Thursday, December 01, 2005

Montreal Talks: Article 3.9 Moves into High Gear

Excitement over the adoption of the Marrakech Accords yesterday
morning spilled over into the session on Article 3.9. The Group of 77
and China as well as the EU made constructive contributions to the
process by expressing their readiness for formal discussions. Some
individual Parties, notably AOSIS, Norway, South Africa and
Switzerland, also brought concrete ideas and creativity to the table.

Developing the Second Commitment Period
This is all good, even if Article 3.9 is only one of several building
blocks of a post-2012 package. All countries have a responsibility to
jointly commit to take action beyond 2012. This joint commitment is
what Montreal must be remembered for. Annex 1 countries need to do
their fair share and set new binding targets that sharply reduce
carbon pollution. Rapidly industrialising developing countries can
pledge to increase the energy efficiency of their fast-growing
industries, such as the power sector, and further implement policies
that promote sustainable development. Least developed countries,
often most impacted by climate change, will continue to require
assistance to prepare and implement adaptation strategies.
Yesterday the Kyoto Protocol came into full force with the adoption
of the Marrakech Accords and the Annex B Parties are working, even if
imperfectly, to meet their obligations.
Developing countries have a vested interest in the rapid forward
movement of the Protocol as they will suffer most from failing to
meet the goal of Article 2, preventing dangerous climate change. The
fact is that action by all major emitters is needed including those
in the developing world.
The question is therefore what scale of action, under what
institutional umbrella and with what level of obligation is the
framework for future action to be negotiated? Under Article 10, all
Parties to the Protocol have a large array of commitments in relation
to greenhouse gases. These need to be developed into much more
concrete actions to move towards implementation of Article 2.
In terms of an institutional umbrella, a review of all aspects of the
Protocol is required at COP/MOP2 in 2006 under Article 9.2.
Preparations for this review are needed in the coming year and should
be part of the agreements here in Montreal. So what should be started
here under the Kyoto Protocol?
Parties should state clearly there will be post-2012 action that:
• reduces the health, environmental, economic and security
risks posed by climate change;
• advances the goals of sustainable development and poverty
• adds to the flexibility mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol to
minimise costs;
• leads to the rapid introduction of new low-carbon and
renewable energy technologies; and
• achieves significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2017.
The process agreed in Montreal, should be conducted "as a matter of
urgency" with a fully constituted Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group
having at least two sessions per year and reporting directly to the
COP/MOP, as proposed by G77/China. This process, however, should
conclude no later than COP/MOP4 at the end of 2008, and take into
account the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report.
Over this period the content of the process must include the
following elements:
• Review of Annex B commitments with deeper emissions
reductions for these Parties for the 2013-2017 period;
• Development of new flexible mechanisms linked to emissions
trading, such as sectoral actions with no-regrets targets, and
sustainable development policies and measures, along with significant
improvements of the Clean Development Mechanism;
• Creation of a larger-scale funding mechanism for adaptation
costs linked to the operation of all the flexible mechanisms; and
• A review under Article 9.2 to establish clear criteria and a
rule-based approach to deciding at what point Parties take on
different kinds of action ranging from voluntary to binding.
For 2006, the Kyoto process agreed in Montreal needs to have
submissions from Parties on the content of these issues. These need
to be analysed and debated, so that discussion at COP/MOP2 over
progress on the Article 3.9 review and the initiation of the Article
9.2 review proceeds effectively. Two sessions are needed for this to
occur properly and to reflect the urgency.

Concerns have been raised that such a process would push developing
countries into binding emissions caps and that it leaves the US out.
ECO believes that this process would do neither and we have heard no
Party demanding caps for developing countries. This process also
allows the US to rejoin the discussions. By supporting a broader
process now and establishing good ground rules and a solid process,
developing countries will in effect seize the initiative. This will
reverse a long period in which strategies have been dominated by
defensive tactics rather than a larger proactive strategy.


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