Following contact group meetings and informal consultations throughout the day, the SBI and SBSTA closing plenaries took place on Thursday evening.
SBSTA CLOSING PLENARY
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Parties agreed to elect Colin Beck (Solomon Islands) as the Rapporteur.
Zitouni Ould-Dada (UK) reported on informal consultations on the proposed new agenda items. He explained that parties had supported discussing the impacts of climate change on water resources and integrated water resources management under the agenda item on the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP). He noted that while the vast majority of countries agreed that issues related to blue carbon could be considered under the agenda item on research and systematic observation, one party objected. Facilitator Ould-Dada also reported that no agreement had been reached to include on the agenda the proposed items on the work programme on agriculture, or the rights of nature and the integrity of ecosystems.
SBSTA Chair Konaté proposed adding the item on water resources on the SBSTA agenda. The US noted that they had agreed to discuss the impacts of water resources under the NWP, but did not accept adopting it as a stand-alone item. The Secretariat clarified that the item would first be included on the agenda of SBSTA 34 and that the conclusion of the item at this session would be agreement to consider it at SBSTA 35 under the item on the NWP. The US objected to inclusion of water resources as a stand-alone agenda item. Following informal consultations, parties agreed to reflect in the meeting’s report that parties had agreed during informal consultations to discuss the impacts of climate change and integrated water resource management under the NWP at SBSTA 35. The US and ECUADOR welcomed the compromise.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA underscored the willingness of many parties to include mangroves, tidal salt marshes and seagrass meadows under the agenda item on research and systematic observation. She lamented “sinister strategies” to hold certain issues “hostage” and said the consensus rule should not be used to veto the will of all others. She urged all parties to agree to include the consideration of “coastal carbon” on the agenda. HONDURAS, SURINAME, COLOMBIA, BRAZIL, TUVALU, GUATEMALA, the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, GUYANA and PAKISTAN supported the proposal. Noting broad agreement, SBSTA Chair Konaté asked if parties were willing to include coastal marine ecosystems on the SBSTA agenda. BOLIVIA, with VENEZUELA, opposed this, calling the proposal an “underhanded” way to include new market mechanisms on the agenda, under the guise of a research item.
Following further informal consultations, Facilitator Ould-Dada reported that parties had been unable to reach agreement. PAPUA NEW GUINEA reiterated their disappointment, underscoring the need to amend the Convention to allow voting as a means of last resort so that progress cannot be “consistently blocked by one party.” BOLIVIA noted that they would continue to seek consensus on the inclusion of the proposed agenda item on the rights of nature and the integrity of ecosystems. He also underscored that the proposal by Papua New Guinea and Mexico to amend the Convention concerning voting constituted admission that procedural rules had been violated in Cancun.
The SBSTA adopted the agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.1) as amended.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.10).
RESEARCH AND SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.4).
METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES UNDER THE CONVENTION: Emissions from international aviation and maritime transport: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.2).
Reporting guidelines on Annex I annual inventories: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.3).
Greenhouse gas data interface: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.7).
METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES UNDER THE PROTOCOL: HCFC-22/HFC-23: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.6).
Materiality standard under the CDM: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.11).
Common metrics to calculate the CO2 equivalence of greenhouse gases: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.8).
SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF MITIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.9).
COOPERATION WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.5).
NAIROBI WORK PROGRAMME: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.13).
METHODOLOGICAL GUIDANCE FOR ACTIVITIES RELATING TO REDD+: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.14).
AUSTRALIA underscored the vital role of REDD+ in mitigation efforts and said they would provide AUS$ 500,000 for technical work in the lead up to Durban. NORWAY indicated “strong support” for REDD+, saying they would also provide financial support.
BOLIVIA underscored the importance of progress on this issue and highlighted a comprehensive approach, including forest ecosystems.
MATTERS RELATING TO PROTOCOL ARTICLE 2.3 (adverse impacts of policies and measures): The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.12).
FORUM ON THE IMPACT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONSE MEASURES: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.16). The joint SBI/SBSTA forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures will reconvene at SB 35.
AUSTRALIA emphasized that the time spent discussing response measures at this session was disproportionate, saying such work will not lead to a balanced outcome in Durban.
REPORT OF THE SESSION: Parties adopted the meeting’s report. (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.15).
CLOSING STATEMENTS: Argentina, for the G-77/CHINA, inter alia, called for an action-oriented NWP and identified the need to strengthen linkages between the NWP and SBI. Switzerland, for the EIG, and the EU regretted lack of agreement on including agriculture on the SBSTA agenda. Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, called for building on the Cancun Agreements, including developing strong outcomes on REDD+.
