Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 709 | Monday, 13 November 2017
Fiji / Bonn Highlights
Saturday, 11 November 2017 | Bonn, Germany
The Fiji / Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Saturday. Informal consultations and contact groups under the COP, CMP, APA, SBSTA, and SBI convened throughout the day. In the afternoon, the COP President held an informal stocktaking plenary.
STOCKTAKING PLENARY: COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama chaired, informing parties he would propose an approach to the Talanoa Dialogue in the second week.
SBSTA Chair Carlos Fuller (Belize) reported constructive discussions, highlighting progress on, inter alia, technology, cooperative approaches, and finance accounting modalities.
SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow (Poland) reported progress on most items, noting that discussions related to the Paris Agreement work programme are ongoing on the public registry items and response measures.
APA Co-Chairs Jo Tyndall (New Zealand) and Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) underscored the need for coordination among the bodies, particularly as substantive text emerges.
Switzerland, for the EIG, supported by GEORGIA, expressed concern over slow progress, and called for a clear mandate from this COP to co-chairs and co-facilitators that will allow parties to move to substantive and technical discussions at SB 48.
Ecuador, for the G-77/CHINA, called for balanced progress on all items, no reinterpretation of the Convention, and “no artificial separation between technical and political.” He stressed as important, inter alia: pre-2020 action and ambition; progress in finance-related items; a decision that the Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement; advancing on adaptation communicaton guidance; and time allocated to equity under the GST.
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, noted progress, but said significant differences remain and expressed disappointment with some parties’ insistence on working outside existing mandates.
Ethiopia, for the LDCs, called for capturing progress that enables engaging in “textual mode” in the next session. He stressed the need to consider loss and damage at the subsidiary bodies, a decision on the Adaptation Fund, finalizing the Talanoa Dialogue design, and progress in transparency of support.
Maldives, for AOSIS, called for the Talanoa Dialogue to ensure that the findings from the IPCC special report on 1.5°C are taken up before COP 24 and, on loss and damage, called for intersessional discussions, expert groups under the WIM ExCom, and building linkages to the Convention’s Financial Mechanism.
The EU highlighted three aims for the second week of COP 23: progress on all agenda items, including mitigation; focus on mandated items of the Paris Agreement work programme; and maintenance of the spirit and balance achieved in the Agreement.
Expressing concern about progress on finance and adaptation, Mali, for the AFRICAN GROUP, underlined the urgency of starting discussions, as early as possible, to identify the new collective goal on finance, noting the current finance target is not on track to be met.
Iran, for the LMDCs, expressed concern that developed countries are attempting to rewrite the Paris Agreement by not agreeing to principles of CBDR and flexibility.
SAUDI ARABIA called for replicating the success of Paris by producing and omnibus decision that provides “the full picture.”
Peru, for AILAC, stated the importance of making progress on substantive matters, rather than on procedural matters.
COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar provided updates on consultations on the addition of two proposed COP agenda items: from the LMDCs on the acceleration of implementation of pre-2020 commitments and actions, and increasing pre-2020 ambition; and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a gateway to encourage, monitor, report, verify, and account for ambition of non-party organizations. Jochen Flasbarth (Germany) provided an update on the ongoing consultations on the proposal from Turkey on access to GCF and CTCN support. Mezouar and Flasbarth noted constructive engagement, but that no consensus was reached.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY MECHANISM: Review of the effective implementation of CTCN: In informal consultations, parties considered a draft decision prepared by co-facilitators Balisi Gopolang (Botswana) and Elfriede-Anna More (Austria). Several parties welcomed the text as a good basis for discussion. Some suggested inserting text requesting a written response to the independent review from UN Environment (host of the CTCN) and CTCN before deciding at COP 24 how to address the review’s recommendations. Others stressed the need to ensure parties’ input was captured in the CTCN’s workplan. Informal consultations will continue.
FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE MITIGATION SECTION OF DECISION 1/CP.21: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Gertraude Wollansky (Austria), reflecting on the preliminary material document from Friday, 10 November, one developed country proposed: lifting two ‘clusters’ from appendices on information and accounting into the main body of the text; requesting parties’ additional submissions, to be included as attachments after each respective section; and that the co-facilitators streamline the text, including of the clusters.
One developing country group proposed replacing the two clusters with submissions from parties, and opposed attributing parties or groups’ submissions.
Wollansky proposed, and parties agreed, to in-session submissions from parties on information and accounting, and on anything that might be missing from the text. Parties also mandated the co-facilitators to streamline the document and agreed that parties could indicate in their submissions their preference regarding attribution.
Informal consultations will continue on Monday, 13 November, based on a second iteration of the preliminary material document.
