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Latest news from the Institute at COP21

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Saturday 12 December

Round-up on negotiations for Saturday, 12 December 2015

  • Negotiations continued throughout the night and into the early hours of Saturday, 12 December.
  • A Comite de Paris (CdP) meeting was scheduled for 9am, but it was delayed to 11:30am. Subsequently, what appeared to be a very early celebratory occasion by the French COP Presidency, with France’s President Hollande, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNFCCC Executive Director, Christiana Figueres in attendance; it was quite clear by the end of the meeting that there was still much to be done to secure the adoption of the 3rd version of the so-called draft Paris Agreement.
  • The 3rd draft was issued at 1:30pm (FCCC/CP/2015/L.9).
  • A subsequent CdP was scheduled at 3:45pm but it too was rescheduled to 5:30pm; but was actually delayed until 7:15pm.
  • The final Paris Agreement was adopted by the COP plenary at 7:30pm. The COP 21 climate conference concluded in the late evening of Saturday, 12 December 2015.
  • The following offers a very brief preliminary analysis of the key components contained in the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement

  • The Paris Agreement is 11 pages long and contains 29 Articles.
  • The Articles in the Paris Agreement of relevance to technology development and transfer include:
  1. Preamble
  2. Article Article 1 (definitions)
  3. Article 2 (implementation and long term climate goal)
  4. Article 3 (nationally determined contributions)
  5. Article 4 (implementation of nationally determined contributions)
  6. Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms)
  7. Article 10 (technology development and transfer)
  8. Article 11 (capacity building)
  9. Article 13 (transparency)
  10. Article 14 (global stocktake)
  • The following gives a ‘first-look’ summary of the Paris Agreement by the Institute.
    • Preamble
  • This section strongly identifies both funding and technology transfer as key components of facilitating the implementation of this Agreement.
  • The preamble also identifies an intrinsic relationship between climate change action and sustainable development – it seems unfortunate that in the decision text, the COP specifically emphasises the role of renewables in this regard.
  • Opportunistically perhaps, the Agreement explicitly recognises the importance of the “enhancement of sinks and reservoirs”, and while this clearly includes forests, it does not explicitly preclude geological sinks.
    • Article 2 (implementation and long term climate goal)
  • Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – this can only mean an accelerated scale up of CCS mitigation.
    • Article 3 (nationally determined contributions)
  • The call for ambitious efforts within nationally determined contributions (NDCs) as defined in Article 10 (technology development and transfer) - among others; note the word ‘Intended’ has been dropped. 
    • Article 4 (implementation of nationally determined contributions)
  • Successive NDCs need to present a progression beyond the current NDC (no backsliding of commitments and action).
  • Differentiation in mitigation is defined by: “developed country Parties should (not shall) continue to take the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets, while developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts.
  • The co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation are encouraged.
    • Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms)
  • Carbon trading is allowed on a voluntary basis – now termed “internationally transferred mitigation outcomes” (ITMOs) towards NDCs.
  • A Sustainability Development ‘mechanism’ has been established which may generate ITMOs.
    • Article 10 (technology development and transfer)
  • The establishment of a long-term technology ‘vision’ (read as goal);
  • The recognition of the importance of technology for the implementation of mitigation actions and the need to strengthen cooperative action.
  • The establishment of a technology framework to provide overarching guidance for the work of the Technology Mechanism – rules defined by COP 22.
  • The overarching global stocktake shall consider available information on developed country efforts related to support on technology development and transfer for developing country Parties.
    • Article 11 (capacity building)
  • Recognition that capacity building efforts should facilitate technology development, dissemination and deployment.
    • Article 13 (transparency)
  • An enhancement of the current framework, including clarity and tracking of progress towards achieving Parties’ NDCs including developed country support on financial technology transfer transfer.
    • Article 14 (global stocktake)
  • There will be a periodic stocktake (strating in 2023 and then every 5 years) of the implementation of this Agreement including technology transfer development and transfer.
  • mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best available science.
  • A preliminary analysis of COP decisions text will be presented tomorrow, Sunday 13 December.

