Priorities for Nairobi: Charting the course for a safe climate post-2012

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1 Priorities for Nairobi: Charting the course for a safe climate post-2012 WWF Position Paper November 2006 At this UN meeting on climate change governments can open a new chapter in the history of the planet. As we arrive in Nairobi the question they face is: Which road to choose to prevent dangerous climate change? How the Conference of the Parties answers that question will show if governments are willing to set a direction that will deliver on years of rhetoric and significantly speed up the work begun in Montreal. We are on a tight timeline. The science is clearer than ever before: Only 10 to 15 years remain for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before being returned to a safe level. The fog has cleared and any lingering doubt on what urgency to act might mean has evaporated. The recently published Stern Review on the economics of climate change, a massive consultation involving economists from all over the world, makes another strong case for the need to act now. Sir Nicholas Stern underlines that if proper action is not taken now, the global GDP loss could be significant whereas the cost of climate action is well within our reach. His research also shows the scale of impacts to be far higher than anyone had imagined. But the overriding message is positive. Action taken now to prevent dangerous climate change, aimed at keeping average warming well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, will only cost some 1% of GDP. The Review estimates that if we don t act the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of GDP each year, now and forever. Any delay in action will undermine development efforts and jeopardize a decent standard of living for all. The impacts of global warming are already being felt from the Artic to East Africa s coral reefs, from the forests of the Amazon to the glaciers of the Himalayas. We may even be at risk of an economic and security crisis. The politics are crystal clear. The public wants leadership and positive action from government, business and non-governmental organizations. Will Parties now respond to this challenge? The Priorities for Nairobi In WWF s view this is what Nairobi will need to deliver in order to stay the course: Ministers and government delegates have to demonstrate a clear commitment to charting the course. At Nairobi a common vision of the Kyoto-plus regime, reflecting the urgency of the matter, has a tight timeline, and specifying the global scale of action required to prevent dangerous climate change should be developed. Accordingly, the Ministers during the High-level segment should work toward a common post-2012 vision in an open and frank manner, focusing on the opportunities and possibilities which lie before each country by engaging in an international framework to prevent dangerous climate change. WWF expects and urges countries to outline the ideas they most value, to explore in more depth as their potential commitment or voluntary contribution to the post-2012 regime. 1

2 Finally, ministers will need to prioritize the programme of work, and seek agreement on the following: Means to ensure equity for sub-sahara Africa, SIDS and other LDCs on CDM projects Get the Adaptation Fund up and running equitably and effectively Framed by the discussion on a common post-2012 framework and vision, consolidate and bring forward the post-2012 tracks launched in Montreal o Utilise Article 9 and base discussions on sound science o Step up the intensity of negotiations with intersessional meetings for the AWG on 3.9 and a workplan for SD-PAMs and other approaches for setting positive incentives coming out of the Dialogue o Agree that COPMOP3 is launch pad for full negotiations o State they intend to put the post-2012 framework in place in 2008 in order to prevent a gap between commitment periods 1. Impacts and Adaptation Support the vulnerable, least developed countries (such as sub-sahara Africa and SIDS) with sustainable development and adaptation to climate change, consequently: a. The negotiations on the post-2012 regime should be conducted with utmost urgency, to prevent the worst of impacts to come; b. Mechanisms and financial support for adaptation projects on the ground need to be put in place and made operational, including the adaptation fund, to deal with the impacts already felt by poor and vulnerable communities; c. WWF supports efforts to balance the regional spread of CDM projects. Pledges should be made to additional CDM projects in sub-sahara Africa and other LDCs, in order to redress the current imbalance. The COP should also discuss ways for additional support of capacity for CDM project implementation. d. WWF, however, firmly opposes any weakening of the additionality rules of the CDM. Otherwise, at recent COPs various changes in management and institutional set-up of the CDM were already made. They now need to be implemented properly. Specifically, WWF asks for delegates to: (a) Finalize and adopt the 5-year work programme on impacts and adaptation It is important to not limit the work programme to assessments only but for actual adaptation projects to start being implemented. Vulnerable countries cannot wait for a lengthy analysis phase. (b) Conclude discussions on the institutional set-up and management of the adaptation fund An effective arrangement is needed where a fair treatment of developing country priorities for management and funding of programmes is guaranteed; (c) Create a permanent Adaptation Committee of Experts The Committee will provide advice to the COP/MOP on adaptation activities and funding. External experts in the field of disaster reduction and relevant institutions tasked with meeting the Millennium Development Goals should be invited so as to create institutional and 2

