The UN Conference of the Parties, Twentieth session, held in Lima Peru from 1st to 13th December 2014 is now over. The conference agreement is well worth reading as an example of how an exercise with 9,000 delegates from 196 participating countries, could spend some $ 50 million over 2 weeks to accomplish – by their own expectations – absolutely nothing. The only decision of any significance to be taken by the parties is to meet again.
COP20 Lima Agreement (pdf)
But all 9,000 had a great time.
(In my judgement, the lack of accomplishment was a great success).
The agreement contains 22 clauses:
- one clause “confirms”
- three clauses “decide”
- three clauses “agree”
All the remaining clauses are merely wishes and hopes with no commitments or obligations. Just waffle.
- one clause “underscores”
- one clause “urges”
- one clause “acknowledges”
- one clause “invites”
- one clause “encourages”
- one clause “welcomes”
- two clauses “note”
- three clauses “request”
- four clauses “reiterate”
Looking just at the clauses which “confirm”, “decide” or “agree”:
The only “confirmation” comes first in the agreement and it is to meet again for COP 21 and adopt another agreement! Just a self-serving clause perpetuating the meetings.
The three “decides” also commit to nothing very much. The first “decides that any protocol which is legally binding shall be balanced. (This is a wonderful loophole. Any country which believes the protocol to be unbalanced can then ignore it). The next “decide” is that the working group will make a draft text. (The purpose of this is to make sure that all those working on this text can get paid). The third rather long “decide” only says that a technical examination will continue. Wow! But note that it establishes a framework – and thereby the funding – for “a series of in-session technical expert meetings”. Meetings galore – and the delegates shall have a great time.
There are also three “agree” clauses. The first says that all parties agree that each party will do better in the future. The second merely says that all developing countries and small island states may make special pleadings. The third says that each party may provide quantifiable information on how they intend to contribute. Not a commitment or obligation in sight.
It really is time that these meetings ceased and the IPCC was disbanded.
The clauses (my bold)
- Confirms that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action shall complete the work referred to in decision 1/CP.17, paragraph 2, as early as possible in order for the Conference of the Parties at its twenty-first session to adopt a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties;
- Decides that the protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with egal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties shall address in a balanced manner, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, and transparency of action and support;
- Decides that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action will intensify its work, with a view to making available a negotiating text for a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties before May 2015;
- Decides to continue the technical examination of opportunities with high mitigation potential, including those with adaptation, health and sustainable development co-benefits, in the period 2015–2020, by requesting the secretariat to:
(a) Organize a series of in-session technical expert meetings which:
(i) Facilitate Parties in the identification of policy options, practices and technologies and in planning for their implementation in accordance with nationally defined development priorities;
(ii) Build on and utilize the related activities of, and further enhance collaboration and synergies among, the Technology Executive Committee, the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the Durban Forum on capacity-building, the Executive Board of the clean development mechanism and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism;
(iii) Build on previous technical expert meetings in order to hone and focus on actionable policy options;
(iv) Provide meaningful and regular opportunities for the effective engagement of experts from Parties, relevant international organizations, civil society, indigenous peoples, women, youth, academic institutions, the private sector, and subnational authorities nominated by their respective countries;
(v) Support the accelerated implementation of policy options and enhanced mitigation action, including through international cooperation;
(vi) Facilitate the enhanced engagement of all Parties through the announcement of topics to be addressed, agendas and related materials at least two months in advance of technical expert meetings;
(b) Update, following the technical expert meetings referred to in paragraph 19(a) above, the technical paper on the mitigation benefits of actions, and on initiatives and options to enhance mitigation ambition, compiling information provided in submissions from Parties and observer organizations and the discussions held at the technical expert meetings and drawing on other relevant information on the implementation of policy options at all levels, including through multilateral cooperation;
(c) Disseminate the information referred to in paragraph 19(b) above, including
by publishing a summary for policymakers;
- Agrees that each Party’s intended nationally determined contribution towards achieving the objective of the Convention as set out in its Article 2 will represent a progression beyond the current undertaking of that Party;
- Also agrees that the least developed countries and small island developing States
may communicate information on strategies, plans and actions for low greenhouse gas emission development reflecting their special circumstances in the context of intended nationally determined contributions;
- Agrees that the information to be provided by Parties communicating their intended nationally determined contributions, in order to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding, may include, as appropriate, inter alia, quantifiable information on the reference point (including, as appropriate, a base year), time frames and/or periods for implementation, scope and coverage, planning processes, assumptions and methodological approaches including those for estimating and accounting for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and, as appropriate, removals, and how the Party considers that its intended nationally determined contribution is fair and ambitious, in light of its national circumstances, and how it contributes towards achieving the objective of the Convention as set out in its Article 2;
What a waste for a pointless exercise where the key action item (carbon dioxide) has no significant impact on the parameter ostensibly to be controlled. No targets, no tools but a great deal of arrogance.