Brussels, 23 November 2012
Climate action: Doha conference must lay the foundations for the 2015 global climate deal
The United Nations climate change conference next week in Doha, Qatar must start the hard work of turning last year's agreement to enhance global climate action into reality. The European Union wants an outcome that takes forward all elements of the package of decisions agreed in Durban towards a new global climate agreement by 2015. The EU has also asked the Qatari Presidency to hold ministerial discussions to agree on concrete measures to cut global emissions further before 2020. The EU stands firmly by its part of the deal struck in Durban and its commitment to participate in a second period of the Kyoto Protocol.
The EU is the world’s largest donor of official development assistance and of climate finance to developing countries. In Doha the EU will show it is on track to deliver the full €7.2 billion in 'fast start' climate finance it has pledged for the period 2010-2012. The EU will also discuss with its developing country partners how major flows of EU climate finance can continue in 2013-2014. Furthermore the EU will provide reassurance that it remains fully committed to delivering its fair share of the US$ 100bn per year in climate finance which developed countries have pledged to mobilise by 2020 to support developing countries in mitigating their emissions and adapting to climate change.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "Doha must build on the breakthrough we achieved in Durban and make progress in preparation of the 2015 legally binding global climate agreement. Equally important will be agreeing on further measures to reduce emissions so we can stay below a 2°C increase. The EU stands by our commitments to participate in a second period of the Kyoto Protocol and to continue providing major financial support to help developing countries tackle climate change. The context for Doha is the recent World Bank report and the UNEP emissions gap report which make it abundantly clear that the world is losing precious time."
Sofoclis Aletraris, Cypriot Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, whose country currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, added: "The EU fully recognises the importance of helping vulnerable developing countries strengthen their resilience to climate change through adaptation. We are eager to discuss with our developing country partners concrete ideas for addressing climate change-related loss and damage to economies and livelihoods. We also look forward to concluding the working group on long-term cooperative action with tangible results while finding appropriate fora as needed to continue discussing issues left open.”
The Doha conference runs from 26 November to 7 December.
The EU is committed to participating in a second period of the Kyoto Protocol as part of the transition to a new global climate agreement. In Doha a ratifiable amendment to the Protocol needs to be adopted so that the second period can start on 1 January 2013. This requires agreement to be reached on a number of outstanding issues, including the length of the second period (the EU wants it to run until 2020), the carry-over of surplus emission budgets (AAUs) from the first period, and arrangements ensuring the immediate application of the amendment from 1 January 2013.
Climate finance for developing countries
Preliminary figures show that, despite the economic crisis, the EU and its Member States have already delivered €7.14 billion of their ‘fast start’ commitment and expect to provide the rest by the end of this year. On 13 November the EU’s finance ministers reiterated that the EU and its Member States will continue to provide climate finance after 2012. The EU remains fully committed to the global target of scaling up climate finance to US$100 billion a year by 2020 in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation by developing countries.
Durban Platform for Enhanced Action
Doha will be the first opportunity for ministers to discuss and plan the work to be done under the Durban Platform’s two workstreams.
One of these involves commencing the work on a new climate agreement that will apply to all countries, for adoption by 2015 and entry into force in 2020. The EU wants an agreement that is ambitious and legally binding.
The other part of the Platform’s mandate is to identify further measures to reduce global emissions before 2020, in order to keep within reach the agreed goal of holding global warming below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial temperature. The EU wants countries that have not yet made emission reduction or limitation pledges for 2020 to do so. It also seeks progress in Doha on complementary international cooperative initiatives and partnerships that can further reduce emissions through action on issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, fossil fuel subsidies, deforestation and forest degradation, short-lived climate pollutants and fluorinated gases, on which the European Commission recently proposed a tightening of EU legislation (see IP/12/1180).
Working group on long-term cooperative action
The EU is looking for this working group to deliver further results, among other things on the modalities of the new market mechanism agreed a year ago, before it is terminated at the end of the Doha session. Discussion of issues left open can continue in other existing fora.
EU press briefings in Doha
The EU delegation will hold regular press briefings which will be streamed both live and "on demand" at www.unfccc.int
Exact times of briefings can be checked at:
DG Climate Doha page http://ec.europa.eu/clima/events/0062/index_en.htm
See also MEMO/12/888