Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 698 | Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Bonn Highlights

Monday, 15 May 2017 | Bonn, Germany

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The Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Monday. Throughout the day, informal consultations and mandated events convened.


PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 6.2 (ITMOs): Co-Facilitator Hugh Sealy (Maldives) invited further comments on the compilation list of elements. On overarching principles, a party asked to include transparency. Various parties supported the inclusion of robust accounting and, opposed by a group of parties, progression and higher ambition. A party urged consideration of both negative and positive economic and social impacts of ITMOs. Some asked to include linkages between Paris Agreement Articles 6.2 and 6.8 (non-market approaches). A group of parties identified the Adaptation Fund as the recipient of the share of proceeds. The Co-Facilitators will issue a new iteration of the text.

On further work, Co-Facilitator Kelley Kizzier (EU) proposed, and parties agreed, to hold discussions on technical intersessional work needed, followed by a discussion on conclusions.

PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 6 (COOPERATIVE APPROACHES): In the afternoon, Co-Facilitator Kelley Kizzier (EU) asked parties to focus on intersessional work needed before SBSTA 47. Parties generally agreed on the need for a new round of submissions, while they diverged on whether to provide guidance to focus the submissions. A group of parties identified areas for further work, including: corresponding adjustments; overall mitigation; and identification of synergistic approaches under Agreement Article 6.8 (non-market approaches). Several parties expressed discomfort in recognizing the list of elements identified by the Co-Facilitators as the basis for further work, including for submissions, while others worried that work done at the session would be lost if it were not captured in some form. Parties diverged on inviting stakeholders’ submissions. A number of parties supported organizing an in-session roundtable, with a few emphasizing that party participation should not be limited. Some parties argued that technical or synthesis papers were “premature” given the divergent views that still exist on conceptual issues. Others said close coordination with discussions on NDC guidance was needed. Parties will review the second iteration of the list of elements on Tuesday, 16 May, and consider ways forward.

MATTERS RELATING TO SCIENCE AND REVIEW: Research and systematic observation: Co-Facilitator Christiane Textor (Germany) introduced revised draft conclusions based on informal informal consultations. Discussions focused on a bracketed paragraph noting the importance of the scientific community and the IPCC’s work in relation to a number of bulleted issues. On a bullet referring to the consideration of the gender dimension, indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge, parties agreed to compromise language referring to “the human” instead of the “gender” dimension, which was opposed by one party. Parties also agreed to amend bracketed text referring to scientific information relevant to the COP 22 and 23 Presidencies’ consultations on the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue by using language from the relevant COP 22 decision on these consultations. Parties agreed to the draft conclusions with these and other minor amendments.

PARIS AGREEMENT TECHNOLOGY FRAMEWORK: Elfriede More (Austria) co-facilitated. Parties commented on draft conclusions.

Some parties, opposed by one other, noted need for continuing elaboration on the framework’s principles at future sessions. Some developed countries, opposed by other parties, suggested instead referring to “guiding values.”

On the framework’s structure, several developing countries sought emphasis on: promotion of technology development and transfer; new or updated functions to increase ambition; and roles played by stakeholders in various phases of the technology cycle.

On the framework reflecting guidance provided to the Technology Mechanism and nationally-designated entities, some parties suggested considering the cross-cutting nature of the themes agreed to at SBSTA 45 and their relation to the technology cycle. One party, opposed by others, proposed deletion of the number of themes and of “transformational change.”

Several parties suggested referencing the Co-Facilitators’ non-papers to capture progress made at this session without prejudging future discussions. The Co-Facilitators will revise the draft conclusions.

NAIROBI WORK PROGRAMME: Co-Facilitator Beth Lavender (Canada) invited parties to further consider a draft conclusions text. On inviting submissions, a party asked to add language to further improve the NWP’s relevance and effectiveness. Parties agreed on text that refers to the potential contribution of the NWP to the advancement of the SDGs. On improving the effectiveness of the Focal Point Forum, parties agreed on informing future activities to be undertaken in a manner that supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement. On the invitation of support, parties considered the need to include explicit reference to experts from developing countries. Parties agreed to the draft conclusions with these amendments.


MANDATED EVENTS: Facilitated sharing of views (FSV): The FSV convened throughout the day. India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritania, Montenegro, Morocco, the Republic of Moldova, Thailand and Uruguay presented their biennial update reports. Questions to India focused on the 81% increase in solar capacity achieved in 2016 over 2015. Parties also asked India about its short-term capacity-building needs and whether using multiple IPCC guidelines proved an additional burden, or provided flexibility. Parties asked Indonesia, inter alia: if costs of technical support in the forestry sector were assessed; about inter-annual variability in the LULUCF sector; and about the role of the CDM in meeting mitigation targets.

ACE Dialogue: Deo Saran, incoming COP 23/CMP 13 Presidency, facilitated. Launching the Young Climate Fellowship programme, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa underlined the linkages among education, employment and climate action. Jakob Rhyner, UN University, highlighted the need to link academic and UN agendas.

