The Cancun Agreements: Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention

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Gender reference

As part of policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries, this decision requests developing country Parties, when developing and implementing their national strategies or action plan, to address gender considerations. Additionally, when considering the economic and social consequences of responses to climate change, these should be coordinated with social and economic development, and take fully into account the consequences for vulnerable groups, in particular women and children.

Elaborated language

III. Enhanced action on mitigation

A. Nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions by developed country Parties

Emphasizing the need for deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions and early and urgent undertakings to accelerate and enhance the implementation of the Convention by all Parties, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,

Acknowledging that the largest share of historical global emissions of greenhouse gases originated in developed countries and that, owing to this historical responsibility, developed country Parties must take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof,

36. Takes note of quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention as communicated by them and contained in document FCCC/SB/2011/INF.1 (to be issued);

37. Urges developed country Parties to increase the ambition of their economy-wide emission reduction targets, with a view to reducing their aggregate anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol to a level consistent with the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;

38. Requests the secretariat to organize workshops to clarify the assumptions and the conditions related to the attainment of these targets, including the use of carbon credits from the market-based mechanisms and land use, land-use change and forestry activities, and options and ways to increase their level of ambition;

39. Also requests the secretariat to prepare a technical paper based on Parties’ submissions with the aim of facilitating understanding of the assumptions and conditions related to the attainment of their emission reduction targets and a comparison of the level of emission reduction efforts;

40. Decides, building on existing reporting and review guidelines, processes and experiences, to enhance reporting in the national communications of Parties included in Annex I to the Convention on mitigation targets and on the provision of financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing country Parties as follows:

  • (a) Developed countries should submit annual greenhouse gas inventories and inventory reports and biennial reports on their progress in achieving emission reductions, including information on mitigation actions to achieve their quantified economy-wide emission targets and emission reductions achieved, projected emissions and the provision of financial, technology and capacity-building support to developing country Parties;
  • (b) Developed countries shall submit supplementary information on the achievement of quantified economy-wide emission reductions;
  • (c) Developed countries shall improve the reporting of information on the provision of financial, technology and capacity-building support to developing country Parties;

41. Also decides to enhance the guidelines for the reporting of information in national communications by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, including the development of common reporting formats and methodology for finance, in order to ensure that information provided is complete, comparable, transparent and accurate;

42. Further decides to enhance guidelines for the review of information in national communications with respect to the following:

  • (a) Progress made in achieving emission reductions;
  • (b) Provision of financial, technology and capacity-building support to developing country Parties;

43. Decides that developed countries should establish national arrangements for the estimation of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol;

44. Also decides to establish a process for international assessment of emissions and removals related to quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, taking into account national circumstances, in a rigorous, robust and transparent manner, with a view to promoting comparability and building confidence;

45. Further decides that developed countries should develop low-carbon development strategies or plans;

46. Decides on the following work programme for the development of modalities and guidelines described above, building on existing reporting and review guidelines, processes and experiences:

  • (a) The revision of guidelines, as necessary, on the reporting of national communications, including the biennial report:
  • (i) The provision of financing, through enhanced common reporting formats, methodologies for finance and tracking of climate-related support;
  • (ii) Supplementary information on achievement of quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets;
  • (iii) Information on national inventory arrangements;
  • (b) The revision of guidelines for the review of national communications, including the biennial report, annual greenhouse gas inventories and national inventory systems;
  • (c) The establishment of guidelines for national inventory arrangements;
  • (d) Modalities and procedures for international assessment and review of emissions and removals related to quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets in accordance with paragraph 44 above, including the role of land use, land-use change and forestry, and carbon credits from market-based mechanisms, taking into account international experience;

47. Invites Parties to submit views on the items mentioned in paragraph 46 above, including with respect to the initial scheduling of the processes described in this section, by 28 March 2011;

B. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties

Recognizing that developing country Parties are already contributing and will continue to contribute to a global mitigation effort in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Convention, and could enhance their mitigation actions, depending on provision of finance, technology and capacity-building support by developed country Parties,

Reaffirming that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing country Parties, and that the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs,

48. Agrees that developing country Parties will take nationally appropriate mitigation actions in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, aimed at achieving a deviation in emissions relative to ‘business as usual’ emissions in 2020;

