Blog: UN climate change negotiations, Durban, November - December 2011

December 2011

Contacts

Monday 12 December - Durban outcome

Highlights

There is no concealing the fact that getting an agreement at Durban was one of the most painful and protracted processes in COP history. On the Saturday after the COP was due to have wrapped up, negotiators were becoming desperate. Predictions that all political will had been used up at Cancun seemed to be playing out. However, to the surprise of many at such a late stage in the negotiations, Sunday December 11th, 2011 ushered in what may pave the way forward for a new era in the global response to climate change after 2020.

Highlights of the Durban outcome include:
  • Establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action in order to “launch a process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all Parties” and which will come into effect from 2020.
  • Decisions under AWG-KP, including 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 AWG-KP at its seventeenth session (i.e. next year).
  • Decisions under the AWG-LCA including in respect of:
    • Shared vision
    • Nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions by developed country Parties
    • UNFCCC biennial reporting guidelines for developed country Parties
    • Modalities and procedures for international assessment and review
    • Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties
    • A Registry for nationally appropriate mitigation actions
    • Modalities and guidelines for international consultation and analysis
    • International aviation and maritime transport
    • REDD
    • New Market Mechanisms
    • Finance
    • Review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal of limiting warming below 2˚C.
  • Agreeing the governing instrument of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)
  • Despite a desire shown by some parties that the CDM should be discontinued in the absence of a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period (a scenario which seems to have been avoided), a decision that reconfirms that the use of the market mechanisms shall be supplemental to domestic action and that domestic action shall thus constitute a significant element of the effort made by developed countries to reach their commitments.

Establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action

One of the key issues that has loomed large over the climate negotiations has been the legal form of any future climate agreement and the extent to which it will be legally binding under international law. There has been significant lack of political will from major emitter developing countries to take on future legally binding obligations to reduce their emissions. In turn, this has led developed countries, particularly the US, to question whether they should also take on legally binding targets to reduce emissions.

It seemed for some time as if this issue would not be resolved at Durban, and the implications of this threw into question the ability to reach any substantive outcomes for Durban. In last-ditch efforts to salvage discussions early on Sunday morning, it was decided to:

launch a process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change applicable to all Parties, through a subsidiary body under the Convention hereby established and to be known as the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action;

This will be remembered as the most significant outcome of the Durban negotiations, and may serve to unlock negotiations of such an outcome in future years. Helpful as this agreed language will be, we predict years of rocky negotiations in fleshing it out. One person’s “legal force” is another person’s “not very forceful at all”. However, this language is stronger than has been used in the past, including in respect of the Bali Roadmap agreed in 2007.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-DPEA is likely to be added as the latest climate change acronym)will start its work as a matter of urgency in the first half of 2012.

It was decided that the AWG-DPEA shall complete its work as early as possible but no later than 2015 in order to adopt this protocol, legal instrument or legal outcome at COP21 and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.

As significant areas of such agreement still need to be resolved, it was also decided at Durban to extend the AWG-LCA for one year in order for it to continue its work and reach the agreed outcome pursuant to the Bali Action Plan. The AWG-LCA will then be terminated. We note however that the AWG-LCA was intended to be terminated at Copenhagen in 2009.

Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its sixteenth session

“Saving the Kyoto Protocol” has been a significant negotiation priority for many developing countries, despite the fact that industrialised country emissions will not represent the majority of global emissions going forwards.

In another major development from Durban, it was decided 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 AWG-KP at its seventeenth session.

However, the parties were only able to “take note of” the quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties and of the intention of these Parties to convert these targets to quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives (QELROs) for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. In the absence of understanding about what underlies such QELROs, the Parties are invited to submit information on their QELROs for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol by 1 May 2012.

Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention

Those who have been following the international negotiations for some time will be aware that the AWG-LCA has been working to agree a broader climate change agreement under the UNFCCC for several years now. The work of the AWG-LCA will continue, but a number of important areas under the AWG-LCA were subject to a Decision at Durban.

Shared vision

In the absence of stringency in terms of existing emissions reduction pledges and commitments, the Parties agreed to continue to work towards identifying a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050, and to consider it at COP18. The Parties also agreed to continue to work towards identifying a time frame for the global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions and to consider it at COP18.

Nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions by developed country Parties

Quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties contained in document FCCC/SB/2011/INF.1/Rev.1 were noted by the Parties.

The Parties decided to continue the process of clarifying these targets in 2012, with the objective of understanding assumptions and conditions related to individual targets. This process will involve submission of relevant information using a common template, to the UNFCCC secretariat by 5 March 2012 to be compiled into a miscellaneous document as well as workshops.

UNFCCC biennial reporting guidelines for developed country Parties

Guidelines for biennial reporting for developed country Parties were adopted. It was decided that developed country Parties shall use the UNFCCC biennial reporting guidelines for the preparation of their first biennial reports and submit their first biennial reports to the secretariat by 1 January 2014, and their second and subsequent biennial reports two years after the due date of a full national communication (i.e. in 2016, 2020). Parties included in Annex I to the Convention (Annex I Parties) shall submit a full national communication every four years.

Modalities and procedures for international assessment and review

The Parties also adopted modalities and procedures for international assessment and review (IAR). It was agreed that the first round of IAR should commence two months after the submission of the first round of biennial reports by developed country Parties.

Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties

It was decided that non-Annex I Parties should submit their first biennial update report by December 2014. Least developed country Parties and small island developing States may submit biennial update reports at their discretion.

The Guidelines for the preparation of biennial update reports agreed at Durban should be used as a basis to provide guidance to an operating entity of the financial mechanism for funding the preparation of biennial update reports from non-Annex I Parties and, in the case of the first biennial update report, the Global Environment Facility.

Registry

The question of establishing some kind of system or registry to record what developing countries are seeking to do and attempt to match such actions with finance has been under discussion for some time.

It was decided at Durban that a registry of nationally appropriate mitigation actions should be developed. This should be developed as a dynamic, web-based platform, managed by a dedicated team in the UNFCCC secretariat. Participation in the registry will be voluntary and only information submitted expressly for inclusion in the registry should be recorded.

Modalities and guidelines for international consultation and analysis

A contentious issue for many developing countries has been demands by developed countries to be able to scrutinise the implementation of developing country emissions reduction actions.

