Info Service on Climate Change (Oct12/06)
27 October 2012
Third World Network
friends and colleagues,
The 14th session of the African Minsiterial Conference on the Environment
(AMCEN) took place on 12-14 September 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania. Among
the key resolutions in the Arusha Declaration is the endorsement of
the updated common African position on climate change as the basis
for negotiations by African States on strengthening the international
climate change regime through full, effective and sustained implementation
of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
and the Kyoto Protocol.
AMCEN affirmed that the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol constitute the
fundamental global legal framework on climate change, and that the
climate change negotiations in Doha (26 November - 7 December) must
conclude agreed outcomes in line with the Bali Road Map as well as
progress under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. It called
for outcomes of the Doha conference to be based on science, equity
and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,
reflecting the latest scientific, technical, economic and social information,
as such outcomes will significantly influence efforts to secure Africa’s
The ministers resolved further that a long-term global goal must include
ambitious short-, medium- and long-term mitigation commitments by
Annex I parties (developed countries), reflecting their historical
responsibilities, and an equitable and appropriate contribution to
the global effort, as well as the provision of adequate means of implementation
- finance, technology and capacity-building - to enable Africa to
address its adaptation needs in particular.
They encouraged Annex I parties to the UNFCCC that are not parties
to the Kyoto Protocol to undertake commitments under the Convention
that are comparable in magnitude and effort and are measurable, reportable
and verifiable through an agreed set of common accounting rules and
a compliance framework (the key countries in this group are now the
United States and Canada).
AMCEN also called on developed country parties to urgently scale up
support for the implementation of adaptation measures and plans, through,
in particular, the Cancun Adaptation Framework and the Nairobi Work
Programme, and to support and expedite work to understand, reduce
and compensate for loss and damage associated with the adverse effects
of climate change, including impacts on agriculture.
On funding, the ministers called on developed country parties to provide
new and additional resources to the climate funds under the Convention,
in particular the Green Climate Fund, as well as the Least Developed
Countries Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund and the Adaptation
Fund, which are currently the only financial means to fund adaptation
under the Convention.
On the work to enhance ambition under the Durban Platform to adequately
address the need to limit the increase in global average temperature
to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius, AMCEN emphasized the urgent need
to reflect ambitious commitments under the Bali Road Map in order
for Annex I parties to reduce their emissions by at least 40 per cent
by 2017 as an equitable and appropriate contribution to achieving
the objective of the Convention.
AMCEN called for efforts under the Durban Platform to reflect all
principles and provisions of the Convention, including equity and
common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,
in order to limit the increase of global average temperature to well
below 1.5 degrees Celsius while ensuring equitable access to sustainable
development and the sharing of atmospheric space and resources, taking
into account cumulative historical responsibility and the use of such
resources by Annex I parties.
The ministers also agreed on a set of key messages fot the upcoming
Doha climate negotiations. We are pleased to reproduce these below.
With best wishes,
Third World Network
messages on climate change negotiations for the eighteenth session
of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change and the eighth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto
1. We, African ministers of the environment, recognize that climate
change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and represents
an urgent and irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.
We express our deep concern that the window of opportunity to avoid
dangerous human interference with the climate system is closing, with
a growing risk of run-away climate change and catastrophic impacts
for natural ecosystems and humankind, particularly in Africa.
2. We reaffirm that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change and its Kyoto Protocol constitutes the fundamental global legal
framework on climate change and that all actions or measures related
to climate change must be in full conformity with the principles and
provisions of the Convention, in particular those of equity and common
but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
3. We reaffirm that achieving sustainable development and poverty
eradication are the priorities for Africa. We recognize that today
Africa faces numerous, severe and growing negative impacts arising
from of climate change and that these impacts are undermining Africa’s
efforts to attain its development goals, including the Millennium
4. We note with concern that wealthy Annex I parties increased their
emissions by approximately 8 per cent between 1990 and 2008. We further
express concern that the current inadequate mitigation pledges, in
particular by Annex I parties, are likely to lead to an increase of
the global average temperature of greater than 2°C – and possibly
as much as 5°C – threatening catastrophic impacts worldwide, and particularly
for Africa due to its high vulnerability to the impacts of climate
change and low adaptive capacity.
5. We acknowledge that there is an urgent and immediate need to avoid
further loss and damage to Africa and call for an intensified action,
in particular by Annex I parties, to reduce their emissions in line
with the information set out in the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and more recent scientific
studies in a way that will limit the global average temperature increase
to well below 1.5°C.
6. We are aware that, despite the urgent threat facing human societies
and the planet, the mitigation pledges by Annex I parties in the context
of the climate change negotiations amount to less than the voluntary
mitigation pledges by non-Annex I parties. We recall that the Convention
requires Annex I parties to make equitable and appropriate contributions
to achieving the objective of the Convention and therefore stress
that Annex I parties should show leadership, including through raising
their level of ambition to the scale required by science and equity.
