Wednesday, 15 November 2006

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.”

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