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|Developing Countries Submissions @ Poznan Climate Change Conference (COP 14)|
The Poznań Climate Change Conference, the Conference of Parties Meeting 14 (COP14) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will be held from 1-12 December 2008 in Poland. Several Parties from developing countries (India, Panama, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Sri Lanka, China, Central American Countries, and the Group of 77 and China) have made new submissions to the conference.
Delegations from over 187 countries that signed the Bali “roadmap” last year (COP 13) will participate in Poznań. The Parties are expected to: Agree on a plan of action and programmes of work for the final year of negotiations after a year of comprehensive and extensive discussions on crucial issues relating to future commitments, actions and cooperation; Make significant progress on a number of on-going issues required to enhance further the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol; Advance understanding and commonality of views on "shared vision" for a new climate change regime; and Strengthen momentum and commitment to the process and the agreed timeline.
Two working groups, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), will meet at Poznań. In addition, the Second Review of the Kyoto Protocol under Article 9 will meet, with a specific focus on the scope and effectiveness of the flexible mechanisms, including the capacity of Parties to participate in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The AWG-KP is scheduled to finish deliberations on means for achieving mitigation objectives, as well as considering ranges of emission reduction objectives of the Annex I Parties. The fourth session of the AWG-LCA will deal with ‘adaptation, mitigation, technology, financing and the shared vision for a new climate change regime.’ It will hold three focused in-session workshops on:
The Parties will also discuss detailed proposals to put forward at Copenhagen regarding the future financial architecture and technology and capacity-building. Several Parties (India, Singapore, Switzerland, Panama, USA, Norway, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, China, Turkey, Central American Countries, Group of 77 and China) have made new submissions since the third session of AWG-LCA in Accra. These can be viewed at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/items/4578.php
Submissions of Parties of Developing Countries:
The Group of 77 and China in their proposal, “A Technology Mechanism under the UNFCCC”, seeks to address the shortfall in implementation by developed countries of their obligations to provide technology and associated finance and capacity building to developing countries to enable them to implement the Convention. The proposal sets out the rationale, criteria and institutional arrangements for a new technology mechanism, which include a new subsidiary body to the Convention (the Executive Body on Technology) as well as a Multilateral Climate Technology Fund, which, along with other funds would operate as part of an enhanced financial mechanism under the Conference of Parties.
In their proposal, “Financial Mechanism for Meeting Financial Commitments under the Convention” tabled at the Accra Climate Change talks in August 2008, the Group of 77 and China stressed that a new mechanism would be based on principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, under the authority and control of the COP, and that funding would come from ‘new and additional’ financial resources over and above available overseas development assistance (ODA) funding. They stated the funding should be predictable, stable, and timely, and that developing country parties are to be provided with new and additional financial resources, covering the full incremental costs for: mitigation, capacity-building, research and development, patents, preparations of national action plans and implementation, and transfer and utilization of technology.
China, India and Brazil in their submissions have reiterated their views that developed countries need to “take the lead” in reducing greenhouse gases emissions (GHG) emissions.
China, through it submission, seeks that technology transfer and the provisions of financial support and capacity building by developed country Parties for national mitigation actions in developing country Parties shall be measurable, reportable and verifiable, and be new and additional to ODA. The funding scale shall be 0.5-1% of the annual GNP of Annex I Parities and additional to the existing ODA and will be used to enhance actions on adaptation, mitigation and technical research, development, demonstration and transfer, as well as related capacity building, through establishing specialized funds such as the Convention Adaptation Fund, the Mitigation Fund and the Multilateral Technology Acquisition Fund. The submission desists countries from making further sub-categorization of developing countries as its runs against the Convention itself and is not in conformity with the consensus reached in the Bali Action Plan.
India notes in its submissions that equity must be central to the way forward on climate action and calls for equitable sharing of the carbon space and protecting the right of developing countries to sustained economic development. On financing, it stresses that the funding to service legal commitments under the Convention cannot be voluntary, as these are not predictable. Further, the financial contributions made to service these commitments cannot be treated as aid or assistance under a donor-recipient platform. It calls upon annual contributions equal to 0.5% of the total GDP of the developed world for funding full, agreed, incremental costs of adaptation and mitigation through resource transfers or grants.
The submission draws attention to increases in terms of per-capita emissions in the Annex I countries, and calls for this alarming trend to be immediately reversed. It calls upon the international community to start identifying an indicative stabilization target and a time-frame for its achievement along with an equitable paradigm for sharing the carbon space.
The submission by Brazil notes the need for full recognition of the mitigation actions that have been and are being implemented by developing countries. This would help avoid the false view that mitigation so far has been achieved only by a limited group of Annex I Parties. On Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), Brazil notes that actions regarding REDD are an important part of mitigation efforts by several developing country Parties, and forest mitigation activities under the UNFCCC should not be discriminated from the treatment of other non-forest mitigation activities. The submission by South Africa on “Means of Implementation” emphasises its support for the G77 & China proposals on the financial and technology mechanism. It calls for a shift from project-based approach to a programmatic approach in order to drastically scale up climate action and make optimal use of the full range of means of implementation available. On mitigation action, South Africa proposes the establishment of a register of nationally-appropriate mitigation actions (NMAs) by developing countries to enhance the existing provisions of the Convention, namely Article 14.2.
The joint submission by Panama on behalf of five Latin American nations states the desire to see more responsibility taken by developed countries in financing the developing countries as they begin to address the issues posed by climate change. Specifically, it calls for a clear, transparent, and sustained new financial flow to allow the governments of developing countries to successfully make the necessary changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The submission by Argentina notes that continued use of flexible mechanisms to reduce GHG emissions requires close consideration given their potential to displace domestic action by Annex I countries and capture, primarily, only the least expensive mitigation activities in developing countries. Argentina believes that market-based mechanisms have a role to play but markets alone cannot deliver the expected outcomes soon enough to avoid irreversible climate change. Further, the Carbon markets do need to be scaled up to deliver additional financial flows to accomplish the task ahead; however, there is a need to identify ways of financing low-carbon investments in developing countries that do not involve transferring the burden of mitigation from the developed to developing world. On REDD, the global approach should incorporate safeguards to ensure that global scale activities, such as sales of REDD credits, are coherent with national development goals of the countries concerned.
The submission by Sri Lanka supports the concept of financial compensation for climate victims and the international insurance mechanism which would support countries to face losses due to extreme events. It further supports the proposal of the global carbon tax for countries with high annual per capita emission, which would flow to adaptation and insurance funds in low emitting countries.
With the global economic crisis in full swing and the mitigation and full effects of it just beginning to emerge, there is some worry about the climate change issue once again getting lost in the shuffle of more pressing national agendas. It is imperative that the critical challenges posed by climate change are addressed adequately and in a timely fashion. Developing countries need to actively participate to ensure that the current financial crisis does not create an excuse for inaction or detract focus or commitment regarding the important issues to be addressed at the Poznan Conference.
Analysis undertaken by Vikas Nath and Amy Schweikert, South Intellectual Platform, South Centre, Geneva.
Important Links on Poznań Climate Conference:
The Official Website for the Poznan Climate Change Conference COP14: http://www.cop14.gov.pl/
Scenario Note on the Fourth Session of AWG-LCA http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2008/awglca4/eng/15.pdf
Submissions to the Fourth Session of AWG-LCA http://unfccc.int/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/items/4578.php
The Submission of South Centre to the COP 14 are available from the UNFCCC website at: http://unfccc.int/parties_and_observers/igo/items/3714.php