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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 710 | Tuesday, 14 November 2017


Fiji / Bonn Highlights

Monday, 13 November 2017 | Bonn, Germany


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The Fiji / Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Monday. Informal consultations and contact groups under the COP, CMP, APA, SBSTA, and SBI convened throughout the day.

COP

MATTERS RELATING TO FINANCE: Long-term Climate Finance (LTF): In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Georg Børsting invited views on a five-page draft COP decision on LTF, focused on: whether all views are reflected; any concerns; and areas for streamlining.

Developing countries stressed the SCF’s LTF in-session workshop reports and biennial assessments and overviews of climate finance flows as the sole inputs to the high-level ministerial dialogues. Many developed countries cautioned against “cherry-picking” from these inputs and also called for removing paragraphs referring to assistance to developing countries’ NDC-related needs, noting this is beyond the scope of LTF and prejudges APA discussions. 

On a paragraph on the COP 22 President’s note on the second biennial high-level ministerial dialogue, many highlighted reservations, including related to referencing an annex attached to the note.

Parties also shared views on paragraphs on, inter alia: referring to the US$100 billion goal; biennial reports, with many noting this was outside the scope of LTF; and whether to give guidance to the incoming COP Presidency on the topic of the next high-level ministerial dialogue.

Informal consultations will continue.

APA

FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE MITIGATION SECTION OF DECISION 1/CP.21: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Sin Liang Cheah (Singapore) presented a 180-page “preliminary material” document. While conveying concerns on the length of the document, but noting that it included several caveats to take into account parties’ concerns, he expressed hope that the document would enable parties to start substantive negotiations at SB 48.

Many expressed their comfort in mandating the co-facilitators to work further on the text before APA 1-5, with one developing country group proposing that the co-facilitators streamline the document and consolidate views. One group highlighted potential areas for streamlining.

Countries also discussed a footnote that reflected different views on the need for the word “additional,” in reference to substantive elements under a section on information. Views diverged on whether substantive inputs provided during this session of the consultations could be conveyed orally to the APA co-chairs.

Countries agreed to forward the document, with the footnote amended and without oral reports on the substantive inputs received in the final session, to the APA co-chairs as the co-facilitators’ informal note from APA 1-4.

ADAPTATION COMMUNICATION: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Beth Lavender (Canada), who informed that the APA co-chairs had asked the co-facilitators to produce a second iteration of the informal note with more detail, especially under the elements heading, to ensure “comparability” with work under other APA agenda items.

Parties discussed the first iteration of the informal note. One developed country said there should be guidance for all possible vehicles, if there is to be NDC-specific guidance. Several parties highlighted the need to discuss interlinkages with other APA agenda items, especially transparency and the GST, with one developing country group proposing joint meetings with those APA items. Several stressed the need to focus on the adaptation communication first before going into detail on interlinkages. Informal consultations will continue.

GST: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Richard Muyungi (Tanzania). Countries shared perspectives on Activity B (“Technical Phase”), Activity C (“Political Phase”), and sources of inputs in the revised preliminary material document. Countries suggested, inter alia: allowing parties to upload submissions online to avoid undue burden; a workshop on methodologies and assumptions of the data compilation and synthesis; and three technical dialogues within the technical phase, on mitigation, adaptation, and finance flows and MOI. One country requested the co-facilitators capture in greater detail the views expressed during the discussion on equity in the context of the GST. Informal consultations will continue.

COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE IMPLEMENTATION AND PROMOTE COMPLIANCE: Peter Horne (Australia) co-facilitated informal consultations, inviting views on the informal note and the way forward. All viewed the informal note as a useful basis, noting it is a compilation of views. One developing country group, opposed by two developing country groups, suggested including special circumstances for all developing countries, not only LDCs and SIDS. Some developed countries asked that the note include that bodies other than the committee could initiate the committee’s work.

On the way forward, one developing country group suggested written submissions, which two developed countries opposed, saying that the informal note adequately captured positions.

Horne said that the informal note would be revised to include the specific suggestions raised during the informal consultations and forwarded to the APA co-chairs.

MPGS FOR THE ENHANCED TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Andrew Rakestraw (US), who solicited countries’ views on the co-facilitators’ informal note containing draft elements. Many noted missing elements or elements they do not support, but all countries expressed willingness to continue working with the document rather than reopening it. Several countries expressed discomfort with the notation key that indicates which provisions apply to which party groupings. One country suggested transposing the notation to each element and another suggested capturing the information in superscript. Countries agreed that the co-facilitators would revise the document, replacing the notation key with superscript, and forward it with technical corrections to the APA co-chairs.

