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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 629 | Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Bonn Climate Change Conference

Monday, 1 June 2015 | Bonn, Germany

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The Bonn Climate Change Conference opened on Monday, 1 June, with a welcoming ceremony, which was followed by the opening plenaries of the ADP, SBSTA and SBI to open agenda items for consideration during SB 42 and ADP 2-9. In the morning, the ADP commenced the joint first reading of the negotiating text on general/objective.

In the afternoon, two negotiating groups began the first reading of the text on adaptation and loss and damage, and mitigation. During lunch and in the evening, informal facilitated groups convened under the ADP to continue discussions on general/objective, mitigation, and adaptation and loss and damage with a view to streamlining the Geneva negotiating text and consolidating options.


UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said this session should be seen as “a construction site” for the subsidiary bodies and the ADP to pave the way for the 2015 agreement.

In a recorded video address, COP 20/CMP 10 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment, Peru, stressed that it is “negotiating time.” He stated that the Paris outcome could include: a core instrument that is legally binding; a target for carbon neutrality; a process for the regular communication of NDCs; a long-term qualitative goal for adaptation; substantial progress on climate finance; provisions on loss and damage; and the launch of a global effort to scale up technology and capacity building.

Incoming COP 21/CMP 11 President Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister, France, suggested four pillars will underpin success in Paris: a universal, legally-binding agreement; INDCs; finance, technology and capacity-building (MOI); and the role and contributions of non-state actors. He urged progress on: distinguishing what will be included in either the agreement or COP decisions; determining the major political issues that ministers must decide upon; and preparing a decision on pre-2020 action for adoption in Paris.


OPENING PLENARY: ADP Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder (US) opened ADP 2-9.

PERU reported on an open-ended informal dialogue held on 20-22 March 2015, in Lima, Peru. He said it is essential that the ADP produce a clearer, shorter and more workable text.

FRANCE presented discussions at an open-ended informal dialogue held from 5-6 May 2015, in Paris, France. She underscored the collective responsibility of negotiators to advance delivery of a transparent and inclusive outcome in Paris.

GERMANY reported on the 6th Petersberg Dialogue, which took place from 17-19 May 2015, in Berlin, Germany. He said the ministerial consultations resulted in five messages on the Paris agreement, including: a clear sense of direction towards climate resilient sustainable development; regular assessment of aggregate ambition; better predictability of public finance and how the goal of mobilizing US$100 billion by 2020 will be reached; a set of common rules to ensure transparency and accountability; and the need for convergence on issues before Paris.

NEGOTIATING GROUPS: General/Objective: ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder provided an overview of this section, proposing a process to identify “low-hanging fruit” within the text for consolidation and streamlining in order to achieve “early wins.” He suggested that paragraphs identified during the negotiating group would then be discussed further during the informal facilitated discussions. Many parties supported the proposed approach.

Co-Chair Reifsnyder also noted the need to address the “meta” question of whether this section should exist at all. SAUDI ARABIA and Malaysia, for the LIKE-MINDED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), stressed that the section is not necessary, while Peru, for the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), Tuvalu, for the Least developed Countries (LDCs), MEXICO, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, URUGUAY and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION emphasized the importance of the section for contextualizing the objective of the agreement.

NORWAY, the EU and the US said this section should be succinct, with the RUSSIAN FEDERATION adding it should be scientifically-based. INDONESIA said the section should not rewrite or reinterpret the Convention. The US called for identifying overlapping concepts across sections.

SUDAN suggested parties identify those paragraphs they are ready to work on, with the understanding that all paragraphs should be reflected on at this session.

AILAC said the section must include global goals on mitigation, adaptation and MOI, and that all text dealing with collective goals be considered.

LDCs, supported by SWITZERLAND, suggested first working on the various options within paragraphs before attempting to merge paragraphs.

CHINA stressed that some parties might not be comfortable combining contradictory concepts into single paragraphs.

