[enviro-vlc] ENB Summary and Analysis of COP14 COP/MOP 4 Available

Vern Weitzel vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Tue Dec 16 14:55:33 EST 2008

Subject: 	ENB Summary and Analysis of COP14 COP/MOP 4 Available
Date: 	Mon, 15 Dec 2008 09:50:20 -0600
From: 	Langston James Goree VI <kimo at iisd.org>
Reply-To: 	Langston James Goree VI <kimo at iisd.org>
To: 	Climate Change Info Mailing List <climate-l at lists.iisd.ca>


The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland
<http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop14/>, was held from 1-12 December 2008.
The conference involved a series of events, including the fourteenth
Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and fourth Conference of the Parties serving as
the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 4).

In support of these two main bodies, four subsidiary bodies convened:
the fourth session of the /Ad Hoc/ Working Group on Long-term
Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 4)
<http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12395e.html#REPORTOFTHEAWGLCA>; the resumed
sixth session of the /Ad Hoc/Working Group on Further Commitments for
Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 6)
<http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12395e.html#REPORTOFTHEAWGKP>; and the
twenty-ninth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 29)
and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 29)

These events drew over 9250 participants, including almost 4000
government officials, 4500 representatives of UN bodies and agencies,
intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, and
more than 800 accredited members of the media.

These meetings resulted in the adoption of COP decisions, COP/MOP
decisions and a number of conclusions by the subsidiary bodies. These
outcomes covered a wide range of topics, including the Adaptation Fund
under the Kyoto Protocol, the 2009 work programmes of the AWG-LCA and
AWG-KP, and outcomes on technology transfer, the Clean Development
Mechanism (CDM), capacity building, national communications, financial
and administrative matters, and various methodological issues.

The main focus in Poznań, however, was on long-term cooperation and the
post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period
expires. In December 2007, negotiators meeting in Bali had approved the
Bali Action Plan and Roadmap setting COP 15 in December 2009 as the
deadline for agreeing on a framework for action after 2012. Poznań
therefore marked the halfway mark towards the December 2009 deadline.
While the Poznań negotiations did result in some progress, there were no
significant breakthroughs, and negotiators face a hectic 12 months of
talks leading up to the critical deadline of December 2009 in
Copenhagen, Denmark.

This report summarizes the discussions, decisions and conclusions based
on the agendas of the COP, COP/MOP and the subsidiary bodies
<http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12395e.html#REPORTOFCOP14>. It includes
sections on the COP and COP/MOP
<http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12395e.html#REPORTOFCOPMOP4>, also covering
the reports of the SBI and SBSTA (which contribute to the COP and
COP/MOP’s work). It also includes separate sections on the AWG-KP and
the AWG-LCA, which focused on work under the Bali Roadmap and Action Plan.

The full report is available at:


and in HTML at:


Our analysis of the meeting is included below:



A year after the historic Bali Climate Change Conference, negotiators
are now at the halfway point on the Bali Roadmap, which launched a
two-year process to strengthen international climate change cooperation.
Looking back, progress has been achieved in 2008 through four sessions
and discussions on the key elements of the future regime. However,
pressure is mounting for the remaining 12 months: serious negotiations
must begin as soon as possible in 2009 to secure an agreement in
Copenhagen next December.

This analysis takes stock of progress made at the Poznań Climate Change
Conference and analyzes the key remaining issues for the critical year
ahead. It will first discuss the political context in which the Poznań
Conference took place. It will then review the main expectations for the
meeting and analyze the results, asking whether they are sufficient for
a successful outcome in Copenhagen next year.


The political context for the Poznań Conference was somewhat different
from the Bali negotiations in 2007. In Bali, the atmosphere was
characterized by the strong international reaction to the Fourth
Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) and a sense of urgency about climate change. In Poznań, by
contrast, the negotiations took place against the backdrop of a rapidly
worsening global financial situation. Many were concerned about climate
policy falling victim to the crisis – and even the most optimistic were
expecting the financial crisis to have some impact on the process.

The European Union and others at the Conference tried to stress their
ongoing commitment to combating climate change, arguing that a
transition to a low carbon society entails not only costs but also
important economic opportunities. However, at the same time as the
Poznań Conference, protracted negotiations were taking place on the EU’s
climate and energy policy package to implement a 20% emission reduction
target by 2020, causing some to question whether the EU’s leadership on
climate policy is faltering. On the last day of the Poznań Conference,
delegates were pleased to hear news that agreement had been reached in
Brussels on the EU package, even though some NGOs criticized the
concessions made to secure the compromise. The package, covering the
period from 2013 to 2020, lays down rules for the third phase of the EU
Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), details individual emission targets for
EU Member States in sectors not covered by the ETS, and contains a 20%
target for renewable energy, a 10% target for biofuels and a 20% target
for increasing energy efficiency by 2020.

