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CARICOM Negotiators Playing Major Role in Bonn Climate Change Talks

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer (CCCCC) and Chairman of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Photo courtesy Ann Gordon

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer (CCCCC) and Chairman of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Photo courtesy of Ann Gordon

Countries are now in their second week of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) presently taking place in Bonn, Germany. Draft conclusions have already been adopted for some items under two of the subsidiary bodies of the Convention, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Under the SBSTA, countries concluded their consideration under the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on adaptation, the Technology framework, metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of greenhouse gases, emissions from international aviation and shipping, the training programme for review experts, forests in exhaustion, market and non-market mechanisms under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, modalities for accounting of financial resources mobilized for climate change, and the next review of the long term goal until 2018.

CARICOM negotiators are facilitating the consultations on several of the agenda items under the SBI and SBSTA. They include: Ann Gordon of Belize on Research and Systematic Observations, Hugh Sealy of Grenada market and non-market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, Gerald Lindo of Jamaica on joint implementation, Kishan Kumarsingh of Trinidad and Tobago on Technology, Crispin d’Auvergne of Saint Lucia on capacity building, and Leon Charles of Grenada on the long term review of the global goal. Carlos Fuller, the Liaison Officer of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, is the Chair of the SBSTA.

UNISDR Policy Analysis of Disaster Management and Climate Adaptation in the Pacific

YardEdge

YardEdge

The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) has released a study on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CAA) in the Pacific, titled “Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific: an institutional and policy analysis.” The study analyzes the level of integration of DRR and CCA activities across the region.

DRR is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through analysis and management of their causal factors. It reduces exposure to hazards, lessens the vulnerability of people and assets, and improves management of the land and environment and preparedness for adverse events (UNISDR, 2009).

CAA is defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCCC) as ‘adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects that moderate harm and exploit beneficial opportunities. This can include: (a) adapting development to gradual changes in average temperature, sea level and precipitation; and (b) reducing and managing the risks associated with more frequent, severe and unpredictable  extreme weather events” (UNISDR, 2010).

The 67-page report includes analysis of seven Pacific island countries: the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The results indicate that despite the low level of integration at the operational level, countries are making efforts to develop Joint National Action Plans for DRR and CCA.

The report says there is strong evidence of an increase in the observed frequency and intensity of weather and climate-related hazards. An assertion buttressed by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change IPCC), which anticipates that in the short to medium term many impacts of climate change may manifest themselves through changes in the frequency, intensity or duration of extreme weather events. Having made these observations, the report makes an urgent call for a paradigm shift in DRR noting that the recent Global Assessment Report on DRR shows that mortality and economic loss risk are heavily concentrated in developing countries, disproportionately affecting the poor and posing a real threat to the achievement of the MDGs.

The report also outlines challenges and barriers to integration, highlights evolving good practice towards integration, and provides recommendations for regional and national stakeholders for further action. Key recommendations include: the establishment and maintenance of a database of DRR, CCA and related projects, and a database of Pacific-focused case studies and good practices; to co-convene meetings on disaster risk management (DRM) and CCA at times and locations that maximize coordination and integration opportunities; to develop an integrated Pacific Regional Policy Framework for DRM, CCA and mitigation for implementation post-2015; and for donors, Pacific island governments, nongovernmental and relevant regional organisations to work collectively and promote greater integration of DRR and CCA.

The study was produced in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with resources from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Peruse the full report here.

“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, according to Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE. He adds that this urgency is longstanding as it was recognized over two decades ago at the Rio Convention.

Speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados, Dr. Leslie noted that at that watershed convention countries agreed that:

  • Developed countries would curb consumption and production patterns
  • Developing countries would maintain development goals but take on sustainable development approaches
  • Developed countries would support developing countries through finance, technology transfer and reforms to the global economic and financial structures

 Dr. Leslie notes that even with these longstanding commitments progress has been limited.

Despite continued intergovernmental processes, there has been little implementation of the agreements. At the time a pledge to commit 0.7% of national income to international aid was made. This pledge has only been met by five countries and where given, aid is unpredictable and poorly targeted and/or administered.

The two day regional workshop at which Dr. Leslie spoke primarily sought to review the various financial mechanisms, including the Green Climate Fund, available to developing countries— specifically Caribbean Community member countries.

Developed countries pledged to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments, approaching US$30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012 and with balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation. This collective commitment made at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in December 2009 in Copenhagen is known as ‘fast-start finance’.

 The Fast Start Funds:
  1.   New and additional resources
  2. US$30 billion annually through 2013
  3.  Increasing to 100 billion by 2020

Unfortunately neither of the first two commitments has been accomplished

 Following up on this pledge, the Conference of the Parties in Cancún, in December 2010, took note of this collective commitment by developed country Parties and reaffirmed that funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa, said Dr. Leslie.

 What’s the Green Fund?

The Green Fund is the most recent of the Climate Change-related Funds now being developed for operational implementation in the near future. The Fund seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.

