UNFCCC Releases Report on Domestic Action by Annex I Parties

UNFCCC9 November 2012: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released a report on the implementation of domestic action by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention that are also Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, based on the information reported in their national communications (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/INF.9). The report is based on information contained in national communications from Parties and other sources for consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice at its 37th session (SBSTA 37).

On information provided by Annex I Parties in their fifth national communications (NC5s) on national circumstances and their national climate change strategies and policies and measures (PaMs), the report underlines that many have: strengthened coordination among national government departments; made broader use of multilevel governance; developed integrated energy and climate policy frameworks; and shifted to a greater use of economic and market instruments that attach a price to carbon. On the over 1,200 implemented PaMs reported by parties, the report notes that the most cross-sectoral PaMs, such as emission trading schemes (ETS), carbon taxes, energy market reforms, urban development and land-use planning are rarely used on an economy-wide scale but for particular sectors; and that the energy sector concentrates the largest emission savings.

The document notes that, according to NC5s, 21 Annex I Parties are planning to meet their targets under the Kyoto Protocol by domestic action alone, whereas 14 Annex I Parties report that they expect to meet their targets only by a combination of domestic action and the use of Kyoto Protocol mechanisms. The EU-15 as a whole expects to meet its Kyoto target by domestic efforts alone; Croatia and Canada are currently not contemplating significant use of Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, although projections in their in-depth review (IDR) reports indicate that they cannot meet their Kyoto targets. Economies in transition (EIT) Annex I Parties, except Slovenia, report that they expect to meet their targets with domestic action alone, but most of them have surplus assigned amount units (AAUs) and participate in the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, either for Joint Implementation (JI) activities or for financing their PaMs using the revenues from the sale of AAUs.

Among other observations for Annex I Parties' trends, the report underscores that: for the period 1990–2010, the total aggregate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, excluding land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), decreased by about 17.3%, and including LULUCF decreased by 23.4%. On resulting 1990–2009 trends in per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion, the report states that: Annex I Parties decreased their per capita emissions by 17.9%, whereas non-Annex I Parties increased their emissions per capita by 79.8%, meaning that the initial 1990 gap of 8.3 tons per capita between both groups narrowed to 5.3 tons per capita in 2009. This trend relates only in part to non-Annex I Parties' population growth as during 1990–2009 it grew by 32.8%, while the total aggregate CO2 emissions from fuel combustion increased by 138.9%. [Publication: Report on the Implementation of Domestic Action by Annex I Parties]