COP18 Live: Latest news from Day 11 of Doha climate summit

Contact John Parnell in Doha if you have any comments or a story you’d like to share.

By Ed King and John Parnell
RTCC in Doha

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Protests: Doubts grow over Qatari leadership at UN climate talks
– Blackmail: Venezuela accuses rich states of holding developing world to ransom
NGO anger: Climate talks “sleepwalking towards disaster
Brazil: Absence of acceptable Kyoto deal threatens UN climate process.

Draft texts (correct as of 1217 Doha time)
Kyoto Protocol extension
Durban Platform (2015 agreement)

Today’s headlines:

Done: That’s that for now. Negotiators will work through the night and we’ll reconvene in the morning.

Loss and damage: There’s a bit of a stink on loss and damage as US and the small island states pair off to a meeting room. Civil society follows on to support the islands which are pressing for a new financial mechanism for rehabilitiation and compensation for climate impacts.

Housekeeping: We’re working through some housekeeping issues now. It’s tedious but it has to be done. Rumour mill says we’ll be done for the night at 3am local time and back in the morning to tackle the controversial “pending issues”.

Gulf pledges: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE have released a curious document that regardless of its ambiguity, ultimately marks the start of the process for emission pledges. Good news, but tempered somewhat by the lack of clarity.

Durban continued: Not as straight forward as it seemed. Saudi Arabia, the US an China exchanging small alterations to the ADP text. The Co-chairs are getting very frustrated and are now trying to persuade negotiators to close the book and pass it on for approval.

LCA progress: The two ministers selected to help close down the LCA talks are Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore and Peter Altmaier of Germany. They have their work cut out.

Durban talks closing: Negotiations to close this session of the Durban Platform (ADP), the process working to develop a universal deal on emission reductions by 2015, are under way. There is disappointment that the outcome is delaying the process of drawing up a timetable for ADP with some delegates saying it could set it back by as much as a year. Watch the talks here.

What’s in a name: We might not have a deal in Doha yet but it looks like whatever is signed will be called the Doha Climate Gateway according to the COP President.

Turning point?: The controversial LCA track of the talks has closed. Whether or not developing countries accept that it has finished positively, could set the tone for the rest of the conference.

LDC offer: The LDCs have claimed that the best offer they have had on climate finance is $10bn. Asked if they would walk out of the talks if that did not improve, they refused to comment. At a later press conference, their Chair, Pa Ousman Jarju, said they would see it out to the end.

Oxfam on finance: Celine Charveriat says the current text on climate finance is “not worth the paper it is written on”, adding that the call for $60bn from the most vulnerable nations should be adopted.

Estimated end time?: Lots of people enjoying the speculation on when exactly the talks will conclude. The shuttle buses running between the conference and Doha have been extended till 2200 tomorrow, suggesting that preparations are being made for an extra day of talks on Saturday.

Dominican Republic: Great news as delegation announces it will cut emissions 25% by 2020, on 2010 levels – joining Marshall Islands & Bermuda in making firm promise.

More Time: President Al Attiyah has clarified that comment on having all the time in the world. He said that negotiators have called on him to close things down on time tonight so they can make their flights home, but he lives ten minutes from the convention centre. “I like having you visit, I want you to stay here some more days,” he quipped. Careful what you with for Mr President.

Pre-Copenhagen: Venezuala’s Claudia Salerno says the current text’s will send us back into a “pre-Copenhagen” state.

AOSIS: More statements from the main negotiating groups on the general state of play: “In general we’re putting off concrete outcomes for another year. The current package is very much about more talk. Not action. Another year’s delay is unacceptable. We won’t be rushed into accepting something that is unsatisfactory.”

The Least Developed Countries back that statement up.

Time: The EU’s Connie Hedegaard says: “We don’t have a lot of time. Mr President please send this package to the Ministerial.”

COP President Al Attiyah responds: “I have plenty of time. I can sit here for one year. It is you who does not have much time.”

Not sure what to make of that.

BASIC: Xie Zhenhua for the BASIC group: “This result will be hard one. Finance discussions are not good enough yet. No substantial progress on loss and damage. Even though we are not satisfied with many areas, from a political point of view we support an acceleration of the process and with more compromises we can support this package.”

