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UNFCCC Releases ADP Submissions from LDCs, AILAC and New Zealand

UNFCCC17 March 2014: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the submissions from Nepal, on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), New Zealand, and the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). The submissions will inform the work of the ADP at its June session and going forward toward a 2015 climate agreement.

The LDC proposal emphasizes that national contributions must be subject to a review process to ensure adequacy of efforts and that temperature increase must remain below 1.5°C. The LDCs believe the process toward a new agreement must: provide incentives for ambitious contributions; clarify the concept of “intended nationally determined contributions;” and identify key issues that still need to be addressed, such as how to incorporate the forestry sector without sacrificing national sovereignty.

The LDC proposes: that science form the basis of assigning a limit on temperature rise; commitment cycles be based on five-year periods that are linked to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments; provision be made for the special circumstances of LDCs and small island developing States (SIDS); absolute and economy-wide developed country emission targets; and developing countries may opt for, inter alia, relative economy-wide targets, absolute or relative sectoral targets, other quantifiable intermediate targets, or technology-oriented agreements.

The LDCs also stress: equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR); comparability of efforts among developed countries; balance between adaptation and mitigation; a robust measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) system that includes a compliance mechanism; and the inclusion of loss and damage as part of the 2015 agreement.

The New Zealand proposal elaborates views on: elements of a draft negotiating text for consideration in Lima; the nature of ex-ante information for use in bringing forward parties' contributions; the consultative process; and a rules framework for the 2015 agreement. New Zealand views mitigation as central, with a simple agreement ensuring greater certainty regarding legal obligations, “a catalogue of rights and obligations” for all parties, and, possibly, COP decisions at a later date elaborating the finer details.

On elements for the agreement, New Zealand mentions, inter alia: broad parameters for mitigation commitments, with a provision allowing parties to opt out of one or more of them; an agreed universal MRV framework; an obligation for all parties to increase the ambition of their commitments over time; and the right to use carbon markets and land sector removals to help meet mitigation commitments.

New Zealand proposes: that nationally determined commitments be elaborated in national schedules supplementary to, and outside of, the legally binding agreement; a common template for submitting and recording contributions; transparency in relation to assumptions underpinning proposed contributions; clarity on the rules framework and “a fair degree of certainty” regarding contributions proposed by others; and a phased approach to managing the sequencing of contributions and rules.

The New Zealand submission emphasizes a common set of rules is necessary for a durable and universally applicable agreement, but explains that limited flexibility must be built into the agreement to allow for differentiation and opting out of, or into, the agreed rules.

The AILAC submission includes a proposed structure and elements for the 2015 agreement, and elaborates sections on mitigation, including REDD+, adaptation and loss and damage, means of implementation, and transparency and compliance.

AILAC believes the mitigation section should, inter alia, define nationally determined, legally binding contributions, that are: predictable; comparable; understandable; and provide information on assumptions underpinning commitments, such as baseline years, timeframe, and sectors and gases covered. AILAC proposes differentiation among types of contributions, and support for countries who need it most in order for them to make efforts beyond their capacity.

On adaptation and loss and damage, AILAC supports: establishment of an adaptation assessment framework and a “permanent and solid” structure that supports adaptation processes for all developing countries, without undermining those already in place for LDCs; strengthening adaptation through metrics and methodologies for assessments; and including the Warsaw international loss and damage mechanism in the agreement.

On the provision of means of implementation, AILAC calls for, inter alia: explicit reference to the historical responsibility of developed countries and its relationship with the provision of climate finance to developing countries; defining contributions as soon as possible; and predictability and scale.

On transparency, AILAC proposes: that contributions and sources and scale of support be based on transparency rules; a unified MRV system for action and for support, which differentiates based on the capacity of countries; a mechanism to periodically review contributions; and a robust compliance mechanism.

During 2014, AILAC supports: defining the outline and elements of the agreement by the June session; preparing a draft text during the additional October ADP session; and agreeing to a draft negotiating text by Lima, for further negotiation in 2015. [Submission by Nepal, on behalf of the LDCs] [Submission by New Zealand] [Submission by AILAC] [IISD RS Coverage of the Fourth Meeting of the Second Session of the ADP]