It is the expectation that this fund, unlike the other funds, will be better administered with an improved governance structure and will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, it is the expectation that the Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries, such as Members of the Caribbean Community, to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The importance of this last statement is highlighted in the latest report (Turn Down the Heat) from the World Bank on Climate Change

Review Dr. Leslie’s speech here. Learn more about Turn Down the Heat.

Also read: Dr. Ulric Trotz says the Caribbean lags in climate finance

32nd Session of the UNFCCC JISC Concluded

The Caribbean Regional Framework

The Caribbean Regional Framework

The 32nd Session of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has ended. Mr Carlos Fuller, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s International and Regional Liaison Officer,  participated in the recently concluded (June 17 and 18) event in Bonn, Germany. Mr Fuller functioned as the alternate member of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Group (GRULAC).

The JISC is chaired by Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, who is also the substantive member of the Small Island States (SIDS) grouping. JISC is the body established by the meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) to provide oversight over joint implementation (JI) projects. Joint Implementation is one of the flexibility mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol that enables carbon credits to be generated by investments in projects, which reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in developed countries. The CDM on the other hand, generates credits by implementing projects in developing countries.

At present there are two tracks that countries can use to implement JI projects. Under Track 1, the host country supervises all aspects of the project. If a country decides to utilize the Track 2 approach, the project is supervised by the JISC which has the authority to approve and reject projects if it does not meet prescribed criteria.

During the past year and at this session the JISC has been drafting recommendations for the CMP to improve the efficiency of the carbon market. Among the recommendations it will make in Warsaw, Poland are:

  1. To have one track for JI projects,
  2. To establish an international accreditation system for the entire carbon market,
  3. To set mandatory guidance for countries hosting JI projects, and
  4. To develop measures for the establishment of emission baselines and procedures to demonstrate additionality.

These recommendations will be finalized at the next session of the JISC scheduled to be held in Bonn in late September 2013.

5Cs Joins First Forum of the Standing Committee on Finance

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liasion Officer

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liasion Officer

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s (CCCCC) International and Regional Liaison Officer, Mr Carlos Fuller, was a panelist at the First Forum of the Standing Committee on Climate in Barcelona, Spain on May 28, 2013. At the historic forum addressing “financing and investment drivers for adaptation activities”, Mr Fuller discussed the Centre’s adaptation efforts across the Caribbean. He noted that these activities are in support of the mandate that the CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed in the region’s Implementation Plan for the “Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change”.

Other members of the panel included Mr Juan Hoffmaster of Bolivia, who represented the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, Ms. Smita Nakooda of the Overseas Development Institute and Ms Saliha Dobardzic of the LDCF/SCCF of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The panel was facilitated by the co-chair of the Work Programme on Long-term Finance, Mr Naderev Sano of the Philippines.

The Standing Committee is a body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established at COP 16. Its mandate is improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing, rationalization of the financial mechanism, mobilization of financial resources and measurement, reporting and verification of support provided to developing country Parties.

Dr Hugh Sealy of Barbados, the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the CDM was also a panellist at the forum addressing “Financing and investment drivers for mitigation activities”. Among the 100 attendees was Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, the Chairman of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and Mr Raymond Landveld, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations who is a member of the Standing Committee.

The Forum was organized by the Standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC with support by the World Bank Institute and the International Emission Trading Association (IETA). Panellists included representatives of national governments, international organizations such as the South Center, the International Finance Corporation, the IDB, GIZ, OECD and the private sector, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Bank (Nairobi). Carbon Expo 2013 will be held at the same venue on 29 to 31 May 2013.

At the conclusion of the Forum, the co-chair of the standing Committee, Ambassador Dianne Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda noted that the insights of the Forum would inform the next meeting of the Forum to be held in Bonn, Germany in June.

The Forum was formally closed by Secretary of State of the Environment of Spain, Mr Federico Ramos de Armas and Ms Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

Climate-smart agriculture takes centre stage

SPDA_ThomasMueller-365x365The Meridian Institute and Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN)  recently  launched a set of case studies and headline findings on ‘Agriculture and Climate Change: Learning from experience and early interventions.’

Agriculture is on the frontline of climate change impacts and solutions. The scientific community continues to deepen its understanding of how changing temperatures and rainfall patterns, and climate impacts such as salt water intrusion, will affect agricultural yields.  Climate change affects the incidence of diseases and pests, as well as beneficial species such as pollinators, and so urges us to reassess the relationships among the many elements of agricultural ecosystems.

Adapting our agricultural systems and practices to these new realities will be essential for human food security and nutrition, as well as for sustaining the other goods and services (including products for fuel and fibre) that such ecosystems provide.

Many aspects of farming practice affect greenhouse gas emissions and are important to the conversation on climate mitigation. Some farming systems generate significant emissions but, with some modification, these emissions could be reduced. Introducing new forms of land management and inputs (for fertility and pest control) can make a big difference to agriculture’s carbon footprint.

CDKN has been supporting the Meridian Institute since November 2011 to convene a dialogue among developing country leaders on how agriculture’s contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation could  be effectively taken forward under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As detailed in our project description and the Meridian Institute’s website, Meridian facilitated these dialogues throughout 2012-13 and produced a set of case studies and briefing notes to support the discussions.