FURTHER MATTERS: Other Further Matters: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia), who outlined additional questions for parties to consider relating to initial guidance by the CMA to the LDCF and the SCCF. Many developing country groups proposed the mandate of issuing the initial guidance be given to the COP via the SBI, and to establish the LDCF initial guidance as a specific SBI agenda item at CMA 1 in 2018, with the aim to provide recommendations to the CMA, and to conclude by SBI 50. One developing country group further noted that the LDCF and SCCF are Convention Funds, which are the purview of the COP, and said that if the SBI, and not APA, deals with the matter, it needs to be done under an agenda item that could be titled “other matters relating to the operationalisation of the Paris Agreement relevant to the functioning of the LDCF.” Several developed countries said there is no need to consider this mandate now as the LDCF initial guidance falls within the guidance to the GEF, with one country adding it cannot support the initial guidance to be considered by the SBI. Informal consultations will continue.

SBI

DEVELOPMENT OF MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION AND USE OF A PUBLIC REGISTRY REFERRED TO IN AGREEMENT ARTICLE 7.12: In informal consultations in the morning, co-facilitated by Madeleine Diouff Sarr (Senegal), parties reacted to the informal note, containing sections on technical elements (modalities, procedures, roles, and linkages) and proposals for implementing the registry.

Many supported having the informal note attached to the outcomes from this session. Many parties and groups proposed placing the proposals before the technical elements.

One developing country group, opposed by some developed countries, called for referring to “options” instead of proposals.

Parties also identified, and partly diverged on, language that might prejudge the outcome of the negotiations under this item, including “metadata,” “versions,” “document,” or “adaptation communication.”

In the afternoon informal consultations, the co-facilitators presented a revised informal note, containing sections on proposals and detailed elements, with a structure identical to a revised informal note prepared under the SBI item on the public registry referred to in Agreement Article 4.12 (registry for NDCs). After agreeing to textual amendments proposed by two developing country groups and a developed country, parties agreed to draft conclusions, containing a reference to the informal note as a source for parties to draw upon at SBI 48.

DEVELOPMENT OF MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION AND USE OF A PUBLIC REGISTRY REFERRED TO IN AGREEMENT ARTICLE 4.12: In informal consultations in the morning, co-facilitated by Peer Stiansen (Norway), parties considered a revised version of the co-facilitators’ informal note.

One developing country group called for a balanced treatment of the two SBI public registry items, including language on the elements of the modalities similar to that in the informal note for the registry under Agreement Article 7.12 (registry for adaptation communications). Many supported adding a section on proposals in the note, including proposals for using the interim NDC registry as is or building on it, but views diverged on whether to include a proposal referring to a registry “equipped with advanced content search functionality.”

Parties also considered procedural draft conclusions. One developing country group called for identical conclusions under this item and the item on the registry under Agreement Article 7.12. Parties then agreed to the draft conclusions, pending a decision on whether to refer to the informal note.

In the afternoon informal consultations, the co-facilitators presented a revised informal note, containing sections on proposals and detailed elements, with a structure identical to a revised informal note prepared under the SBI item on the public registry referred to in Agreement Article 7.12 (registry for adaptation communications). One developing country group strictly opposed a proposal referring to “advanced searchability functions.” Parties agreed to remove this proposal and, after aligning the text with relevant parts of the informal note text under the other SBI registry item, agreed to draft conclusions, containing a reference to the informal note as a source for parties to draw upon at SBI 48.

MATTERS RELATING TO FINANCE: Third Review of the Adaptation Fund: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Patience Damptey (Ghana) and Gemma O’Reilly (Ireland). Parties provided input on proposed draft conclusions with some arguing that several paragraphs are outside the mandate of the agenda item, with one developing country group highlighting text on diversifying sources of funding as beyond the scope. Parties also noted irregularities regarding the timing of the next review, with several developed countries suggesting the next review should occur in conjunction with the review of the Financial Mechanism in four years. One developed country suggested the inclusion of references to future adaptation needs and the gap in adaptation funding.

Another developing country suggested that parties focus on the title and the scope of the agenda item to make the work more manageable. Informal consultations will continue.

MATTERS RELATING TO CAPACITY BUILDING: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Jeniffer Hanna Collado (Dominican Republic), parties considered, and agreed to, revised draft conclusions, and draft COP and CMP decisions.

NAPS: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu). Parties reported that informal informal consultations had not resolved all issues. One developing country group provided updates on text it had recently proposed regarding mandating the Adaptation Committee and the LEG to produce an information paper on the experiences of countries in accessing the GCF Readiness Programme, including for the process to formulate and implement NAPs. The group argued that this is within the scope of the mandate of this agenda item. Several parties noted the lack of time to consider the new proposed text. Informal informals met throughout the evening.

