Monday, 20 November 2006


November 17, 2006, saw the end of the COP that was hailed as the adaptation COP. Activists however were disappointed about the outcomes and asserted that very diluted decisions had been taken by the developed world where its future commitments and providing funds to the developing world for adaptation was concerned.

“Nothing important was achieved during this conference. The review of the protocol was important, but the developed world said wait. All that was important here was men and women wearing expensive suits and just debating. When I go back to my rural area and I am asked what was discussed, I would say nothing, as nothing of relevance to us was seriously taken up,” said Sharon Toormetta, an activist based in Kenya.

“Lack of urgency from the ministers forestalled the process of constructive debate. There was very little collective spirit, despite the fact in numerous events during the conference it was underlined that future delay would just increase the cost of mitigation and adaptation. What we would have liked to see at the end of COP was strong deadlines on Article 3.9, which relates to future commitments of the developed countries. But this was never done,” said Catherine Pearce of Friends of Earth.

The day saw decisions being taken about Article 9 review, the Belarus proposal and the Russian proposal. In the days preceding the end of the COP important decisions were taken on issues related to the special climate change fund, adaptation fund and the five year programmme. Where the highly debatable Russian proposal was concerned, the delegates again did not reach a major decision. “What has been decided till now is that in this meeting they would vote to make this proposal a formal part of the agenda of the high level segment of the next COP.

It is not clear at present whether the Russia proposal is getting support from the EU. The latter has not shown open position against the project, as is the case with the G77 group that fears that this proposal may mean future binding commitments. Where Article 9 is concerned, we want to see a clear deadline of either 2007n or 2008. Any date beyond that would be of no use,” says Alexey Kokorin, climate change programme coordinator, WWF-Russia.

According to Kilaparti Ramakrishna, chief policy adviser, office of the executive director, United Nations Environment Programme, the reason why Russia is pushing so hard for voluntary emissions for developing countries is because it would mean an expanded market for the JI and CDM process.

The Belarus proposal also met the same fate. Decision on it was deferred till the next COP. The Belarus proposal entails amendment of Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol so that the nation can be a part of Annex B group and can take yup quantified emission reductions. Its proposal further includes among other things that Belarus will not account for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks resulting from forest management under article 3 of the Kyoto protocol….Right now Belarus is part of the Annex 1 countries, and hence it cannot participate in activities such JI. But because of the collapse of its economy, it has a lot of carbon emissions that can be traded.

Steve Sawyer of the Climate and energy programme of Greenpeace International said that if the Belarus proposal was to be accepted it would leave a lot of hot air in the entire Kyoto system, and that would mean diluting its purpose. Hence, the proposal should never be accepted. He said that the civil system would protest strongly if the proposal was given a green signal.

Song Dong, Third secretary of the department of treaty and law, ministry of foreign affairs, People’s Republic of China, said the developing countries support the Belarus proposal, whereas the EU is not very keen on it. According to him, a compromise was reached in a working group meeting in which Belarus agreed among other things that it would not participate in JI and CDM activities in the first phase of the commitment period. However this is not going to be of any use, as by the time the protocol is amended and Belarus is included in annex b (if this happen at all) the second commitment period is going to start.

Article 9 review got stuck when a proposal on it by the COP president was not taken well by China. As per the proposal the review was to be concluded by 2008. But China wanted to wait till 2009, after the fourth assessment report of IPCC comes out. The other parties said they would not clear the draft if a single word of the proposal was changed.

Friday, 17 November 2006

High Level Sigment: Day 2

On November 16, 2006, the joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment continued; the second workshop of the “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention” also continued.

Informal consultations and contact groups took place on CDM, review of the Protocol (Article 9), the Russian proposal, and the Belarus proposal to join the Kyoto regime. An informal ministerial meeting was held late night to consider a number of these outstanding issues.

On the post-2012 issues, most delegates highlighted the urgency of agreeing on a post-2012 regime, with delegates from developed countries stressing on common but differentiated responsibilities. India said several key Annex I countries had failed in their Protocol commitments, and described calls for developing countries to take on emissions commitments post-2012 as “shrill,” “surreal,” and a threat to poverty alleviation efforts. Belarus urged resolution of its proposal in Nairobi.