3 policy linkages with other players. The Committee could also provide input to Protocol bodies dealing with scientific, technical and funding aspects of adaptation. (d) Scale up adaptation work in the context of the post-2012 discussions The debate on securing adequate, predictable and sustainable funding has proven hard to move forward. One possibility would be to use the Article 9 review to complete an analysis of the relationship between the ultimate objective, level of effort, and the feasibility and costs of adapting to impacts, as well as the increasing risk of irreversible threshold effects at higher temperature levels; including: - A review of funding mechanisms that are reliable in the long-term, including expanding to all flexible mechanisms the current levy on the CDM; - A review of practical methodologies for attributing adaptation costs to human induced climate change as a means to guide the allocation of funds; This would need to build upon the existing work programmes in this area. 2. Consolidate and bring forward the post-2012 tracks launched in Montreal The ministerial informal meeting in Indaba hosted by the South African government touched upon each of the tracks and suggested interesting ways forward. The ideas and momentum from Indaba will be useful to move the post-2012 agenda forward and should be taken into account. I. Timing: From Nairobi through intersessionals to launching formal negotiations at COP/MOP3 in 2007, concluding negotiations on a Kyoto-plus regime at COP/MOP4 in 2008 a. Formal negotiations on the post-2012 regime need to conclude in 2008 in order to avoid a gap between the first and second commitment periods. Governments, therefore, will have to agree a full-fledged post-2012 negotiations mandate to develop a coherent Kyoto Plus regime at COP/MOP3; b. At Nairobi we should progress all tracks of the Montreal Action Plan in a coordinated way, so that such a mandate can be agreed in 2007; c. Accordingly, the UNFCCC and governments need to put funding in place in order to hold a series of intersessionals in 2007; II. Work of the Post-2012 tracks in Nairobi d. Further work out an ambitious workplan of the AWG under Art. 3.9, which aims at setting new deeper absolute binding emission reduction targets for Annex I countries. In 2007 Annex I Parties should be prepared to put numbers for new targets on the table in line with the necessary global emissions pathway, where global emission peak in 10 to 15 years. Accordingly, the 2 nd Session should discuss necessary global emission pathways to prevent dangerous climate change, as well as national circumstances and emission reduction potentials; e. Start of the review of the Protocol under Art. 9 through an analytical process restricted to one year. The results of the Art. 9 analysis will also inform the AWG and Dialogue processes and aims at providing a comprehensive analysis of all issues relevant to the future post-2012 regime guided by the ultimate objective of the Convention; f. The Dialogue at its second session can focus on exchanging ideas for positive incentives and innovative instruments to support non-annex I countries in their sustainable development, mitigation and adaptation efforts, including, inter alia, new ideas to foster Sustainable Development Policies and Measures (SD PAMs), sectoral approaches, and other possible market mechanisms. 3

4 g. Decide on a comprehensive (research and review) workplan on tropical deforestation under SBSTA to answer open questions and come to consensus on the way forward to contribute to the post-2012 negotiation mandate at COP/MOP3; Specifically, WWF asks for delegates to: a. Ad hoc Working Group (AWG) for Further Commitments by Annex I countries (Kyoto) Make the Art. 3.9 negotiations more concrete at this second session: A discussion of global emission pathways, the long and short term objectives to prevent dangerous climate change and the emission reduction responsibility of industrialized countries is needed. The EU, based on its 2 degrees C goal, and the EU Council conclusions of emission reduction necessities up to -30% by 2020 for industrialized countries should lead these discussions, but each Annex B Party should comment, discuss and present, including on the differing national circumstances of the Annex B Parties, emission trends and the emission reduction potential of each. The external input by the IPCC should also present scenarios for stabilizing GHG emissions in light of the ultimate objective, current data, and potential further reductions, with a particular focus on staying below 2 degrees C; The second session of the Art. 3.9 Ad hoc Working Group will also require a decision that additional intersessional negotiations and a detailed systematic workplan with sub-groups, and further inputs are needed in order to deliver; the AWG should conclude its negotiations by 2008; in the first half of 2007 Annex I Parties need to be prepared to discuss concrete emission reduction targets (in the form of QELROs Quantified Emission Limitation and Reduction Objectives) b. Second session of the Dialogue on long-term cooperation (Convention) In our view the Dialogue has the potential to function as a forum for semi-formal discussions around some of the concepts currently only discussed outside of the UNFCCC. Creative ideas for new modalities for a Kyoto Plus regime, which could provide positive incentives to larger emitters of non-annex I countries to get involved and create new and expanded carbon markets (i.e. Sustainable Development- Policies and Measures, sectoral approaches) in support of sustainable development needs. The topics of the 2 nd session lend themselves to have exactly this debate. Parties should encourage such discussions and presentations, possibly also by external experts, could be useful; A follow-up will be required. WWF recommends the UNFCCC secretariat be tasked to draw up a workplan, and for an informal non-group to continue to exchange views in These outcomes should be fed into the workplan resulting out of the COP/MOP3 mandate. The Dialogue is not a forum to discuss any type of commitments by Annex I Parties; c. Art.9 review of the Kyoto Protocol and Convention (Kyoto) WWF strongly supports a one-year full review under Article 9 of the Kyoto Protocol to commence at this session, in coordination with reviews under the Convention, followed by subsequent reviews at regular intervals. WWF supports the submission by CAN on Article 9. The submission stated: Art. 9 should become a self-standing process equal to Art. 3.9; which in one year does the necessary scientific analysis for the post-2012 process, informing the ongoing Art. 3.9 AWG work as well as the Dialogue under the Convention; it can provide a bridging function (see list of issues to cover in the submission); 4

