Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus

Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 673 | Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Bonn Highlights

Monday, 23 May 2016 | Bonn, Germany

Visit our IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage from Bonn, Germany at:

On Monday, the Bonn Climate Change Conference continued with substantive work under all three subsidiary bodies. In the morning, the APA agreed to its organization of work, and started discussions on its substantive items in a contact group that met throughout the day. An in-session workshop on agriculture met in the morning, and a TEM on mitigation through shifting to more efficient public transport and increasing vehicles’ energy efficiency met all day. Informal consultations under the SBSTA and SBI convened throughout the day.


ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Organization of work: Co-Chair Jo Tyndall proposed work: continue on Monday in a single contact group on all substantive agenda items; move into open-ended informal consultations on Tuesday and Wednesday for technical elaborations; and reconvene in the contact group on Wednesday afternoon to review progress, determine the way forward and consider draft conclusions. The APA adopted its organization of work.

In the contact group, parties noted different levels of maturity of the issues on the agenda. The EU suggested conceptual discussions for the global stocktake, and JAPAN said work on transparency and accounting guidance required rapid progress. SOUTH AFRICA, among others, stressed the principles of CBDRRC and equity.

Co-Chair Sarah Baashan invited parties to share their views on: scope and key issues; how to structure technical work; and “homework” for COP 22.

FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE MITIGATION SECTION OF DECISION 1/CP.21: On scope and key issues, a number of countries, including Kenya, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed the nationally-determined nature of NDCs. BRAZIL said the guidance should assist countries in preparing and submitting their NDCs, and not determine their nature.

Jordan, for the LMDCs, said common timeframes for the periodic communication of NDCs could only apply if developed countries commit, in a binding, clear, operational and verifiable manner, to providing for the full costs required by developing countries to regularly submit NDCs.

INDIA, with CHINA, said further guidance on NDCs should be in the context of Paris Agreement Article 3 (NDCs, including progression and support), and called for technical work on how equity and CBDR inform NDC preparation processes. The US, SWITZERLAND and AUSTRALIA stated that this agenda item is limited to mitigation.

Colombia, for AILAC, called for quantifiable information on emissions reductions. AUSTRALIA suggested focusing on: guidance needed to ensure, inter alia, environmental integrity, transparency and comparability; and existing guidance and its gaps.

The LMDCs said information communicated by parties in their NDCs is “voluntary, discretionary, optional and non-exclusive in nature.”

The LMDCs, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the LDCs, stated that guidance on features, information and accounting will only apply to the subsequent cycle of NDCs, and called for a differentiated accounting framework.

Regarding guidance for accounting, many countries called for building on existing rules, with AILAC and NORWAY calling for specific rules on land use. Many countries highlighted linkages with work under the SBSTA and other APA items, with ARGENTINA noting that “metrics also include a political component.”

On structuring work, parties called for one to three groups. The EU emphasized the importance of accounting guidance, and JAPAN called for a fast start of technical discussions on accounting.

On homework, many countries supported submissions with a clearly defined scope. GRENADA called for a technical paper on the challenges encountered in INDC preparation. Many expressed openness to exploring inter-, pre- or in-sessional technical workshops, with some calling for guaranteeing participation by all countries. SOUTH AFRICA called for a programme of work for further deliberations at COP 22.

FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE ADAPTATION COMMUNICATIONS, INCLUDING, INTER ALIA, AS A COMPONENT OF NDCS, REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 7.10 AND 7.11 OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT: There was general recognition of the need for a common set of minimum elements of adaptation communications to ensure clarity, consistency and comparability, while noting the country-driven nature of adaptation.

Venezuela, for the LMDCs, said the guidance must be in the context of the Paris Agreement and the Convention, and, with ARGENTINA, called for inclusion of information on support. The EU noted the Paris Agreement provides guidance on adaptation communications, which may include information on support. SAUDI ARABIA underlined the need for guidance on adaptation communications in NDCs.

The LMDCs and Botswana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for further defining the global goal on adaptation, including by developing metrics.

SWITZERLAND and Jamaica, for AOSIS, and INDIA cautioned against additional reporting burdens.

SWITZERLAND suggested mapping how adaptation communications relate to other processes, such as NAPs. AILAC, CHINA and AOSIS noted links between adaptation communications and the global stocktake. The LDCs emphasized the links with other APA agenda items.

The US suggested discussing if NAPs, or a distillation of information they contain, can be the adaptation communications.

On the structure of work, the US called for a spin-off group.

On homework, ARGENTINA suggested considering a workshop, and with INDIA, called for submissions.

MODALITIES, PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR THE TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION AND SUPPORT REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 13 OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT: On scope and key issues, several parties noted the need to address all elements of the transparency framework in a balanced manner, and Kenya, for the AFRICAN GROUP, emphasized transparency of action and support.

The EU stressed the importance of the transparency framework for implementing NDCs, tracking progress of NDCs, providing input for the global stocktake and enabling recognition of actions.

