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Copenhagen Accord Weekly Roundup: Bonn Edition

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


In the last two weeks, Belize, Burundi, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Nigeria, and Timor-Leste have associated with the Copenhagen Accord. Tunisia, already associated, submitted actions. Venezuela has reiterated that it will not associate. See Who’s On Board With the Copenhagen Accord.

Delegates are meeting in Bonn this week and next for a UNFCCC intersessional, spending much of their time discussing the new discussion draft produced in the LCA negotiating track. The draft contains various pieces of the Copenhagen Accord.  In some cases, the new text lists options both from the Accord and previous versions of the LCA text.  For example, the global temperature goal is listed in brackets with corresponding choices of 1, 1.5 or the 2 degrees Celsius goal in the Accord. The design of this discussion draft will likely be looked upon favorably by countries who did not associate with the Accord or who were not completely happy with the Copenhagen outcome.  Countries who participated heavily in the Copenhagen process will likely be less favorable to this version of the draft text.  Look for a more formalized version of the LCA negotiating text to be released by the chair early the week of June 7.

Quick Links

Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to succeed Yvo de Boer as executive secretary of the UNFCCC. Shortly after her appointment, Figueres spoke to how some Latin American countries rejected the Copenhagen Accord. “What they were bringing out, with which I completely agree, was that the process that was used to come to the Copenhagen Accord was a process that was not as inclusive as it should have been or as transparent as it should have been. They were fully correct about that assessment in that moment,” she said. Figueres went on to say the Accord is a “a big step forward for all participating countries, but a small step for the planet.”

Futures Magazine speculates that the Copenhagen Accord “will evolve into a multilateral agreement backed by the largest emitting nations, with financial carrots and sticks for developing nations to take on obligations of their own.”

New Publications

UNEP released the new report, The Outcomes of Copenhagen: The Negotiations and The Accord, ahead of the negotiations in Bonn. The publication evaluates the outcomes of the Copenhagen conference, including how provisions in the Copenhagen Accord may be inserted into formal negotiating tracks.

A new International Institute for Sustainable Development PowerPoint gives the state of play of international climate negotiations and describes ways to muster funding to help developing countries cope with climate change.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics describes the Copenhagen conference, evaluates the resulting accord, and discusses key issues moving forward. Author Trevor Houser argues that despite the chaos in Copenhagen, the accord is a “significant step in addressing global climate change.”

Warwick McKibbin and others with The Brookings Institution released a new report that provides a comparison of likely emission reductions and economic efforts required to meet the Copenhagen Accord’s targets. Using the G-Cubed model of the global economy, the researchers formulate a no-policy baseline projection for major world economies and then model the Copenhagen Accord’s economy-wide commitments, with a focus on fossil-fuel-related CO2.

A Pew Center for Global Climate Change report summarizes the main provisions of the Copenhagen Accord and of the draft core decision texts carried forward from Copenhagen in the AWG-LCA working group.

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change also published an 11-slide deck describing the pledges under the Copenhagen Accord as of May 24, 2010.

Ecofys releases a report that evaluates the likelihood of achieving the 2 degrees Celsius climate goal. The authors found that emissions reduction pledges of countries around the world could add up to 70 percent of the reduction that is needed. However, the authors stress that the actual reductions will most likely not be achieved with the current pledges.

Global Donor Platform for Rural Development released an issue paper that touches on how agriculture and food security should be addressed via the Copenhagen Accord.

Jennifer Morgan, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute, authors this 23-slide deck on what is in store for international negotiations going forward.

Country Developments

Africa. Reverend Canaan Phiri, President of the Fellowship of Christian Councils of Southern Africa (FOCCISA) said his organization opposes Copenhagen Accord. Phiri said he was worried that the agreement was overshadowing the important outcomes of the two negotiation tracks under the UNFCCC.

Australia. The Australian government has committed around $350m in the financial years 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 to assist developing countries mitigate the impacts of, and adapt to, climate change. This falls short of the $450-$600m of ‘new and additional’ funding the government has promised under the Copenhagen Accord.

Australia. Australia’s climate chief defended the outcomes of Copenhagen, arguing the summit was not a failure as some critics claim. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency secretary Martin Parkinson said that, while progress was not as great as many hoped in Copenhagen, “significant gains have been made.” He reiterated that the Copenhagen Accord included “historic achievements” such as commitments by developed and developing nations to limit global warming to two degrees.

Australia. Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have started creeping up again after a dip caused by the global financial crisis, a trend that would see the nation overshoot its Copenhagen Accord commitment by a large margin.

ALBA. Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba urge developed nations to take on bigger emissions cuts and criticize the new LCA negotiating text for over-emphasizing the non-binding Copenhagen Accord.

