Bonn Climate Change Conference : Day 5 updates

The focus of the day was the NAMA workshop. This is a second set of countries who have presented on their actions after the first round in Bangkok early this year. The countries in line were Vietnam, Chile, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kenya, AOSIS, Norway, and USA as the main presenters. The parties have explained the plans that they are undertaking in their domestic capacities and what they would like to have as form of support. While the list of presenters is self explanatory that they are the countries from the LDCs and the AOSIS, the discussions were mainly focused around the issues of capacity building, support and other different mechanisms for NAMA. The developed country parties who presented during the sessions were particularly emphasising on the need for transparency on the assessment of the BAU for each country, and requested information on costs, efficiency aspect of the NAMA, and also the need to support diversity of the NAMA. What none of the countries choose to keep quite is on the fact that in the name of transparency they are creating a structure which in itself might be so bulky that it would not deliver, thereby nullifying the effect of the cooperative action.

The presentations were a reflection of the fact which the G77 Chair has reflected in the press release today. The developing countries are not shying away from their responsibilities rather than they are taking up substantial actions. It was very unfortunate to see that the USA which was one of the proponents of transparency, did not share any information regarding their own actions, and were categorical on the developing country actions and their measurement. These types of approach not only expose the parties of double standards but also they result in suspicion among the other side of the parties. On the whole the workshop did create and raise many issues that can be carried forward for further deliberations at the negotiation table.

On the informal meetings of LCA , there were different spin off groups. And they were all closed. Interestingly the issue of legal form came up and this was a special spin off group chaired by the Mexican delegation. At the request of the civil societies, the Mexican delegation did confirmed the fact that they will consider to open the informal meeting to the observers, but at the time of the meeting, it was apparently opposed by a number of parties who did not take the floor but choose to convey their uneasiness to discuss in presence of the observers.

On the issue of shared vision, there was a clear division between the parties who wanted to focus on the global goal and peaking year, and on the issues like equity, sustainable development, historical emissions, compliance, migrants, BAP, right of mother earth, rights of survival, response measures, warfare,  indigenous peoples, human rights. Since there was no convergence, the chair noted that the report will be presented at the plenary. It seemed that the umbrella group with the leadership from the USA was keen to have the basis of the discussion as the Cancun Agreement. This would lead to disregarding the BAP and its elements. Almost all of the G77 parties emphasised quite rightly the need for the BAP to be the reference point. This was not been agreed by the other group of parties. Even the EU acknowledged the need to work under the overall paradigm of the BAP. This kind of approach by the umbrella group explicates the double character of these parties.

In the SBI the parties today agreed on the agenda and got back to the contact group discussions. The important development being the fact that all group of parties have opined for the need of one additional meeting of the AWGs. But the EU proposed that there is not enough of progress in the sessions until now, and we should use the time efficiently rather than going to additional meeting. The rest of the agenda items on SBI has been through smoothly with the chair observing that they will prepare report.

The finance informal group under the LCA today discussed about the composition of the standing committee. There were lots of divergent views being observed by the parties on the ideal composition of the standing committee. The G77 and China observed that there is need for working on details of functions of standing committee. Need to ensure that financial institutions work in accordance with guidelines of the COP. Ensuring balanced funding for adaptation, and other windows are important. Mobilisation of financial resources is a mandate from COP, while the group is quite aware of initiatives outside of the COP and there is need to take informed decision about how to deal with them.

The main line of argument for the Annex 1 countries has been that standing committee needs to have advisory role, not operational. It needs to add value to what is going on as climate finance; should be light and cost-effective; ensuring periodic overview of climate finance; look at balance in climate finance; look at progress in mobilising climate finance; work should be evidence-based, based on analysis; standing committee should not play role in designing or operation of MRV, this belongs to COP; should have outside experts; how to fit in architecture? The Standing Committee depends on function and composition, but ensures we do not have duplication with work of Fund and SBI.

Overall, the countries are moving at snails pace. Given the fact that many of the elements of the Cancun Agreements need to be agreed upon by Durban, it seems that the time is running out for the parties to arrive at a stage when there can be decisions on the various elements as agreed earlier. There is a huge political value attached to the Durban COP. And the developing countries cannot afford to let the momentum go down the drain. First, this is the Cop of the African Continent. The African group has iterated that in very crisp and straightforward manner. Secondly, if the Kyoto Protocol second commitment issues are not resolved by the Durban, then we might not get any agreement on the LCA, which will mean that we are going to be in a complete deadlock. While it is true that the elements like CDM and JI would continue, but there is little left in the robust mechanism of rules. The parties need to think through and have to create political momentum across this. Time is running out and the goal is getting harder.