The United Nations climate talks here will close only by Saturday as some contentious issues remain unresolved. They were scheduled to end on Friday. The developing countries have expressed grave dissatisfaction with the final texts of proposals that don’t set out a clear road map of action in terms of ambitious emission cuts from developed countries or a financial commitment for adaption or loss and damage.
The developing countries said they would not be pushed into agreeing to weak outcomes even if they were rushed for time. While strong protests from India and the G 77 plus China led to the principles of equity, shared vision, finances and technology transfer being put back into the long term cooperative action (LCA) track, there is no indication of commitment on funds. The African Group, G 77 plus China and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and others said the outcome needed to be balanced with concerns of the developing world. For instance after ministerial consultations, the draft decision on key finance only invites “developed country Parties to submit, by the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties, [a year from now], their viable pathways for mobilising and scaling up the provision of climate finance from 2012 levels to at least $ 100 billion a year by 2020.”
In the stocktaking plenary after the texts on the Kyoto Protocol, LCA and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) were released in the morning, the developing countries, led by China, said they were not satisfactory and that their concerns were not reflected. The text on the Kyoto Protocol leaves much to be desired and it is vague on emission cuts by the developed countries and the period of commitment of the Protocol in the next phase which starts from January 2013.
There is a raging controversy over the text of the ADP where issues of equity don’t find mention. The U.S. has been arguing that the principles of equity are enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and there was no need for a specific inclusion here.
The big battle is over equity and common but differentiated responsibility and if these have to be included in ADP. The ADP is a subsidiary body that was established in Durban to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.
The ADP is to complete its work as early as possible but no later than 2015 in order to adopt this protocol, legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.
Meena Raman from the Third World Network (TWN) said the feedback from the finance text was very worrying. As for commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the concern was that the text does not address emission cuts which are at low levels, for instance the European Union (EU) still aims at cutting only 20 per cent of its emissions.
The issue of surplus emissions is not addressed, and the length of second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol is left vague - from five to eight years.
The tricky zone of intellectual property rights (IPR) in relationship with technology transfer remains vague. It has been one of the most controversial issues in Doha and the U.S. was very clear it didn't want it, Ms. Raman said.
As for cutting emissions, the texts propose “deep reduction in global greenhouse gases” or ““urge developed countries to increase ambition” or set “long term goals for emission reduction. Late on Friday night, president of the Conference of Parties (COP) 18 Abdullah Bin Hamid Al Hattiyah of Qatar called on countries to focus on ambition and balance which, he said, were the keys to the success of the Doha Climate gateway.
Speaking at an informal stocktaking plenary, he called on the ministerial outreach teams to finalise key issues on finance and loss and damage.