Interventions made at the Environment Committee Meeting, German Parliament

Interventions made at the Environment Committee Meeting of the  German Parliament

by Pa Ousman Jarju, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group in the UNFCCC Negotiations

7 November 2012

Honourable members of the Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

It is my pleasure to take the opportunity of this parliamentary hearing on upcoming UN climate change negotiations in Doha, to express the shared views of the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on our expectations.

Least Developed Countries are already heavily affected by climate change, and scientific predictions indicate that coming decades will increase the pressure on already poor and vulnerable communities. We have hardly contributed to the current changes in climate, but it is our countries and people who are suffering the most from droughts, flooding and unpredictable weather changes.

Allow me, through you to thank the German government for the leadership role they play in the UNFCCC negotiations and your valuable contributions to the Least developed Countries Fund (LDCF) to support the worlds’ most poorest countries and communities affected by climate change impacts.

There is urgent need for raising the level of mitigation ambition within a multilaterally agreed rule based system, supporting our countries with financial and other necessary resources for adaptation and transformation to green and sustainable economies.

In order to agree on successful outcomes in Doha, continuity of the KP is central to reinforce the international architecture for reducing emissions, and to ensure that hard-won accounting rules and compliance systems negotiated over last 20 years are preserved.

Under the AWG-KP, the overarching objective is to preserve the Kyoto Protocol as a rules-based legally binding system, based on environmental integrity, transparent and able to deliver real, substantial and verified emission reductions -that can be built on for a future regime. It is thus crucial to agree on an ambitious, legally binding 5-year second commitment period with as many Annex I Parties as possible, without loopholes, and consistent with emissions pathways that can achieve a limitation of global temperature increases to well below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels or not preclude the achievement of this limitation. This implies adopting a 5-years CP to avoid locking-in insufficient ambition for a longer period of time; Annex I Parties moving to the top of their pledged ranges by removing all conditionalities; the limitation of carry-over or removal of surplus Kyoto units and the provisional application of KP amendments to be decided in Doha. I thank the government of Germany and the rest of the countries in the EU for putting your emission reduction targets forward and urge you to take the lead in resolving the outstanding issues in Doha.

Raising the level of mitigation ambition is extremely important for the Least Developed Countries Group. It is estimated that Annex I Parties’ current pledges using the low end of their pledged ranges would result in a 13% reduction compared to 1990 levels by 2020 and to a 18% reduction using the high end of their pledged ranges, which is grossly inadequate compared to the 25 to 40% range recommended by the 2007 IPCC AR 4 to only have a 50% chance to keep global temperature rise to between 2 – 2.4°C.

We appreciate Germany’s efforts to convince the EU to move to 30% target. Despite EU has clearly signald that you will not move uo to this level this year, the European Commission’s own analysis shows that an increase in the EU target to 25% could be easily met and would be more economical. The EU’s 2050 low carbon roadmap, released last year, clearly states that achieving 25% reductions would be straightforward. If the EU delivers on its current policies, (20% renewable energy, 20% energy efficiency by 2020), you will outperform your current 20% reduction pledge and achieve at least 25% reduction by 2020, especially in the current economic recession. We urge Germany to take a stronger leadership role in trying to convince other countries within the EU.

Amendments to be agreed upon on the Kyoto Protocol upon in Doha have to be “ratifiable” and become legally binding at international law through ratification by Parties and entry into force when ¾ of Parties have ratified. This process would ordinarily mean that there would be a “legal gap” between the end of the first CP on 31 December 2012 and the entry into force of a 2CP. LDC group together with AOSIS and the Africa Group has proposed the provisional application of the second commitment period pending their regular entry into force – as made possible under the Vienna Convention on the Law of

Treaties – which would have the effect of avoiding a legal gap. The EU has explained repeatedly that due to constitutional impediments in some of its member states, provisional application for the whole of the EU will not be possible. If this is the case, we invite the EU to support a proposal which allows countries to opt out in the event of domestic impediments.

