To better understand the implications of the outcomes of COP19 for diverse countries across the planet, the members of our…
To better understand the implications of the outcomes of COP19 for diverse countries across the planet, the members of our team share their first reactions to the Warsaw climate decisions. See below for Asia-Pacific and Africa or return to part 1 for Latin American and Industrialized countries.
ASIA – PACIFIC
INDIA: strong positions despite a smaller delegation – by Avik Roy
India sent its smallest delegation of all time albeit playing a key in the Like-Minded Developing Countries bloc. India lobbied alongside G77+China bloc for Loss and Damage mechanism to be adopted as separately and not under Adaptation as pushed by the countries like the US. It also wanted a separate window under the Green Climate Fund provide quick resources for loss and damage of the developed and least-developed countries.
India maintained its stance on Common but Differentiated Responsibilities that developing countries like India and China, which are major carbon emitters, cannot reduce its scale down on its emissions drastically as it will hurt its growth, taking the position that developing countries do not have the resources to switch to more eco-friendly processes. In this context, India has surprisingly objected to inclusion of the Equity Reference Framework this time in Warsaw. As far as the issue of HFC is concerned India has downplayed any argument saying that HFC doesn’t fall under the category of greenhouse gas emission and hence not enforceable under the Montreal Protocol.
The Warsaw talks are not going to have any direct implication on the people of India. With general election due in 2014 one of the challenges before the Government is provide power and energy to at least half of its over 400 million population. Coal is the source of 52 per cent of India’s energy. Although several ambitious programme like National Solar Mission exist and a lot of fund is being channelled into it, India still has a long way to go before it can claim itself to be in the league of gentlemen adopting clean energy.
India does need to desperately work towards a solution on greenhouse gas emission. By virtue of its natural topography and climate India has a lot to lose from climate change. Particularly when you consider that there are 1.2 billion of us.
PHILIPPINES: elevated as the moral voice in this conference, reserved about the loss and damage mechanism – by Carlie Labaria
The Philippines had the unfortunate circumstance of opening COP19 with the news of yet another unprecedented climate disaster brought about by supertyphoon Haiyan. Lead negotiator Naderev (Yeb) Saño appealed for the parties to “Stop the climate madness!” and embarked on a voluntary fast until the talks made meaningful progress. The outcome, however, fell short of what was ‘meaningful’. Particularly, the Philippines expressed reservations over the compromise on the international mechanism on loss and damage but accepted it as a way forward. It put on record that the 2016 review of the mechanism should reconsider institutional location of mechanism.
On the plus side, among its national successes for this latest round of talks is the adoption of the Warsaw framework on Forests that established the legal and policy framework on REDD-plus, with safeguards and non-carbon benefits as part of the package. The REDD-plus initiative is said to be supported by financing pledged by the U.S., Norway, and the UK amounting to USD 280 Million.
CHINA: playing an ambivalent role in climate politics – by Jiang Wei
Before and during the COP, China made it clear that it would play a constructive role in the negotiation. This statement, however, didn’t turn out quite the way it was said. The repeated emphases by China on developed countries’ commitment contributed little to facilitate an ambitious outcome. Besides, the issue that China expected the most from the conference – climate finance – fell short of the expectations from many negotiators. Consequently, the world still sees China ambivalently. On the one hand, it seems to have been putting real efforts in domestic emission cut; on the other hand, its contribution to the negotiation is rather dissatisfying. There is still a long way to go to reach the ambitious target of a carbon intensity reduction of 40% to 45% by 2020. Considering that this pledge remains ambitious, the country will need more momentum. Without any tangible fruits at Warsaw, it is better for China to first focus on the domestic arena, actualizing step by step its various projects for the sake of a greener and lower consumption future, including the betterment of its own emission trading scheme, low-carbon city pilots, shift in transportation, building, public infrastructure, and lifestyle. And for next year, we hope China could start playing stronger in leading changes.
