Quick Stop on Durban COP-November 30
The SBSTA contact group on methodological guidance met from 10:45am to 4:30pm to discuss guidance on reference levels, safeguards, and MRV, but details are slow to emerge. The afternoon session was open to observers, but conflicted with another meeting we were covering. Check back tomorrow for details on this one.
The session was closed, but delegates say talks focused on a few key issues - key among them being which types of inadvertent releases of carbon should be counted against national totals and which should not. At issue is whether to recognize emissions from a force majeure or just from any "disturbance", as is the case now. It's a critical issue, because the wording could determine whether only pure acts of nature are recognized, or whether acts of nature that were made possible by man will also be recognized. We had a great chat with Fred Heutte of the Sierra Club and Susanne Tol of Wetlands International on this, and will post a more detailed summary on the EM Durban page tomorrow.
Meanwhile, there's still no agreement on how to define a forest (critics say the current definition is too broad) and little discussion on how to deal with peatlands - which account for just .3 percent of the world's surface but are responsible for approximately 6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to Wetlands International.