It was decided at Durban that the first rounds of international consultation and analysis (ICA) will be conducted for developing country Parties commencing within six months of the submission of the first round of biennial update reports by developing country Parties. The frequency of participation in subsequent rounds of ICA will be determined by the frequency of the submission of biennial update reports.

The Parties also adopted modalities and procedures for ICA. They will be revised based on experiences gained in the first round of ICA, no later than 2017.

International aviation and maritime transport

Another “bete noire” of the climate negotiations has been the question of how to deal with international aviation and maritime emissions. This question was dodged once more, with an agreement to continue consideration of these issues. ICAO and IMO are likely to remain the significant drivers for progress in this area, though the European Commission is currently evaluating the inclusion of shipping in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

REDD

A REDD mechanism was established at Cancun. At Durban, the Parties agreed that regardless of the source or type of financing, REDD activities should be consistent with a number of protections, including the safeguards, in accordance with relevant decisions of the COP.

The Parties recalled that for developing country Parties undertaking results-based actions to obtain and receive results-based finance, these actions should be fully measured, reported and verified and meet other key requirements such as safeguards. It was also agreed that results-based finance provided to developing country Parties that is new, additional and predictable may come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources. The reference to private finance is significant, as many have questioned the role of private finance in REDD.

After a long and arduous negotiation process it was also agreed that, in the light of the experience gained from current and future demonstration activities, market-based approaches could be developed to support results-based actions by developing countries. This is an important step forward for the many developed and developing countries that support the development of market-based approaches that meet key principles such as environmental integrity, robust MRV and compliance with safeguards. The decision also calls for submissions by 5 March 2012 on modalities and procedures for financing results-based actions and sets out a work plan to move to a decision on these at COP18.

The Parties also agreed a separate decision in respect of guidance on systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected and modalities relating to forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels.

New Market Mechanisms

The parties have agreed to “define a new market-based mechanism”, operating under the guidance and authority of the COP, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, bearing in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries. Subject to conditions to be elaborated, this mechanism may assist developed countries to meet part of their mitigation targets or commitments under the Convention.

We note that significant amounts of text had been tabled in respect of this issue, and that more detail had been provided during Durban, including with respect to a “framework”. The US in particular was concerned about the mechanisms being cast whilst any domestic offset schemes were still under development.

This decision seems useful in preserving a space for the role of market mechanisms in the future (as had already been loosely acknowledged at Cancun), but does not provide significant clarity about their role or nature. In any event, the establishment of such new mechanisms appears to be meaningless in the absence of significant ambition to reduce emissions.

Standing Committee

The provision of climate finance has been another issue which has served both to unite and polarise discussions. It was decided that the Standing Committee on finance shall report and make recommendations to the COP, for its consideration, at each COP on all aspects of its work.

It was also decided that the Standing Committee shall assist the COP in exercising its functions with respect to the financial mechanism of the Convention in terms of improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing, rationalization of the financial mechanism, mobilization of financial resources, and measurement, reporting and verification of support provided to developing country Parties.

Finance

The parties also decided to undertake a work programme on long-term finance in 2012, including workshops. The aim of the work programme is to contribute to the on-going efforts to scale up the mobilization of climate change finance after 2012. It will analyze options for the mobilization of resources from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources and relevant analytical work on climate-related financing needs of developing countries.

The analysis will draw upon relevant reports including that of the High-level Advisory Group on Climate Financing (AGF) and the report on mobilising climate finance for the G20 and the assessment criteria in the reports, and will also take into account lessons learned from fast-start finance for 2010 - 2012 which was pledged at Copenhagen and Cancun. The AGF has been widely criticised for its lack of ambition, but many have praised the more thorough work done by the workstreams that actually fed into the AGF report.

Review

It was agreed at Copenhagen and Cancun that a review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal of limiting warming below 2˚C be undertaken. However, parties have been concerned that the Review is not being taken seriously and will lack teeth. It was confirmed that the first review should start in 2013 and should be concluded by 2015, when the COP shall take appropriate action based on the review. The Parties will continue working on the scope of the review and considering its further definition, with a view to taking a decision at COP18.

Green Climate Fund – report of the Transitional Committee

A major step forward for the Parties was the approval of the governing instrument for the Green Climate Fund. This issue was held up by the US at the beginning of Durban. The Parties decided to designate the Green Climate Fund as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention.

Arrangements will be concluded between the COP and the GCF at COP18 to ensure that it is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties. The GCF’s Board is requested to operationalize the Fund in an expedited manner.

Emissions trading and the project-based mechanisms

In a separate decision under the Kyoto Protocol relating to market mechanisms, it was reconfirmed that the use of the mechanisms shall be supplemental to domestic action and that domestic action shall thus constitute a significant element of the effort made by each Party included in Annex I to meet its quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments.

Consequences

The outcome of the Durban climate talks will not at this stage prompt additional emission reductions before 2020 and there remains significant political reluctance to beefing up emission reductions commitments. Whether action to reduce global emissions from 2020 will actually be taken remains to be seen.

The EU’s negotiating position to create a “roadmap” which would allow it to sign up to a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period has been successful. This is a bit of a coup for the EU, which was not successful in imposing itself at Copenhagen or Cancun. The EU is likely to resume talks early next year about moving to a commitment to reduce its emissions to 30% below 1990 levels. However, as Durban did not lead to more stringent pledges being put on the table, but instead provided more clarity on the legal form of such future pledges, this may yet prove an uphill struggle.

Funds should be able to get moving under the Green Climate Fund relatively quickly. Provided that they do, this should help underscore confidence from developing countries that developed countries are “doing their bit”.

Durban was a torrid time for the carbon markets, with many questioning the role of the CDM in the absence of a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period. Not only does this potential absence seem to have been staved off, but the significant role of the market mechanisms (both new and existing) was highlighted in two separate decisions.

Thursday 08 December - Day 11: Life is not a bowl of cherries

As expected, the pace of developments and sense of urgency associated with the talks have increased in these final two days of the negotiations. Like any raw material under pressure, the process is showing evidence of high pressure breaking points and low resistance malleability. At this point, it is unclear whether a pure metal will emerge: As we say in East London, ignis aurum probat, miseria fortes homines (which loosely translates as “life is not a bowl of cherries”).

