Principles for integration across development, adaptation, technology and market mechanisms

2007-08-24 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Climate

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) welcomes this opportunity to present views on the issues under discussion in the Dialogue.
The fourth workshop of the Dialogue on long term cooperative action to address climate change by
enhancing implementation of the convention (the Dialogue), which will take place in Vienna, Austria between 27-31 August 2007, is intended to “bring together all the ideas and proposals put forward during the Dialogue, to explore how they fit together in a coherent way and into an appropriate international response to climate change, and to address overarching and cross cutting issues including financing.” The fourth workshop is also intended to consider proposals for further actions, activities and approaches.
In preparation for the fourth workshop in Vienna, Parties were invited to:
1. submit working papers considering how each of the 4 themes could be considered in an
integrated manner;
2. provide guidance to the co-facilitators as to what should be in the final report of the four
workshops in the Dialogue; and
3. provide specific proposals for scenarios to be included in the scenario note for the fourth
This submission addresses the first two elements.
1. Integrated consideration of the four workshop themes
The three Dialogue workshops to date have addressed the following topics:
(a) advancing development goals in a sustainable way
(b) addressing action on adaptation
(c) realising the full potential of technology
(d) realising the full potential of market-based opportunities.
The Dialogue workshops have provided an opportunity for Parties, intergovernmental agencies, nongovernmental organisations, research institutions and the business community to share their knowledge and experiences.
To move forward at the fourth workshop, it will be necessary to identify the practical steps that will need to be taken to enhance implementation of the Convention, to assist and enable all Parties to contribute meaningfully to achievement of the ultimate objective of the Convention, and to address the adaptation needs of developing countries already being impacted by human-induced climate change.
It will be critical to ensure that this integrated package of practical steps moves the Parties along an ambitious pathway toward stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations that will ensure that longterm temperature increases are stabilized at well below 2˚C above pre-industrial levels.
2. Guiding Principles for Integration AOSIS is of the view that guiding principles for any package of integrated future actions must be as follows:
1. Under international law, States have the responsibility to ensure that activities within their
jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
2. In keeping with Article 3 of the Convention, precautionary measures must be taken to
anticipate, prevent and minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects,
and the climate system must be protected for present and future generations.
3. Activities that enhance implementation of the Convention must be designed to protect the
most vulnerable Parties to the UNFCCC, both in the short and in the long term. Hence the
level of ambition for future emission reductions under the Convention must use the avoidance of climate change impacts on small island developing States as one of its key benchmarks for effectiveness.
4. Actions taken under the Convention must be urgent, practical and ambitious.
5. The polluter pays principle and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities
and respective capabilities must be used to determine the obligations of different Parties and
groups of Parties.
6. Any new framework must be developed within the United Nations framework and must build upon and extend the Kyoto Protocol, rather than replace it.

