…and that’s a wrap on week 1. And, miraculously, the ADP, after four tumultuous years.
Despite scepticism that the ADP would meet the COP Presidency’s deadline to hand over a text on Saturday for ministers to work on – particularly as the ADP has been deadlocked – a draft text was indeed accepted by all Parties early in the afternoon. As the ADP wound up for the final time, Laurence Tubiana – in an emotional statement – said there is now a basis for negotiations that has been accepted by all. (A webcast is available, for those who wish to watch this historic moment for themselves.)
This last point is crucial, given that five hours were effectively wasted on Friday by countries flouting a request by the ADP Co-chairs to only propose compromises as they gave the text a first reading, and not use the time to restate old positions. After a ninety minute discussion on procedure, the way forward was still unclear. The meeting then disintegrated into a free-for-all, with 72 interventions made in total in no coherent order on parts of the text.
While these comments were captured in a reflections note in an annex to a text issued on Saturday morning, the actual draft text itself remained unchanged. This prompted one negotiator to privately comment that Friday’s session was basically pointless, as its objective was to approve the text, and the points raised during the plenary were merely noted at the end.
But remarkably, given the strife of the week, the mood at the end of the very last ADP meeting was positive, with a willingness to forge an agreement affirmed by the Parties. Let’s hope this willingness – as restated in Saturday evening’s COP plenary – holds for the week. (Particularly as the text passed to the COP was reissued mid-afternoon on Saturday, with more feedback from the closing ADP plenary added.)
At the plenary, France’s Foreign Minister – and COP President – Laurent Fabius laid out the work plan for the coming week (the transcript is only available in French at present). Following consultations with all Parties by Ambassadors François Delattre, Philippe Lacoste and Michael Zammit Cutajar, Fabius is establishing a Paris committee, open-ended single-setting group. This group will meet at least once a day with the facilitators of the four working groups he established (more on those in a moment), and this committee will also decide when the text is ready to be reviewed by a legal team.
This legal team in turn is comprised of 11 people: two representatives from each of the five UN regional groupings, plus one from Small Island Developing States, plus two as-yet-unnamed co-chairs, one from those countries included in Annex 1 and one from those that are not.
The committee will abide by three rules:
1. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed (that old UNFCCC chestnut)
2. All Parties will be included
3. Full transparency, with the group’s discussions transmitted to the many screens across the Le Bourget site
As for the working groups, Fabius has determined that these will tackle the following:
1. Means of implementation: including finance, technology, capacity building. This facilitators for this group are the ministers from Gabon and Germany.
2. Differentiation: in particular with regards to mitigation, finance and transparency. This group will be facilitated by the ministers from Brazil and Singapore.
3. Ambition: such as on the long-term goal and periodic reviews. The facilitators are yet to be appointed.
4. Pre-2020 efforts: excluding finance, however. The facilitators for this group are also yet to be named.
Fabius said that, in the name of expediency, the committee will meet the relevant ministers on Sunday to set out the modalities for work. They are then to arrange open-ended meetings, starting from 4pm on Sunday afternoon, and will report their first conclusions to the Paris committee at its first meeting on Monday at 3pm. Game on.
Elsewhere, Saturday at the EU Pavilion was dedicated to carbon markets, featuring a series of events to discuss international cooperation and emissions trading around the world. IETA’s CEO Dirk Forrister was honoured to be invited to participate in several sessions, including on a panel with EU Climate Action & Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, China’s Special Representative for Cliamte Change Issues Xie Zhenhua and Director General of the Climate Action DG Jos Delbeke. At the event, Xie called for a global, linked market and reiterated China’s commitment to starting a national ETS in 2017 – and discussed the possibility of a link to South Korea’s ETS.
IETA and ICAP also hosted a joint session in the afternoon at the EU Pavilion, focused on linking and international cooperation. Speakers included Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change David Heurtel, New Zealand’s Climate Change Ambassador Jo Tyndall, Hanchang Choi from South Korea, Martin Hession from the European Commission, Ruchi Sadhir from the Oregon Governor’s office, Shell’s climate change adviser David Hone and Brian Murray from the Nicholas Institute at Duke University.
The panel talked about how Linking helps improve environmental goals, how it can help improve economic performance and allow partnerships across borders far into the future, and – importantly – that it is about fairness as it helps reduce competitiveness concerns.
If you’re just arriving at COP 21 this week, please come visit us at the IETA/WBCSD Pavilion, in Hall 3. As well as a jam-packed schedule of top notch side events, each evening around 6pm we host thematic policy briefings, to help keep on top of the issues that matter to business.
IETA in the news: week 1 of COP 21
- Dirk Forrister talks ambition with BusinessGreen – the story also covers ICROA’s offsetting video and IETA Board Member Karl Upston-Hooper’s comments on markets in the Paris Agreement
- Carbon Pulse quotes Dirk Forrister on the CDM and aviation
- Footprint interviewed Dirk Forrister on business wants from COP 21
- Jeff Swartz talks with Carbon Pulse about market provisions in the Paris text
- Energy Intelligence quotes Dirk Forrister and Jonathan Grant speaking at an IETA press briefing on the start of the negotiations (2 Dec, subscription only)
- Carbon Pulse covered the first IETA-CMIA Carbon Pricing Champion Award, to Ontario and Québec
- Ahead of Paris, Jeff Swartz spoke with Platts about the outlook for the talks
- Jeff Swartz on the fate of the CDM review in Carbon Pulse