Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 695 | Friday, 12 May 2017

Bonn Highlights

Thursday, 11 May 2017 | Bonn, Germany

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The Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Thursday. Informal consultations and mandated events met throughout the day. The APA contact group met in the afternoon.


PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 6.8 (NON-MARKET APPROACHES): Co-Facilitator Kelley Kizzier (EU) invited views on elements, headings and criteria for inclusion in a decision text. A few parties noted the need for different modes of work across components of Article 6 (cooperative approaches) given different mandated tasks. Parties identified: mandate; objectives; scope, with tangible approaches; types of non-market approaches and criteria for inclusion; governance and institutional arrangements; reporting and transparency requirements that are consistent with other elements of Article 6; and linkages with other mechanisms and arrangements. Parties called for a web-based platform to identify non-market approaches in NDCs, a matching facility to link needs communicated with available resources and a profiling of national experiences. A party said classification criteria may act as a “barrier” to flexibility, and urged focusing on the “how” questions for the work programme. Several parties noted the need for further work in the form of workshops, roundtables and a synthesis of submissions, among others.


PARIS COMMITTEE ON CAPACITY-BUILDING (PCCB): SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow opened and, with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, welcomed participants to the first PCCB meeting. The PCCB elected Matti Nummelin (Finland) and Mohamed Nbou (Morocco) as its Co-Chairs for 2017, adopted the agenda (PCCB/2017/1/1-2) and agreed to the organization of the work.

Co-Chair Nbou expressed hope that the PCCB will lay the foundation to help countries contribute to the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. Representatives of operating entities of the Financial Mechanism and constituted bodies under the Convention provided updates on capacity building-relevant work.

On working modalities and rules of procedure (PCCB/2017/1/3), the PCCB discussed ways to enhance intersessional preparatory work and the role of observers in the Committee’s deliberations. The PCCB then adopted its modalities and procedures, and requested the that Secretariat explore technical solutions to ensure full participation of all members. Co-Chair Nummelin clarified that observers will be invited to comment, prior to decision, on each agenda item, and invited observers to make written submissions.

On implementation of the 2016-2020 capacity-building workplan and the 2017-2019 PCCB workplan (PCCB/2017/1/4), PCCB members initiated discussion on a rolling workplan, commenting on its structure and on possible linkages to a table on clustering and sequencing of work prepared by the Secretariat. The PCCB decided to extend the 2017 focus theme of capacity-building activities for the implementation of NDCs to 2018.

On maintenance and further development of the UNFCCC capacity-building web portal (PCCB/2017/1/5), participants highlighted: enhancing visibility, interactivity, specialization, and data aggregation and accuracy; linking the portal to country needs; including best practices and lessons; and possibly merging with existing tools.

On linkages with the constituted bodies under the Convention (PCCB/2017/1/6), the PCCB and constituted bodies exchanged views.

The PCCB will return to matters relating to the 2016-2020 workplan (PCCB/2017/1/4-6) after receiving further inputs and take up remaining items on Saturday, 13 May.

SCOPE AND MODALITIES FOR THE PERIODIC ASSESSMENT OF THE TECHNOLOGY MECHANISM: Elfriede More (Austria) co-facilitated. Regarding modalities for the periodic assessment, parties suggested the process be: cost-effective and result-based oriented; aligned with the technology framework; specific to the purpose of improving the Technology Mechanism; and inclusive of stakeholders. On scope, parties suggested the purpose to be enhancing Paris Agreement implementation and inputs would include recipient countries’ experience. Views differed as to whether the assessment be under the CMA or COP. The Co-Facilitators will revise the reflection note.


In the contact group, Co-Chair Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) noted that parties will be able to interact with the SBI, SBSTA and constituted bodies in the contact group meeting scheduled for Saturday, 13 May, and that a heads of delegation meeting will be convened on Tuesday, 16 May, to discuss intersessional work. The Co-Facilitators of all agenda items reported on progress.

Various groups of countries welcomed the transition from conceptual to textual negotiations and the two-hour sessions. Maldives, for AOSIS, suggested moving away from one-hour sessions.

Ecuador, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed willingness to move to textual discussions but urged balance among mitigation, adaptation and MOI, avoiding reinterpretation of the Paris Agreement and maintaining differentiation.Iran, for the LMDCs, expressed concern that mitigation items are advancing faster than those on adaptation and MOI. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, urged maintaining the same mode of advancement on all items, including balanced time allocation.

Switzerland, for the EIG, expressed concern that only one element of the transparency framework has been discussed because of time constraints and urged a balanced allocation of time.

The EU said there is no “dramatic difference” in the pace at which agenda items are advancing.

AOSIS called for more technical work before COP 23 and suggested the Co-Facilitators produce informal notes including a skeleton of the main headings of possible COP 24 decisions. Guatemala, for AILAC, called for a continued focus on the possible headings of draft text.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, welcomed updates from other bodies to highlight linkages with APA work.Ethiopia, for the LDCs, with TURKEY, called for joint discussions between APA and the other subsidiary bodies. URUGUAY, also for ARGENTINA and BRAZIL, urged addressing inter-linkages within APA items.

Co-Chair Baashan said the Co-Chairs would prepare draft conclusions for consideration by parties on Tuesday.

FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE MITIGATION SECTION OF DECISION 1/CP.21: Gertraud Wollansky (Austria) co-facilitated. Many parties supported using elements on information to be provided by parties communicating their NDCs contained in paragraph 27 of decision 1/CP.21. On scope, several developed country parties and groups, opposed by several developing country groups, argued this item is confined to mitigation. On differentiation, several parties distinguished between information to be provided by developed country parties and flexibility to be accorded to developing countries. Some opposed, saying differentiation is already operational through the nationally-determined nature of NDCs. On purpose, parties urged enhancing understanding of what other parties will do, aggregating information to track progress, and assessing available MOI.

ADAPTATION COMMUNICATIONS: Co-Facilitator Nicolas Zambrano Sanchez (Ecuador) suggested focusing on the purpose of adaptation communications. A developing country group submitted initial proposals including: communicating adaptation actions and plans; recognizing adaptation efforts; enhancing adaptation action and support; achieving the global adaptation goal; and raising the profile of adaptation and promoting its parity with mitigation. Another party offered collated results from the pre-sessional workshop: enhancing the profile of adaptation; recognizing adaptation efforts; enhancing implementation and progress toward the global adaptation goal; facilitating learning, cooperation and support; and communicating priorities, implementation and support means, plans and actions. Discussions will continue.

TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION AND SUPPORT: Andrew Rakestraw (US) co-facilitated. Parties reflected on a Co-Facilitators’ list of elements for information on financial, technology-transfer and capacity-building support provided under Paris Agreement Articles 9-11. Many developing countries called for: operational objectives and principles; deletion of reference to “other countries providing support”; and clarification that developed countries’ provision of support is not voluntary. Some supported a definition of climate finance and a process to assist developing countries in identifying their financial needs for enhanced actions. Some cited characteristics related to specific information on tracking mobilization and support.

Many agreed that clarity and coherence of reporting can reduce duplication of work and facilitate the GST. Some noted information on technology-transfer and capacity-building support may be more qualitative. Discussions will continue.

GLOBAL STOCKTAKE (GST): Co-facilitated by Xolisa Ngwadla (South Africa), the consultations addressed the GST’s outputs, outcomes and modalities. Various parties agreed that the GST should include a technical and a political phase. Many parties called for the GST to enhance international cooperation, and to identify best practices, barriers to implementation and opportunities for overcoming them. Various developing countries suggested adding equity as one of the GST’s workstreams and another called for including loss and damage. Parties also discussed the timeframe of the GST’s phases and engagement with non-parties.

COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE IMPLEMENTATION AND PROMOTE COMPLIANCE: Co-Facilitator Janine Felson (Belize) invited views on measures and outputs. Parties discussed different and common outputs for binding and non-binding provisions of the Paris Agreement. Various developing countries called for a link between the compliance mechanism and MOI. On linking with financial support, a group of developing countries, supported by various developed countries, warned against creating perverse incentives. Some developing countries opposed having “early warnings” or statements of non-compliance issued. A developing country called for agreeing on a set of principles guiding the work of the compliance committee and, with other developing countries, stressed the need to operationalize differentiation. Informal consultations will continue.

FURTHER MATTERS: Adaptation Fund: María del Pilar Bueno (Argentina) co-facilitated. Parties reflected on a list of possible elements, with many developing countries stressing that “listed issues to be addressed are not prerequisites for the Fund to serve the Paris Agreement.” They suggested a process to resolve these issues could be established in the future, after the Paris Agreement’s instruments and mechanisms become clear. One developed country party disagreed, recalling that the agreement in Marrakech was that the Fund serve the Agreement “following clarification of these issues.”

Many developing countries supported that the Fund operate under the authority of the COP, while others envisioned that the Fund would be under the authority of the CMP, qualifying that this be limited to issues related to the Kyoto Protocol’s flexibility mechanisms. A developed country opposed, preferring the Fund be under the authority of the CMA. Discussions will continue.

Matters except the Adaptation Fund: APA Co-Chair Jo Tyndall (New Zealand) co-facilitated. The meeting considered modalities for biennially communicating information and guidance to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism. Some parties argued that while there is a mandate to discuss the information, there is no similar mandate for modalities. Others argued against going beyond the explicit mandate provided in the Paris Agreement. On guidance, many parties noted it was not “homeless” because the existing provisions for guidance apply mutatis mutandis. Discussions will continue.


On the fourth day, the fickle weather seemed to reflect the mood at the negotiating venue. Up on the 23rd floor of the UN Campus building, the Paris Committee on Capacity-building got off to a sunny start, electing its first Co-Chairs and engaging in lively discussions about its workplan. Despite the limited seats open for observers, the Co-Chairs’ encouragement of active engagement was well received by many. Meanwhile, clouds gathered in the budget discussions. Parties had requested major reworking of the supporting documents, with several calling for a detailed picture of a zero nominal budget increase. Those willing to consider the Secretariat’s proposed budget increase had also called for more information to continue discussions. Absent those documents, today’s talks were postponed, with many bemoaning the short time remaining to bridge polarized positions. One delegate noted that a zero option is “good news” compared to the 20% budget cut that some feared given the uncertainty around a major party’s budget contribution.