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REDD texts from the Conference of Polluters (Durban COP-17): 11 December 2011

The UN climate talks in Durban finished late on Saturday night, almost 36 hours late. Negotiators agreed little more than to start talks next year on a new deal. These talks are supposed to end by 2015 and are to come into effect by 2020.

“The bottom line is that governments got practically nothing done here COP17 and that’s unacceptable,” wrote Sam Smith Leader of the WWF Climate and Energy Initiative in a tweet. World Development Movement put out a press release saying that WDM “slammed the outcome of the UN climate talks in Durban as a ‘spectacular failure’ that will condemn the world’s poorest people to hunger, poverty and ultimately, death.”

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Climate Justice Coordinator of Friends of the Earth International said, “Led by the US, developed nations have reneged on their promises, weakened the rules on climate action and strengthened those that allow their corporations to profit from the climate crisis.”

Washington, however, is happy. “We got the kind of symmetry that we had been focused on since the beginning of the Obama administration. This had all the elements that we were looking for,” U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern told Reuters.

Here’s a great interview with Patrick Bond (on Friday night, more than 24 hours before the end of the COP):

That’s the framework, then, for the REDD text that came out of the Conference of Polluters in Durban. The two REDD texts can be downloaded here:

  • SBSTA – safeguards information system, reference levels (pdf file, 120 kB),
  • LCA – finance (pdf file, 261.7 kB).

I was up most of the night watching the the negotiations on the LCA text on the livestream video on UNFCCC’s website. (I tweeted about it here.) There will be more analysis of these texts in the next few days on REDD-Monitor along with a round-up of what others are saying. In the meantime, here are the Durban REDD texts. REDD-Monitor looks forward to reading comments – especially (but not only) from people who were in Durban (and links to other analyses of these REDD texts would also be very useful).

Advance unedited version

Draft decision -/CP.17

Draft decision on guidance on systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected and modalities relating to forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels as referred to in decision 1/CP.16, appendix I

The Conference of the Parties,

Recalling decisions 2/CP.13, 4/CP.15 and 1/CP.16,

Recalling also decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 69–71 and appendices I and II,

Noting that guidance on systems for providing information on how safeguards referred to in appendix I to decision 1/CP.16 are addressed and respected should be consistent with national sovereignty, national legislation and national circumstances,

Recognizing the importance and necessity of adequate and predictable financial and technology support for developing all of the elements referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71,

Being aware of the need for any modalities for the construction of forest reference levels and forest emission reference levels to be flexible so as to accommodate national circumstances and capabilities, while pursuing environmental integrity and avoiding perverse incentives,

    Guidance on systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected

1. Notes that the implementation of the safeguards referred to in appendix I to decision 1/CP.16, and information on how these safeguards are being addressed and respected, should support national strategies or action plans and be included in, where appropriate, all phases of implementation referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 73, of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 of the same decision;

2. Agrees that systems for providing information on how the safeguards referred to in appendix I to decision 1/CP.16 are addressed and respected should, taking into account national circumstances and respective capabilities, and recognizing national sovereignty and legislation, and relevant international obligations and agreements, and respecting gender considerations:

    (a) Be consistent with the guidance identified in decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, paragraph 1;

    (b) Provide transparent and consistent information that is accessible by all relevant stakeholders and updated on a regular basis;

    (c) Be transparent and flexible to allow for improvements over time;

    (d) Provide information on how all of the safeguards referred to in appendix I to decision 1/CP.16 are being addressed and respected;

    (e) Be country-driven and implemented at the national level;

    (f) Build upon existing systems, as appropriate;

3. Agrees also that developing country Parties undertaking the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, should provide a summary of information on how all of the safeguards referred to in decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities;

4. Decides that the summary of information referred to in paragraph 3 above should be provided periodically and be included in national communications, consistent with relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties on guidelines on national communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention, or communication channels agreed by the Conference of the Parties;

5. Requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, at its thirty-sixth session, to consider the timing of the first and the frequency of subsequent presentation of the summary of information referred to in paragraph 3 above, with a view to recommending a decision on this matter for adoption by the Conference of the Parties at its eighteenth session;

6. Also requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, at its thirty-sixth session, to consider the need for further guidance to ensure transparency, consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness when informing on how all safeguards are addressed and respected and, if appropriate, to consider additional guidance, and to report to the Conference of the Parties at its eighteenth session;

    Modalities for forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels

7. Agrees that, in accordance with decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71(b), forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, are benchmarks for assessing each country’s performance in implementing the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70;

8. Decides that forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, in accordance with decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71(b), shall be established taking into account decision 4/CP.15, paragraph 7, and maintaining consistency with anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks as contained in each country’s greenhouse gas inventories;

9. Invites Parties to submit information and rationale on the development of their forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels including details of national circumstances and if adjusted include details on how the national circumstances were considered, in accordance with the guidelines contained in the annex and any future decision by the Conference of the Parties;

10. Agrees that a step-wise approach to national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level development may be useful, enabling Parties to improve the forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level by incorporating better data, improved methodologies and, where appropriate, additional pools, noting the importance of adequate and predictable support as referenced by decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71;

11. Acknowledges that subnational forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels may be elaborated as an interim measure, while transitioning to a national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level. And that, interim forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels of a Party may cover less than its entire national territory of forest area;

12. Agrees that a developing country Party should update a forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level periodically as appropriate, taking into account new knowledge, new trends and any modification of scope and methodologies;

13. Invites developing country Parties, on a voluntary basis and when deemed appropriate, to submit proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, in accordance with decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71(b), accompanied by the information referred to in paragraph 9 above;

14. Requests the secretariat to make available information on forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels on the UNFCCC REDD web platform, [1] including submissions with proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels;

15. Agrees to establish a process that enables technical assessment of the proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels when submitted or updated by Parties in accordance with paragraph 12 above and in accordance with guidance to be developed by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice at its thirty-sixth session.