The COP President reached out to civil society to communicate the essential role of Non-Parties. In doing so, she affirmed the fragile state of the negotiations and the need for openness, trust, and the absence of brinkmanship that will be required to achieve a deal. She candidly stated that success in Durban would, in South Africa's view, be achieved if:

  • the process remained positive (in contrast to prior years);
  • there was agreement on financing through forward movement on the pledges to, and implementation of, the Green Climate Fund; and
  • a clear path forward on the Kyoto Protocol and a legally binding agreement involving all emitters was achieved.

She generally remained positive that a deal could be reached in Durban.

Indaba

The COP 17 President convened a Ministerial Indaba last night (Thursday) at 10 p.m. The President was asked by ministers to continue deliberations. It will reconvene later today (Friday). Various papers have been made available, in respect of the “bigger picture” and discussions under the KP and broader UNFCCC implementation.

The paper in respect of the “bigger picture” sets out a series of options regarding a roadmap for further negotiations, and the eventual adoption of a legally binding agreement, as well as the forum for such discussions. Various options are presented in respect of legal form, including another legally binding instrument under the Convention, adoption of an Article 17 protocol or another legally binding instrument and/or Decisions. Options for the KP are much more complex and presented in diagrammatic form.

Oh, Canada!

This sense of measured, but tentative optimism is supported by a marked change in the Canadian negotiating position. In sharp contrast to his Wednesday comments, Minister Kent indicated that Canada was willing to take on legally binding targets and enter into a new agreement effective 2015. In the corridors, this is thought to be the workings and impetus of a new coalition among Canada, US, and certain emerging economies with key roles in the negotiations.

Mechanisms

New market mechanism discussions under the AWG-LCA process appear to be stalled on procedural and substantive issues. Parties led by the US were disappointed that no new text was produced. The parties have essentially arrived at the point where 3 main options to proceed are being put forward for decision. The first is agreement to new market mechanisms, through either a legally binding framework on the rules and MRV, or a more flexible structure. The second is no agreement on new market mechanisms. The third involves agreement on a framework or work plan to consider new market mechanisms. We anticipate that the parties will reach agreement on the third option.

It was intended that the Guidelines for the CDM Executive Board work would wrap up yesterday. This proved unachievable, with no agreed guidelines resulting from the session which ran late into the evening.

Discussions will continue today. Progress appears to be blocked on the issues of the CDM Executive Board reviewing its own conduct, and the development of guidance on global and local stakeholder consultation. There does not appear to be any forward movement on the development of an appeal process through this stream of the negotiations.

Nearby, the JI discussions took a surprising turn. 2011 is a crucial year for JI in view of a potential absence of a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period. In earlier sessions Russia, keen to optimise its position, seemed to be playing a hard game in relation to paragraphs 17, 18 and 19 of the draft text relating to this question, but eventually folded to the disappointment of some and satisfaction of others.

Durban Mandate?

We’ll send out our final blog on Monday with an overview of what may be termed the “Durban Mandate”.

^Back to top

Wednesday 07 December - Day 10: Final countdown

Overview

Although little progress has been made on many of the fundamental cross cutting issues, including finance, shared vision, REDD, legal form and market mechanisms; the process and ethos of negotiators appears to be characterised by more goodwill than we have seen at this stage of the negotiations in past years.

LCA

The LCA Chair presented the new "shortened" negotiating text yesterday morning along with his thoughts on which issues need to be bumped to Ministers and which can continue to be discussed in drafting groups. To assist the parties, he even listed those items on a single page. Rather than clarify matters, this has kicked off a fight over which pet issues for different countries should also be on the list!

The response of many countries to the text can be captured in Australia's comment that it needed an ‘aggressive slimming regime’. Others simultaneously complained that their proposed language was not included as optional text. A number of key countries such as the USA and China staked out concerns that would prevent them from agreeing the text without significant progress.

There was some confusion about how the Ministerial process will be carried out, with many calling for drafting groups not to cease work, but to keep trying to produce more tightly drafted options. Perhaps negotiators are worried about the consequences of letting Ministers do anything other than choose between different stated options?

Another contentious issue for many is the conclusion of the Chair that discussions on a shared vision text regarding long term goals cannot be agreed here at Durban and will therefore not be a focus of Ministerial discussions.

CDM and new market mechanisms

There has been significant movement in the CMP related to CDM. EU text additions appear to be paving the way for the EU to impose further restrictions on the types of projects that will be eligible for compliance under the EU ETS. While deep divisions remain on the future of both CDM and JI absent a second commitment period, middle ground is being established that may allow for their continuation. The Secretariat is rumoured to have a supporting legal opinion.

Some negotiators have admitted to being frustrated (or, in one case “bored”) by additions of new text, with meetings continuing late into last night. We understand that a clause stating that maximum access to mechanisms should be a percentage of a party’s commitment under a second Kyoto Protocol Commitment Period and a clause stating that the share of proceeds should increase to 50 percent have been introduced. We also understand that text has been tabled proposing that DNAs should have the right to intervene in a request for issuance, in order to help host countries to ensure that sustainable development goals are being met on an ongoing basis. This would be particularly difficult for project developers who, until now, have relied on the “green light” given by the Host Country letter of approval.

On the issue of new market mechanisms, there continues to be significant divides between parties on the development and use of new market mechanisms to promote mitigation under the AWG-LCA. Earlier yesterday (Wednesday), the EU stated that it considered that new market mechanisms were key to resolving the significant issues around increasing the ambition of commitments. As such, they insisted that they be included as a topic to be taken to Ministerial discussions.

The US has taken an active role in congratulating the Facilitator of the new markets discussions, but has also indicated that the state of affairs is that parties have agreed to think about, instead of implement, new market mechanisms at this point, not under the LCA but under the broader UNFCCC. As a result, the outcome of any agreement on new market mechanisms is likely to be limited to further defined discussions and a work program on new mechanisms, without prejudging the outcome.

CCS

It was reported yesterday that the text of the Modalities and Procedures that will enable CCS to be incorporated in the CDM has been agreed. The final decision text will be forwarded to the final plenary session later this week for adoption by the Parties, although this was expected to be a formality. Late last night though, others questioned whether such a “formality” might not yet fall prey to ongoing negotiations.