KENYA: progress on loss & damage & REDD but mixed results for adaptation – by Edna Odhiambo
Kenya like many of her developing counterparts sought the establishment of an independent mechanism on Loss and Damage. The establishment of a mechanism is viewed as progress; however the fact that it will be considered under adaptation until review in 2016 is to a great extent viewed as an impediment to an effective mechanism as envisaged. Kenya was happy about the substantial gains recorded in the REDD+ financing mechanism and hopes this will ensure easier access to REDD+ finance which will eventually boost her forest cover. Though not satisfactory, Kenya hopes that the commitments made by a few developed nations towards adaptation finance will inspire other developed nations to pledge as well and allow for a fully functional adaptation fund because finance is imperative if meaningful progress is to be recorded in the negotiation process. Not to say that Kenya has lost faith in the international finance mechanism, but much effort is being channeled towards bilateral and multilateral agreements. Kenya felt that the ADP text could be more ambitious especially in demanding new emission reduction targets and on matters relating to adaptation.
NIGERIA – weak engagement at the COP for the “Giant of Africa” by Hamzat Lawal
Nigeria came to COP19 unprepared like previous COP meetings, with the lead negotiator stuck in Abuja, the capital city due to bureaucratic reasons, Activists and CSOs denied of Visa entry by Polish government and lack of commitments from the National Government. Nigeria had not clear agenda except for asking for funding from our development partners & the international communities as always and hiding behind decisions (umbrella) of the African Group. Our role in this talks has always been follower-ship instead of taking the leadership role as the so called Giant of Africa, No doubt, Nigeria is far behind and on the wrong track. It is now very obvious that the way forward is to have national coordinating institution with legal backing to champion climate change issues in Nigeria while engaging various key players (Private sect, government, public, academia, development partners) etc.
As a country, we only made significant progress on REDD+ programs as more commitments came on the table during the Warsaw climate talks by some developed countries.
Picture credit: iisd/ENB
To better understand the implications of the outcomes of COP19 for diverse countries across the planet, the members of our…Read post →
To help you assess the outcomes of the COP-19, we have compiled a series of commentaries published by some of…
To help you assess the outcomes of the COP-19, we have compiled a series of commentaries published by some of our partners during/after the final hours of the Warsaw climate conference. To provide a diversity of views covering different aspects of the COP19 decisions, we compiled the responses by CAN, ACT-Alliance, IBON, CIEL, Oxfam as well as by the Least Developed Countries.
Many of our partners who walked out of the conference on Thursday 21st November did not comment on the final outcomes of the conference but instead focused on expressing their frustrations with the slow pace of the process and the role of the polluting businesses in Warsaw.
CAN-International, the largest network of NGOs working on climate change, emphasized the role of vested interests in the Warsaw climate conference and how both the fossil fuel industry and conservative governments (incl. Japan and Australia) contributed to undermining the outcomes of the conference.
The ACT-Alliance, a coalition of over 140 religious organizations, also noted the inadequacy of the loss and damage mechanism established in Warsaw and which will fall short of addressing the needs of the most vulnerable.
IBON, a Southern NGO supporting capacity building of social movements, noted the last-hour weakening of the language of the roadmap towards the Paris climate conference, presaging a weaker outcome in 2015.
CIEL highlighted some limited progress in relation to the REDD+ safeguards and the establishment of a Loss and Damage mechanism, highlighting that further negotiations would however be required in order to improve these mechanisms.
OXFAM noted the emergence of an unholly alliance among the planet largest polluters, both industrialized countries and emerging economies, to undermine the process leading to a 2015 climate agreement.
Additionally, the final statement by the LDCs also sheds light on areas where further progress by countries should take place in order to deliver the means of implementation already committed and to achieve an adequate 2015 climate agreement.
To help you assess the outcomes of the COP-19, we have compiled a series of commentaries published by some of…Read post →
After over 24 hours of extra time, the 194 countries gathered in Warsaw for the annual UN climate conference adopted…
After over 24 hours of extra time, the 194 countries gathered in Warsaw for the annual UN climate conference adopted to consensus a set of 38 decisions covering all aspects of international cooperation on climate change. While most of these outcomes are of a rather technical nature, the conference also resulted in decisions addressing specifically the pathway to the Paris 2015 climate agreement, the delivery of long-term finance for developing countries and the establishment of an institutional mechanism addressing the issue of “Loss and Damage”.