 

 

Friday 11 December

Round-up on negotiations for Friday, 11 December 2015

  • CORRECTION: yesterday’s CCS update (Thursday, 10 December) described the 2nd version of the draft agreement as being 27 pages long. It is 15 pages long with 12 pages of Annex (those options and brackets that were removed).
  • Friday, 11 December was to have been the final day of the negotiations; with an ultimate version of the new climate agreement adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP). It was clear however at about lunchtime from the CCTV notice that this was never going to be the case (see below).

  • The arrangements described in yesterday’s CCS Update continued today with all negotiations proceeding behind closed doors. It continues to be difficult to assess the nature of the discussions and progress.
  • There has been no update to the draft text on the new agreement of last night (10 December) – but version 3 could be reasonably expected before the Comité de Paris (the Presidency and his ministerial level facilitation team) meeting scheduled for 9am on Saturday, 12 December. 

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 Follow-up on side-events for Friday, 11 December 2015

  • Mark Bonner presented at an Institute/University of Sheffield (UoS) co-sponsored side‑event located in the Climate Generation Area; titled ‘Could CCS technologies contribute to delivering the aims of the UNFCCC?’ A panel discussion between the Institute, IEA, UoS and Bellona proceeded in front of a largely public (non‑COP) audience. The UoD moderator asked at the start of the side-event for a show of hands by the audience of about 40 people (which seems a good turn out for a 5pm Friday time slot) whether they were familiar with CCS. About 25 per cent indicated they were implying 75 per cent were not; at the end of the side‑event the moderator asked the audience for a show of hands on whether they were convinced that CCS deserves to be considered an essential mitigation technology, and some 75 per cent indicated that they did.
  • It was the final day of the Institute’s exhibit in the UNFCCC precinct, as well as its co-sponsored (with CO2GeoNet and a range of other CCS organisations) collaborative CCS exhibit in the Climate Generation Area. A broad range of information products were displayed at both exhibits including in-house purpose designed post-card sized fact sheets with QR codes (allowing for a minimal paper footprint on-site as well as providing for efficient access to information); as well as the Institute’s video on the need for CCS and a video on the Teesside Collective industrial project (both looped and played constantly throughout the week with sound). 

[above photo] COP21 President, French Foreign Minister and ex-Prime Minister, Laurent Fabius walks past the Institute’s exhibit within the UNFCCC precinct. (Source: MBonner)

[above photo] A lot of public interest in CCS was experienced over the two weeks at the Institute’s/CO2GeoNet’s jointly sponsored CCS exhibit in the Climate Generation Area – this was an area set aside by the French Presidency for public entry just adjacent to where the negotiations are proceeding. (Photo: MBonner)

 

Thursday 10 December

Round-up on negotiations for Thursday, 10 December 2015

 

  • While many of those still in attendance at COP believe that the conference will run through to the early hours of Sunday, 13 December given the many outstanding issues still needing to find their so-called ‘landing zones’, the COP President’s directions on the organisation of work as at 9pm on 10 December still indicates an aspiration to finish in an ‘organised’ manner as scheduled – on Friday, 11 December.
  • Two groups of discussions proceeded throughout the night (most meetings finished between 4-7am on 10 December) and then throughout the day; the President hosted so-called ‘Indaba’ meetings (informal meetings at ministerial level) on the issues of differentiation, finance and ambition – the three core sticking points for Parties. In parallel, the COP 20 President, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal held informal open discussions on a range of other sticking points such as: loss and damage, forests, cooperative approaches and mechanisms, and the Preamble.
  • As these meetings are open only to Parties, it is difficult to assess the nature of the discussions and progress can really only be gauged by comparing the versions of the draft texts – and seeing what is still in and what has been left out. 
  • At 9.30pm on 10 December, the President released a new version of the draft text. The 10 December version of the draft agreement (not decisions) is 27 pages, which is two pages fewer than the 9 December version of 29 pages. The www.parisagreement.org text analysis indicates that while the page length of the package has not changed significantly, the latest text is looking much cleaner in terms of brackets (with only 47 bracketed items remaining), and 13 options.

