Political will for the capitalisation and operation of a climate adaptation fund would represent positive progress!
The main outcome of the Durban talks:
* To extend the Kyoto Protocol: To extend for another five years the Kyoto Protocol – the only regime to combat climate change, that is due to end 2012. The parties to Kyoto are divided into two camps – Annex 1 countries — rich countries who are supposed to take legally binding emission cuts — and the non-Annex 1 nations — developing countries who have to make voluntary cuts. The second term of the Kyoto protocol will begin Jan 1, 2013.
* Long-Term Cooperation (LCA) actions: These are the long term collective action by countries to fight climate change. At the Durban talks, India scored a major victory when the LCA text accepted India’s demand of equity — or equitable access to sustainable development for developing countries without being hindered by emission cuts. The LCA text recommendations have to be debated before the next meet.
* Green climate fund (GCF): During the 2010 Cancun meet, rich countries agreed to provide $100 billion as GCF to help poor countries take measures to adapt to climate change. Though there is no money, a committee has been set up to start the process of figuring out contributions from countries.
* It has been agreed that the fund will be controlled by the conference of parties (CoP) to the climate convention. It will have 24 members, equally from developed and developing countries.
* Future of the Climate Change Regime: The Durban conference agreed to launch a process to develop a ‘protocol’, or come out with a new treaty under which all the countries will have to take legal emission cuts. It was agreed that the new regime should be completed by 2015, so that this new agreement can be implemented from 2020.
At Cancún in 2010, developed countries pledged $100bn a year by 2020 towards the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help developing nations adapt to the effects of climate change – but little of that has yet materialised, with delivery mechanisms still to be decided.
The aviation and shipping sectors could prove central to this funding effort. Analysis commissioned by G20 finance ministers has shown that applying a carbon price to international transport fuels would both reduce emissions and generate billions of pounds for the GCF.
Shipping, for example, accounts for around 3% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions – and this is set to increase as other sectors decarbonise. Oxfam and WWF have been pushing for a maritime carbon levy, and have now been joined in their efforts by the International Chamber of Shipping, representing more than 80% of the world’s merchant fleet.
This is a positive sign, and while the technical details of such an agreement can wait, what we really need to see over the next few weeks are strong signals that governments are willing to take this forward.
So if progress can be made towards adequate funding and operationalisation of the GCF – to support public private financing and effectively leverage private finance for developing countries – it’s possible that we might still be able to talk about success at Durban.