As Aaron noted earlier, the Guardian reported on a leaked Danish draft agreement that has seriously miffed the developing world. This draft, being called the ‘Danish text’, squarely ignores some of the most frequently quoted demands of the developing countries and would therefore be unacceptable to the G77.
The draft was circulated among some of the key countries (both developed and developing) last week and leaders from developing countries have spoken vociferously in public against it. A G-77 negotiator from the African bloc said, “In effect, the Danish proposal amends the whole UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) balance of obligations and could eventually kill Kyoto (Protocol). The draft creates obligations for developing nations as well for mitigation and adaptation,”
The draft was made on 27th November and it is not known what the latest version looks like. But most of the fundamental principles would probably still remain.
With the developing country negotiators miffed with the developed nations, day two in Copenhagen suddenly looked more like Barcelona, when developing countries led by Australia and Canada first proposed scrapping the Kyoto Protocol.
On Sunday the BASIC bloc, consisting of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, responded to the ‘Danish text’ by releasing an alternate proposal to the G77 in hopes for drafting a combined proposal from the entire developing countries bloc and thus sharing a single negotiating position. Here are quick summaries of both the proposals that highlight their differences.
The Danish text:
-A new and alternate framework must be agreed upon instead of the Kyoto Protocol.
-The alternate framework would elicit from major developing countries, emission reduction targets and contribution to the climate change fund, according to their capacities. It proposes setting future CO2 peaking year for the developing countries and appointing World Bank as the institution to handle climate change funds.
-The mitigation targets for developed countries have only been represented as ‘X’ but aims to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees.
-All climate change mitigation actions by countries would be subject to an MRV (measure, report and verify) mechanism.
-According to analysts, the agreement would continue the inequity that exists between the rich and poor countries by limiting per-capita CO2 emissions of developing country citizens to 1.4 tons per year compared to 2.67 tons for a developed country citizen. It also sets a short term target of creating a USD 10bn annual fund for climate change adaptation and mitigation in ‘most vulnerable nations’.
-The text also suggests creation of a ‘most vulnerable nations’ category for the developing countries, all of which are currently referred as the non-Annex I parties by the UNFCCC.
The BASIC proposal:
-All climate change negotiations must be held under the UNFCCC framework and the Kyoto Protocol or Bali Action Plan must not be blurred.
-The developed countries will be expected to take the lead in reducing emissions and funding developing countries to adapt to climate change. The funding would have to be new and additional and not sourced from previously pledged aid funds.
-It also makes it abundantly clear that developing countries should not have to accept binding emission cuts or specify a peaking year for CO2.
-MRV (measure, report and verify) mechanism would be acceptable only for actions supported by finance or technology by developed countries. Unsupported actions would be audited by the respective country.
The Danish text shows that perhaps not much has been achieved since Barcelona to reach a final deal. With a rift growing in the G77 as well over the BASIC proposal, there is a real danger for the Copenhagen conference to derail as disagreements on fundamental principles continue to be unresolved.