By Senashia Ekanayake
Things to look forward to:
-Climate Summit that takes place in September in New York, hosted by the United Nation’s Secretary General
-For South Asians, the SAARC Summit to be held this year for which there is hope on expecting climate change in the agenda
-The next session of the ADP that resumes October 20, 2014 in Bonn, Germany
-To take forward the momentum created in Bonn all the way to Lima, in December
The post comes a little late, approximately four days after the end of the UNFCCC sessions held in Germany from June 04-15, 2014. Over the next few paragraphs I will try to summarise a few of the important decisions and statements that took place in Germany and also as to why we should all be excited in the months to come, with regard to the 2015 Agreement. More detailed articles that were used as reference are available here.
October looks hopeful. Countries have sensed the urgency and have agreed to further elaborate on the 2015 Agreement and what it would comprise. During the closing plenary of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP), China on behalf of the Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) requested the Co-chairs to circulate a summary of the June intersessions by mid-July. The following month looks even more hopeful as an informal text on the Paris Agreement is also to be issued.
For South Asians, the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation currently chaired by Nepal, would host a Summit after a lapse of four years. CANSA met the Secretary General this May and it was noted that a Declaration would be drafted in order to strengthen ties within the region with environment and climate change in its agenda. Further, the Delegation attending COP in Lima is considering the option of organising a side-event and CANSA in turn intends organise a side-event during the SAARC Summit with expectations on a regional climate change agenda later this year.
Progress on INDCs
A discussion that took off at COP 19 in Warsaw, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs refer to the submissions made by countries to indicate if country commitments are in line with the global 2*C ambition and are a primary component to the negotiations that build up towards Paris 2015.
Making its statement on the opening day of the sessions was the Umbrella Group that restated its commitment towards finalising the 2015 Agreement and the goal of 2*c. The Group further urged others to take on commitments as well, in order to meet the pointers of the Agreement.
The June intersessions in particular, pointed out that Contributions should be communicated by the first quarter of 2015 in order to prepare a draft decision.
Another “hot” topic among discussion whilst the countries read their statements of greener progress and changes made. While there was a general consensus on moving towards 100% renewable energy power generation and a slow phase out from fossil fuel based electrification, the reality of the situation within governments is still doubtful. Perhaps this could be a matter of concern that would be highlighted in the UN Climate Summit to be held in September along with ending subsidies for coal financing.
The Summit also intends to urge countries and Heads of States to put forward their commitments and contributions by the end of March, in order to create constructive debate and dialogue, before Paris.
Another event that took place while in Bonn was the Twitterstorm created by CSOs in order to #EndCoalFinance The storm was stirred by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that met governments to discuss financing for coal and fossil fuels. The “storm” accompanied by the hashtag #EndCoalFinance was a plea for governments, particularly Germany, France, Japan, Korea and Finland to put a top towards financing coal-based power generation.
Overall, CANSA remains positive on the note in which the June intersessions ended and anticipate the momentum to continue to October, Lima and Paris in 2015.
[Photo Credits: IISD]
Senashia Ekanayake is a writer, an advocate of Arts, Education and climate change activist. She read for her degree in English, dabbled in the corporate world and is now involved with CANSA Communications.