Where the adaptation issue was concerned, most developing countries showed an aggressive stand. Many African countries also showed concerns about their poor share in the CDM regime. Several countries highlighted forests’ contribution to addressing climate change, and positive incentives on deforestation.

Regarding the financial mechanism, The developing countries said that GEF should be more responsive to developing country needs and opposed conditionalities in the operation of the climate funds.

India also emphasised sustainable consumption and production, technology transfer and capacity building. The US underscored placing climate change within a broader agenda than just development and poverty reduction, including energy and food security, and air pollution. Australia stressed enabling environments. Parties agreed to ask the COP to request the Secretariat to prepare an analysis on climate-related financial flows.

Contact group and informal discussions

The CDM contact group faced difficulties on three accounts: on relates to carbon capture and storage and the other was about afforestation and deforestation projects, and lastly on the regional distribution and capacity building. On the latter, the outstanding issues were referred to ministers, and the EU accepted an African Group proposal to encourage Annex I parties’ further initiatives, including financial support, for the development of projects, especially in LDCs.

Where the second issue was concerned, The EU dropped its reservation on a matter referring to CDM EB annexes on the eligibility of land for A/R projects, and the text was agreed by the group. Decisions related to carbon capture and storage were deferred to the next COP.

The review of the Protocol (Article 9) was taken up in consultations throughout the day, and in the evening as part of a ministerial meeting. Following Chair Tudela Abad’s introduction of draft text , progress was made on the text, but differences remained on issues including a “confidence” clause specifying that the review will not lead to non-Annex I commitments, and the dates for the next review, with proposals ranging from 2 to 5 years. The text reportedly remained bracketed as of midnight. According to NGOs like Greenpeace and Friends of Earth, it is highly unlikely that a decision is going to be taken where Article 9 is concerned.

They expect the COP 12 to end with at least a mandate set for the revision for the next COP. They are quite disappointed that the most important item on this year’s COP met with no consequences. They are also disappointed that no timeline has been set where the implementation of the draft decision of Article 3.9 is concerned.

Throughout the day meetings were being held to resolve issues related to Article 9 and the Belarus and Russian proposals. But they were still no signs of any agreement on these matters, especially the Belarus proposal of joining the protocol The matter is as hot as the hot air that Belarus may contribute to the Kyoto regime if it joins.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

November 15th - High Level Segment begins

November 15, 2006 saw the start of the high level segment. This important part of the meeting started with a speech from UN secretary general Kofi Annan. Proving that there still are still die hard climate change skeptics out there, Annan began by stressing that climate change was not science fiction.

Annan pointed out that that low emissions need not mean low growth. "So let there be no more denial. Let no one say we cannot afford to act. The Nairobi conference must send a clear, credible signal that the world’s political leaders take climate seriously. The question is not whether climate change is happening, but whether, in the face of this emergency we ourselves can change fast enough." Clearly, Anan in his speech was reprimanding countries like the US for not playing a pro-active role in the Kyoto Protocol.

And the US response...

Interestingly, soon after his speech the US delegation had organized a press conference, during which it proudly pronounced that it is trying its best to fight global warming. “The US policy is guided by a multi-dimensional approach. We believe in the power of partnerships. It is building partnerships with nations that have common goals. We firmly believe that public-private partnership is a means to fight climate change. We are happy that we are contributing to addressing climate change,” said Paula Dobriansky, under secretary for democracy and global affairs, the US government. “At COP 12 the US delegation is highlighting the efforts taken by the nation to flight climate change.

Adaptation is important here and the US has already financed such activities in many of the developing countries,” Dobriansky added.

When questioned about the lack of leadership from the US, Dobriansky responded by saying that the US is leading and climate change requires global efforts. All countries must be engaged in the effort. “Our recent election will continue to ensure that climate changer is an important issue. In terms of the congress, they are both people for and against the Kyoto protocol in the democrats and the republicans.