49. Takes note of nationally appropriate mitigation actions to be implemented by Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention as communicated by them and contained in document FCCC/AWGLCA/2011/INF.1 (to be issued);

50. Invites developing countries that wish to voluntarily inform the Conference of the Parties of their intention to implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions in association with this decision to submit information on those actions to the secretariat;

51. Requests the secretariat to organize workshops to understand the diversity of mitigation actions submitted, underlying assumptions and any support needed for the implementation of these actions, noting different national circumstances and the respective capabilities of developing country Parties;

52. Decides that, in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 3, of the Convention, developed country Parties shall provide enhanced financial, technological and capacity building support for the preparation and implementation of nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing country Parties and for enhanced reporting by these Parties;

53. Also decides to set up a registry to record nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support and to facilitate matching of finance, technology and capacity-building support for these actions;

54. Invites developing country Parties to submit to the secretariat information on nationally appropriate mitigation actions for which they are seeking support, along with estimated costs and emission reductions, and the anticipated time frame for implementation;

55. Also invites developed country Parties to submit to the secretariat information on support available and provided for nationally appropriate mitigation actions;

56. Requests the secretariat to record and regularly update in the registry the information provided by Parties on:

  • (a) Nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support;
  • (b) Support available from developed country Parties for these actions;
  • (c) Support provided for nationally appropriate mitigation actions;

57. Agrees to develop modalities for the facilitation of support through the registry referred to in paragraph 53 above, including any functional relationship with the financial mechanism;

58. Decides to recognize nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries in a separate section of the registry;

59. Requests the secretariat to record, and regularly update, in a separate section of the registry, information submitted by Parties on the following:

  • (a) Mitigation actions contained in document FCCC/AWGLCA/2011/INF.1;
  • (b) Additional mitigation actions submitted in association with paragraph 50 above;
  • (c) Once support has been provided, internationally supported mitigation actions and associated support;

60. Decides to enhance reporting in national communications, including inventories, from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention on mitigation actions and their effects, and support received, with additional flexibility to be given to the least developed country Parties and small island developing States:

  • (a) The content and frequency of national communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention will not be more onerous than that for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention;
  • (b) Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention should submit their national communications to the Conference of the Parties, in accordance with Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Convention, every four years or in accordance with any further decisions on frequency by the Conference of the Parties, taking into account a differentiated timetable and the prompt provision of financial resources to cover the agreed full costs incurred by Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention in preparing their national communications;
  • (c) Developing countries, consistent with their capabilities and the level of support provided for reporting, should also submit biennial update reports containing updates of national greenhouse gas inventories, including a national inventory report and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received;

61. Also decides that internationally supported mitigation actions will be measured, reported and verified domestically and will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines to be developed under the Convention;

62. Further decides that domestically supported mitigation actions will be measured, reported and verified domestically in accordance with general guidelines to be developed under the Convention;

63. Decides to conduct international consultations and analysis of biennial reports under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, in a manner that is non-intrusive, non-punitive and respectful of national sovereignty; the international consultations and analysis will aim to increase transparency of mitigation actions and their effects, through analysis by technical experts in consultation with the Party concerned and through a facilitative sharing of views, and will result in a summary report;

64. Also decides that information considered should include the national greenhouse gas inventory report, information on mitigation actions, including a description, analysis of the impacts and associated methodologies and assumptions, progress in implementation and information on domestic measurement, reporting and verification, and support received; discussion about the appropriateness of such domestic policies and measures is not part of the process; discussions should be intended to provide transparency of information related to unsupported actions;

65. Encourages developing countries to develop low-carbon development strategies or plans in the context of sustainable development;

66. Agrees on a work programme for the development of modalities and guidelines for: facilitation of support to nationally appropriate mitigation actions through a registry; measurement, reporting and verification of supported actions and corresponding support; biennial reports as part of national communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention; domestic verification of mitigation actions undertaken with domestic resources; and international consultations and analysis;

67. Invites Parties to submit views on the items mentioned in paragraph 66 above, including with respect to the initial scheduling of the processes described in this section, by 28 March 2011;

C. Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries

Affirming that, in the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support to developing country Parties, Parties should collectively aim to slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss, in accordance with national circumstances, consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention, as stated in Article 2,