^Back to top

Tuesday 06 December - Day 9: China - The truth

We reported yesterday on a potential breakthrough in respect of China’s statement earlier in the week about the conditions for its willingness to sign up to a legally binding agreement. The excitement generated by this announcement seems to have been over-hyped, with senior negotiators signalling that this does not appear in fact to add up to a change in position. This avoids an awkward moment for the US, but does not appear to move the Durban agreements forward. Back to Plans A, B and C (whatever they may be)?

Market mechanisms

Private sector carbon market observers are busily following the texts relating to new and existing market mechanisms. The Guidance to the CDM Executive Board text has reportedly been filled with dozens of points for the CDM Executive Board to grapple with during 2012. Meanwhile, another version of the new market mechanisms text was made available yesterday evening and was described as “too good to be acceptable” by one negotiator. We will report back tomorrow on further progress made.

Partnership for Market Readiness

Those who have started to worry whether market mechanisms are really the way forward would no doubt have been cheered by the World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) side event yesterday evening. Though China was not represented, the prospect of 250 million Chinese falling within a “pilot” emissions trading scheme to start in the coming years is impressive, particularly in the context of potential progress in this area by South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. South Africa has determined, for the time being, that a carbon tax is the way forwards. The PMR received an additional boost yesterday by way of a $US 5 million contribution announcement by Denmark.

Choppy times for REDD+ finance

Negotiations on the proposed text on the sources of finance for a REDD+ mechanism (particularly the full implementation of payments for results) started in earnest yesterday. Negotiations are behind closed doors but we have been keeping up a close dialogue on the issues. As with Cancun, it is coming down to the ideological resistance of some countries to any recognition that the private sector, including via market mechanisms, should be a source of finance. Despite real progress being made with Brazil (refer to our previous blogs for the background to Brazil's position) on how to define a future market - i.e. one that meets certain key principles around environmental integrity; robust measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) and safeguards - a small number of countries are resisting strongly. One small country has stated that it will flat out refuse to approve anything that even mentions the private sector. Negotiations continue today.

The way forward

As of yesterday afternoon, the process for taking negotiations forward did not seem to have been agreed. It is expected that the current “indabas” (in its true sense, a council or meeting of indigenous peoples of southern Africa to discuss an important matter) organised by the COP Presidency, will continue. Some indabas are reported to have broken into detailed drafting groups. The process for taking draft texts up to Ministerial level was unclear, with different approaches having been taken at Copenhagen and Cancun. In any event, there is an additional frisson in the air, with cavalcades racing through the streets and a collection of large cars and chauffeurs ready to fetch and carry VIPs parked at the back of the ICC.

^Back to top

Monday 05 December - Day 8: Heading towards an agreement?

It’s all about China

Much has been made of China’s expression of potential willingness to limit its emissions as part of a legally binding agreement. This would require developed countries to take on commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Other conditions include provision of finance and technology-sharing.

In theory, China’s “new” position could unlock a potential climate deal, as though China is the world’s largest emitter, there are many other major emitters that would have to follow suit. These include India, which still appears adamant that it will not take on any legally binding emission reduction obligations for the time being. And what about the rest of the BASIC counties? However, were China to make progress in this respect, surely other large emitters would feel politically pressured to follow suit?

Most importantly, a positive move by China could help the EU to agree to a second Commitment Period. This would provide useful clarity to the carbon markets on the availability of the market mechanisms. It would also provide a useful framework for future emission reduction targets and a robust accounting framework. However, the EU’s willingness to enter into a second Commitment Period is far from unconditional. Connie Hedegaard, the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, has stated that a number of clarifications of China’s position must be made. The US has indicated that until now, China has not been willing to take on the kind of legally binding agreement that the US has in mind, and that in order for there to be a legally binding agreement, all major players are going to have to be in.

Let’s hope that progress in the negotiations, now taking place largely behind closed doors, is fruitful.

AWG-LCA

Monday also provided a useful opportunity for the parties to present their views on the LCA Chair’s text published on Saturday. The text was an interim text and as such was never intended to be a “perfect document”. This was reflected in the parties’ comments. The Chair hoped to divide the issues into:

  • those that can be completed early this week,
  • those that may be resolved in Durban, perhaps through consultations at a higher level,
  • those that may not be susceptible to a result in Durban.

The Chair also intends to update the LCA text tomorrow (Wednesday).

There was some concern expressed, particularly by developing countries, that the text did not currently reflect the views of all the parties and that as such the text would need significant work before it could be handed up to Ministers for their consideration during the High-Level part of the Durban discussions. The way forward for the text and procedures for the coming days should be agreed.

A number of Annex 1 countries were concerned about the lack of ambition of the text in terms of transparency, i.e. what is actually being done in developing countries in terms of mitigation. There was also significant concern that these fundamental issues should not be delayed until next year. Both developed and developing countries highlighted that the text shows the imbalance between different negotiation streams, with some almost agreed (capacity building) and others lagging behind. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) were particularly disappointed that the Review, due to take place 2013 - 2015, on whether the “2 degrees” objective for limiting temperature rises needs to be strengthened, seems to be being undermined.

The EU put together a particularly wide-ranging list of elements of the text on which progress needs to be made and which should form part of the Durban outcome. Further, the EU’s roadmap idea, though incorporated in the text, needs to be beefed up, including addition of a timeline.

New mechanisms

The Facilitator of the group looking at new market mechanisms also struggled with the textual proposals that were included in the draft LCA text. He had hoped that the text represented “minimum common ground”. However, this proved not to be the case. “Option 1”, the preferred option of many pro-markets negotiators, is a shorter option than “Option 2”, but there were concerns that the Facilitator had not fully reflected the parties’ requirements. “Option 2” remains the preference for many developing countries, and is a much longer text which will be difficult to grapple with during the time available. Many countries took the opportunity to remind the parties of their commitments to new market mechanisms.

^Back to top

Friday 02 / Saturday 03 December - Days 5 and 6: Halfway house

LCA text

On Saturday morning, the Chair of the LCA released a document which brings together an amalgamation of draft texts emerging from the various working groups under the AWG-LCA. Work will continue this week to improve the texts. Whilst many of the areas of draft COP decisions are very short (1 to 3 pages in length); the texts on shared vision (including the global goal and emissions peaking), various approaches (including new market mechanisms) and review of the long-term goal and progress towards meeting it, are more lengthy.