Draft Dec 10th Paris Agreement

  • With respect to Article 7 – technology development and transfer (TDT):
    • There are only six paragraphs, with no bracketed text, in this latest version – compared to seven paragraphs and 25 items of bracketed text in the 9 December version.
    • Parties are calling for:
      • a strengthening of cooperative action on TDT
      • the development of a long-term vision on the importance of fully realizing TDT
      • the establishment of a technology framework (to provide overarching guidance to the work of the Technology Mechanism)
      • developed countries to provide financial support for TDT by the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism particularly in facilitating access to technology to developing countries 
      • a global stock-take on support for TDT in developing countries. 
  • While these elements of TDT could be very supportive of future CCS efforts, especially given that the draft decision text cites a priority for environmentally sound technologies showing high mitigation potential (which clearly includes CCS), the devil will be in the implementation detail to be worked out in 2016 for adoption at COP 22.
  • In regards to finance (Article 6), there are no outstanding options to be settled but there are number of bracketed text items to be resolved. As it currently stands, Parties are calling for:
    • Developed countries to provide financial resources (‘noting the significant role of public funding’) to assist developing countries adapt and mitigate; with a ‘floor’ of USD $100 billion per year for the post 2020 period; and 
    • Undertake a global stock-take on developed country efforts related to climate finance. 
  • With regard to loss and damage (Article 5), there are a number of so-called ‘red-lines’ for parties; for example, few developed countries are likely to accept the placement of liability, compensation and rights in the text – but this is exactly what developing countries continue to call for.

Follow-up on side-events for Thursday, 10 December 2015

  • The IISD video of the Institute’s side-event on Tuesday, 8 December titled ‘Financing the demonstration and deployment of CCS in developing countries’ and moderated by Brad Page, is now available. Further, the IISD video of the Institute’s side-event on Friday, 4 December titled ‘How the UNFCCC architecture can help mobilise the international resources to support CCS’ moderated by Mark Bonner, is also available. A video will be forthcoming on John Scowcroft’s presentation that he gave today. 
  • The Institute/CO2GeoNet side-event titled ‘Role of CCS in mitigating climate change’ was hosted in the European Pavilion. The IEA and Shell presented and Bellona and British Geological Survey were panelists, with EERA/CO2GeoNet as moderator. An interesting development in the new agreement is a push for a long term goal of less than 1.5° C (versus 2° C), and if this is the case then CCS will need to accelerate in terms of the speed of it deployment as well as scaled up earlier – Philippe Benoit observed that “CCS may well be much more important next week depending on decisions arising from the agreement”. 
  • John Scowcroft presented at the Institute’s merged UNFCCC side-event with Grantham Institute, Imperial College titled ‘Hitting 2° C means: investing in CCS, renewables, a storage revolution, and energy efficiency’. 

John Scowcroft at side event

  • John Scowcroft was interviewed in an IETA organized media briefing session, a Swedish radio (after the side-event) and IISD; and Mark Bonner was interviewed by Reuters.

 

Wednesday 9 December

Round-up on negotiations for Wednesday, 9 December 2015

  • The COP focused on the 8 groups established to discuss specific issues. The President called two update meetings, one at 3pm (delayed from 1pm) and 8pm (delayed from 7pm). Shortly after the first meeting, a new draft text was released for both the draft agreement and associated implementation decisions.
  • Analysis undertaken by an­­ independent group known as www.parisagreement.org shows how efforts to revise the text have progressed with each new version.