When Down To Earth questioned David Miliband, secretary of state, department for environment, food and rural affairs, UK about the UK’s stand on future commitment periods, he said that his country was willing to take up commitments depending on future circumstances.

Other highlights of the day were the presentation of the Stern report, which focuses on the impacts of climate change. Most delegates welcomed the report, which states that the world would incur huge financial losses if steps are not undertaken soon to contain global warming, and what economic opportunities did action on climate change present for different countries and sectors.

During another plenary session, ministers and heads of delegation from more than 35 nations reinstated their general position where action for fighting climate change was concerned.
Tomorrow’s plenaries would see the adoption of some draft decisions taken by SABTA, AWG, and SBI. Other important that would be discussed is the review of the protocol, which was to be done at this COP

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

November 14, 2006 - Day 4

On November 14, 2006, SBSTA, SBI and AWG reconvened to complete their work for the current session. Contact groups and informal consultations were also held throughout the day on issues such as the Adaptation Fund, adaptation programme of work, AWG issues, capacity building, financial mechanism, Special Climate Change Fund, and technology transfer.

On Tuesday, SBSTA, SBI and AWG reconvened to complete their work for the current session. Where the issue of including new HCFC-22, HFC-23 projects in the CDM mechanism was concerned, SBSTA noted that the issue had not been resolved. China expressed disappointment that agreement had not been possible. Contact groups and informal consultations were also held throughout the day on issues such as the Adaptation Fund, adaptation programme of work, AWG issues, capacity building, financial mechanism, Special Climate Change Fund, and technology transfer.

Where adapatation fund is concerned, Adrian Macey from New Zealand reported agreement on a draft of principles and mmodalities, saying it was a significant step forward in operationalising the Fund. He emphasized that the Fund’s principles and modalities were developed without prejudging the final institutional arrangements. The G-77/China noted it is an “innovative solidarity fund,” the EU said it built “new trust” among parties, and Japan hoped the choice of institution will reflect the Fund’s agreed principles and modalities.

One of the most important happenings of November 14, 2006 for developing countries, was the finalisation of the five-year programme. The subsidiary body for scientific and technological advice concluded the work on setting the procedures and modalities of the programme. As per the programme, work would be taken to generate information on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. as per the coordinator of G77 group on this programme, the adaptation of the principles and modalities of this programme is a major set forward in coming up with adaptation procedures for the developing countries.

Other important events of the day were some side events. During one of these events, Elisabeth Lipiatou of the European Commission (EC) highlighted the EU Programme on African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA), whose main aim is to improve the ability to predict the weather and climate in West Africa. Lipiatou asserted the importance of reducing the impacts of variability and trends in the West Africa monsoons and said that it is important to build local capacity to generate information and manage crisis situations.

Amadou Gaye from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, stated that rainfall fluctuation in West Africa has a profound and fundamental impact on the hydrological cycle and that the rainy season determines life and environmental conditions in the region. He outlined the scientific strategy of AMMA, which focuses on improving monsoon forecasting, achieving improved seasonal- and inter-annual predictions; and analysing how monsoons impact food security in the region.

November 13, 2006 - Day 3

Monday, November 13, 2006 saw some action, with the delegates all charged up after the weekend break. The corridors were abuzz about the two main focuses of the meeting: adaptation measures/funding and Article 9, which implies a review of the protocol. At this COP/MOP 2, the review was to have taken place, implying that it was to be initiated and completed at Nairobi. However, most delegates and other participants asserted that this was wishful thinking.

Monday saw two important issues being discussed: the Russian Federation on procedures to approve voluntary commitments under the protocol and the adaptation fund. In the plenary, no decision was reached about the Russian proposal, with many developing countries (especially China) criticising the proposal. Where the draft proposal of the adaptation fund was concerned, some headway was made in the meeting of the contact group of the developing countries, with the delegates agreeing on many procedural and principle details.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary, UNFCCC
During the first week of negotiations, debates and the dialogue started on a success note broadly. Achievements were noted in context of the five-year programme (which mainly is aimed at capacity building and information generation in the developing world). We are hoping that the principles and modalities of the five-year programme are going to be finalised at Nairobi, and this would prove to be very important for the developing countries.