In addition, the Annexes to the text set out a range of more detailed issues, such as reporting guidelines, procedures for international assessment and review (IAR), biennial reporting, terms of reference for the Climate Technology Center and Network, etc. The text can be viewed via this UNFCCC webpage or by searching for FCCC/AWGLCA/2011/CRP.37.

At a stocktaking plenary on Saturday it was reported that there had been a lack of significant progress in respect of shared vision. Issues are more advanced in respect of developed country mitigation. Progress had been made on biennial update reports and ICA in respect of developing countries. In a familiar refrain, Bolivia expressed concerns with the continuation of markets for parties not adopting targets under a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period. Bunker fuels (maritime and aviation emissions) remain, as ever, a difficult area for agreement to be reached.

Moving on?

Whether or not the AWG-LCA will finally be able to conclude its work after four years remains uncertain. This is likely to depend in large part on parallel negotiations under the AWG-KP and resolution of uncertainties about the negotiation of a second Kyoto protocol commitment period. On this area, though a limited range of potential outcomes are being distilled out, we understand that there is little clarity on how they will play out. Meanwhile, India is reported to be the major barrier to reaching an agreement in respect of the EU’s proposed “roadmap”. Nevertheless, talks of some kind of a “mandate” resulting from COP17 are rife.

Hasta luego, SBSTA and SBI

SBI and SBSTA are no longer with us at Durban. SBSTA adopted draft conclusions on a number of agenda items, including:

  • technology transfer
  • carbon capture and storage as CDM project activities
  • materiality standard under the CDM
  • methodological issues relating to REDD+.

In respect of HCFC-22 and HFC-23, parties agreed to resume their discussions at SBSTA 36, as previously reported. Discussions went on late into the evening on Saturday.

The SBI also adopted draft conclusions on a range of agenda items, including technology transfer. The parties were unable to agree a mandate to establish an appeals process under the CDM. We understand that there remain fundamental divisions between the parties as to the extent to which fundamental issues such as separation of powers, which are implemented in most legal jurisdictions, should be replicated in respect of the CDM Executive Board.

Green Climate Fund

As reported previously, the parties have been unable to agree that the draft governing instrument of the Green Climate Fund be adopted. There are residual concerns in respect of the Fund’s legal personality, the relationship between the Fund and the UNFCCC (such as accountability of the Fund to the COP), and who should have access to the Fund.

^Back to top

Thursday 01 December - Day 4: Falling out of love

Progress report on the LCA

Thursday started out with a wrap-up of progress under the AWG-LCA discussions, given by Facilitators of the relevant discussion areas.  Developing and non-developing country mitigation discussions are moving forward with parallel streams discussing reporting guidelines and registries.  Two parallel finance discussions are also progressing, one on long-term finance and one on the standing committee.  As regards technology, the aim is to get the technology mechanism operational as soon as possible.  The Secretariat has prepared a background paper which addresses many of the points that need to be dealt with.  One of the key issues to be decided is governance of the technology mechanism.  

In general, the LCA discussions have moved to informal discussions with a view to the LCA Chair preparing a text to be released on Saturday.  We will blog about progress with that on Monday.  There will be a plenary meeting on Monday morning to discuss Saturday’s draft text.

Legal form

One of the intended elements of Saturday’s LCA text is “legal options” for an agreement under the UNFCCC.  This could take the form of COP decisions or a separate treaty.  The Facilitator of this work stream went through a list of common principles or ideas in respect of the elements or objectives that parties have suggested.  These included enhanced implementation of the UNFCCC, that the outcome must be multilateral and rules-based, that it creates more certainty and trust, flexibility, equity, environmental integrity, that it be facilitative, non-punitive, etc.  

Venezuela began by stating that this is the most crucial element of Durban and that it is important to make a linkage between the two tracks (discussions under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol).  Venezuela reminded parties that it had been calling for a more ambitious agreement under the UNFCCC to reinforce the Kyoto Protocol and not to destroy it.  Venezuela also outlined some legal issues in respect of principles of international law and the illegality of an absence of the negotiation of a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period.  

The Indian delegate said these legal submissions had sent him to sleep and that issues with the Kyoto Protocol mean that he doesn't love treaties any more. India is, of course, keen to avoid taking on any further legally binding obligations under the UNFCCC. After Durban, it will be interesting to see if treaties have any remaining supporters in the climate change community!

AOSIS is seeking to include additional principles around delay, urgency and timeframes.  Bolivia has underlined how important it is that the Kyoto Protocol be reinforced, in order to show the world that emission reduction commitments will be complied with.  The Bolivian delegation has also rejected proposals for a facilitative, non-punitive framework and concepts of “flexibility”.  Intractable as ever, Bolivia has also stated it does not trust voluntary pledges.

The EU highlighted that the most important element on the list of common principles and ideas was the “2 degrees goal” and the irony is that the parties which are insisting the EU agrees to a second commitment period, are themselves questioning their faith in legal treaties.

REDD+

REDD+ discussions started moving forward yesterday with text released by the SBSTA Chair on guidelines for key operational elements such as safeguards, reference levels and forest monitoring and reporting systems (see our previous REDD+ updater for the background). The working group under the LCA on REDD+ finance also met and agreed a mandate for the Chair to produce a short text. This will attempt to lay out the sources of finance that countries could elect to use for REDD+, the linkages to safeguards and reference levels and a work plan to resolve further issues.

The flash point in these discussions - as it has been for some years - is the role of the private sector and markets to finance REDD+. Australia, Norway, Mexico, EU and PNG, all voiced support for markets, although many such as Norway and the EU see this as a longer term step. Against this, Bolivia repeated its concern that markets equate to the commodification of nature. A far more significant objection (in terms of its influence over the negotiations) was raised by Brazil, which repeated that it would not support markets that involve offsets. From discussions with parties it looks likely that a decision on a REDD+ finance text is possible next week and there is talk of a mention of the need for private sector involvement. Whether a mention of markets gets through is difficult to predict.