ADAPTATION COMMUNICATION: Informal consultations met in the morning and afternoon. Co-facilitated by Beth Lavender (Canada), in the morning, parties discussed the first iteration of an informal note by the co-facilitators which Lavender said further reflected the discussions on the “skeleton” list. One developing country group said the informal note cannot be used as a basis for further negotiations, as it does not reflect their views, and requested it be removed from the UNFCCC website, which Lavender confirmed would occur. The group proposed three heading options related to NDCs as vehicles for communication: common adaptation communication guidance; common adaptation communication guidance and vehicle-specific guidance; and vehicle-specific guidance.
Many others said the informal note constituted a good basis for further negotiations. Countries offered views on the note, especially relating to the potential to consolidate or cluster headings. One developing country group asked for clarification regarding the headings relating to NDCs. Several developed countries suggested that the preamble be the last area of focus.
In the afternoon, parties continued to share views on the “skeleton list”, co-facilitated by Julio Cordano (Chile) and Lavender. One developing country group, supported by another, proposed there should be two separate sets adaptation communication guidance: general guidance and NDC-specific guidance. Several developed countries opposed this, noting that the group is mandated to develop guidance for adaptation communication and not for communicating on adaptation through the NDCs. A developing country group explained that this proposal stems from a lack of guidance for adaptation communication in the NDCs. Several countries stated this proposal could generate an additional burden. Following a request by Cordano to continue sharing views on the document, a developing country group asked questions on, among others, why “approach” appears under different headings and how updating the guidance relates to different vehicles. Some developing countries questioned the difference between headings on common elements and on opt-in and opt-out. Informal consultations will continue based on a revised informal note.
GST: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Outi Honkatukia (Finland) and Richard Muyungi (Tanzania), who invited views on how to operationalize equity in the context of the GST. Countries agreed it should: be overarching; ensure inclusivity; be linked to the concepts of sustainable development and poverty eradication; not place undue burden on developing country parties; utilize objective measures; apply to adaptation, mitigation, and MOI; and encourage the participation of non-party stakeholders and expert groups. Among proposals, parties suggested: holding technical dialogues in conjunction with regular sessions; considering sources of input that could provide analysis of equity in Activity A (“Preparatory Phase”); conducting specific dialogues in Activity B (“Technical Phase”); and including references to equity in the GST outcome in Activity C (“Political Phase”).
Sharing perspectives on the concept of equity, a developing country group underscored that equity is about how the GST will reflect fairness, while a developed country said that equity means equal participation in the process. A developed country underscored that the GST has not been “directed to fix inequity.” One country said equity includes: parties’ responsibility for causing damage; capacity to contribute to problem solving; and rights to the benefits at stake.
The co-facilitators proposed, and parties agreed, to incorporate feedback into the preliminary material document and informal note. Informal consultations will continue.
COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE IMPLEMENTATION AND PROMOTE COMPLIANCE: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Janine Felson (Belize), all countries expressed support for the revised preliminary materials document. One group of developing countries called for inclusion of the WIM as a source of information, and another suggested reflection of systemic issues in sections on sources of information, triggers, and outputs. Some developed countries said their views on the continuum of functions is not adequately reflected, and asked that the previous text be re-inserted.
On principles, developed and developing countries suggested additions, such as non-duplicative, independent, expert-based, facilitative, and transparent, with one developed country noting a lack of agreement that a principles section is necessary. One developing country group urged adding reference to the Convention’s principles, in addition to the Paris Agreement’s principles. Other developing countries underscored that CBDR should guide the work of the committee, while some developed countries expressed concern that the document is “heavy” by including many references to different forms of differentiation in the document, citing references to CBDR, bifurcated approaches, and national circumstances and capabilities. Informal consultations will continue.
FURTHER MATTERS: Adaptation Fund: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Peiter Terpstra (the Netherlands) invited comments on the revised informal note, including views on: what issues need to be addressed and when; further information required; and appropriate ways to address issues. One developing country group expressed concern that their submission was not directly referenced. A developing country underscored that no additional information is required. Several developed countries called for a decision in 2018 that decides on some issues, and lists issues and policies to be revised during a possible transitional period. Many developing countries and groups reiterated that many issues related to the Fund can be addressed by the UNFCCC Secretariat, the trustee, or the Adaptation Fund Board. Several developing groups and parties expressed concern about the lack of progress, with one country adding that discussions are “not going anywhere,” while several developed countries noted areas of convergence. Parties disagreed as to whether the co-facilitators should develop another iteration of the informal note, or whether parties should start considering the proposed draft texts. Terpstra noted no consensus on the way forward and that consultations will continue.
Other Further Matters: In informal consultations, co-facilitator Jo Tyndall (New Zealand) invited parties to clarify views on a possible additional matter relating to initial CMA guidance to the GCF and GEF. A developing country group clarified the legal and accountability arrangements among relevant bodies, stating that any guidance from the CMA, which will be on matters related to the Paris Agreement only, will be requested from the SCF, then considered by the CMA and finally brought to the COP.
Many countries agreed that the matter should not be taken up at this point. Many developed countries stressed no additional guidance was needed, suggesting the SCF already has a mandate from Decision 1/CP.21 (Paris outcome) to prepare draft guidance. Developing countries expressed preference to wait for more clarity on the “CMA workplan” before discussing additional guidance.
