|TWN Poznan News Update No.17: Lack of progress in AWG-KP on new Annex I commitments
|Written by Hira Jhamtani, Third World Network
|Friday, 12 December 2008 00:00
But there was no substantial progress on the range of emission reduction that will be taken by Annex 1 Parties or the time range for the next period of commitment, which is scheduled to begin in 2013. Diplomats and observers speculated that there may only be progress when the next US administration is in place early next year. Although the US is not a party to the Kyoto protocol, its plans on national emission reduction will have a major impact on the AWG-KP’s work.
The AWG-KP discussed means, methodological issues, mitigation potential and ranges of emission reduction objectives, and consideration of further commitments for Annex 1 countries during the Poznan Conference on Climate Change. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries, known as Annex 1 Parties, have to make subsequent period of commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) when their first period commitment ends in 2012.
In the conclusion, the AWG said that its work should be guided by a shared vision set by the objective of the Convention. In paragraph 6, the AWG KP noted the IPCC fourth Assessment Report (AR4) indicates that global emissions need to peak in the next 10-15 years and be reduced to very low levels, well below half the levels in 2000 by the middle of the 21st century in order to stabilise their concentrations in the atmosphere at the lowest levels assessed by the IPCC to date in its scenarios.
It recalled that the AWG-KP had earlier recognized that a working group of the IPCC indicates that to achieve the lowest levels of GHGs emission assessed by the IPCC and that to limit the corresponding damage, the Annex 1 Parties as a group are required to reduce emissions in the range of 25-40% below the 1990 levels by 2020. The conclusion added that the ranges do not take into account lifestyle changes which has the potential to increase the reduction range. Also, the ranges would be significantly higher for Annex I parties if they were the result of analysis assuming that emission reductions were to be undertaken exclusively by Annex I parties.
The AWG-KP also noted the concerns raised by small island states and some developing countries on the lack of analysis of stabilisation scenarios below 450 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent. The information in para 6 will be reviewed in the light of information including from further scientific work on stabilisation scenarios.
The AWG-KP further elaborated that the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex 1 Parties in aggregate should be informed by consideration of analysis of mitigation potential, effectiveness, efficiency, cost and benefits of current and future policies, measures and technologies at the disposal of Annex 1 Parties. The consideration of this contribution should be made in a transparent and coherent manner and may lead to a spread of values for QELROs among individual Annex 1 Parties.
It also said that the use of emissions trading and project based mechanisms and measures linked to land use and forestry activities “should continue to be available to Annex I parties as means to reach their emission reduction objectives…..The AWG-KP recalled that the use of emissions trading and the project-based mechanisms should be supplemental to the implementation of domestic action at the disposal of Annex 1 Parties.” Lastly the AWG-KP invited Annex 1 Parties to submit information on their possible QELROs before the seventh session of the AWG-KP.
The conclusions show that the AWG-KP’s work has not made much progress since the first part of the sixth session of AWG-KP in Accra in August 2008. The figures have not moved beyond that provided by IPCC and these are still being “considered” by the AWG-KP. It has not held detailed discussions on some of the contentious issues such as LULUCF, aviation and bunker fuel and the approaches targeting sectoral emissions, thus carrying it forward for the next sessions.
The AWG-KP in a separate decision on its 2009 work programme agreed to a heavy agenda, with meetings scheduled in March, June, August/September and at the Copenhagen COP. It also decided that if required, it will hold an additional session in 2009.
On further commitments of Annex 1 Parties, it identified 12 items in the work program, ranging from consideration of the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex 1 Parties, duration of the commitments, coverage of GHGs, sectors and source categories, possible approaches targeting sectoral emissions to analysis of efforts and achievements to date. Parties are invited to submit views on these matters by February 15, 2009.
The AWG-KP hopes by its tenth session, at the Copenhagen COP to consider issues relating to rules and modalities on three issues: (1) possible analysis of the means to reach emission reduction targets, (2) consideration of relevant and methodological issues, and (3) consideration of information on potential impacts of tools, policies, measures and methodologies available to Annex 1 Parties. It also hopes to further consider draft text on consideration of further commitments by Annex 1 Parties and other draft decisions or draft amendments. In all, these would constitute draft decisions on the subsequent period of commitment for Annex 1 Parties to reduce GHGs emission under the Kyoto Protocol.
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