5 and subsequently merged with the other tracks toward a broad and coherent post negotiation process launched at COPMOP3; intersessional meetings are required; d. Tropical Deforestation (SBSTA agenda item) Through the initiative of the governments of the Rainforest Coalition, led by PNG, ways of tackling tropical deforestation through the international climate regime has been put on the agenda of the SBSTA. A workshop took place in Rome, August 2006, a potential second workshop in spring 2007 and further discussions at SBSTA25 and SBSTA26 are foreseen. WWF welcomes the renewed effort to find effective means and mechanisms for the post regime that reduces emissions from deforestation and other land-based sources. The topic requires extensive research and analysis, on a technical level as well as about policy approaches and instruments. The workshop results are a start to tackling these questions, but a more elaborate work plan and research agenda will be needed, taking into account work done outside of the convention by academia, governments and NGO. The SBSTA 25 session needs to decide on the steps to be taken and a tight time plan, which should be inline with the overall-post-2012 timeline (concluding in 2008), and with a view to feeding into the post-2012 mandate at COP/MOP3. WWF supported the March 2006 submission by CAN on this issue prepared for SB24: e. Amending Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol the Russian proposal (Kyoto) As per request by the Russian delegation, the COP/MOP1 mandated the COP President to hold informal consultations with Parties about how to address the issue of procedures for the approval of adding countries to the list of Annex B, if they wish to take on voluntary commitments. The COP President is to report to COPMOP2 on the outcome of the consultations. WWF awaits the report by the COP President on the outcome of these consultations but calls for transparency in the decision-making. The subject matter should be treated as an issue to include into the broader post-2012 discussions. 3. Demonstrable Progress (Kyoto) Parties to Annex B were to submit a progress report on reaching their targets, proper discussion was thought not possible because some countries did not submit their reports. WWF calls on all Annex-I Parties to meet their Kyoto commitments in a timely manner and to submit their reports, if this still has not happened. The results of the demonstrable progress analysis need to inform deliberations of the AWG and Article 9 review. 4. Technology Transfer (Kyoto and Convention) Discussions under the UNFCCC/ Kyoto Protocol on technology transfer over the past 10 years have not achieved much. At the same time, existing low-carbon technology, the role of innovation, technology transfer and financing frameworks have risen up the political agenda. The question before us is what could be done specifically on this issue in the context of the post-2012 discussions and whether the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) could be given a broader mandate. In addition, the Indaba ministerial discussed interesting ideas of a Multilateral Technology Acquisition Fund as well as focused programmes for the transfer of technologies in particular sectors. In WWF s view technology development and transfer are issues to be discussed under Article 9 and as part of the broad post-2012 package, thereby ensuring the role of technology, technology transfer and finance is fully embedded in a Kyoto Plus mitigation and adaptation framework. 5

6 5. Bunker Fuels With the stark rise in emissions from aviation and marine transport, WWF sees the consideration of bunker fuels as part of the SBSTA agenda item and as part of the post-2012 negotiations a central issue. In addition to the methodological work to be done under the SBSTA agenda item, bunkers would be well placed to be dealt with as part of the Art. 9 review. We look forward to two weeks of productive meetings. Nairobi has an important role to play in the overall process by keeping the momentum of Montreal, charting the way forward and setting up and working through a tight work plan. Never has the imperative for action been greater. We expect governments to demonstrate through words and actions their commitment to finding a solution to the immense challenge before us without delay, a solution which is fair and equitable and opens the path for development in a truly sustainable way. Contact Information: Hans Verolme WWF International, Director Global Climate Change Programme Mobile: +1 (202)

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