A developing country group proposed that CMA 1 start a process to consider possible additional guidance. Tyndall requested the group prepare a textual proposal.
Informal consultations will continue, taking up the three remaining additional matters on Monday, 13 November.
COORDINATION OF SUPPORT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MITIGATION ACTIVITIES IN THE FOREST SECTOR BY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, INCLUDING INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Keith Anderson (Switzerland) and Ayman Cherkaoui (Morocco), parties discussed draft conclusions proposed by the co-facilitators. Parties continued to disagree on: the group’s mandate; if the voluntary focal point meetings had fulfilled their purpose or should continue; and the need for an independent governance body to support REDD+ support and implementation. Parties sought legal clarification on the term “ultimate governance authority,” and requested the Secretariat to clarify: if the final document will present draft decisions or conclusions; and why the draft decisions or conclusions need to go back to the COP. Some developed countries said that if voluntary meetings were to continue, they would have to be time-bound. Informal consultations will continue.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: Poznan Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer: Informal consultations continued, with Co-Facilitator Kunihiko Shimada (Japan) noting that parties were close to agreement. Parties reported that informal informal consultations had resolved differences on GEF reporting on the collaboration between GEF focal points and CTCN DNEs. Parties agreed to the proposed amended text and Shimada closed the session. The text will be forwarded to the SBI Chair as draft conclusions.
WAYS OF ENHANCING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EDUCATION, TRAINING, PUBLIC AWARENESS, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, AND PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION TO ENHANCE ACTIONS UNDER THE PARIS AGREEMENT: Informal consultations facilitated by Albert Magalang (Philippines) discussed draft conclusions. Magalang emphasized the procedural nature of the draft conclusions and noted the inclusion of an SBI workshop, preferably in conjunction with SBI 48, to develop a list of actions to enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement through Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE)-related activities, with the participation of parties and observers. Countries agreed to further specifying that the participants of the workshop can include representatives of relevant bodies under the Convention, relevant experts, youth, practitioners, and stakeholders.
Parties agreed to the draft conclusions and the informal note by the facilitator.
MATTERS RELATING TO AGREEMENT ARTICLE 6: The contact group convened, co-chaired by Kelley Kizzier (EU) and focusing on input to the co-chairs’ informal note on Agreement Article 6.2 (ITMOs). ARGENTINA offered text on accounting and reporting that supported Brazil’s concerns about the environmental integrity of Article 6.2 transactions. Saint Lucia, for AOSIS, suggested a 5% share of proceeds go towards adaptation. COSTA RICA suggested text on a centralized registry using blockchain technology. BRAZIL stressed that the Paris Agreement is working to serve the Convention and its related instruments. Tuvalu, for the LDCs, suggested sub-elements for environmental integrity on adverse impacts for environment, social integrity, and human rights. Kizzier adjourned the session, noting that the co-chairs would produce revised informal notes on each agenda item.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: Technology Framework under Agreement Article 10.4: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Stella Gama (Malawi), who invited parties to share views on the theme of support. Parties agreed that support should not be limited to financial support, and offered suggestions for broadening the scope to include: capacity-building and technical assistance; pro bono and in-kind support; institutional support; monitoring and reporting; indigenous technologies; and encouragement of private sector investment. Several called for grounding the decision in Agreement Article 10.6 (support for technology development and transfer) and for a clear linkage to Agreement Article 13 (transparency framework), while one party cautioned against prejudging the outcome of the transparency discussions. The Co-Facilitators said they will produce an updated version of the informal note by Monday, 13 November. Parties agreed to request the SBSTA Chair to prepare a draft conclusions text.
IMPACT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONSE MEASURES: In the afternoon, Co-Facilitator Andrei Marcu (Panama) received parties’ input on the co-facilitators’ informal note on the modalities, work programme, and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impacts of the implementation of response measures. Parties gave detailed suggestions, including on removing international trade from the work programme, as a subject not within the mandate of the UNFCCC, and on language directing the CMA to take steps to enable the forum to serve the Paris Agreement. The co-facilitators will produce a revised informal note by Monday, 13 November. In both morning and afternoon sessions, parties considered draft conclusions on the above item, as well as on the improved forum and work programme. Further input will be sought in continued informal consultations.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On Day 6, the dreary weather seemed to get to the delegates, as dark clouds appeared in discussions on several items. One disillusioned delegate observed parties talking past each other even when using the same words. Perceiving a push to “load” the agenda for 2018 with new finance-related items, a group of countries called for respecting the “Paris balance,” while another large group said this would help ensure a balanced “package” at COP 24. Divisions were laid bare in the COP informal stocktaking session, as one group lamented that the momentum and encouraging actions taken throughout 2017 “have not been shown in the negotiations here.” Noting that not everything is as meets the eye, a seasoned negotiator said many items are “going underground” to find solutions.