To better understand the implications of these decisions for diverse countries across the planet, our team share their first reactions to the Warsaw outcomes…
BRAZIL: mainly focused on emissions from deforestation – by Raquel Rosenberg
The main impact of the resolutions of COP19 in Brazil will definitely come from outcome decisions concerning the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and land Degradation. The “Warsaw REDD+ Framework” is the most significant package of decisions since Cancun and the first definition of REDD+ activities in the climate change negotiations. The 7 decisions related to REDD+ establish the technical requirements to receive results-based-finance, assigns a key role to the Green Climate Fund among the various financing sources, creates an online tool for recognition of results action and their corresponding payments under the Convention and encourages all entities supporting REDD+ to use the same methodologies and tools of the UNFCCC.The text provides that no country will be paid if there are no proofs of implementing the agreed safeguards. The impacts of that decision in Brazil will be felt in a few years, since the country has the biggest forest in the world and the sectors contributing the most to its emissions are agriculture and deforestation. The architecture of this economic instrument that has been built in Warsaw is going to allow Brazil to address the emissions of these sectors. The announcement by the governments of UK, US and Norway of a 280 millions $ package to be invested on the protection of the forests will definitely help on curb the rate of deforestation (deforestation increased in the country by 28% in 2012) and make sure that the use of the soil can be better monitored in Brazil.
In the negotiations towards the 2015 climate agreement, the main achievement for Brazil was the implementation of the proposal of national consultations (in the paragraph 2 of the ADP decision). The realization of these consultations will have a huge impact on the involvement of civil society as a whole, including also indigenous people, traditional communities, youth and children, resulting in a much bigger credibility, transparency and inclusion in the path until 2015. On finance, Brazil highlights the GCF, which has an inclusive and balanced governance model, supporting the country as a key player. The same decision indicates that in 2014 should be initiated the capitalization of the fund, which stills remain empty. Unfortunately, the COP did not make much progress on two additional Brazilian proposals related to historical responsibilities and early action.
PERU: readying to step forward as facilitator of the 2014 talks – by Veronica Villena
Peru came to Poland not as a regular guest but as the incoming host of the 2014 COP. All the work done in Warsaw was supposed to insume the peruvian role as a facilitator to achieve a road map for Paris, seeking higher mitigation goals, the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund, stronger funding commitments and the establishment of a international mechanism for loss and damage. Even though this COPs results were not the first best, they settle down the ground for next year’s work. Under the ADP discussion, Peru – as a member of the AILAC – should have emphasized the importance of having a global binding agreement post 2020 in which not only the developed countries has settled rules and goals but also the developing ones according to the work done domestically. This last element is particularly important in order to contribute not only to addressing the global climate change crisis but also in supporting the sustainable development of each of the countries.
In the other hand, the decisions adopted in Warsaw in relation to technology transfer and REDD+ contribute and complement to the efforts done at the national level with the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) and National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA). Still, additional work remain after these decisions so it will be seen at the next UN climate conference whether further decisions can be reached on these issues in order to contribute to the main goal of the negotiations.
POLAND: a terrible presidency accompanied by unprecedented mobilizations for climate justice – by Michalina Golinczak
Bad COP: Poland, the second most air-polluted country in Europe, hosted “the dirtiest climate conference on record”. COP 19 was a failure of the Polish government in nearly every respect: beginning with the pre-COP being open to the business representatives for the first time in history; continuing with the corporate fossil fuel sponsorship, visa denial for Nigerian delegates, the parallel organization of the International Coal & Climate Summit, a very weak presidency; and ending with Marcin Korolec losing his job as Environment Minister during the talks.
Good COP: At the same time, Warsaw saw a huge mobilisation of people fighting for sustainable future and safe environment. On 16 November 2013 more than one thousand people – including many foreigners but with a group of Polish citizens also visible – marched through the city to campaign for ambitious climate action. Two days later a group of activists organized a protest in front of the Coal Summit with a giant inflatable lung, demanding a “healthy and clean future” without coal. And finally, on 21 November 2013, over 800 accredited representatives of NGOs and social movements walked out of the climate talks. Polish citizens and the international community showed their dissatisfaction with the current politics and pointed out the need of urgent action. The governments cannot ignore this massive pressure any more.