Algeria, for the LMDCs, called for operationalizing flexibility for developing countries. Colombia, for AILAC, emphasized consideration of countries’ different capacities. The LDCs urged recognition of LDCs’ and SIDS’ special circumstances.

ARGENTINA stressed capacity building and proper resource allocation. CHINA called for identifying, inter alia, how support would be continuously provided to developing countries for the framework’s implementation.

SWITZERLAND emphasized ensuring that the quality of information improves over time. INDIA suggested that, based on previous experiences, lack of compliance rather than lack of sufficient guidelines needs to be addressed.

On structuring technical work, several parties supported a step-wise approach, beginning with guidelines for reporting before moving to guidelines for the technical expert review, and the modalities and procedures for the multilateral consideration. The US suggested that this approach recognize the unique characteristics of different elements.

SAUDI ARABIA proposed an initial mapping of current requirements for parties’ submissions and identifying and subsequently addressing any gaps in the common modalities and guidelines. The LDCs urged balanced allocation of time between support and action.

The US called for initiating a spin-off group to carry out technical work on this item by the end of this session, with NORWAY proposing technical discussions in small group settings to develop proposals.

On homework, many parties supported focused, early submissions and a workshop before or during COP 22. SOUTH AFRICA proposed the Secretariat prepare a document providing references to existing guidelines and modalities that may be applicable to this and other APA agenda items.

MATTERS RELATING TO THE GLOBAL STOCKTAKE REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 14 OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT: On the modalities for the global stocktake, the LMDCs suggested drawing upon the experience from the international assessment and review (IAR) and the ICA. SWITZERLAND, JAPAN and NEW ZEALAND said modalities of the global stocktake may differ for adaptation, mitigation and MOI.

GRENADA, the US, JAPAN and Botswana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed learning from the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) on the 2013-2015 review. ARGENTINA suggested discussing the relationship between the global stocktake and the 2018 facilitative dialogue.

NEW ZEALAND suggested that a technical phase feed into a political discussion, and that a chair’s summary of the global stocktake provide the basis for increased ambition by parties. AILAC said the CMA should endorse the global stocktake’s conclusions to generate momentum for raising ambition. CHINA underlined the need to “go beyond the ambition gap” and identify lessons learned and best practices.

On structuring technical work, CANADA called for a contact group to start work at COP 22 and for a technical paper by the Secretariat on available information. The EU called for spin-offs at this session.

On homework, many called for submissions. NEW ZEALAND and AILAC welcomed a list of possible questions presented by the LMDCs on, inter alia: linkage between the global stocktake and other institutional arrangements; procedural format; inclusion of science; establishment of a SED; timeframe; and possible outputs. GRENADA suggested a technical paper on lessons learned from the SED and a workshop during COP 22.

MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE EFFECTIVE OPERATION OF THE COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE IMPLEMENTATION AND PROMOTE COMPLIANCE REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 15.2 OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT: On scope and key issues, the EU, with COLOMBIA, proposed working on modalities, procedures and guidance of the committee. NORWAY suggested that promotion of compliance applies to legally-binding portions of the Paris Agreement, and facilitation of implementation to both binding and non-binding elements. SAUDI ARABIA, supported by CHINA, emphasized the differences between facilitation of implementation and promotion of compliance.

SOUTH AFRICA said the scope should include both action and support, and modalities should take into account different circumstances. INDIA stressed the committee should take into account capabilities and suggested it examine non-compliance by developed countries for recommendations by the CMA.

COLOMBIA called for, inter alia, discussion of decision-making by the committee and recommended resorting to qualified majority in the absence of consensus. The LDCs, called for a technical expert review for identifying triggers and emphasized the output of the transparency framework should not be the only trigger.

On how to structure technical work, the LDCs, suggested detailed discussions on the scope, triggers, functions and outputs. The US, supported by JAPAN, proposed informal discussions in a spin-off group, with progress captured in reflection notes. Many parties suggested examining lessons from the Kyoto Protocol’s compliance mechanism.

On homework, the LDCs and CHINA called for targeted submissions, with SOUTH AFRICA suggesting inviting submissions after COP 22. JAPAN called for in-session conceptual discussions. CHINA proposed a work programme on this item from COP 22.

FURTHER MATTERS RELATED TO IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT: On preparing for entry into force, Venezuela, for the LMDCs, expressed concern that some parties are advocating early entry into force, but not demonstrating the same urgency for ratifying the Doha Amendment and other pre-2020 action. The US stressed it would fulfill its pre-2020 pledges and join the Agreement in 2016.

AILAC, the EU and the US supported early entry into force, and, with the LMDCs, emphasized it should not affect parties’ right to fully participate in the rulemaking process. The LDCs said early entry into force should incentivize parties to ratify so that they can participate in the CMA. To avoid perverse incentives for parties to delay ratification, the EU suggested a clear deadline to finish preparations.

