The days discussion of the AWG –KP commenced in Bangkok at 10.30 am today and was initiated by the speech of Santa Lucia/AOSIS. The speaker pointed to the parties the questions that had been posted by AOSIS and went onto emphasise on political issues and then to follow up on the technical issues. The certain conditions made by certain parties was also brought into attention.
Taking the floor following AOSIS group, Brazil mentioned that G77 did not have access to the ideas that were mentioned and hence unable to come to a consensus.They went onto provide the importance of a 2nd commitment period ad an absolute priority.
Gambia extended their support to the statement by Brazil, and agreed also on the grounds of focussing on political issues before going to technical issues.
Argentina also raised their voice to keep focus on political aspects and the main concern to be the second commitment period.
Having provided the floor for the speakers, the Vice Chair of AWG-KP posed the question to the parties: How do you want us to get the political clarity? What is the process? The approach to be adopted?
Algeria for their part provided their expression on behalf of the African group that political issues are the first priority and not the technical issues. The negotiator also pointed that Algeria is concerned about a clear process, and stated that they “think that the most important thing is the political will… without 2nd commitment period there is no mechanism.” They also pointed to the necessity for the implementation of the separation of the two tracks of negotiations. He went on to state that the link between technical and political should not create a gap in the 1st and 2nd period.
Tuvalu speaking next pointed out that it is important to understand what happened since Cancun and what is the response to the parties that will direct parties to a commitment period. And also highlighted the importance to open up the discussion with the suggestion by the Chair to focus on question 1a.
Brazil to the Vice Chair of the AWG-KP “we are in your hands as to how we are to proceed in this question, G77 believe that since we should not go into other issues, we need to focus on political issues and not technical issues”
Marshall Islands following the speech made by Brazil welcomed the focus which was noticed the previous day on political context and expressed their opinion that Annex I parties be requested to address the issues that were raised. As conclusion to their speech called the parties to “get to the heard of the matter”.
The speaker for the European Union commencing his speech added that during the discussions that were held on the 6th of April he believed to have clarified the stance of EU, he added “ I do not want to sound like a broken record”. He continued that the starting point for the EU is the objective of the convention which is Article 2 and that it is their common endeavour. He also added that “ if we want to achieve the overarching objectives of the agreement, we will have to work on all tracks at the same time and move them forward, for us EU, Kyoto Protocol track important…EU has the political will to contribute to these discussions” and highlighted the changes in domestic legislations to facilitate the implementation of objectives highlighted through the Cancun agreements.
He further added “in terms of the political context, we are heartened by the progress made in Cancun” adding that it showed willingness of many parties around the circles. And also mentioned that they have made pledges for actions, economies etc .. “Still I think in Cancun the conditions were not fully met with to the 2nd commitment period…hindrance is that we do not know the rules we need to fulfil”
New Zealand in their speech stated “I think everyone is focussed on how we can move forward. I was quite taken when I saw as to how many practical ideas came up around the room, so before I actually go to address the question that have been asked, I would like to request a discussion on some of the ideas that have been put forward to lead us in the correct direction, in Bonn it would be good if the parties go their prepared, to be ready to really engage in these interesting ideas and issues..So I would very much welcome a discussion how we could pick up some of these other ideas. So answering the question 1a, the answers are pretty much like what EU just gave, we saw that Cancun was excellent progress,…our condition here is a comprehensive global agreement which is 2 degrees or less, we are looking in that comprehensive framework, taking fully commitments.” She referred to two reasons being the need for a global effort and then domestic politics.
“We have for the first time pledges from all the developed countries which is a good thing…What do we need before Durban? We are going to need more progress.. now we have greater understanding what the parties are doing” and she proceeded to highlight the “need to know, what the rules are, we are not going to sign a blank page. So it will be important for New Zealand to know the rules.”
Colombia seemed the country that helped the other countries in coming to grounds in how to tackle the process of moving forward with the discussions with their suggestions. “I think we could have created a threatening environment where no one would want the floor, we need a non threatening middle ground. We have a proposal: we see the way forward as the exploring the main objectives, exploring the conditions,… some countries feel that all of them or some have not been met, when we say we are not there yet, many of us do not know that means, we do not even know whether the developed countries have agreed what they are.”
“Second is observing the different impacts of different rules.. Third, a reality check, what would it be like without certain countries being part of the 2nd commitment period. And then we can give those countries an opportunity to express what they will be doing”
Australia stated that it “welcomes the outcome of Cancun” and that they “saw it as the willingness of parties to move forward”. Proceeding the speaker expressed that her country is we are particularly welcoming holding the temperature below 2 degrees and mentioned the need to keep the mind on the reality.”
“We welcome the pledges by 89 countries, we think that this is the path we need to be on, bUt our conditions have not been met, I would like to make it clear that we do have a political arrangement to be played…we need an agreement, an international agreement …I think it is difficult to separate the discussion of KP with what happens in the others. I think we need to explore the relationship between rules and commitments.