UKRAINE: safeguarding its own economic interest – by Olga Monchak
Ukraine came to COP19 with a clearly defined goal – to protect its state economic interests and secure advantageous terms for itself in the carbon trading under the second commitment period of Kyoto. In particular, Ukraine aimed to re-settle the reserve of carbon credits calculation, which, according to the “Doha amendment”, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan were obliged to buy in the beginning of each year of Kyoto-2 participation. As the terms of reserve calculations depend on the annual amount of CO2 emissions and since the energy strategy of Ukraine until 2030 is fossil-oriented, this question couldn’t be closed easily by Ukraine. The suspension of the association agreement with the EU raised the charges for Ukraine even more. As a result, the most important decisions for Ukraine in these negotiations were postponed until Bonn and Peru. In relation to the other key issues addressed by these negotiations Ukraine did not (or could not?) do anything really good or bad. The pledges of Ukraine are still low, in fact Ukraine is planning to rise it’s carbon emissions by 40% until 2030.
NEW ZEALAND: contributing little to these talks but losing even less – by David Tong
New Zealand brought little to the table in Warsaw, got little, but lost less. Our negotiators kept a low profile this year. We wanted a few key things out of Warsaw, with limited success on finance, Kyoto negotiations, and forestry rules and had little success. For example, we sought the next step on a new work program on agriculture – unsuccessfully.
On the roadmap to the 2015 deal, we got much of what we wanted. It looks more and more like the New Zealand proposal for “bounded flexibility” in the 2015 deal is likely to be where the deal falls in Paris, because it is a flawed compromise, not because of our advocacy.
It is hard to see what solace bounded flexibility will provide for our Pacific neighbours. One big win for the Pacific, however, is the establishment of the Warsaw Mechanism for Loss and Damage – against New Zealand opposition.
We got lucky, in some ways. Australia and Japan’s new stances let us continue muddling along with little ambition and no clear plan to deliver on our previous mitigation and finance pledges while escaping most scrutiny.
Picture credit: iisd/ENB
After over 24 hours of extra time, the 194 countries gathered in Warsaw for the annual UN climate conference adopted…Read post →
Guest post by Natalie Jones
WARSAW – Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk undertook a major cabinet reshuffle today, firing several…
Guest post by Natalie Jones
Tusk said he appointed “the fossil fuel industry” as the new Minister for the Environment, citing a long and enduring history of cooperation between the industry and government.
“This is great news for the country – we have made a historic step forward today. We expect shale gas, in particular, to have a great influence on the economy and public health.”
“Best of all, the industry can now set its own fossil fuel subsidies. Everyone knows that the more subsidies, the healthier the market. The Polish people will love those low fuel prices too. ”
To concerns about climate change, he said, “Climate change is actually a natural phenomenon that has been occurring for many thousands of years. Our coal is really very clean – and, hey, the Arctic melt will be a great opportunity for oil exploration!”
When questioned about the practicalities of this move Tusk said, “Obviously there’ll be some teething problems. We’re not sure how the entire industry will be able to sit in on Cabinet meetings. Maybe we can use the climate conference plenary hall once they’ve finished with it. In fact, it’s not like anything’s happening there right now – we can probably just take it.”
The industry praised Tusk’s ongoing commitment to fossil fuel exploration and economic growth.
“The first proposal on our agenda is to rename Poland ‘Coaland’. We feel this more accurately represents the Polish – or should we say Coalish – peoples’ identity and desires.”
Korolec is sad to go, saying that he “did not expect” this move due to his “close partnership” with the fossil fuel industry in the lead-up to the climate talks.
“After all I’ve done for the industry, this kind of repayment is very disappointing.”
This article is written satirically and is not intended to accurately represent recent news.
Guest post by Natalie Jones
WARSAW – Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk undertook a major cabinet reshuffle today, firing several…
I linked up with Altavoz to share occasional contributions from inside the COP. Here’s my latest. Seeing is believing?:
Whoever says “climate change impacts we leave for the future” is totally wrong.
Carlie Labaria is one of the fellows of the “Adopt a Negotiator” and we are together in Poland to attend the XIX meeting of the 194 countries meeting to discuss international climate change policy, known as the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations (COP) on Climate Change. Since last Saturday, Carlie was unable to communicate with her family in Bohol, the city you live, electricity is out because of Typhoon Haiyan hit the island.
About the authorAAN Editors
The Adopt a Negotiator Editorial team is made up of Global Call for Climate Action staff and lovely volunteers.