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Day 12: Climate Action Network: Latest Developments at COP21

December 11, 2015

Negotiations carried on till 6am this morning. A further draft is expected to be released tomorrow at 9am. Watch the webcast here for updates.

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Facilitator: Ria Voorhaar (CAN International)

Speakers: Liz Gallagher (E3G), Martin Kaiser (Greenpeace), Safa’al Jayoussi (IndyACT)

Liz mentioned that issues on MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification), transparency and loss and damage still require progress. She also named countries which have done well and those who have been hindering the negotiation process. These are listed as follows:

  • Saudi Arabia has opposed reference to giving flexibility to vulnerable and developing nations in how they should carry out their mitigation commitments.
  • China opposed the term “greenhouse gas neutrality” and proposed the more ambivalent term “low-emissions development” instead.
  • India would like to weaken legal rigour around the 5-year review cycle.
  • Japan, New Zealand, the US and the EU opposed the legal rigour of finance language.
  • Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Colombia, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Grenada and South Africa defended core elements of the agreement.

Martin emphasised that the commitment to phase out coal, oil and gas by mid-century needs to be defended and prioritised. However, he recognised that this long-term goal needs to be linked to short-term action. He also highlighted the need to start a dialogue in 2018 to scale up current INDCs.

Safa’al called for other countries to step up so that Saudi Arabia will stop blocking the negotiations.

The main points that were drawn out of the Q&A session are:

  • The French managed to work with countries to zoom in on the most crucial issues. It is expected that the agreement will be honest and ambitious. The agreement is balanced and is the fairest within the political space so far.
  • Paris needs to give a clear signal that the maritime and aviation industry should be addressed in future due to their significant contribution to emissions.
  • While the definition of “greenhouse gas neutrality” is unclear, any term used in its place needs to signal to investors that the fossil fuels era is ending.
  • Europe’s bad experience with the carbon market indicates that other monetary policies like a carbon tax may work better.
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