Press Statement
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Crystal City, VA
November 18, 2010


The ninth Meeting at the Leaders’ representative level of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate took place in Crystal City, Virginia, November 17 - 18, 2010. It was attended by ministers and officials from the seventeen major economies, as well as the United Nations, with Barbados, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain also participating in the session. Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Yemen were invited but unable to attend. There was full support for concluding a package of decisions in Cancun, including among adaptation, mitigation, MRV/ICA, finance, and technology, and many participants included agreement on future Kyoto commitments in a Cancun package. Participants discussed how to advance each of these issues at the climate negotiations in Cancun. There was also discussion of the relationship between the Kyoto Protocol and LCA tracks.

On technology, participants noted that the Technology Mechanism to be established should consist of a Technology Executive Committee and a Clean Technology Center and Network. Participants discussed the functions of these bodies, their relationship to each other, to the COP, and to the Convention’s financial mechanism. They also exchanged views on which aspects of the two bodies might be left for further discussion following Cancun, with a view to establishing the bodies at COP-17 in Durban.

Recognizing that the Cancun outcome is likely to take the form of one or more COP and CMP decisions, participants noted that such an outcome did not mean that a future legally binding outcome is “off the table.” Participants held different views as to whether Cancun needed to expressly refer to a future legal outcome, noting, among other things, that there would be a concern if issues of “form” were to make it difficult to reach agreement on “substance.”

Concerning finance, participants discussed three issues: fast start finance; a new Green Fund; and sources of long-term funding. With respect to the Fund, there were discussions about the desired features of such a Fund; about its status (i.e., its relationship to the COP); and the process that should be used to design it. Regarding sources of long-term funding, participants commented on the significance of the report of the Advisory Group on Climate Finance, with many suggesting that it would be useful to note the report in the Cancun outcome. Regarding fast start funding, it was considered whether the donors’ commitment from the Copenhagen Accord should be noted in the Cancun outcome as part of a balanced package that reflects the other elements agreed in the Accord.

On adaptation, there was no disagreement that existing institutions should be strengthened, noting the inherent linkages between adaptation and development. There were different views on whether a new adaptation institution is needed, in part due to different views on what functions it would serve, including with respect to finance. Some participants spoke to the centrality of national actions and capacity building.

On MRV and ICA, many commented on the critical nature of this issue in the Copenhagen Accord and for the Cancun outcome. Much of the discussion revolved around a non paper put forward by Minister Ramesh of India, which proposed not only general principles but also suggestions regarding the scope and application of ICA, its purpose, frequency, and some detail as to how it would operate. Most considered that Cancun must set forth a greater level of detail than general principles, both given the importance of ICA and in light of overall balance with other elements. There was also discussion about a follow-on process, whether through a dedicated ad hoc committee, the LCA, or the SBI, aimed at agreeing on operational guidance in Durban. Several countries emphasized that a Cancun outcome would also need to include enhanced MRV for developed countries.

On mitigation, there was a full discussion of how to “anchor” submissions from the Copenhagen Accord in the Cancun outcome, as well as any additional submissions by other Parties and a subsequent process to consider them. Some noted that the aggregate effort is not sufficient in light of the long-term goal. Some stressed the importance of continuing the Kyoto Protocol alongside the LCA outcome; some suggested Parties could “anchor” in both places. Some suggested a “clarification” process to better understand pledges, such as their underlying assumptions. The importance and role of market mechanisms were also discussed.