Noting the objection of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, parties agreed to hold informal consultations, open to observers, to address: paragraph 14 on party cooperation; paragraphs 1 and 2 on the objective of the agreement; and paragraph 5 on the obligation of all parties to take action and cooperate.

Adaptation and Loss and Damage: ADP Co-chair Reifsnyder asked parties to consider ways to streamline the section of the negotiating text on adaptation and loss and damage.

Emphasizing the need to allow time for group coordination, Bolivia, for the G-77/CHINA, suggested addressing sections of the text thematically and, supported by Jamaica, for AOSIS, beginning with streamlining the text on monitoring and evaluation.

The US made proposals for, inter alia, streamlining the text on commitments, addressing overlaps between monitoring and evaluation, and communications and reporting. The EU supported addressing sections of the text thematically and suggested starting with the text on commitments.

Saudi Arabia, for LMDCs, suggested deletions to avoid duplications, including in the text on commitments.

Chile, for AILAC, announced proposals to streamline the text on, inter alia, long term and global aspects of adaptation, and commitments.

TIMOR LESTE suggested streamlining the section on loss and damage. AOSIS called for considering adaptation and loss and damage as separate issues.

Delegates agreed to consider options to streamline the text on adaptation in the context of a facilitated discussion, starting with text on: reporting for adaptation; commitments; and monitoring and evaluation.

Mitigation: Chaired by ADP Co-Chair Ahmed Djoghlaf (Algeria) the ADP negotiating group on mitigation considered consolidation of several paragraphs in the Geneva negotiating text. During discussions, calls were made by parties for refraining from advancing their positions and changing the substance and the legal nature of the text. Some parties asked for clarification on the basis of the streamlining, and on the status of brackets in the consolidation proposals. Some noted the challenges posed by the audio and screen system in the room.

The consolidation of paragraphs 30 and 32 referencing regional economic integration organizations and joint implementation of commitments was not agreed upon, as TUVALU opposed this, explaining it would create unnecessary complications.

The consolidation of paragraphs 38, 23 and 21.5 was not agreed upon, as BOLIVIA opposed, emphasizing the need to keep paragraph 38 separate as it relates to the Warsaw Framework for REDD+.

Parties agreed to merge two options in paragraph 21.6 on the communication of mitigation commitments/contributions/actions by parties.

Parties also discussed the consolidation of the following paragraphs: 35 and 36 on low-emission strategies; 20 and 21.8 on the highest mitigation ambition; 25.3, 21.13 and 21.4 on the progression in parties’ contributions; various options in the chapeau of paragraph 21 on parties’ mitigation commitments; and various options in paragraph 33 on the online registry of national mitigation targets. Since no agreement was reached on the above paragraphs, Co-Chair Djoghlaf tasked the evening facilitated group to continue exploring their consolidation.


SBSTA Chair Lidia Wojtal (Poland) opened the plenary. Parties adopted the agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2015/1) and agreed to the organization of work of the session. Wojtal announced that consultations on the nominations of the SBSTA Vice-Chair and Rapporteur will be conducted by the COP/CMP Presidency.

ISSUES RELATING TO AGRICULTURE: SBSTA Chair Wojtal recalled that two workshops on this agenda item will be held at this meeting. Informal consultations will be co-facilitated by Emmanuel Dumisani Dlamini (Swaziland) and Peter Iversen (Denmark). ARGENTINA asked for clarifications on the scope of these consultations. SBSTA Chair Wojtal explained they would not prejudice the reporting on this item at SBSTA 43.

METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES UNDER THE CONVENTION: Bunker Fuels: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reported progress on developing standards and guidelines for mitigating emissions from aircraft and related capacity-building activities, including regional workshops. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) reported that its Marine Environment Protection Committee had adopted amendments to energy efficiency guidelines. She noted current improvements to the energy efficiency of ships.

Argentina, for a number of developing countries, emphasized the role of aviation and maritime transport in trade, and that measures to address climate change under the Kyoto Protocol should respect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), and opposed disguised trade restrictions and unilateral measures.