Source: www.parisagreement.org

  • Between the ADP’s version submitted to the COP on Saturday 5 December and today’s 3pm version (9 December), the number of pages has been reduced from 48 to 29 (the draft agreement is now 14 pages long, with ‘implementation decisions’ making up the rest). Over 300 brackets have been removed (or about half of them) – brackets are used when there is no consensus among Parties on the exact wording.
  • With respect to the technology development and transfer element of Article 7:
    • There remain 25 brackets in the current text and as can be seen from the above chart, there has been little change from previous versions (the orange wedge) – negotiators will likely subsequently remove them fairly easily.
    • The good news is that there are no outstanding options – options are used when there are conceptual differences on issues between Parties – and so from this perspective the text is now considered ‘clean’. The text as at 3 December had 12 options, which were reduced to 3 in the 5 December version (regarding the provision of financial support for technology transfer). 
  • The concept of a long-term technology vision (which aims to guide the nature and efficacy of technology transfer especially to developing countries) and establishment of a technology framework (to guide the work of the Technology Mechanism) remain in the text – subsequent details will be resolved for consideration/adoption at the first meeting of the COP serving as the Meeting to the Agreement (or CMA) about this time next year.
  • In terms of COP decisions associated with the implementation of technology under the new agreement, there remain many bracketed sections as well as options, and in essence:
    • The Technical Assessment Process (TNA) going forward could assume a heightened role to play within the Technology Mechanism;
    • While Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) isn’t explicitly referred to – noting it was in previous draft versions – there remains an option to “Facilitate various options for enabling developing countries’ access to technologies”;
    • An option also exists (with many brackets) to “Set targets for supporting the development and transfer of each technology to developing countries”; and
    • A preference to develop “a list of ready-to-transfer technologies”.

 Follow-up on side-events for Wednesday, 9 December 2015

  • Andy Purvis presented at Bellona’s side-event titled CCS in Industry” where he joined Heidelberg Cement and Bellona.
  • Brad Page was interviewed by the Hub Culture at COP 21. 

Tuesday 8 December

Round-up on negotiations for 8 December 2015

  • The COP President proposed a new working method on Saturday, 5 December called the ‘Paris Committee’, including four original groups of discussions (one covering ‘implementation’ issues including finance, technology and capacity building). As of Tuesday, 8 December this has been expanded to eight groups. His guidance on this process including key dates can be found at http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/in-session/items/9320.php#2
  • These facilitated negotiations (by ministers) started on Sunday, 6 December and continued through Monday (7 December) and Tuesday (8 December) to the exclusion of observers. There have been two COP President (and facilitator) updates on these discussions late in evening on Monday and Tuesday – but the oral reports remain very high level at this stage.
  • The ‘implementing’ group is working through cross-cutting issues on finance and technology with an aim of ‘cleaning-up’ the negotiating text of the new climate agreement, so that it can be forwarded to the COP for adoption.
  • The text still has a large amount of bracketed text (suggesting unresolved issues and options), which needs to be settled by Thursday, 10 December at the latest for legal review and translation into various languages.
  • In regards to technology, the report to the President observed;

“Based on our Ministerial-led consultations, Parties have found convergence on the entire Article 7 and its related decisions. Specifically, Party-driven discussions have found common ground on the following concepts: cooperative action, long-term vision, framework, Technology Mechanism. Moreover, further compromise and opportunity for convergence was found on the areas of innovation and support.”

Follow-up on side-events for 8 December 2015

  • The Institute hosted its side event titled: Financing the demonstration and deployment of CC in developing countries. It was moderated by the Institute’s CEO, Brad Page and included the following panelists:
    • Lord Nick Stern – IG Patel Chair of Economics and Government, Grantham Institute (LSE)​
    • Philippe Benoit – Head of Energy Efficiency and Environment Division, IEA
    • Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo – Mexico’s Undersecretary of Planning and Environmental Policy
    • Anita George – Senior Director Global Practice on Energy and Extractive Industries, World Bank
    • Abyd Karmali – Managing Director, Climate Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and GCF private sector representative
    • Ashok Bhargava – Chair of the Energy Sector Committee and Director, Energy Division - East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank
    • Takeshi Nagasawa – Director, Global Environment Partnership Office, METI
  • An Insight on this event is being prepared by the Institute.
  • Brad Page (Institute), Nick Stern (LSE) and Dave Hawkins (NRDC/eNGO) launched a report on CCS by the eNGO CCS Network with media immediately after the side-event.

