Yes, it’s been one of the most “open” and unrestricted high level segments ever with our over – friendly Minister who was ever available to talk to.As we huddled around the minister we got a perspective of what was going on.
The atmosphere was surprisingly intense but also filled with light humour, unusual for the last few days of COP.
The plenary at night started around 9 pm , with Espinosa who said that we are “current positive negotiating positions” and that it is an “open-door policy” and that “a broad and packaged decisions is indeed within our grasp”. The goal will still to close conference at 6:00 tomorrow evening.
How are things progressing ?
Ministers of Sweden on behalf of Shared Vision
3 main issues
- long-term goal, 2 degree goal, review with regards to 1.5 degree goal- there was diffuculty in whether we are aiming to bring down the emissions to sustain a 2 degree temperature rise or a chance to get it under 1.5 degree rise.
- long-term global emissions reduction goal (still undecided) for the future.
- peaking of global emissions- meaning the point of time untill when developing nations are allowed to increase their emissions.
Minister of Bangladesh on behalf of Finance
4 options about establishing the fund for long term finance , there has been narrowing of gaps amongst governments on architecture of the fund and governance issues.
Minister of Spain on behalf of Adaptation
Possible establishment of adaptation committee to facilitate access to fund ,working with losses and harm from climate change , including establishing regional centers for adaptation activities.
Minister of Algeria on behalf of Adaptation
Sustainable working for adaptation with financial and technological instruments . Without compromising future, have established roadmap for stages to come .“adaptation has made small step forward today…large step for agreement here in Cancun”.
Minister of New Zealand on behalf of Mitigation (KP)
Measuring Reporting and Verifying emission reductions were talked about and the talk was largely focused on international consultation and analysis. Need transparency around mitigation actions as they are implemented, need to understand this process.
Ministers of Ecuador on behalf of REDD+ ( forestry issues)
3 issues which want to take conversations further -financing of mechanisms,connection between national and sub-national levels instruments to monitor safeguards . She said “very close to arriving at definitive agreement”
Minister of France on behalf of Technology
Text on table including areas of convergence-Need to increase technological activities,Need to establish committee with executive body .Continue work in 2011 .Problems resolving Governance
Minister of Switzerland on behalf of CCS and response measures
Not yet sufficiently close to make proposal now .Hopes to submit proposal today.
Chair of AWG-LCA ( the track with the USA in it)-Issues not being assisted by ministers: market mechanisms- maybe further progress .Sectoral approaches-no agreement even on options because Can’t agree on framing paragraph; No consultation continuing here
Chair of AWG-KP ( the track for all governments signed on to the Kyoto)
Work has reached stagnation until more political guidance. Text :CRP4 has been revised since this evening
President Espinosa reinterated about how balance can be reached within each track and between the two .In a few hours, as soon as possible, will ask secretariat to circulate these drafts. These drafts will not be Mexican text, will not be text that you have never seen. Negotiating groups will need time to look at these drafts (during the night) “ I believe that the news [will be that] we have been able to deliver, the world has been able to unite to face climate change”
The groups on shared vision, adaptation , finance and technology transfer reconvened after the plenary leaving the negotiators and ministers with lack of sleep. We caught up with the negotiators to get our daily scoop.
What are the major blockages?
There is a general sense of concern that ‘nothing agreed until everything agreed’ . Core issues are facing blockages from key countries.
Shared Vision : This seems to have very weak text, basically very low on ambition for countries to take for a long term basis. 50% reduction by 2050 is in the text.China proposal late in evening, suggesting that SBSTA technical paper finalised by 2015 (we wanted it finalised next year) .Deadline on identifying timeframe for global peaking – was supposed to be COP17, was deleted from the text
Mitigation group haven’t even started on MRV/ICA ( refer to here) yet, been only focused in anchoring pledges so far, negotiator have no idea what’s up next. Brazil , South Africa are being difficult on this.
Kyoto: The future of this protocol is in danger , since it is not even sure whether there will be a time lag between the two commitment periods. Two very weak documents have been drafted and one of which came up yesterday and the other one is today.
Forestry : Options gone to Ministers on: MRV safeguards, finance, annexes, so negotiations level has ended and bargaining is ON.
Finance: Good discussion & good spirit to come to the establishment of a fund.Agreed composition of committee (equitable) and board (equal) as far as governance is concerned. The AGF- Advisory Group on Finance’s report has been heavily bracketed with Saudi’s blocking. Trustee issue of the world bank has still not been resolved. Options gone to ministers on other things
Adaptation (good way forward) :Proposal to agree to establish committee, but without link to finance mechanisms ,Loss and damage work program
Legal form :Been sent to COP President: Proposal that LCA mandate language includes noting of 6 proposals put forward for new protocol as well as an agreement to have process to discuss protocol proposal.
Technology :Negotiating in between 10pm – 6am -At 5.30 they had a clean text, without even options -US stood up at 6am and said they couldn’t accept text and had to go back to red lines
What can we expect today?
We are roughly looking at a 10 page document , with one page on each of the key areas like shared vision ( means long term goal for reducing emissions) , mitigation, Kyoto commitments – If Japan lets go of second commitment period then its left over emission reductions are transferred under this document.
But one thing you can be sure of is that India will be at the forefront of the solution at Cancun.
The legal form of this document is vague so that in another one year we can be fighting over the interpretations of what is legally binding , legal commitment or legal treaty.
The text is about to be out any time from now.
About the authorLeela Raina
Leela is a young climate activist with an undergraduate degree in Economics. She has pioneered youth involvement, awareness and movements across India through her work with the Indian Youth Climate Network. A policy enthusiast, Leela loves to research and get to the bottom of the problem to resolve it. She is currently the South Asian Focal Point for IYCN and believes in the capacity of the south asian youth to usher in and lead the way towards sustainable economic growth