Report on Durban COP17 The 6 th installment in an ongoing series on multilateral agreements related to climate change Kyoto and Beyond www.isciences.com January 31, 2012
Introduction Kyoto and Beyond is a series of presentations on the evolving international climate treaty process which began with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Report on Durban COP17 is a summary of the process of negotiations that transpired during the Conference of the Parties 17 (COP17), Nov. 28-Dec. 11, 2011. <ul><li>Other presentations in this series include*: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kyoto and Beyond: the Evolution of Multilateral Agreements on Climate Change (2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report on Copenhagen COP15 (2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Road to Cancun COP16 (2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report on Cancun COP16 (2011) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Road to Durban COP17 (2011) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Available at http://www.isciences.com/spotlight/kyoto_and_beyond.html </li></ul></ul>
COP 17 Overview COP17 was held in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 28 to Dec. 11, 2011* with 194 participating nations. The unpredictable COP17 began with a lack of optimism due to high stakes – the future of the Kyoto Protocol , of the UN process, and of the Green Climate Fund . The lack of cooperation between countries created moods described as “sour.” “ Given the urgency, governments need to strive to find solutions here in Durban. Change and solution are always possible. ” – Jacob Zuma Click here to read Zuma’s opening address * S cheduled to conclude Dec. 9, a series of disputes caused a temporary suspension, making it the longest COP on record, lasting 36 hours beyond schedule. South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, opened the talks insisting COP17 must not fail. Image credit: http://www.cop17-cmp7/durban.com
COP 17 Overview Click here for achievements at COP16 Cancun . <ul><li>Determine future of the Kyoto Protocol (2 nd commitment period) and successor to the Protocol, a legally binding instrument post-2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss progress and implementation of mechanisms created at COP16, and their funding, particularly the Green Climate Fund </li></ul><ul><li>Review country commitments to: global financing, emissions reductions, development and transfer of green technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the financial/technological needs of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and methods for adapting to current effects of climate change; and discuss equitable access to sustainable development for Developed and Developing countries. </li></ul>Objectives
COP 17 Overview The disagreements caused a temporary suspension of the talks. It was not until the final hours, nearly a day and a half over schedule, that an agreement was reached. In Durban controversy emerged between developed and developing countries as groups discussed divisive topics. During early stages of the talks the EU proposed a road map for future agreement but disputes continued, causing Zuma and COP17 Chair, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to urge nations to find a balance by thinking beyond national interests. “ Developed countries… built their economies on dirty energy. So they’re chiefly responsible for the greenhouse gases … Yet the worst of the climate change impacts are being felt in least developed countries.” – Greenpeace Africa Controversy Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
COP 17 Overview In spite of the many controversies at COP17 an agreement was reached, and notably, a principle of common responsibility was formulated. <ul><li>The negotiations advanced: </li></ul><ul><li>implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, </li></ul><ul><li>the Bali Action Plan , and the Cancun Agreements , </li></ul><ul><li>a decision by Parties to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, and no later than 2015. </li></ul>Success on Common Responsibility <ul><ul><li>For the first time in the UNFCCC process it was acknowledged that both developed and developing countries must be responsible to mitigate the impacts of climate change . </li></ul></ul>"We've managed to bring all the major emitters into a road map leading to a global overarching legal agreement … For the first time we've seen major economies, normally cautious, commit to take the action demanded by science. “ – Chris Huhne, the UK's Energy and Climate Change Secretary Image credit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/12/durban-climate-deal-verdict
COP 17 Overview Image credits: Figueres, Zuma, Hedegaard and Mashabane: Wikimedia Commons; Natajan: http://smehorizon.sulekha.com/ Important Players Christiana Figueres , chair of the UNFCCC, strove for success throughout COP17. She believes the outcome is insufficient but is an important next step. “ There is no Plan B, just as there is no Planet B.” Jacob Zuma , President of South Africa, opened up the conference stating that nothing was impossible. He urged nations to put aside domestic interests and instilled urgency to take action. “ In the developing world and Africa, climate change is a matter of life and death.” Connie Hedegaard , European Union Climate Change Commissioner, facilitated a union between the EU and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to push for a legally binding agreement. “… it is not enough to save the process. We also need to save the climate.” Maite Nkoana-Mashabane , Elected Chair of COP17, entered into COP17 making promises for success. When disagreements stalled the talks, Mashabane called for a suspension and a redraft. “ The decisions that we have taken here are truly historical.” Jayanthi Natajan , India ’s Environment Minister, challenged rich countries to ratify a 2 nd commitment period and make promised payments to developing countries before negotiating a new deal. “ It is time that the developed countries stepped up to fulfill their part of the legal commitment.”