SBSTA

AGRICULTURE: Informal consultations continued, co-facilitated by Emmanuel Dlamini (Swaziland). A developing country group introduced a proposal for a draft decision to establish a joint SBI/SBSTA work programme to consider the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches towards addressing food security. Noting that the proposal avoided issues that did not reach consensus in informal consultations, the group said it hoped the decision would be adopted at this COP. Parties agreed the proposal was a positive step forward, with one developed country stressing it avoids duplicating work, and requested more time to seek higher political approval and consult internally. SBSTA Co-Chair Carlos Fuller (Belize) requested the group work in informal informals to finalize the text. In the evening, the group agreed to forward a decision to the SBSTA plenary for consideration.

MATTERS RELATING TO AGREEMENT ARTICLE 6: The contact group, co-chaired by Kelley Kizzier (EU), met twice during the day, focusing on draft conclusions for the agenda items of Agreement Articles 6.2, 6.4, and 6.8. Saudi Arabia, for the LMDCs, supported by Egypt, for the ARAB GROUP, and VENEZUELA, did not support the draft conclusion texts as a basis for discussion, proposing procedural conclusions that take note of the co-chairs’ informal notes and decide to continue discussions at SBSTA 48. Many argued for substantive conclusions, citing the need to capture progress made in the roundtables and informal consultations. BRAZIL, supported by CHINA, requested deletion of references to the co-chairs’ informal summary of the pre-sessional roundtables, noting that parties had not been consulted on its contents. The LMDCs, opposed by several others, requested deletion of references to observer submissions, arguing for a party-driven process. Informal informals convened in the evening.

DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: Technology Framework under Agreement Article 10.4: Informal consultations continued, co-facilitated by Elfriede-Anna More (Austria), and parties discussed draft conclusions prepared by the co-facilitators. Parties diverged on the need to include reference to transparency, with several developing countries arguing that an indicator needs to be developed to assess the success of technology transfer mechanisms. A developed country argued that a separate, existing agenda item on assessment will address this issue at the next session. A developing country group suggested adding a paragraph asking for additional submissions and mandating the SBSTA chair to prepare a document on the draft technology framework on this basis. A developed country group, supported by a developed country, opposed new submissions, arguing there would be insufficient time to prepare and incorporate them before SB 48.

In the afternoon, informal consultations continued, co-facilitated by Stella Gama (Malawi). Parties reported they had reached consensus on the draft conclusions in informal informals. Parties agreed to the amended draft conclusions.

SBSTA/SBI

REPORT OF THE ADAPTATION FUND BOARD: This informal consultation session was co-facilitated by O’Reilly. Parties expressed views on proposed draft conclusions, discussing how to incorporate in the draft conclusions more recent numbers on funding. Some developed countries suggested the Adaptation Fund Board should release an addendum to its report with more updated numbers in conjunction with COP sessions, in a manner similar to the GCF and GEF. Informal informals convened throughout the day.

RESPONSE MEASURES: Co-Facilitator Andrei Marcu (Panama) convened informal consultations focusing on draft co-chairs’ conclusions for item (a) (improved forum and work programme) and item (b) (modalities, work programme, and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures). On the improved forum conclusions, a developing country was not comfortable agreeing to the text since it referenced the informal note, the final version of which she said parties had not yet seen. On the conclusions on modalities, work programme and functions, many developing country parties supported a text option aimed at the creation of a permanent technical expert group (TEG), citing the usefulness of the group for the forum’s work. Some developed countries argued that while technical discussions are useful, the design of the TEG needs to be reviewed. Informal consultations continued in the evening.

REPORT OF THE ADAPTATION COMMITTEE AND OF THE LEG: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Richard Merzian (Australia), parties disagreed on whether to: continue considering the three joint LEG and Adaptation Committee mandates as well as the two Adaptation Committee mandates under this agenda item or under a new agenda item at SB 48; and call for submissions on the mandates before SB 48. One developing country proposed that submissions could revolve around addressing the gaps in the mandates or to provide further information on them. One developing country group asked that the in-session informal note be updated to highlight progress made and be attached to potential draft conclusions. Merzian said that draft conclusions would be circulated reflecting agreements and divergences, along with an updated informal note. Informal informals will convene.

IN THE CORRIDORS

The beginning of the second week picked up from the week before, with a heady stream of negotiations frantically juggled to adopt as many draft conclusions and decisions as possible, and to avoid overlaps among agenda items discussing similar topics, particularly on finance. Many delegates worked throughout the weekend, leaving their proverbial batteries drained. This made the contrast between the Bula and Bonn Zones even more noticeable, as the Bonn Zone continued to be a lively, even jovial space marked with announcements from subnational governments, and appearances by celebrities. Not all observer delegates have access to the Bula Zone, which one participant said “helps keep things focused technically and manageable logistically.” A NGO representative predictably disagreed, unimpressed that “rabble-rousers are being kept away from negotiators,” while another thought all the announcements and actions in the Bonn Zone were signs of momentum, saying that bringing countries on board “certainly needs more than a stroll in the park between the Zones.”

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