The Last Night in Durban

by Samuli Sinisalo

A lot has happened today, I hope. Everything that is going on takes place behind closed doors, so we have no way of accurately reporting it the play by play.

The ministerial Inbada started just few minutes ago, and that will hopefully bring some clarity to the situation.

So far there are two draft texts presented by the COP presidency, to conclude the work in Durban. Text from the presidency at the last minute sounds all too familiar from Copenhagen.

There are two drafts, one about the Kyoto Protocol, another about the LCA text.

As the text stood last night at 5 am, the Kyoto text would be dead as we used to know it. It would lock countries into the pledge and review system until 2020. The pledges at the moment are effectively those presented in Copenhagen. There is no aggregate overall emissions reduction target. Hopefully the consultations still improve the text, legally binding second commitment period and increased ambition would be welcome.

The LCA track on the other hand would conclude next year in Qatar by a series of decisions. It would end the Bali Action Plan without a legally binding outcome. A new negotiating mandate would be launched, which should be completed by 2015 in COP-21. This is what has been in the works since Bali 2007, and has failed in Copenhagen and ever since. It will be hard to get a deal mandate that is as balanced as BAP, but hopefully the new mandate can deliver.

In any case, a long delay before emissions are actually cut seems to be inevitable.

The text on the bigger picture can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/75225916

The text on the Kyoto Protocol is pasted below:

Version of 9 December 2011 @ 05:00 Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its sixteenth session

The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Recalling Article 3, paragraph 9, of the Kyoto Protocol, Also recalling Article 20, paragraph 2, and Article 21, paragraph 7, of the Kyoto Protocol,

Further recalling decisions 1/CMP.1, 1/CMP.5 and 1/CMP.6,

Noting with appreciation the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol,

Noting also the importance of developing a comprehensive global response to the problem of climate change,

Recognizing the importance of ensuring the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol,

Cognizant of decision -/CP.17 {    },

Emphasizing the role of the Kyoto Protocol in the mitigation effort by Parties included in Annex I, the importance of ensuring continuity in mitigation action by those Parties and the need to start the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol without delay,

1. Welcomes the agreement achieved by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol on its work pursuant to decisions 1/CMP.1, 1/CMP.5 and 1/CMP.6 in the areas of land use, land-use change and forestry (decision -/CMP.7), emissions trading and the project-based mechanisms (decision -/CMP.7), greenhouse gases, sectors and source categories, common metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks, and other methodological issues (decision -/CMP.7) and the consideration of information on potential environmental, economic and social consequences, including spillover effects, of tools, policies, measures and methodologies available to Annex I Parties (decision -/CMP.7);

2. Takes note of the draft amendments to the Kyoto Protocol developed by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol as contained in Annexes 1, 2 and 3 to this decision;

3. Takes note also of the quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets communicated by Parties included in Annex I and presented in Annex 1 to this decision and of the intention of these Parties to convert them to quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol;

4. Invites Parties included in Annex I and listed in Annex 1 to this decision to submit information on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol by 1 May 2012 for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Implementation at its thirty-sixth session and requests the Subsidiary Body for Implementation to deliver the results of its work to the Conference of the Parties title of decision on AWG-LCA serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol with a view to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopting them as amendments to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol at its eighth session, while ensuring coherence with the implementation of decision {    };

5. Decides to adopt the amendments contained in Annexes 2 and 3 to this decision in conjunction with the adoption of the amendments referred to in paragraph 4 above;

6. Requests the Subsidiary Body for Implementation to assess the implications of the carry-over of assigned amount units to the second commitment period on the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I Parties in aggregate for the second commitment period, with a view to preparing a draft decision for adoption by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol at its eighth session;

7. Decides, on the basis of the outcomes and results described in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 above, that the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol has completed its work in accordance with decision 1/CMP.1;

8. Requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice to assess and address the implications of the implementation of decisions -CMP.7 referred to in paragraph 1 above on the previous decisions on methodological issues related to the Kyoto Protocol adopted by Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol including those relating to Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Kyoto Protocol, with a view to preparing relevant draft decisions for consideration and adoption by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol at its eighth session, and noting that some issues may need to be addressed at subsequent sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Annexes: Annex 1. Draft amendments to Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol Annex 2. Draft amendments to Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol Annex 3. Draft amendments to the Kyoto Protocol

Separate -/CMP.7 decisions: Decision -/CMP.7: LULUCF Decision -/CMP.7: mechanisms Decision -/CMP.7: methodological issues Decision -/CMP.7: potential consequences

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