It’s crunch time in Paris as negotiators got a new text this afternoon that will form the basis of the last few days of the climate talks. Carbon Pulse continues to post updates from COP21 as they develop.
1930 CET: US JOINS ‘HIGH AMBITION COALITION’: US head negotiator Todd Stern appeared on a packed panel to dispel doubts over whether the country was on board with the newly-formed alliance. Ministers and officials struggled to fit on the podium of a press conference to bolster the coalition, launched a day earlier by the EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.
The 100+ group of rich and poor nations have been quiet on thorny issues of finance and differentiation (CDBR) but urge a clear and operational long-term temperature goal in line with science, a five-year review mechanism, and a system to track the transparency and accountability of countries in meeting their national commitments.
On the five-year review mechanism, Stern said “we need that to start early”.
1830 CET – TEXT GETS CAUTIOUS WELCOME: The draft text was given a cautious welcome by former Michael Jacobs of the New Climate Economy project, who was UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s climate advisor during the failed 2009 Copenhagen talks.
“At this stage in Copenhagen, we’d stopped talking and things had completely broken down, that’s clearly not the case here in Paris, by a very long way. The text is cleaner than I thought it would be at this stage, and the mood is incomparably better than Copenhagen. But the issues that are clean in the text are the low hanging fruits, those that are not are higher up the tree,” he added.
Despite the sea of brackets, Jacobs pointed to increasing clarity on cycles to ratchet up both climate finance contributions and emission reduction goals.
He pointed out options to have an initial stocktaking of national contributions in 2018/2019, with regular five-year reviews starting 2024/2025.
“These would be where countries could update or confirm their current INDCs. If there is enough pressure from business and civil society saying they could and should do more, some of these INDCs now look like they could already be bigger,” he said.
1515 CET – FABIUS DELIVERS NEW, ‘CLEAN’ PARIS TEXT: Paris COP President Laurent Fabius flagged the delivery of his new working text, cutting the page length down to 29 pages from the previous 43. He said the amount of square bracketed points to signal disagreement were cut down by three-quarters.
He stressed that this was not the final version of the agreement and said parties would need to work overnight for the next two nights to deliver a deal on schedule by the end of Friday. Fabius added that a compromise had been reached on capacity building, meaning work there was all but completed. He said adaptation was almost concluded, parties were “close” on a transparency framework for national contributions and there were signs of progress on technology transfer.
Provisions for carbon markets (referred to as cooperative approaches) appeared to be in a less advanced category, along with forests and the preamble of the text, in which Fabius said only “initial progress” had been made.
The main text on cooperative approaches was entirely bracketed:
[Parties shall, where engaging on a voluntary basis in cooperative approaches that involve the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes towards ###, promote sustainable development and environmental integrity and apply robust accounting to ensure, inter alia, the avoidance of double counting, in accordance with guidance adopted by the CMA.]
References to international aviation and shipping dropped out entirely.
Fabius invited parties to study the new text before reconvening at 2000 CET.
1445 CET – US PLEDGES TO DOUBLE ADAPTATION GRANTS BY 2020: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at Le Bourget to announce the US would double its current $430 million per year in grants for climate adaptation in developing countries by 2020. The world’s biggest economy has pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund and reports providing $2.5 billion annually overall in climate finance currently.
1154 CET – NEW TEXT DELAYED UNTIL 1500 CET: The new Paris Agreement draft text will now be published at 3 PM, two hours later than originally scheduled, suggesting that negotiations – unsurprisingly – are difficult.
1112 CET – FOUR COMPETING MARKET TEXTS?: It may be a moot point in a couple of hours, but according to sources, four competing market texts are circulating in Paris: from EU-Brazil, Panama, the Umbrella Group and the Canadian facilitators, though only the first two have been made public. In addition, there were calls last night to reintroduce the option of a no-market option in the text. The new draft Paris Agreement at 1 PM could be intriguing.
0941 CET – MARKETS TALKS “MAKING PROGRESS”, SAYS FACILITATOR CANADA: Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who is facilitating the segment of the COP-21 negotiations focussing on ‘Cooperative Approaches’, told Carbon Pulse: “There is a recognition that there is a role for markets amongst most people, [but] not every country agrees. There are some from an ideological perspective that are less keen … We’re still very much in the negotiations, and there are a number of differences that I think we’ll see in [today’s] text, but we’re making progress.”
0912 CET – PANAMA PROPOSES NEW TEXT ON MARKET MECHANISM: Panama has circulated its own text proposal for a new carbon market mechanism, as an alternative to the one released by the EU and Brazil on Tuesday evening. Here is Panama’s proposal:
A Climate Action Mechanism (CAM) to support sustainable development is hereby established. Parties may use emission reductions from this mechanism towards their NDCs. The mechanism and its applications shall be under the authority and guidance of the CMA, and be supervised by a body designated by the CMA, and shall aim to:
(a) Promote sustainable development in host country Parties;
(b) Provide fair and equitable access to all Parties;
(c) Promote real, measurable, and long term benefits related to climate action;
(d) Incentivize and facilitate participation in mitigation action by public and private entities authorized by a Party;
(e) Accommodate multiple applications for participation;
(f) The use of the mechanism shall be voluntary;
(g) Observe robust accounting as approved by the CMA;
(h) Provide a share of proceeds for adaptation purposes;
(i) Ensure sustainable development priorities as defined by host Parties.
Modalities and procedures for the applications of the mechanism shall be adopted by the CMA
0837 CET – NEW TEXT EXPECTED TO MAKE NOISE: The French presidency will publish a new draft text for a potential Paris Agreement at 13.00 CET on Wednesday, based on the last few days of negotiations held under minister-led facilitator group.
Tine Sundtoft, the Norwegian climate change minister co-chairing the group on ambition, said Tuesday she expects the new text to “create a lot of noise” – because that’s the way it always is at COPs. She said big headlines are likely to hit the wires, but that negotiators need to keep calm and carry on.
By Carbon Pulse – firstname.lastname@example.org