7. We urge Annex I parties to provide scaled-up new and additional
financial resources to enable developing countries, particularly to
countries in Africa, to mitigate and adapt to climate change without
diverting scarce resources required for poverty eradication and other
sustainable development objectives.
8. We recognize that Africa needs its fair share of atmospheric space
in order to meet its development needs, and acknowledge that this
may result in increased emissions.
9. We note that in the absence of increased ambition, the projected
emissions of Annex I parties would consume almost half of the 44 Gt
emissions budget for 2020 that is estimated by the United Nations
Environment Programme to have a likely chance of limiting temperature
increase to 2°C or less, thereby limiting the atmospheric space available
to non-Annex I parties and allocating to the Annex I parties an excessive
share of a global atmospheric resource.
10. We express concerns that rather than increasing their ambition
some Annex I parties have refused to ratify, or have withdrawn from
the Kyoto Protocol or intend to do so. We further express concern
at the apparent intention of some Annex I parties to move away from
a legally binding regime applicable to them into a weaker pledge-based
regime, while shifting the burden to non-Annex I parties.
11. We reaffirm that adaptation is an essential priority for Africa
and that there is an urgent need for immediate and adequate support
for the implementation of country-driven adaptation measures and actions
through the provision of grant-based public resources including through
direct access to the Green Climate Fund and other relevant financial
12. We also recognize, in this context, the importance of agriculture
to Africa and reaffirm our recommendation that a comprehensive work
programme on agriculture in non-Annex I parties is to be established
under the Adaptation Framework, and that agriculture is to be addressed
as a matter of priority in relation to the mitigation commitments
of Annex I parties. We confirm that Africa’s emissions, including
from the agriculture sector, are low and that most of the global emissions
from the agriculture sector derive from industrialized, subsidized
and fossil-fuel intensive agricultural
practices in Annex I parties, and that the overriding priority for
Africa in the agriculture sector is food production and rural development.
13. We express concern about the lack of clarity on long-term financing
of results-based REDD+ activities in phase three. We call for a transparent
process for the provision of adequate and equitable long-term financial
resources. We further call for the establishment of a simplified structure
that would allow broader participation of countries in accordance
with their national circumstances.
14. We recall that the effective implementation of mitigation and
adaptation actions by non-Annex I parties depends on the fulfilment
by Annex I parties of their commitments relating to financial resources,
technology development and transfer and capacity building. We recognize,
in this context, the insufficient transparency and slow disbursement
of the financial resources pledged by developed country parties as
“fast start” finance for the period 2010-2012 and indications that
only a small proportion of these resources are “new and additional”,
and we call on Annex I parties to fully implement their commitments
relating to financial resources and the transfer of technology as
an important step towards addressing the common challenge of climate
15. We further call for an agreement in Doha on scaled-up public resources
to be provided by Annex II parties commencing in 2013, building on
lessons learned from fast start finance and reaching a scale adequate
to meet the needs of developing countries up to 2020 and beyond.
Negotiations under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change
and the Kyoto Protocol thereto
16. We reaffirm that the outcome of negotiations under the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change must be based on science,
principles and provisions of the Convention. Such an approach must
include ambitious short- medium- and long-term mitigation commitments
by Annex I parties that reflect their historical responsibility and
an equitable and appropriate contribution to the global effort to
tackle climate change, and the provision of adequate
means of implementation – finance, technology and capacity building
– to enable non-Annex I parties to address mitigation and adaptation.
17. We reiterate that the climate negotiations under the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change should produce: (a) an amendment
to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol regarding further mitigation commitments
of Annex I parties for a second commitment period from 2013 to 2017
under the Kyoto Protocol; (b) a set of outcomes in line with the Bali
Road Map regarding an agreed outcome on long-term cooperative action
to enhance the implementation of the Convention; and (c) a protocol,
another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under
the Convention addressing mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology
development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and
capacity-building through the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform
for Enhanced Action (ADP) no later than 2015 to come into effect and
be implemented by 2020.
18. We call on all parties to respect the balance of the outcome at
the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, held in Durban, South
Africa. We urge Annex I parties to join us in ensuring an ambitious
and legally binding second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol,
an ambitious and comprehensive set of outcomes under the Bali Action
Plan to ensure the full, effective and sustained implementation of
the Convention, recognizing that progress in the ADP negotiations
is premised on successful conclusion of the Ad Hoc Working Group on
Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and Ad Hoc Working Group on
Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).
We affirm that these three negotiations are interlinked and that new
discussions under the Durban Platform must build on conclusions agreed
in longstanding negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention.