CDM

Yesterday marked the first round of discussions in respect of this year’s guidance to the CDM Executive Board (EB).  The parties spent some time agreeing the areas that needed to be addressed by the EB.  The Chair attempted to steer the parties towards purely administrative and technical areas of discussion.  However, Venezuela and Ecuador insisted that the negotiators also address the question of whether the CDM can continue in the absence of the negotiation of a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period.

^Back to top

Wednesday 30 November – Day 3: The camel in the room

“Continuation” of the CDM

The COP reconvened on Wednesday in order to consider a broad variety of issues, including matters relating to the market mechanisms, modalities and procedures for the Technology Executive Committee and the Report of the Transitional Committee of the Green Climate Fund.

The issue of the future of the market mechanisms, particularly the CDM, has become very contentious and once again the vehemently opposed positions of the parties were exposed. Though many parties did express support for the CDM and its future continuation, a striking number appear to have taken the view that it should end in the absence of a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period. We continue to watch the evolving and coordinated presence of the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) closely. Brazil made a decided intervention indicating that it would not support the continuance of the CDM in the absence of a second commitment period. In the corridors, however, the Brazil negotiator was very hopeful that a deal would be reached, with a glint of knowingness in his eyes.

Some parties referenced termination of the CDM in 2012, which seems a peculiar cut-off point given that the first commitment period’s true-up period (time for parties to demonstrate that they have met their Kyoto Protocol commitments) will not end until sometime during 2015. There were also, however, calls by many developed and developing countries for the continuation of the CDM.

Many parties focused on the need for improvement of the CDM, with African countries, citing in particular, the need for better regional distribution of CDM projects. However, it is clear in respect of many developing countries that absence of a “top down” solution is not necessarily the only barrier to investment in CDM projects. Instead, broader improvements in the investment climate in such countries, combined with the political will (which manifests itself in action, particularly in relation to granting LoAs and other relevant government consents) are necessary.

Technology Executive Committee

Wednesday was an exciting day for the Technology Executive Committee. It was the first opportunity for the COP to consider the Report on modalities and procedures of the Technology Executive Committee (available here). There was broad-based support for the Report. Some of the suggestions included that wide participation of stakeholders was necessary, that technology centres should be established as quickly as possible, and that synergies should be explored between existing centres and other MEAs, including regional centres under the Stockholm and Basel Conventions. Others proposed that there should be a strong link between the technology mechanisms and the financial mechanism under the Convention.

Operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund

Wednesday was also the first day for the COP to consider the Report of the Transitional Committee for the design of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) (available here). This Report, which contains the draft Rules of procedure of the Technology Executive Committee, represents the culmination of a year’s work. Many parties acknowledged that the draft Rules of procedure are not perfect and represent a compromise (Ambassador Burhan Gafoor of Singapore joked that “a camel is a horse made by a committee”). AOSIS stated that they would have liked a more ambitious reflection of the Fund’s objectives including its transformational nature, dedicated windows for SIDS and LDCs, a stronger relationship with the COP, requirements in respect of the replenishment process, etc. But despite this, many parties seemed prepared to adopt the draft Rules of procedure “as is”, as they represent a balanced package. However, the US in particular was adamant that the Rules of procedure had to be reopened for discussion at Durban. This has led to accusations that the US is “holding up” the finance mechanism. There is speculation as to whether this hold-up really is in order to improve the GCF, or whether there are broader political objectives in doing so.

Various approaches

Wednesday marked the first informal meeting on various approaches, including markets. The issues in this area are particularly contentious, with new market mechanisms raising objections on many counts. Some parties remain fundamentally opposed to new market mechanisms, others think that they should be available only in the context of a new Kyoto Protocol commitment period, whilst many more are concerned to establish a new market mechanism at Durban, in order to reduce the potential negative impacts of a fragmented offset market going forwards.

In the short time available, it was established that there was no mandate for the Facilitator to provide his own redraft of the lengthy non-paper, despite its duplications and inconsistencies. New Zealand asked the parties to recognise that jurisdictions are already developing their own approaches to offsets, in the potential absence of a UN framework. The EU said that it seeks agreement to the establishment of a new market mechanism at Durban and that this is an important part of its openness to participate in a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. There was reluctance by the parties to accept the Facilitator's proposal to engage in a drafting group between 9 pm and 12 pm on Wednesday evening, so the parties would liaise on that front in order to find a suitable time.

Deja vu

The strong sense of deja vu of some aspects of the UNFCCC negotiations, was highlighted today by further consideration of whether or not the COP should move from consensus to majority voting. This proposal was tabled jointly by Mexico and Papua New Guinea. It seems apparent that little progress is likely to be made on this perennial issue. However, several parties did express willingness to consider proposals in this regard, as there is widespread frustration that a very few parties are currently able to hold up negotiations.

^Back to top

Tuesday 29 November - Day 2: Firing blanks?

There were a number of key developments today that are likely to shape the negotiations over the first several days. First, the emerging economies have formally registered and been actively taking positions under the moniker of the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China) group. This is a marked departure from past years where the unique emissions characteristics of the groups shaped the positions of developed Annex B countries, but were not formally acknowledged by the G77 group of developing countries. This development may signal a willingness of China and the emerging economies to take on greater commitments than they have in the past.

Second, the SBSTA and other CDM working groups appear to have internalised the maxim of “perfection is the enemy of the good”. Significant progress was made toward establishing a materiality standard (see below). Unfortunately, we did not see the same level of progress in relation to REDD+ activities, which have yet to give rise to a draft decision.

Another day, another plenary

The morning saw the opening plenaries of the two negotiating groups not convened yesterday, being the AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP. The statements made during their opening reflected those already made at the COP and COP/MOP on Monday. Again, a broad range of desired outcomes was muted, with some parties insisting on the negotiation of a second Kyoto Protocol Commitment Period, in the face of others who have overtly ruled that out as even a possibility. The African Group insisted that it will not allow African soil to be the graveyard of the Kyoto Protocol.

In the face of such apparent paralysis, and with the EU’s roadmap not at this stage appearing to gain traction, it seems unlikely that much progress will be made on big picture political issues at Durban. Perhaps most of those will be once again rolled over to next year’s COP18 in Qatar.

HFC

One issue that has been dragging along for some time, is that of the implications of the establishment of new HCFC facilities seeking to obtain CERs for the destruction of HFCs. This touches on a number of sensitivities, including the role of the CDM in respect of the regulation of HFCs, as well as the more generic but equally vexed question of the shape of market mechanisms.

