Note: The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has just concluded in Durban, South Africa. The following resolution by the European Green Party sets out a point by point overview of what is at stake in the Durban negotiations. The Canadian Green Party also has a good resource page devoted to the conference. Find the original of the EU Greens resolution here, bolding below is as in the original.
For an overview of the Durban conference from the BBC, please see here.
Congress Resolution adopted as amended European Green Party Congress • 11 – 13 November 2011 – Paris
Adopted Congress Resolution:
COP17 Durban- Making Up for Lost Time
The European Green Party Congress…
1. Notes with ever-increasing concern that progress in the Climate Change negotiations are proceeding at an irresponsibly slow pace and that the global community needs to rediscover the political will to make radical improvements in our climate policies. The planet is fast running out of time and patience!;
2. Considers that all parties to these negotiations must ensure that the COP 17 meeting in Durban in late November 2011 represents a turning point in multilateral climate negotiations and that they must forge legally binding agreements, which will contribute to securing the future against climate-related threats to the well-being of our planet and to its citizens;
3. Demands therefore that the Durban climate conference must make up for lost time in international climate negotiations and agree on:
• A peak year for global emissions of 2015 and a 2050 reduction target of at least 80% globally and 95% for Annex I countries, and establishing a process to address the gigatonne gap between current mitigation pledges and the objectives of limiting climate change to levels, not exceeding a temperature rise of 1.5°C;
• A second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol 2013-2017, closing forest management accounting and hot air loopholes, to ensure environmental effectiveness of the reduction targets;
• A mandate with a timetable for a legally binding outcome to be implemented by 2015 under the Convention track, including industrialised countries as well as emerging economies and developing countries;
4. Considers that in Durban concrete decisions are required regarding financing for climate action in developing countries, namely:
• The implementation of the Copenhagen and Cancun agreements regarding long term financing (annual $ 100bn by 2020) including on sources of public finance (financial transaction tax, shipping/aviation levies) and scaling up from fast start finance levels starting in 2013;
• Agreeing to increase climate financing even more from 2020 onwards in line with the UN-Department of Economic and Social Affairs recommendations.
• Modalities ensuring that fast start finance for 2010-2012 will be new and additional and ensure transparency in the delivery of this finance;
5. Calls on the EU and its Member States in particular to:
• Increase unilaterally, the EU target at least to a 30% domestic reductions in greenhouse gas (or CO2e) emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 and to a 40% target if other industrial countries do similar efforts, and ensure EU foreign policy is directed to achieving a binding international agreement, which is in line with the UN objective of limiting climate change to below 2°C;
• Ensure fast start financing is fully delivered, with funds that are new and additional to Official Development Assistance (ODA) and that a part of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) revenues are earmarked for financing of climate action in developing countries from 2013;
6. Insists that in Durban the EU is responsible for ensuring that:
• An agreement is reached on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, without a gap in implementation;
• The system of legally binding commitments under the UNFCCC is applied rather than a pledge & review system and that an approach of different speeds be adopted. The inaction of some must not be a reason for others, namely the EU, to slow down their own progress;
• Kyoto Protocol forest accounting and hot air loopholes are tackled, taking environmental integrity of climate targets as a basis, namely through agreement on forest management accounting rules, with reference to historical baselines and no carry forward of overachievement of Kyoto Protocol (KP) first commitment period targets;
• An international burden-sharing mechanism, based on a nation’s respective capabilities and responsibilities following scientific data, will replace the current system, in which negotiations only result in weak commitments.
7. Considers that European countries face critical choices, to preserve their future prosperity and security. Moving to a domestic greenhouse gas reduction target, which is in line with the EU’s climate objectives, can be combined with a healthier economy and an increase in green jobs and innovation;
8. Reminds that greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming long after they have been emitted. Cumulative emissions are decisive for the climate system and even when meeting the targets with the pathway set out in the European Commission 2050 Roadmap (domestic 25% for 2020, 40% for 2030, 60% for 2040 and 80% for 2050) the EU would still be responsible for approximately double its fair share of the global carbon budget compatible with the EU target of maintaining warming to 2 degrees and the concentration of carbon dioxide of 450ppm. Delaying emissions reductions increases the cumulative share of the EU’s greenhouse gases in the atmosphere significantly and makes it impossible to reach a fair distribution of emission rights if the 1,5°C target is to be reached;
9. Underlines the need to develop new and sustainable business models that reflect the limits of growing resource use and that are not based on quantitative economic growth;
10. Underlines the need to develop and use alternative indicators to measure wealth, happiness and development.
11. Stresses that the design of the Reduce Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism should enhance biodiversity and vital ecosystem services beyond climate change mitigation and should contribute to strengthening the rights and improving the livelihood of indigenous and local communities, who are highly dependant on the livelihood of forests;
12. Underlines that REDD+ must not be included in the emission trading, that instead a fund-solution has to be pursued; and that there is need to speed up public financing for REDD+ action that rewards reducing deforestation compared to national baselines and to halt gross tropical deforestation by 2020 at the latest;
13. Considers that sectoral mechanisms, for economically more advanced developing countries, should be agreed for the period beyond 2012, while Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) should be limited to Least Developed Countries (LDCs). We call for an urgent reform of the CDM. The aim of this reform is to reduce the transaction costs and barriers for LDCs while improving the environmental and social integrity of the scheme. Certain type of projects with dubious benefits in terms of sustainable development should be banned while other type of projects should be given privileged access to carbon finance;
14. Calls for any new international sectoral offset crediting mechanisms to ensure environmental and social integrity and incorporate climate benefits beyond the 15-30% deviation from business-as-usual;
15. Calls for the introduction of international market based and / or other appropriate instruments to curb the impact of international aviation and maritime transport on the climate and to generate revenues for supporting climate action in developing countries.
16. Notes that our window of opportunity to act on Climate Change mitigation is closing rapidly and emphasizes the need for tough, ambitious decisions in Durban leading to near term action to prevent run away Climate Change.