Appendix: Climate Change at the Multilateral Level
A number of processes at the multilateral level offer opportunities to implement strategies to allow developed and developing countries to engage in dialogue and take action on climate change.
UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol
The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol are the most recognized and advanced elements of the response to climate change. The development of a more effective and inclusive approach to addressing climate change in post-2012 was given a considerable boost with the launch of a two-track process initiated under the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP-11/MOP-1) held in Montreal in November/December 2005. These discussions are taking place under Protocol Article 3.9 on future commitments, and under the Convention through a Dialogue on Long-term Cooperative Action. It is clear that negotiations on future commitments will be difficult, and that a “one size fits all,” Kyoto type, absolute target approach to future commitments is not likely to meet the support of major emitters of GHG (e.g., the U.S., China and India).
The first meetings under the two-track approach took place in Bonn, Germany in May 2006. The Dialogue considered advancing development goals in a sustainable way; addressing action on adaptation; and realizing the full potential of technology and market-based opportunities. The meeting, the first of up to four workshops, had no binding or negotiated outcome, although a co-facilitators’ report will be produced. The Ad Hoc Working Group (AWG) agreed to a future work plan to set new targets beyond 2012. The UNFCCC report of the working group meeting noted that the Group’s discussion will focus on the consideration of further commitments by Annex I parties, and that the AWG should aim to complete its work on time to ensure no gap between the first and the second commitment periods (although no timetable was determined for decisions on the level of reductions). The AWG will hold its second session at COP/MOP 2 where its future work plan will be elaborated.
The UN System
A number of programs within the UN system play an important role in the achievement of climate change objectives, including the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its main implementing agencies: the UNDP, UNEP and World Bank. Climate change is also addressed by such agencies as the World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization, UN Industrial Development Organization and the UN Institute for Training and Research.
The Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) has taken on a more substantive role in addressing climate by reviewing progress toward the outcomes of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Action with respect to, inter alia, energy for sustainable development and climate change. The CSD offers an additional venue in which to develop an understanding of different perspectives and concerns on these critical issues, particularly in regard to developing countries.
The G8 and the Gleneagles Plan of Action
In 2005, the G8 leaders agreed to a communiqué that included a political statement, action plan and a future Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development. G8 leaders agreed to work with the IEA to conduct research in priority areas for moving forward on climate change, and with the World Bank to investigate options for financing the transition to a low emissions future economy. The Gleneagles Ministerial Dialogue will continue in Mexico in October 2006, and will report on the process at the Japanese Summit in 2008. Global energy security was a central focus of the July 2006 St. Petersburg Summit, where the action plan committed to enhancing energy security through actions in key areas, including addressing climate change and sustainable development.
While the G8 is not an official negotiating forum, it does play a significant role in building consensus and momentum on the path towards a post-2012 climate policy regime. The participation of Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Mexico (G8+5) in Gleneagles and Petersburg represented a broadening of participation and a wider spectrum of the global economy, providing an opportunity for the engagement of the major emitter countries in GHG emissions reduction.
The World Bank
The World Bank is developing an Investment Framework for Clean Energy and Development in the context of the Gleneagles Communiqué. A discussion paper outlining the framework was discussed at the spring 2006 meetings of the Development Committee, and a revised paper will be considered at the joint annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF in Singapore in September 2006. The framework aims to identify investment and financing policy actions to help further the goal of the UNFCCC, and assist developing countries in meeting energy demands for economic growth and poverty alleviation in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The OECD and IEA
In the area of climate change, the OECD’s goal is to help member countries achieve climate change goals in an environmentally effective and economically-efficient manner. Recently, the OECD decided to strengthen its work on the linkages between adaptation to climate change and international development cooperation. At a meeting of OECD development and environment ministers in April 2006, the ministers agreed to a joint Declaration on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Cooperation, including a decision to develop OECD guidance on integrating adaptation into development activities.
The IEA provides policy advice to its 26 member countries to support their efforts to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy. Its work involves climate change policy and energy technology collaboration, including the Climate Technology Initiative. The OECD and the IEA host the Annex I Expert Group to the UNFCCC, which includes consultations with developing country experts to discuss issues of mutual interest on the international climate change agenda.
The memberships of the OECD and the IEA, which are predominantly Annex 1 countries, collectively represent enormous economic weight. The organizations are well positioned to make significant contributions to the development of a post-2012 regime through discussions amongst members and consultations with developing countries.
The Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate
In 2005, Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States announced the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP-6). The purpose of the partnership is to develop and deploy low-emissions technologies, not to set emissions reduction targets. The AP-6, described as a model for public-private collaboration, is intended to complement the Kyoto Protocol and to maintain the key principles of the UNFCCC. An inaugural Ministerial meeting was held in Sydney, Australia in January 2006. The first Task Force working meetings were held in the United States in April 2006 to develop action plans to encourage deployment of clean technology in eight areas: cleaner fossil energy; renewable energy and distributed generation; power generation and transmission; steel; aluminum; cement; coal mining; and buildings and appliances.
As the AP-6 is relatively new, it is difficult to assess its achievements or failures. If successful, AP-6 could greatly influence the global process for future climate change mitigation due to its geopolitical representation and technical and economic capacity. In particular two unique features, the partnership role of industry in the AP-6 framework and the sectoral approach in addressing greenhouse gas emissions, could be extremely useful in developing a post-2012 regime that more effectively reflects the complexity of actors involved in delivering on greenhouse gas emission commitments. As well, the AP-6 could offer lessons on the critical issues of technology transfer and international technology cooperation. Other countries, such as Canada, Mexico and Russia, have expressed interest in joining the partnership.
- ^International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2006. Summary of the UNFCCC Dialogue on Long-Term Cooperative Action: May 15–16, 2006. Earth Negotiations Bulletin. Vol.12, No.297. May 17, 2006. Winnipeg: IISD.
- ^UNFCCC, 2006. Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol on its first session, held at Bonn May 17–25, 2006. (FCCC/KP/AWG/2006/2, July 18). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- ^G8, 2005. G8 Gleneagles 2005. Policy Issues: Climate Change. Group of Eight.
- ^G8, 2006. Global Energy Security. Group of Eight.
- ^OECD, 2006. Declaration on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Cooperation: Adopted by Environment and Development Ministers of OECD Member Countries on April 4, 2006. Paris: OECD. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
- ^Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2006. Charter: Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
- ^US Department of State, 2006. Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Media note, May 1. US Department of State.
This is a chapter from Climate Change and Foreign Policy: An exploration of options for greater integration (e-book).
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