3. Long-term goal
The avoidance of climate change impacts on small island developing States must be one of the key benchmarks for assessing the appropriateness of any long-term goal.
Any package of mitigation-related activities must be sufficient to ensure that long-term temperature increases are stabilized well below 2 degrees Celsius. Even a 2ºC increase compared to preindustrial levels would have devastating consequences on SIDS due to resulting sea level rise, coral bleaching, coastal erosion, changing precipitation patterns and the impacts of increasingly frequent and severe weather events. Based on the best scientific evidence available, a 1ºC increase in
temperature above 1980-99 levels implies significant coral bleaching, increased losses from flooding,
and substantial species extinction (See Annex 1 to this document, sourced from the AR4 IPCC
Working Group II SPM). Estimates have already been made of the number of people likely to be displaced by sea level rise and natural resource constraints, the amount of coastal area that will be lost, and the percentage of species lost or threatened from temperature increases at these levels.
A long-term goal of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations at 450 ppm CO2-e has been discussed,
as well as a limitation of global average surface temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. However,
these goals are insufficiently ambitious, as they will not protect the most vulnerable Parties to the
In order to achieve long-term stabilisation levels well below 450ppm, global GHG emissions must
peak within the next 10-15 years, and be followed by reductions of at least 50-80% of 2000 levels by
2050 (See Annex 2). The effort needed to stabilise either at 450 ppm or below 450 ppm by 2050 will
be the same during the initial peaking phase. There is therefore no reason not to adopt a more
ambitious stabilisation level than 450ppm in the short to medium term. Short-term actions taken
under the Convention must be urgent, ambitious, and measurable in their effect in order to ensure that
long-term goals are met, in keeping with the precautionary principle.
The cost of achieving stabilization at 450ppm has been estimated at less than 3% of GDP by 2030 or
less than 0.12% of GDP per year (See Annex 3). This is a small figure, compared to the potential
costs of the impacts of climate change if stabilization at that cannot be achieved. However, AOSIS is
of the view that a substantially larger investment in mitigation measures, well beyond 0.12% of
GDP per year, is needed, justified and must be ensured under the Convention to achieve a lower
stabilization level and thereby ensure protection of Convention Parties that are particularly vulnerable
to the impacts of climate change, including SIDS. The value of preserving island sovereignty and
cultures cannot be compared with the monetary costs of mitigation.1
A modest lifestyle change in some Convention Parties is a small price to pay to protect SIDS from the loss of finite land area, to avoid the loss to the global community of unique island cultures and ecosystems, and to avoid the loss of lives from the impacts of extreme events in SIDS and other vulnerable countries. To allow the
actions or inaction of some Convention Parties to cause the disappearance of other Convention Parties
cannot be an acceptable outcome of this multilateral Convention process.
Any particular level of mitigation ambition agreed by the international community will imply a
consequent degree of direct climate impacts on vulnerable Convention Parties and communities.
AOSIS is of the view that it is essential to look at the relationship between global investments in
mitigation activities and impacts in this light, in considering the adequacy of future actions to address
climate change.
To this end, there is a need for continuing work by the global scientific community and the IPCC in
two areas.

(1) the implications for SIDS of increases in temperature of 2ºC or greater;
(2) research on the means and costs of achieving low stabilization concentrations that will
prevent significant negative impacts on SIDS and other vulnerable Convention Parties.
The future climate package must be informed by this information. An IPCC Special Report on
Vulnerable Groups, including SIDS, might facilitate the linking of various mitigation scenarios and
levels of ambition with the consequent impacts on vulnerable groups that each proposed scenario
implies. This linkage should be further examined through a continuing Dialogue or other process.
4. Responsibility for long-term emission reductions
In ratifying the Convention, all Parties committed to implementing programmes containing measures
to mitigate climate change by addressing emissions by sources and removals by sinks. All Parties also
agreed to promote and cooperate in the development, application and diffusion of technologies,
practices, processes and processes that control greenhouse gas emissions. Annex I Parties agreed to
take the lead in reducing emissions. Annex II Parties agreed to provide financing for technology
transfer to support developing country emission reduction efforts.
Despite these Convention commitments, best available scientific evidence shows that greenhouse gas
emissions are increasing at an unprecedented rate, including in many Annex I Parties. Developing
country emissions, in particular those of the larger rapidly industrialising countries, will account for a
significant proportion of global emissions in the future.
Consistent with the polluter pays principle and the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities and respective capabilities, the largest historical emitters must now take aggressive
action under the Convention to facilitate the reduction of global emissions. All Annex I Parties 1
should take on hard quantified emission limitation or reduction targets in the Post-2012 period and
through 2030.
Major emitting developing countries will also need to take action to reduce their emissions
trajectories, with assistance from developed country Parties. These countries should be prepared to
pursue a clean development path in the Post-2012 period, measured through decreasing carbon
intensity, an increasing reliance on renewable energy technologies, and/or through quantified
emission limitation commitments.
In the Post-2012 period, all major emitting countries must, therefore, be engaged in global efforts to
mitigate emissions, according to their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective
capabilities. Some Parties might be best able to contribute by protecting or expanding their sinks.
Some Parties might be best able to contribute by reducing or limiting emissions from their industrial
sources. Some Parties might be best able to contribute by facilitating mitigation measures in other
less able or more vulnerable Parties, by transferring technology, increasing the production of more
energy efficient technologies, by offering targeted financial assistance to other countries for the
uptake of renewable energy or energy efficient technologies, or by offering financial assistance to
other countries for the protection or expansion of sinks.
Each of these efforts must contribute to the overall reduction of GHG emissions in a measurable way,
so that overall progress in achieving a global reduction in emissions can be assessed and effort can be