As far as the adaptation fund is concerned, what will be finalised (in all probability) is the principles and modalities of the aim of the fund and its management criteria. A good discussion has also taken place on CDM, with the only bone of contention proving to be on decisions whether to allow new HFC-23 projects under the carbon trading regime.

Another debate relates to technology transfer. Developing countries and the developed world are divided over the fact whether a governing board should be established to look at technology transfer; developed world is insisting that the UNFCCC secretariat is sufficient to look at this aspect, and the new board would only mean additional expenditure.

Developed countries on the other hand think that the new board would mean more efficiency in the process.
Another debate is about whether a new fund is to be established to buy international intellectual property rights where technology transfer is concerned.
One of the most important issues debated here relates to article nine. The protocol had to be reviewed during this meeting as per the text of the protocol (read: it is a legal obligation). As of yet, no decision has been taken on the matter whether it should be completed in this meeting or whether it should be started.

A review is the adequacy for taking the next step forward, i.e., considering post-2012 commitment periods. Basically, G-77 and China don’t want the review as they think that enough information is not available for the review, and the fourth assessment report of the IPCC is not out. The European countries would like to have a review.

As far as the new commitments are concerned, the world is concerned where developing countries are also ready to take up different set of commitments. This is a bone of contention where setting up a new mandate is concerned. At present an ad hoc group is looking at the future commitments: what will be the mandate? What will be its basis?

I think that a new formal mandate should not be reached at Nairobi. It’s too early. This COP by addressing the issues important for developing countries, i.e. adaptation, would give confidence (both to developing and developed countries) about kick-starting a new negotiation process.
Lastly, where accusations related to inadequate response from EU is concerned, I think EU is putting in a lot of effort. To reach to a consensus, it is important for the developing nations to indulge in a meaningful and open-minded discussion.

Pradipto Ghosh, secretary, MOEF
India is ready for a review of the protocol, as it is legally mandatory. Everybody knows why the developing countries are being pushed for. A review is linked to post-2012 commitments, and it may be a way to make developing countries take up commitments. The Indian position is clear where this is concerned. But what India is asking is that a review process should be started and finished here at Nairobi, as it is stated in the Kyoto text.

We are neither supporting nor opposing the review. But article 9 also states that they are connected reviews (of the present commitments of the developed world) which should be undertaken while reviewing the protocol. It is yet to be seen how the developed world undertakes the entire task of the review in just a wee (and hence out position).

Where the adaptation fund is concerned, I think we should be very careful about taking a decision on the operational entity. It is a very important issues, and I would rather have the decision delayed than taking one in haste that the developing world may regret later on.

Mohammad Reazuddin, chair of the LDC group
Yes it is true that there is friction among the developing countries where the adaptation fund is concerned. China is not against the GEF being the operational entity. Why should it be, as it gets 50 per cent of the GEF funding. India is the second largest receiver of the GEF funding; but it is subtly supporting G-77 where the debate about operational entity is concerned. But at present all the developing countries have decided that they would not debate about the operational entity and rather concentrate on getting the procedures and principles of the fund finalised here at Nairobi. Once this is done, then a decision on the operational entity would be a easy one.

What we want is that the fund should be under the authority of Cop/MOP; and where governance is concerned, there should be balance (in terms of representation) and equity (in terms of funding). Lastly, there should be transparency. We are also demanding additional LDC representation, which has not been taken well by other developing countries.
Another point of friction is that small island nations want that some developing countries should take up commitments. However, we have hushed this debate for the time being, as we would like to present a united front.

Lucie Giraud, Communications officer,
Environment and Social Development Department,
International Finance Corporation, the World Bank group

At these discussions, everybody talks about technology transfer for a better world. But these are just political discussions. What is important is the role of the private sector. Entrepreneurs in the developing countries can be self-sufficient if they are made aware about the fact that switching over to greener technologies is profitable in the long-run. It is not necessary to be pronounced as a financial cripple for technology transfer to take place. Efficient technologies exist in developing countries. The bottleneck is the mechanisms to finance the switchover with both the entrepreneurs and banks being skeptical about the returns. Such facts are completely ignored in such negations with no discussions about the role of the private sector. The World Bank is not able to influence the negotiators of the developed world to push for such ideas, as within the bank also there is a divide, with the public sector wing asking for the establishment of a carbon/climate change fund. The bank has too many facets.