At the same time, Barack Obama’s victory in the US Presidential
elections was a reason for optimism in Poznań. Obama has promised to
make climate change a high priority and highlighted a green energy
economy as a remedy for the ongoing economic crisis. In Poznań, the US
was still represented by the Bush administration and remained relatively
subdued during the official negotiations. Some felt that uncertainty
about the US position in 2009 caused other countries to refrain from
making significant political advances in Poznań, and few expect
developing countries to make significant moves before developed
countries have clarified their positions on emission reductions and
financing. Overall, most felt that the political circumstances
surrounding the Poznań Conference were not ideal for major political
breakthroughs, which could justify its modest results. “One of those
less exciting in-between COPs,” was how some veterans characterized the


The agenda in Poznań was exceptionally full, with six bodies considering
more than 90 agenda items and sub-items. This put a strain on many
delegations and highlighted the importance of prioritizing work. This
meant that some of the less urgent agenda items were not given as much
attention as usual, leading to a focus on issues related to the Bali
Roadmap: the /Ad Hoc/ Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action
(AWG-LCA), /Ad Hoc/ Working Group on Further Commitments by Annex I
Countries under the Protocol (AWG-KP) and the second review of the Kyoto
Protocol under Article 9. Delegates also focused on a few other agenda
items included the operationalization of the Adaptation Fund and the
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

*AWG-LCA: *At its fourth meeting, the AWG-LCA spent a lot of time
considering “a shared vision for long-term cooperative action,” which
was the subject of an in-session workshop, contact group and a
ministerial round table. According to the Bali Action Plan, “a shared
vision” includes a global goal for emission reductions. While some
optimists had hoped for an agreement in Poznań on a long-term global
emission goal to guide the negotiations in 2009, there were no serious
attempts to achieve such an outcome. Instead, many veterans are
predicting that this question will not be resolved until Copenhagen,
since it seems likely to be a key part of whatever package deal is
reached. They took it as a positive sign, however, that a common
understanding seemed to be emerging in Poznań that “a shared vision”
covers all the key building blocks of the Action Plan, namely
mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance. Many also felt that
progress was made on the concept of monitoring, reporting and verifying
(MRV) and the idea of a registry for nationally appropriate mitigation
actions in developing countries.

In contrast, suggestions for differentiation among developing countries
were firmly rejected by some groups within the G-77/China – while being
endorsed by many industrialized countries. Some proposals on adaptation
were also made more concrete, including the insurance mechanism proposed
by AOSIS. These and many other ideas were incorporated in the “assembly
document,” a collection of submissions and proposals, which was one of
the key outcomes of AWG-LCA 4 and is expected to evolve into a formal
negotiating text during the first half of 2009.

*AWG-KP: *For the AWG-KP, the focus was on a strategic discussion of all
the key items on its agenda and on the work programme for 2009, with a
view to agreeing on further actions required to finalize Annex I
countries’ post-2012 commitments in Copenhagen. Some observers and
developing countries were hoping for a clear decision on the aggregate
range of mid-term emission reductions by industrialized countries.
However, while the 25-40% range by 2020 from the AR4 once again appears
in the AWG-KP’s conclusions, the language is similar to that used in
previous conclusions and falls short of a definitive commitment.
According to some negotiators, this was mostly due to the reluctance of
some Umbrella Group countries to commit to a mid-term range at this
point. However, many also noted the lack of serious attempts to reach an
agreement on this issue in Poznań, possibly because delegates realized
the political climate was not yet ripe for such discussions. Overall,
most felt that the outcomes from the AWG-KP were modest, limited to the
2009 work programme and to agreement that Annex I countries’ further
commitments should “principally” take the form of quantified emission
limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs). Those with lower
expectations for the meeting noted that little more than this might have
been expected, as parties wait for the bottom of the market downturn and
the arrival of the new US administration.

*ADAPTATION FUND: *Along with the Poznań work programme on technology
transfer, the only concrete outcome of the Poznań conference was the
operationalization of the Adaptation Fund. The COP/MOP adopted several
decisions to make the Fund operational, including on arrangements with
the Global Environment Facility and World Bank. Importantly, all three
tracks to access funds – through implementing entities, accredited
national entities, and direct access by parties – have been enabled. The
Fund is, therefore, expected to start financing adaptation projects and
programmes in developing countries in the next year.

The success on the Adaptation Fund was tempered by the inability to
secure additional resources for the Fund due to lack of agreement on
extending the share of proceeds (or “adaptation levy”) to Joint
Implementation and emissions trading under the second review of the
Protocol under Article 9. As many had predicted, these consultations
were difficult and were unable to produce an agreement, leading COP/MOP
4 to conclude the second review of the Protocol without any substantive
outcome. Most developing countries expressed deep disappointment at the
failure to increase adaptation funding.

While many parties and private sector representatives had also hoped for
improvements to the CDM under the Article 9 review, the lack of outcome
on the review meant that the improvements negotiated in Poznań were not
adopted. The AWG-KP, however, agreed to further consider issues related
to the mechanisms in the post-2012 period in its March/April session.