JAPAN said the application of the CBDR principle is not appropriate for international aviation. The EU expressed support for a robust global mechanism to address aviation emissions. SBSTA Chair Wojtal will consult with interested parties.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: The UNFCCC Secretariat presented two documents highlighting the Secretariat’s engagement with other international organizations, and stakeholders (UNFCCC/SBSTA/2015/INF.3 and Corr.1). SBSTA Chair Wojtal will consult with interested parties.

OTHER AGENDA ITEMS: The following agenda items and sub-items were briefly considered and forwarded to contact groups:

•  impact of the implementation of response measures, to be considered jointly with SBI;

•  methodological guidance for activities relating to REDD+;

•  2013-2015 review to be considered jointly with SBI; and

•  the sub-items on methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol, including on implications of the implementation of decisions 2/CMP.7 to 4/CMP.7 and 1/CMP.8 on the previous decisions on methodological issues related to the Kyoto Protocol, including those relating to Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Kyoto Protocol, accounting, reporting and review requirements for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention without a quantified emission limitation and reduction commitment for the second commitment period, and methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol on clarification of the text in section G (Article 3.7 ter) of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.

Other items will be considered in informal consultations:

•  the sub-item under methodological issues under the Convention on common metrics to calculate CO2 equivalences of GHGs;

•  the sub-item on methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol on implications of the inclusion of reforestation of lands with forest in exhaustion as afforestation and reforestation CDM project activities;

•  all sub-items under market and non-market mechanisms under the Convention; and

•  research and systematic observation.

SBSTA Chair Wojtal proposed, and the SBSTA agreed, to conduct consultations with interested parties on: the sub-item under methodological issues under the Convention on methodologies for the reporting of financial information by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention; the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP); and scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of mitigation of climate change.

OPENING STATEMENTS: South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed the need for equal consideration of all SBSTA agenda items and to finish work on REDD+. She emphasized that agriculture has a special role in developing countries, and underscored the need to give full consideration to developing countries’ concerns over the impact of response measures.

Mexico, for the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), highlighted the NWP, REDD+, and reporting on climate finance, adding that he looked forward to the completion of the 2013-2015 review.

The EU welcomed the structured expert dialogue (SED) report and emphasized the need to finalize meaningful conclusions on the 2013-2015 review with a view to informing the ADP process. She underscored methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol, and welcomed the work of ICAO and IMO, encouraging them to step up efforts.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, welcomed continued REDD+ efforts and looked forward to concluding all outstanding issues under this agenda item, and to engaging in informal consultations on agriculture.

Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by Guatemala, for AILAC, and Panama, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, stressed the importance of making progress on non-carbon benefits and REDD+ safeguards information systems. He highlighted the importance of agriculture to African countries and the urgency of action on the impacts of response measures. He also urged, supported by AILAC, rapid ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.

Maldives, for AOSIS, supported by AILAC and Angola, for the LDCs, noted that the 2013-2015 review underscored the inadequacy of the 2°C limit, adding that a 1.5°C limit is still feasible but the window for action is closing.

The IPCC reported on the dissemination of the AR5, noting it is the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken. The World Meteorological Organization highlighted the need for more coordination among various actors to help communities adapt to extreme climate events. UN-Oceans reported on its activities on understanding the effects of climate change on the marine environment.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES recommended: a rights-based approach in the 2015 agreement; additional guidance on REDD+ safeguard information systems; guidance on REDD+ non-carbon benefits; and recognizing the role of traditional knowledge in early warning systems and agriculture. WOMEN AND GENDER called for designing tools that can be used by women, emphasizing the importance of traditional knowledge and respecting human rights.

Climate Action Network, on behalf of ENVIRONMENTAL NGOs (ENGOs), called for: governments to phase out all fossil fuel emissions as early as possible; further guidance on REDD+; and avoidance of the risk that REDD+ safeguards will not be respected. Climate Justice Now!, on behalf of ENGOS, emphasized that carbon trading has not resulted in real emissions reductions, and called for polluters to pay for the real price of their emissions.