Grenada, for AOSIS, the Gambia, for the LDCs, and Egypt, for the AFRICAN GROUP, highlighted progress on, inter alia: the NWP; development and transfer of technology; research and systematic observation; and the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures. INDIA underscored that unilateral trade measures should not be taken by developed countries in the guise of climate change mitigation actions.
MEXICO stated that conclusions adopted in Bonn strengthen “the democratic traditions of the Convention,” which were also upheld during the adoption of the Cancun Agreements.
Business Council for Sustainable Energy, for BINGOs, said the Technology Mechanism is a “practical outcome.” Climate Action Network International, for ENGOs highlighted, inter alia, full and effective participation of stakeholders. CARE International, for ENGOs, said MRV for forest-based systems must be simple, transparent and effective. International Indigenous Forum on Climate Change, for INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ ORGANIZATIONS, emphasized that “forests are not just carbon sinks,” calling for REDD+ to consider indigenous communities.
International Trade Union Confederation, for TUNGOs, lamented that employment was not taken up under the NWP. Life e.V., for WOMEN AND GENDER, called for MRV that emphasizes women and gender considerations. Gender CC – Women for Climate Justice, for the YOUNGOs, called for development of ecologically-based indicators for REDD+.
SBSTA Chair Konaté declared SBSTA 34 closed at 11:50 pm.
ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL MATTERS: Budget performance in 2010-2011: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.5).
Implementation of the headquarters agreement: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.13).
Privileges and immunities: Faciliator Kunihiko Shimada (Japan) reported that progress had been made to refine treaty arrangements on privileges and immunities, but that unresolved issues remain. The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.7). TUVALU expressed disappointment with the lack of progress on this issue.
ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Status of submission and review of fifth national communications: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.2).
Compilation and synthesis of fifth national communications: The SBI agreed to continue consideration of the issue at SBI 35. The US emphasized that the compilation provides a useful overview of, inter alia, greenhouse gas emissions trends and national systems.
Convention Article 12.5 (frequency of national communications): The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.3).
NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Consultative Group of Experts on Non-Annex I National Communications (CGE): The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.8).
Convention Article 12.5: The SBI agreed to continue consideration of the issue at SBI 35.
Financial and technical support: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.9).
CONVENTION ARTICLE 6 (education, training and public awareness): The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.6). SBI Chair Owen-Jones noted plans to organize a special event on education, training and public awareness in Durban.
CONVENTION ARTICLES 4.8 AND 4.9: Decision 1/CP.10 (Buenos Aires programme of work): The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.14).
Matters related to LDCs: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.4).
PROTOCOL ARTICLE 3.14 (adverse impacts of response measures): The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.12).
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.10).
CAPACITY BUILDING (CONVENTION): Co-Chair Paula Caballero (Colombia) reported that parties had been unable to agree on the second comprehensive review of the capacity building framework. The SBI agreed to continue consideration of the issue at SBI 35.
CAPACITY BUILDING (PROTOCOL): Co-Chair Caballero reported that no agreement had been reached. The SBI agreed to continue consideration of the issue at SBI 35.
PROTOCOL AMENDMENT RELATED TO COMPLIANCE: The SBI agreed to continue consideration of the issue at SBI 35.
APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS BY THE CDM EXECUTIVE BOARD: Co-Chair Yaw Bediako Osafo (Ghana) reported on productive discussions on the appeals mechanism against decisions by the CDM Executive Board. He noted, however, that divergent views remain, in particular, on the scope of the appeals procedure. The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.11).
NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANS: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.16).
ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: SBI Chair Owen-Jones introduced draft SBI conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.19). SAUDI ARABIA and the US identified the need for further work.
After further informal consultations focusing on enhancing participation by observer organizations, parties agreed to recommend that, in cases where there is no contact group on an agenda item, at least the first and last informal meetings can be open to observers, while recognizing the right of parties to keep informal meetings closed.
SAUDI ARABIA and ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, opposed by MEXICO, AUSTRALIA and COLOMBIA, proposed that examination of options for new channels for observer organizations to provide inputs into the COP and COP/MOP be deferred to SBI 36 instead of SBI 35. Parties eventually agreed to defer the consideration of the issue until SBI 36 and the SBI adopted the conclusions as amended.
Many parties expressed support for the enhanced engagement of observers. AUSTRALIA, the COOK ISLANDS and GRENADA also welcomed the upcoming UNFCCC special event on observer participation at COP 17.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/ 2011/L.17).