Outi Berghall,
Director, International Climate Project, Ministry of Environment, Finland

As far as a review is concerned, European nations have a coordinated position. A review is an obligation under the protocol. However, we need everybody on the deck, as the developing countries are responsible for a less percentage of global warming now. Climate change is a global problem and emissions are worldwide.

Action just taken by the developed world would not be an answer to the mammoth problem. Even if we curb our emissions, the problem would persist. Russia’s proposal of voluntary emission reduction is an important thing, irrespective of the details. We should provide an environment where a debate can be held about this.

Another important debate in Nairobi among the developing countries concerns the poor geographical distribution of CDM projects. At present this is the case as it is a market-based mechanism. We think the way out is capacity building.”

Monday, 13 November 2006

November 11, 2006 - Reporter's diary Day 2


On November 11, 2006, SBSTA convened to consider :
- Cooperation with international organisations,
- Various progress reports, Protocol article 2.3 (adverse impacts of policies and measures)
- Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport (“bunker fuels”).

Contact groups and informal consultations took place throughout the day on issues such as capacity building, technology transfer, deforestation, the CDM, the Joint Implementation (JI) Supervisory Committee, the programme of work on adaptation, Protocol Article 9 (review of the Protocol), issues under the AWG, and privileges and immunities for individuals serving on Protocol bodies.

The main meetings:

· The Adaptation Fund contact group broke into closed small-group consultations focused on the principles and modalities of the Fund, making some progress on the list of principles.
· The contact group exchanged views on a range of CDM-related issues. On a simplified methodology for switching from non-renewable to renewable biomass, Brazil cautioned against perverse incentives for deforestation. The EU and Japan said it was unfortunate that the CDM Executive Board was unable to reach a conclusion and noted the need for consistency with the Marrakesh Accords. The EU and Nepal will convene consultations. On afforestation and reforestation and methodologies for small-scale projects, Columbia will consult interested parties on its proposal.

Several delegates noted that this COP has been quieter than previous COPs. November 11, 2006, seem to be quite dull. The crowd was certainly missing in action, with the corridors bereft of the buzzing activity. In fact this COP has been quieter than previous ones. Both policy makers and non-governmental organisations have been keeping a low profile, and the colour and energy is missing from the event.

The Buzz

Delegate from the EU spoken on conditions of anonymity

“Within EU itself there is huge disparity where reduction commitments are concerned, with some states having very low and some having very high obligations. The biggest issue for EU even during this COP s that the big transitional economies should also take up commitments. Developing countries have a lot of people and hence they would always have a low per capita. Hence their argument about low per capita to be linked with emission obligation is not logical.

But this is an endless debate, and it is always very frustrating to answer questions about a post-2012 regime. I don’t think that this COP would also see any substantial results. This COP is quite different from the others because the volume of contact groups is not that many.

Also the agenda itself is not that heavy. No final decision taking is mandatory for nay of the agendas. This time there are no topics on the agenda whereby any country can gain any kind of political mileage and hence things are pretty subdued.

Where the adaptation fund is concerned, not many EU members are ready to contribute towards it. Only countries with big corporations based in developing countries are willing as they stand to gain something from it.

Where the US and Australia are concerned, they ensure that the protocol and convention are separated properly, so that they bare not made responsible for many funding.
For the post-2012 commitments, the EU has not been pushed by Saudia Arabia, the Philippines and Brazil that usually hate us. Even the Indian delegates have not pronounced themselves in an aggressive manner.

Talks have been happening but not on a concrete basis, and they have been no assaults on the developed world. It has been a surprisingly cautious approach taken by the developing countries. The post-2012 regime has been only discussed from the methodology point of view, such as how to do the greenhouse gas inventory. But I have not heard single developing countries asking the developing nations that how are you going to reduce your emissions.

