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New Durban Platform Seeks Transparency and Openness

October 3, 2012

In a joint message by the Co-chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP), Parties and Observer Organizations alike were invited to provide additional inputs on how best to advance the work of the ADP in Doha and beyond.

The ADP is currently co-chaired by Jayant Moreshver Mauskar, former lead negotiator for India at COP-17 at Durban and Harald Dovland, former Head of the Norwegian Delegation to the UNFCCC.

Such inputs would include views on the aims and outputs of Doha on both workstreams, how the ADP should organize its work in Doha on both workstreams (more below), what work should be undertaken in 2013, and what steps are needed to take in Doha to prepare adequately for that work.

The Co-Chairs of the Durban Platform were also keen to welcome views on topics or questions that could be used to focus further substantive discussions in Doha or in future sessions, building upon the roundtable discussions in Bangkok. It was noted that many Parties indicated a willingness to provide further quantified information on potential options to contribute to bridging the ambition gap that is being address by the ADP in its workstream 2.

Workstream 1 and 2 of the Durban Platform deal with quite different issues. The first looks at the post 2020 agreement while workstream 2 on the pre-2020 mitigation ambition. Many Parties and observer organizations have already spoken out regarding these two workstreams, with some calling for further brainstorming to clarify conceptual/basic ideas while others wanted more discussion on the means of implementation.

The work of the Durban Platform (ADP), under both its worksterams is done “under the Convention”, which means that all the principles and provisions of the Convention applies to the work of the ADP and remain paramount in considering all or any other elements that relevant parties attach importance to. Certain principles such as that of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and Historical Responsibility are seeing increased emphasis and focus around various negotiating tracks under the Convention.

For more on workstreams, please visit the following links:

Summary of Roundtable on Workstream 1

Summary of Roundtable on Workstream 2

TWN – Durban Platform: Parties divided over way forward

Parties and observer organizations wishing to submit views are invited to provide us with such additional input through national focal points prior to the resumed first session of the ADP in Doha via email to: CADP@unfccc.int.

The Co-chairs of the Durban Platform will meet to prepare for the next ADP session on 1 November 2012, and therefore wish to receive any input by 29 October 2012. They have also requested the UNFCCC Secretariat to make these inputs from Parties available on the UNFCCC website. Taking into account the input received from Parties, the ADP co-chairs further intend to make available on the UNFCCC website  information on our proposed approach to the organization of the session in Doha in advance of the session.

This is important towards building consensus and moves the negotiations forward in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. The significance of such a development within the ADP is often overlooked. Decision 2/CP.17  in Durban decided to only extend the Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) for one more year in order for it to continue its work and reach the agreed outcome pursuant to decision 1/CP.13 (Bali Action Plan) through decisions adopted by the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP16, 17 and 18), at which time the AWG-LCA under the Convention shall be terminated.

In its place, the AWG-ADP was launched as a process to plan its work on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building, drawing upon submissions from Parties and relevant technical, social and economic information and expertise.

The first session of the AWG-ADP, which is to resume in Doha, looks to deepen discussion on how to enhance ambition, with the aim of building a better understanding of the mitigation gap and the opportunities to bridge that gap, the role of the means of implementation, and how to strengthen international cooperative instruments. Furthermore, as different items of the AWG-LCA agenda of different tracks of the negotiation have enjoyed different levels of progress through decisions adopted by the COP it leaves want to understand which items need further work under AWG-LCA and which may be carried to be under the purview of the AWG-ADP.

Thus, while it is commonly noted that all countries must play their part to reduce global concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and build up the international community’s capacity to respond and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate chance, it might be argued that the facilitation of the UNFCCC also plays a significant role in enabling institutional support that is transparent, open, comprehensive.

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