The text to emerge from the most recent round of UNFCCC negotiations suggests campaigners face an up hill battle to get a progressive agreement on bunkers in Copenhagen in December.

Two drafting meetings took place in Bangkok on this issue but the resulting text (see below) remains fragmented and full of contradictory proposals. The split between developed countries and the larger “developing” states over the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and “no more favorable treatment of ships” remains. The position of the former was weakened by an inability of the EU to agree targets and baselines, while Venezuela, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Brazil worked to insert variations of the “common but differentiated” approach into the work of IMO. The idea of using revenues from a bunkers levy or ETS has continued to gain traction but this “carrot” was not enough to move developing countries in Bangkok.

The issue will be discussed next in Barcelona from 2-6th November. The UNFCCC Copenhagen climate summit takes place from 7-18th December.

After an earlier call by the EU for Copenhagen to set bunker targets EU states have failed to produce a detailed proposal on figures in Bangkok.

Disagreement over both the target level and baseline has stopped EU states from making any proposal in Bangkok this week. The next opportunity for EU states to reach an agreement comes at a Council meeting on October 21st. A -20% target may be possible but it seems unlikely that the baseline for measuring reductions will be the Kyoto 1990 date which applies to other sectors in the EU and developed countries globally. The importance of this can be seen from the following: a -20% reduction on a baseline of 2005 would equal a +36% increase from a 1990 baseline!

The Bangkok round of negotiations towards the UNFCCC Copenhagen climate change summit will close on October 9th. The next and last meeting before Copenhagen in December will take place in Barcelona from 2-6th November.

Photograph by Jashim Salam/Marine Photobank.

150 participants attended the joint OCEAN2012/WWF conference “Regional Fisheries Management: How to make it work for fisheries and the environment”.

The conference aimed to provide examples of regional management around the world, at different levels, to stimulate discussions on a more regionalised approach to fisheries management under a revised CFP.

The conference drew from experience in regional fisheries management in the USA, in the Languedoc-Roussilion region of France, in the Spanish province of Galicia, and in Scotland. It also benefitted from presentations on initiatives from HELCOM, OSPAR and NEAFC to integrate environmental and fisheries management issues at regional level. Finally, three scientists gave their opinion on the perspectives for the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and the North Seas.

During the discussions with the participants, it became evident that, while design and legal issues are still outstanding, there is general agreement that a more regionalised approach to fisheries management in the EU can contribute to overcoming problems of micro-management at the highest political level, and to designing measures which are more adapted to the realities of the regions where they will be implemented.

Participants identified different possible structures and highlighted the legal constraints to creating decentralised management bodies with power over a common EU policy.

Finally, David Symes concluded with the question that remained in the minds of those who attended the event:

“A system with different solutions for different regions – or ONE system for ALL regions? That, to me, is a very crucial question.”


Fisheries Secretariat news on the conference

European Commission website on the reform of the CFP

Seas At Risk conference on capacity reduction and fleet restructuring

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