The Durban Platform process: sharpening the focus in 2013
Article by the ADP Co-Chairs
Mr. Jayant Moreshver Mauskar of India
Introduction and background
The 2011 Durban Climate
Conference provided a signal of renewed momentum for the intergovernmental climate
process. The Durban Platform reflects the realization that business as usual is no longer
sufficient, that the international community needs to develop a strong and united response to
climate change post-2020, and that the gap between ambition and the requirements of science
must be addressed with urgency. Innovative approaches and new ideas are required in the
coming years to achieve both.
Mr. Harald Dovland of Norway
In Doha, Parties agreed on major
milestones for 2013-2015, including: to consider elements for a draft negotiating text by COP 20 and
prepare a negotiating text before May 2015; and to identify, in 2013, options for actions to close the
pre-2020 ambition gap. To advance the negotiations, Parties further agreed in Doha to focus their work
in 2013 (please see the report of the
As we have outlined in our
informal note on the upcoming second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform
for Enhanced Action (ADP 2),
Parties are expected to shift gears this year to take the work to the next stage. In this article, we
consider the process under the current two ADP workstreams – to deliver the 2015 agreement and
to enhance current efforts and bridge the “ambition gap” – and how the upcoming
session of the ADP can contribute to move its work to the next stage.
ADP on the road to COP 21
The ADP does not need to reinvent the wheel for the road ahead to 2015. Work is not starting from
scratch. Governments should seek to build upon their achievements to date, ensure coherence, and
maximize synergies. In order to keep Parties informed about relevant developments, we intend to hold
regular briefings by the Chairs of SBSTA and
SBI on ADP-related issues from the April session
Furthermore, climate change is being discussed in all countries and at all levels. The ADP could
therefore benefit from involvement of Ministers and Heads of State and Government. Recognizing the
need for high-level engagement, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced in Doha
his intention to convene world leaders in 2014 to rally support for the 2015 agreement. Involvement
of stakeholders is also very important to the ADP process. Stakeholders from various constituencies
are strongly involved in efforts to combat climate change, and could contribute much in terms of
knowledge, preparedness and resources.
Parties should begin to focus on the 2015 agreement, and keep broad aims in mind as we move forward.
The agreement will be under the Convention and in the context of global political, social and
economic change, as well as of existing policy frameworks. We therefore urge Parties to consider not
just its scope, structure and design, but how the agreement fits into a bigger picture – what
would be captured in the agreement, and how it could add value to current and future international
and national action on climate change. We have therefore sought to design the upcoming session in a
manner which allows Parties to start to focus on the outcome in 2015.
The second session of the ADP
The second session of the ADP will be held 29 April to 3 May at the World Conference Center in Bonn,
Germany. Governments will need to focus on elements of the 2015 agreement and take a practical and
results-orientated approach to identifying actions and initiatives to accelerate near-term action. It
would also be useful to take a longer-term view on the process and consider what would be needed by
the end of 2013 to keep the ADP on track under both workstreams.
In April, as announced in our informal note, we will advance the work in workshops and round tables.
In keeping with the request by Parties in Doha, the note suggests focused questions to facilitate the
workshop and round table discussions (see annex to the informal
Workstream 1: 2015 agreement
For workstream 1, ADP established modalities of work, developed a plan of work, and began to clarify
key issues and concerns that will need to be addressed to reach agreement by 2015. Parties are
expected to deepen their exchange on the overall vision for the 2015 agreement, on the possible
contours and architecture of the 2015 agreement, on how the principles of the Convention will be
applied, commitments will be defined, and differing national circumstances will be taken into
account. It is important to begin to identify the elements of the broader package surrounding the
2015 agreement that will ensure it is acceptable to all and can be implemented from 2020. This year,
Parties will move from a conceptual phase to a content-forming phase in preparation for a
“text-forming” stage in 2014.
In this workstream, we have made arrangements for a workshop on scope, structure and design of the
2015 agreement. This will be followed by round tables which would seek to advance and refine
issues raised by the workshop with respect to specific subject areas, namely mitigation, adaptation,
means of implementation, and transparency of actions and support.
Workstream 2: pre-2020 ambition
In 2012, Parties identified specific initiatives that could increase ambition; explored the role of
means of implementation; and proposed further work to analyze mitigation benefits of the initiatives.
Many emphasized that the workstreams should be separate but mutually supportive, and that adaptation
is an important aspect of ambition.
In 2013, we received many proposals on how
mitigation ambition could be enhanced, including increasing ambition of existing pledges and new
pledges. Many stress the importance of adequate support. The proposals also call for recognizing
supplementary actions and other initiatives, such as: renewable energy and energy efficiency; action
by ICAO and IMO; reduction of
fossil fuel subsidies; and addressing short-lived climate pollutants and HFCs. Many proposals
highlight the importance of working with stakeholders, and the need to create opportunities to reduce
the costs of mitigation.
In this workstream, we have made arrangements for two workshops on: low-emission development
opportunities and opportunities for mitigation and adaptation related to land use. In addition,
round table discussions will be held on catalyzing action and on building a practical and
results-oriented approach to increasing pre-2020 ambition.
We believe that the format and issues under discussion at the upcoming session will allow Parties to
focus their discussions and advance the negotiations. We remain committed to engaging with both
Parties and stakeholders as we move ahead in advancing the Durban Platform.