From Crevice to Chasm

By Julian Velez

Developed countries are trying to undermine the relevance of the Bali Road Map as a whole, as well as the Durban Package laid out last year. These include a 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP), and comparable mitigation actions by developed countries for non-KP parties under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) from developing countries with support from means of implementation, these are finance and technology transfer. The agreements for means of implementation have not been met.

The Adaptation Fund has very little resources; The Green Climate Fund is Empty (GCF); technology transfer is not successful because of the Intellectual Property Rights are being held tightly by Europe and the US; the 30 billion dollars for fast start finance is not all new and additional, most of it is repackaged Official Development Aid (ODA) and is mostly loans rather than grants; there is no clear plan to address the incredibly low target of 100 billion dollars annually that is needed by 2020 for long term finance, developed countries do not even want to  engage in a conversation to address climate finance. Conservative numbers suggested by the World Bank say we need 265-565 billion dollars annually for mitigation and the UNFCCC secretariat says we need 380 billion annually for adaptation. Developed countries do not want to be subject to Measuring Reporting and Verifying (MRV) mechanisms for the provision of finance, while developing countries have MRVs for the use of received funding. This is a double standard.

We got a text that the chair of the LCA “compiled” in which none of these key issues are reflected adequately, the only theme that was given priority was the framework for various approaches, which should be called “ framework for various markets” as Bolivia said, because it only includes markets as options and did not include the submission from Bolivia that was backed by twenty other parties. The crucial themes that are needed for the advancement of the work of the LCA are missing. Developed countries do not want any text on adaptation; Australia mentioned that they could talk about it at some point later in another forum. The Least Developed Countries (LDC), the African Group, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), and the G77 (All of the developing world) as a whole rejected the text very strongly. It is a text that simply does not include all the basic and essential points that are needed to have a comprehensive outcome for implementation in adaptation and mitigation and that reflects the priorities of all parties rather than a blank check for the most outrageous inaction. The G77 and all the developing world challenged this text in order to re-enter discussions to produce a text for a decision this year that reflects the steps that are needed to truly implement the unfinished work of the LCA.

The US, Australia, Japan and other developed countries do not want to engage in contact groups (smaller meetings) to discuss the issues and produce text, they are not willing to address adaptation, finance or technology transfer. Developed countries praise all the work that has been done, but we don’t have a clear decision under the Conference Of the Parties (COP) for taking the implementation forward. We only have institutional structures; it’s like having a battery with no electricity. If we don’t have a decision under the COP and continue these issues under the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention (as proposed by developing countries) they will be forgotten and followed with very slow implementation, these issues need the status to be prioritized, otherwise we will be locked in to 8 more years of inaction. We cannot afford to have a suicide pact for the world, the developing world is being pushed to agree to a package agreement that has no implementation and ambition for the key pre-2020 work that is needed if we are to prevent climate change at a genocidal scale.

The Bali Road Map, which is the epitome of equity and ambition under the UNFCCC, is being toppled by the indifference and unwillingness of the developed world to respect agreements. The US and the developed world want to forget the past agreements and build a new regime that ignores their historical responsibility and that offers a universal legally unambitious protocol. We have nothing in the KP, we have nothing in the LCA and we have nothing in the ADP on the 2nd work stream that is supposed to bridge the ambition gap for the pre 2020 work. If no country or block pushes strongly for rejecting this agreement we will be bound to an extremely unambitious and inequitable agreement. We must at least deliver concretely on compensation for loss and damage, a real second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with real ambitious numbers, and on a clear work plan with timeframes to deliver climate finance to even be able to accept the outcome package of COP18, the bar is set at its lowest this is a huge chasm in in the the worlds climete and for the lives of the poor.


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