On Monday, 1 June, SBI Chair Amena Yauvoli (Fiji) opened the session, noting the need to deliver results on critical issues that will inform the ADP, including the 2013-2015 review and impacts of response measures.

Parties adopted the agenda (FCCC/SBI/2015/1) with the item on information in non-Annex I national communications held in abeyance, and agreed to the organization of work as presented.

Multilateral Assessment Working Group Session under the Independent Assessment Report (IAR) Process: Parties took note of information provided by SBI Chair Yauvoli, who will also chair the two-day multilateral assessment session.

REPORTING FROM AND REVIEW OF ANNEX I PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION: Status of Submission and Review of 6th National Communications (NCs) and 1st Biennial Reports (BRs): SBI Chair Yauvoli proposed, and parties agreed, to take note of information presented in document FCCC/SBI/2015/INF.3.

REPORTING FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION: Provision of Financial and Technical Support: The SBI considered the information provided in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) report (FCCC/SBI/2015/INF.7). Informal consultations will be co-facilitated by Ann Gann (Singapore) and Helen Plume (New Zealand).

MATTERS RELATING TO LDCS: The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Expert Group (LEG) Chair Batu Krishna Uprety (Nepal) provided an oral report on the work of the LEG (FCCC/SBI/2015/6,7,8 and MISC.2). Informal consultations will be co-facilitated by Mamadou Honadia (Burkina Faso) and a co-facilitator from an Annex I party.

NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANS (NAPs): Adaptation Committee Co-Chair Juan Hoffmeister (Bolivia) provided an oral update in response to the mandate outlined in Decision 3/CP.20 paragraph 11 (FCCC/SBI/2015/INF.6). Informal consultations will be co-facilitated by Mamadou Honadia (Burkina Faso) and Beth Lavender (Canada).

POZNAN STRATEGIC PROGRAMME ON TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: SBI Chair Yauvoli invited parties to consider the GEF report on progress made in carrying out the Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer (FCCC/SBI/2015/INF.4) and the interim report by the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) on the evaluation of the programme (FCCC/SBI/2015/INF.5). Informal consultations will be co-facilitated by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Elfriede More (Austria).

IMPACT OF RESPONSE MEASURES: Forum and Work Programme: A joint SBI and SBSTA contact group co-chaired by SBSTA Chair Wojtal and SBI Chair Yauvoli. SBI Chair Yauvoli informed that sub-items on Matters relating to Protocol Article 3.14 (adverse effects) and Progress on the implementation of Decision 1/CP.10 (Buenos Aires programme of work) will be addressed jointly in the response measures forum. SBI Chair Yauvoli will convene informal consultations with interested parties on how to take up these items as needed. Joint SBI/SBSTA consultations on Protocol Articles 3.14 and 2.3 (response measures) will be convened by SBSTA Chair Wojtal.

GENDER AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The Secretariat delivered an oral report on its gender-related policies.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: France, the incoming COP 21/CMP 11 Presidency, announced that information about COP 21/CMP 11 logistics will be provided.

ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL MATTERS: Programme Budget for the Biennium 2016-2017: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres presented the sub-item (FCCC/SBI/2015/3 and Adds. 1-3). She drew attention to additional requirements arising from, inter alia, MRV implementation and institutional support to adaptation, and to the resource requirements for the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process. SBI Chair Yauvoli will chair a contact group on this sub-item, and a spin-off group facilitated by Dmitar Nikov (France) will consider issues relating to the International Transaction Log (FCCC/SBI/2015/3/Add.3).

Continuing Review of the Functions and Operations of the Secretariat: SBI Chair Yauvoli noted that no report was mandated for consideration and no submissions had been received on this sub-item. This sub-item will be considered at SBI 44.

Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement: A representative of the host government provided a presentation on the new UNFCCC meeting facilities in Bonn. SBI Chair Yauvoli will prepare draft conclusions with the assistance of the Secretariat and in consultation with interested parties on this matter.

