COP18 Live: Latest news from Day 12 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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BREAKING: UN adopts extension of Kyoto Protocol

New text: The latest texts available below
Pledges: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & UAE make mysterious climate pledge
NGO anger: Vulnerable nations urged not to sign weak climate deal
Tension: Clock ticking for UN climate talks as tempers fray in Doha

Draft texts (correct as of Saturday, 0920, Doha time unless stated otherwise)
Kyoto Protocol extension
Durban Platform, 2015 agreement
Finance (Friday, 1217)

Latest (2250 Doha time)

That’s all from us, check out the reaction of some big hitters among the government’s including Todd Stern and Connie Hedegaard and the NGO response to the Doha Climate Gateway. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the blog, see you in Warsaw!

EU reaction: “The Doha package represents a modest but important step forward,” says EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. “We need to raise ambition however,” she says confirming that loss and damage was passed too. Easy to forget that loss and damage was passed during all that activity! “It was not an easy ride, a beautiful ride and certainly not a fast ride,” she says “but we made it across the bridge from the old to the new regime.”

AOSIS reaction: Foreign Minister Kieren Keke of Nauru, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, released the following statement: “This is not where we wanted to be at the end of the meeting, I assure you. It certainly isn’t where we need to be in order to prevent islands from going under and other unimaginable impacts.

“It has become abundantly clear that unless the work is supported by world leaders, particularly those representing the countries most responsible for the crisis, we will continue to fall short year after year. We call on them to turn their full and immediate attention to this global emergency.

“We will know in the next two years, after which the opportunity to avert the worst impacts of the crisis may be irrevocably lost, whether they have delivered on this most basic function of leadership. It is the responsibility of people of conscience to hold them to account and history will be the judge of us all.”

Russia intervenes: Russia says its objections raised direct to President were ignored. Says: “I do hope that this time you will listen to the request”. These are procedural issues on face value but could be significant.

BREAKING: UN adopts extension of Kyoto Protocol

Vote: Rumours that democracy might be an option within UN decision chamber – usually deals are signed off via a ‘consensus’ agreement. More on that later.

Team GB: What a happy trio. UK negotiator Ben Lyon, Secretary of State Ed Davey and British Ambassador Michael O’Neill soak up the thrilling astmosphere.

Russia: It seems the Poland issue is sorted. Environment Minister Marcin Korolec says “there is now an EU position on KP”. Russia and co are still digging their heels in on AAUs though.

Hot air: It appears the five countries looking to hold onto their hot air, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine held up affairs on the Kyoto Protocol there. EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard and the rest of the EU delegation have since retunred to their plenary, where after some encouragment from UN climate change chief Christiana Figueres, the five nations paperwork magically appearred. That seemed to change the atmosphere on (most of ) the room but there are still two huddles in the plenary.

EU meeting: Whoever is to blame, the EU ministers have taken the huddle into a meeting room to duke it out in private. We’ll bring you more as we get it.

Poland to blame?: The rumour mill is now in full swing so the following is tentative. Poland appears to have stepped in at the last minute to change its position within the EU. There are now EU negotiators huddled outside the plenary trying to resolve situation. Poland frequently opposes EU climate policy and its desire to hold onto excess carbon credits from the first Kyoto commitment period caused a rift thorughout much of the conference. Russia, as we reported earlier is also opposing moves to prevent the roll over of credits from one period to the next.

Plenary stops: It appears a number of EU countries and Australia forgot to submit their paperwork. Twittersphere labelling it an act of “bad trust”. Now the EU appear to be in a huddle, can anyone see who else is there? Philippines negotiator Yeb Sano, who has won a few fans in the last couple of days has tweeted that the US, Russia and the EU are blocking progress.

Via Twitter/@pwatkinson

Plenary restarts: Slightly rambling speech from the President but the gist is “help me, help you”. He says there is no perfect text and requests that if anyone does have it, could they please send it to him. He opens the floor. Here we go…

Loss and damage: ActionAid’s Harjeet Singh explains the root cause of US anxiety on loss and damage.

“The US is concerned that by establishing a loss and damage mechanism it would be somehow admitting liability or opening itself up to litigation. We don’t think the US needs to worry about that. The word compensation has been taken out of the text after talks between the US, EU and the African Group, Least Developed Countries and Alliance of Small Island States. Nobody wants to go down the litigation route.

“It’s not just about getting money out of developed countries. Mitigation has failed, adaptation is limited and that’s what leads to loss and damage. So let’s create a mechanism to decide how we will deal with that. The draft text is a step in the right direction, even if it is not quite as strong as we would like it to be.”

Video update: Our colleagues Josh Wiese and Sébastien Duyck from adoptanegotiator have been producing some fabulous ‘live’ reports from the conference cenntre all week – here’s their latest (you can tell Josh slept on the floor last night!)

Brazil: Brazil Ambassador for the Environment André Corrêa do Lagos told RTCC the draft texts reflect continued disagreement over who is responsible for addressing climate change. He also hit out at nations he would not name who were unwilling to discuss options until the closing stages of the talks.

“The last 24 hours in the COP always remind us that unfortunately that’s some countries don’t negotiate until the last minute. They keep having very strong position until the last minute, and they only start negotiating on the last night. And this is not possible, you have to negotiate during the process so that you have something stronger and better, and not negotiated without two nights without sleeping and trying to understand what you signed over the next three months.”

Pressure in Brussels from Brussels: A group of youth and civil society groups tracking the talks together in Brussels have issued an open letter to EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard calling for more leadership at this crucial juncture in the UN climate change process: “We have witnessed over the past two weeks the EU’s consistent refusal to live up to its responsibilities, and we condemn this lack of progress. The EU claims to be a climate leader but it is acting as a blocker…The deal on the table is simply a suicide pact for the people of the Global South and we will actively resist your decision to condone such an injustice.”

Hot air not done yet: We’re hearing that Russia joined by Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine are not happy with part of the draft Kyoto text on hot air. A clause about cancelling emission allowances that would clearly contribute to a surplus has left them rather unhappy. Policy buff can check page 10, section G of the Kyoto draft.

New text: The result of last night’s round the clock talks and the snippets coming through are not great. On the crucial mid-term finance issue, developing countries had asked for $60bn a year. According to Brandon Wu, senior policy with ActionAid US, the new text asks donors to “increase their efforts” and to meet the average annual level from the Fast Start Finance period. In other words, it doesn’t help to show how we’ll get to $100bn a year by 2020 for the Green Climate Fund or increase financing before that point.

Kyoto: The second commitment period will run for eight years according to the draft. Countries will be invited to provide new binding emission cut pledges by April 30, 2014 but can only revise them up. Compromise on AAUs too with a proportion of units to be cancelled or “moved to a cancellation account”, which I assume would mean they can be cashed in at a later date.

Durban Platform: The “plan of work”, for the new global climate treaty will be decided in 2014 according to the new text. Japan submitted a document earlier in the year calling for this to happen in 2013. It may seem like a delay, but it doesn’t actually affect the 2015 deadline that is set for the agreement.

Loss and damage: The US and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) locked horns last night on loss and damage, a financial approach to compensate and rehabilitate those affected by climate change. The EU is trying to persuade AOSIS to drop any formal mechanism for funding and to carry it forward in a less potent form.

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