Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 725 | Thursday, 10 May 2018
Wednesday, 9 May 2018 | Bonn, Germany
Throughout the day, negotiations focused on the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), particularly adaptation communications, matters related to the Adaptation Fund, and matters relating to Article 6 (cooperative approaches). The COP 23 Presidency held a closing plenary for the Talanoa Dialogue, in which many parties expressed appreciation for the Dialogue. The APA contact group on all substantive items met in the late afternoon and continued past 10 pm.
Other issues addressed include gender, matters related to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and research and systemic observation. A Technical Expert Meeting on Adaptation (TEM-A) was held throughout the day; the webcast is available: http://tep-a.org/webcast-for-the-2018-technical-expert-meetings-on-adaptation/. The sixth Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) continued in the afternoon.
Talanoa Dialogue Closing
COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama opened the session, calling on parties and non-party stakeholders to use the process to raise their collective ambition. COP 24 President Michal Kurtyka looked forward to moving to the political phase of the Dialogue, which starts at COP 24.
Ethiopia, for the LDCs, stressed the importance of a formal space at COP 24 for the “critical” input of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C.
Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed the importance of participation by non-party stakeholders from all sectors.
Liechtenstein, for the EIG, said a political declaration would be an appropriate outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue. Maldives, for AOSIS, supported and suggested it feed into the UN Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Summit.
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, looked forward to the synthesis report capturing discussions. The EU stressed that the report of the preparatory phase should contain an “honest assessment” of the adequacy of current action.
South Africa, for BASIC, urged the Talanoa narratives presented at COP 24 to reflect, in a balanced manner, experiences on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation. AOSIS highlighted the importance of adequacy and predictability of climate finance and support. Botswana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, noted the Dialogue had brought out a variety of stories affirming that Africa is the “most vulnerable continent.”
Chile, for AILAC, called for the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C to be a key element of the political phase of the Dialogue, and NORWAY noted the report would provide a scientific basis to understand where we are, and how to get where we need to be.
Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, stressed that the outcome should not direct parties to raise ambition beyond existing NDCs, noting that many had pledged increased ambition conditional on provision of adequate finance and support. CHINA expressed confidence that the outcome of the Dialogue would be in line with CBDR and the nationally determined nature of contributions. INDIA noted that the Dialogue underscored the need for raising pre-2020 ambition.
YOUNGOs called for the Dialogue to continue to include civil society, and for its outcomes to be translated into text under the PAWP.
BINGOs encouraged parties to partner with business to implement ambitious NDCs. CAN called for clarity on how the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C report will inform the Dialogue.
CJN! said the Dialogue should lead states to upwardly revise their climate plans. FARMERS stressed the need for COP 24 to “turn this Dialogue into action.”
IPOs said the LCIP Platform can help “balance the needs of humanity and the needs of Mother Earth.” LGMAs highlighted more than 50 Dialogues taking place in cities and regions across the world.
RINGOs highlighted the importance of scientific input to the process, not only of the type produced by the IPCC but also in the form of stories from social scientists.
WOMEN AND GENDER urged a people-centered response that includes distributed renewable energy systems implemented in sustainable cooperative models.
TUNGOs noted that workers globally are exposed to climate change impacts, and argued that attention to economic and social realities would help engage workers in efforts to address climate change.
COP 23 President Bainimarama closed the session, thanking participants for the stories they shared, and exhorting parties to translate them into greater ambition. He shared his personal experience, asking what he could say to the people of Fiji who are devastated by increasingly severe and frequent climate-related disasters, and underlining that he took the job of COP 23 President to make a difference. He ended with a plea to developed countries to ramp up ambition for mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.
Sixth ACE Dialogue: Mary Robinson, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, recommended that: the UNFCCC Secretariat establish a human rights focal point, which SENEGAL and IRELAND supported; human and women’s rights be integrated throughout climate actions; and all parties and observers include local communities in their delegations. She stressed that capacity building and access to information are crucial for effective participation.
Benjamin Schachter, UN Commission on Human Rights, highlighted that participation is a human right, participation makes climate action more effective, and more effective participation of all stakeholders at the UNFCCC is needed.
Hannah Janetschek, German Development Institute, presented a tool analysing the linkages between each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and climate actions in NDCs, to illustrate synergies between the climate and sustainable development agendas.
Elena Triffonova, Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, reported on examples of good practices from Bulgaria on access to information and communication technologies for empowering women and achieving the SDGs. She highlighted the SAME World project which aims to foster large-scale public awareness of climate change, environmental migration, and environmental justice.