Canada. Liberal MPs criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for rebuffing UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s plea to prioritize climate change at the G8 and G20 Summits to be held in Canada later this month. “Why does Stephen Harper refuse to see the connection between the environment and the economy?” asks Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae. “Stephen Harper is isolating Canada on a world issue that we can’t afford to ignore.”

Denmark. The Embassy of Denmark published a statement that concludes “the Copenhagen outcome, although falling short of expectations, provides a basis on which to work further. The aim should be a comprehensive, balanced, and uniform legally binding agreement in 2010, in line with the level of ambition dictated by science.”

France. The French government released a statement ahead of the UN climate talks in Bonn that touched on the Accord. It said the intersessional “should allow us to reaffirm our determination to swiftly implement the Copenhagen Accord, i.e. make progress on all tracks of the negotiation based on the guidelines provided in Copenhagen by the Heads of State and Government. France, together with its European partners will present, on the sidelines of the discussions, certain projects initiated within the framework of fast start financing. For the record, our contribution for the three-year period 2010-2012 amounts to €1.2 billion out of the €7.2 billion planned by the EU. The Copenhagen Accord, which represented key progress, will now benefit from the support of 129 States and should become fully integrated into the UNFCCC.”

France and Africa. King Mswati III of Swaziland, speaking at the 25th Africa-France Summit in Nice, urged all countries to adhere to the Copenhagen Accord in order to pave the way to the next major Summit in November. “Needless to say, the $30 billion USD pledged to finance early action … will go a long way towards the goal of a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions against the 1990 levels of 2050.”  In the final declaration of the summit, the parties “underscored that the Copenhagen Accord on climate change marked a first step towards the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement in Cancun at the end of 2010.”

Germany. At the opening segment of the Carbon Expo conference in Cologne, Dr. Norbert Rottgen said in the “framework of the Copenhagen Accord the industrialized countries have so far proposed an emission reduction of 19 percent at most,” as opposed to 25 to 40 percent scientists say is required in order to avert dangerous climate change.

India. India released a report on India’s greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory earlier this week showing a 30% fall in energy intensity per unit GDP, demonstrating that India may be on its way to achieving its Copenhagen Accord target of reducing emissions intensity by 20 to 25 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2020.

India. Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi voiced concerns that the Copenhagen Accord would affect the sovereignty of India and serves the interests of developed nations. “The words – international consultation and analysis – that figure in the accord amount to a sort of monitoring of the situation related to emissions … we should not accept it,” he told reporters.

Indonesia. The president of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged world leaders to support the Copenhagen Accord. “We have different views with regard to what has happened in Copenhagen, but apart from that it gave a clear message that we must maintain the momentum,” Yudhoyono said at a conference on climate and forests.

Japan. Takashi Hongo, Special Advisor to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, presented a PowerPoint presentation that outlines Japan’s commitment to mobilize finance to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Malaysia. The Consumers Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia urges the government to reject the Copenhagen Accord. Their association specifically condemns the document as being drafted in a “non-transparent and undemocratic manner.”

New Zealand. New Zealand has reportedly not budgeted the $44 billion they agreed to contribute under the Copenhagen Accord. The prime minister said he does not know why the sums are missing from the budget and continued to insist that an emissions trading scheme rollout would not be deferred.

Tuvalu. At the Bonn negotiations, AOSIS member Tuvalu stated that it does “not support language from the Copenhagen Accord on so-called Green Funding. We do not consider it appropriate to include any Copenhagen Accord language, as this does not represent a consensus decision.” US Climate Envoy Jonathan Pershing responded that “many here say that the Copenhagen Accord has no standing but the LCA does. Unfortunately, that’s not true. The version of the LCA that we are working on is not one others have signed onto. It doesn’t reflect an agreement. It doesn’t have any standing.”

United Kingdom. Economist Nicholas Stern spoke positively about the Copenhagen Accord at the Hay Festival in late May. “Life is full of ups and downs. People didn’t see, because it was so chaotic and acrimonious, that the Copenhagen Accord turned out to be a strong platform for going forward. It was much less fragile than many of us feared. The submissions to Copenhagen now cover 120 countries, and 80% of emissions. If everybody delivers, it will give you emissions levels in 2020 that are the same as we have now. And we’ll have peaked. That’s really worth having.”

United States and China. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking on May 23 at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, said the Copenhagen Accord must now be implemented “with balanced commitments that are reflected in the ongoing negotiation.”

United States and Mexico. President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderon released a joint statement reaffirming their shared commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the importance of a successful outcome in Cancun.

United States and India. During a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, William Burns, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, said the United States and India share “common ground on climate change, and the Copenhagen Accord could not have happened without leadership at the highest levels from India.”


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