AWG – LCA Opening Plenary

7 Dec

At COP15, the AWG-LCA plans to complete work on 3 main topics:

  • financial capacity building
  • actions items, primarily adaptation and mitigation
  • a shared vision

The opening plenary provided the opportunity for different nation groups to voice their opinions on the work planned for the conference. Sudan, on behalf of the G77 and China, called for immediate implementation of finanacing and resources  for adaptation and mitigation by developing countries and want to see an open and transparent process. This message was supported by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group. AOSIS however, made it clear that they will not accept any agreement that is hinged on only short term funding.  Australia, on behalf of the Umbrella Group (this includes Canada) claimed they were prepared to set legally binding targets in Copenhagen (I hope this is in fact true). They also committ to providing $10 billion a year to developing countries (especially those of the LDC group) in order for them to continue growing in a sustainable manner. Sweden, on behalf of the EU and member countries, spoke of an effective agreement with real numbers including an emission reduction target of 30% by 2020 based on 1990 levels and to cut deforestation by 50% by 2020 and net zero by 2030. They also suggested that all countries help to provide funding with the exception of the LDC group.  This group was the only one to put forward a number of measurable targets to curb climate change. Switzerland, on behalf of the Environmental Integrity Group, outlined a few financing mechanisms that they were ready to develop on order to support developing nations. Algeria, on behalf of the Africa Group, was very specific that they want a new agreement, not sections of the Kyoto Accord copied, pasted and renegotiated. They want to see concrete arrangements for technology transfer to developing countries and are tired of unbalanced negotiations on adaptation and finance.

We’ll see how all of this plays out over the next two weeks and strongly hope that Canada will not take home the infamous fossil award for being the country that slows down negotiations.

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