LDCs: In informal consultations, parties requested more time in informal informal consultations to reach agreement. Views diverged on whether draft conclusions, which were free of brackets, could be adopted pending further discussions on the decision text. Developed countries argued that procedurally the conclusions and decision could not be uncoupled, with developing countries arguing the conclusions could be adopted with the decision forwarded later. Parties were advised that if the draft conclusions were not adopted in this informal consultation, they might lose all progress, if more time for another informal consultation could not be found. The draft conclusions were not agreed, but informal consultations continued in the afternoon.
Gender: The second part of the workshop on gender and climate change was moderated by Penda Kante-Thiam (Senegal) and Colin O’Hehir (Ireland).
Fleur Newman, UNFCCC Secretariat, presented a technical paper on achieving gender balance within the UNFCCC process, highlighting that few parties have a strategy for reaching gender balance in their delegations.
Verona Collantes-Lebale, UN Women, reported on initiatives taken by UN Governing Bodies Secretariats to raise the voices of women in international forums, stressing there is much more work to be done.
Stella Gama, Malawi, and Chrisda Kaeti, Kiribati, shared their experiences as beneficiaries of the Women Delegates Fund, highlighting its value and urging its expansion.
Mariana Duarte Mutzenburg, International Parliamentary Union, presented on her organization’s strategy to advance gender equality in governance and on delegations.
The workshop subsequently heard presentations on delegates’ experiences with gender policies and plans.
Matters Related to Article 6 (Cooperative Approaches): Parties considered the draft conclusions on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. They diverged on the need for submissions, including their scope. Suggestions ranged from inviting focused submissions that correct misrepresentations, mistakes, and omissions, to ones that provide technical explanations and elaborations. It was suggested that the scope of submissions would depend on the mandate to produce a new iteration of the text. A group of parties proposed, and others objected to, a mandate for the SBSTA Chair to consult with the APA Co-Chairs to ensure coherence and coordination. A number of parties supported a roundtable session to be held in conjunction with the second part of SB 48, while others opposed. Parties discussed a new Co-Chairs’ proposal, with a number of parties urging a placeholder for a roundtable.
In the afternoon, parties considered a compromise proposal that the contact group adopt the conclusions with bracketed text on an intersessional roundtable, with the understanding that the SBSTA Chair would make changes to the text depending on what is agreed for the APA’s mode of work. Welcoming the proposal, some parties noted the roundtable was linked to the intersessional work under the APA. Others objected to linking progress on this item with the work under the APA. After extensive discussions, parties agreed to consult among themselves in the evening to devise a way forward. Discussions continued into the night.
Modalities for the Accounting of Financial Resources Provided and Mobilized through Public Interventions in Accordance with Agreement Article 9.7: During informal consultations, several parties and groups provided comments and expressed discomfort with the revised informal note as the basis for negotiations. They agreed that their comments would be collated and attached to the informal note, noting that these comments should be limited to interventions made during the informal consultations. With that understanding, parties agreed to the draft conclusions.
Research and Systemic Observation: In informal consultations, compromise text that moved references to ongoing IPCC work to a footnote was proposed. One party reiterated its objections to referencing scientific work that has not yet been finalized. The text will be forwarded to the SBSTA plenary.
Adaptation Communication: In informal consultations, parties discussed whether and how the second iteration of the informal note could reflect inputs received from parties during the session. Some expressed concern that not all inputs had been discussed in the room. Parties were unable to agree on the way forward.
Transparency Framework: Parties agreed that the Co-Facilitators’ “light revision” of the informal note will serve as a good basis for discussions, but one country group expressed concern that the note gives the impression parties are “more divided than they actually are.” Noting the “urgent need” to move towards negotiating text, several parties asked for more time for this item. Some asserted that progress should be “balanced and comprehensive,” with several groups stressing the importance of equal time for adaptation and finance. On a potential pre-sessional workshop, one country group proposed a workshop addressing interlinkages between all substantive APA agenda items, except agenda item 8 (other further matters).
Matters Related to the Adaptation Fund: Parties reviewed the final iteration of the Co-Facilitators’ informal note, which reflects convergence on a decision for the CMA at COP 24. Parties agreed it will serve as a basis for discussion at the next session, with several expressing a preference to not undertake intersessional work before Bangkok. Discussing the prioritization of work, some parties suggested that a COP 24 decision should address institutional arrangements, the start date for the Adaptation Fund to serve the CMA, and exclusivity.
Contact Group on Agenda Items 3-8: Co-Chair Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) opened the contact group and invited the Co-Facilitators of each agenda item to report on progress achieved at this session.
On item 3 (further guidance in relation to the mitigation section of decision 1/CP.21), Sin Liang Cheah (Singapore) noted that the Co-Facilitators had produced a “navigational tool” and said parties agreed to use the tool as one basis for discussion, on the understanding that it does not supersede or replace the informal note.
