Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nohopehagen: 1830

From The Times article, in full, a summary of the latest missive.

1830 Looking at the latest draft - which is the one Greenpeace must have been reacting to, and it does indeed read a bit like a G8 communique. Let's gut it a bit and try to see who's come out on top from the various tussles over the past fortnight. Remember it's only a draft.

Firstly the name: Copenhagen Accord. That is stronger than the Copenhagen Declaration or somesuch, so it is an international agreement, which makes it binding in at least a moral sense.

Winners: the Danes, unless this treaty is trashed in which case they might ask for its name to be changed.

There's no explicit binding target on temperature - just a recognition of the "scientific view" that limiting temperature rise to 2C would "enhance our long-term cooperative action to combat climate change"

Winners: Oil producers. Losers: Small island states, LDCs, the planet as a whole

A new clause further down the document says later reviews of the Copenhagen Accord would look at a target of 1.5C.

Winners: Tuvalu and the low-lying islands (if that review ever takes place)

The parties agree that that deep carbon emission cuts are required, according to the science, and "with a view to reduce global emissions by 50 per cent in 2050 below 1990 levels, taking into account the right to equitable access to atmospheric space".

Winners: the emerging economies including Brazil will be pleased by that last clause.

No specific target on "global peaking" (the point at which emissions peak - a crucial target for scientists) which the UK had wanted to be set at 2020. Instead the text says: "We should co-operate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognising that the time frame for peaking will be longer in develoing countires and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries..."

Winners: Again, China, Brazil and other emerging economies such as India. There's no target on their peaking.

Developed countries commit to reducing their emissions individually or jointly by at least 80 per cent by 2050. Individual 2020 targets to be listed in an appendix (which is still blank). Verification to be rigorous, robust and transparent. The EU was offering the 80 per cent target.

Winners: In the longer term, the planet.

But there is no overall target on emission limits or "mitigation actions" by major emerging economies, such as China, India and Brazil. An earlier draft today set a 15-30 per cent target. Instead individual country targets will be listed in an appendix to the accord. Countries will be asked to report on their progress every two years via national communications - but there's no comeback if they're lying.

If countries want international support for their mitigation actions - China and Brazil have made clear that they don't - then they face international measurement.

Winners: China and Brazil. Losers: US and EU

Caveat: there is a square bracket [Consideration to be inserted US and China], which suggests that this battle is not yet over.

Funding: developed countries are promised "scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding" to help them avert and cope with climate change. They will get $30 billion in "fast start" financing over the next three years and the developed countries also "support the goal of mobilising jointly $100 billion a year by 2020. This funding will be a mixture of public, private , bilateral and multilateral and "alternative" - ie market-based - finance. The multilateral funding will be channeled through trust funds on which developed and developing countries have equal representation.

Winners: developing countries, especially the Africans and small island states. Developed world will be happy to have flexibility in funding

There will be a review of this accord and its implementation by 2016, including the 1.5C target. But there is no commitment to making it a legally binding international treaty and no mention of the next COP meeting in Mexico City next year, which an earlier draft had suggested should be held within six months.

Winners: China and G77 countries, which wanted to avoid new international treaty - but, interestingly, the only mention of the Kyoto Protocol, which they want to keep, is in the preamble, which endorses the decision that the KP working group should continue its work on a new round of commitments by developed countries under that pact. That omission could be read both ways.

Overall winners: You do the math.

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