Summary and Evaluation of COP 18/CMP 8
(the 18th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th Session of the Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol)

December 8, 2012


1. Overall summary and evaluation

(1) From November 26 to December 8, COP 18/CMP 8 (the Conference of the 18th Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) were held in Doha, Qatar. From Japan, Mr. Hiroyuki Nagahama, Minister of the Environment, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; Ministry of the Environment; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism participated in the conferences.

(2) Through working-level negotiations at the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under Convention (AWG-LCA) as well as meetings at two subsidiary bodies, and further ministerial-level discussions at the High-Level Segment from December 5 through 7, the following COP and CMP decisions were adopted as the “Doha Climate Gateway”. The COP and CMP decisions on other issues were also adopted.

  1. (A) COP decisions including the ADP workplan
  2. (B) CMP decision concerning Amendments to the Kyoto Protocol
  3. (C) COP decision concerning the agreed outcome of the AWG-LCA
  4. (D) A series of COP decisions concerning climate finance
  5. (E) COP decision concerning loss and damage associated with climate change impacts

(3) Accordingly, the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA concluded their works and terminated their activities while the arrangements for negotiations in the ADP from next year onwards were agreed (Cf. “3. Outcomes of the conferences” below). As a result, the Government of Japan has achieved its goal of sending a message that “basic arrangements for negotiations have been set up toward an agreement by 2015 on a new legal framework beyond 2020”.

2. Response by the Government of Japan

(1) With the aim of sending a clear message to the international community that “basic arrangements for negotiations have been set up” toward an agreement by 2015 on a new legal framework beyond 2020, which was decided as part of the Durban Decision at COP 17 last year, the Government of Japan aimed 1) for a common view to be shared among all the participating countries concerning the arrangements for the negotiations from next year onwards regarding the ADP, and 2) for the completion of works at the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA to terminate these working groups.

(2) In the speech by Environment Minister Nagahama at the High-Level Segment, the Government of Japan asserted the above-mentioned position toward the negotiations and at the same time explained its domestic efforts against global warming as well as its international efforts and contributions such as the establishment of the Joint Crediting Mechanism / Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanism (JCM/BOCM). In particular, the Government of Japan announced that, with regard to Japan’s pledge to provide a total of 15 billion US dollars by both the public and private sectors over approximately 3 years, it had achieved approximately 17.4 billion US dollars in financing as of the end of October this year, the final year of the pledged three year period. Thus, Japan has provided approximately 40% (13.3 billion US dollars) of the fast-start finance by all developed countries (Developed countries pledged to provide 30 billion US dollars for the three-year period from 2010 to 2012. The actual amount of funding provided was 33.6 billion US dollars).

(3) Environment Minister Nagahama actively held bilateral meetings with other participating countries during the conference period and explained the stance and ideas of Japan concerning the results of the conferences, to get their understanding, and, at the same time, to ensure the necessary cooperation for the success of the conferences. Moreover, Environment Minister Nagahama signed the “Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation, Climate Change, and the Joint Crediting Mechanism” with the Minister of Nature, Environment and Green Development of Mongolia and confirmed that the mechanism would start its operation early next year. To this end, Ministers also confirmed the importance of concurring on the bilateral documents as soon as possible. Environment Minister Nagahama also shared the view with the representative from Bangladeshi for the mechanism.

3. Outcomes of the conferences

(1) The following five outcomes were achieved through the conferences: 1) Decisions on works of the ADP for the establishment of a new international framework, etc., 2) Amendments to the Kyoto Protocol and the subsequent termination of the AWG-KP, 3) Decisions on long-term cooperation under the agreement and the subsequent termination of the AWG-LCA, 4) Decisions on financing, and 5) COP decision on loss and damage associated with climate change impacts.

