Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 703 | Monday, 6 November 2017
Bonn Climate Change Conference
6-17 November 2017 | Bonn, Germany
The Bonn Climate Change Conference opens today and will continue until 17 November, under the Presidency of Fiji. The meeting comprises the twenty-third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 13), and the second part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1-2). The 47th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 47) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 47), as well as the fourth part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-4) will also meet.
The conference is expected to advance work on issues related to operationalizing the Paris Agreement, due for completion by COP 24 in 2018. This “Paris Agreement Work Programme” includes agenda items addressed under APA 1-4, SBI 47, SBSTA 47, COP 23 and CMA 1-2. Issues addressed by APA 1-4 include: the mitigation section of decision 1/CP.21 (the Paris outcome); adaptation communications; transparency framework for action and support; global stocktake; and mechanism to facilitate implementation and promote compliance. APA 1-4 will also continue considering matters related to the Adaptation Fund, and take up other matters. Among its regular items related to finance, adaptation, and loss and damage, the COP is expected to continue its consideration of issues related to the preparations for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, possibly including the 2018 facilitative dialogue.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFCCC AND THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
The international political response to climate change began with the 1992 adoption of the UNFCCC, which sets out a legal framework for stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, has 197 parties. In December 1997, delegates to COP 3 in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a protocol to the UNFCCC that committed industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve emissions reduction targets. These countries, known as Annex I parties under the UNFCCC, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six GHGs by an average of 5% below 1990 levels in 2008-2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 and now has 192 parties.
In December 2015, at COP 21 in Paris, France, parties agreed to the Paris Agreement that specifies all countries will submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and aggregate progress on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation (MOI) will be reviewed every five years through a global stocktake. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, and, as of 5 November 2017, has been ratified by 169 parties out of the 195 signatories.
LONG-TERM NEGOTIATIONS, 2005-2009: Convening in Montreal, Canada, in 2005, the CMP 1 established the Ad Hoc Working Group on Annex I Parties’ Further Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) in accordance with Protocol Article 3.9, which mandated consideration of Annex I parties’ further commitments at least seven years before the end of the first commitment period.
In December 2007, COP 13 and CMP 3 in Bali, Indonesia, resulted in agreement on the Bali Roadmap on long-term issues. COP 13 adopted the Bali Action Plan (BAP) and established the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), with a mandate to focus on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action. Negotiations on Annex I parties’ further commitments continued under the AWG-KP. The deadline for concluding the two-track negotiations was 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
COPENHAGEN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen met in December 2009. The event was marked by disputes over transparency and process. After lengthy debate, delegates ultimately agreed to “take note” of the Copenhagen Accord and to extend the mandates of the negotiating groups until COP 16 and CMP 6 in 2010. In 2010, over 140 countries indicated support for the Accord. Over 80 countries provided information on their national mitigation targets or actions.
CANCUN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, convened in December 2010, where parties adopted the Cancun Agreements and agreed to consider the adequacy of the long-term global goal during a 2013-2015 review. The Cancun Agreements established several new institutions and processes, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Cancun Adaptation Framework, the Adaptation Committee and the Technology Mechanism, which includes the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).
DURBAN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, occurred in November and December 2011. Among other outcomes, parties agreed to launch the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) with a mandate “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties” no later than 2015, to enter into force in 2020. In addition, the ADP was mandated to explore actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap in relation to the 2°C target.
DOHA: The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, took place in November and December 2012. The conference resulted in a package of decisions referred to as the “Doha Climate Gateway.” These included amendments to the Kyoto Protocol to establish its second commitment period (2013-2020), and agreement to terminate the AWG-KP’s and AWG-LCA’s work and negotiations under the BAP.
WARSAW: The UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland, took place in November 2013. The meeting adopted an ADP decision that, inter alia, invites parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). Parties also adopted decisions establishing the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM), and the Warsaw Framework for REDD+.
LIMA: The UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, took place in December 2014. COP 20 adopted the “Lima Call for Climate Action,” which furthered progress on the negotiations towards the 2015 agreement by elaborating the elements of a draft negotiating text for the 2015 agreement and the process for submitting and synthesizing INDCs, while also addressing pre-2020 ambition. Parties also adopted 19 decisions that, inter alia, help operationalize the WIM, establish the Lima work programme on gender, and adopt the Lima Ministerial Declaration on Education and Awareness-raising.
