UNFCCC Publishes Workshop Report on Quantified Economy-wide Emission Reduction Targets

UNFCCC2 November 2012: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the fourth workshop report on quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets by developed parties (FCCC/AWGLCA/2012/INF.6). The workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 2 September 2012, during the informal additional session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).

The report features sections on the organization of the workshop and a summary of the proceedings, with annexes containing the workshop's agenda and questions for discussion. The workshop contributed to further clarify the targets by developed countries, addressing the approaches to measure progress towards achievement of developed countries' targets under the Convention, the ambition of pledges and related assumptions and conditions, as well as possible ways forward.

On approaches to measures the progress towards the achievement of targets, there was understanding that there is a certain degree of commonality in parties' approaches to measuring the progress to targets, particularly regarding the base year, the coverage of gases, the global warming potential (GWP) values and the use of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodologies. When explaining the relationship between their targets and national circumstances, some developed countries highlighted the need for flexibility, but some developing countries argued for harmonization of developed countries' approaches to measure progress and the need for common accounting rules.

On assumptions and conditions, parties expressed different views on those related to the use of land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and carbon credits. One party indicated that he will apply the Kyoto Protocol rules for LULUCF under the Convention. Some parties suggested considering the new LULUCF rules under the Kyoto Protocol, in particular regarding natural disturbances, to measure progress towards the targets under the Convention, but a party said the natural disturbances rule agreed for the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period should not be used when reporting under the Convention. Parties also discussed the importance of a rules-based approach to measure progress towards targets and to avoid potential double counting through the use of market-based mechanisms. Some highlighted that uncertainty stems from lack of clarity on: rules for a new market mechanism (NMM) under the Convention; links between the NMM and the Kyoto Protocol's market-based mechanisms; and the role of all those mechanisms in achieving the targets under the Convention.

On ways forward, parties suggested, inter alia: requesting parties to provide additional submissions using a common template and requesting the Secretariat to compile a menu of options for increasing ambition based on parties' submissions; holding an in-session workshop and a high-level roundtable on ambition at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18); and launching a technical work programme after COP 18 on the development of common accounting rules under a subsidiary body. [Publication: Workshop Report on Quantified Economy-wide Emission Reduction Targets by Developed Countries]