Dwindling Momentum for REDD

Given that the momentum for mitigation 1b(iii), or REDD, appears to be dwindling, attention falls on adaptation to table the first draft decision for AWG-LCA. The earliest to start negotiations based on proposed text, much progress has been achieved after a guerilla warfare, which tackled different issues at different times, before the debate was focused on the establishment of an adaptation committee, as a permanent body to facilitate the implementation of adaptation actions by countries. As it stands currently, positions of negotiating partners have been drawn closer, and the spirit of compromise and flexibility will likely lead to an agreement on the text regarding the establishment of the adaptation committee and its functions.

However, what use will a stand-alone decision on an Adaptation Committee achieve? Without consensus and related decisions on the list of activities under the Adaptation Framework, the new Climate Fund and the financial mechanism(s), and other referenced paragraphs, the agreed text on an adaptation committee will not be of any practical utility. Stressing the balance of outcomes between the two tracks, and within themes in the AWG-LCA, is crucial for Cancun to be successful.

While a natural pessimist, I think the process is still working and can produce results, albeit the time made available for discussion and decisions can definitely be extended (1). The high level segment is also starting soon, and the issues that are harder to resolve on the negotiators level will then be surfaced to the ministers. For adaptation, it may be interesting to hear the high level exchange on the definition of vulnerability.

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1. Late night (early morning) drafting sessions seem to be absent from COP16 due to issues with logistical and transport issues for Parties not staying in the main conference venue. Interactions with negotiators informed me of the multiple late nights, and even the extension of negotiations period, particularly in Bali.