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Climate: Reading one book in different editions, and not all are on the same page

Posted on 3 September 2012

IBON International Updates #04 

(BANGKOK, Sept. 2, 2012) — With only three more days left at the Bangkok informal additional sessions, there are a number of outstanding issues in which developed and developing country negotiators appear to be reading the same book, but one that has different versions and editions. And if these differences weren’t enough, they are not all on the same page, to say the least.
 
Take for instance the open-ended informal consultation by H.E. Mr. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the President Designate of COP 18/CMP 8, on the expectations of Parties and observers for the Doha Climate Conference set to be held in end-November in Qatar.
 
Mr. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah started the consultation by saying that we 
are close to concluding an important milestone on the road to Doha. He said that in the Doha outcome, we would want to see balanced progress on all tracks—referring to the Ad hoc Working Groups on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA), Kyoto Protocol (KP), and the Durban Platform (ADP). He recognizes that this will not be easy, and that there are important political choices to be made. He said that overall, there is “optimism and an understanding for the need for compromise to preserve the multilateral system for the future generations.”
 
Algeria, speaking for the G77/China , recognized that important progress has been made in the negotiations, and there is a need to ensure a smooth transition of work within the three ad hoc groups.
 
Nauru, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) , said that a legally binding second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol (2CP) with environmental integrity is key to having a successful outcome in Doha. Nauru further elaborated that the 2CP should have a period of five years, and should respond to the upcoming 5th report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with a new set of global ambitions. There must be agreements on the following areas: (a) a timeframe on global peaking; (b) a review of the 2-degree temperature increase target, and strengthening it further to a target of well below 1.5-degree rise; (c) on scope and modalities so as to ensure scientific integrity of review; (d) establishment of international mechanisms to address loss and damage, which is even more an urgent priority in the light of the low ambition currently on table.
 
Switzerland, speaking for the Environmental Integrity Group , said that Doha should be an important milestone in the longer process of strengthening the international climate change regime. It has three building blocks, to wit: (a) 2CP; (b) successful conclusion of the work of AWG-LCA; and (c) Doha should reflect that we are on track the ADP and we are committed to make it successful.
 
Australia, for the Umbrella Group and supported by Kazakhstan and Ukraine, said it looks forward to a Doha outcome that balances progress and that the focus should be on agreements essential to launch the 2CP and “avoid discussions on areas where consensus cannot be had.”
 
Swalizand, on behalf
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