2 Priorities |
7. Building upon the international agreement secured
last year in Durban, Doha needs to deliver agreement on a strategy
for emissions reduction in the short term. There is limited time
in which to make progress on this reduction.
This is because at the meeting in Durban, the Parties decided
to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change "as
soon as possible, and no later than 2015".
8. Commentators have noted that Doha may seem to
be a less important COP, but at a technical level it still matters
. The Kyoto Protocol and Long Term Co-operative tracks (the two
old negotiation tracks) need to be finished and final decisions
made, and the Durban Platform (the new negotiation track) needs
to be built upon. The new negotiation track breaks the mould of
the old processes, in that it is based on symmetry of commitment
between developed and developing countriesthis transition
needs to be managed and encouraged at Doha.
9. The COP in 2015 needs to be the year in which
an agreement is reached. In 2015, China will be thinking about
its next five-year-plan, and the US could be in a position to
introduce measures in Congress. Picking that year as an important
one will apply pressure on domestic policy as an international
COP approaches, as Prof. Michael Jacobs said "making 2015
into a date that matters is more likely to get countries to commit."
10. The progress required this year in Doha is relatively
modest, so it is important that expectations are not too high
to avoid it being labelled "another failure".
Doha is an important opportunity for all nations to agree on what
they mean by equity and what is going to be fair for allonce
these principles of equity are agreed upon, the detailed content
can then be worked out.
Measurement, Reporting and Verification
11. It is essential that specific commitments on
emissions reduction are made by 2015, even if they are voluntary;
however, there needs to be transparency in the MRV process so
that emissions pledges can be compared and actions verified. Doha
needs to make progress on establishing the rules that allow comparability
of different pledgesideally, a single accounting system.
12. In the long run, it is more likely that countries
will attempt to bring pressure to bear on others which do not
enforce their emissions reduction pledges by naming and shaming
them, rather than trying to enforce those pledges through international
legal action. Dr. Robert Falkner of the London School of Economics
and Political Science commented that "as Canada demonstrated,
you can commit to a legally binding agreement and then just walk
away from it.".
13. DECC said that to strengthen the MRV process
the challenge is to turn the text agreed at Durban into actual
reporting tables, containing information on current mitigation
as well as policies for future mitigation for both developed and
developing countries. They added that elements of the accounting
regime need to be improved and finance needs to be included in
the MRV process for full transparency.
Without transparency in MRV, this encouragement of compliance
by naming and shaming would not be possible.
14. The measurement,
reporting and verification process is vital for progress to be
made on emissions reduction. Lack of transparency will delay progress,
or stop it altogether. There is widespread agreement about the
need for a single accounting regime for both developed and developing
countries. We recommend that DECC push for this single accounting
regime at an EU level and an international level.
15. As pointed out by Dr. Watts of WWF-UK, the UK
needs to be "focusing very strongly on energy efficiency,
which is win-win across the board."
Given the current economic situation in Europe, there is a strong
argument for increased efficiency and indigenous energy production
so as to decrease costly imports of oil and gas.
16. The EU Energy Efficiency Directive needs to legislate
to set aside some EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) credits
to increase pressure on emitters in the EU to improve efficiency.
In addition, the use of EU cohesion funds (aimed at Member States
whose Gross National Income per inhabitant is less than 90% of
the Community average)
for energy efficiency should be supported by the UK.
17. For example, Poland is reluctant to move to a
low carbon economy, mainly because its electricity is 90% coal
powered. Dr. Watts explained that it is not a question
of buying-off Poland, but rather an opportunity "to look
at how we can facilitate that transition". These opportunities
could include using "the EU budget to get some extra wins
that we need on energy efficiency and the Energy Efficiency Directive,
being able to actually achieve those on the ground, getting a
set-aside of some of the ETS credits that are being discussed
in the Energy Efficiency Directive at the moment but would need
to be legislated through the ETS Directive in future."
18. At a time
when resources are limited money must be spent wisely and efficiently.
We recommend that the Government prioritise energy efficiency
as a mitigation strategy. EU cohesion funds or EU-ETS credits
should be used to facilitate the implementation of energy efficiency
policies throughout Europe.
11 Q 2 [WWF-UK] Back
"Durban Climate Change Conference - November/December 2011",
UNFCCC online, June 2012, www.unfccc.int Back
Q 123 Back
Q 149 [Prof. Michael Jacobs] Back
Q 102 [Sir David King] Back
Q 102 Back
Q 124 Back
Q 124 Back
Q 168 [Mr. David Capper] Back
Q 4 Back
Q 7 Back
European Commission Regional Policy, http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/thefunds/cohesion/index_en.cfm,
July 2012 Back
Q 16 Back
Q 16 Back