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Panama Climate Change Talks Forward Text to Durban

10 October 2011: The Panama City Climate Change Talks, which were held from 1-7 October 2011, in Panama City, Panama, comprised the third part of the 16th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 16) and the third part of the 14th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 14). Parties continued discussions ahead of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 17) to be held in Durban, South Africa, at the end of the year.

Discussions under the AWG-KP focused on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, with parties considering outstanding issues such as annex I parties' quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives (QELROs), the nature of a second commitment period and the role of a possible second commitment period within a balanced outcome at COP 17. Parties also considered the rules that would apply in a second commitment period, particularly those relating to the carryover of surplus assigned amount units (AAUs), the flexibility mechanisms, land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and methodological issues.

On the carryover of surplus AAUs, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on behalf of the African Group, proposed that carryover from the first to the second commitment period should be limited to 1% of each party's first commitment period AAUs, and that parties should be able to sell the amounts carried over, with 50% of the revenue to be transferred to the Adaptation Fund. On LULUCF, parties focused on natural disturbances, forest management and harvested wood products. They agreed on a revised text on force majeure, now known as “disturbances,” with a few issues outstanding. Progress made during the session was captured in a revised proposal by the AWG-KP Chair (FCCC/KP/AWG/2011/CRP.2/Rev.1). Parties also agreed to suspend AWG-KP 16 and resume it in Durban, South Africa.

Discussions under the AWG-LCA were based on the Bali Action Plan and Decision 1/CP.16 (outcome of the AWG-LCA's work). Parties continued their deliberations under a single contact group and informal groups on: developed country mitigation, developing country nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), adaptation, finance, and technology, capacity building, shared vision, review of the global long-term goal, and legal options.

On developed country mitigation, the AWG-LCA developed three non-papers on: possible elements of a draft for biennial reports of developed countries; possible elements of modalities for international assessment and review (IAR); and a co-facilitators summary of discussion on level of ambition. Parties agreed to set deadlines for submissions and prepare a revised version before Durban. On developing country NAMAs, the AWG-LCA produced non-papers on: the NAMA registry; possible elements for the biennial update reports for developing countries; possible elements of modalities and procedures of international consultation and analysis (ICA); and a co-facilitator's note on Paragraphs 48-51 of the Cancun Agreements (developing country NAMAs). Parties also agreed to a draft decision text on adaptation, which still needs to be negotiated and which incorporates views expressed and submissions from eight parties. On legal options, parties held an initial exchange of views on expectations for Durban, based on which a paper with a “menu of legal options” was prepared, setting out a range of possible options for a Durban outcome, including: a legally binding instrument (LBI); and COP decisions with various sub-options. These sub-options include: a mandate to conclude an LBI with a clear roadmap; a declaration regarding the future instrument, leaving the legal form open; continuing discussions to identify the appropriate form of the different elements of the agreed outcome; affirming the importance of an LBI; and continuing to address all the BAP pillars. The outcome for most of the informal group discussions under the AWG-LCA was text forwarded to Durban as a basis for further discussions. [IISD RS Coverage] [UNFCCC Press Release]