Monday 7 December

Round-up on negotiations for 7 December 2015

  • The joint COP/CMP high-level segment convened throughout the day – this is where mostly ministers and a few Prime Ministers read out their national statements outlining their national interests – interestingly, Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered half of Austria’s statement offering reflections on the time he was Governor of the 9th largest economy, California.
  • A minister-led informal consultation was held on technology and finance from 7pm under a so-called ‘Paris Committee’ established by the COP on 5 December; under this arrangement, the COP President has convened informal consultations under a single-setting to facilitate compromise on what is now referred to as the “draft Paris Outcome” and decisions. These meetings are closed to observers, with only the Paris Committee open – this means that observers have to wait in order to see how much progress Parties have made.
  • Bilaterals are also taking place on the acceleration of pre-2020 action; ambition, including long-term goals and periodic review; differentiation, in particular with regard to mitigation, finance and transparency.

Follow-up on side-events for 6 December 2015

  • The Institute hosted a dinner-dialogue with a number of eminent people from government, finance, industry, CTCN, and legal backgrounds. Three core themes emerged:
    1. CCS can be a key mitigation technology of greenhouse gas emissions, particulates and other pollutants from coal and gas-fired power generation, as well as fossil-based industrial sources.
    2. The need to accelerate and scale up CCS to meet a global warming target of less than 2° Celsius; and
    3. The need to deploy CCS in developing countries.

 

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December

Round-up on side-events for 6 December 2015

  • The Institute hosted a members (and friends of the Institute) reception at the Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel; and then attended the C2ES/EEI reception featuring Al Gore.

Round-up on negotiations for 5 December 2015

  • Video of the IISD coverage from the Institute’s side event is now available to view.
  • The Ad-hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) negotiations closed on Saturday, 5 December at about midday. Government officials can find no more compromise for the multiple options presented for each element (finance, mitigation, technology, capacity building, transparency and adaptation) and subsequently posed in the draft text (which by the way has no formal status until the Parties adopt it to replace the February draft text known as the ‘Geneva text’).
  • The text has now been formally forwarded to the COP by the ADP for its consideration and further negotiation at the political level.
  • The new climate package as it stands includes 48 pages of text, with 37 pages for the new climate agreement (ADP work stream 1) and nine pages for decisions relating to enhancing pre-2020 mitigation actions (ADP workstream 2).
  • The Co-Chairs’ recommendations on how the text can be simplified are available online.
  • The COP President is expected to announce on Monday, 7 December his strategy to bring this process to an orderly close on Friday 11, December – whether he can achieve this however remains to be seen, and expectations are high for an overrun of the deadline.
  • The ADP has now completed the work program that was tasked to it four years ago at COP 17 in Durban. The likely fate of the ADP is that it will cease to exist.
  • The COP plenary convened late on Saturday, 6 December and it adopted its intended work program.

 

Friday 4 December

Round-up on negotiations for 4 December 2015

  • Ad-hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) discussions on the new climate agreement in spin-off groups has ended and informal discussions will now continue until noon tomorrow when text must be delivered to the COP for consideration.
  • Given that the agreement is still some 15 pages (or so) too long – sitting at 40 pages with too many options, too many details and too many contradictions in the various Articles and paragraphs (noting Article 7 is technology) – it will likely be referred to the French COP President to determine a way forward and this should be articulated tomorrow.
  • It is apparent that Parties can go no further on the new climate agreement without political intervention – and so, political negotiations including ministers will commence on Monday, 7 December (noting that some ministers are already here – and US President Obama is rumored to be returning to Paris late next week).
  • Some of the same issues in Article 7 still remain: that is, development of a technology ‘goal’ or ‘vision’, and adoption of a new technology ‘framework’. There is also an explicit reference in one of the technology options to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) – and this presents a red-line issue for many developed countries.
  • The latest text on the new climate agreement can be found here.
  • The Subsidiary Bodies for Technical and Scientific Advice (SBSTA) and Implementation (SBI) closed their work programs today and have finalized their recommendations for the COP and CMP consideration.
    • The joint SBSTA/SBI conclusions on the joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (see yesterday’s update for the link) can be found here.
    • Of interest is the TEC’s preparation of its 2016 technology action plan to inform the technology needs assessment process – it remains to be seen whether CCS will be examined by the TEC.
  • There’s also draft text (see here) recommending the TEC’s report on strengthening the linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism (see here) which basically indicates that all relevant bodies should meet and share knowledge – this seems to be a fairly minimalist approach to linking institutional arrangements.

