December 11, 2009

Proceedings at COP15

Tuvalu intervenes in the COP/MOP plenary and calls for establishing a contact group to discuss proposed amendments to the Protocol

TUVALU, supported by Grenada, for AOSIS, stressed the Protocol’s importance now and in the future and elaborated on its two proposals to amend the Protocol. He highlighted, inter alia, proposals on: the second commitment period and new commitments in Annex B; extending the share of proceeds; giving legal authority to the Compliance Committee; and including new greenhouse gases, as well as international aviation and maritime emissions.

AUSTRALIA emphasized that her country needs more than a Protocol amendment from Copenhagen. She said a unified protocol would have certain advantages but that an outcome with two protocols is possible if they are linked as a package. The EU stressed its commitment to safeguarding the Kyoto Protocol’s key elements. He said the AWG-KP process allows for comprehensive consideration of issues raised by the amendment proposals and underlined that a decision on Protocol amendments must be taken in the context of an overall agreement.

JAPAN outlined its proposed draft protocol, saying it relates to the Protocol’s deficiencies, including that the Kyoto Protocol only covers 30% of global emissions. He stressed that a “simple” Protocol amendment would not be an effective post-2012 legal framework, expressing preference for a single new Protocol.
JAPAN emphasized that the intention is not to ignore and bury the Kyoto Protocol, but “expand the scope of responsibility and construct on the Kyoto foundation an expanded and more durable vehicle.”

ETHIOPIA, for LDCs, said the issue is a controversial one as it is being discussed under both the AWG-KP and the COP/MOP. He expressed willingness to consider the issue in a contact group to see if the proposals contain ambitious targets and promote LDCs’ interests.

BRAZIL, supported by many developing countries, noted a proposal by 35 countries to amend Protocol Annex B based on the mandate in Protocol Article 3.9 (Annex I parties’ further commitments). He said the proposal reflects the high end of the 25-40% range in the IPCC AR4 as well as Annex I countries’ historical responsibility. Many developing countries stressed that the most important task of COP/MOP 5 is to adopt a Protocol amendment to inscribe new commitments for developed countries in Annex B based on the mandate in Protocol Article 3.9. Many developing countries also highlighted the Kyoto Protocol as the only legally-binding instrument to mitigate climate change, urged continuing it in the second commitment period and opposed attempts to “kill” or supersede it, or make it redundant. Many also underscored continuation of the Protocol as a condition for an outcome in Copenhagen.

EGYPT, supported by several developing countries, said elements of the proposed Protocol amendments have also been submitted under the Convention and the AWG-LCA, lamenting this “triplication” of efforts and urging focusing on “the real thing.”

NEW ZEALAND said her country’s preference would be a single and unified post-2012 legal outcome avoiding duplication of efforts and institutions. Without prejudice to this, she said her country has proposed Protocol amendments, envisaging the Kyoto Protocol as part of a fully integrated package with a legally-binding outcome under the Convention.

BOLIVIA outlined a proposed Protocol amendment, emphasizing that developed countries have “expropriated more than their fair share of the earth’s environmental space.” She said repayment of this “climate debt” is simple: those who became wealthy while causing climate change are responsible for compensating those who are poor. She called for strong efforts by developed countries to reduce their over-pollution and over-consumption.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA agreed with the focus on Protocol Article 3.9 but, supported by others, called for also considering forest issues and REDD. COLOMBIA also noted her country’s proposals to amend other aspects of the Protocol and expressed interest in discussing other countries’ proposals.

TUVALU emphasized that unlike the AWG-KP’s mandate, this agenda item relates to Protocol Article 20 under which any party may propose amendments. He stressed that if unable to reach consensus, the COP/MOP may take a decision by a three quarters majority of parties present and voting.

PALESTINE highlighted their unique situation and said he is looking forward to becoming an official Protocol party.

PAN-AFRICAN CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE stated that warming of 2°C is a “death sentence” for Africa. She accused rich countries of stealing the shared atmospheric space, which amounts to “climate colonialism” and said the proposed adaptation funding would not be sufficient even for “buying their coffins."

TUVALU, supported by GRENADA, KIRIBATI, EL SALVADOR, COSTA RICA, the COOK ISLANDS, the MARSHALL ISLANDS, PALAU and BELIZE, stressed the importance of the issue, urged its proper substantive consideration through a contact group and said delaying the issue until Saturday will not allow this.

CHINA, supported by VENEZUELA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, BRAZIL, NIGERIA and BAHRAIN, expressed sympathy for Tuvalu’s proposal, but opposed discussing such proposed Protocol amendments that “do not enhance the Protocol.” He said issues such as share of proceeds and compliance could be discussed further, and suggested that: proposals related to Protocol Article 3.9 be referred to the AWG-KP; and a “limited number” of other proposals be selected for discussion under this agenda item. The EU opposed limiting issues for further consideration, identifying the need to reflect all proposals.
(Courtesy ENB, #5)


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