Leaving Poznań, there was little doubt in participants’ minds that
plenty of critical work remains for 2009 under the Bali Roadmap. For
both the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA, one of the first key tasks is generating
formal negotiating texts that must be communicated to the parties at
least six months before Copenhagen to comply with legal formalities. The
Poznań Conference was widely seen as a successful step in that direction
as the Chairs of both AWGs were mandated to prepare documents for the
March/April meeting in Bonn.

The task of the AWG-LCA for 2009 will not be easy. The group will have
to finalize an agreement on all four building blocks and a shared
vision. It is the only body where all countries, including the US and
developing countries, participate in discussions on mitigation. Thus,
negotiations on a global long-term goal, comparability of mitigation
efforts by developed countries and MRV in the context of nationally
appropriate developing country mitigation actions are expected to be
central. Importantly, MRV also applies to developed country support to
developing countries through technology, finance and capacity-building,
so ways of doing this will have to be identified. With regard to
financing and technology, the AWG-LCA faces the challenge of reaching
agreement on the architecture to both finance mitigation and adaptation
actions, and facilitate technology development and transfer. Evaluation
of proposals contained in the assembly document will be part of this task.

The AWG-KP has a clear objective for 2009: to agree on further
commitments for Annex I countries in the post-2012 period. Some
developing countries were therefore somewhat disappointed at the lack of
clear sequencing of tasks in the AWG-KP’s 2009 work programme. Many
developed countries were, however, pleased with text reaffirming the
programme’s iterative nature and agreement to “maintain a coherent
approach” between the Convention and the Protocol in relation to Annex I
parties’ commitments.

Based on some signals in Poznań, some are predicting that the
relationship between the Convention and Protocol tracks could become
increasingly relevant in 2009. Many developed countries maintain that
the work of the two AWGs should be coordinated given that both, for
instance, address mitigation by developed countries. In Poznań, Norway,
the EU and others also alluded to a “package” and “comprehensive
agreement” in Copenhagen, and New Zealand proposed forming a Committee
of the Whole and proceeding on the basis of a single negotiating text in
June 2009. However, many developing countries and the US have sternly
opposed attempts to link the Convention and Protocol tracks, with many
developing countries concerned that this could take focus away from new
emission reduction targets for industrialized countries under the
Protocol, and the US seeking to avoid any proposals that would draw it
into discussions related to the Protocol. It therefore remains to be
decided in 2009 how to avoid duplication of work under the different
tracks of the Bali Roadmap and what the legal outcome of the
negotiations will ultimately be. Important as the legal and procedural
questions are for the negotiators gathering in Copenhagen, most predict
that it will be political will that determines the outcome.


While many agreed that the Poznań meeting resulted in some progress and
positive steps forward, the general feeling was that negotiators had not
achieved any major breakthroughs. Those who had hoped for decisive
action blamed a lack of political leadership and determination they
think would have signaled impending success in the coming year. Instead,
many predict that agreement on the most critical issues, including mid-
and long-term emission goals and finance, will not be reached before
Copenhagen. This has led some to reconsider their expectations of what
would constitute success in Copenhagen, and how many details of the new
climate regime will need to be finalized after 2009.

Understandably, some participants left Poznań somewhat worried, feeling
that while scientific evidence on climate change is strengthening, the
“spirit of Bali” is weakening along with countries’ determination to
fight climate change in light of the serious economic crisis.

Others, though, were not willing to abandon their optimism just yet.
They referred to statements from both the EU and the US on measures to
tackle the economic crisis that would also contribute to climate change
mitigation and transition to a low carbon economy. Some veterans who are
more used to the ups-and-downs of international negotiating processes
also suggested that Poznań’s modest outcome could be a positive thing in
the larger scheme of things. In the words of one observer, “delegates
needed to be reminded that success is not inevitable, and that without
strong political will it is quite possible that they will fail to make
the historic breakthrough needed in Copenhagen.”


This issue of the /Earth Negotiations Bulletin/ © <enb at iisd.org
<mailto:enb at iisd.org>> is written and edited by Tomilola “Tomi” Akanle,
Asheline Appleton, Douglas Bushey, Kati Kulovesi, Ph.D., Chris Spence,
and Yulia Yamineva. The Digital Editor is Leila Mead. The Editor is
Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam at iisd.org <mailto:pam at iisd.org>> and the
Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI
<kimo at iisd.org <mailto:kimo at iisd.org>>. The Sustaining Donors of the
/Bulletin/ are the United Kingdom (through the Department for
International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States
of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of
Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),
the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and
Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the
Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the /Bulletin/ during
2008 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment
of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN
International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the
Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of
Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies -
IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the
Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), and
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for translation
of the /Bulletin /into French has been provided by the International
Organization of the Francophonie (IOF). Funding for the translation of
the /Bulletin/ into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of
Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the /Bulletin/ are those
of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other
donors. Excerpts from the /Bulletin /may be used in non-commercial
publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the
/Bulletin/, including requests to provide reporting services, contact
the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo at iisd.org
<mailto:kimo at iisd.org>>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New
York, New York 10022, United States of America.

Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI
Director, IISD Reporting Services
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) -- United
Nations Office
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IISDRS Office phone: +1 646 536 7556 Direct Line: +1 973 273 5860
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