Climate conference in Durban: Day 3

Plenary 30.11.2011The third day of COP17 did not bring forth any progress in the negotiations. During the discussion of Kyoto mechanisms Oleg Shamanov, Russia’s representative, said that JI project provide a great stimulus for emissions reduction measures and have to remain in operation after 2012, but failed to mention anything about the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. At an evening side event Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine presented their respective situations with emissions trends, but said nothing about their future intentions in this field for the current negotiations.

At the plenary session on November, 30 countries’ positions on Kyoto flexible mechanisms were discussed, namely CDM and JI for Annex 1 countries. Developing countries are highly interested in CDM but for them it is undividable from Kyoto’s 2nd commitment period. Many are concerned that the inability to adopt Kyoto2 will lead to a collapse in 5 to 7 years in the form of an uncontrollable growth of emissions and temperature. Many small states do not see any other ways of carbon-free development without CDM investments. Brazil called upon the Annex 1 countries to do everything possible to bring forth the adaptation of Kyoto2 and raise the demand for CDM projects. A representative of Ukraine said that his country is considering further participation in JI scheme and stands for Kyoto2.

RF oficialsRF oficialsOleg Shamanov of Russia, Head of Global Environmental Issues Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that COP17 should give a signal to business to go on with Kyoto mechanisms after 2012. These mechanisms, including JI, play a central role in creating stimuli for emissions reduction and will continue after 2012. Russia emphasizes the importance of the work of the JI Supervisory Committee (JISC). It mainly deals with the implementation of Kyoto-1, but it also contributes to the overall JI development.

Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan were surprisingly unanimous on the issue of the need to revise the existing classification of countries into developed and developing, as well as economies in transition, within the current UNFCCC framework. At the conference in Bonn in June 2011 Russia already addressed the issue by saying it was necessary to revise the lists of the countries according to their economic situation, and today this view was further supported. This approach may give these countries more advantage in receiving investments into emissions reduction projects and technology transfer. This would be fair concerning way better-off oil producing countries that are still exploiting the status of developing countries. But in order for the new approach to estimating the development level to start working towards reaching the reduction goals, there must be a new universal agreement and the adoption of Kyoto2, which so far has not been reached. And Russia’s position is not bringing forth any progress on this either.

In the evening there was a side event dedicated to the results of the CURRENT PROGRESS AND OUTLOOK FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION IN EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA project, supported by the EU. Official representatives of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine presented their situations with emissions trends, but didn’t show any intentions to do anything about it in the context of the negotiations. Dmitry Zamolodchikov of Russia, voiced out WWF’s proposal to include forest protection projects into the JI scheme.

NGOs choose - what sesion to watchPublic observers at COP17, members of Climate Action Network notice the lack of consistent positions by countries in what relates to Kyoto2, the drafting of the new agreement and a bad preparation of the documents to be discussed in working groups. The decisions of Bali and Copenhagen are not mentioned at all which looks as a falling behind from those decisions.