Round-up on side-events for 4 December 2015

  • The Institute hosted its side-event titled ‘How the UNFCCC Architecture can help mobilise international resources to support CCS’. Hosted by the Institute’s Mark Bonner, about 30 people attended with insightful presentations by Ulrika Raab (Swedish energy Agency and CCS Technical Expert Meeting Facilitator), Erwin Jackson (The Climate Institute), Jeff Swartz (International Emissions Trading Association) and Ellina Levina (International Energy Agency). The key messages are that: CCS is a policy driven technology that requires a broad range of mechanisms and programs (international including the UNFCCC as well as domestic) to support its development, demonstration and deployment; it is a technology that is ready to be demonstrated now at scale and commercially deployed post‑2020; CCS mitigation is critical to the delivery of the 2OC climate goal at least cost (including negative emissions from the use of CCS with bio-energy to offset any emissions overshoot of the 450ppm target); CCS investments hold strong prospects for a future carbon constrained world. The Institute has contracted IISD to record the event and this video will be uploaded to the UNFCCC member’s portal by 11 December.
  • Ms. Christiana Figueres (Executive Director of the UNFCCC) addressed observers, and said in response to a public question posed by an environmental NGO challenging the validity of including an ‘Oil & Gas Methane Partnership’ in the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) that “there can be no greater addressing of the climate change challenge than transforming the oil and gas sector to a low carbon economy”.
    • A startling statistic she shared was that there are 20,000 registered delegates in the negotiations and 10,000 observers – this excluded the thousands of visitors to the public space known as the Climate Generation Area.

 

Thursday 3 December

Round-up on negotiations for 3 December 2015

  • ADP negotiations on technology development and transfer (Article 7 of the new agreement text) was concluding its discussions in its informal spin-off groups at the time of drafting (late in the evening on Thursday, 3 December).
  • Discussions are still closed to observers and remain exclusive to Parties.
  • It appears that the issue of developing countries accessing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is being vocalised by only one large developing country – with previous supporting Parties now remaining silent; a major developed country delegate observed that this issue does not seem as contentious as it perhaps was once considered.
  • Significant progress has been made to simplify the draft decision text of the new climate agreement – the text now reflects a need to periodically assess the performance of the Technology Mechanism especially in regards to technology research, development, and demonstration.
  • The three main components of the paragraphs to be included in the new climate agreement (Article 7) are: promotion of international collaboration, development of a technology ‘goal’ or ‘vision’, and adoption of a new technology ‘framework’. It seems that the intent of a new technology framework is not to substitute for or duplicate the role of the Technology Mechanism (which is currently seen as short-term in its focus) but rather to provide some longer term guidance of support for technology transfer. 
  • The latest draft text can be read on the UNFCCC website (the Facilitator’s recommendation for one of Article 7’s sections) and also on this pdf page.
  • There seems to be growing tension between certain developed and developing country Parties on what exactly a ‘recommended decision to the COP’ should include in regards to the joint report of the Technology Mechanism’s Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and its Climate Technology Centre and Network (see the actual report); and indeed – at one point there seemed to be an emerging view that these primary UNFCCC technology bodies might not report jointly into the future. Such an outcome would be unfortunate, as the Institute believes that this could send a signal of lack of solidarity and complementarity between the two streams (policy and implementation). 

