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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 658 | Monday, 7 December 2015


Paris Highlights

Saturday, 5 December 2015 | Paris, France


Languages: EN (HTML/PDF) FR (HTML/PDF) AR (HTML/PDF) JA (HTML/PDF)
Visit our IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage from Paris, France at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop21/enb/

On Saturday, 5 December, the ADP contact group convened in the morning, followed by the ADP closing plenary, which adopted its conclusions, and forwarded the draft agreement and decision to the COP. The COP met in the evening to hear the report of the ADP. Informal consultations under the COP and the CMP continued throughout the day.

ADP

CONTACT GROUP: In the morning, ADP Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder presented ADP draft conclusions (FCCC/ADP/2015/L.6), with the draft agreement and decision text on workstream 1 and 2 in annex I, and a reflection note in annex II. He explained that the draft text had not changed from the compilation text with bridging proposals, and that the reflection note contained the comments made during those discussions. He said that, should there be a comment that a party was unable to make due to time constraints, or an inaccuracy or omission in the reflection note, parties could make submissions until 1:00pm on Saturday, 5 December.

Parties agreed to forward the draft conclusions to the ADP plenary.

CLOSING PLENARY: ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder opened the plenary. After thanking the parties and co-facilitators for their hard work and dedication, ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder turned to ADP agenda item 3 (implementation of all the elements of Decision 1/CP.17), noting significant progress had been made in reducing gaps between parties’ positions, and saying the ADP’s work would now be passed on to the COP to “complete the last leg.”

Following assurances by ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder, inter alia, that the reflections note would be revised to include parties’ remaining comments, including all definitions presented in the Friday, 4 December, contact group, and that “nothing has been decided or left behind,” including the issue of loss and damage, the ADP adopted conclusions (FCCC/ADP/2015/L.6) to be forwarded to the COP for further consideration.

Laurence Tubiana, COP 21 Presidency, assured parties that negotiations would continue on the basis of the ADP text that was agreed. She highlighted the importance of party ownership to make progress.

South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed willingness to work on the basis of the ADP text, and called for a balanced and equal treatment of all elements of the Durban mandate, and an outcome under the Convention in accordance with its principles and provisions.

Switzerland, for the EIG, emphasized that, in contrast to COP 15 in Copenhagen, “we now have a strong basis for negotiations developed by all parties together” with a text that reflects important political positions that need to be resolved.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, described the number of INDCs as “a demonstration of our collective commitments” and sought a way to reflect differentiation in line with modern day realities.

The EU reminded parties of their responsibility to deliver an ambitious Paris agreement applicable to all and acceptable by all.

Suggesting that Paris will lead to a historical agreement, Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, affirmed the group’s confidence in the COP Presidency. 

Maldives, for AOSIS, said the process ensured party ownership and stressed that the principles of the Convention must be honored to reach an agreement that positively impacts the lives of vulnerable people.

Angola, for the LDCs, looked forward to engaging in “the work that remains to be done on the draft text in addition to some political decision making.” TURKEY stressed “making this an inclusive agreement where no country is left behind.”

Calling for a REDD+ mechanism to be reflected in the agreement, Panama, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, recalled that heads of state sent a “strong” political signal on the role of forests and biodiversity in their speeches.

Malaysia, for the LMDCs, stressed the need to “recognize that the principles of equity and CBDR must be preserved in all their facets and forms.” He urged parties to look at the best available social science to assess modern realities and stressed that civil society must have access to negotiations.

Lamenting that, in the first week, the text had been reopened for new insertions, Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, expressed readiness to engage with the COP Presidency and looked forward to a “fair process that will take us to a fair outcome.”

Venezuela, for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, called for sustaining the principles of party-drivenness, transparency and inclusiveness “until the final second of the COP.”

Saying parties had never before been so close to delivering an ambitious outcome, Guatemala, for AILAC, called for moving beyond national positions to a “solution cognizant of our collective interest.”

Stressing “this is a global crisis,” MARSHALL ISLANDS reminded that, while a “favorite phrase here is nationally determined,” parties are in Paris “to fight for what is globally necessary.”

In closing, ADP Rapporteur Yang Liu presented, and parties adopted, the report of the meeting (FCCC/ADP/2015/L.5).

Saying that “sometimes words cannot capture our feelings,” ADP Co-Chair Ahmed Djoghlaf congratulated parties for their achievement so far, and thanked parties for their trust.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres noted her appreciation for the full dedication of parties on this “complex” task and said work needed to continue next week.

Thanking all, ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder gaveled the plenary to a close at 1:07pm.