On preparing for CMA 1, SAUDI ARABIA called for consideration of this sub-item jointly with that on taking stock of progress. SOUTH AFRICA stressed that the APA should not be pressured to complete its work due to early entry into force and called for suspending CMA 1 to allow all parties to participate.

On taking stock of progress made by the subsidiary and constituted bodies, AILAC, the AFRICAN GROUP, the EU and the US called for beginning this stocktaking at COP 22.


AGRICULTURE: In the workshop on enhancing productivity, Alexandre Meybeck, FAO, outlined key measures of productivity, including monetary metrics, yields, social benefits and nutrient content, also stressing the importance of longer timescales.

On sustainable practices and technologies, MALI highlighted seed and water harvesting technologies, extension services, and weather and climate information services. CANADA listed improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, and livestock feeding practices. The EU described Finnish and French agro-ecological projects, and German wetland restoration and flood management. THAILAND and the US emphasized agro-forestry.

On relevant Convention processes, URUGUAY said embarking on a NAP process with seven other countries will enhance its identification and assessment of relevant technologies and practices. ARGENTINA suggested the SBSTA work on technological barriers to low-carbon development.

On areas for synergies, INDIA suggested the Adaptation Fund and GCF support implementation of contingency plans. NEW ZEALAND suggested the 2018 facilitative dialogue, global stocktake, IAR and ICA could benefit from greater understanding of agriculture.

On recommendations for the SBSTA, Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, called for addressing: stress-resistant breeds; irrigation and water harvesting; and ecosystem-based adaptation. The Gambia, for the LDCs, supported by many, called for enhanced experience and knowledge sharing, as well as technology development and transfer.

CAN highlighted how sustainable consumption and agro-ecology can offer just solutions. FARMERS called for fair and ambitious financing, including access to credit. CARITAS highlighted the problem of land grabbing.

Co-Chair Heikki Granholm (Finland) observed general agreement on the role productivity enhancement could play in ensuring food security.

MATTERS RELATED TO SCIENCE AND REVIEW: Research and systematic observation: Informal consultations took place in the morning and afternoon, with views diverging on a call for a workshop. While a group of developing countries supported such a call, developed countries argued that discussions in the research dialogue should identify a topic for a workshop. One party opposed language calling on the WCRP to revisit the scenario layout of Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, which coordinates climate model experiments, to give priority to the 1.5°C scenario. Revised draft conclusions will be considered on 24 May.


NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANS: In informal consultations, parties took up draft conclusions, focusing on one paragraph, which addresses how to collect information on parties’ experiences accessing funding from the GCF to formulate NAPs. Parties converged on a formulation that “looks forward to the work of the Adaptation Committee and the LEG” on this and “to information on such work being provided in their reports.” Parties agreed to the amended draft conclusions.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: In informal consultations, parties’ views diverged on a proposal to request the Secretariat to prepare a report, for SBI 45, on procedures for identifying and avoiding the risk of conflict of interest between participation by non-state actors and the Convention’s objectives.

A group of countries called for a reference to launch, at COP 22, the platform for sharing best practices in mitigation and adaptation referred to in Decision 1/CP.21 (Paris outcome) paragraph 135 (on strengthening the knowledge and efforts of local communities and indigenous peoples). SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow will prepare revised draft conclusions for 24 May.


TEM ON MITIGATION: Shifting to more efficient public transport and increasing vehicles’ energy efficiency: On ambitious mitigation policies, options and initiatives, OECD noted the launch by the International Transport Forum of the Decarbonising Transport project. The Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) called for going beyond individual projects and engaging all sectors to achieve the Paris Agreement’s objectives.

On accelerating mitigation action and the role of stakeholders, panelists discussed national policies, multilateral initiatives and partnerships to develop low-carbon public transport, with a focus on rail transport and urban mobility planning. Various panelists stressed the increasing need for mobilization in developing countries, and discussed South-South cooperation and other supports for implementation.

Discussions addressed the need for behavioral change, gender issues and city-to-city cooperation.

On policy and technology solutions for vehicles’ energy efficiency, participants described measures in energy efficiency, intelligent transport systems, decarbonizing traffic using hydrogen and innovation in maritime transport. Discussions centered on the need for research on and development of information and communications technologies, and for the implementation of existing efficiency technologies. Several noted the need to make clean mobility technologies affordable for all.


After a day of rest, which a number of delegates had spent coordinating and consulting informally, work jolted into gear on Monday as several SBSTA and SBI informal groups started to find agreement, and as APA undertook a marathon session to exchange initial views on all of its substantive agenda items.

One delegate worried that the APA contact group saw some “post-Paris positioning,” concerned that “it may take time for negotiators to move to technical mode.” Others welcomed the progress achieved so far, noting some “ups and downs” are to be expected. Another seasoned observer hoped that co-facilitators would be named for the various APA items by the end of the session as a signal that parties would be ready to “get down to work” in Marrakesh.

As Monday drew to a close, delegates’ eyes turned to the “in-session homework” posted on the APA webpage, with many looking forward to well-focused discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday.