for addressing economic diversification to build resilience and EGYPT highlighted vulnerability assessments and developing countries’ urgent needs.

The Philippines, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted that some areas of the Bali Action Plan have not been thoroughly addressed and that the mechanisms established for adaptation and other issues are not yet operational.

Opposing the establishment of a spin-off group on adaptation, SWITZERLAND, NORWAY, the EU and other developed countries pointed to progress and current work under other bodies on, inter alia, the Adaptation Committee, and loss and damage.

On technology, many developing countries supported establishing a spin-off group. The G-77/CHINA underscored the issue as one of the four pillars of the Bali Action Plan and called for further discussions, in particular on IPRs. Algeria, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for a clear distinction between issues to be addressed under the ADP for the post-2020 regime and issues to be finished by the AWG-LCA.

Many developed countries drew attention to progress on technology and its consideration under other UNFCCC bodies. The US and SINGAPORE indicated that there are other avenues to discuss IPRs. JAPAN, the EU and other developed countries opposed a spin-off group on technology. BOLIVIA suggested further discussion on, inter alia, barriers to development and transfer of technologies and IPRs that are in the public domain.

On capacity building, China, for the G-77/CHINA, supported further discussion on, inter alia: institutions, financial mechanisms, monitoring and performance tools. The PHILIPPINES highlighted means of implementation. Drawing attention to the recently established Durban Forum for in-depth discussion on capacity building, the US, the EU and other developed countries opposed having a spin-off group.

On other matters and countries with economies in transition to a market economy, BELARUS, for Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, supported a spin-off group on the issue to complete work.

Discussions on items such as finance will continue at the next contact group meeting.

CONVENTION ARTICLE 6 (education, training and public awareness) (SBI): In the afternoon informal consultations that were open to observers, parties focused on a draft proposal by the G-77/China on the Doha Work Programme on Convention Article 6.

YOUNGOs, CAN and LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES  identified issues that should be emphasized in the text, including: gender; local communities; and specific reporting requirements.

Dominica, for the G-77/CHINA, introduced their draft text which is divided into a preamble, recommendations to be considered for the Doha Work Programme, the role of the Secretariat and intergovernmental organizations. The EU suggested the inclusion of a section on the role of parties in the work programme. AUSTRALIA and the US discussed the proposed eight-year work programme with a mid-term review in 2016.

Parties will submit proposals and a draft text will be prepared. Informal consultations will continue.

SHARED VISION (AWG-LCA): The spin-off group met in the afternoon to discuss the way forward.

 Facilitator Zou Ji (China) asked parties to consider the following three options on how to move forward: numbers and context; range of numbers and context; or process and mechanism to identify and elaborate on numbers, range and context.

Many parties highlighted the importance of discussing the issues simultaneously, but views were divergent on the starting point of discussions.

BRAZIL, NORWAY, SWITZERLAND and the EU suggested that the group first address ways to move forward before deciding on substance of discussion.

Discussion on context was supported by AUSTRALIA, MEXICO, the EU, SOUTH AFRICA, Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, India, for the G-77/CHINA, the US, BOLIVIA, SINGAPORE and CHILE. The US, BOLIVIA, JAPAN, CHILE, MEXICO and COLOMBIA highlighted global goal and peaking of emissions as the focus of the group.

Botswana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, Uganda, for LDCs, and the PHILIPPINES highlighted means of implementation and support as a possible way forward. 

Parties will submit text for a summary to be discussed at the next informal consultation.

ANNEX I FURTHER COMMITMENTS (AWG-KP): In the afternoon, the AWG-KP contact group convened to hear progress reports from the spin-off group on numbers and text, and from the informal consultations on legal and procedural issues.

On numbers and text, Co-Facilitator Lefevere reported that parties had made presentations on their QELRO submissions and highlighted issues discussed, including: clarification of QELRO submissions and associated conditions; views on market mechanisms; national policies implemented to support QELROs; and preferences for the length of the second commitment period.

In the ensuing discussion, parties considered several issues, including: concerns regarding the length of the second commitment period; ways to structure Annex B; and rules to translate pledges into QELROs. Parties agreed to focus the next spin-off group on carry-over of AAUs, drawing on proposals from Durban and new ideas that parties have put forward in Bonn.

On legal and procedural issues, AWG-KP Vice-Chair Uosukainen reported on informal consultations, which focused on: how to secure continuity between the first and second commitment periods; the application of accounting rules in the second commitment period; different ideas on provisional application to secure continuity; and ways to raise the ambition levels during the second commitment period. Parties agreed to address some of these issues in the spin-off group, and an additional informal consultation may be convened.

IN THE CORRIDORS

 Friday night brought the ADP to the fore once again, and the corridors were filled with both excitement and discontent over the opening plenary of the new body. “This was quite something,” commented one delegate exiting the plenary tent. “I have never seen anything like this,” declared another.  

As the ADP plenary convened just before 6 pm, “intense moments” followed.

Points of orders were the flavor of the night as the session progressed. However, delegates’ reaction to the first point of order by China was unexpected and raised a few laughs, as half the room stood up and rushed to the door as soon as the delegate started speaking. Luckily, it had nothing to do with his intervention, but rather the need for headsets and translation to understand the point of order made in Chinese.

The mood quickly turned serious again. After legal advice from the Secretariat that COP Bureau members do not represent parties or regional interests, COP Vice-President Van Lierop’s passionate assurances that he was acting in the interest of all parties when presiding over the ADP was met by thundering applause.

Because of the unresolved issue of the ADP Bureau members, the prospect of the ballot box was mooted in plenary just in case the controversy over the Chair of the ADP was not finally resolved through “less radical” means. Exiting the plenary, one relieved delegate sighed, “That was a lucky escape, I thought I was going to have to cast my vote tonight.”

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Asheline Appleton, Joanna Dafoe, Cherelle Jackson, Elena Kosolapova, Kati Kulovesi, Ph.D., and Eugenia Recio. The Digital Editor is Leila Mead. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). General Support for the Bulletin during 2012 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute – GISPRI), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022, USA. The ENB Team at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2012 can be contacted by e-mail at <kati@iisd.org>.
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