Dec 12, 2011
COP 17 breathes life into climate fund, sets agenda for future treatyBack
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
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
To subscribe email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
To advertise email email@example.com or click here
Updated 10 minutes ago Global air freight volumes saw a 2% year-on-year drop in March, reflecting subdued growth in world trade, according to demand growth data released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata). This decline was exaggerated by the quarter’s comparison with a...
Updated 2 hours 4 minutes ago South Africa's competition watchdog will ask for another extension to scrutinise Anheuser-Busch InBev's planned $106-billion takeover of SABMiller, its spokesman said on Thursday. The watchdog was due to finish its investigation on Thursday, after it was granted a...
Updated 3 hours ago FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (FAW SA) has seen a steady increase in sales and exports, following the opening of its Eastern Cape truck assembly plant in 2014. To date, FAW SA has recorded exports of 90 trucks. To be more specific, exports in the first four...
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...