I want to thank Colombia and New Zealand for their yesterday’s approach, I think it would be useful for us to talk in a non threatening approach. I think it will be useful to explore the impact of different rules, …we would like to have discussions on both numbers and rules”.
Bolivia missing their usual negotiator was represented by a slightly nervous lady negotiator who spoke of the higher contribution made by the developing countries as opposed to the developed countries.
Marshall Islands speaking again expressed their interest in pursuing the idea of Colombia to have an idea of the rules currently in existence and the numbers that have been put forward thus far.
Tuvalu speaking again “I think this discussion has been useful, we have two sets of rules we need to consider, …but we have not had a substantive discussion on rules. In this discussion we need to have, what are the comparable efforts, what does it really mean as a precondition for the annex one countries. It is pointless going into technical issues,..I think it is time to reverse our ways of thinking and consider the political thinking. If I go to an LCA discussion I hear that we had standing ovations yet the words we here from the annex one countries are the same words that were heard before Cancun, so have we made progress? ..We can dance around these words but we need to know what is really meant there, from what I am hearing from the parties is that we might not have an end by Durban. What is the point of going into discussion if we do not think that we can reach a conclusion in Durban.”
“We also have parties engaged in technical discussions on rules when they have already discussed that they won’t be part of the Kyoto Protocol, so why are we doing this? I heard from some parties that we are moving towards another agreements? Is it the case?”
“I really encourage us to focus on the political pre conditions, I think it is vital we understand these political preconditions. So that we have an idea that we can resolve these issues before Durban, so we can have a conclusion by Durban.”
“If we can identify the parties who are serious about adopting a second commitment period, then the rules will become much clearer, and the technical rules will become much easier. I think it is fundamental that we have a discussion that resolves the preconditions”
AOSIS presented their interest if the parties agreed to it to take upon the task of separating the political and technical aspects of the rules so as to facilitate the rapid process of discussions. The speaker stated “once that is done, if those two aspects of the rules are separated then we can explore the impact of rules”
Saudi Arabia’s speech was as follows, “we hear very good interventions from the floor but I notice different interventions from our annex one parities, some of their preconditions we can discuss here, in this forum under Kyoto Protocol, …some statements have become very difficult for, when I hear interventions of parties, they are requesting something not in this room, d hear the rational behind that request but I think end of the day we need to be logical in our approach. I hope we have very positive discussions here under the Kyoto protocol and that we have a political will to have a second commitment period. I hope we can be very very focussed in our discussion.”
Tuvalu’s response “I think it would be useful since we have limited time left to work on where this is heading to see clearly that there are some crucial elements which we have not worked on” he also questioned the process of the pledges that have been made in Cancun being implemented in domestic legislation and as to how many countries needs to fulfil them for EU to adopt the second commitment period.
Norway speaks “in order to get there this year we need clarity of rules and progress, I believe that the work we have had earlier these years could give more clarity on the issues expressed by Tuvalu.” While admitting that the developed countries have to take the lead, he pointed out that their isolated effort is not sufficient.
European Union in their response stated, “I was prompted to give an answer. The question from Bolivia: the simple reason is that the Cancun agreement is a mile stone towards a legal framework” but highlighted that “Cancun is not the end of the road”. Then proceeding to address the issues raised by Tuvalu stated that making domestic legislation is not an easy task and that it is a grave reality.
Addressing the issue of comparable efforts EU stated “we have not had a discussion or real negotiation about this. Why have we not? The reason is we do not know the rules, at the moment, everything is in state of a flux”
He also added that the proposal made by Colombia may be the way to move forward to look at the targets and the rules together and added “I hear the notion that we must discuss only among parties that want to be in the Kyoto Protocol, if you drive out of the room a huge number of developed countries then how are we going to have the debate on comparability?”
Being the country to conclude the morning session of AWG – KP, China stated, “The Chinese delegation highly speaks of the Cancun conference…(it) laid down a very good basis for the Durban conference to be held. We are determined to move forward on the basis of Cancun agreements. Majority of parities wish to move forward, but the problem we are facing here is that some countries want to move back. In order to get a better understanding I would like to seek some clarification through you (vice chair of AWG-KP) to our parties. We frequently heard the condition issue, some said that their commitment” is based on conditions, “my question is” whether “their precondition is directly relating to the commitment period, if such condition is not related to the commitment period, it seems to us that there is not room to discuss, it seems to us the 2nd commitment period is a must, there is no room to make compromise from my side, if their condition or precondition is level of ambition I think we can discuss that, but first ..We need to have a full agreement for the international community to have a second commitment period. In conclusion what we are talking about is so many political and technical issues, I think we need to first resolve the commitment issues.”
The session was adjourned and the next interventions to be Tuvalu and Bolivia on the commencement of the next session of AWG –KP.