COP15 officially closes today; the overall sentiment here is that while this conference has yielded progress on negotiating a climate agreement, there is still a lack of agreement on such a large amount of issues that ministers and heads of state here will likely go home without a full draft text for a new climate treaty.
While during the last 2 weeks negotiators have been trying to formulate a text to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, there was a severe lack of willingness for negotiators from the G77+China to work on issues related to CDM reform and other market mechanisms until they were satisfied with a finance package provided by developed countries. In the final hours of the LCA and KP negotiating process, the draft texts were passed on to the minister level (environmental ministers and other chief representatives of a countries delegation). As most of the working texts remained in brackets (still to be finalized); negotiators believed that political input was needed before formulating their positions on many issues. As ministers and heads of delegations aren’t usually responsible for writing the text of a treaty.
Over 100 heads of state have arrived and given their political statement, President Obama has officially announced U.S. support for a climate finance package of $100 billion to developing countries by 2020 (contingent upon international MRV). For the remaining hours of the day, President Obama and other heads of state will be in back room meetings and discussions and will likely be trying to come to an agreement on the details of a climate finance package. A political statement of support for a climate deal has already been drafted and is expected to be released later today. Agreement still needs to be made how the finance package would be ‘kick started’ for least developed countries and small island states most vulnerable to a rise in temperatures.
In terms of the draft texts related to CDM reform and market mechanisms that were released by working groups yesterday, most negotiators believe that progress has been made over the past 2 weeks but more time is needed. The working group on the Kyoto Protocol noted that open issues include: length of commitment periods, carry-over of AAU’s, new methodologies on CCS and additional industrial gases, and increasing the CDM share of proceeds. The working group on LULUCF said progress is within sight but that more time is needed in order to come to an agreement.
The concept of NAMA’s remains unresolved as negotiators could not agree on how registries, flexible mechanisms and financing would work.
Working groups responsible for adaptation and REDD+ reported that negotiations during COP15 also yielded more progress and they also need more time to finalize any agreement on these 2 issues.
The key point for all these issues (CDM reform, REDD, new market mechanisms, etc.) is that negotiators cannot come to an agreement until financing and reporting (MRV) are agreed to. Therefore, it is very unlikely that a climate deal (in detail) will be finalized here in Copenhagen.
However, something must be said for the unprecedented political capital that world leaders, including President Obama, are investing here today. We will report on the political statement once it is released.