Annex

    Guidelines for submissions of information on reference levels

Each developing country Party aiming to undertake the actions listed in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, should include in its submission transparent, complete, 1 consistent with guidance agreed by the Conference of the Parties (COP), and accurate information for the purpose of allowing a technical assessment of the data, methodologies and procedures used in the construction of a forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level. The information provided should be guided by the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidance and guidelines, as adopted or encouraged by the COP, as appropriate, and include:

(a) Information that was used by Parties in constructing a forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level, including historical data, in a comprehensive and transparent way;

(b) Transparent, complete, consistent and accurate information, including methodological information, used at the time of construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, including, inter alia, as appropriate, a description of data sets, approaches, methods, models, if applicable and assumptions used, descriptions of relevant policies and plans, and description of changes from previously submitted information;

(c) Pools and gases, and activities listed in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, which have been included in forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels and the reasons for omitting a pool and/or activity from the construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, noting that significant pools and/or activities should not be excluded;

(d) The definition of forest used in the construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels and, if appropriate, in case there is a difference with the definition of forest used in the national greenhouse gas inventory or in reporting to other international organizations, an explanation of why and how the definition used in the construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels was chosen.


1. http://unfccc.int/4531.

Advance unedited version

Draft decision [-/CP.17]

Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on
Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention

[ . . . ]

C. Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries

Recalling the principles and provisions set forth in decision 1/CP.16 and appendices I and II on policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries,

Further recalling decisions 1/CP.13, 2/CP.13, 4/CP.15 and -/CP.17 [2],

Also recalling decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 68–74 and 76–78,

Reaffirming that, in the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support to developing country Parties, Parties should collectively aim to slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss, in accordance with national circumstances, consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention, as stated in its Article 2,

Reaffirming decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, paragraph 1,

Affirming that efforts are already being made and actions being taken to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and to maintain and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries,

Recognizing the importance of effective and continuing support for activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 73 and 76,

Recognizing that policy approaches and positive incentives for mitigation actions in the forest sector, as referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, can promote poverty alleviation and biodiversity benefits, ecosystem resilience and the linkages between adaptation and mitigation, and should promote and support the safeguards referred to in decision 1/CP.16, appendix 1, paragraphs 2(c)–(e),

Aware of the relevance of work being undertaken by relevant international conventions and agreements,

63. Agrees that, regardless of the source or type of financing, the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, should be consistent with the relevant provisions included in decision 1/CP.16, including the safeguards in its appendix I, in accordance with relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties;

64. Recalls that for developing country Parties undertaking results-based actions[3] referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 73 and 77, to obtain and receive results-based finance, these actions should be fully measured, reported and verified[4], and developing country Parties should have the elements referred in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71, in accordance with any decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties on this matter;

65. Agrees that results-based finance provided to developing country Parties that is new, additional and predictable may come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources;

66. Considers that, in the light of the experience gained from current and future demonstration activities, appropriate market-based approaches could be developed by the Conference of the Parties to support results-based actions by developing country Parties referred to in paragraph 73 of 1/CP.16, ensuring that environmental integrity is preserved, and the provisions of appendix I and II to Decision 1/CP.16 are fully respected and should be consistent with relevant provisions of decision 1/CP.16, decision XX/CP.17 (SBSTA) and any future decision by the COP on these matters;

67. Notes that non market based approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests as a non-market alternative that supports and strengthens governance, the application of safeguards as referred to in decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, paragraph 2(c–e), and the multiple functions of forests, could be developed;

68. Encourages the operating entities of the financial mechanism of the Convention to provide results-based finance for the actions referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 73;

69. Invites Parties and accredited observers to submit to the secretariat, by 5 March 2012, their views on modalities and procedures for financing results-based actions and considering activities related to decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 68–70 and 72;

70. Requests the secretariat to compile the submissions by Parties into a miscellaneous document for consideration by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention at its session to be held in conjunction with the thirty-sixth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice;

71. Requests the secretariat to prepare, subject to the availability of supplementary resources, a technical paper, based on submissions by Parties and accredited observers on the issues referred to in paragraph 70 above, as an input for the workshop referred to in paragraph 72 below;

72. Requests the secretariat to organize, subject to the availability of supplementary resources, a workshop taking into account the submissions by Parties and accredited observers referred to in paragraph 70 above, the technical paper referred to in paragraph 71 above, and the conclusions on this matter by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention at its session to be held in conjunction with the thirty-sixth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, before the session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention to be held in conjunction with the eighteenth session of the Conference of the Parties;

73. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention to consider the submissions by Parties and accredited observers referred to in paragraph 70 above, the technical paper referred to in paragraph 71 above and the report on the outcomes of the workshop referred to in paragraph 72 above with the aim of reporting on progress made and any recommendations to the Conference of the Parties at its eighteenth session.


2. Draft decision proposed for adoption under agenda item 4 of Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.
3. In accordance with decision 1/CP.16, appendix II.
4. As agreed by the Conference of the Parties.

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  1. Academics….sounds great….but your still just an urban white liberal..wonder where your sweater was made, china??