On the synthesis report of the information provided by countries participating in the National Economic, Environment and Development Study (NEEDS) for Climate Change Project, the Philippines, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed disappointment that the benefits could not be extended. She also lamented unpredictability of funds for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC, and lamented the lack of funding for the LDC work programme. With the Gambia, for the LDCs, she called for the issue to be included on the SBI 35 agenda under the item on further guidance to the GEF.
LOSS AND DAMAGE: SBI Chair Owen-Jones introduced draft conclusions on loss and damage (FCCC/2011/SBI/L.20). SAUDI ARABIA and QATAR questioned the process through which the text originated. SAUDI ARABIA lamented that their views were not reflected, highlighting the consideration of response measures along with the adverse effects of climate change. SBI Chair Owen-Jones underscored that he was tabling the draft conclusions at his own responsibility and that the proposed text does not include issues from under other agenda items.
A number of parties, including AOSIS, the EU, MEXICO, NEW ZEALAND and the US, stressed the need to consider loss and damage, and response measures separately. The Cook Islands, for AOSIS, underscored that consideration of loss and damage is mandated by Decision 1/CP.16 (outcome of the AWG-LCA). The EU stated that, according to the rules of procedure, it is for the COP to determine the issues to be considered by the Subsidiary Bodies. AOSIS emphasized that the item on loss and damage relates to adaptation, while response measures fall under the building block on mitigation. She highlighted that response measures are already considered under other agenda items. AUSTRALIA urged parties not to “dilute or delay” the “important work” on loss and damage. She noted that at least 16 hours have been spent in Bonn to consider response measures in the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures. JAPAN underscored the need to discuss loss and damage.
COLOMBIA urged parties to negotiate in good faith, stating that “tactics of deviation” to delay the process are not acceptable given that the survival of vulnerable populations is at stake. TUVALU suggested that support for the forum on response measures would be contingent on agreement on loss and damage. BARBADOS underscored that 99% of people dying from climate-related events live in developing countries, and, with the GAMBIA, urged Qatar and Saudi Arabia to revisit their position.
SBI Chair Owen-Jones reiterated his proposal that parties adopt the draft SBI conclusions. QATAR opposed, underscoring procedural concerns. SAUDI ARABIA stated they had “only recently” received the text and also opposed its adoption. With EGYPT, he proposed further informal consultations. TUVALU, supported by the COOK ISLANDS, stressed that the text had already been subject to extensive consultations. The COOK ISLAND stated that Saudi Arabia had also participated in these discussions and that concessions had been made to accommodate their views.
After further informal consultations, the SBI plenary reconvened at 1:40 am. Parties agreed to change wording in a paragraph indicating that the SBI agreed to continue to further elaborate the details of the broad thematic areas relating to loss and damage with a view to generating a knowledge base for making recommendations on loss and damage to COP 18. The agreed language refers to “including elaborating,” instead of “taking into consideration,” the elements set out in Decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 28 (a,b,c and d),” and “drawing upon” party submissions. The SBI adopted the conclusions as amended.
FORUM ON THE IMPACT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONSE MEASURES: SBI Chair Owen-Jones reported on the special event on the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures and two sessions of the forum. The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2011/L.18).
SBI Chair Owen-Jones then suspended the SBI plenary at 1:45 am.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On the penultimate day of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, a number of delegates found themselves confined in the Maritime Hotel late into the night as the closing plenaries of the SBI and SBSTA worked to get through their respective agendas. After a busy day of attempts to finalize work on all outstanding issues, the plenaries only got underway towards 6 pm. Both were interrupted, however, more than once to allow documents to be produced or parties to consult informally on controversial issues, such as proposed new agenda items, enhancing observer participation, and loss and damage.
On the SBSTA side, the issue of blue carbon played out on center stage. While the majority of parties supported considering related issues under existing SBSTA agenda items, Bolivia and Venezuela opposed this, voicing concerns that market mechanisms will not offer the nature adequate protection. Some observers also shared concern over turning “blue carbon into another REDD+.” One delegate characterized blue carbon as an example of why interlinkages between the Rio Conventions should be reinforced.
Delegates waiting for the SBSTA plenary to resume after 10 pm were entertained by chanting interpreters claiming that “there is no body like the SBSTA, the body of substance.” Some also composed cheerleading refrains on blue carbon. “Give me a B....give me an L…,” they shouted in jest. On the SBI side, one insider tried to reassure tired observers waiting for the outcome of late-night informal consultations: “Give us time, we are trying to do good things here.”
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the UN Climate Conference in Bonn will be available on Monday, 20 June 2011 online at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/SB34.