The fears of the parties about getting further rounds of stalled process in the negotiation got somehow wiped out with the two working groups moving ahead on their usual discussion and adoption of the Agenda. Both the AWG LCA and the AWG KP went off smoothly with their discussion, clearly showing that the technical modalities of the SBI and SBSTA could be resolved provided there is urgent political investment being made. While the SBI discussions did not move beyond the discussions related to the agenda, the other groups got back into action.
During the plenary of the AWG KP the most constructive of the proposal was put across by the AOSIS, where they identified a five step approach to arrive at a substantial outcome at Durban. This includes the identification of the Party groups who are in agreement with the Second Commitment period, and then discussing with the groups the different conditionalities being attached to the agreement. Then to progress on with the technical issues to fulfill the requirements of the KP Second Commitment period, and finally discussing and fine-tuning the legal issues to ensure that there is no gap between the two commitment periods. Most of the developing country groups, have expressed the need to develop mechanism so that there is no gap.
Has iterated that they will consider an agreement towards the second commitment period provided that the big emitters from the developing countries do come forward for undertaking reduction actions. Under no condition, the EU will move alone without having on board the reductions from the developing countries.
Need a new international climate regime and all countries should work towards it. Kyoto covers only 27 pc of the emissions so it will not be effective enough to reduce the emissions. SO they do not agree for a second commitment period. This can be done through the implementation of the Cancun Agreement. Incidentally no mention to the elements of the BAP as part of the new climate regime they were referring to.
No gap for KP. For a second commitment period, two elements are important, the numbers from the developing countries, and the political commitment of the parties agree to a second commitment period. For this there has to be a work programme developed by the parties together in Bonn. The Africa group wanted a strategy to be adopted for meeting the goals of achieving the second commitment period.
They will be holding a consultation on different parties’ expectations from Durban COP. They have requested the Chairs and co-chairs of all the groups and facilitators to be present at the consultation.
The parties adopted the agenda without much debate on the content of the agenda items. However, there was a heated discussion on the issue of presence of observers in the room during the contact group and the informal group discussions. The LCA chair observed that the observers could be present in all the informal consultations. This was opposed by the parties like PNG, saying that this amounts to changing of the rules in the process. There were certain amount of back and forth discussion on this, and finally it was decided that the parties would actually allow the observers to be present in the first meeting, i.e. the contact group, and then from the subsequent meetings, the parties would decide at the end of each meeting to allow the presence of observers in the next meeting.
Apparently the parties were locked themselves in over the agenda on two counts. First, the SBI Agenda has certain elements based on the Cancun outcome for which the guidelines and modalities have not been developed yet. These modalities and guidelines are to be developed by the LCA discussions. So without having the modalities put in place the parties cannot come to conclusion on any of these agenda items. Secondly, on the National Communications, which also potentially refers to the reporting of actions as part of the ICA, the discussions were stalled because the ICA modalities are yet to be discussed under the LCA. SO for all these counts the process is stalled.
The core issue over here is that the developed countries have to come forth with their ambition on commiting to the second commitment period. It is very evident that even if the EU has declared that they will provide conditional support to the second commitment period, the Russia is going to oppose it. The question then is to decide on the political situation which might arise where, parties have had the second commitment period, without the US, Japan, Russia, Canada, and Australia. And on the other hand you have the developing countries have ceded something, for example it might range to stricter review guidelines, but with much effect on the reduction targets from the developed countries. This then becomes a tricky situation. This is time when the civil societies have to think through and come up with options for a fair give and take situation under the present political context.
There are more than one dimensions of the current situation. First, the Annex I is successful in putting the fight contained within the developing countries and thereby killing the time. In this case the fight over the agenda was partly subscribe within the agenda among the developing countries between the AOSIS and the Arab countries. While the arrangements of the agenda under the broad one with sub items attached to the main agenda will mean, the parties can keep adding relevant sub agenda for discussion in future. This means that the Response measure and loss and damage discussion does not get separated, thereby leading to same kind of rhetoric. Secondly, it sets the ground for the developed country parties especially US to benchmark their ambition to the Cancun Agreements. As discussed in Bangkok, the cancun agreements are the floor of ambitions and the parties should be targeting the Bali Action Plan elements to be the negotiating elements, and nothing less than that.
To sum up the real problem is the political will. US does not have anything to offer, the EU is still locked in with their internal political dynamics, and recession problem, so there is no real progress in the discussions as of now. Thus it is necessary to start discussing on the contentns and we must be categorical in that.