The Durban Platform The agreement package reached at the summit includes “The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action,” a road map towards a new treaty. Click here to read the text of the Durban Platform <ul><li>The new treaty will go into effect by 2020 and, unlike the Kyoto Protocol, will require all countries to make emissions cuts . This is a significant departure from the previously embedded “common but differentiated responsibilities” principle. </li></ul>Meanwhile, the Kyoto Protocol will be extended for a 2 nd commitment period of either 5 or 8 years for nations still bound by it and will end once the new treaty has been ratified and implemented, either by Dec. 31, 2017 or Dec. 31, 2020. “ I think everybody understands we’re talking about a legal agreement … that we have … the major developing countries agreeing to do that, is significant.” – Todd Stern, US Climate Envoy <ul><li>The Platform notes a goal of keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 C or 2.0 C above preindustrial levels and notes that current commitments are insufficient to reach that goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Both developed and developing nations will have to negotiate a treaty, a “legal instrument or legal outcome” by 2015 that will reduce carbon emissions. </li></ul>
Other Decisions Adopted at COP17 View official text of decisions adopted by COP17 and CMP7: http://unfccc.int/2860.php However, action on REDD+ was suspended until COP18.
Action at the Conference Prior to the start of COP17, rumors circulated about possible protests during the meeting causing Mashabane to heighten security. Another protest known as “Occupy COP17” consisted of SIDS, environmental activists, and youth delegates who protested that the delay in climate change action would mean death in Africa. One protest targeted a permitted, peaceful march. Protestors disguised as volunteers “physically threatened and attacked activists.” In yet another protest Chief of Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo was escorted from the venue in handcuffs after leading a march on the main plenary session. Naidoo ’s aim was to inject some urgency into the talks. “ I’ve stopped settling for what is deemed ‘politically feasible’ by obstructionists and started asking for what is morally required and scientifically necessary.”– Middlebury College student, Abigail Borah, after being ushered out of the convention for interrupting a speech by the lead US negotiator. Protests Image credit: Erin Conway – globalpost.com Image credit: twitter.com/OccupyCOP17
Action at the Conference Country Dynamics – Developed versus Developing Representatives from developing countries stressed that developed countries were not taking climate change seriously as an international issue. Developing countries felt urgency for results at COP17 as, for many of these countries, climate change has become a significant threat. “ Durban could be where the greatest crime against humanity is committed. The blind greed and self-interest of developed countries could literally pass a death sentence to the people of Africa. ” – Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of Earth International A split in opinions on major issues emerged between developed and developing countries. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Action at the Conference Many attendants felt the two biggest global emitters, the US and China, were impeding negotiations with a “ ping-pong game. ” Initially, neither country would commit to legally binding reductions. A stand-off developed regarding who would concede first. China eventually hinted at readiness to commit to a legally binding agreement, but many were skeptical about the country’s meaning of “legally binding.” The US did not follow suit, and many felt it was held back by domestic politics where climate change is a controversial issue. Connie Hedegaard noted that the two were taking on “an almost unbearable responsibility” since the consequences of inaction are “catastrophic.” Country Dynamics – China and the US Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Action at the Conference It is estimated that by 2025, 10% of the population of Comoros will be displaced by rising sea levels and over $1 billion worth of infrastructure will be destroyed. These nations advocated for the continuation of the Protocol, with the addition of the most prominent developing nations being bound by reductions. The EU teamed with LDCs and AOSIS to push key players towards a successful outcome. This coalition helped dispense with the “firewall” between developed and developing nations. LDCs and SIDS pushed for limiting temperature rise to 1.5 C. Karl Hood, chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), stated that accepting anything higher would be accepting “total annihilation.” The negotiations were especially significant for Least Developed Countries (LCDs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of whom are already experiencing the effects of climate change. Country Dynamics – LCDs and SIDS Image credit: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/comoros.htm
