TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Sept15/01)
16 September 2015
Third World Network

No interpreting ‘emergence of convergences’ for new negotiation documents, say LMDC

New Delhi, 16 September (Indrajit Bose) — Climate change negotiators from the Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) met to take stock of the climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to provide a perspective of the LMDC on the way forward for the Paris agreement.

Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, inaugurated the meeting that took place in Delhi on 14-15 September.

The LMDC expressed deep disappointment with the lack of text-based negotiations at the last session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action under the Convention (ADP) held in Bonn from 31 August to 4 September. The LMDC also expressed deep concerns with the slow pace of negotiations given the limited negotiating time left before 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.

(With the next ADP session scheduled for 19-23 October, there are five negotiating days left before the COP21. The 11th session of the COP acting as the Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will also be held at the same time.)

In a statement issued at the end of the meeting, the LMDC said they look forward to the new documents to be issued by the ADP Co-Chairs in the first week of October. The Group stressed that the new documents from the Co-Chairs must be “comprehensive, balanced and capture the positions of Parties reflected during the negotiations without prejudging or interpreting the emergence of convergences”.  They emphasized that the new documents should be based on the Geneva Negotiating Text and the views and submissions of Parties in the ADP sessions. “The documents should include clear options reflecting different views from Parties on all key issues,” the statement read.

[At the last Bonn session, ADP Co-Chairs Ahmed Djoghlaf (Algeria) and Daniel Reifsnyder (USA) had said that they would produce a “non-paper as the basis for negotiation, a Paris climate package consisting of Workstream 1 (post-2020 climate action) and Workstream 2 (pre-2020 climate action), based on the Geneva Negotiating Text, the tool and which takes into full account the views and positions of Parties expressed at this session”. For the 31 August to 4 September session, the Co-Chairs had issued a tool to help Parties in negotiations, but developing countries had expressed disappointment over the tool being unbalanced and crucial elements missing from the draft core agreement part of the Co-Chairs’ tool: see TWN Bonn News Updates here). The Geneva Negotiation Text was the outcome of the February meeting of the ADP.]

The LMDC also called for “text-based negotiations in the right earnest at the next Bonn session in an inclusive, open, transparent and Party-driven negotiating process”. They reiterated that the UNFCCC is the primary intergovernmental forum to negotiate the global response to climate change.

“The LMDC underscored that the objective of the Paris agreement is the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention in accordance with Article 2 and the Convention’s principles and provisions, in particular the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and the developed countries taking the lead. They stressed that differentiation between developed and developing country Parties across each element of the agreement is essential for enhanced ambition and effectiveness of the new agreement,” the statement read.  

The LMDC also said that the Paris Agreement should not be mitigation-centric but must address in a balanced and comprehensive manner the six elements identified in the Durban mandate — mitigation, adaptation, finance, capacity-building, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, as well as loss and damage in a balanced manner. “The LMDC also emphasized that the Paris agreement should comprehensively recognize and address the adverse social and economic impact of response measures in developing countries, while the Paris outcome in general, must provide modalities to enhance, develop and implement meaningful actions to avoid and address the negative consequences of response measures,” according to the statement.

On mitigation, the LMDC “underscored the need for the provisions of the agreement to fully reflect differentiated responsibilities and distinct development stages of developed and developing countries, with developed countries taking the lead by undertaking ambitious, economy-wide, absolute emission reduction targets and providing finance and technology support to developing countries.” “Developing countries,” the statement read, would “enhance their efforts, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, enabled and supported by finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building from developed countries”.

The LMDC also said that the Paris agreement should “ensure the provision of adequate support by developed countries to developing countries in meeting their needs and costs of adaptation actions, and responding to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change”.

On finance, the LMDC reiterated that the developed countries, in accordance with their historical responsibilities, must provide additional, predictable and sustained climate finance, distinct from ODA (official development assistance), to developing countries for their enhanced climate actions both for the pre- and post-2020 period.

They also expressed concern on the financial burden being shifted to developing countries and the attempt “to expand the list of countries with obligations under the Convention to provide climate finance and at the same time shrink the list of countries eligible for receiving climate finance”. The LMDC further called on the developed countries to provide a clear roadmap for the fulfillment of USD 100 billion per year by 2020 (an agreed commitment).

The LMDC were of the strong view that “ambition and progression are reflected in all the elements and not just mitigation”. “Ambition and progression are also to be seen in context of specific national circumstances and development imperatives of developing countries as well as the level of financial, technological and capacity building support to be provided by developed countries,” the statement read.

The LMDC also expressed strong reservation on any obligatory review mechanism for increasing individual efforts of developing countries. “Any aggregate stocktaking or review of implementation must be for both action and support, taking into account differentiated commitments of developed and developing countries,” they said.

On the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the LMDC reiterated their view that these have to be “comprehensive and cover all elements in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention”. “It is up to each country to define the timeframe of its INDCs given the nationally determined nature of the INDCs,” they said.

On the ADP Workstream 2 (pre-2020 ambition), the LMDC stressed that the pre-2020 ambition gap shall be primarily addressed through the acceleration of implementation of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the outcome of the Bali Action Plan. They reiterated their concern with the inadequacy of developed countries’ current commitments on emission reductions and provision of financial and technological support.

They said that as “developing countries facing multiple challenges in terms of social and economic development and poverty eradication, the LMDC are undertaking ambitious actions domestically on climate change”.

The LMDC also expressed their continued willingness to participate in the negotiations in a “constructive, consensus-building and Party-driven manner to reach an ambitious, comprehensive, equitable and balanced Paris outcome”.

The LMDC welcomed Bolivia’s initiative to convene the “World People’s Conference on Climate Change and Defense of Life” to be held in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia, on 10-12 October 2015, aimed at strengthening the efforts of the peoples of the world to build a culture of life and defense of Mother Earth.

The LMDC also expressed deep gratitude to the Government of India for hosting the meeting of LMDC climate change negotiators in New Delhi, India.+