In a remarkable turn of events, late Friday night President Obama met together with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Premier Wen Jiabao of China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and have collectively ‘struck a deal’ on combating climate change.
With support from the EU and a handful of other developed and developing countries, a non-legally binding draft text began to circulate amongst UN negotiators over night. As UN negotiators reconvened this morning, reluctance from several developing countries has put the progress of the deal in doubt. UN negotiators are currently debating today on how to categorize the document and how it will be utilized in future negotiations.
Referred to as the ‘Copenhagen Accord,’ major resolutions include:
a. Developed countries (Annex I) will commit to an 80% reduction by 2050. Targets for 2020 are not yet decided. Emission baselines were not provided in the text for either target. Both reductions would be contingent on a UN mechanism for MRV. Annex 1 countries must submit their 2020 emissions targets to the UN no later than January 31, 2010 to be compiled in a non-binding informational document.
b. Developing countries (non-Annex 1) will submit national appropriate mitigation actions (NAMA’s) to the UN through a national communication mechanism every 2 years on a basis of guidelines to be adopted through the UN COP. Mitigation actions will be subject to a domestic MRV system that will be reported to the UN also every 2 years. Developing countries will submit to the UN their list of NAMA’s no later than January 31, 2010 to be compiled in a non-binding informational document. Provisions for international consultations and analysis on domestic MRV schemes will be defined later through the UN COP. NAMA’s that require international assistance will be subject to the UN MRV mechanism.
c. China will utilize its carbon intensity target of a 40-45% reduction in carbon intensity by 2020 as its NAMA. This action will not be subject a UN MRV mechanism.
d. Calls to reduce global emissions to hold increase in global temperature below 2 degrees C by 2050
2.) REDD (+)
a. A mechanism for REDD+ should be set up immediately to address emissions from deforestation.
b. There will be a role for the private market in combating deforestation, but it is not tied specifically to REDD +Support for role of private market, but not tied specifically to REDD+.
c. There will be a specific allotment of funding for REDD +, with funding for the period 2010-2012 tied to forestry.
3.) Market mechanisms
a. Language on the role of markets remains vague but the text recognizes the need and role for market mechanisms to enhance the cost-effectiveness of and to promote mitigation actions. It states that developing countries should be provided with incentives to continue to develop a low-emission economy.
a. $30 billion will be provided over the period from 2010-2012 (amounts from individual Annx 1 countries to be negotiated) to be allocated for adaption, and mitigation (including forestry) towards climate change, additional investment institutions will be involved in raising and implementing funds
b. $100 billion annually will be provided by 2020 and will come from both public and private sources
c. ‘Copenhagen Green Fund’ will be administered by the UNFCCC and will implement the financial mechanism for distributing funds to developing countries as well as technology transfer, capacity building and adaptation
d. Funding will be prioritized for least developed nations
5.) Technology Mechanism
a. A technology mechanism will be established to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of actions on adaptation and mitigation. The mechanism will be implemented by a country-driven approach
6.) Review of Accord by 2015
a. The Copenhagen Accord will be reviewed and assessed in 2015 with a possibility of strengthening its target to aim for a 1.5 C temperature rise.
We'll continue to monitor the situation at the Bella Center as UN negotiators move forward on how to categorize and follow through with this Accord and send out updates as they become available.
The White House comments on Copenhagen can be accessed on the official White House blog: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/12/18/a-meaningful-and-unprecedented-breakthrough-here-copenhagen