Yields of the Night Vigil

by Anjali Appadurai

I started this post at 4am, and worked on it intermittently until now – 9:30am. No new LCA text, no sleep. These ministers worked through the night, and through the documents they released from their “indaba” at a couple of different intervals, we have some meagre updates.

The indaba high-level consultations convened at midnight and are still going strong, with three draft texts produced thus far. They took a short break at around 2:30 but are back to work. Tonight, three new indaba texts were produced, plus an options table, a KP document and a “big picture” text. Discussed below is the “big picture” and the KP text.

Big picture:

The final LCA text was supposed to have been released at 6am, but it’s 7:30 and we’re still waiting. Basically, leaked documents show this “big picture” for the texts so far:

–          The text would end the AWG-LCA at COP18, or at least render it irrelevant because it would set up a parallel track under the Convention

–          The Bali Action Plan will be incomplete by COP18 but LCA will end anyway (ie – a broken commitment)

–          The LCA would be replaced with a new body of the name [XX] thus far

–          This new body would be the framework for creating a new treaty or protocol to address the same concerns as the LCA

–          The new treaty would include the major pillars of the Bali Action Plan (references to finance, technology transfer, capacity building, adaptation), but would not be the same in terms of content

–          There is no reference in the text to the principles of the Convention (common but differentiated and historical responsibility, equity)

–          The text would “call” for a process to develop a legally-binding agreement. Simply being legally-binding is not sufficient to ensure action. There needs to be substance.


The KP outcome is grim.

–          No second commitment period this year.

–          Rather, the mandate of the AWG-KP is pushed back

–          The text “invites” KP Parties (which now excludes Canada, Russia, Japan, in addition to the already absent US) to “offer” their pledges in an annex to the decision

–          In order for there to be ratification of the Protocol for a second commitment period, Parties must amend and ratify the original Annexes and full text. The text of the Annex B is totally different, and a 2CP cannot be achieved if this Annex B stays.

–          Does not include any text to say that Parties should start to apply the rules laid out in the document before it enters into force officially

–          There is no shared vision; ie, the text allows Japan, Canada and Russia to escape their obligations under KP. Aussie and NZ are only “considering” offering pledges.

–          This text provides a perfect backdoor with a red carpet for Annex 1 countries to make the Great Escape from their commitments

–          Loopholes and weak wording allows A1 countries to increase emissions.





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