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Who got the best of the revised text?

By February 12, 2015 No Comments

A new revised text was released late last night and while it doesn’t seem too different, it is interesting to see some of the minor changes taking place in this revision. While we were promised both an attributed text and a “redundancy” text to make things run smoother, this is neither of those. In fact, its actually longer. 22 lines longer. And while 22 lines in 88 pages doesn’t mean too much, these particular revisions seem to have a certain weight toward one side of the negotiations… Have a look yourself and see what you think. Here are the new additions to the “revised texts”.

 

Mitigation:

 

Option 6: In accordance with Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Convention, developed country Parties shall commit to undertake Absolute Emission Reduction Targets (AERTs) during the period 2021–2030 in accordance with a global emission budget including their historical responsibility, through quantifiable, economy-wide mitigation targets, covering all sectors and all greenhouse gases, implemented domestically, which can be aggregated and which are comparable, measurable, reportable and verifiable, with the type, scope, scale and coverage more ambitious than those undertaken under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol during the pre-2020 period, and communicated and implemented without any conditions];

 

To me, this sounds great. Looking back through my own attributed notes, I find this kind of language coming from Bolivia, and Ethiopia discussed it yesterday in the afternoon’s discussions. 

 
 

16.4 b.bis – change “Take into account alternative policy approaches” to “In their actions Parties should take into account alternative policy approaches”

 

This seems to indicate something of an implementation focus. Again a key issue of developing countries that needs to be acted on. 

 

16 quarter. [Parties agree to account for their efforts to reduce or limit GHG emissions in line with agreed accounting framework/principles, as further elaborated by the governing body, in a manner that:
16 quarter.1 Promotes understanding and environmental integrity of efforts to reduce or limit GHG emissions;
16 quarter.2 Is consistent with IPCC principles of transparency, accuracy, consistency, completeness and comparability;
16 quarter.3 Appropriately accommodates Parties’ national circumstances and capabilities.]
16 quinquies. [All Parties agree to collectively revisit, and as appropriate, individually update their national schedules at periodic intervals, in accordance with modalities to be agreed by the governing body in a manner that:
16 quinquies.1 Is nationally determined;
16 quinquies.2 Facilitates clarity, transparency and understanding;
16 quinquies.3 Continues a progression beyond the previous undertakings of the Party.]

 

This seems fairly uncontroversial, also fairly universal

 
 

18 ter. [National schedules are:

18ter.1 To be communicated by each Party upon [accepting/ratifying] this agreement, in a format to be decided by the governing  

18 ter.2 To have effect from 1 January 2020;
18 ter.3 To be maintained and current at all times that the Party is a Party to this agreement, in accordance with paragraph 24 novies (option 2) and guidance developed by the governing body;
18 ter.4 Only to be adjusted in accordance with guidance developed by the governing body.]
Again, fairly uncontroversial

 

24 quinquies. [The COP shall strengthen existing arrangements by establishing a cooperative mechanism under the Convention to address the effective implementation and articulation of the means of implementation under different approaches to promote sustainable development pathways that include mitigation and adaptation to climate change and its impacts, including response measures, by identifying and measuring impacts of and gaps in implementation, and to recommend specific actions to avoid and minimize negative consequences, in particular in terms of support to developing country Parties as well as development and implementation of specific tools to address identified gaps.

 

This however includes a number of conceptual links that seem much more closely aligned with the position of the Like Minded Developing Countries. The equal emphasis of mitigation and adaptation, means of implementation focus, response measures and sustainable development pathways – while all part and parcel of the UNFCCC, all collectively are critical for LMDC countries in particular.

 

Adaptation:

 

[31 bis. The Adaptation Committee shall be the lead body on adaptation under this Protocol.
The Adaptation Committee shall identify the implications of the aggregate mitigation effort on projected regional impacts in key sectors, based on the best available science, with the aim of assisting particularly vulnerable developing countries with:
a. National adaptation planning;
b. Identification of gaps in capacities and knowledge in the light of projected impacts; and
c. Development of strategies to address projected impact.
The Adaptation Committee shall report annually to the governing body on priority areas of concern for regions

 

 Positive sign to see this added to the text to further support adaptation committee. This text also includes a link between adaptation and mitigation.

 

33.3 Option II:  Article X – Loss and damage – this was changed to –  Option II: (proposed as a separate chapter on loss and damage)

 

This line introduces the procedures for the “International mechanism on loss and damage”. This separation of loss and damage has been a central message of AOSIS and LDCs this week, and I am guessing will be welcomed by both groupings.

Finance:

[38 bis. New institutional arrangements or strengthened institutional arrangements may be needed to serve this agreement.]
GCF, the main institution under the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, will aim for a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation over time, which will also aim for a floor of 50 percent of the adaptation allocation for particularly vulnerable countries, including LDCs and SIDS.

 

While this seems to reflect the challenge that will and currently does face many developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS, this 50-50 balance between mitigation and adaptation over time would definitely not sit so well with some of the big GCF funders seeking to make sure its efforts ensure greater mitigation efforts around the world.

 

Capacity Building:

Begins with: 59. new a. The principles and provisions of the Convention;

 
 

Option 4: Developed country Parties should provide support to developing countries for the implementation of capacity-building initiatives.]

 

This is an interesting one. While the principles of the Convention are critical to all…over the past few years, they have certainly become more critical to some than others. This inclusion will therefore be beneficial for those who have staunchly defended the convention, but may scare others seeking to reshape certain aspects of the convention’s foundations.  

Time Frames and Processes

 

72 option B: developed country Parties that only communicate their commitments for 2030 shall communicate no later than 20xx their commitments for 2025 / plan, policies and measures on the implementation of their commitments from 2026 to 2030;

 

Another revision that shines the light on developed countries.
As such, it seems in these revisions, a number of the LMDC positions have been added to the texts. This could very well be a legitimate mistake that had to be “revised”, but it does make me wonder what was the genesis of these revisions…

 

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