The Secretariat has prepared a Technical Paper on this issue, which sets out background information and identifies a number of options. At SBSTA 34, the parties took note of the Technical Paper and agreed to continue their consideration at SBSTA 35 (now in session). There was great reluctance among the parties to discuss the Technical Paper and no parties sought to make any substantive comments. After a confused exchange of how best to end consideration of the agenda item (either permanently or temporarily), it was eventually agreed that SBSTA’s conclusion should be that no agreement was able to be reached and that the issue should be reconsidered at COP18 (meaning it will not be on the agenda for Bonn’s SBSTA meeting in June 2012).

Finance / portal for climate change

The delivery of finance over the short-term, “fast start” (2010-2012), medium-term (2013-2020) and long-term (post-2020) timeframes will continue to remain a contentious issue. Uncertainties include whether or not fast-start finance is actually being delivered, whether it is new and additional, and the form that it should take. The question of medium-term finance is further complicated by the absence of agreement as to how finance should be scaled up during the period 2013-2020.

There is significant discussion of the requirement to match finance to needs, to ensure that it is not double counted and also that more information is available in respect of what is being done on the ground. The UNFCCC has therefore launched its finance portal, which is conceived as a virtual gateway for information provided by parties, a vehicle for tracking the financial mechanisms under the UNFCCC and a tool to inform people about what finance is being provided. It contains three separate modules in respect of fast-start finance; funds managed by the GEF; and national communication, and can be accessed here. Clearly, this is only a first step in addressing a complicated area, but issues surrounding MRV and matching finance to demand by way of registries systems are cross-cutting and this portal is likely to be the first in a number of similar initiatives over the next few years. Fingers crossed that the eventual result is not an overcomplicated mess only suitable for analysis by the most ardent professionals!

In the interim, discussions have continued in respect of the Green Climate Fund and there is concern that this potential poster child may yet fall victim to a dispute between developing and developed countries. There is also trepidation about the implications of the almost-agreed Green Climate Fund text from the Transitional Committee being formally introduced in the COP.

Materiality under the CDM

One issue that has been close to the hearts of CDM professionals for several years is that of a materiality standard for the CDM. SBSTA was asked by the CMP last year to consider the issue of materiality with a view to recommending a draft Decision at COP17. The good news is that all but one significant issue has been resolved, being the level of materiality thresholds for different sizes of projects. Fingers crossed that this issue will be tied up in discussions on Wednesday

Firing blanks?

So on a day during which it is suggested that the EU’s attempt to further leverage in the face of the global financial crisis is falling short, it remains to be seen whether its climate change policy will also be seen as firing blanks. The implications of this won’t be known for some time, but China’s chief negotiator is reported on Tuesday to have stated that “If we cannot get a decision for the future of the second commitment period, the whole international system on climate change will be placed in peril”.

^Back to top

Monday 28 November - Day 1 (Cont.): Drumming up?

Drums beat and warriors danced at yesterday’s opening ceremony (Monday). The new COP President, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane walked through the COP’s agenda. Progress was less hesitant than at Copenhagen and Cancun with few parties seeking to intervene at an early stage.

The parties have been working under draft rules of procedure, and it was agreed that consultations would continue on this issue, with PNG noting its usual objection and calling for majority voting (see our blogs for Copenhagen and Cancun). Equally, it was not possible to formally agree the COP agenda, which itself has become contentious as a result of submissions by India in respect of accelerated access to critical mitigation and adaptation technologies and related intellectual property rights; equitable access to sustainable development; and unilateral trade measures (see agenda items 11, 12 and 13).

The UNFCCC Executive Secretary as part of her opening remarks highlighted two kinds of issues that require consideration. The first is operationalisation of the Cancun Agreements and covers areas such as:

  • making progress on adaptation,
  • finalising the technology mechanism,
  • agreeing the Green Climate Fund’s governing instrument,
  • continuing progress on MRV,
  • defining “the what and the how” of the review scheduled to conclude in 2015,
  • gaining more clarity on fast-track finance.

The other category is addressing key political questions that remain unresolved.

Priorities include discussions around a second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol in the context of a broader agreement, a pathway for mid-term finance (2013 to 2020) and reassuring the vulnerable.

All laudable issues, but all big asks.

Parties moved on to opening statements. Opening of the negotiations were characterised not by the usual optimism and hopeful statements of intended progress, but rather by stark statements reflecting the deep (and historic) divisions between the parties.

EU delegations reached out to the private sector and gave a clear indication that agreement on the continuation of the KP was viewed as a precondition to any subsequent, legally binding deal involving all emitters. In sharp contrast, Canada, Russia and Japan have clearly indicated that each country will not agree to another Kyoto Protocol commitment period.

Late in the day, unconfirmed but credible news broke that the Canadian cabinet has taken a decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol later this year. In a reprise of long-familiar arguments, the United States, which has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, also gave a clear signal that it will not commit to any new agreement unless all major emitters are party to such agreement and the rules are known well in advance of any specific emission reduction commitments being made. On the other hand, developing countries are reluctant to move forward on rules without certainty about commitments that are on the table. This kind of “cart before the horse” argument is entrenched. We also understand that the US has indicated that it will not agree to any new financial mechanisms unless and until the new rules of any new agreement are known.

^Back to top

Monday 28 November - Day 1

Hello and welcome to COP17.

Let's hope Sunday evening's weather was not a metaphor for the next two weeks of negotiations. Things were a bit stormy to say the least. Today however saw the dawn of a bright, sunshiny day.

The Durban facilities are scattered among a series of buildings in the city centre. The queues for entry early this morning were relatively quick. The effect of holding the conference downtown is that there is a bit of a buzz about both the conference facilities and Durban. There is none of the chaos of Copenhagen, nor much of the almost industrial efficiency of Cancun. The venue is intimate and concentrated. The streets around the International Conference Centre (ICC) are filled with a volunteer army dressed in green track suits. Occasionally the sound of Zulu war drums fills the air.

The COP plenary hall feels smaller than those at Copenhagen and Cancun, and the NGO “compound” at the back of the hall is typically crowded. The opening ceremony will be addressed by President Zuma.