Round-up on side-events for 3 December 2015

  • The IEA hosted a full day of side-events, including a session on how to accelerate low carbon technologies, featuring a presentation on CCS by the IEA’s Head of CCS Unit, Juho Lipponen. 

 

Wednesday 2 December

 

Round-up on negotiations for 2 December 2015

  • ADP negotiations on technology development and transfer (Article 7 of the new agreement text) continued in informal spin-off groups. These discussions are focused on simplifying and reducing the number of existing options so that the text can be presented to the main ADP contact group at the end of Thursday, 4 December. No new options are being considered for inclusion.
  • While these discussions are exclusive to Parties, it is understood that differences still remain between developed and developing countries on the need for a technology ‘goal’ and a new technology ‘framework’. Developed countries generally appear against the need for such provisions given the nascent operations of the Technology Mechanism, whilst developing countries appear broadly supportive.
  • There are 5 options currently being considered by Parties on the technology ‘goal’ – or ‘vision’ as it has been renamed overnight. It seems that the aim of this is to bind the scale of support for technology transfer to developing countries by developed countries within the context of the 2OC threshold. 
  • The technology ‘framework’ is yet to be clearly characterised; and if adopted, would likely default as a task for the SBSTA/SBI in 2016 – but it seems the intent of the framework would be to provide further negotiating hooks to enhance developing country access to developed country technologies. This may include additional funding by developed countries to developing nations wanting to access and/or replicate intellectual property rights. 
  • Some components of what could be included in a new technology framework have been listed and include an enhanced role for Technology Needs Assessments (TNA), which is a process that is overseen by UNEP with funding by the Global Environment Facility. The Institute’s analysis of the current TNA process reveals an under-representation of CCS in the TNA results.
  • As the draft text currently stands, of concern could be the suggested inclusion of a “list of ready-to-transfer technologies” with “set targets for supporting the development and transfer of each technology to developing countries”. Such provisions could foster consideration of a limited number of clean energy mitigation technologies by developing countries. As the IPCC observes in its 5th Assessment Report, the constraining of any clean energy technology will necessarily impose additional economic costs of mitigation.
  • It would be surprising if either of these issues will be resolved this week by the negotiating government officials (ie expected stalemate in negotiating positions). If this is the case, there will be a need for political interventions in the 2nd week of the negotiations.
  • The latest text can be read on the UNFCCC homepage

Round-up on side-events for 2 December 2015

  • Ben Court (Institute Senior Advisor – Storage) presented at the CO2GeoNet’s side-event titled ‘CCS: A proven and safe technology vital for completing the Climate Change Mitigation Portfolio’. This was located in the public area (called the Climate Generation Area or Green Zone) and was conducted in French.
  • John Scowcroft (Institute Executive Advisor – EMEA) made a public statement on the use of carbon pricing at IETA/WBCSD special event titled ‘What business wants on carbon pricing in Paris’. A copy of the Institute’s statement on carbon markets is available in our newsroom.

 

Tuesday 1 December

 

Tuesday, 1 December saw the opening of the COP (the ultimate decision making body of the Convention), the CMP (ultimate decision making body of the Kyoto Protocol), and the Subsidiary Bodies of Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Implementation (SBI). The CCS-relevant issues of technology development and transfer, and finance, are included on all of these agendas. There were also a couple of CCS related side-events and the Institute’s co-sponsored Collaborative CCS Exhibit in the Climate Generation Area (the public space called the Green Zone) also opened – and will remain open for the entire two weeks of the COP. 

While CCS is not being explicitly considered under the UNFCCC’s agendas of technology development and transfer or finance, as these discussions are purposefully technology neutral – related decisions can and will affect the way that CCS is supported by Parties within the context of resources provided to enable such climate friendly and environmentally sound technologies.

The business as usual process for this standing item is for contact groups to be established where Parties negotiate prior to any agreed text being forwarded to the COP for consideration and adoption. The issues for the COP to explore include the joint report for the Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network.

