4 Dec : 14th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and 4th Meeting of the Parties under the Kyoto Protocol is in progress at Poznan, Poland. The main outcomes expected are identification of the possible elements of a shared vision for a long-term and mid-term goal for stabilization of GHG emissions.
The meeting started on 1st of this month and will continue till 12th December 2008. Two Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention e.g. the Subsidiary Body for Scientific & Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body of Implementation (SBI) will also meet during this period in Poznan and will have their 29th sessions. Two temporary Bodies e.g., the Ad-hoc Working Group (of the Convention) on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), and the Ad-hoc Working Group (of Kyoto Protocol) on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties (AWG-KP) set up for specific purposes will also have their 4th session and 6th session respectively.
An inter Ministerial Delegation from India consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Planning Commission and experts drawn from various Governmental and other institutions are attending this Conference.
Bali Action Plan mandates the Parties to negotiate and secure full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012. The negotiations are aimed at identifying the specific elements of a shared vision for long term cooperative action amongst the Parties and enhancing the actions of the Parties for mitigation of climate change, adaptation to climate change, and transfer of technology and provision of financial resources to support actions for mitigation and adaptation. Specific areas e.g. mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and provision of finance where enhanced actions are expected from the Parties are known as four pillars of Bali Action Plan. Besides, the Parties have to agree on the quantified emission reduction targets for the industrialised countries (known as Annex I Parties) under the Kyoto Protocol in the 2nd commitment period commencing from 2013. The Action Plan also expects the Parties to reach an agreed outcome of their negotiations at the next Conference of Parties that will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009.
The negotiations of the Ad Hoc Working Groups’ meetings of official level comes to an end today which prepared smooth ground for the meetings of the CoP 14. The meetings at Poznan are the fourth in series since the Bali Conference. After the CoP 13 at Bali, the two Bodies (AWG-KP and AWG-LCA) of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol met earlier at Bangkok (March-April 2008), Bonn (June 2008), and Accra (August 2008). These meetings were held in pursuance of the objectives of the Bali Action Plan and the target date set for the conclusion of an agreed outcome in 2009.
The meetings at Poznan are intended to advance the work of the Parties initiated at Bali and carried forward at Bangkok, Bonn and Accra. At Poznan, the Parties will make a transition from the brainstorming to negotiating mode of discussions. The main outcomes expected are identification of the possible elements of a shared vision for a long-term and mid-term goal for stabilization of GHG emissions, and the measures necessary for (i) emission reductions by the Annex I Parties, (ii) evolving the financial architecture of a Convention Fund, (iii) strengthening of adaptation measures, and (iv) facilitating the transfer of climate friendly technologies.
The negotiations for enhanced national/international action on mitigation of climate change have to deal with the emissions of Annex I countries that have been steadily increasing since 2000, contrary to the provisions of the Convention. Attainment of the ultimate objective of the Convention will be impossible unless the rising trends in the Annex I country emissions which are already very high compared with the rest of the world are speedily reversed. The developed countries must sharply reduce their emissions so as to release atmospheric space for the development of poorer countries, in a manner that is consistent with achievement of stabilization of the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Efforts are on to achieve early agreement on the medium targets for emission reductions by the Annex I countries as projected by Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change.
It is also critical that the “nationally determined” commitments or actions of the Annex I Parties reflect comparable efforts among all developed country Parties. Annex I Parties should, therefore, adopt quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives, regardless of whether a Party chooses to describe this as a “commitment” or an “action”.
Enhancing the implementation of adaptation is a priority for India, given India’s high vulnerability to climate change and the fact that climate change impacts can pose a significant risk to economic and social development and poverty alleviation efforts. Recognizing that there is a diversity of views and needs, a pragmatic approach might be to focus on a set of core principles that would guide the approach for enhancing the implementation of adaptation. These principles could cover, inter alia, the generation of resources, the delivery of resources and the institutional arrangements required for this purpose. These principles may be given a more precise operational form through the ongoing deliberations, and a new mechanism for adaptation that captures these principles may be created through the negotiations under the BAP.
India’s position on technology transfer, as formalized in the submission to the UNFCCC, provides for the creation of a mechanism to address all aspects of cooperation on technology research, development, diffusion, and transfer in keeping with the relevant provisions of the Convention and decisions of the Conference of Parties (Convention) and Meetings of Parties (Kyoto Protocol). It calls for a strategic support for transfer of technology that can accelerate carbon mitigation in developing countries; compensation for all additional costs related to accelerated transfer of technology to promote mitigation and adaptation e.g. full costs of capacity building, research, and guarantees; incremental costs of commercialization, including costs associated with compulsory licensing, IPRs, creation of manufacturing facilities, and procurement of products and appliances; setting up a venture capital fund to provide equity investment for the manufacturer of these technologies; and monitoring and verification of financial and technological contributions.
The Convention lays down legally binding commitments on the part of developed country Parties to provide financing to developing country Parties to meet the costs of mitigation and adaptation. These provisions are at the core of the balance of commitments between developed and developing country Parties as reflected in Article 4.7 of the Convention. Annex I Parties are obliged to provide for new, additional, adequate and predictable financing to developing country Parties to implement the UNFCCC. The financial resources committed under the Convention cannot be new and additional if they merely divert any existing or likely resources, including ODA and other net foreign inflows, available for economic and social development and poverty alleviation to developing country Parties. The magnitude of funds needs is also enormous compared to what is available under the current financial mechanism of the Convention. The proposed funding sources can also not be voluntary because voluntary contributions are not predictable and cannot service legal commitments under the Convention. Further, agreed incremental costs of combating climate must be funded with resource transfers or grants. Hence, the negotiations would be aimed at creating a mechanism under the control of the Conference of Parties which should decide the defined contributions of the Annex I Parties for funding the mitigation and adaptation requirements of the developing country Parties.
The Parties will continue to meet in various sessions during 2009 to advance the discussions on the above and related subjects with a view to conclude the negotiations and reach an agreed outcome. At least, 4 meetings of the Parties including the next CoP are already scheduled at the official level in 2009 and more meetings may be scheduled depending on the pace of negotiations.
Conference of Parties to UNFCCC meets every year to review the progress of work of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol and take important decisions relating to future actions on climate change. Last meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP-13) was held at Bali in December 2007 where an Action Plan, known as ‘Bali Action Plan’, was adopted by the international community with a view to address urgent global concerns on Climate Change.