Info Service on Climate Change (Mar13/01)
An informal meeting to assess the outcomes of the Doha Climate Conference (COP18/CMP8) and to discuss and assess the way forward for enhancing action on the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27-28 February 2013, by some members of the Like-Minded Developing Countries in Climate Change (LMDC).
The meeting was attended by representatives of Bolivia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Mali, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Venezuela.
Participants recalled that the LMDC is a platform for like-minded developing countries to exchange views and coordinate positions on the negotiations under the UNFCCC with the view to strengthening the voice of the developing countries, highlight their common concerns and priorities and contributing to achieving the combined goals of environmental sustainability, social and economic development and equity. They emphasized their strong desire to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in UNFCCC as an intrinsic part of the Group of 77 and China in line with the principles and objectives of the Group of 77 and China in the climate negotiations.
Participants stressed that climate change is an urgent threat that requires a common resolve and enhanced action by all parties, especially by developed countries who should take the lead in combating climate change in line with their historical responsibility. Participants underscored that it is the developing countries that bear the maximum brunt of the adverse effects of climate change even though they had contributed the least to the problem. The problem of climate change directly affects the imperatives of poverty eradication and sustainable development of developing countries.
Participants reiterated their commitment to taking urgent and meaningful action to enhance the implementation of the Convention and noted the ambitious steps taken by developing countries at the national level for climate change adaptation and mitigation. They noted in particular the initiatives taken by their respective countries to rapidly scale up the share of renewable energy sources in their energy mix; as well as the on-going efforts of virtually all the participating countries to put in place and implement national climate change action plans.
Participants welcomed the decision on the operationalization of the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol at CMP8 at Doha, Qatar, noting however the need for urgent ratification of the amendments to ensure legal certainty of the 2nd commitment period. The participants also noted with concern that the mitigation ambition of developed country Parties under the 2nd commitment period is far below what is required by science and their historical responsibilities and the expectations of the international community. The participants urged the developed countries that have joined the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to increase their mitigation ambition level by 2014 in accordance with the Doha decision on this issue. Those developed countries that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol or are not joining the 2nd commitment period must equally increase their mitigation ambitions to comparable levels.
Participants stressed their resolve to engage productively and constructively in the negotiations under the Durban Platform in order to further enhance the full and effective implementation of the UNFCCC in accordance with its principles and provisions. They emphasized that at the same time, the urgent task of ‘implementation’ of the decisions already taken under the Convention, in particular those relating to the operationalization of the mechanisms set up according to the agreed outcome pursuant to the Bali Action Plan to assist the actions of developing countries must remain a key priority and receive equal emphasis in the work of the Parties going forward and which are crucial in laying a solid foundation for the negotiations under the Ad-hoc working group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
In this regard, with respect to the negotiations in the UNFCCC to be undertaken under the ADP, the participants stressed that such negotiations shall be ‘under the Convention’ and must be guided by and consistent with the principles and provisions of the Convention, especially the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. These principles of the Convention, and the provisions that reflect these principles, are at the foundation of the work of the ADP.
The participants underscored that the work of the ADP cannot be undertaken in isolation. Rather, this work must be in the context and on the basis of the work undertaken under various Convention bodies, in particular the outcome of the Bali Road Map’s two-track process - the Ad hoc Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol (AWGKP) and Ad hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action (AWGLCA).
Participants stressed that need for a wide and comprehensive scope of the work under ADP, which must include issues of importance to developing countries, such as ensuring the reflection of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility; increasing the commitment and ambition level of developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions; the full operationalization of the provision of the means of implementation to developing countries from developed countries, such as finance and technology transfer; adaptation; the use of non-market approaches to the reduction of emissions; establishment of a loss and damage mechanism; addressing the economic and social consequences of response measures; and addressing the issue of vulnerability to climate change. In addition, ADP must also have a full and comprehensive discussion, as part of its work, on the application and operationalization of the principle of equity.
Participants also strongly rejected unilateral measures taken by some parties in the name of Climate Change and stressed that avoidance of such measures is a key principle to safeguard multilateralism and advance the work of the ADP.
The participants resolved to continue to work together in the UNFCCC, particularly with other developing countries under the Group of 77 and China, in promoting their common interests as developing countries, in order to secure an agreed outcome under the ADP that is equitable in both form and substance, reflects and is consistent with the principles and provisions of the Convention and enhances its implementation, and allows the global community to effectively work together to combat climate change in a way that enables the socio-economic development of developing countries to proceed in a sustainable manner.