Daily Report from Bonn III: Wednesday, 4 June 2010

Since yesterday, the AWG-LCA has been meeting in separate spin-off groups to address four aspects of the new draft negotiating text: shared vision; mitigation; adaptation; and finance, technology, and capacity building. Below, I’ll define the focus of each group, as well as identify some key concerns that lie within them.

Shared Vision

As the name implies, shared vision sets forth the AWG-LCA’s shared vision on long-term cooperative action. It provides the common basic understanding upon which the specificities of mitigation, adaptation, and finance, technology, and capacity building can be addressed. Intheir analysis of the new draft, the Third World Network noted that there are significant gains and losses for developing countries. I won’t reiterate all of the wording changes here, but I will underscore that in regard to natural resources, especially atmospheric space, the struggle continues to have “equitable share” articulated in the text, as opposed to “equitable access.” This fight runs parallel to the one we just won in the General Assembly on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Seeing the world as a commons to be shared equitably among all living things first and foremost differs from a world in which access depends on wealth, privilege, and other factors that are not at all common. In the drafting group today, developing countries asked that the shared vision address all implementation gaps, including text on human rights, particularly the rights of indigenous peoples, women, and children. Other issues that were covered include emissions cuts and global temperatures, as well as the peaking of national and global emissions. Scientists generally agree that an early peaking of emissions, preferably by 2020, is necessary for a 50% chance of limiting global temperature rise below 2°C. Developing countries are obviously in favor of a more ambitious cap of 1.5°C, but will also take longer than developed countries to peak their emissions. The new draft recognizes this difference and affirms that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries.

Mitigation and Adaptation

Mitigation involves reductions in the concentrations of GHGs either by reducing their sources or by enhancing their removal from the atmosphere. Mitigation is different from adaptation, in that adaptation consists of actions to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to the harmful effects of climate change. Mitigation hosts discussions similar to those in the KP on baseline and target years, aggregate reduction ranges, and reduction “commitments.” In June, there was considerable alarm over whether the text was attempting to “kill the Kyoto Protocol” by “merging the negotiations into a single-track.” The new draft, however, is more reassuring in its reference to a CP 2 of the KP and in its alignment of Annex I Parties’ targets with those expressed in the AWG-KP. The drafting group on mitigation continued to discuss its relationship to the KP before textual suggestions on nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) were made by developing country Parties. The text grew from three to eleven pages, sparking frustration among some delegates. Countries will continue to contribute to the text tomorrow. In the adaptation drafting group, developing countries called for an adaptation committee under the Convention that would provide guidance, technical support, and advice on adaptation projects. More remains to be heard from these discussions.

Finance, Technology, and Capacity Building

In brief, this aspect of the AWG-LCA’s work outlines financial commitments made by developed countries to enhance action on mitigation and adaptation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building in developing countries. Whereas the new draft includes a G-77/China proposal of contributing 1.5% gross domestic product (GDP) of developed countries per year by 2020, developing countries have been asking for a funding increase of at least 5% GDP since Copenhagen. This group will continue paragraph-by-paragraph consideration of the text tomorrow.

Your reporter from Bonn,
Jessica Chen, Program Coordinator