The Big Issue
Making the Doha Climate Talks Serve National Interest
The 18th session of the Conference of Parties (COP18) to the UNFCCC and the 8th Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (8CMP) takes place in Doha from the 26th November to 7th December 2012. As usual, national negotiators will converge to deliberate on the tough political issues that have dominated this process for the last couple of years. Updates, reports and some decisions reached by the three main negotiating groups will be tabled for further deliberation and approval at Doha.
The Ad-hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), charged with the responsibility of amending the existing Kyoto Treaty so that it continues into a second commitment period next year has produced an unofficial paper outlining elements of a final decision. Some of the elements include the construction of a detailed set of legal checks and balances, an in depth look at what needs to be done to resolve differences over the length of the second commitment period and how to reach a compromise.
The Ad-Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) made some progress with plans for new market based mechanisms to boost international cooperation on climate action while developing the shape of agreed international scientific review work from 2013 as well as finance on REDD+.
The third of the working groups, the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-ADP) outlined its vision for this agreement and identified concrete actions to bridge the ambitious gap. The group aims to take necessary steps to negotiate a global climate agreement to be adopted by 2015 and enter into force from 2020. The Group is also to raise the current inadequate global ambitions to deal with climate change including cutting GHG at a much faster rate.
As preparations for Doha take shape, we must consider how the entire process can help address our national current challenges, especially the floods that has ravaged our country. More so, it will be important to consider how we can use financing from the international processes to complement domestic national actions.
Nigeria needs to prioritize its engagement and identify specific issues that will support national response actions. What issues within the international negotiations will enhance the implementation of the new national climate change policy or support the concrete implementation of NASPA? How can we influence the debate on Loss and Damage to support our adaptation and help ameliorate losses like those suffered from the floods? What domestic actions need to be taken for us to benefit from the emerging financing architecture like the Green Climate Fund? These should be our main focus at these meetings. We must increasingly seek to use international platforms to benefit domestic actions. We hope our delegation to Doha will prioritize these efforts.