Saying addressing climate change requires a new ethic of responsibility, Marie-Christine Ghanbari Jahromi outlined action-oriented and cooperative learning methods to nurture ecological and global citizens.

A panel showcased good practices and lessons in climate change education. Participants discussed: climate change education in the context of national adaptation plans (NAPs) and NDCs; the integration of climate change into national curricula; messages for climate change education for all; approaches, tools and materials for climate change education; and engagement of non-party stakeholders. The ACE Dialogue will continue on Tuesday, 16 May, to discuss climate change training and international cooperation.

DEVELOPMENT OF MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION AND USE OF A PUBLIC REGISTRY REFERRED TO IN PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 4.12: Gertraud Wollansky (Austria) co-facilitated. Parties engaged in a paragraph-by-paragraph exchange of views on draft text prepared by the Co-Facilitators. On a paragraph reflecting discussions in the first week of SBI 46, parties made several suggestions regarding choice of words and possible additional elements, including on language-related accessibility.

One developing country group, opposed by a developed country group, proposed a paragraph on avoiding duplication with work under APA agenda item 3 (mitigation). Co-Facilitator Wollansky encouraged parties to consult informally. Informal consultations will continue.

DEVELOPMENT OF MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION AND USE OF A PUBLIC REGISTRY REFERRED TO IN PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 7.12: Madeleine Diouf-Sarr (Senegal) co-facilitated. Parties engaged in a paragraph-by-paragraph exchange of views on draft text prepared by the Co-Facilitators. On a paragraph capturing discussions in the first week, parties made proposals regarding the choice of words and possible new elements, including on simplicity and user-friendliness of the registry.

Various developing countries proposed requesting the Secretariat to prepare an information note before, instead of after, submissions by parties and observers. Informal consultations will continue.

NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANS: Co-facilitator Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu) introduced, and parties agreed to, draft conclusions text that would postpone consideration of this issue to SBI 49 (December 2018), taking into account activities being considered under other relevant agenda items.

MATTERS RELATING TO CAPACITY BUILDING: Co-Facilitator Bubu Jallow (The Gambia) presented a draft conclusions text on the fourth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in economies in transition, which he noted is mandated to be completed at COP 23. Noting no text had yet been made available on the framework for capacity-building in developing countries, he proposed holding additional informal consultations, which parties supported.

Co-Facilitator Marzena Chodor (Poland) provided an update on the first PCCB meeting outcome, noting a technical progress report will be available in August 2017, which could inform discussions on the developing countries’ framework.

Parties then exchanged views on the draft text. Noting the short time available, Co-Facilitator Chodor encouraged parties to consult informally.

PERIODIC ASSESSMENT OF THE TECHNOLOGY MECHANISM: Washington Zhakata (Zimbabwe) co-facilitated. Parties reflected on a revised non-paper and draft conclusions, with many commenting that sequencing of the assessment is important.

On the non-paper, one developed country, opposed by a developing country, said references to the COP should be changed to reflect processes under the Paris Agreement.

On scope, several developed countries called for making the transformational element more explicit, and including biennial reports by parties and available information from stakeholders under sources for the assessment.

A group of developing countries emphasized that not just the mechanism should be assessed but also the interlinkages with, inter alia, the Financial Mechanism and private stakeholders.

Parties could not agree on draft conclusions, or to defer work to SBI 48. Discussions will continue.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: Collin Beck (Solomon Islands) presented revised draft conclusions. Parties debated the end date of the subsidiary bodies’ sessions at COP 23, particularly whether their work can continue in parallel to the high-level segment. Regarding the engagement of non-party stakeholders, two developing countries suggested submissions should precede any recommendations and asked to bracket the paragraph. A developed country group opposed brackets, observing submissions and a workshop had already occurred. A contact group will convene.


RESPONSE MEASURES: In the morning, Co-Facilitator Andrei Marcu (Panama) presented the Co-Facilitators’ draft informal note on the Improved Forum and work programme. Parties debated whether to include specific reference to discussions on the Secretariat’s technical paper (FCCC/TP/2016/7) in the note. Some developing country groups supported the proposed technical inter-sessional work on modeling, in support of the Improved Forum’s planned discussions at COP 23. Some developed country parties opposed. Discussions will continue.

In the afternoon, parties went paragraph-by-paragraph through the Co-Facilitators’ draft note on the modalities, work programme and functions of the forum under the Paris Agreement. Some developed countries, opposed by some developing country groups and parties, requested removing from the draft text: a mandate for a Secretariat report on the Bonn Technical Expert Group (TEG) meeting; a recommendation for a TEG to meet pre-sessionally; and a recommendation to prepare case studies on parties most affected by the implementation of response measures. Co-Facilitator Marcu encouraged bilaterals and will meet with parties to seek ways forward.


FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE MITIGATION SECTION OF DECISION 1/CP.21: Sin Liang Cheah (Singapore) co-facilitated. Noting that accounting would enable tracking progress of an NDC over time as well as assessing aggregate impact, a group of parties highlighted the need for consistency and comparability among other parties’ NDCs. A party urged consideration of semi-quantified or unquantified contributions, and how they would be used as inputs to the GST. Some said guidance must allow for evolution over time as new information and methodologies become available. Noting the need for further discussions, a group of parties called for pre-sessional roundtables. Others called for a technical paper on existing accounting approaches. Informal informals will meet to discuss a draft informal note.

