Dec 12, 2011
COP 17 breathes life into climate fund, sets agenda for future treatyBack
Cancun|DURBAN|Africa|COP 17|Projects|Resources|UNFCCC|Africa|Canada|Japan|Mexico|Russia|South Africa|United States|COP|USD|Clean Energy Futures|Climate Change Finance Going|Climate Finance|Energy|Long-term Finance|Technology Mechanism|Environmental|Ban Ki-moon|Christiana Figueres|Jim Leape|Maite Nkoana-Mashabane|Samantha Smith|Hoc
© Reuse this
The ‘Durban Platform’ would result in the full implementation of the package to support developing nations, agreed last year in Cancun, Mexico. Particularly key, is the $100-billion a year Green Climate Fund, which would become fully operational in 2012.
Countries have already started to pledge toward start-up costs of the fund, said COP 17 president Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, also South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
This meant that the fund could be made ready in 2012, and at the same time could help developing countries get ready to access the fund.
This, the Minister said would boost developing countries efforts to establish their own clean energy futures and adapt to existing climate change.
A standing committee would monitor the climate finance in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to assist the COP. It would comprise 20 members, equally representing the developed and developing world.
A focused work programme on long-term finance was also agreed, which would contribute to the scaling up of climate change finance going forward, and analyse options for the mobilisation of resources from a variety of sources.
Other elements of the package included the implementation of an adaptation committee, tasked to improve the coordination of adaptation actions on a global scale, as well as a technology mechanism, also to be fully operational by 2012.
The full terms of reference for the operational arm of the mechanism, the Climate Technology Centre and Network, were agreed to, along with a clear procedure to select the host.
The UNFCCC secretariat would issue a call for proposals for hosts in January.
Governments also agreed a registry to record developing country mitigation actions that seek financial support and to match these with support. The registry aims to be a flexible, dynamic, web-based platform.
Interestingly, under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, governments adopted procedures to allow carbon-capture and storage projects. These guidelines would be reviewed every five years to ensure environmental integrity.
But, while pledging to make progress in a number of areas, governments acknowledged the urgent concern that the current sum of pledges to cut emissions both from developed and developing countries is not high enough to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 oC on preindustrial levels.
The climate change talks also resulted in 195 parties agreeing to negotiate an universal legal agreement on climate change by no later than 2015, which will take effect in 2020.
This pledge by developed and developing nations would result in work beginning immediately under an ad hoc working group.
Only 38 industrialised countries agreed a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol from January 1, 2013, with the first commitment period coming to an end in December 2012.
Parties to this second period would turn their economy-wide targets into quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives and submit them for review by May 1, 2012.
“This is highly significant because the Kyoto Protocol’s accounting rules, mechanisms and markets all remain in action as effective tools to leverage global climate action and as models to inform future agreements,” said UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres.
A significantly advanced framework for the reporting of emission reductions for both developed and developing countries was also agreed, taking into consideration the common but differentiated responsibilities of different countries.
But, while a package to assist the developing world has been agreed to, as well as a roadmap to work towards a legally binding agreement, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) described COP 17 as a “failure” by governments.
WWF director-general Jim Leape said that politicians in Durban have shown an “alarming inability to come to grips with the challenge of climate change”.
However, they did concur that a comfort of the Durban negotiations was the emergence of a large coalition of high-ambition countries, led by the most vulnerable nations and small island States, including many in Africa.
“Overall, the responsibility for this failure lies with a handful of entrenched governments, such as the US, Japan, Russia and Canada, who have consistently raised the level of ambition on climate change,” WWF global climate and energy initiative leader Samantha Smith said.
But UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon argued that the decision to launch a protocol or a legal instrument applicable to all parties under the UNFCCC was essential for greater action and for raising the level of ambition and the mobilisation of resources to respond to the challenges of climate change.
He believed that the agreements at COP 17 “represented an important advance in the work of climate change”.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Climate Change News
Renewable energy industrial and logistics processes company GRI Renewable Industries in November opened a new R300-million wind-turbine tower production factory in Atlantis, Cape Town. “With South Africa currently in the grip of debilitating rolling black-outs and...
Article contains comments
Updated 8 minutes ago Telecommunications giant Vodacom has taken another step towards expanding its fixed-lined capabilities as it moved to build a fibre-to-the-home network. South Africa’s largest mobile operator appointed communication solution provider Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a...
Updated 14 minutes ago The public review period for the integrated water use licence application for the proposed construction of a 600 MW coal-fired independent power producer plant and associated infrastructure for Kuyasa Mining subsidiary KiPower will be extended until March 24.
Updated 27 minutes ago South Africa’s third-largest mobile operator Cell C has made a bid to the South Gauteng High Court to review the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa’s) promulgation of the much disputed Call Termination Regulations. Cell C CEO Jose Dos...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...