Practical case studies of early efforts to develop climate-smart agriculture are now presented in a collected volume, available for download here.

The collection aims to provide comparison across diverse initiatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia to Vietnam, Nepal, and India, to Bolivia. For each pilot initiative, programme managers present:

  • The objectives of the initiative
  • Funding arrangements
  • How local capacities and community involvement are engendered
  • How success is defined and measured and
  • Outcomes and lessons learned.

Sam Bickersteth, CDKN’s Chief Executive and an agriculture specialist, outlines the current status of agriculture talks within the UNFCCC here.

For additional resources including a graphical summary of the workshop at which the case studies were presented, a film of panel presentations, and PowerPoint slides, please visit: http://www.climate-agriculture.org/LEEI.aspx

*This article was published by CDKN Global | on: 2pm, April 19th, 2013

Reflection on the 2012 Doha Climate Change Talks

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, says Caribbean delegates played a major role at last year’s climate change talks in Doha, including as Chairs of Contact groups and lead negotiators representing the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) or the Group of 77 and China. He notes that the region would like to see the establishment of a Loss and Damage mechanism included in the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Read his reflection on the 2012 Doha climate change talks.

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liasion Officer

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liasion Officer

The annual United Nations Climate Change Talks were held in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 6 December 2012. It consisted of meetings of all seven bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) including the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the highest body of the Convention, and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), which is the highest body of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Caribbean delegations attending the meetings were hoping to achieve three main objectives: to ensure the continuity of the Kyoto Protocol, to ensure a successful conclusion of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention, and to establish a loss and damage mechanism. Most of these objectives were realized.

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ended on the 31st of December 2012. Developed countries had agreed when they signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 that they would collectively reduce their emissions of greenhouse by 5% of their 1990 levels during the period 2008 to 2012. A carbon market consisting of three flexibility mechanisms were created to assist these countries in meeting their targets. These would have collapsed without a successor agreement. Most of the original developed country signatories to the protocol agreed to an 8-year second commitment period which would result in a collective emission reduction of 18% below their 1990 levels. Japan, New Zealand and the Russian Federation refused to undertake commitments in the second period. The United States of America never ratified the Kyoto Protocol and Canada withdrew last year. A new gas, nitrogen trifluoride, was added to the list of gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol. Countries agreed that Joint Implementation projects, which are projects between developed countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, should contribute 2% of their proceeds to the Adaptation Fund.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects are implemented in developing countries and the carbon credits generated are sold to developed countries which have emission reduction targets under Kyoto. Countries further agreed that only those countries which had taken on commitments in the second period could participate in theses flexibility mechanisms. All these agreements required amendments to the Protocol and these amendments must be ratified nationally. To ensure that there is no delay in the implementation of the amendments, countries agreed to [provisional application of the amendments or to use existing national legislation while the ratification process is being pursued.

In 2007 at COP 13, countries agreed to the Bali Action Plan which identified the seven areas which would be addressed to ensure long term cooperative action on climate change. These included a shared vision, mitigation by both developed and developing countries, adaptation, technology, finance and capacity building. These negotiations, including the agreement on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, should have been concluded in Copenhagen at COP 15. Although that attempt failed, the stage was set for agreement in the ensuing years for commitments by developed countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Countries agreed on a shared vision of limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to revisit that target with a view to reducing it to 1.5°C based on new scientific evidence. Developing countries agreed to undertake actions to reduce their emissions if they were provided with the financial and technical support. These Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) would be matched with donor support via a Registry managed by the Secretariat of the UNFCCC.

Google Image

Google Image

Negotiations for a mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, including through conservation (REDD+), were launched. New market mechanisms including through sectoral approaches would be developed. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established as the new vehicle for climate financing. A Standing Committee was established to provide oversight on all the steams of climate financing. A new technology mechanism was established to promote and facilitate development, deployment and transfer of technology for adaptation and mitigation. An Adaptation Committee and the Durban Capacity Building Platform were established. At Doha, the last outstanding institutional mechanisms for these new bodies were developed. These will form the basis of a new protocol or legally binding instrument to address climate change. This new agreement will be finalized by 2015 and will come into effect in 2020.

One element that Caribbean countries wish to see incorporated in the new agreement would be for the establishment of a Loss and Damage mechanism. This has been one of the goals of small island developing states (SIDS) since negotiations commenced on a climate change convention in 1990. All that has been achieved so far is the cursory mention of insurance in one article of the Convention. At Doha countries agreed that the COP would consider the establishment of institutional arrangements including an international mechanism to address loss and damage when it met in Warsaw at COP 19.

Caribbean delegates played major roles at the negotiation including as Chairs of Contact groups and lead negotiators representing the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) or the Group of 77 and China. Trinidad and Tobago will assume the chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform in June 2013. This is the body that is negotiating the new agreement.

About Us

Building picCaribbean Climate is the region’s premier climate change focused blog. It is produced by the Belmopan, Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). The Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change.

The Centre maintains the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean.

The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.

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