If this has not happened this last week, it won’t definitely happen the next week.
This time most of the delegates are from Africa, but even they seem to be missing from the venue. I think the charm of an African safari is more than that of deciding the world’s future.

There is a lot of talk on CDM, with reforestation projects being strongly pushed. The EU is against this as the developing countries might clear their natural forest and go for plantations to get CDM benefits.

Domenico Gaudioso
Working with the Kyoto registry of the environment agency of Italy (A ‘party’ delegate)

“Negotiations are proceeding in a constructive way. This time like any other COP, the agenda is flooded by a number of items. The only problem is to find a solution to each and every item. Right now the main talk is on the adaptation fund. The convention should give clearer guideline to GEF so that it can become an effective operational entity. In principle, I Think that GEF is the best operational entity for the fund. Where the post-201 commitments are concerned, I think we should engage developing countries to also have commitments. Developing countries should take up commitments if they have reached certain level of development.”

Britta Freitag
Chief executive officer, Climate Alliance, Germany

“Right now they are geared towards large reforestation and afforestation CDM projects. Small scale projects are hardly seen, despite the methodology being there. There is a faction that does not want reforestation and afforestation to be a part of CDM. Right now small farmers do not have the capability to apply for CDM projects, and hence the methodology needs to be changed. But even during the present negotiations we do not seem to see a chance of seeing this happen, rather exactly the opposite is having. According to the chairperson the CDM executive board, he is not willing to increase the baseline limit of CDM projects as he thinks it is a complex matter.”

Mama Konate,
Director General permanent representative of Mali with WMO (A ‘party’ delegate)

For my country adaptation is an important issue being a least developed country. We would like to enlarge the scope of CDM projects so that most countries become eligible for getting CDM benefits.

Right now we think that small issues such as the number of sectors covered under CDM are important as funds provided to us would not be enough for adaptation. One of the agenda in this meeting is how to operationalise the LDC fund, and how GEF will proceed to mobilise funds for the National Action Programme for Adaptation for these countries I don’t see any headway being made in this issues.

During last year’s COP, GEF had said that the sliding scale system should be introduced, whereby a percentage of adaptation cost should be paid by the LD countries. The debate about it had then started which is still continuing in this COP. We are yet to reach a decision on this.

Another issue is the special climate change fund. The procedures and modalities of this were discussed during last COP. The views of the developing and developed nation were very diverse, withy the developed countries being concerned about the overlapping on the various funds. These negotiations are very complex and I am not very optimistic that something is going to emerge from this COP.”

Bal Krishna Prasai,
Secretary, ministry of environment, science and technology, Nepal
Batu Kridshna Uprety,
Chief, environment assessment section, ministry of environment, science and technology, Nepal
Khum Raj Punjali,
joint secretary, ministry of environment, science and technology, Nepal

Our main concern is a new CDM methodology for Biogas plants whereby the number would be reduced by 75 per cent. We have 19,396 registered CDM projects of biogas. Therefore, the new mythology would affect us drastically. We had raised this issue during the plenary and the issue was awarded to the contact groups. The contact group chairperson has now told us to have consultations with the EU, and then only the issue would be decided. As for the G-77 position, it is working hard where the adaptation fund is concerned. The developing countries want the procedure of administering this fund to be simplified. The present concern in this COP is how Annex I countries would comply with the o-going commitments. These things are being discussed a lot in the corridors”

Saturday, 11 November 2006

November 10, 2006 - Reporter's diary Day 1

The mood of the negotiations was already set by the fifth day. The two hot topics of the COP agenda, post-2012 commitments and the adaptation fund. Most felt that this year’s climate change meeting would see the beginning of setting the modalities and structure of the adaptation fund and also the initial debate of the post 2012 commitment period.

For a backgrounder on the negotiations read our previous post here
For factsheets on climate change and the negotiations click here

United States
When asked about the US position, many participants mentioned the US mid-term elections with a change in leadership of both houses of parliament expectations have been raised among the climate policy community. The only people not talking about this was the US, there has been no change in their stance. The United States is not party to the Kyoto Protocol, and is therefore not subject to mandatory green house gas emission reduction commitments. The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012. The big agenda item for the conference is getting the US and Australia on board.