The LCA: The messy, messy LCA talks worked through the night but the chair, Ayser Tayeb, says there is still a “place holder” for finance pending meetings with Ministers. It looked like it would all boil down to finance from the start and thats exactly where we have finished.

Gulf pledges: This is getting silly, the 1400 conference has been cancelled too!

Gulf pledges: We thought these were coming on Wednesday but were instead presented with a tie-up between Qatar and the Potsdam Institute. A 1230 press conference has just been pushed to 1400 Doha time and we are again expecting to hear about either financial or emissions cutting commitments.

UNFCCC/WEF: The UN Climate Change Secretariat and the World Economic Forum have launched the ‘Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment’ programme. “There is much creative thinking in many sectors that people can learn from and which opens the door to greater political and business ambition to tackle climate change,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

Back to school: Canadian Youth Delegation presented Canada’s Climate Ambassador with a completed registration for Environment Minister, and favourite “COP villain”, Peter Kent to attend Concordia University to study climate and environmental sciences. According to the group, Kent and his negotiators have been disagreeing on some elements of the science.

Kyoto Protocol: The EU has come to an agreement on the finer details of a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol. Ed Davey would not go into detail but said: “We have reached an agreement which I think is very good because it will also strengthen Europe’s negotiations position, because we have an agreed positon”.

RTCC understands there will be no cancellation of AAUs, no clarity on whether AAUs will be cancelled before 2020, there may be a use restriction, the EU may pledge NOT to buy any. Any the wiser?

COP18 VIDEO: Former Ireland President Mary Robinson blasts negotiators “for treating this like trade talks, repeating their party line – there’s very little movement and very little trust”.

Mary Robinson from Responding to Climate Change on Vimeo.

UK: Secretary of State Ed Davey is co-chairing finance talks, and gave us an update on how he thinks they are progressing: “It’s important that AOSIS [small island states] and LDCs [least developed countries] can see that developed countries are going to support them as they deal with mitigation and adaptation to climate change over the next decade.

I think what we said earlier this week re-announcing money that had been allocated in the spending review to support climate adaptation and mitigation between now and 2015 has actually had a catalyst effect. We’ve seen the Germans, French, Danish, Dutch, Swedes, the Finns say they are about to put some money on the table, and that has put Europe in a really strong place in these negotiations. Before we came here everyone said “is the EU being ambitious enough?”, everyone realises the EU is actually playing s really critical role and I think we have helped catalyse that.

The pressure is on other countries to step up to the plate frankly – other developed countries, those who aren’t in the Kyoto Protocol and haven’t committed to a second period, that they show some extra willingness to support others and to be ambitious themselves and I think that’s an important signal that Doha can give.”

AOSIS Reaction: Foreign Minister Kieren Keke, Chair of AOSIS on the text that came out overnight: “We woke up today and found ourselves no closer to addressing climate change, and possibly considerably farther from this imperative than when we started here. The text that has been tabled across the key areas of the negotiations fails to meet the basic requirements of the countries facing an existential threat from the crisis. Unfortunately, what we see would kick ambition down the road, undermine the legally binding and rules-based regime in the KP, and depart substantively from previous political commitments at the highest level, particularly on the Review. The day isn’t over yet and we’ll be engaging proactively to improve the text throughout the day.”

Dominican Republic: A positive start to the final day of negotiations as the Dominican Republic announces details of an emission reduction pledge. Further announcements had been hoped for by now with time running out for others to issue their own commitments.

Russia: In the spirit of things getting weirder and weirder, a Russian business daily, Kommersant, published an article on Dr Bedritsky’s speech in the high-level segment. Russia’s climate change envoy told the conference on Thursday that Russia has no intention of joining KP second commitment period and will pursue its target under the Convention. However, the newspaper cites Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich’s spokesperson as saying that the final decision on KP2 will be taken after Doha once the delegation comes home.

Kyoto Protocol: The draft text is out and can be read here. Lots and lots of decisions still to be taken, the bits in square brackets are the points of debate.

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