The Ad-hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) also discussed in a spin-off group (where specific themes of the draft negotiating text are discussed) the technology related Article (#7). There are a couple of issues that seem to be open ended at this time including: technology goal, technology framework and intellectual property rights. It will take a few days for the Parties to settle on their positions on the various options – and what is clear is that a more lucid characterisation of these issues is needed to reduce the confusion about what they practically mean.

There were two side-events that show-cased CCS. These included the UNFCCC-endorsed side-event titled CCS: Achievements and Opportunities for Developing Country Involvement. Presenters included:

  • Tim Dixon (IEAGHG) opened the session with a précis of why CCS is important to the climate change mitigation challenge
  • Philip Ringrose (StatOil) presented on the security of CO2 storage at the Sleipner CCS project based on 19 years of operation
  • Brad Wall (Premier of Saskatchewan) explained the political support for Boundary Dam, followed by Mike Marsh’s (CEO, SaskPower) description of the Boundary Dam project.
  • Katherine Romanak (University of Texas) announced that a workshop will be hosted in 2016 in conjunction with the CSLF to explore an offshore storage project in a developing country
  • Tom Wildenborg (President of CO2GeoNet) discussed pilot scale CCS projects in Europe
  • Jukka Uosukainen (CTCN) presented on what the CTCN is trying to achieve. Jukka noted that CCS was a technology with huge potential but noted that there were no developing country Nationally Designated Entities (NDEs) in the room.

In the morning, the Asia Development Bank and the Peoples Republic of China launched a CCS Roadmap, which can be viewed on the Institute’s website. The event was moderated by Su Wei (China’s chief climate negotiator),with opening remarks by XIE Zhenhua (PRC Special Envoy on Climate Change), Takehiko Nakao (ADB President) and YANG Yingming (Deputy Director General, Ministry of Finance). Mr Zhenhua affirmed that the ambitions set in China’s INDC will be met by technical innovation, cooperation and transfer of clean energy technologies. Nakao-san spoke for about 5 minutes on the importance of CCS in tackling climate change mitigation in China. Ashok Bhargava (ADB Director) and project manager of the roadmap announced the report’s release, referring to the Institute as one of the major sponsors of the ADB’s CCS Fund. 

 

Monday 30 November

 

One by one, the leaders of 150 nations stood up before the world at COP21’s Leadership Event and positively committed in one way or another to addressing climate change. Such symbolism at the start of these UNFCCC climate discussions is unprecedented and provides for excellent political conditions to see in a new climate agreement that will shape climate actions for decades to come.

Several common themes emerged from many of the leaders’ speeches on Day 1 of COP21, including:

  1. belief in the science (with 97% of the world’s climate scientists in agreement that exceeding 2 degrees C imposes dangerous levels of climate change); and
  2. the need for solidarity and inclusiveness by developed and developing countries alike to undertake meaningful climate action.

The Leaders Event video on demand facility allows viewing of the event, featuring Barack Obama (President of USA), Mr. Xi Jinping, (President of China), Vladimir Putin (President of Russian Federation), Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany) – and many others.

The newly elected Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau referred to the need to deploy CCS in his speech (view the speech online).

In the side-line of the formal UNFCCC proceedings, the World Bank and IMF hosted several Heads of State in a discussion supporting carbon pricing arrangements, including President Hollande (France), Angela Merkel (Germany), Enrique Peña Nieto (Mexico), Justin Trudeau (Canada), Michelle Bachelet (Chile), Hailemariam Desalegn (Ethiopia). Some 40 national governments and sub-national governments are now putting a price on carbon. Access this session here.

The CCS exhibit in the Climate Generation Area is now open, with the Institute’s joint sponsorship with CO2GeoNet.  

 

Sunday 29 November

 

This day saw the 12th part of the 2nd session of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for enhanced Action (ADP2.12) convene, to start refining the negotiating text of the new climate agreement.