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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 712 | Thursday, 16 November 2017


Fiji / Bonn Highlights

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 | Bonn, Germany


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The Fiji / Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Wednesday. Contact groups and informal consultations under the COP and CMP convened during the day. In the morning, the SBI and SBSTA closing plenaries resumed. In the morning and evening, the APA closing plenary met. The joint high-level segment opened in the afternoon.

COP/CMP/CMA HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama, Fiji, opened the high-level segment.

Stressing that the threat from climate change is real, urgent, and “growing overnight,” Timoci Naulusala, Fiji, asked attendees: “Are you ready to face life without earth?”

COP 23 President Bainimarama appealed to parties to remain focused on a successful outcome from COP 23, and reported that agreement had been reached on the proposed COP agenda item on the acceleration of implementation of pre-2020 commitments and actions and increasing pre-2020 ambition.

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, underlined that SIDS are at the frontlines of climate change and that they must be the “voice of us all.” With respect to big infrastructure projects he said, “if they are not green they should not be given the green light,” and urged donor nations to bring the GCF fully to life. 

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany, said the reality of climate change is dramatic and urgent. He noted that the Paris Agreement must be followed up with deeds, and that the multilateral structure is indispensable for a peaceful and sustainable future.

Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly, described the negative impacts of climate change, and noted the necessary tools to combat it already exist. He argued that while the people who will suffer from climate impacts are not in the hall, parties are accountable to them.

COP

MATTERS RELATING TO FINANCE: Sixth Review of the Financial Mechanism: Co-Facilitator Zaheer Fakir (South Africa) opened the informal consultations, noting this was the final session before a final contact group and inviting two developing country groups to submit promised textual proposals. One group noted that, given differences within the group, it would not present text. The other group indicated it was still working on its proposal.

Noting the lack of time, Fakir proposed parties consider the co-facilitators’ draft conclusions, based on parties’ input and containing paragraphs reflecting a SCF recommendation (FCCC/CP/2017/9, Annex II) that requests the Financial Mechanism operating entities to continue to enhance complementarity and coherence, and deciding to initiate the seventh review of the Financial Mechanism at COP 26.

Before considering the draft text, parties debated: whether to incorporate other recommendations from the SCF report; how to capture the updated sixth review guidelines for the next review; and whether to note lack of consensus and have the co-facilitators report this to the COP 23 President for his consideration on the way forward. Two countries proposed postponing closing the review by a year, with others objecting.

Parties then considered, and agreed to forward to the contact group, the draft conclusions as proposed by the co-facilitators.

APA PLENARY

APA Co-Chair Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) invited parties to consider the draft conclusions on agenda items 3-8 (FCCC/APA/2017/L.4 and Add.1). She said that: given the lack of consensus on the African Group’s proposal relating to addressing the modalities for Agreement Article 9.5 (ex-ante finance transparency), the co-chairs would include the proposal in their oral report to the COP and request for its inclusion in the written report of the COP; and the co-chairs would convey the divergence of views on the need for an additional session in 2018 when reporting to the COP.

South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed that the COP Presidency had pledged to undertake consultations with all parties on Article 9.5 and requested that plenary adjourn until consultations were complete.

Baashan recalled paragraph 106 of the SBI 46 report (FCCC/SBI/2017/7), in which the SBI recommends SBSTA, SBI, and APA conclude their work by noon on Wednesday, 15 November, in order to translate draft texts into all six official UN languages for adoption. She invited statements from the floor on the draft conclusions.

SOUTH AFRICA underlined that adoption of conclusions requires consensus and said that, in light of the African Group’s reservations, there was no consensus. He reiterated his request to adjourn plenary to await the outcome of the Presidency’s consultations. Baashan noted the African Group’s reservation and said that statements might offer solutions.

 The AFRICAN GROUP called for addressing procedure before any substantive discussions. Noting consensus is needed for adopting conclusions, Ecuador, for the G-77/CHINA, stated that this issue deserves consideration. Iran, for the LMDCs, supported adjourning the meeting.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, supported by the EU and JAPAN, opposed adjourning the meeting.

Baashan then proposed, and parties agreed, to suspend the meeting to consult on the matter.

In the evening, Baashan resumed the plenary, requesting parties to provide updates on progress in informal consultations to address the African Group’s proposal.

The AFRICAN GROUP reported that informal consultations among the G-77/China had produced two options, but that there had not been enough time for engagement with other parties. He welcomed proposals on how to continue consultations and conclude the work of the APA.

The G-77/CHINA said the draft APA conclusions should remain as they are, and proposed “putting them aside.” He suggested consultations on where and how to address the African Group’s proposal.

Baashan said that the COP 23 Presidency would continue consultations in order to find a procedural way forward. She suspended the plenary to allow these consultations to continue, saying that the APA would resume later in the week.

SBI PLENARY

SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow (Poland) resumed the closing plenary.

UKRAINE, supported by the US and AUSTRALIA, said that the SBI’s previous consideration of the report on national GHG inventory data from Annex I parties neglected to note that double counting occurred when data were reported by two countries from areas that he said were “illegally annexed.”

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of Officers Other than the Chair: Chruszczow reported that Naser Moghaddasi (Iran) will serve as Vice-Chair for the Asia-Pacific region and Tuğba İçmeli (Turkey) will serve as Rapporteur.

