“What could possibly come out of Cancun? by Tanveer Arif, SCOPE, FANSA

Colleagues; this is  my last day here at CoP-16 at Cancun, so it could be possibly my last blog. Today I attended a side event “Pakistan Floods, an eye opener” organized by government of Pakistan and they screened a heart breaking and overwhelming documentary on incredible devastation of recent flood in Pakistan. I am sure many eyes spilled tears watching that catastrophe on screen. The movies followed by speeches of experts and minister of environment, which followed by question and answer session and one questions was “can poor people of Pakistan affected by floods make recent floods as damage case against polluters and claim climate change compensation, as country who doesn’t contribute significantly in global warming but had to pay heavily for the sins of affluent nations? This question says all but there was no answer from anybody.

Anyway, what we are going to get from Cancun, this the question. This afternoon I saw Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, who himself is one of the biggest climate change advocate, saying in a packed room, that we should not expect a perfect agreement here, but something less than a perfect agreement. Basically countries are divided over how to strengthen pledges to cut carbon emissions, made at last year’s Copenhagen summit which ended in a brief, non-binding agreement.

So look for the following issues how they are decided in next 3 days;

– Whether to continue Kyoto Protocol (KP), which is a binding agreement for emission reduction and supported by developing countries. Its first round of targets or commitment period ends in 2012, and to decide on the length of second commitment period of the next round of targets, for example whether to 2017 or 2020. As I reported in earlier blog Japan is not in favour of continue the KP because still very few countries have ratified it

– Decision on whether to cancel surplus, tradable emissions credits owned by countries that are well below their 2008-2012 Kyoto targets. Credits are called assigned amount units (AAUs)  Emissions targets

– Decision on setting up new national targets either under the 1997 KP or the 1992 U.N. climate convention, or both

– Some industrialized countries do not like KP, as so far it has only controlled the emissions of developed countries. A way out may be to note new targets in an appendix to KP and the convention

– Refer to a long-term goal, for example to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F)

– Mention the widely held scientific view that emissions targets pledged so far are too weak

– Review in 2013-2015 whether targets need strengthening Measurement

– Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV)

– Agree to measure developed country emissions, for example annually, and also their contribution to climate aid funds

– Agree to measure developing countries greenhouse gases and their actions to slow emissions growth, perhaps every two to four years

– Agree common accounting standards, for example on measuring carbon emissions from forests

– A political agreement to pay tropical countries not to clear natural forests, called reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD)

– Launch a program to set rules

– Delay decision on whether to include the scheme under an existing market in carbon offsets called the clean development mechanism (CDM)

– Agree safeguards for wildlife and indigenous peoples i.e. Green fund

– A political commitment to establish a new long-term fund to help especially the least developed countries cut carbon emissions and prepare for climate change

– The fund would articulate with a commitment countries made in Copenhagen last year to raise $100 billion annually by 2020

– Launch a program to decide the board structure including the split between developed and developing countries

– Link new sources of financing, including the proposed new green fund, as well as “fast-start” funding of $30 billion from 2010-2012 agreed last year in Copenhagen

– Create a disaster relief mechanism, to help countries which have suffered extreme weather events

– Launch a “technology mechanism,” including establishing regional technology centers in developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa



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