Differentiation within the group of developing countries is needed as part of the Post 2012 package.
Criteria for differentiation might include a combination of responsibility (measured in cumulative
CO2 emissions since 1990), capability (measured in GDP/GNI or other economic indicator per
capita), potential to mitigate (based on energy efficiency and related metrics) and population size.
Developing countries should be expected to take on hard targets when they achieve a certain level of
socio-economic development, measured by objective indicators (e.g., per capita GDP).
A discussion of appropriate differentiation, and objective indicators to enable differentiation, should
be taken up in the Dialogue process, or in any Post-Bali process that merges the AWG and Dialogue
5. Mitigation strategies for achieving long-term goals
Renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and measures should form the central pillars of the
Convention’s future climate mitigation strategy. Expanding access to renewable energy and energy
efficient technologies should be the key strategy for engaging developing countries in mitigation
A global carbon market can assist the global community in achieving cost-effective emission
reductions. However, developed countries must take the lead in reducing GHG emissions, consistent
with Article 3 of the Convention. Consequently, any expansion of opportunities for carbon trading
should not enable an increase of absolute emissions in Annex I Parties through use of the flexible
mechanisms. Inclusion of emissions from international aviation and marine transport in the carbon
market provides an opportunity to allow increasingly ambitious Annex I Party targets to drive CDM
projects in developing countries. It will be essential to address international transport emissions now
unregulated by the Kyoto Protocol, as well as domestic transport emissions if long-term emission
reduction goals are to be achieved.
To facilitate a broader carbon market, developing countries should progress toward economy-wide
emission limitation or reduction commitments over time. In the short term, the opportunity to take
sectoral targets in carbon-intensive sectors may assist in broadening the carbon market and extending
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this market more fully to developing countries. The Dialogue process might clarify how such
opportunities might be made available, and what incentives and/or support might be needed.
Any expansion of opportunities for carbon trading must ensure that the emission reductions achieved
are measureable and permanent, do not negatively impact local communities and do not undermine
the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol.
Economic instruments to address demand side management will be essential in achieving substantial
emission reductions. These include taxes on carbon-intensive activities, eco-labelling, appliance
standards, fuel efficiency standards, the removal of subsidies for fossil fuels, and the creation of
incentives for the uptake of renewable energy and for the implementation of energy efficiency
6. Mitigation technologies for achieving long-term goal
The rapid diffusion of energy efficient technologies and renewable energy technologies is essential for
reducing emissions while achieving sustainable development.
Technologies that lead to impermanent solutions (e.g., carbon capture and storage – CCS), generate
additional or new forms of pollution challenges for the international community (nuclear, CCS), or
increase dependency on carbon-intensive fuel sources (‘clean’ coal, CCS) are not acceptable for
prioritisation over energy efficient technologies or renewable energy technologies through this
Convention process, or appropriate for inclusion in the Clean Development Mechanism.