Also affirming the need to promote broad country participation in all phases described in paragraph 73 below, including through the provision of support that takes into account existing capacities,

68. Encourages all Parties to find effective ways to reduce the human pressure on forests that results in greenhouse gas emissions, including actions to address drivers of deforestation;

69. Affirms that the implementation of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 below should be carried out in accordance with appendix I to this decision, and that the safeguards referred to in paragraph 2 of appendix I to this decision should be promoted and supported;

70. Encourages developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities, as deemed appropriate by each Party and in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances:

  • (a) Reducing emissions from deforestation;
  • (b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;
  • (c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;
  • (d) Sustainable management of forests;
  • (e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks;

71. Requests developing country Parties aiming to undertake the activities referred to in paragraph 70 above, in the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support, including financial resources and technical and technological support to developing country Parties, in accordance with national circumstances and respective capabilities, to develop the following elements:

  • (a) A national strategy or action plan;
  • (b) A national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level or, if appropriate, as an interim measure, subnational forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, in accordance with national circumstances, and with provisions contained in decision 4/CP.15, and with any further elaboration of those provisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties;
  • (c) A robust and transparent national forest monitoring system for the monitoring and reporting of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 above, with, if appropriate, subnational monitoring and reporting as an interim measure, in accordance with national circumstances, and with the provisions contained in decision 4/CP.15, and with any further elaboration of those provisions agreed by the Conference of the Parties;
  • (d) A system for providing information on how the safeguards referred to in appendix I to this decision are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 above, while respecting sovereignty;

72. Also requests developing country Parties, when developing and implementing their national strategies or action plans, to address, inter alia, the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, land tenure issues, forest governance issues, gender considerations and the safeguards identified in paragraph 2 of appendix I to this decision, ensuring the full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, inter alia indigenous peoples and local communities;

73. Decides that the activities undertaken by Parties referred to in paragraph 70 above should be implemented in phases, beginning with the development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures, and capacity-building, followed by the implementation of national policies and measures and national strategies or action plans that could involve further capacity-building, technology development and transfer and results-based demonstration activities, and evolving into results-based actions that should be fully measured, reported and verified;

74. Recognizes that the implementation of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 above, including the choice of a starting phase as referred to in paragraph 73 above, depends on the specific national circumstances, capacities and capabilities of each developing country Party and the level of support received;

75. Requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice to develop a work programme on the matters referred to in appendix II to this decision;

76. Urges Parties, in particular developed country Parties, to support, through multilateral and bilateral channels, the development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures and capacity-building, followed by the implementation of national policies and measures and national strategies or action plans that could involve further capacity-building, technology development and transfer and results-based demonstration activities, including consideration of the safeguards referred to in paragraph 2 of appendix I to this decision, taking into account the relevant provisions on finance including those relating to reporting on support;

77. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention to explore financing options for the full implementation of the results-based actions referred to in paragraph 73 above and to report on progress made, including any recommendations for draft decisions on this matter, to the Conference of the Parties at its seventeenth session;

78. Also requests Parties to ensure coordination of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 above, including of the related support, particularly at the national level;

79. Invites relevant international organizations and stakeholders to contribute to the activities referred to in paragraphs 70 and 78 above;

D. Various approaches, including opportunities for using markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, bearing in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries

Acknowledging the need to maintain consistency with the principles of the Convention,

Emphasizing the importance of contributing to sustainable development, including through technology transfer and other co-benefits,

Recognizing the importance of enhancing sustainable lifestyles and patterns of production and consumption,

Aware of the need to provide incentives in support of low-emission development strategies,

80. Decides to consider the establishment, at the seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties, of one or more market-based mechanisms to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, taking into account the following:

  • (a) Ensuring voluntary participation of Parties, supported by the promotion of fair and equitable access for all Parties;
  • (b) Complementing other means of support for nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties;
  • (c) Stimulating mitigation across broad segments of the economy;
  • (d) Safeguarding environmental integrity;
  • (e) Ensuring a net decrease and/or avoidance of global greenhouse gas emissions;
  • (f) Assisting developed country Parties to meet part of their mitigation targets, while ensuring that the use of such a mechanism or mechanisms is supplemental to domestic mitigation efforts;
  • (g) Ensuring good governance and robust market functioning and regulation;

81. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention to elaborate the mechanism or mechanisms referred to in paragraph 80 above, with a view to recommending a draft decision or decisions to the Conference of the Parties for consideration at its seventeenth session;

82. Invites Parties and accredited observer organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 21 February 2011, their views on the matters referred to in paragraph 81 above;

83. Undertakes, in developing and implementing the mechanism or mechanisms referred to in paragraph 80 above, to maintain and build upon existing mechanisms, including those established under the Kyoto Protocol;

84. Decides to consider the establishment, at the seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties, of one or more non-market-based mechanisms to enhance the cost effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions;

85. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention to elaborate the mechanism or mechanisms referred to in paragraph 84 above, with a view to recommending a draft decision or decisions to the Conference of the Parties for consideration at its seventeenth session;

86. Invites Parties and accredited observer organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 21 February 2011, their views on the matters referred to in paragraph 85 above;

87. Also invites Parties and accredited observer organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 21 February 2011, information on the evaluation of various approaches in enhancing the cost-effectiveness of, and promoting, mitigation actions, including activities implemented jointly under Article 4, paragraph 2(a), of the Convention and any other relevant activities, for synthesis by the secretariat;

E. Economic and social consequences of response measures

Reaffirming the importance of the objective of the Convention, and the relevant principles and provisions of the Convention related to economic and social consequences of response measures, in particular its Articles 2, 3 and 4,

Recognizing that the implementation of response measures to mitigate climate change taken by a Party may result in negative economic and social consequences for other Parties, and the need to take into consideration in the implementation of the commitments of the Convention the situation of Parties, particularly developing country Parties, with economies that are vulnerable to the adverse impact of the implementation of measures to respond to climate change, referred to in Article 4, paragraphs 8, 9 and 10, of the Convention,

Affirming that responses to climate change should be coordinated with social and economic development in an integrated manner, with a view to avoiding adverse impacts on the latter, taking fully into account the legitimate priority needs of developing country Parties for the achievement of sustained economic growth and the eradication of poverty, and the consequences for vulnerable groups, in particular women and children,

Recognizing the importance of avoiding or minimizing negative impacts of response measures on social and economic sectors, promoting a just transition of the workforce, the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities and strategies, and contributing to building new capacity for both production and service-related jobs in all sectors, promoting economic growth and sustainable development,

Taking note of relevant provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

88. Urges Parties, in the implementation of measures to mitigate climate change, to take into consideration the economic and social impacts of response measures and the needs of Parties, in particular developing country Parties, impacted by response measures, consistent with relevant provisions of the Convention;

89. Also urges developed country Parties to strive to implement policies and measures to respond to climate change in such a way as to avoid negative social and economic consequences for developing country Parties, taking into account Article 3 of the Convention, and to assist these Parties to address such consequences by providing support, including financial resources, transfer of technology and capacity-building, in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention, to build up the resilience of societies and economies negatively affected by response measures;

90. Reaffirms that the Parties should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system that would lead to sustainable economic growth and development in all Parties, particularly developing country Parties, thus enabling them better to address the problems of climate change; measures taken to combat climate change, including unilateral ones, should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade;

91. Agrees that information relating to response measures should be considered in a structured manner in order to enhance the implementation of Article 4, paragraph 1(g) and (h), of the Convention, recognizing the needs of developing country Parties identified in Article 4, paragraphs 8, 9 and 10;

92. Decides that Parties should cooperate fully to enhance understanding of the economic and social consequences of response measures, taking into account the need for information from those affected, and evidence of actual impacts, and of both positive and negative effects; and further decides to consider how existing channels, such as national communications, including the possible submission of supplementary information, as considered by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, could be improved and built upon;

93. Further decides to provide a forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures, and to that end requests the Chairs of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation to convene such a forum at the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth sessions of these bodies, with the objective of developing a work programme under the subsidiary bodies to address these impacts, with a view to adopting, at the seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties, modalities for the operationalization of the work programme and a possible forum on response measures;

94. Invites Parties and relevant intergovernmental organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 28 March 2011, their views on the issues referred to in paragraph 93 above for consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation at their thirty-fourth sessions;

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