On Tuesday, 15 November, the UN Climate Change Conference continued in Marrakech, Morocco. In the morning, the SBI and SBSTA closed, the opening plenary of CMA 1 convened, and the opening ceremony of the joint high-level segment of the COP, CMP and CMA took place.
Contact groups and informal consultations under the COP and CMP took place throughout the day. In the evening, the joint high-level segment continued. The webcast of the joint high-level segment is available at: http://unfccc.cloud.streamworld.de/webcast/high-level-segment.
CMA OPENING PLENARY
In the morning, COP President Mezouar opened the meeting, noting the “historic occasion” and describing the entry into force of the Paris Agreement within less than a year of its adoption as a testament to countries’ commitment to addressing climate change. The meeting was then adjourned and will resume on Wednesday, 16 November.
JOINT HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT
King of Morocco Mohammed VI highlighted COP 22 as a “decisive turning point” in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. He urged: not pressing countries to agree to decisions they may be unable to comply with; developed countries to honor their US$100 billion by 2020 commitment; and all countries to engage in facilitating technology transfer.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted lessons learned during his tenure on: the importance of multilateral solutions and political leadership; the need to secure engagement of all actors; and the important role of the UN in championing science and advancing the moral case for action.
UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson, Fiji, called for maintaining the momentum in addressing climate change, and not only for future generations, as the impacts are felt today by all countries.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa called for including indigenous peoples, youth, women and other groups in the transformation towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient world.
Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President, Emerson Collective, highlighted the stewardship of indigenous peoples in protecting the planet, water and biodiversity, and called for treating them as respected, equal partners.
Mariame Mouhoub, Youth Representative, Morocco, called on delegates to see beyond their differences, work for a just ecological transition and build solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable.
Highlighting his country’s commitment to lead by example, President François Hollande, France, stressed that the Paris Agreement is “irreversible,” noting governments, businesses, the financial sector, NGOs and citizens worldwide are undertaking initiatives and finding concrete solutions. He underscored that the US must respect its climate commitments, adding that France would lead a dialogue with the new US President with respect and determination. He stated that, “despite all our differences, what unites us is what we have in common, our planet.”
SBI CLOSING PLENARY
REPORT OF THE EXCOM OF THE WIM: The SBI adopted conclusions and recommended a draft decision on the review of the WIM (FCCC/SB/2016/L.9) for consideration by the COP. The EU wished the ExCom successful implementation of its workplan and thanked parties for their work, which “allowed us to strengthen efforts on loss and damage.”
CLOSURE OF AND REPORT OF THE SESSION: The SBI adopted the report of the session (FCCC/SBI/2016/L.25).
SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow closed SBI 45 at 10:20am.
SBSTA CLOSING PLENARY
REPORT OF THE EXCOM OF THE WIM: The SBSTA adopted conclusions and recommended draft decisions (FCCC/SB/2016/L.8 and L.9) for consideration by the COP.
CLOSURE OF AND REPORT ON THE SESSION: The Secretariat reported on the financial and budgetary implications of the outcomes, stating that an additional €490,000 would be needed in 2017 to organize the roundtable agreed by parties on Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches).
The SBSTA adopted the report of the session (FCCC/SBSTA/2016/L.18).
SBSTA Chair Carlos Fuller closed SBSTA 45 at 10:33am.
COP CONTACT GROUPS AND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
MATTERS RELATING TO FINANCE: Report of the SCF and Review of the Functions of the SCF: During informal consultations, parties’ views differed on two paragraphs in the co-chairs’ streamlined draft decision text.
On a proposal requesting the SCF to take into account alternative approaches in their workplan, several parties opposed specific reference to previous decisions.
On requesting the SCF, in fulfilling its function on the MRV of support, to consider ongoing work under the Convention and further action envisaged under the Paris Agreement, one party, opposed by many, suggested deleting a reference to action under the Paris Agreement or adding “in accordance with any decisions by the CMA.”
Initiation of a Process to Identify the Information to be Provided by Parties in Accordance with Paris Agreement Article 9.5: During informal consultations, parties commented on the co-chairs’ draft decision text. Parties’ views differed on the usefulness of a facilitated in-session workshop in conjunction with SB 46 and a resulting Secretariat’s summary report for consideration at COP 23.
On acknowledging further work to be informed by experiences and existing arrangements, including the biennial submissions by developed countries, one group called for references to other sources. Several parties also stressed a clear distinction between ex ante and ex post information, noting obtaining the latter is more challenging. Discussions continued informally.
Long-Term Climate Finance: During informal consultations, parties considered the co-chairs’ draft decision text section-by-section. Views differed on sections regarding scaling up, ex ante information and workshops.