(2) As for the ADP, decisions were made on the workplan from next year onwards, and chair arrangements. It was decided that the ADP will be held twice next year with the possibility of additional sessions being discussed in April and September; at least two sessions will be held in 2014 and 2015; the specifics of sessions will be determined the year before; and round table discussions and workshops will be held at two work streams (“Future framework beyond 2020” and “Enhancing mitigation ambition by 2020”) next year based on the opinions of the participating countries of two work streams and discussions should be more focused and substantial. Moreover, in order to prepare the negotiation text by May 2015, it was decided that elements for a draft negotiating text will be considered toward COP 20 at the end of 2014, thus clarifying the steps for negotiation for next year and beyond.

(3) As for the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol for setting the second commitment period, the draft amendment including Annex B which stipulates commitments concerning emission limitation and reduction by each country during the second commitment period was adopted as an outcome document. The second commitment period was set to be eight years and it was also decided that opportunities for discussion on increasing the level of ambition by each country by 2014 would be provided. Thus, the AWG-KP completed its works and terminated its activities.

Japan’s position of not participating in the second commitment period was reflected in the amended Annex B. The Government of Japan, along with the European Union, Australia, Switzerland and other countries, declared that it will not purchase the Assigned Amount Units (AAU) carried over from the first commitment period.

As for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), it was confirmed that those countries not participating in the second commitment period could participate in the CDM projects and primitively acquire the Certified Emission Reductions (CER) (transfer the credits to national registry once the credits are issued). However, the international acquire and transfer of credits through participating in the Joint Implementations (JI) (Article 6) and in the International Emissions Trading (IET) (Article 17 of the Protocol) during the second commitment period are allowed only for the countries participating in the second commitment period (it must be noted that during the adjustment period of the first commitment period (from 2013 until the around the end of 2015), Japan can continue its participation in the International Emissions Trading). As for the treatment the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) of the Kyoto Protocol, calculation and reporting will be carried out according to the rules of the second commitment period by each country, including countries not participating in the second commitment period.

(4) As for long-term cooperation under the agreement, it was confirmed that the AWG-LCA had achieved many results and obtained “agreed outcomes,” as a series of decisions concerning all the agendas of the Bali Action Plan for the implementation of new organizations and processes launched by the Durban decisions agreed to last year had been adopted. Consequently, the AWG-LCA terminated its works. Technical discussion and operation on certain issues will be continued at subsidiary bodies or other institutions.

In addition, as for the various approaches including the Joint Crediting Mechanism / Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanism (JCM/BOCM) that Japan has proposed, it was decided that work programme concerning a framework for implementation will be carried out and the functions and roles of the framework, methods for preventing double-counting concerning the transfer of international credits, etc., will be discussed. Furthermore, with regard to the biennial report to be submitted every two years by developed countries based on the Cancun Agreement, an agreement was made on the joint reporting form, including issues to be reported concerning utilization of market mechanisms such as the JCM/BOCM.

(5) As for financing, the following decisions were adopted:

Aknowledgement of the achievement of a fast-start finance commitment by all the developed countries, extension of work programme concerning long-term finance to 2013, holding of a high-level ministerial dialogue concerning long-term finance at COP 19; endorsement of the work programme of the Standing Committee for 2013 - 2015, including the organization of forum, and endorsement of the host country (i.e. Republic of Korea) of the Green Climate Fund, etc. Containing a written description of concrete figures for mandatory support by the developed countries in the coming several years was avoided. On the other hand, all developed country parties were further encouraged to further increase their efforts to provide resources of at least to the average annual level of the fast-start finance period for 2013-2015. In addition, all the developed country parties were urged to scale up climate finance from a wide variety of sources to the joint goal of mobilizing 100 billion US dollars per year by 2020. Developed country parties were invited to submit information on their strategies and approaches for this purpose. It was also decided that the work programme on the long-term finance would be extended for one year.

(6) As for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, it was decided that a global mechanism to reduce damages in countries vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change would be established at COP 19.

(7) The coming COP 19 will be held in Warsaw, Poland.

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