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IIPFCC – New Negotiations: Climate Change Treaty

Published: April 25, 2012, Author: AngelSupport

A new round of climate change talks will commence on 14 May and end on 25 May in Bonn, Germany. This session will see simultaneous meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) (36th meeting), the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the seventeenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). This blur of special working groups and advisory bodies together provide a forum states’ governments and observers like the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), businesses, labor unions and non-governmental organizations to incorporate language into the Climate Change treaty negotiations and the Conference of Parties sessions in December.

The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (an ad hoc body of indigenous peoples’ representatives, indigenous organization representatives) will caucus in the Maritim Hotel in Bonn during the scheduled meetings.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (AWG-LCA) is to be terminated after the 18th Session of the Conference of Parties in December 2012.  The Ad Hoc Working group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action will replace the terminated body with a mission to create “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.” In other words, the AWG-LCA will be replaced by this new body which has the responsibility for establishing an instrument that will bind all the states’ governments signatory to the the Convention to a specific set of actions aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and green house gas emissions by 2020.

At the 17th session of the Convention’s Conference of Parties in December 2011 in Durban, Kwazulu the consensus agreement then set up the new Durban Ad Hoc body known as ADP.  The Conference of Parties decided:

  •     …Climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet and thus requires to be urgently addressed by all Parties, and acknowledging that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,
  •     …concern[ed] the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 C or 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. (decision-1/CP.17)

Accordingly the Conference established the APD to create the mechanisms for more vigorously address these conditions with an agreement between all the parties. “The ADP is to complete its work as early as possible but no later than 2015 in order to adopt this protocol, legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020” (UNFCCC 2012).

This decision constitutes an acceleration of decision-making in recognition of the previous annual negotiating session failures.

The International Indigenous Forum on Climate Change will once again attempt to introduce language on the incorporation of traditional knowledge, seating of indigenous delegations in negotiations, and the setting aside of funds in support of indigenous peoples’ mitigation and adaption initiatives. While indigenous peoples’ delegations have succeeded at various stages to introduce working language that could eventually be incorporated into a legal instrument negotiated during the December session, that language has often been removed before the actual December session begins.  This is the fifth year that indigenous peoples have worked to incorporate language in the international treaty. Perhaps this year will see success.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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