PARIS: The UN Climate Change Conference convened in Paris, France, in November-December 2015 and culminated in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Agreement specifies that each party shall communicate successive NDCs that it intends to achieve. By 2020, parties whose NDCs contain a timeframe up to 2025 are requested to communicate a new NDC and parties with a NDC timeframe up to 2030 are requested to communicate or update these contributions. Starting in 2023, aggregate progress on mitigation, adaptation and MOI will be reviewed every five years in a global stocktake.
MARRAKECH: The UN Climate Change Conference convened from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco, and included CMA 1. Parties adopted 35 decisions, several related to the Paris Agreement work programme, including: that such work should conclude by 2018; that the Adaptation Fund should serve the Paris Agreement; the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building; and initiating a process to identify the information to be provided in accordance with Agreement Article 9.5 (biennial finance communications by developed countries). COP 22 also adopted decisions, including approving the five-year workplan of the WIM, enhancing the Technology Mechanism, and continuing and enhancing the Lima work programme on gender.
SBSTA 46, SBI 46, APA 1-3: These bodies convened from 8-18 May 2017 in Bonn, Germany. The APA adopted conclusions outlining intersessional and pre-sessional work under each substantive agenda item. The SBI’s conclusions addressed: public registry/-ies for NDCs and adaptation communications; scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the Paris Agreement; and third review of the Adaptation Fund. The SBSTA adopted conclusions on, inter alia: the Paris Agreement Technology Framework; agriculture; matters relating to Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches); and modalities for accounting of financial resources provided and mobilized through public interventions under Agreement Article 9.7. Joint conclusions were adopted on response measures, and scope of the next periodic review of the long-term goal under the Convention and progress toward achieving it, which also contained a COP decision.
IPCC 46: The 46th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 46) met from 6-10 September 2017 in Montreal, Canada. Among its decisions, IPCC 46 approved the chapter outlines for the three Working Group reports that will comprise the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), together with the Synthesis Report, and agreed to establish a task group on aligning the IPCC cycles and the global stocktake under the UNFCCC.
21ST MEETING OF THE CLIMATE & CLEAN AIR COALITION TO REDUCE SHORT-LIVED CLIMATE POLLUTANTS (CCAC) WORKING GROUP: The 21st meeting of the CCAC Working Group took place from 25-26 September 2017 in Paris, France. The meeting aimed to: prepare for the CCAC High Level Assembly (HLA) taking place in November 2017, in parallel with the UNFCCC COP 23; zoom in on the CCAC objective to “leverage finance at scale” and consider the draft CCAC finance strategy; and consider and discuss next steps on how to address the proposed Pathway Approach for short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
RESPONSE MEASURES WORKSHOP: Convening from 4-5 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany this workshop addressed the functions, modalities and work programme of the forum.
APA ROUNDTABLE ON ADAPTATION COMMUNICATION: Convening 4 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, participants worked in break out groups to discuss questions on: the most relevant purposes and gaps in adaptation communications; if there should be common elements with opt-in and opt-out elements; if the guidance needs to address choice of vehicle; possible outcomes and effects of linkages with other agenda items; and provisions that could be contained to ensure flexibility, optionality, choice and discretion.
APA ROUNDTABLE ON THE ENHANCED TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK: This roundtable met in Bonn, Germany, to discuss transparency of support on 4 November 2017, and transparency of action, focusing on adaptation and mitigation, on 5 November 2017. On transparency of support, parties discussed information on financial, technology transfer and capacity-building support provided to, and needed and received by, developing country parties, as well as technical expert review and facilitative, multilateral consideration of progress. On transparency of action related to adaptation, participants discussed linkages to adaptation communication and how to operationalize flexibility. On transparency of action related to mitigation, participants discussed national GHG inventory reports, and information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs.
APA ROUNDTABLE ON THE GLOBAL STOCKTAKE: This workshop met on 5 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. In breakout groups, participants simulated the organization of the global stocktake, including the assessment of collective progress, design options and workstream approaches to different themes.