Letter of COP 19 Delegates to Green Youth – Day 4

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The experience of the COP has been unsettling. Whilst scientists are trying to desperately voice their concerns, some talks inside the COP seem to be completely out of touch with reality. Even the president stated ‘Coal is not a problem, the problem is how to use it. We just need to find the right technology to use it’.

Today has been a particularly heavy day with the combination of the talk and Young and Future Generations day. Whilst our three young friends are still stuck outside the talks for doing an ‘illegal’ action on Monday, Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, was holding a talk on the importance of youth representation at the COP, which led to over 20 youth representatives walking out of the meeting. Despite the climactic situation, our delegation had good talk last night on how to work even more efficiently as a team and hope to bring you more detailed articles on specific topics very soon.

If you want to keep up with the talks throughout the day, please follow us on twitter @greenanton (market mechanisms, Intergenerational Equity), @Shenna_nigan (Philippines, finance), @AnnaKoppanen (mitigation) and @maximilien_gw (loss & damage).

 

1. Clean Development Mechanism Review

1.1. Background info on FVA

2. Loss and damage update

3. Mitigation & Finance

4. CAN Fossil of the day

 

1. Clean Development Mechanism Review:

As there is a new commitment period for the Kyoto-Protocol, the Flexible Mechanisms are being reviewed. Japan is deeply concerned of exclusion of specific projects from the CDM, especially Coal. They are promoting it currently as project in the CDM to have the possibility to reduce their emissions non domestically as they are not able to reduce them domestically. South Africa wants to include elements of (af)forestation in the CDM. This would mean creating Credits by using elements of REDD (you can read about REDD in our last newsletter).

Ecuador said that members of the board who approve projects should only come from countries participating in the second commitment period of the Kyoto-Protocol.

1.1 FVA – Medusa of the Climate Summit

In 2015 after the UN Climate Summit, we will hopefully have a new ambitious Climate Agreement. In Durban it was decided to have a completely new body to prepare the new agreement. Part of this includes the “Framework for Various Approaches”, the “New Market Mechanism” and the “non-Market based Approach”.

But what is hiding behind these terms?

Well, no one knows so far. Last year, there were work-programs on these topics, which finished before the Climate Summit. So far, we can see some opinions of Parties, and what might happen.

To start with the easiest thing, the “non-Market based Approach”, or as acronym: NMA. This shall be a mechanism which is not based on markets. There are some ideas, but I will not go deeper into this as it is not an important discussion at the moment.

Next, “New Market Mechanism” also known as NMM. It will be a mechanism with a market. As the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which basically allows developed countries to reduce their emissions non-domestically, will disappear after the end of the Kyoto-Protocol, many countries want a new mechanism which allows non-domestic reductions. The term, which is used in the climate negotiations for this sort of reductions through the use of a mechanism, is called “offsetting”. The current stance looks like a lot of groups, especially the EU, want a new mechanism. It shall be similar to CDM, but with stronger rules, better review and so on. The problem with the Clean Development Mechanism is that its projects often violates Human Rights, produces too many credits (so the prices on the carbon market are much too low) and it perverts the whole idea of clean/sustainable development. For instance, the CDM is promoting false solutions as “clean coal”. However, many countries want to elaborate such a mechanism.

But what is a mechanism with carbon trading? The “Framework for Various Approaches” (FVA) shall be this market under which this mechanism will work. At least this is what developed countries are hoping for. In this market, there will be different emission trading systems, e.g. the ones from China, EU, Japan, Australia etc. Every of the systems will use different certificates. These certificates are like the normal currencies. This mean there will be an exchange of certificates, and each of sort of these certificates will have different standards.

This mean a common accounting framework is needed. Some Parties also ask for a pilot phase prior to 2020, when the new agreement shall start. However if the ambition is low, it is easier to have too many certificates in the market. In conclusion: high ambition is crucial and the access to markets must be linked to high ambition. And there are many more problems with it. The FVA is therefore the Medusa of the climate negotiations, as it has lots of dangerous and crucial issues on its head.

 

2. Loss & Damage update:

The meetings are now closed to observers but we have managed to get some inside information on the positions of certain parties on the topic. Unfortunately those are off the record and we cannot share them however someone has leaked important information to the Indian press about an alternative text proposal (to the G77-China one) submitted by the US (Hindu Times article).

This article mentions that the US has a red line on a mechanism as they believe it will create a ‘blame game’. We don’t know what text they are going to work from.

Hopefully we will be meeting the Bolivian delegation tomorrow to talk about how we can most effectively promote an international mechanism and put pressure on the US and other Western country to step up their ambition.

 

3. Mitigation & Finance

There was supposed to be SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) informal consultations on work program to further the understanding of the diversity of NAMA. NAMAs are Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions for developing countries. However, this never happened.

There was a side event with UNEP on the NAMA cooperation where it was addressed that the first objective should always be development. Also on the financial side, the emphasis should not rely on measuring and verifying the mitigation results but on the implementation of the actions.

ADP WS2 had a workshop on enhanced ambition pre-2020 through urban policies. General scope was on energy efficiency, renewables, land use and transportation. The most interesting arguments were made on the financing of the investments for the mitigation efforts. Emission gap is often mentioned in climate talks, but there is also an obvious financing gap. It was pointed out by the World Bank that it is really expensive for cities in developing countries to get credit.

Since most of the talks in the workshop were around local and not national actions, Bolivia raised a question about how this all relates to the Parties (national governments) present in the negotiation and how it would be possible to negotiate on these issues between nations here in Warsaw.

 

4. CAN Fossil of the day:

And the winner is…… Australia! for the second time already in this COP. Not only Australia is withdrawing from climate action and finance for developing countries, but it is also objecting to provisions of insurance in the Convention process and are insisting that loss and damage discussions focus on institutional arrangements (see section 2).

 

More info on

http://climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day/fossil-deja-vu-aussies-abandon-their-neighbors-loss-and-damage

Your FYEG Delegation

(Anton, Shenna, Anna, Max)

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