By Vositha Wijeynayake
Negotiations continue at the UNFCCC, as the ADP Moves to its 2nd Day The negotiations of the ADP continued on Day Two with the Workshop on domestic preparations for intended nationally determined contributions. Speaking at the plenary, EU’s presentation focused very much on its own preparations and how it is trying to share lessons learnt while China made a very political presentation emphasising the need to focus on all elements on not “mere” mitigation in line with CBDR.
China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia emphasised the need for Technology transfer and other support, while USA continued on its commitment to be “leader” in the process.
EU’s presentation which primarily focused on process, quoted the Proposal from the European Commission, on January 22, 2014 with key elements of -40% GHG emission reduction target (with a statement that additional effort can be made if UNFCCC makes progress) and a target of at least 27% Renewable Energy binding at EU level but without targets for individual states.
China focused its presentation on the elements, which the developed and developing countries need to include with a comparison based on the category under which the country would fall. It highlighted, that developing countries can pledge actions but developed countries must make commitments, sectorial structure of global supply chains, sources of income (which include investment, consumption and net exports), the need for determining transfer speed of technology. The speaker further added that the slow transfer of climate friendly technologies would lock developing countries in high carbon economies. On national goals, China is for a 40-45% reduction of CO2 intensity below 2 degrees Celsius.
China further highlighted the need for the Durban Platform to be under the Convention and whatever elaborations that be made needs to be grounded on the principles of the Convention i.e. CBDR, equity etc.
CBDR needs to be highlighted for the two countries in mitigation: energy mix to make carbon intensive, and technology is an important drivier to determine the energy change. The country also highlighted the need to focus on adaptation and technology transfer.
“In China, low carbon development has been taken as a national strategy to take china to the future. There is a national goal for carbon intensity, carbon sinks, and non fossil fuel,” he added.
Thailand’s presentation highlighted the need for capacity building.
Mexico based its presentation on the climate law that was introduced in the country in 2012, and explained that it has short, mid and long term targets and plans as part of climate law 30% GHG emissions reduction from BAU by 2030, 35% of electricity from clean energy in 2024. The country promised to work hard to be able to put forward a relevant contribution in Lima and in 2015.
Saudi Arabia made a clear effort to point out that renewable energy could only ever be “complementary” to conventional fossil fuels. Mitigation is seen as a co-benefit of adaptation and the country focuses a lot of effort on CCS and climate change. The country also pointed out that they are involved in developing technology on climate change and are focusing on raising resilience.
Costa Rica presented its many ways to create awareness among its citizens on climate change. And also brought forth the practice of polluter pays principle, which is being practiced in the country, through which the environmental services are funded. The country aims are reading 97% renewable by and to increase the forest cover to 51%.
The United States stated that they are working on addressing pre-2020 emissions and added that the country has begun working on post-2020 as well.
“We are going to provide upfront emissions standards to help with transparency and understanding,” said the negotiator. In conclusion he added, “we are happy to build on the lessons we have learnt.”
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates stated that actions were taken in the context of sustainable development, and highlighted that the nuclear programme is of importance in that process. The issue of lack of water was also brought forth.
“We have a very ambitious set of standards for energy efficiency, we have a program for green building, a compliance efficiency standard, have ambitious actions on appliances,” he said.
He continued, “We are investing in clean transport solutions, light rail system in Dubai, aviation sector, we have the most efficient planes, researching on alternative fuels, research on bio fuels.”
Least Developed Countries
The Chair for the Least Developed Countries, Nepal pointed out that though the country bloc is the least contributing to emissions they are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.
For the progress of the ADP, he added , “The ADP will need to develop on what common contributions are needed. It is also needed to address aggregated contributions.”
He expressed his commitment to making progress in the negotiations, “We remain committed to strengthen the multi lateral rule based mechanism. To achieve this we need urgent action from all parties, from developed countries though means of implementation.”
The discussions continued through-out the day with expert meetings and closed group meetings which were aimed at developing the expected outcomes on this session.
[Photo credits IISD]
Vositha Wijenayake is the Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator of CANSA and, Regional Facilitator for Asia for the Southern Voices Programme. She is a lawyer by profession and has an LLM from University College London. She specialises in International Environmental Law and Human Rights Law. She has been tracking the UNFCCC negotiations since 2009 with a legal and gender focus.