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UNFCCC Releases ADP Co-Chairs’ Summary on 2015 Agreement Roundtable

UNFCCC7 February 2013: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released a note by the Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), Jayant Moreshver Mauskar (India) and Harald Dovland (Norway), containing an informal summary of the roundtable on ADP's workstream 1 (on the 2015 agreement), which took place in December 2012, in Doha, Qatar.

The summary of discussions held in ADP's workstream 1 address issues related to the "2015 agreement," referring to the process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties, launched by Decision 1/CP.17.

ADP's Workstream 1 discussed, inter alia: the application of the Convention principles to the agreement, consideration of national circumstances; how the new agreement will be “applicable to all” in practice, including approaches to defining differentiated commitments; and ways to incentivize full and ambitious participation. Parties discussed at length how the Convention principles should apply to the new agreement and what does this imply in practice.

The note highlights a range of views expressed on what is understood by national circumstances, including some possible basis their consideration, including: the structure of an economy; the status of development and need for sustainable development; environment and natural resources; historical responsibility; per capita emissions; and trade structures. Some parties said that, in terms of concrete steps, national circumstances could be expressed through different mitigation actions in the 2015 agreement. In this regard, a number of parties said a binary structure would not reflect changing economic circumstances and that parties cannot keep “pigeonholing” countries into fixed categories. A number of them stressed that national circumstances should not be a basis for renegotiating categories of countries or changing the structure of the Convention.

The summary also notes that many parties spoke of a common legal platform to allow for parties taking on different commitments, explaining that the legal “bindingness” of the agreement should be the same for all, but the commitments would be different. Nevertheless, some suggested that “applicability to all” does not translate to a binding obligation to take a commitment under the 2015 agreement.

On incentivizing participation in the 2015 agreement, some suggestions included: fairness; better understanding of the principles; clear lead role of developed countries; means and ways to compare commitments; and a common verification platform that is robust and interactive. On the preparation of the 2015 agreement, it is indicated that some parties said the ADP should consider the work undertaken under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, other processes and institutions.

Another informal summary, on Workstream 2 (on the issues concerning raising level of ambition for the the post-2012 regime), is also available. [Publication: ADP Co-Chair's Summary of Workstream 1] [IISD RS Story on the Summary of ADP Workstream 2]