DURBAN MOVES FORWARD, DRIVEN BY GENUINE COMMITMENT FROM MANY ACTORS,
Durban, South Africa, 3 December 2011
I am amazed at some voices that are already decrying Durban, as if their hope was for this process to fail. The feeling of negotiators and observers here in this building is far from that. I truly believe that, even on the face of clear difficulties and challenges, and without minimizing the enormity of the task before us, progress is being made and we are still on a path that could lead us to a realistic success.
At the end of the first week of negotiations in Durban today, countries struggle to make more progress before the closing of the Subsidiary Bodies in the afternoon.
Progress in the SBSTA context was possible, including a technical paper on water and climate change and a compilation of information on ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation. On the Nairobi Work Program on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, participants considered the Joint Workshop and its report could be a valuable tool with a view to further support the Adaptation Framework and its provisions.
The Group of 77 and China welcomed the work and decisions on Research and Systematic Observations, recognizing that enhancing the research dialogue and communication between the science communities and policymakers is one of the keys to improving the response to climate change. In particular, the dialogue on research and related capacity building was beneficial to share research findings, successes and lessons learnt by developing countries, and are expected to continue.
Mama Konaté, the Mali-born negotiator and former SBSTA Chair who passed away suddenly a few weeks ago, was remembered fondly and with great respect by all members and Groups.
Progress under the SBI did not quite match the expectations for progress. The Group of 77 and China is concerned that, according to projected data, the GHG emissions of Annex I Parties, excluding LULUCF, are expected to increase by 7.8% between 2010 and 2020. In this regard, we call on Annex I Parties to intensify their efforts and to improve further enhance the completeness, comparability, accuracy and level of detail of the reported information.
"We all know that when we get a benefit, we are supposed to pay a price. Wealthy countries cannot expect to pass the bill for their industrialization and development today to the poorest countries, and this is recognized by all countries and is embodied by the Convention in its principles. And that is at the root of the commitment made under the Convention by all developed countries to provide financing, transfer of technology and capacity building to make mitigation actions by developing countries possible. The members of the Group are already undertaking bold action, including with their own resources, but the available international cooperation for national mitigation and adaptation actions clearly needs to be scaled up", explained one of the lead negotiators of the Group.
Concern was also expressed about the slow progress of the negotiations on financing, since resolve and progress in this front could be the key to a leap forward in mitigation actions by developing countries. For the time being, though, the discussion has not managed to appease the fears of an "empty shell" structure.
The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities also applies to any future reporting framework, which needs to reflect the enormous diversity in national circumstances between Parties. Enhanced reporting requires enhanced funding and technical resources. At a time when more and more responsibilities on reporting are placed on developing country Parties, we are faced with a difficult situation when national communications are subject to limited allocation of funding and other conditions.
The Group of 77 and China highlights the value and the positive impact of the work programme of the Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention (CGE) and insisted on the importance of ensuring continued financial support for the implementation of the CGE's work programme.
The G77 and China acknowledges the report of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on the Poznan Strategic Program on technology transfer. In this regard we would like to see the future activities of GEF under this program to be aligned with activities under the Technology Mechanism of the Convention. In addition, the Group considers that the GEF must assess its capacity to provide support for the short term activities of the Climate Technology Center Network.
The Chair of the G77 and China commented to civil society representatives, in an informal meeting: "I am amazed at some voices that are already decrying Durban, as if their hope was for this process to fail. The feeling of negotiators and observers here in this building is far from that. When citizens both in developing and developed countries hear that the talks in Durban are disappointing or that there are very low expectations for them, they have to be very aware of who it is that is talking. I truly believe that, even on the face of clear difficulties and challenges, and without minimizing the enormity of the task before us, progress is being made and we are still on a path that could lead us to a realistic success."