Friday, December 10, 2010

The Cancun Deal


The president of the conference has produced a draft decision text that is receiving rave reviews from country after country in the plenary. The Mexican presidency is being praised for its transparency, adeptness and openness and for producing a decision that has package between the two negotiating tracks (something until now elusive).

It is clearly lacking in ambition and by no means is the end result that is needed. But all are hailing it as the lifeline that was required to re-instill confidence in the process and the foundation for a path forward.

The outcome on LULUCF and the forestry negotiations is better than I expected earlier in the week. There are three key elements of this outcome for me:
* There was no agreement to lock in the logging loophole (reference levels);
* There is an acknowledgment of loopholes and of the need to consider their impacts on targets and ambition;
* Options to the reference levels persist in the text for next year.

Other details:
- The guiding principles from the Marrakesh Accords continue to govern the framework
- The same definitions still apply
- A decision on whether to have a cap on credits/debits and how to exclude emissions from force majeure events (i.e. extreme fire years)will be decided in time for next December
- Parties' proposed reference levels were inscribed in an appendix, but no final decision was made to account using these
- The submission, review and replacement process for reference levels was agreed
- No other decisions on substantive matters were made (e.g. accounting for emissions from other activities, how to account for wood products, etc.)

One other outcome to note is that the negotiators came to an informal agreement on how to define and create a new activity for peatland management ('draining and re-wetting'). I suspect this didn't come into the final decision because many other issues couldn't, but it appears it is ready to formally decide next year.

Next year will be interesting...

7 comments:

reginald.pipecleaner said...

Thanks for the insightful updates... Hope this is a baby step in the right direction. On the subject of Tuvalu, thought you might be interested in this account of creating the world's second-largest ocean protected area in the territory of its nearest neighbour Kiribati: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/greg_stone_saving_the_ocean_one_island_at_a_time.html (not exactly forests, but possibly relevant in terms of strategy and process?)

reginald.pipecleaner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reginald.pipecleaner said...
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reginald.pipecleaner said...

link to TED talk on Kiribati (third time lucky with putting in a hotlink??

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