COP PLENARY

REPORT OF THE ADP: In the evening, COP 21 President Laurent Fabius presided. ADP Co-Chairs Reifsnyder and Djoghlaf presented and transmitted the draft agreement and decision (FCCC/ADP/2015/L.6/Rev.1) and suggested changes (FCCC/ADP/2015/L.6/Rev.1/Add.1) to the COP. 

Parties agreed to the mode of work outlined by COP 21 President Fabius, including the “Paris Committee,” an open-ended single-setting group, presided over by the COP 21 President, to progress the text and facilitate compromise. He said the committee would work under the principle, inter alia, of “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” and its meetings would be transmitted to screens at the conference site to facilitate transparency.

He further outlined four informal working groups facilitated by ministers to work on cross-cutting issues: support, facilitated by Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet (Gabon) and Jochen Flasbarth (Germany); differentiation in the context of mitigation, transparency and finance, including pre-2020 finance, facilitated by Izabella Teixeira (Brazil) and Vivian Balakrishnan (Singapore); ambition, long-term objectives and periodic review, with facilitators to be announced; and acceleration of pre-2020 ambition, with facilitators to be announced.

He stated that the outcome should be concluded in time for a review group on legal and language matters to address related issues before Friday, 11 December.

South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, emphasized the importance of clarity and predictability in the negotiation process, and asked that the reflection note be updated with suggestions that are still missing.

Maldives, for AOSIS, asked for clarity on how the issues of adaptation, and loss and damage would be handled.

In response to the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, COP 21 President Fabius said that the Russian language version is being finalized and that all languages will be respected.

Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, noted that important issues have been left out of the agreement, but expressed certainty that parties will address these issues. MARSHALL ISLANDS called for the Paris agreement to include, inter alia, a 1.5°C temperature goal and assurances on long-term climate finance.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, said the ADP text is party-driven and party-owned. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, emphasized that setting a goal for governments’ efforts “needs to be substantiated by proven science,” provided by the IPCC.

Guatemala, for AILAC, called for awareness that “this is our text and it will be our ability to listen to one another and our ability to articulate our needs” that will enable an effective agreement. Angola, for the LDCs, expressed disappointment that the COP Bureau “formulation” was used to form the review group, excluding the LDCs.

Malaysia, for the LMDCs, underscored the group’s
commitment to goodwill and expressed concern over the repeated use of the refrain “the world has changed.” Asking developed countries to take the lead, CHINA underlined that an ambitious Paris outcome should give equal weight to all of the Durban mandate components.

AZERBAIJAN asked his insertions to be incorporated into the reflection note. Noting that his country did not belong to any negotiating group, TURKEY asked to be considered as a group for consultations on negotiations. NEPAL highlighted the fragility of mountain ecosystems.

COP 21 President Fabius noted that the SBSTA and SBI had concluded their work but three items remained unresolved: the 2013-2015 review; capacity building under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol; and impact of the implementation of response measures. COP 21 President Fabius said the 2013-2015 review would be considered by the long-term goal informal working group. On the remaining two items, COP 21 President Fabius said he will hold consultations and propose a way forward.

The four working groups will commence and ministers will meet to discuss modalities of work on Sunday, 6 December. 

COP 21 President Fabius then suspended the meeting. ​

IN THE CORRIDORS

Saturday kicked off in what many called an “unexpectedly harmonious mood.” Friday’s tense exchanges had left many wondering if spirits of past, less successful COPs had come to haunt Le Bourget. On Saturday morning, many arrived with the expectation that the procedural debates and common refrains would continue, and were surprised with the dramatic change in tone in the conversation.

As one delegate put it, parties had managed to “exorcise” Copenhagen’s lack of transparency. Several parties welcomed the new ADP text, a compilation of parties’ work and co-facilitators’ bridging proposals, coupled with a reflection note capturing parties’ comments. While not as advanced as most would have wished, several delegates seemed reassured that their inputs were reflected.

Looking to the second week when ministers arrive, many hoped that the agreed mode of work, centered around the Paris Committee, together with ministerial consultations, would serve as a strong basis for inclusive negotiation. A negotiator from a smaller delegation, however, could not help but worry that talks would move away from the Committee and end up behind closed doors for prioritized issues.

A number of delegates worried over some issues receiving more attention than others. With ministerial attention now fixed on just four issues in the working groups, some delegates were concerned that issues of importance to them were being left at “the bottom of the pile.”

Yet, one observer pointed out that the issues on the ministers’ “to-do list” seemed to be selected on the basis of whether they were likely to make or break the Paris agreement. Despite the fundamental importance of a number of other issues, finance, mitigation and – “the oldest ghost of all” – differentiation will undoubtedly be in the spotlight in week two.

 Delegates, however, seemed generally reassured by the COP Presidency on transparency and hoped that the agreed mode of work would stop ghosts from emerging again.