On item 4 (adaptation communication), Co-Facilitator Beth Lavender (Canada) noted that two iterations of the informal note had been issued during the session, and said parties meeting that afternoon had come close to consensus on the second iteration. Co-Chair Baashan proposed the second iteration would have an attachment including proposals and submissions from parties to allow delegates to pick up this agenda item at the next session. Parties agreed.
On item 5 (transparency framework), Co-Facilitator Xiang Gao (China) said parties agreed to forward the informal note that had been revised earlier in the afternoon, characterizing it as “work in progress” and noting it does not reflect consensus. He highlighted the need to provide sufficient time for this agenda item.
On item 6 (global stocktake), Co-Facilitator Outi Honkatukia (Finland) reported that the informal note from APA 1-4 was reorganized to identify options. She expressed hope that the group could recommend input and modalities at COP 24.
On item 7 (implementation and compliance committee) Co-Facilitator Janine Coye-Felson (Belize) highlighted that informal consultations focused on institutional arrangements and the nexus between initiation, scope, procedure, and measures.
On item 8 (Adaptation Fund), Co-Facilitator Pieter Terpstra (the Netherlands) reported that the group built on the informal note from APA 1-4 and had discussed elements relating to how the Adaptation Fund will serve the Paris Agreement. He said parties agreed to forward the latest iteration of the informal note.
On item 8 (other matters, except the Adaptation Fund), Co-Facilitator Jo Tyndall (New Zealand) noted that parties focused on the five additional possible matters not considered in previous meetings. The Co-Facilitators prepared an informal note proposing ways forward for three of those items, and subsequently prepared a final informal note to which they annexed two party-submitted options for moving forward on modalities for biennially communicating information in accordance with Agreement Article 9.5 (ex-ante finance transparency).
Co-Chair Baashan outlined the draft conclusions, which, inter alia, contained three options for a Co-Chairs’ informal document, incorporating: Co-Chairs’ proposals for streamlining the outcome of APA 1-5 (option 1); Co-Chairs’ proposals for and examples of how parties could further progress toward the development of either draft elements of text or an agreed basis for negotiations (option 2); or, draft elements of text (option 3). She noted that the conclusions also invite parties to submit their views on areas that need attention, and to conduct a one-day roundtable before APA 1-6 with a focus on substantive linkages among APA items.
Parties first offered reflections on the draft conclusions, then discussed textual proposals. Several groups welcomed the proposed joint reflections note by the APA, SBI, and SBSTA Chairs and Co-Chairs.
On options for an informal document, stressing that negotiations on the PAWP should remain party-driven, Iran, for LMDCs, and INDONESIA, supported option 1.
Preferring option 2, Gabon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and Argentina, for ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, and URUGUAY, said the Co-Chairs’ informal document could further progress towards the development of draft outcomes of text.
Maldives, for AOSIS, and Ethiopia, for the LDCs, supported option 3.
The EU noted the differences in quality among the three options and, with Switzerland, for the EIG, said the document could contain all the elements outlined in the options. Chile, for AILAC, expressed flexibility, suggesting option 1 with elements of option 3. Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, preferred working from existing informal notes, saying that too few items are mature enough for a single progress document.
On the proposed roundtable, several groups expressed support. The EU and UMBRELLA GROUP supported the proposal to focus on linkages across several APA agenda items. The EIG suggested it should also address linkages to non-APA items such as cooperative approaches. AOSIS called for any roundtables to be focused. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, and the AFRICAN GROUP said the focus should be interlinkages among all PAWP items.
On time management, Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed hope that the additional session would cover PAWP items under all three bodies. The AFRICAN GROUP called for more time on finance and adaptation. CHINA called for more time on, among other issues, technology development and transfer. EIG, the EU, and the UMBRELLA GROUP, suggested more complex tasks be given more time.
On the call for submissions, several groups opposed, with some noting that parties were free to send submissions at any time.
Seeking reassurance that party submissions would be attached to the Co-Chairs’ informal note, the AFRICAN GROUP supported submissions. The LMDCs proposed that submissions prior to APA 1-6 be taken on board in the Co-Chairs’ informal document, and that it must be prepared without omitting, reinterpreting, or prejudging parties’ views and without prejudging the outcome of the PAWP.
The US underscored that additional submissions are not necessary. BRAZIL proposed the conclusions reflect the right of parties to make submissions.
The APA contact group agreed to draft conclusions that will be forwarded to the APA plenary.
In the Corridors
While applause and “family photos” accompanied the close of some agenda items, parties struggled to agree on draft conclusions on several others. Agreement seemed distant on several issues, including how to move the work of the APA forward, pushing the APA contact group late into the evening. As delegates waited to hear where these issues would land on Thursday, several seasoned negotiators looked further afield to COP 24, and agreed they couldn’t see “the landing zone” for the PAWP package. An optimist, however, said plenaries – and deadlines – have a way of “inspiring agreement.”