The US for the first time admitted that Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh’s proposal on transparency in climate mitigation actions reflected some of its concerns.
“It is progressive towards the pledge (of countries to reduce emissions),” said the US’s head of climate team Todd Stern. “Ramesh has submitted an ICA (international consultation and analysis) proposal, which provides remedy regarding information on mitigation actions.”
Ramesh’s proposal says that every country whose emissions is more than 1% of the global average should report its mitigation actions to a UN body once every two or three years, and the rest once in five or six years. The regime proposed for the developed world, which has emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol, is stricter than the one for the developing world, which has no such commitment.
Raising an issue not addressed in the proposal, Stern wanted to know how the developing world, especially India and China, will define its business as usual (BAU) scenario. Both India and China have committed to reduce emission intensity for per unit of GDP by 2020 in business as usual scenario. “Critical assumption for us at this point is what would be business as usual, as it would vary for each country,” Stern said.
Most of the elements Stern wanted in the proposed ICA regime matched Ramesh’s proposal. He wanted countries to submit their actions to the UN's Subsidiary Body on Implementation, which Ramesh also said. Another similarity was that reports should be available to every country to scrutinise.
The ICA and measurement review and verification (MRV) regime are contentious issues after the second commitment period for Kyoto Protocol.
China, which has come a long way in agreeing to ICA-MRV, was clear that international consultation should apply only to voluntary domestic mitigation actions without any foreign aid and MRV to actions supported by international finance. “ICA should respect national sovereignty and should not be intrusive,” said Chinese climate change minister Xie Zhenhua.