Adaptation fund

The Group of 77 (G77), the largest bloc representing developing countries has put up a united front where the adaptation fund is concerned. Most G77 countries have supported the Philippines proposal of having the operational entity of the adaptation fund accountable to the COP/MOP’s authority.

The Philippines, for the G-77/CHINA, said the fund’s principles, governance structure and modalities should be agreed before deciding on institutional arrangements, and stressed that the fund should be accountable to the COP/MOP. Tuvalu, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States(AOSIS), welcomed discussion on the fund’s modalities and emphasised full cost funding for adaptation projects to assist the most vulnerable developing countries.

Bangladesh, for the Least Developed Countries (LDC), the group who will bear the biggest cost of climate change said the fund should be managed by an executive body such as the CDM Executive Board with regional representatives including LDCs.

Japan, Norway and Switzerland said the GEF is best placed to manage the Fund. The EU urged further consideration of the Fund’s governance structure and early start.
Read ‘Miscalculation’ [Down To Earth – April 30, 2006] for more on some of the controversy surrounding GEF.

According to some delegates, during this year’s COP, the adaptation fund’s operational entity has now caused a rift among the developed and developing countries. Most developed countries want GEF to become the operational entity. The developing countries oppose this idea, stating that GEF performance in the past has not been appropriate and if it is made the operational entity they may never see the funds.

The Russian proposal on voluntary commitments met staunch opposition from the G-77/China in plenary, even though some suggested that a number of developing countries may privately be somewhat sympathetic

European Union (EU)
The EU delegates seem to be keeping a low profile so far; indicating that there is no change in their stated position and it is same as it was in the previous climate change meetings. However, some participants observed that there is always a difference in the stated and political positions.
The difference between the stated and political position would be clear when the high level segment begins next week. All the participants are now eagerly waiting for this segment, where the real action lies.

The buzz

Benito Muller
Managing director, Oxford Climate Policy

“The developed nations would not like to talk about eligibility of who gets the adaptation fund and the institutions that are going to implement it. The only positive thing is that G77 has a united position where the entire issue is concerned. This is very impressive. India is also lending support to G77 for this, though in a subtle manner. As for the post 2012 commitment period, everybody is hopeful. I was talking to the COP president and he said that he is optimistic where the US stand is concerned. UK also thinks that there is still a way to get the US on board. The most funniest thing that has happened during this COP was a workshop of the developed countries with IPCC where they discussed the basics of climate change.”

Ulric Trotz,
Scientific Adviser, Caribbean community, Climate Change Centre, Belize

“The last week saw a whole lot of meetings that set the basis of the next week’s action. The convention has always been heavily sided towards mitigation. But the developing countries need adaptation also. This issue is now being taken up and this year’s meeting is an indication of that. We should be starting the adaptation fund as soon as possible. Africa is asking for a special adaptation fund, but this to many seems an impossibility. The main constrain to the adaptation fund is the resources. Linking it to CDM is a good idea, but how much funds would it generate?
Moreover, it should not be linked to the ODA(Overseas Development Aid). Then there is a big concern about its management. We would like a simple mechanism adopted where this fund is concerned rather a complex one that involves organisations like GEF.”

Brent M Swallow
Leader of environmental services theme,
World Agro forestry Centre, Nairobi

“This COP is seeing a lot of talk on agroforestry but no substantial results seem to be coming out especially in the context of its use in the clean development mechanism. There are still lot of procedural modalities that need to be worked out. However, steps should be taken to resolve the bottlenecks as CDM benefits can make agro forestry profitable.”

Christiana Figueres
Official Delegate/negotiator
Costa Rica

“The conference is a major event, and reaching a decision is not easy. The European Union is resolute in it’s the maintenance of the current system. But its expansion means reaching a unanimous decision and making internal policy changes are difficult tasks. The US remains unwilling to change its hard line stance. At the beginning of the Nairobi conference, the US representative advised that while Bush remains in power, the US’ position on the Kyoto Protocol will not change.”