Day 9 has started with a bump after two days of no formal negotiations.  There are number of key items to report:

Canada, Japan, Australia on 25-40% 2020 Target: Canadian media have begun to report that leaked documents from AWG-LCA show that there is growing divisions over the interim targets that the Bali Roadmap Group had been drafting in preparation for the high-level segment of COP-14 this week.  The draft document shows that countries have expressed formal problems (indicated on the document by a ‘hook’) with the language of the interim targets and that the EU delegation has confirmed that Canada, Japan, Australia and possibly Russia are trying to alter the current language that commits parties to the interim target.  

The EU delegation (in the form of the French presidency) are, not surprisingly, annoyed.  Delegates around the centre here are suggesting that the EU will begin applying pressure–whatever that actually means (‘corridor speak’ is always rather ambiguous).

Finance: In the daily UNFCCC statement Yvo de Boer has intimated that the operationalisation of the Adaptation Fund is now in discussion, although whether it will be agreed upon–specifically in terms of how to fund it–is still not clear.  What Mr de Boer did say was that attempts to exclude the World Bank from the adaptation transfer system was like ‘cutting off you nose to spite your face’.

Targets: In addition to the issues regarding interim targets above, it looking increasingly unlikely that there will be agreement on long term targets by the end of COP14.

Deforestation: Discussions are continuing but at a slow rate.  There are still major divisions about the fundamental structure of this project, from what will be protected to who will pay.  It is looking very unlikely that there will be major progress on this by the end of the week.

CDM: there are major discussions about the CDM.  In fact, such discussions have taken up a large proportion of the negotiating time in Poznan.  Inclusion of CCS and nuclear in CDM is now on the table, according to Yvo de Boer.

A key conclusion that is now beginning to emerge is that COP14 is going to be largely a talking shop and foundation-building exercise.  This is not a surprise.  However, today Yvo de Boer has begun using language that frames COP15 in Copenhagen not the as conclusion of negotiations for the second commitment period but as another step along the road.  ‘If the fundamentals are in place by the end of 2009 then we can work out the details after’.  

This is similar to the process used after the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, where the CDM was added in at the last minute in 1997 and then subsequently developed between 1997 and 2001.  Such a detail-forming process would not necessarily be bad in terms of the treaty mechanisms that would result; after all the second commitment period begins in 2012.  However, a half-baked Copenhagen Protocol would look less progressive in public, activist, and business eyes.  There has been much discussion, for example, at Poznan about how business needs certainty for post-2012 investments in CDM projects.

What we are seeing here is the UNFCC trying to re-frame the context of Poznan and also now Copenhagen. The implications of this on the COP process is not clear yet, but it is clear that parties are preferring a longer-term view over a focus on the immediate.

More information to follow after today’s plenary sessions.

 

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