19. We emphasize that work under these negotiations must be carefully
balanced and sequenced to ensure that Annex I parties take on equitable
and adequate mitigation commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, that
parties achieve the full, effective and sustained implementation of
the Convention in accordance with the Bali Action Plan, and that the
ambition gap on mitigation and means of implementation is closed prior
to 2015 to ensure the highest level of effort by all parties, as a
sound basis for negotiations towards a new protocol, legal instrument
or agreed outcome for legal force
under the Durban Platform.
20. We call on all parties to join us in preserving and building on
the architecture of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol developed
over almost two decades, and we warn against the unravelling of the
international climate change architecture into a weaker regime based
on “pledge and review” for Annex I parties, as this will undermine
environmental integrity thus increasing the risk to the African continent
of climate change. We call on all Annex I parties to fulfil their
commitments through an ambitious and legally binding second period
of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, comparable efforts by Annex
I non-Kyoto parties, as well as full implementation of commitments
relating to adaptation, finance, technology transfer, capacity-building
and related matters.
Implementing the Kyoto Protocol
21. We call on developed country parties to the Kyoto Protocol to
honour their commitments through ambitious mitigation commitments
for a second commitment period and to reduce their emissions of greenhouse
gases by at least 40 per cent during the second commitment period
from 2013 to 2017 and by at least 95 per cent by 2050, compared to
1990 levels, as an equitable and appropriate contribution to achieving
the objective of the Convention. We stress the urgency of concluding
all issues for a second commitment period in Doha and of elaborating
measures to avoid a gap between commitment periods.
22. We confirm that negotiations towards a new agreement under the
Durban Platform must not detract from agreement of ambitious further
commitments for Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol. We join
other developing countries in confirming that the second commitment
period shall end in 2017 to avoid locking in low levels of ambition
by Annex I parties until 2020, which would risk extremely dangerous
levels of warming and an inadequate contribution by Annex I parties
towards addressing climate change. Individual contributions by Annex
I parties are to be agreed and converted into quantified emission
limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs) for inclusion in Annex
B of the Kyoto Protocol to be adopted in Doha and further urge those
Annex 1 parties that have not submitted their QELROs to do so.
23. We call on Annex I parties to ensure the environmental integrity
of their emission reduction commitments, and to guarantee an equitable
and appropriate level of domestic emission reductions, by closing
existing loopholes, limiting the use of carbon markets and project-based
mechanisms to 10 per cent of their quantified emission reduction commitments,
and ensuring the additionality of carbon credits.
24. We recognize that the continued existence and effectiveness of
the Adaptation Fund is contingent on an ambitious second commitment
period by Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol, including ambitious
emission aggregate and individual reduction commitments as well as
the effective closure of all loopholes, as a precondition for a functioning
project-based mechanism and delivery of carbon credits. As a means
for increasing funding for the Adaptation Fund we call for financial
resources to be raised through a levy on emissions trading and other
carbon mechanisms and markets.
25. We reiterate that Annex I parties that do not sign up to the second
commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, and have therefore not
taken on a legally binding QELRO under the Kyoto Protocol, shall not
have access to the mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol, including
emissions trading, joint implementation and clean development mechanism.
Implementing the Convention
26. We reiterate the importance of fulfilment by all parties of their
commitments under the Convention and call for the Ad Hoc Working Group
on Long-term Cooperative Action to continue its work to reach an agreed
outcome pursuant with decision 1/CP.13 (the Bali Action Plan) and
conclude its work in Doha in accordance with decision 1/CP.17.
27. We emphasize that avoiding dangerous interference with the climate
system and achieving a global goal of limiting temperature increase
to well below 1.5°C will require an integrated approach based on science,
equity and the principles and provisions of the Convention. We are
concerned that temperature increases above 1.5°C from pre-industrial
levels pose catastrophic impacts to poor and vulnerable people and
communities worldwide, in particular Africa, and is inconsistent with
the fundamental objective of the Convention.
28. We recognize that a global goal for substantially reducing global
emissions by 2050 and the time frame for global peaking of greenhouse
gas emissions cannot be undertaken in the abstract and will necessarily
involve matters related to the context of such considerations including
ambitious short, medium and long-term mitigation commitments by Annex
I parties that reflect their historical responsibilities and an equitable
and appropriate contribution to the global effort to tackle climate
change. We confirm that a long-term global goal for reducing emissions
by 2050 and a time frame for global peaking can only be understood
in the context of a global goal for adaptation, finance, technology
support and the implications for economic and social development in
developing countries, particularly in Africa.
29. We welcome the operationalization of the Cancun Adaptation Framework,
in particular the Adaptation Committee. We urge the Adaptation Committee
to expedite its work on facilitating the support process and implementation
of national adaptation actions and plans of non-Annex 1 parties through
the relevant linkages between the finance and technology mechanisms
of the Convention.
30. We affirm that adaptation activities should be funded at full
cost through direct and simplified access to adequate, new and additional
public grant-based financial resources, following a country driven
approach, as well as to environmentally sound technologies and capacity
building in a predictable and prompt manner as part of a balanced
package on all issues to implement the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol.
