Daily Update #2 COP18 UNFCCC Doha

Daily Briefing – Tuesday 27th NOVEMBER 2012

The 2nd day of COP18 in Doha was a busy one for the Vanuatu delegation.

To begin the day, the delegation consolidated its positions with its partners from the AOSIS negotiating block. Of most importance to AOSIS was ensuring a high level of emissions reduction emission was contained within the existing Adhoc Working Group (AWG) on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) and the AWG on the Kyoto Protocol (KP) as well greater ambition targets within the new Durban Platform (ADP). 

In order to make sure that ambition is high enough to meet the calls by science for drastically reduced emissions to prevent dangerous climate change, Vanuatu feels that the UNFCCC COP must deliver a strong and effective second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. 

A major contention on this issue on Day 2 was the announcement by New Zealand that it would not commit to emissions reduction under a second commitment period (in contrast to Australia which will).  Vanuatu held a bilateral meeting with New Zealand to press them on this issue.  The outcome of the negotiation is that while not joining committing to a 2nd KP, it pledges to drastically reduce its emissions and ramp up its ambition via other channels.  Vanuatu feels this is not enough, and through AOSIS said “The numbers we adopt here under the Kyoto Protocol are not just abstract numbers. These numbers represent emission levels that translate directly to lives lost, to land area lost to sea level rise, to families  displaced due to droughts and  floods, and to suffering that some of us cannot begin to comprehend.”  Vanuatu will continue to push towards drastic increases in ambition from all countries.

Within internal discussions, Vanuatu suggested that while we continue to press Annex I countries to reduce emissions, we should also be putting our own hour in order and pushing for our national political leaders to begin making substantial cuts to Vanuatu’s emissions in the energy, transport and agriculture sectors.

Another topic of interest is that of Gender, Vanuatu contributed strengthened language to a new draft decision to ensure gender equity and women’s participation and leadership in all aspects of the work of the UNFCCC.  In fact, no women are representing Vanuatu at this COP, and this should change next year.

At a fast-start finance meeting, countries like Australia and the European Union stated that they had fully allocated and dispersed their committed 30 billion USD to developing countries to cope adapt to and mitigate climate change.  Vanuatu disagreed on the accuracy of these statements, and drafted an intervention calling for more simplified access processes, and also more mechanisms for direct implementation and access of funding by countries that would by-pass some the bureaucratic red tape of our traditional implementing agencies like UNDP and UNEP.