Parties present new proposals for negotiating text

Geneva, 10 February 2015 (Meena Raman)

Parties at the Geneva climate change meeting under the UNFCCC’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), presented proposals to be included in the negotiating text to be produced for a new climate agreement that is to be concluded in Paris in December this year.

On Sunday 8 February the ADP Co-chair, Daniel Reifsnyder (the United States) told Parties that the work of the contact group will focus on converting the ‘Elements for a draft negotiating text’, which was annexed to the decision adopted in Lima (in decision 1/CP.20), into a negotiating text for the Paris agreement. (The other ADP Co-chair is Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria.)

(Parties had agreed in at the 20th session of the Conference of Parties in Lima to make available a negotiating text for the new agreement before May 2015.) 

The contact group began work on Sunday, by hearing proposals for addition to the elements text on two sections viz. the general/objective section and the mitigation section. On Monday, Parties presented new proposals on the sections relating to adaptation and loss and damage, finance, technology transfer, capacity- building and transparency of action and support.

On Tuesday, 10 February Parties are expected to present further proposals on the remaining sections, viz. timeframes and process related to commitments/contributions/other matters related to implementation and ambition, facilitating implementation and compliance, and procedural and institutional provisions, including the preamble and definitions.

Reifsnyder said on Monday that the goal of the Geneva session is to produce a revised text to make sure it accurately reflects the proposals of Parties. He explained further that the revised text, following the additional proposals made by Parties, will be provided to Parties, with a deadline to provide feedback. Once the text is “an accurate reflection” of the proposals of Parties, “it will be closed and that is the text that will go to the secretariat for translation (into the various UN languages), unless there is agreement to change, streamline or improve the text.”

According to the daily programme posted on the UNFCCC website today, the contact group will on Tuesday afternoon, consider ‘streamlining’ the text.

Highlights of some of the proposals by Parties for addition to the mitigation section of the text are as follows.

The United States, in reference to mitigation commitments,wanted the use of the term ‘Parties in Annex X’ wherever there was a reference to ‘developed countries’ in the text and to ‘Parties not included in Annex X’ when the term ‘developing countries’ is used. It wanted the reference to ‘Parties in Annex Y’ as an alternative to the references to developed countries providing support for finance, technology and capacity building support.

It also wanted a new paragraph introduced that reads: “Parties to submit INDCs (intended nationally determined contributions) no earlier than 12 months before and no later than 6 months before the beginning of each cycle, to allow for sufficient time for consultations.” It also proposed that the UNFCCC secretariat “shall make available a web page on the UNFCCC website where questions can be posed by Parties and accredited observer organizations to other Parties about their INDCs, so as to enable the respective Parties to provide responses to those questions.”

In relation to the commitments/contributions/actions on mitigation, the Like-minded Developing Countries (LMDC) proposed the following:

“In accordance with Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Convention, developed country Parties shall commit to undertake Absolute Emission Reduction Targets (AERTs) during the period 2021–2030, in accordance with their historical responsibility, through quantifiable, economy-wide mitigation targets, covering all sectors and all greenhouse gases, implemented mainly domestically, which can be aggregated and which are comparable, measurable, reportable and verifiable, with the type, scope, scale and coverage more ambitious than those undertaken under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol during the pre-2020 period, and communicated and implemented without any conditions”.

“In accordance with Article 4, paragraphs 1, 3–, 4, 5 and 7, of the Convention, developing country Parties should commit to undertake Diversified Enhanced Mitigation Actions (DEMAs) during the period 2021–2030. Such nationally-determined DEMAs may be based on and be more ambitious than their nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) under the Bali Action Plan. They may include, inter alia, relative emission reductions; intensity targets; REDD-plus activities and other plans, programmes and policies; joint mitigation and adaptation approaches; net avoided emissions, or also manifested as adaptation co-benefits, in accordance with their special circumstances and specific needs. They will be communicated and implemented in the context of sustainable development, subject to and enabled by the provision of adequate finance, technology and capacity-building support from developed countries in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 7 of the Convention, in a measurable, reportable, an d verifiable manner.”

On the long-term global goal, the Maldives for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) proposed the following: “Ensuring significant and rapid global greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least a 70–95 per cent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions below 2010 levels by 2050 and zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases in the period 2060–2080.”

The European Union proposed that “in meeting the 2 ฐC objective, Parties agree on the need for global sectoral emission reduction targets for international aviation and maritime transport and on the need for all Parties to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop global policy frameworks to achieve these targets.”

The African Group proposed that the “low emission strategies of developed countries should have a time frame for zero emissions”.

Several Parties, both from developed and developing countries made proposals relating to the use of market mechanisms in their mitigation contributions.

This included the Coalition of Rainforest Nations that proposed that units emanating from UNFCCC-approved mechanisms, including REDD-plus (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) mechanisms will be transferrable and can be used to meet contributions of Parties under the new agreement. They also proposed that “mitigation outcomes and units emanating from mechanisms outside the UNFCCC can be used to meet contributions … of Parties under the new agreement provided that they meet conformity requirements established by the COP.”

In relation to the meeting of mitigation commitments, Japan supported the use of market mechanisms and actions in the land-use sector. It proposed that “the use of actions in the land-use sector is to accommodate national circumstances and proper incentives so as to facilitate actions and stakeholder cooperation.”

AOSIS proposed that “the governing body of this Protocol (AOSIS wants the Paris agreement to be a new protocol) shall ensure that a share of the proceeds from the use of market mechanisms is used to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.”  It also wanted a new platform for enhancing mitigation ambition.

On the use of market mechanisms, Tanzania said that it should be supplementary to domestic action and a cap will apply to ensure that mitigation commitments are mainly domestic actions.

Brazil proposed an “Economic Mechanism” “to facilitate the fulfilment of NDCs (nationally-determined contributions) by Parties with quantified economy-wide absolute targets in the mitigation component and to incentivize developing country Parties to take on such targets over time. It suggested that the “Economic Mechanism shall be comprised of: an Emissions Trading System (ETS); and an enhanced Clean Development Mechanism (CDM-plus).”  

South Africa proposed that “the Conference of the Parties shall review the adequacy of the sum of individual commitments by Parties, the relation of the aggregate effort for keeping temperature increases to below 2 / 1.5 ฐC, and the equity of relative efforts. The review shall be an integral part of the dynamic contribution cycle ... Based on this review, the Conference of the Parties shall take appropriate action, which may include the adoption of amendments to the commitments.”

Highlights of proposals in relation to other sections are forthcoming.+

Durban Platform Climate Change

TWN Geneva News Update 2

8 February - 13 February 2015, Geneva, Switzerland
by Meena Raman
Geneva, 10 February 2015