Day 9 Policy Updates: let’s talk about text, baby

by Lara Shirley

We are entering the point in the COP where negotiation spaces are mostly closed to us, and draft decision text is being generated from the various areas of work. To see the documents published so far, go here.

Things to look out for: there are some areas that haven’t been concluded yet and are still undergoing negotiations. These are – ADP, finance, loss and damage, REDD+ institutions and finance, and the budget for biennium 2014-2015. Markets, technology and agriculture have been postponed to June when the subsidiary bodies meet, the ‘Brazilian proposal’ is not going to be discussed, and mitigation pledges have already been stated.
The loss and damage draft text was issued recently. The text is fairly strong: it creates pathways towards crucial elements (e.g. finance) but doesn’t explicitly explain those things, instead leaving the details to be defined at a later date. The text does contain a definition of slow onset events. It creates a dedicated entity to fulfill risk management, stakeholder dialogues and action and support on finance, technology and capacity building. The text is good in that it says that developed countries are responsible for providing support to developing countries. However, there is no consensus on the term ‘mechanism’, as it is too strong, and the term ‘institutional agreement’ is used in its place.

The ADP text was issued yesterday. Today there were two open consultations as well as a special event with the co-chairs, in which civil society was permitted to ask questions and give comments to the co-chairs.

[Earth] was the first to ask a question, calling out the fact that developed countries are not showing the ambition and leadership needed right now. Developed countries claim there is that no need to talk about the implementation gap that many developing countries called for because other processes are dealing with it, but in reality we know that nothing is happening elsewhere either. There’s no money, no willingness to talk about loss and damage, no removing of barriers to technology transfer like IPR. Given this, another decade is going to be lost with very low ambition – with backsliding by Japan and Australia, which is clearly destructive to the negotiations. We are frustrated with no leadership coming from developed countries – we are angry and upset – especially given what we have seen in Philippines. What can be done to put pressure on developed countries?

However, this was interpreted by the co-chairs as being about non-state actors, and as a result got a fairly mundane response. Most of the other questions in the room were from BINGOs, including Merrill Lynch and a carbon capture and storage business.

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