ADAPTATION COMMUNICATIONS: Co-Facilitator Beth Lavender (Canada) invited parties’ views on the skeleton of the guidance. Proposals were presented by a developing country group and a developed country party. On support, some developed countries argued that support will be covered in the transparency framework and that the communications would need only a reference to Agreement Article 7.13 (continued and enhanced support for adaptation). Some developing country groups observed that a reference to Agreement Article 7.13 would not communicate implementation and that the treatment of support in the technology framework is not yet decided.

In the afternoon, parties discussed the second iteration of the Co-Facilitators’ informal note, which was informed primarily by the two submissions received by the Secretariat. Co-Facilitator Nicolas Zambrano Sanchez (Ecuador) encouraged bilaterals to feed into the third and final iteration of the note. On the way forward, many parties recommended focused submissions from parties on the headings, sub-headings and contents of the guidance skeleton. Some developing country groups, with some developed countries opposing, stressed the need for intersessional or pre-sessional meetings.  Several parties emphasized the need to explicitly focus on the linkages to other areas of the APA agenda.

TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION AND SUPPORT: Co-Facilitator Andrew Rakestraw (US) called for views on next steps following APA 1-3. There was broad support for: targeted submissions from parties, which would focus on the possible headings and sub-headings contained in the Co-Facilitators’ informal note; an intersessional workshop that would learn from the shortfalls of the March 2017 workshop; a deadline for submissions that would allow parties to prepare submissions and read others’ submissions before the workshop; and submissions feeding into the workshop. Views diverged on whether to mandate the Secretariat to consolidate or synthesize the submissions. Informal informals on the proposed headings and sub-headings occurred in the afternoon.

GLOBAL STOCKTAKE (GST): Co-facilitator Ilze Prūse (Latvia) invited views on work after APA 1-3. Many parties supported a call for submissions focused on headings for draft decision text. Some preferred reflecting on the information in the submissions received so far. Various developing countries, opposed by other parties, called for submissions or technical papers on equity. Various parties supported a pre-sessional workshop, with many stressing the need to ensure “equitable” participation. Further to the proposal by a group of developing countries, the Co-Facilitators will prepare a draft list of headings and sub-headings for future decision text. Informal consultations will continue.

FURTHER MATTERS: Adaptation Fund: María del Pilar Bueno (Argentina) co-facilitated parties’ reflections on a Co-Facilitators’ draft “snapshot” document.

Parties exchanged views on options regarding ways for the Adaptation Fund to serve the Paris Agreement. Some preferred clarifying the Fund’s institutional home rather than discussing whom it serves.

On the list of identified issues that need to be addressed, parties suggested better reflection of discussions on interlinkages, share of proceeds and legal views shared by the Secretariat. One group of parties, opposed by one party, proposed as way forward that: the next CMP decide to move the Fund under the CMA; the next CMA decide the Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement; and the Fund’s rules shall apply mutatis mutandis, adopting existing safeguards.

The Co-Facilitators will revise the snapshot document.

Further matters except the Adaptation Fund: APA Co-Chair Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) presented a draft Co-Chairs’ informal note, noting it contains proposed next steps on four of the matters: on enabling the response measures forum to serve the Paris Agreement; on recognizing developing countries’ adaptation efforts; and on (initial) CMA guidance to the GCF and GEF, and LDCF and SSCF. Responding to a party regarding how common understanding on different matters would be “passed on,” she noted the informal note and APA conclusions as possible options.

On the proposal to trigger the mandate for preparing the guidance at CMA 1-3, with a view to the SCF preparing draft guidance for CMA 2, one developing country group proposed providing guidance earlier.

On the process for setting a new collective quantified goal on finance, many parties agreed to refer to this as a “mandated” matter and add a reference to the relevant paragraph in the Paris outcome. Some developing countries and groups said they would propose better articulated text on the option of starting work early. Discussions will continue.


On Monday morning, well-rested delegates returned to the venue seemingly eager to push ahead. In many rooms, calls were made for additional timeslots to ensure that as much progress as possible would be captured in textual form – be it in substantive draft SBI or SBSTA conclusions or APA informal notes or “snap shots.”

During lunch, complaints about uneven progress among parts of the Paris rulebook lingered. One delegate countered, saying “our work here is not about speed but about substance – we are just trying to prepare for getting future decisions right.” Another mentioned concerns about capturing work without prejudging future discussions.

Despite the enthusiasm, with only a few days left in a short second week, one delegate feared “no agreement on conclusions means no conclusions.” Proposals to postpone some technical work to SB 48 in 2018 raised eyebrows, with one declaring “this ‘solution’ prolongs our inability to address the issues at hand.”

Leaving the venue, one more resigned delegate observed: “We came here to identify issues, not to resolve them.”