TWN Info Service
on Climate Change (Feb10/14)
call for additional negotiating meetings
Geneva, 15 Feb (Meena Raman) -- Several developing countries have submitted proposals for additional negotiating sessions, on top of the formal meetings that have already been determined under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) following the Copenhagen climate talks.
While there was consensus among the developing countries for additional negotiating sessions to be held, there were differing views on how the Copenhagen Accord is to be treated in the resumption of work of the two working groups.
On 2 February, the UNFCCC Secretariat sent out an information note containing messages from the Chairs of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), inviting Parties to submit their views on the need for additional meeting time for the two working groups, including the possible number, duration and timing of such meetings. These submissions to the Secretariat are to be made by 16 February.
(The Chair of the AWG-LCA
is Ms. Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of
The AWG-LCA Chair also asked Parties to submit their views on how best to advance the work of the AWG-LCA in 2010 and the submissions could include "views, ideas and proposals on the organization of the work in 2010, including on how to ensure that the negotiating process remains transparent, inclusive and efficient in delivering substantive outcomes; initiatives the Chair could take to facilitate progress; and other aspects relevant to the work of the AWG-LCA in 2010".
Accordingly, as of
12 February, seven countries had forwarded submissions to the Secretariat:
(The Copenhagen Accord
was a three-page document that was not adopted by the UNFCCC Conference
of Parties in
Since the Copenhagen
Accord was not formally adopted,
-- "The UNFCCC is, and will continue to be, the main guiding framework for all climate change actions for now and into the future. Therefore, all UNFCCC provisions, principles, rights and obligations, as well as existing annexes shall remain valid for any agreed outcome. We need also to be fully guided by the Bali Action Plan;
-- The AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP are the only official forums for negotiations under the Convention and Kyoto Protocol. Such work and negotiations are undertaken with a view to presenting two separate comprehensive outcomes, under both tracks of negotiation, to the COP at its sixteenth session for consideration and adoption;
-- In order to ensure an efficient negotiation process, balanced progress must be made on both negotiating tracks in a way that will lead to two separate and balanced outcomes;
-- Other efforts outside the formal UNFCCC process should hold no bearing on the negotiations. The UNFCCC should only consider work that is done and generated through the UNFCCC process".
As regards meetings
"The AWGs should
continue to conduct their work through contact groups (i.e. contact
groups on the main elements under the Bali Action Plan under the LCA).
No formal or informal groups should be set to discuss any extraneous
elements as this reduces productivity and adds no value,"
It said that "the only texts to be used in the negotiations are texts that enjoy full consensus of Parties, and that have been accepted as a basis for continuing the work. This also includes the submissions made by Parties and compilation texts on various proposals that were made by Parties. It has been agreed at COP15 that all texts remain on the table."
"Since the Copenhagen Accord' has not been formally adopted, it has no legal status within the UNFCCC, and thus cannot be used as basis or reference for further negotiations. To support a Party-driven process, only the Parties can produce new text and determine the basis of further work. This must be done by consensus," it further stated.
It was of the view that the negotiation processes should be undertaken in a transparent, inclusive and efficient manner to enable the acceptance of their outcomes by all Parties.
It said that, "In this regard, both Groups should meet, in addition to the sessions already scheduled (June and November/December), at least twice more in 2010. The first meeting could take place in mid-April for one week, while the third meeting, that would follow-up June negotiations, could be held in September/October".
Sudan, in its submission, said that "two more additional sessions (total of 4 weeks) are needed to ensure completing the work" of the two AWGs "in the same, inclusive, participatory, party-driven and transparent manner that prevailed during the sessions held in 2009 in Bonn, Bangkok and Barcelona".
It also said that it was "fully committed to continue negotiations under the UNFCCC with the objective of concluding a legally-binding outcome".
Singapore, in its submission, said that "the continued work of the AWG-LCA in 2010 should be based on its report presented to COP-15 containing the draft texts produced by the various drafting groups in Copenhagen".
It however viewed "the Copenhagen Accord, with which many Parties have to date associated themselves, as containing important elements which could serve as inputs to the negotiations".