On scaling up, several groups stressed they wanted to see “something robust on adaptation finance.” In addition, in a paragraph on “urging developed countries to scale up their provision of financial support to developing countries in line with the latters’ increasing needs and priorities identified in a country-driven manner,” one developing country group suggested adding “as identified in adaptation communications where they exist,” and one developing country suggested replacing “financial support” with “financial resources.” Other parties suggested deleting the paragraph.
On ex ante information, several parties sought deletion of all paragraphs under this section, suggesting “this goes beyond the scope of the discussion under this agenda sub-item.”
On the in-session workshop, some parties suggested focusing not only on needs but more specifically on how to: translate needs into projects; address and obtain access to finance for the identified projects; and realize enabling environments and policies to attract financial resources at the scale necessary to support those actions. Others stressed their opposition to referring to “bankable projects.” Informal informal discussions continued.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention: In informal consultations, parties shared views on a revised draft conclusions text.
A party reported back from the previous day’s informal informal consultations, explaining proposed changes to paragraphs on: inviting developing countries to use the support available; accessing financial resources; and providing guidance to the GCF, including an invitation to the GCF to report on its progress in supporting technology projects and programmes in its annual report to the COP. She also reported on a new proposed paragraph on concluding this agenda item.
Some developing countries called for providing more specific guidance on where work would be carried forward. A number of developed countries, opposed by some developing countries, stated the paragraphs had been agreed to as a “package,” cautioning against “disturbing the balance.”
In the afternoon, parties reported back from informal informal consultations, noting good progress on the bulk of the text and highlighting divergence on a final paragraph related to whether to conclude the agenda item, as advocated by several developed countries.
Parties considered two options: concluding the consideration of the agenda item and deciding that future consideration of issues relating to this agenda item will be undertaken under other relevant items; or agreeing to further consider this matter at the “Xth” session. Informal consultations continued into the evening.
CMP CONTACT GROUPS AND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
MATTERS RELATING TO JI: In informal consultations in the morning, Co-Chair Arthur Rolle (Bahamas) reported that previous informal consultations addressed draft conclusions prepared by the co-chairs and invited the group to conclude discussions.
The group agreed to language deciding that the virtual participation of members in the JISC’s meetings counts towards quorum, and that virtual JISC meetings qualify as formal meetings.
On a request for clarification, the Secretariat said that virtual participation comprises both video and teleconference. Parties agreed to urge ratification of the Doha Amendment, with a view to expediting its entry into force.
Co-Chair Dimitar Nikov (France) then opened the contact group, and parties agreed to forward the draft decision for consideration by the CMP.
MATTERS RELATING TO THE CDM: Hlobsile Sikhosana-Shongwe (Swaziland) and Karoliina Anttonen (Finland) co-facilitated informal consultations, leading parties through draft decision sections on: general; baseline and monitoring methodologies; registration of project activities and issuance of CERs; regional and subregional distribution; the CDM Loan Scheme; and resources for work on the CDM. Parties discussed proposals for alternative paragraphs and left many bracketed.
MATTERS RELATING TO THE ADAPTATION FUND: Report of the Adaptation Fund Board: During informal consultations, several parties opposed one party’s proposal to “recognize the need to revise the CDM” in order to increase predictability and sustainability of the Adaptation Fund’s resources.
One developing country group suggested as an alternative option, “recognizing the need for the Doha Amendment to enter into force” to revive the carbon market. Another proposed welcoming the efforts of the AFB to address the predictability and sustainability of its resources, including through the resource mobilization strategy. Discussions continued into the evening.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Excitement was palpable on Tuesday morning as delegates crowded around the main plenary room to attend the historic opening of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. Few delegates had elsewhere to be with the agenda largely cleared for the high-level segment, and with the SBSTA, SBI and APA having concluded their work.
Many delegates looking for inspiration found it in French President François Hollande’s affirmation that the Paris Agreement is “irreversible,” “inaction would be disastrous for the world” and that France would lead a dialogue with the US “with demands and determination.” Yet, a pragmatic delegate instead wanted ministers to “roll up their sleeves and sort out the Adaptation Fund’s future.”
As the foot traffic clogged the kilometer-long path forming the spine of the Bab Ighli venue, discussions were likewise stuck in negotiations on issues forming the backbone of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Finance and Kyoto mechanisms conversations were slow and at times involved frustrated exchanges, particularly as finance delegates realized just how far “after eight” they would have to stay. As the co-facilitators delivered firm reminders that the deadline for work less than twenty-four hours away, delegates recalled UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s advice to “act with courage, tenacity and wisdom.”