Action at the Conference Country Dynamics – Canada, Japan, and Russia “ I regret Canada’s withdrawal and am surprised over its timing.” – Christiana Figueres * Article 27 of the Protocol allows any country to withdraw three years after the Protocol is in force. Canada , accounting for 1.8% of global emissions, withdrew from the Protocol during COP17*. Canada had committed to reducing emissions 6% by 2012, but actual emissions have risen by 30% subjecting it to penalty fees of $14 billion for failing to meet the target. Image credits: Canada: virtualamericas.net, Japan: cires.colorado.edu, Russia: vygotsky.ced.appstate.edu Emissions data: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=160299 Japan , accounting for 4% of global emissions, refused to sign on to a 2 nd commitment. “The Kyoto Protocol is not the right path," chief Japanese climate envoy Masahiko Horie said in Durban. Japan would consider a new global deal if the framework was all-inclusive. Russia , accounting for 5.67% of global emissions, was the only country to speak in full support of Canada ’s withdrawal from the Protocol. Like Japan, Russia also refused to support a 2 nd commitment period.
Action at the Conference The high level of disagreement during the talks combined with backlash about the proposed deal caused the temporary suspension of COP17. Disagreement Forces a Suspension On Friday Dec. 9 Mashabane suspended talks, demanding a redraft of Platform language. This was a gambit. If agreement was not reached COP17 would be a total failure. The crux of the dispute was how binding the legal wording would be in an eventual agreement. The current draft spoke of a "legal framework." SIDS, LDCs, and EU complained that this lacked ambition and committed parties to nothing . Developed vs Developing EU, SIDS, LDCs Backlash COP17 Temporarily Suspended
Action at the Conference Mashabane asked all parties to adopt each of the decisions in the agreement without further debate or amendments . The Final Hours – A Call to Action Twenty-six nations came together seeking a solution. India held out over concern about the revised phrasing “legally binding.” With EU, LDCs, and SIDS concurrence, the phrasing was changed to “legal instrument or legal outcome” to India’s satisfaction. At last an acceptable proposal was reached – the “Durban package.” Mashabane ’s winning tactic – a final huddle on the floor of the Plenary session at 4am Sunday morning Dec. 11 broke the logjam. <ul><li>The “ Durban package ” included: </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd KP commitment period; </li></ul><ul><li>a decision on the AWG–LCA*; </li></ul><ul><li>a decision on the Green Climate Fund; </li></ul><ul><li>a new instrument, the Durban Platform. </li></ul>* Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention Image credit: http://www.allvoices.com/
Action at the Conference Mashabane noted their disappointment, then resumed the COP17 session to adopt the decisions without further amendment. Consensus moved the “Durban package” to final adoption. The Final Hours – Questioning the Process Mashabane ’s “take it or leave it” proposition was not embraced by all. Some expressed concern that the decisions lacked transparency and inclusivity, therefore not supporting the multilateral process. There was disappointment from some developing countries that their amendments were not included in the package of decisions. “ I have been very patient in this room listening to developed countries putting ideas forward… and then developing country parties are not allowed to talk about what they think about this future we are heading to... So can you explain please what stage of democracy in this process we are in?” – Claudia Caldera, Venezuela’s Climate Envoy
Opinions on the Outcome http://www.rtcc.org/policy/speaking-out-on-durban-cop17-in-quotes/ Positive The agreements at COP17 “represented an important advance in the work of climate change.” – Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General “ The outcome at Durban is a coup for Africa. Issues that had taken so long to resolve have been resolved on our soil.” – Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa “ Very, very pleased. It’s in the upper range of what we hoped for. We’re pleased both with the substantive outcome and also the agreement on this process.” – Erik Solheim, Norway’s Climate Change Minister “ We’re happy that this major success was achieved, despite so many different points of view.” – Jayanthi Natarajan, Indian Environment Minister Negative Regarding COP16 promises made on limiting global temperature rise to 2 C: “Here in Durban, they have utterly failed to live up to that promise.” – Jim Leape, Head of WWF International “ Delaying real action until 2020 is a crime of global proportions. ” - Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International “ The deal that has been done in Durban is not good for the future of the planet, or the poorest and most vulnerable people. Negotiators have sent a message to the world’s hungry: ‘Let them eat carbon’.” – Oxfam statement “ We shouldn’t be under any illusion – the outcome of Durban leaves us with the prospect of being legally bound to a world of 4 C warming.” – Keith Allottt, Head of Climate Change, WWF UK
Climate Clock Keeps Ticking On December 11, 2011, post-COP17, the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) released a statement that, even with the agreement, the world is continuing on a pathway to warming of over 3 C accompanied by extreme weather. According to CAT, the warming will “bring the world close to several potential global-scale tipping points.” These include: <ul><li>Dieback of the Amazon rainforest </li></ul><ul><li>Algae and sea grass replacing coral reefs </li></ul><ul><li>Irreversible loss of Greenland ice sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of release of methane hydrates from ocean floor (further adding to warming) </li></ul><ul><li>Thawing of permafrost </li></ul>Meanwhile, the world continues on a pathway to warming of over 3 C. Click here to view CAT’s infographic on changes due to temperature rise. Image credit: http://www.climateactiontracker.org/
Climate Clock Keeps Ticking And, NASA climatologist James Hansen states that even 2 degrees is too much. This graph created by CAT shows the “best estimate” of the effects of the current reduction pledges. “ The ultimate objective of the Convention … is … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change… – Article 2, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992 COP17 ’s outcome falls short of what is required to have even a 50/50 chance of capping global temperature rise at 2 degrees.
Looking Ahead UNFCCC events to support multilateral negotiations <ul><li>COP18 in Qatar, Nov. 26 – Dec. 7, 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Bonn Climate Change Conference, May 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Protocol ’s 2 nd commitment period begins, 2013 </li></ul><ul><li>New treaty finalized, 2015 </li></ul><ul><li>New treaty ratified and implemented, either Dec. 31, 2017 or Dec. 31, 2020 (the end of the Protocol ’s 2 nd commitment period) </li></ul>
Conclusion “ Let’s not get trapped in a Catch-22 – business waiting for government, government waiting for business. Business has plenty to go on – the megatrend is clear. We must decarbonize our economy.” – Christiana Figueres, Oct. 2011 Though developments in Durban push towards global alignment, the new paradigm does not preclude and may be better suited to support, regional coalitions that advance UNFCCC targets using different approaches . “ Kyoto and Beyond” will keep you informed as these important events continue to unfold. The Durban Platform represents a significant departure from prior treaties: both developed and developing countries must reduce emissions . However, confidence in the multilateral climate treaty process remains low and progress remains slow. Meanwhile, society is evolving its own responses. Private sector carbon-neutrality initiatives, shifts in insurance and investment sectors, and societal adaptation will surely influence the future multilateral process. Whether these changes will be adequate and soon enough to avoid “dangerous interference with the climate system” is the big question.
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Citation When referencing this slideshow please use the following citation: ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Report on Durban. A slideshow; 6th installment in the series: Kyoto and Beyond . January 27, 2012. Ann Arbor, Michigan. www.isciences.com.
Appendix The following slides provide support for information presented in the preceding slides.
The Kyoto Protocol <ul><li>The Protocol is a multilateral agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Developed countries were assigned limits on emissions relative to 1990, and targets vary by nation. </li></ul><ul><li>The protocol was signed by 84 countries and ratified by nearly all who signed. The US did not ratify. Countries who ratified are now bound by Protocol requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>The Protocol, part of the UNFCCC, has been in force since 2005. The first commitment period ends in 2012 and, until COP17, no binding framework had been established post-2012. </li></ul><ul><li>Seventeen Conferences of the Parties have taken place since the Protocol entered into force. Each COP has been accompanied by a CMP, a meeting specific to the Protocol. </li></ul>
The Green Climate Fund <ul><li>The GCF, established in the Cancun Agreements at COP16, will allocate $100 billion per year starting in 2020. </li></ul><ul><li>The fund is meant to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to aid in adaptation to the effects of climate change that have already occurred. </li></ul><ul><li>Before COP17, the fund’s Transitional Committee (TC) was established. The TC consists of reps from 25 developing countries and 15 developed countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Details were intended to be finalized at COP17 regarding where the source of funds and how they will be tracked. </li></ul>
The 2 nd Commitment Period <ul><li>The EU and nine other countries will be subject to a second round of targets under the Kyoto Protocol. </li></ul><ul><li>Canada, Japan and Russia announced that they will not continue their commitments, leaving countries responsible for less than 15% of global emissions within the extended Protocol. </li></ul><ul><li>China, US, and India will only be bound by voluntary pledges made at previous UN climate summits in Cancun and Copenhagen. The US never ratified the Protocol and, under the terms of the Protocol, China and India are considered “developing” countries not bound by Protocol targets. </li></ul>
The Outcome of the Green Climate Fund The Green Climate Fund was given the “green light” at COP17. Countries including Germany, the UK, Denmark, and Sweden have made initial pledges towards the fund ’s start-up costs. It may be ready for implementation in 2012 Long-term financing is still to be determined. An established working group will source the $100 billion that is needed by 2020. Many feel these are positive steps, but are also aware that money will not flow immediately. Image and recommendations for sources of funding provided by: the Center for American Progress (http://www.americanprogress.org/) The World Bank will be the fund ’s trustee for the first 3 years, after which commercial banks will bid on the position, and a new one will be selected.
Proposed Amendments * This was the only amendment that was allowed, despite objections from Grenada, Bolivia, Gambia, Kenya, and Colombia. Country Proposed Amendment Bolivia <ul><li>Decrease the range that Annex 1 countries are to reduce their emissions by (range set at 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020); it is too big and unclear on specific amounts. </li></ul>Kenya <ul><li>Insert the following words into the package “to ensure no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the KP.” </li></ul>European Union <ul><li>Include the option of ending the second commitment period in 2020 (original: 2017)* </li></ul><ul><li>Include a paragraph on land use change and forestry. </li></ul>
Climate Refugees Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives (pictured above) recently stated that his government is considering Australia as a possible new home if the tiny archipelago disappears beneath rising seas. The country has established a sovereign wealth fund, drawn from its tourist revenue, to be used to buy land overseas and finance the relocation of the country ’s population of 350,000. Image credit: www.tripadvisor.com
REDD+ <ul><li>About REDD+ </li></ul><ul><li>REDD+ emphasizes reduction of harmful emissions from deforestation and creates incentives for local people, governments, and industries to alter agricultural methods. Pledges for REDD+ total $4.5 billion for 2010-2012, however, The Voluntary REDD+ Database found a discrepancy in the “funding received” numbers between recipients and funders. </li></ul><ul><li>REDD+ at COP17 </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for REDD+ has been suspended until COP18 in Qatar. No agreement was reached regarding how to monitor and deliver funds from developed to developing countries. </li></ul><ul><li>New rules open the door for a market mechanism that could allow private investors to finance projects. </li></ul>