In the halls, observers chat about prospects for COP. Much of the focus is on the EU's “roadmap” idea, where targets and actions might “sit” and “the future” of the Kyoto Protocol. The carbon markets community is clearly preoccupied by the idea of having greater certainty with respect to the market mechanisms, something which delegates, NGOs and the Secretariat, all seem to be taking seriously. There is also intrigue as to the implications of new COP agenda items relating to intellectual property rights, access to sustainable development and unilateral trade measures.

We will report back Monday's activities in tomorrow's blog.

^Back to top

Friday 25 November - Tanzania

Today we are publishing a short briefing on:

Scaling-up renewable energy in Tanzania

Mixed messages abound in advance of COP17 in respect of the importance of a new global treaty. We reported yesterday that UNEP had been calling for a tougher stance. Chris Huhne is also reported as having stated that “A global deal covering all major economies is not a luxury. It is not an optional extra. It is an absolute necessity.”

However, a report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has indicated that electricity from the wind, sun, waves and biomass, drew $187 billion of investment last year, despite concern over international climate change policy. This could indicate that progress towards a low carbon future may be compatible with a “bottom up” approach being taken in the future. But to what extent would momentum for such investment stall in the absence of a move towards a new global treaty? And how important are other potential elements of such a treaty, such as a harmonised carbon accounting system and compliance mechanism?

Food for thought.

^Back to top

Thursday 24 November - And now to Nigeria

Today we are publishing a short briefing on:

Scaling-up renewable energy in Nigeria

The significance of next week's negotiations, and discussions over the likelihood of entering into a legally binding agreement any time soon, has been underlined by recent comments by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, who has been quoted as saying:

“Those countries that are currently talking about deferring an agreement [to come into force] in 2020 are essentially saying we are taking you from high risk to very high risk in terms of the effects of global warming. This is a choice – a political choice. Our role, working with the scientific community, is to bring to the attention of the global public that this is the risk that policymakers and governments will expose us to.”

But will the Durban talks get off to a bumpy start after relatively plain sailing at Panama earlier this year? There are reports that diplomats from some developing countries may “occupy” the talks. Such bust-ups are nothing new to the negotiations - at Copenhagen there was at least one significant walk out of negotiators.

We'll report back next week!

^Back to top

Wednesday 23 November - REDDy for Durban?

As legal advisors acting across a range of initiatives and projects relating to REDD+, we are active participants in international negotiation forums - seeking to ensure that environmentally robust international mechanisms are deployed that can provide a substantive role for reputable long term investors. If you wish to discuss the prospects of this occurring and what it means for your business then please get in touch with the team in Durban.

View update on the latest position for REDD

We don't often refer to non-Norton Rose publications, but we enjoyed this snappy number by Jennifer Morgan and Edward Cameron at WRI, and hope they don't mind us hanging on their coat tails!

What to Aim For, and Expect, at the UNFCCC Climate Talks in Durban

^Back to top

Tuesday 22 November - DRC or Kenya anyone?

Expectations are being firmly managed down, not just for COP17, but for the prospects of a “global deal” being in place for many COPs to come. But how much should we be worried about this? To what extent does failure to agree at an international level deter investment in a low carbon future in developing countries?

Today we are publishing short briefings on two dramatically different African jurisdictions, DRC and Kenya. DRC seems to be making progress with the development of a REDD framework, which could have a significant impact on global emissions. Kenya is to be assisted by the Program on Scaling-up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) and has already introduced feed-in tariffs for the support of some renewable energy technologies. Both jurisdictions would benefit from further injections of climate finance.

View the briefing Scaling-up renewable energy in Africa: DRC

View the briefing Scaling-up renewable energy in Africa: Kenya

Join us at our side event in Durban to discuss how to bridge the public / private sector divide for financing renewable energy projects in Africa.

Climate finance in Africa – bridging the public/private divide

Tuesday 06 December 2011 at 10:15 – 11:30am
Auditorium, Standard Bank, 1 Kingsmead Way, 4001 Durban

Following our Durban team

Blog

nortonrose.com

Twitter

twitter.com/nrgclimatetalks

App

Download our Norton Rose Group App

^Back to top

Monday 21 November - One week to go!

This is the first of our “pre-Durban” blogs and with just a week until COP17 starts, we look at the expectations for the next round of climate negotiations. Catch up on our pre-Durban webinar.

The approach now seems to be baby steps. No hope of a bells and whistles treaty until later in the decade, so what can we move forward on?

Our focus for the COP will be:

  • more clarity on the rules for measurement, reporting and verification of targets and actions to mitigate emissions, including the process of biennial reporting, International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) and the proposed “Nama Registry”
  • progress on the legal form of an international agreement and the framework for mitigation targets and actions
  • whether or not the EU can move forwards with its proposal to agree a roadmap towards a legally binding agreement
  • greater clarity on the role of market mechanisms
  • getting the Green Climate Fund up and ready for contributions in 2013
  • more detail on REDD finance.

View the latest UNFCCC documents

Hurdles for the negotiators include coming up with something plausible in response to the looming “Kyoto gap” and finding a way to lock in existing mitigation pledges, but with the flexibility necessary to beef them up in the future. Convincing developing countries that fast-start climate finance is being delivered will also be a challenge.

Scaling-up renewable energy in Africa: South Africa

Over the coming week we will roll out a series of short publications which focus on in-country priorities for scaling up renewable energy in:

  • South Africa
  • DRC
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania
  • Morocco

View the briefing Scaling-up renewable energy in Africa: South Africa

Come visit us at COP!

If you are at COP, drop by for a chat at our stand on the ground floor of Standard Bank, 1 Kingsmead Way, 4001 Durban – just 10 minutes walk from the ICC.

Side Events

Also, don’t forget to join us at our side events:

Climate finance in Africa – bridging the public/private divide

Tuesday 06 December 2011 at 10:15 – 11:30am
Auditorium, Standard Bank, 1 Kingsmead Way, 4001 Durban

The emerging Australian carbon and clean energy market: opportunities for international participation

Wednesday 07 December 2011 at 15.30 – 16.45pm
Auditorium, Standard Bank, 1 Kingsmead Way, 4001 Durban

Following our Durban team

Blog

nortonrose.com

Twitter

twitter.com/nrgclimatetalks

App

Download our Norton Rose Group App

^Back to top