Good afternoon. It’s our 2nd day here at the Bella Center in Copenhagen and we have a few updates:
First, the atmosphere here is a little tense: the draft text that was released yesterday by the Chair of the AWG-KP (Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol) to facilitate progress in the negotiations of the working group has created quite a stir as the majority of non-Annex 1 countries view it as a threat to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol itself. Therefore there is a general sense here that not enough progress has been made by negotiators before senior representatives from governments around the world arrive next week.
Future of forestry: This morning we attended a presentation by CarbonFix Standard who outlined their perspectives on the future of afforestation and reforestation projects. Pushing to harmonize the various voluntary market standards and methodology types, CarbonFix argued for all standards to adopt the A/R CDM additionality tool and to consolidate the number of methodologies available to help project developers navigate the process. Further, CarbonFix urged project developers to set their own rules rather than follow market trends in terms of what standard they choose and how long they should sell their credits. You can view their presentation here: http://www.carbonfix.info/chameleon//outbox//public/55/CoP15_CarbonFix_091212.pdf
Kyoto negotiations: We just left the 5th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (known in UN speak as CMP) where there was a substantive difference in opinion on how to take Kyoto forward. Many Annex 1 countries and in particular Canada, stressed that they want to move towards a new agreement altogether, quickly being billed here as the ‘Copenhagen Protocol.’
Remarks from China during the CMP were significant:
‘The Chinese delegation appreciates the Chairman of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) working group for putting forward draft paper as that it is not easy, particularly that working group members have made determined efforts to put an early end to the KP itself and to distract the working group from fulfilling its core mandate: so that is why we particularly appreciate the effort on behalf of the KP working group chair. China wants to emphasize that the 2 track system that we all have been working on for the past 2 years was an arrangement everyone agreed to in Bali-there was no disagreement and that is why we created the Bali Action Roadmap in front of the eyes of the world. The only reason that the working group has had no progress as quickly as has hoped is that Annex 1 countries have not shown political will to act on their responsibilities as industrialized countries. There are only a few more days to act, the world is watching, and the world is watching if Annex 1 countries who created global warming are really prepared to match their words with purpose and with real action.’
In closing, the Chair of the CMP (Denmark) concluded that everything on the table cannot be agreed to and recognized that there is a large difference between developing and Annex 1 countries on how to come to an agreement. The Chair also noted that there is the ‘issue of numbers’ on what targets are being tabled by Annex 1 countries (most developing countries do not feel that Annex 1 countries are coming to Copenhagen with any significant cuts t their emissions) and that going forward the transparency of the negotiation process will be ensured.
EU engagement: Later today, during a EU roundtable on flexibility mechanisms, participants were struggling on how to continue proposing market reforms during COP15 with developing countries who aren’t placing market reform high on their priority lists until Annex 1 countries offer deeper emission reduction targets.
Towards the end of Day 2, we attended the ‘Subsidiary Body for Scientifc and Technological Advice (SBSTA)’ which reports to the Chair of COP. During their meeting, the SBSTA agreed to develop a REDD methodology in accordance with the IPCC, national governments and other relevant organizations. This is a significant step forward for the development of REDD and gives clarity to governments in developing countries on how to develop a robust national forest monitoring and forest carbon stock accounting standard. Further, it directs the SBSTA Secretariat to enhance its activities to coordinate REDD with existing forest carbon initiatives. You can view the UN decision here: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/sbsta/eng/l19.pdf