COP14

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COP14 was the 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), along with the 4th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol), which took place on 1 – 12 December 2008 in Poznań, Poland.[1]

The conference occurred at an awkward time in international affairs. While Barack Obama had been just elected as U.S. President, the American delegation at the conference took their direction from the Bush Administration, which was still in office. While Obama sent a clear signal that the US would be an active participant in negotiations, the fact that there was a hiatus until his inauguration in January 2009 contributed to the sense that COP14 would be a 'lame duck' negotiating session. (The United States participated in the meeting of the Conference of the Parties but, due to its refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, could only attend the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol as an observer.) Just as importantly, the Pozan talks were overshadowed by the worsening global financial crisis which commanded the attention of global leaders and was consuming huge amounts of countries financial resources. An additional fact was that the European Union -- which had long been a leader in the international climate change negotiations -- had weakening resolve and was beset by internal disagreements over the nature of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

Ahead of the conference, some hoped that it would be possible to gain agreement on:

  • a target emissions reductions target for at least Annex I countries, which would effectively frame more detailed negotiations;
  • some of the key parameters of the Clean Development Mechanism would be resolved, such as whether [[Carbon Cpature and Storage projects would be included, whether there would be substantive changes to the criteria that projects would be judged against and whether there would substantial governance changes or not;
  • the degree to which the "shared vision" -- first sketched in the Bali Action Plan -- was elaborated to address the key concerns of developing countries, especially on issues beyond Annex 1 countries mitigation commitments such as technology transfer and funding; and
  • the establishment of the Adaptation Fund.

Ultimately the conference made little progress. Few Annex 1 countries announced substantial new commitments on mitigation targets or financing. Many of the key issues with the CDM remained unresolved and discussions on the shared vision made little progress. The main progress was on the authorisation for the Adaptation Fund to begin operations in 2009, though Earth Negotiations Bulletin reported this was "tempered by the inability to secure additional resources for the Fund due to lack of agreement on extending the share of proceeds (or “adaptation levy”) to Joint Implementation and emissions trading under the second review of the Protocol under Article 9."[2]

Discussion of COP14

In August 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged world governments to "fight the urge to postpone everything until Copenhagen," the COP15 meeting. "I would emphasise the need to make the most of the upcoming opportunity in Poznan," Ban added. "It is my sincere hope that by the end of this year in Poznan parties to the climate change convention will have achieved a better understanding of a shared vision for long-term cooperative action." [3]

In July 2008, Secretary-General Ban said, "The G-8's endorsement of a long-term goal of reducing [greenhouse gas] emissions by at least 50 percent, by 2050, is a step forward. At the same time, we also need full agreement on mid-term targets by the end of next year in Copenhagen [at COP15]. These more immediate targets will create new carbon markets, spurring additional financing for mitigation and adaptation efforts, including massive global diffusion of climate friendly technologies. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Poznan, Poland, this December, is the next step toward a comprehensive agreement." [4]

COP14 has been described as the "midway point" of "two years of tough negotiations ... after the UN climate talks in Bali," the COP13 meeting in December 2007. [5]

Concurrent meetings

The fourth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP4 or MOP4) was held concurrently with COP14. From December 1 to 10, the twenty-ninth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 29) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 29) of the UNFCCC met. The Poland meeting was also the fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA 4) and the second part of the sixth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 6.2).[6]

(Note: The annotated agenda papers for COP and other UNFCCC meetings commonly refer to decisions on topics at previous meetings. To find the earlier decision search on the number cited (ie 17/CP.7) here).

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice Agenda

The SBSTA, which has the role of providing advice to the COP on "scientific, technological and methodological matters"[7], was one of the main forums for early discussions at the COP14 meeting. Aside from procedural matters, such as the election of officers and the finalization of the agenda, some of the key issues were[8]:

  • Technology transfer - discussion on the reports from the Expert Group on Technology Transfer including on financing resources for technology transfer though as this topic overlaps with the interests of the SBI the chairs of the two groups have yet to determine how to minimise overlap in their considerations;
  • Clean Development Mechanism and Carbon Capture and Storage - after having received submissions from parties to the convention and other interested groups -- including the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism and a synthesis report from the UNFCCC secretariat -- the SBSTA discussed whether to include Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS) projects in the mechanism. CCS is being heavily promoted as a 'solution' by the coal and power industries and governments that are heavily reliant on coal-powered generation.
  • IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 - discussions of a briefing note from the UNFCCC secretariat on the outcomes of a workshop and submissions on the IPCC report.[9] The group's annotated agenda stated that it is "expected to conclude its consideration of this agenda item".[8]

Subsidiary Body for Implementation

The SBI, which has the role of making "recommendations on policy and implementation issues to the COP".[10] Aside from procedural matters, such as the election of officers and the finalization of the agenda, some of the key issues discussed at the meeting were[11]:

  • Under the convention, members of Annex I countries were required to submit reports -- referred to as "national communications" -- on their progress in implementing their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. The COP reviewed a report by the UNFCCC secretariat on data on greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2006. As of September 22, 2008, the report has not yet been completed.[12]
  • Countries can volunteer to request a review by the UNFCCC secretariat on these reports. The group will consider a report from the secretariat on their reports, though, as of September 22, 2008, the document has yet to be completed.[13]
  • the group also considered several proposals and reports on the information from non-Annex I countries in their "national communications". These included proposals on the mandate and terms of reference for an advisory group, the Consultative Group of Experts, a proposal from Australia on behalf of the Umbrella Group and the European Union and details of financial support provided to non-Annex I countries to assist in the development of their reports;[14]
  • the SBI discussed "the funding necessary to assist developing countries in fulfilling their obligations under the Convention" during the next funding replenishment cycle of the Global Environment Facility;[14]
  • the SBI considered whether to provide "further guidance" on the operation of the Least Developed Countries Fund.[14] This included consideration of a report from the Global Environment Facility, submissions from interested countries and inter-governmental organizations and a report from the Least Developed Countries Expert Group on lessons learned from the implementation of "national adaptation programmes of action" (NAPAs);
  • The SBI discussed the implementation of the provisions in the Framework Convention on Climate Change [14] relating to Article 4 paragraph 8 which states that "funding, insurance and the transfer of technology, to meet the specific needs and concerns of developing country Parties arising from the adverse effects of climate change and/or the impact of the implementation of response measures";
  • the SBI discussed the question of technology transfer to developing countries, though as this agenda item overlaps with the work of the SBSTA. The previous meeting of the group had reviewed a progress report by the GEF of its proposed framework for funding technology transfer. The full report will be discussed by SBI at COP14. The full report has yet to be released.[15] In its agenda papers, the SBI noted that the group would consider a proposed terms of reference for a review -- based on submissions by parties -- of progress in implementing technology transfer.[14] The proposed terms of reference, to be proposed by the Chair of the SBI, have not yet been finalised.[15]
  • the SBI addressed a number of issues relating to capacity building in developing countries under both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. The group will consider a number of documents -- including a report from the Global Environment Facility and submissions from parties to the convention -- with a view to drafting a recommendation for adoption by COP14.[14]

Official COP14 Website and Media Resources

Official Media Releases

Bulletins from the Conference

On the Negotiations

  • Climate Action Network International's Eco's http://www.climatenetwork.org/eco/poznan-ecos
    • Poznan ECO 1, Climate Action Network International, December 1, 2008.
    • Poznan ECO 2, Climate Action Network International, December 2, 2008.
    • ECO 3, Climate Action Network International, December 3, 2008.
    • Poznan ECO 4, Climate Action Network International, December 4, 2008.
    • Poznan ECO 5, Climate Action Network International, December 5, 2008.
    • Poznan ECO 6, Climate Action Network International, December 6, 2008.
    • Poznan ECO 7, Climate Action Network International, December 9, 2008.
    • ECO No 8 not loaded to the website
    • Poznan ECO 9, Climate Action Network International, December 11, 2008.

On Side Events

For a full listing of side events see COP14/Side Events.

Fossil of the Day Awards

  • Climate Action Network International announces a Fossil of the Day award for the most obstructive country in the negotiations awards. See here.

(See also Environmental and Development NGOs Attending Climate Change Negotiations' and COP14 Bloggers).

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

Meetings in the Lead Up to COP14

Issues under discussion at COP14

Other SourceWatch articles

References

  1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "COP14", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, accessed August 2008.
  2. "COP14 Highlights December 1-12, 2008: Summary of the Fourteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Fourth Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol", Volume 12 Number 395, December 15, 2008.
  3. Laura MacInnis, "UN chief warns against waiting for climate deal," Reuters, August 31, 2008.
  4. "Remarks by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Upon his Return from Northeast Asia," as released by the United Nations, July 10, 2008 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
  5. "Bali and beyond," Utility Week, January 25, 2008.
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PC14
  7. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "Convention Bodies", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, accessed September 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "Provisional agenda of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice at its twenty-ninth session Poznan, Poland, 1–10 December 2008", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, August 13, 2008.
  9. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), "Views on the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Submissions from Parties", March 11, 2008.
  10. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "Glossary of climate change acronyms", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, accessed September 2008.
  11. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "Provisional agenda of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation at its twenty-ninth session Poznan, Poland, 1–10 December 2008", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, August 13, 2008.
  12. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), "National greenhouse gas inventory data for the period 1990-2006. Note by the secretariat", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, November 17, 2008.
  13. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), "Status of submission and review of fourth national communications and of reports demonstrating progress. Note by the secretariat", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, October 29, 2008.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Subsidiary Body for Implementation, "Provisional agenda and annotations", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, September 4, 2008.
  15. 15.0 15.1 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "Report of the Global Environment Facility on the elaboration of a strategic programme to scale up the level of investment in the transfer of environmentally sound technologies. Note by the secretariat", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, November 26, 2008.

External resources

External articles