Positive incentives, in the form of direct investments by Annex I Parties in mitigation activities in
developing countries, are more appropriate for mitigation activities that result in critical, but
impermanent, emission reductions.
Energy efficiency targets and renewable energy targets can form a useful mechanism for assessing
progress. National renewable energy targets, accompanied by concessionary financing from the
international community to assist in achieving these targets, can be helpful in addressing both climate
change and sustainable development. Many small island States have already established renewable
energy targets, and require international support to translate these pledges into reality.
7. Addressing Action on Adaptation
Climate change has already had a significant negative impact on the economic, social and
environmental security of many small island States, and will affect the future growth and development
of key sectors of island economies, including tourism, fisheries and agriculture. This threatens to
reverse years of development efforts, and undermine the objectives addressed in the Mauritius
Strategy on the Sustainable Development of Small Island States.
SIDS have contributed little to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, yet are directly
and negatively affected by the impacts of climate change. There is an urgent need for the
international community to enhance implementation of Convention Articles 4.1, 4.3 and 4.4 with
respect to adaptation measures in small island States.
Some of the adaptation measures that will be the most effective are relatively inexpensive, do not
require advanced technologies and can be implemented immediately. These include: measures to
manage water resources during periods of extreme drought; measures to address pressures on food
supply through drought-resistant and salt-resistant crops; buffering of coastal zones through mangrove
swamp planting and reef restoration; and the development of agricultural policies, water management
policies, land use policies and risk management policies that integrate the impacts of climate change.
Other measures may be more costly but are nevertheless warranted given the equities at issue, as small
island countries have played an insignificant role in causing anthropogenic climate change. These
include the climate-proofing of infrastructure, the relocation of vulnerable coastal communities, and
the relocation of key infrastructure within SIDS.
As temperatures increase, there will be critical thresholds for adaptation. Coral reefs are known to
undergo coral bleaching when sea surface temperature goes beyond the maximum monthly mean (the
climatological mean temperature during the warmest month of the year) by 1°C or more for 1 month
or more. Mangroves, another key coastal zone buffer in many small island States, have an equally
precarious relationship with sea level rise. If these windows to adapt are missed, different adaptation
strategies may be required for some countries—again, at far greater economic, social, environmental,
cultural, human and political cost.
Atoll States, such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Maldives, and many atolls within
other island nations, are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The height of these
atolls rarely exceeds two meters above sea level. Their fresh water reserves are limited to a shallow
subsurface lens, which is susceptible to depletion during times of drought and contamination from salt
water intrusion from sea level rise, storm surge and seepage. The extreme vulnerability of these atoll
States raises the possibility of the first extinction of a sovereign State due to environmental change.2

However, before that time, as a result of coastal erosion and a reduction in resilience of corals,
impacts on these societies are likely to include increases in flooding events, increasing contamination
of freshwater aquifers, and decreased productivity from agriculture and artisanal fishing.
Delays in implementing adaptive strategies will only cause the ultimate cost of adaptation to increase,
both locally and globally. These costs include not only economic costs, but also social,
environmental, cultural, human and political costs. These broad categories of cost need to be
considered against the relatively small economic cost, in global GDP terms, of the mitigation actions
needed to avoid further climate change impacts.
Where adaptation cannot fully address the impacts of climate change on countries and their
communities, impacted countries are justified in seeking compensation from those countries most
responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that have led to these impacts.
Financing for Adaptation
Targeted financial support from Annex I Parties on concrete adaptation measures is now overdue
under Convention Articles 4.3 and 4.4.
Under Article 4.3, developed country Parties agreed to provide such financial resources needed by
developing country Parties to meet the agreed full incremental costs of implementing measures under
Article 4.1 of the Convention. Article 4.1 measures include the formulation and implementation of
national programmes containing measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change. Under
Article 4.4, developed country Parties further agreed to assist developing countries that are
particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in meeting the costs of adaptation to those
adverse effects.
Nevertheless, well over a decade after the Convention’s entry into force, adaptation funding for
project implementation has not been forthcoming in a predictable or adequate manner under the
Convention. Funding for adaptation through the Convention’s financial mechanism remains extremely
limited, and procedures for accessing these limited funds are excessively complicated.
Articles 4.3 and 4.4 require enhanced implementation through the expansion of existing funding for
adaptation under the financial mechanism’s climate change focal area, as well the identification of
new sources of funding for adaptation at the international level.
Expansion of existing funds might come from increased contributions to the Global Environment
Facility, Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and
from international financial institutions and multilateral organizations.
New funds for adaptation should come from the establishment of a Convention Adaptation Fund,
linked to greenhouse gas emissions, as set out below.
The burden of climate-related impacts will far exceed what small island States can bear or should be
expected to bear as a matter of equity. An indication of the economic threat climate change poses to
the sustainable development of SIDS can be seen in the costs of past climatic events, recognizing that
the frequency and intensity of future events is predicted to increase. In the 1990s, the direct cost of
extreme events in Pacific islands is estimated to have exceeded US$1 billion, causing losses that
exceeded the GDP of some individual countries. Cyclone Heta, in early 2004, caused damage to Niue
that exceeded 200 years’ worth of the country’s annual export value. The cost of recovery exceeded
2.8 times the country’s GDP. In the Caribbean, Hurricane Ivan in 2004 damaged 90% of Grenada’s
housing stock and left 50% homeless.
Substantial and adequate resources for adaptation must be identified under the Convention, and these
resources must be made more readily available to small island developing States.

Sub Topic: Cross-cutting


Meeting: Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention