The co-chairs of negotiations on a new UN climate accord have been tasked by countries to prepare a shorter draft text by October after a week of slow-paced talks in Bonn.
The idea will be for Algeria’s Ahmed Djoghlaf and the USA’s Daniel Reifsnyder to reduce the current 83-page working document from three to two sections: a core Paris agreement and a wider “decision” text aiming to thrash out further details before the agreement enters into force from 2020.
The aim is to eliminate the third section of as-yet unallocated items, where most of the references to carbon markets are currently listed.
“We will not be landing in Paris with unallocated text,” said UN climate chief Christiana Figueres in a joint web-streamed press conference as the talks wound down on Friday.
“We should have by October a clear, concise, precise text…by October we will have the clear global picture,” said Laurence Tubiana, special climate envoy for France, which is steering the process towards a deal due to be signed by almost 200 nations in Paris in December.
The new text is intended to be available on the UNFCCC webite on Oct. 1. The talks resume at a week-long Bonn session over Oct. 19-23, with the two-week Paris session held over Nov. 30-Dec. 11.
EU climate chief Miguel Arias Canete expressed frustration at the slow pace of the talks, adding that “the real deal needs to start taking shape”.
“We need a concise, consistent and coherent text to allow us to start the negotiations in earnest. To get ready for the final stretch, we also need all countries that have not yet put forward their intended contributions to the new deal to do so urgently,” he said in a statement.
But both Tubiana and Figueres insisted the process was on track.
“It’s not really that important about the pace. Every country is fully committed to an ambitious climate agreement in Paris, and the proof of the pudding is actually going to come in Paris,” said Figueres.
She predicted that 80% of global GHG emissions would be covered by national climate pledges (INDCs) by the end of the year.
More than 50 nations have now submitted their INDCs to the UN, and the pledges cover almost two-thirds of emissions worldwide.
The Paris deal aims to reconcile national emission reduction pledges with an overall goal to keep global temperature rises below 2C and raise at least $100 billion a year to help the poorest nations tackle climate change.
But key thorny issues remain over dividing up the required emission cuts, how to bridge the gap between the collective pledges and what is needed for 2C, and who pays the poor.
“We will get a deal in Paris, but the question now is whether it’s going to be a good deal,” said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, part of green group coalition CAN International.
MARKETS IN TEXT
The current working text has one heavily sub-divided option allowing parties to count or transfer emission reduction initiatives in other nations, either using current UN-approved mechanisms including REDD+, an enhanced CDM or new mechanisms.
The second option was to have no provision for markets in the Paris agreement (both options are listed in pages 55-57 of the document).
Observers are divided over whether a direct reference to markets in the main Paris agreement would affect governments’ use of international carbon markets beyond 2020. Some say rules could be agreed at subsequent meetings.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org