We also invite Germany to support the continuation of existing eligibility criteria for accessing flexible mechanisms for the second commitment period.

We also invite Germany to take the leadership in addressing the carryover of surplus AAUs to avoid a meaningless second commitment period. We need to cancel out about 90% of AAUs that could be carried over to a CP2 in order to prevent new hot air in the second commitment period. We encourage Germany to discuss this issue with countries such as Poland as resolving this issue may lead to many compromises in Doha.

It is crucial to support a successful closure of the LCA in Doha. However a number of key issues need to be tackled in Doha, and placements and mandates clearly defined for those that cannot be resolved. Key issues include inter alia the Shared Vision (long-term global goal and peaking of emissions); the 2013-2015 Review of the long-term temperature goal; the lack of ambition and expression of Annex-I and Non Annex-I Cancun pledges for 2020; the development of common accounting rules for an enhanced MRV system; a Loss and Damage mechanism and long-term climate financing including avoiding a post Fast-Start Finance period gap.

Honourable members, climate finance is a fundamental part of negotiations in Doha, and we are highly concerned about the future of climate finance, with the Fast Start Finance ending in December this year, and yet there is currently no agreement on what would happen for the period starting 2013 until 2020. COP 18 must deliver concrete and ambitious results to enable mobilization of finance in the coming years. The Fast Start Finance period may end, but the Least Developed Countries continue to be in need of climate support!

As agreed in Cancun, Fast Start Finance was set to 30 billion USD, and by 2020 it is agreed that 100 billion USD per year should be mobilized. To make this possible we urge Germany to take the lead in scaling up financial support in the coming years. We expect that COP 18 will deliver an agreement on continued and scaled up, climate finance from 2013 to 2020.

The climate agreements from COP 16 in Cancun, 2010, on Fast Start Finance include a number of important principles. First, is that climate finance should be new and additional, to ensure that already committed development aid isn’t converted into climate finance, thus reducing the support to fulfill other development goals in developing countries. Secondly, there should also be a balance between finance allocations to mitigation and adaptation, acknowledging that both types of activities are in great need of support. These principles for climate finance, as described in relation to fast start finance, are key and must be applied also in future agreements about climate finance.

In order to provide predictability, we urge you, with other developed countries to commit to an intermediate target of mobilizing jointly new and additional resources amounting to USD 60 billion a year by 2015.

Under the newly established Durban Platform, the work stream on mitigation ambition is of fundamental importance for Doha. Enhancing pre-2020 mitigation ambition is essential in order to minimize the adverse, and avoid potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change in all countries, and is particularly critical to preserving the development prospects, viability and survival of the Least Developed Countries.

Increasing mitigation ambition will require high-level political engagement, so we have proposed a ministerial roundtables on ambition at the Pre-Cop in the Republic of Korea and at COP18/CMP8 in Doha. It will also require enhancing the provision of means of implementation, including financial resources, technology transfer and development and capacity building, to build confidence and enable developing countries to implement existing NAMAs and adopt more ambitious ones in order to contribute to closing the mitigation gap.

We also expect to agreeing on a work plan for progressing negotiations on a new Protocol under the Convention, to be adopted in 2015 at the latest. It should define clear milestones and regular opportunities for incorporating scientific input and drawing on high-level political guidance. This includes the outcome and conclusions of the 2013 – 2015 Review, as well as the outcome of each of the IPCC AR 5 working groups as they arise. Efforts also should be made to define a possible work program of activities for 2013, as well as steps to achieve the define objective for 2013.

We, as the group of most vulnerable countries in the world, look up to Germany and the EU as a global leader on climate change and a good friend  and a partner. We expect you to demonstrate leadership in practice in all the issues I mentioned, and encourage others to follow. In relation to many crunch issues to be resolved in Doha, someone has to make the first move and we believe that Germany and other countries in the EU is probably in the best position to do so.

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