"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Submission by Japan Future framework and work plan of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] April 16, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Japan welcomes the opportunity to submit its views on future framework and work plan of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action as follows, as requested by paragraph 5 of the decision 1/CP.17 Establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. Japan has produced this submission taking into account the discussions at the Tenth Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change (Japan-Brazil Dialogue) held in Tokyo on March 1 and 2, 2012, the 1st Ministerial Meeting on the East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue also held in Tokyo on April 15, 2012 and the 13th Meeting of the Leaders' Representatives of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate held in Rome on April 17, 2012.

1. Basic ideas for the future climate change framework

Japan considers the Durban Platform is the most important achievement of the Durban Conference and welcomes the establishment of this new process. The discussion of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is expected to lead to creation of a future framework that is fair and effective, and applicable to all Parties. In particular, Japan puts importance to applicable to all Parties. To that end, Japan is ready to actively contribute to the discussion to explore what kind of framework will be acceptable for all Parties. Japan also considers that the future framework should have a flexible and dynamic structure which is durable over time, so that it maximizes each country's efforts, giving consideration to its specific circumstances. Japan notes that the principles of the UNFCCC are dynamic concepts and their interpretation can evolve along with changes of the international community.

Regarding mitigation, it is important to explore the most pragmatic and effective way to maximize each country's mitigation effort, by utilizing various kinds of approaches including technological innovation and transfer, low-carbon growth strategies, sectoral approaches and market mechanisms in an integrated manner. In order to facilitate mitigation actions and raise all countries' level of ambition in the post-2020 regime, it is also important to secure transparency of mitigation actions in the most effective and efficient manner.

Finance, technology transfer and capacity building are important elements to promote actions in developing countries. Adaptation is also a significant part in the future framework, as negative impacts of climate change grow increasingly apparent.

Based on the lessons and experiences gained in the existing regimes such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Cancun Agreements, some useful elements of these regimes should be considered to be utilized in the future framework with some necessary improvements.

2. Modalities of the ADP

(1) Meeting agenda

One of the most important tasks of this year is to start and put the work of the ADP on the right track. To do so, we should avoid wasting too much time at the beginning of the process, such as agenda setting. To that end, the agenda of this year's ADP meetings should be simple and generic.

(2) Work plan

This year, our discussion should be focused on the consideration of truly effective international framework that is achievable and acceptable to all countries. From this viewpoint, it would be beneficial to start from brainstorming. While advancing discussions in the official UN meetings, it would be useful to convene workshops outside the UNFCCC, inviting interested stakeholders such as international organizations, industries, think tanks and civil societies. Japan proposes to hold a series of workshops on a future framework, where some consecutive sessions are devoted to focused brainstorming discussion in order to conceptualize some major elements of the future framework. The results of the discussion will be reported to the ADP.

In order to make the discussion well focused, the work plan of the ADP should concentrate on major elements of the future framework. More specifically, discussions should be focused for the time being on key substance of the future framework including the structure of mitigation scheme, rather than legal form of the framework.

With regard to adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency and capacity-building, steady implementation of on-going works based on agreements at Cancun and Durban, especially on institutional arrangements including the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Technology Centre and Network, should be continued in appropriate fora for the time being. Useful elements of these current institutional arrangements should be utilized in the future framework and the way to utilize them should be discussed in the ADP.

(3) Work schedule

Up to COP18

Continue and accelerate on-going works in the AWG-KP/LCA bearing in mind that these AWGs will be terminated at COP18.

In the negotiation process, assess the overall progress of the negotiation by conducting a touch-base process that overarches the three AWGs.

Deepen understanding on and conceptualize main elements of the future framework through broad exchange of views in brainstorming workshops inside and outside of the UNFCCC.


Agree on a guidance which is clear enough to initiate concrete discussion in 2013 (e.g. rough structure of the work plan, work schedule for following years)

Decide to invite Parties to submit their views on the final product of the ADP.

2013 and after

Accelerate discussion on the future framework based on the Parties' submissions in order to complete its work as soon as possible.

Discuss the way to utilize some parts of outcomes of the AWG-KP/LCA in the future framework, while SBs continue follow-up works of these two AWGs if necessary.

(4) Officers

It is important to ensure the continuity of the works of Chair and Vice-Chair in order to efficiently and smoothly conduct our discussion towards the final outcome. Assuming their term is one-year, the Vice-chair shall serve as Chair of the following year.