WIM: The SBI adopted conclusions that contain a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2017/L.5).

MATTERS RELATING TO LDCS: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2017/L.36). TIMOR-LESTE, supported by MAURITANIA, underscored the lack of financial resources in the LDCF that he said can leave proposals for NAPA implementation unfunded.

NAPS: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2017/L.35).

REPORT OF THE ADAPTATION COMMITTEE: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2017/L.6).

DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: Joint TEC/CTCN Annual Report: Chruszczow reported that, in consultations, parties had agreed to remove the remaining brackets, and the SBI adopted conclusions and draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2017/L.4).

After adoption, SAUDI ARABIA said that he could not agree to adopting the conclusions and the draft decision, and underscored the importance of financial resources. Chruszczow stated no country had objected before adoption and there was no procedure to re-open issues. Saudi Arabia also raised concerns over the transparency of the process.

MATTERS RELATING TO FINANCE: Review of the Functions of the SCF: Chruszczow said that no agreement had been reached and that the COP 23 Presidency had expressed willingness to allocate time for this matter.

IMPACT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONSE MEASURES: Improved Forum and Work Programme: The SBI adopted conclusions with oral amendments to delete reference to inviting the Secretariat to collaborate with IGOs and others (FCCC/SB/2017/L.7).

Modalities, Work Programme and Functions under the Paris Agreement of the Forum: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2017/L.8).

ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL MATTERS: Regarding all sub-items, Chruszczow reported on the workshop on ways to increase the efficiency and transparency of the budgeting process, including a recommendation to raise awareness among parties that funding for the core budget may affect the Secretariat’s capacity to undertake some activities.

The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2017/L.34), a draft COP decision (FCCC/SBI/2017/L.34/Add.1), and a draft CMP decision (FCCC/SBI/2017/L.34/Add.2).

CLOSURE OF AND REPORT OF THE SESSION: Halldór Thorgeirsson, UNFCCC Secretariat, presented an indication of budgetary implications of conclusions adopted at this session.

Tuğba İçmeli (Turkey), presented the draft report (FCCC/SBI/2017/L.19), which the SBI adopted.

THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION asked that the SBI process not be politicized and that their reflection be included in the SBI report.

SBI Chair Chruszczow concluded the session, highlighting the historical development on gender and noting the importance of observers in the process. The session closed at 12:48 pm. 

SBSTA PLENARY

SBSTA Chair Carlos Fuller (Belize) resumed the session.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of Officers other than the Chair: Chair Fuller said that no nominations had been made for SBSTA Rapporteur and that therefore Adérito Manuel. Fernandes Santana (São Tomé and Príncipe) will remain in office until a successor is elected. The SBSTA decided on this approach.

NWP: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/L.25).

WIM: The SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2017/L.5).

DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: Joint TEC and CTCN Annual Report: The SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision, as amended orally in the SBI plenary to remove brackets around text on taking gender into consideration (FCCC/SB/2017/L.4).

IMPACT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONSE MEASURES: Improved Forum and Work Programme: The SBSTA adopted conclusions as amended in the SBI plenary (FCCC/SB/2017/L.7).

Modalities, Work Programme and Functions under the Paris Agreement of the Forum: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2017/L.8).

Matters Relating to Article 2.3 of the Kyoto Protocol: The SBSTA agreed that discussions would continue at SBSTA 48.

MATTERS RELATING TO AGREEMENT ARTICLE 6: Article 6.2 (ITMOs): The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/L.26).

Article 6.4 (mechanism): The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/L.27).

Article 6.8 (non-market approaches): The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/L.28).

LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES PLATFORM: SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/L.29).

The INDIGENOUS PEOPLES FORUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE requested voluntary financial support to help facilitate the platform’s full operationalization. The EU, COSTA RICA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, and BRAZIL welcomed the operationalization of the platform, with the EU indicating readiness to consider establishing a facilitative working group and COSTA RICA asking for balanced representation at the first multi-stakeholder workshop.

CLOSURE OF THE SESSION: Thorgeirsson informed parties of the budgetary implications of conclusions adopted at SBSTA 47.

SBSTA Rapporteur Fernandes Santana introduced the draft report of SBSTA 47 (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/L.18), which the SBSTA adopted.

Noting SBSTA 47 had delivered two landmark decisions, on agriculture and on the local communities and indigenous peoples platform, and thanking parties and the Secretariat, Fuller closed the session at 1:32 pm.

IN THE CORRIDORS

With the intergovernmental Bula Zone bustling with delegates on Wednesday morning, many noticed that the venue “finally had that COP feeling,” with secondary badges and red carpets welcoming the ministers, and a touch of dramatic flare permeating some negotiations. In APA, the morning closing plenary hit a wall, with the African Group calling to adjourn the meeting pending a resolution of the group’s proposal: to establish a process for considering the modalities for developed countries’ ex-ante finance information communications. After several hours, consensus failed to materialize, and, after a brief plenary, APA suspended again.

However, what could break what one veteran called “pervasive APAthy” was a spirited high-level segment opening speech from 12-year old Fijian Timoci Naulusala, who reminded delegates that “it’s not about how or who, but it’s about what you can do as an individual.” Looking to the two days remaining, some wondered if this might make delegates consider how their individual and collective efforts could settle issues under the COP, CMP, and APA.

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