Service on Climate Change (Dec08/03)
The meeting adopted several decisions. However, it failed to reach agreement on a few key issues. Most significantly, negotiations broke down over new funding sources for climate-related adaptation activities in developing countries.
Many developing countries expressed their very deep disappointment that agreement could not be reached on an issue of crucial importance to them, as there is an urgent need for them to undertake adaptation activities as serious the impacts of climate change are already being felt.
The President of the Conference, Polish Environment Minister Mr Maciej Nowicki, declared the meeting closed at 3 am in the morning of Saturday 13 December.
The closing of the meeting had been delayed because of wrangling over a number of issues. The most difficult negotiation was over the issue of whether to enable the scaling up of funding for adaptation by agreeing to put a levy on the revenues from two Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, Joint Implementation (JI) and Emissions Trading (ET).
Currently, only one of the three Protocol mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism, is used to provide revenue for the Adaptation Fund that operates under the Kyoto Protocol. A 2% levy is taken from the funds receivable by the developing country partners from companies in developed countries that use the CDM to "offset" their carbon emissions.
Many developed-country parties would not agree with the developing countries' demands that the Adaptation Fund also obtain revenues through the JI and ET.
The breakdown of the talks on this issue sparked statements expressing bitterness and frustration from many delegations. "I must say this is one of the saddest moments I have witnessed in all these years," said Indian delegate Prodipto Ghosh. "In the face of the unbearable human tragedy that we in the developing countries see unfolding every day this is nothing but callousness." He criticized the "refusal of some parties to experience a minuscule loss of profits from trading in carbon" at a time when climate change was stripping the poor of their homes, hearts and their meagre loaves of bread."
final day in
The developing countries fought for the Adaptation Fund to be given this legal status. They faced opposition from several developed country Parties. Eventually, the parties agreed to the legal status, to be reviewed in two years, thus opening the way to a smoother functioning of the Adaptation Fund, in particular to direct access to the funds.
The decision adopted on this issue (report on Adaptation Fund Board) says in its paragraph 11 that the Adaptation Fund Board "be conferred such legal capacity as necessary for the discharge of its functions with regard to direct access by eligible Parties and implementing and executing entities... in particular legal capacity to enter into contractual agreements and to receive project, activity and programme proposals directly and to process them..."
The decision also says that the provisions in paragraph 11 will be reviewed in two years as part of the review envisaged in an earlier decision of the Adaptation Fund, "taking into account the feasibility study commissioned by the Adaptation Fund Board, with a view to taking a decision as may be appropriate".
sticking point on the final day in
above contentious issues were discussed in a small Ministerial-level
meeting on the last day (12 December) at
By the time the COP and CMP plenaries began, the issue of the legal capacity of the Adaptation Fund and the eligibility of CCS projects under the CDM had been resolved. The small group was still meeting on the issue of scaling up funding for adaptation though joint implementation and emissions trading which is one issue under the agenda item "Second review of the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to its Article 9".
During the plenary, word had filtered through that the small negotiating group had failed to reach agreement on this issue and that there would be no substantive decision on the Article 9 review.
Another issue that was the subject of strong statements from developing countries in the COP was on the Summary by the Chair of the informal Ministerial round table on a shared vision for long-term cooperative action.
During the High-Level Ministerial segment of the COP, a round table on the issue of "shared vision" was held, chaired by the President of the COP, the Polish Minister, Maciej Nowicki. The issue of shared vision is a contentious issue under negotiation in the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), the process launched by the Bali Action Plan at the last COP in Bali in December 2008 and which is mandated to reach an "agreed outcome" by parties at COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009.
To the surprise of many delegates and observers, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boer then took the floor to say that a revision of the Chair's summary had already been prepared. He said that in paragraph 4 of the Chair's Summary, "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" would be added in. And in paragraph 13, he said that the words "agreed outcome that can be ratified" would be used instead.
Chair then suggested that the phrase "that can be ratified by all"
should be deleted from the Chair's summary. However,
During the plenary of the CMP, the Chair went through the agenda items and adopted the decisions in their numerical order. The issue of scaling up funding for adaptation through joint implementation and emissions trading was being discussed under the "Second review of the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to its Article 9". This was the only issue that could not be agreed upon under the Article 9 review.
All the other substantive issues under the Article 9 review of the Kyoto Protocol had already been agreed upon in the small negotiating group -- relevant procedural elements for inscribing commitments for Annex I Parties in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol; privileges and immunities for individuals serving on constituted bodies established under the Kyoto Protocol; the scope, effectiveness and functioning of the flexibility mechanisms, including ways and means to enhance an equitable regional distribution of clean development mechanism projects; and the minimization of adverse effects, including the adverse effects of climate change, effects on international trade, and social, environmental and economic impacts on other Parties, especially developing country Parties and in particular those identified in Article 4, paragraphs 8 and 9, of the Convention, taking into account Article 3 of the Convention.
The Article 9 review of the Kyoto Protocol has been controversial as the interpretation of the scope of the mandate has been the subject of debate and dispute. While many developing countries are of the view that the review is about implementation of the Protocol, several developed countries take the position that the review can lead to amendments to the Protocol.
Many developing countries believe the developed countries are attempting to make use of the review to pave the way to expand the obligations of developing countries, including taking on emissions reduction targets -- possibly through an amendment of the Kyoto Protocol, which currently only sets targets for developed (Annex I) countries.
developing countries wanted the Article 9 review completed in
the final plenary of the CMP, the Chair skipped over the agenda item
on the second review of the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to its Article 9.
When questioned by
[It is the normal procedure for the Chair or Co-Chair of a contact group to report on the progress or outcome of the work of a contact group. In this case however, the President of the COP/CMP did the reporting].
The CMP Chair, Mr Maciej Nowicki, then clarified that the contact group had made substantial progress but could not conclude, and that there was no result from its work. He went on to say that the second review of the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to its Article 9 has been completed. The Chair then used the gavel and said "It is so decided".
[Several delegates involved in the Ministerial small group negotiations reported that there was consensus in the negotiating group that the Article 9 review was completed, even though there was no substantive outcome, and that this would be reflected in the report of the meeting.]
Rule 16 of the Draft Rules of Procedure of the COP and its Subsidiary Bodies stipulates that "any item of the agenda of an ordinary session, consideration of which has not been completed at the session, shall be included automatically in the agenda of the next ordinary session, unless otherwise decided by the COP". +