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Major Economies Forum Calls for a Balanced Package in Durban

17 September 2011: The 11th Meeting at the Leaders' Representative level of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate stressed the need to agree on a balanced package at the upcoming 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa, at the end of the year.

The meeting, which took place in Washington, DC, US, from 16-17 September 2011, focused on various unresolved issues in the climate negotiations, including: financing; the future of the Kyoto Protocol; fulfilling past mitigation pledges; and transparency.

On financing, the Chair's summary indicates that participants agreed that sources of funding should be diversified by incentivizing private sector involvement, but noted that increased public funding will be necessary for adaptation as well as for countries where climate finance has been limited. It was also highlighted that public funding plays an important role in leveraging private capital. Some participants suggested countries should focus on how to invest funds in necessary infrastructure rather than on the narrow issue of whether monies are public or private. Others highlighted the need to make investments more attractive by reducing risk, which was followed by a discussion of the appropriate timing, and purpose, of initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund.

The Chair's summary indicates that participants then held an “extended, frank discussion about the Kyoto Protocol and the shape of future arrangements,” where talks focused on whether, and under what circumstances, certain parties might sign onto a second commitment period target. Broad talks on future arrangements were also held over, inter alia, the nature of future arrangements; their ambition in relation to the two degree temperature rise target; the evolution of the dichotomy of Annex I/Non-Annex I; and on the Bali Action Plan and Bali Road Map. On timelines, some participants spoke of a “transitional” period lasting to 2020.

The Chair's summary describes discussions on building confidence in mitigation pledges made in Copenhagen and solidified in Cancun, with some participants suggesting that structured clarifications of pledges are needed.

The Chair's summary of the talks over transparency indicates that participants commented on the work-in-progress nature of national communications, highlighting that flexibility is needed with initial reporting. There were suggestions that all Major Economies submit communications by 2014 to feed into the 2013-2015 review process. Representatives' views diverged over how similar or different the transparency should be treated for developing versus developed countries, as well as on the relationship between existing transparency approaches in the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and those under development.

Participants included representatives from the 17 “Major Economies” (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the UK, and the US) as well as representatives from Barbados, Colombia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, and the UN. [Chair's Summary]