|Team KP: The Chair, Dr. Ashe, is third from right|
The chairs of both the KP (Kyoto Protocol) and LCA (Long-term Cooperative Action) working groups have met on a few occasions with the observers to answer questions about the negotiating texts. The KP chair, Dr. John Ashe, represents Antigua and Barbuda. He completed his PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and has a great sense of humor, evident with his opening remarks: "Welcome to Team KP. You know the line-up."
Both chairs were willing to answer questions about the recent draft reports. The reports are available online at http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2010/awg15/eng/crp04r03.pdf and http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2010/awglca13/eng/crp03.pdf. Of course, the negotiators are still working furiously to see if more agreement can be reached before the conference ends. The hope is that agreement can be made on some of the text, while leaving other parts to be decided at the COP 17 in Durban, South Africa.
Of course, the audience of NGO observers wanted to know what the potential was for a post-2012 agreement, which was impossible for the chairs to answer. The chairs reiterated the need for balance across the tracks and within the tracks, and they are hoping for some progress. They acknowledged the need for political input for a second commitment period and issues on the mechanism side. Some observers were concerned that there is no "gap" acknowledged in the texts (referring to the "emissions gap" set forth in the UNEP report) -- but the response from the KP team was that they were trying to avoid a "gap" altogether. For the LCA text, the concerns were that "just transition" (necessary for workers) remain in the shared vision text. There was a general sense that the observers wanted a 1.5 degree option, but a compromise may be 2 degrees with future review. The chair of the LCA is hopeful that at least some funding could be established and set into motion. The chair of the LCA noted that the Gt emissions gap relates to the "level of ambition" in the LCA text. The idea is that we need to establish a process with a view to increasing the "level of ambition" in the future.