31. We urge that measures should be taken to expedite work on strengthening
international cooperation and expertise in order to understand, reduce
and compensate loss and damage associated with the adverse effects
of climate change, including impacts on agriculture, water, human
health, and other economic and non-economic losses related to extreme
weather events and slow onset events.
32. We reiterate concerns about efforts by Annex I parties to move
away from a legally binding into a weaker “pledge-based” regime, the
conditional nature of Annex I pledges, the low level of mitigation
ambition and the associated party specific rules and accounting methodologies
which may undermine environmental integrity and significantly reduce
the contribution of Annex I parties to the global mitigation effort
33. We call on Annex I parties that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol
to undertake legally binding commitments under the Convention that
are comparable in magnitude and effort and are measurable, reportable
and verifiable with regard to mitigation and the provision of financial
and technological resources. We call for the development of an agreed
set of common accounting rules and a compliance framework for Annex
I parties that have not subscribed to the second commitment period
of the Kyoto Protocol to assess their quantified emission reductions.
34. We reaffirm that a firewall must be maintained between mitigation
commitments of Annex I parties that are legally binding in nature
and appropriate voluntary mitigation actions by non-Annex I parties.
35. We stress that the extent to which non-Annex I parties will effectively
implement actions under the Convention will depend on the effective
implementation and fulfilment by developed country parties of their
commitments under the Convention related to financial resources, capacity-building
and technology development and transfer.
Means of implementation
36. We welcome the adoption in Durban of the governing instrument
of the Green Climate Fund and stress the need for concrete outcomes
on the long-term finance work programme and the work of the Standing
Committee. We call for enhanced transparency in the provision of support
through a common reporting format, definitions and methodologies.
37. We note the pledge by developed country parties to mobilize jointly
$100 billion per year by 2020, and reiterate Africa’s position that
developed country parties should by the year 2020 provide scaled-up
financial support based on an assessed scale of contributions that
constitutes at least 1.5 per cent of the gross domestic product of
Annex I parties, in order to curb climate change and meet the needs
of non-Annex I parties to tackle climate change and its adverse effects
38. We note with concern the gap between the end of fast start finance
in 2012 and the $100 billion pledge by 2020. We call on Annex II parties
to significantly scale up the provision of new, additional predictable
and adequate resources in the interim period. We also call on those
parties to contribute to the Green Climate Fund and to accelerate
its operationalization with a view to addressing the most urgent adaptation
needs of developing countries.
39. We emphasize the need for an appropriate body under the Convention
with respect to mobilization of financial resources to address the
ambition gap on finance, and to look beyond the short-term financial
constraints faced by developed countries, in order to raise in a predictable
and identifiable manner the amount of new and additional funding necessary
and available for the implementation of this Convention and commensurate
to the adaptation, mitigation and technology needs of developing countries,
and establish the conditions under which that amount shall be
40. We stress the importance of ensuring direct access to financial
resources for all developing countries through a transparent process,
ensuring equitable allocation taking into account geographical and
needs based criteria, a balance between adaptation and mitigation,
and grant-based funding for adaptation activities.
41. We emphasize that public finance should be the main source of
funding to ensure the sustainability, predictability and adequacy
of funding, bearing in mind that private and market finance can play
a complementary role.
42. We stress the urgent need to fully operationalize the technology
mechanism in 2012 and taking into account the need to resolve the
outstanding issues such as the link between the Technology Executive
Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and its network, the operationalization
of the Advisory Board, the identification and removal of all barriers
preventing access to climate-related technologies and the appropriate
treatment of intellectual property rights, including the removal of
patents on climate-related technologies for non-Annex I parties.
43. We welcome the Durban Forum on Capacity-building and call for
its further development through the establishment of a work programme.
We acknowledge the creation of performance indicators for monitoring
and review of capacity building is paramount. We further stress that
capacity building activities should not be left to the private sector.
44. We welcome progress made in Durban in the establishment and operationalization
of effective and accountable institutions under the authority and
guidance of the Conference of the Parties in relation to adaptation,
finance and technology transfer, including the Cancun Adaptation Framework,
Green Climate Fund and Technology Mechanism. We further call for the
prompt effective, and full operationalization of these institutions
including through the provision of required financial resources to
ensure these institutions are not “empty shells” and that adequate
financial resources, including for time-bound deliverables and work
programmes, are available for action in developing countries, particularly
in relation to adaptation, mitigation and technology development and
Negotiations under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action
45. We welcome the successful launching of the Ad Hoc Working Group
on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to develop a protocol,
another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under
the Convention addressing, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance,
technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support,
and capacity-building, as well as the workplan on enhancing mitigation
ambition to identify and to explore options for a range of actions
that can close the ambition gap.