OTHER MATTERS: PALAU called for progress reports on the status of nominations of members of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, and on the third review of the Adaptation Fund Board, lamenting these items are not on the SBI 42 agenda.

SBI Chair Yauvoli will consult with interested parties on this issue.

OTHER AGENDA ITEMS: The 2013-2015 review was briefly considered and forwarded to a joint SBI/SBSTA contact group.

The following agenda items and sub-items were forwarded to informal consultations:

•  sub-items under reporting from and review of Annex I parties to the Convention including, compilation and synthesis of 6th NCs and 1st BRs, revision of the Guidelines for the Preparation of National Communications by Annex I Parties, Part II, and outcome of the first round of the International Assessment and Review process (2014-2015);

•  all sub-items on matters relating to the mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol;

•  capacity building under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol; and

•  Convention Article 6 (education, training and public awareness).

SBI Chair Yauvoli will prepare draft conclusions on the sub-item on Budget Performance for the Biennium 2014-2015 under the item on Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters.

OPENING STATEMENTS: South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed, inter alia: accelerating work under the SBI through 2020; implementing the NAP process and expanding the LEG mandate; finalizing nominations for the Executive Committee of the Warsaw Mechanism for Loss and Damage by the end of SB 42; and establishing an international institutional arrangement for capacity building.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, emphasized the 2013-2015 review, adaptation, MOI and gender. He also looked forward to the second session of the multilateral assessment (MA) and expressed concern over the small number of BURs submitted.

Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said he expects issues requiring decisions in Paris to be finalized in Bonn, and expressed hope that the Adaptation Committee and the LEG, in collaboration with the GCF, determine how to support developing countries in accessing funding from the GCF for NAPs.

The Republic of Korea, for the EIG, highlighted the importance of reporting and review for Annex I and non-Annex I countries, and called for the COP to switch to two-year cycles.

Noting that LDCs have made progress in National Adaptation Programmes of Action, Angola, for the LDCs, stressed the LEG’s role in providing support and lamented lack of finance in the LDCs Fund. She called for the 1.5°C limit to be “anchored” in the new agreement.

Maldives, for AOSIS, suggested that the findings of the 2013-2015 review underscored that the “guardrail” concept, which implies a warming limit that guarantees full protection from dangerous anthropogenic interference, is inadequate, calling for pushing the “defence line” as low as possible. He also said AOSIS is committed to improving the environmental integrity of the CDM and JI.

The EU looked forward to the MA as an important opportunity to show transparency, and highlighted: the Secretariat’s biennial budget; the CDM and JI, including their reform; and enhancing the NAP process and the LEG.

Many stressed the importance of technology transfer for developing countries, the importance of the final report of the SED on the 2013-2015 review, and commitment to empowering women and contributing in the in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES called for protecting indigenous rights, securing traditional knowledge, and ensuring indigenous participation in mitigation and adaptation planning. WOMEN AND GENDER said the Lima work programme on gender will support effective and equitable action on climate change.

YOUTH NGOs expressed concern over the lack of civil society involvement in the MA process and called on SBI to make available the summary report of the technical analysis under ICA. ENGOs stressed the importance of phasing out all fossil fuel subsidies and phasing in renewable energy by 2050, and lamented Annex I countries’ lack of pre-2020 ambition.


As delegates gathered for the first time in the brand new World Conference Center Bonn, under construction for nearly a decade, many felt the pressure to finalize the “construction work” on the text of the Paris agreement. Some participants, however, reported apprehension that many coordination meetings preceding the Bonn Climate Change Conference had been “difficult” or “very difficult.” Others noted that working throughout the day in two parallel negotiating groups under the ADP entailed a lot of legwork for smaller delegations.

As delegates prepared to engage in the evening’s facilitated discussions on parts of the 90-page negotiating text, one seasoned observer remarked the need to eat this elephant “bit by bit.” Many, however, wondered whether the process could pick up the speed required to accomplish this complicated task in time for the Paris Climate Change Conference.