Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 730 | Friday, 7 September 2018
Thursday, 6 September 2018 | Bangkok, Thailand
On Thursday, negotiations on the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) continued in Bangkok, including on issues related to:
- predictability and accounting of finance;
- guidance and public registry for NDCs;
- market and non-market approaches;
- transparency; and
- the global stocktake.
In the afternoon, an APA stocktaking meeting and a joint SBI-SBSTA-APA stocktaking plenary took place.
Agreement Article 9.5 (Developed Countries’ Biennial Ex-Ante Financial Communication): Co-Facilitator Seyni Nafo (Mali) presented three questions to guide work towards draft decision text:
- what textual elements should be included in draft conclusions, and what should be included in a possible annex;
- how to better structure information in the informal note; and
- what information is relevant to fulfilling the provisions of Agreement Article 9.5.
Many countries expressed interest in learning more about the concept of “partnership” previously proposed by a developed country. A developing country stressed that while partnerships are important, Article 9.5 is “about financial resources.” The country that proposed the concept disagreed, arguing that forms of support such as capacity building and technology transfer cannot be captured in cash flows.
Informal consultations continued in the afternoon. A developing country group suggested that the informal note include a reference to a “built-in review process” that will consider whether information is sufficiently robust, and how it will inform the global stocktake and transparency framework. A developed country group expressed a strong preference to focus at this stage on the types of information to be biennially communicated under Article 9.5. The Co-Facilitators will prepare another iteration of the informal note.
Public Registry Referred to in Agreement Article 4.12 (NDC Registry): In informal consultations, a new iteration of the informal note was introduced. While several developing countries expressed concern with a perceived difference in pace between negotiations on this item and on the registry under Agreement Article 7.12 (adaptation communication registry), they eventually accepted the new iteration as a basis for further discussion.
Providing substantive views, a developed country said the registry should be in all six UN languages or at least English and French. A developing country group asked for removing references to search functionality.
Matters Related to Article 6 (Market and Non-Market Approaches): The morning’s informal consultations focused first on the work programme under Agreement Article 6.8 (non-market approaches). On modalities, many favored working through submissions, workshops, and Secretariat-led technical papers and synthesis reports. On governance, some suggested joint governance by the SBSTA and the SBI, while others argued that the discussion was premature and needs to await further clarity on the nature of the work programme itself.
On the work programme, parties debated whether to specify a stepwise approach, and whether activities should be detailed in the COP 24 guidance or as part of follow-up work. Several parties called for more progress in Article 6.8 discussions to match that under the other two agenda sub-items. Informal informal consultations convened in the evening.
Discussion turned to the flow and timing of activities under Article 6.2 (cooperative approaches). Parties focused on corresponding adjustments, reporting, and infrastructure, outlining their differing preferences on, inter alia:
- whether reporting should be spelled out in the annexed guidance or in the transparency framework;
- how ex-ante, ex-post, and periodic reporting might relate to existing reporting mechanisms and to those established under the Agreement;
- the types of tools used to track and report on transfer and use of ITMOs, and whether to strive for real-time data; and
- the distinction between modalities for reporting and review of information related to NDC achievement, and of more qualitative information such as that related to achievement of sustainable development.
Negotiations continued in the afternoon.
Technology Framework: Discussions in informal consultations focused on whether the Technology Mechanism’s proposed implementation actions should take into account the specific needs and special circumstances of all countries, or only of developing countries. Many developing countries stressed the need to account for their special circumstances, saying the Technology Mechanism is intended to respond to developing country needs. Many developed countries opposed, noting that the Technology Mechanism serves the Paris Agreement, and all countries have special needs and circumstances. Informal consultations will continue.
Accounting of Financial Resources Provided through Public Interventions under Agreement Article 9.7: Co-Facilitator Delphine Eyraud (France) introduced a new text that merges the two different conference room papers (CRPs) previously proposed by country groups. Parties accepted the text as the basis of negotiations, on the condition that every paragraph be bracketed. Line-by-line negotiations will begin on Friday.
Transparency Framework: In informal consultations, parties discussed the sections on adaptation and on inventories. On adaptation, some developed countries preferred incorporating the adaptation communication guidance into the transparency framework. A developing country group noted the different nature of the two types of guidance. Two groups suggested that substantive issues remain in the adaptation communication guidance, while information to be reported and reporting formats be addressed in the transparency framework. Co-Facilitator Xiang Gao (China) reported that an informal informal consultation with the group considering guidance for adaptation communication would be scheduled for Friday.
On inventories, parties provided general comments on definitions, institutional arrangements, methods, and metrics. Several developing countries noted the need to add flexibility in the relevant sections, and one developed country observed that the IPCC 2006 guidelines for inventories provide flexibility that could serve as useful language for the MPGs, including on data availability.
Global Stocktake:In informal consultations, the Co-Facilitators presented the revised version of the Co-Chairs’ tool, characterizing it as a “snapshot” of the current state of negotiations. Parties supported the revised version and discussed sources of information for the stocktake. Some countries and groups supported a paragraph that builds on the sources identified in Decision 1/CP.21 (Paris Outcome), and a paragraph that lists other sources of information in a non-exhaustive way. A group of developing countries underscored that consensus is needed for a source to be included. On the management of sources, some identified roles for UNFCCC constituted bodies, while a group stressed that parties should manage the process. Informal consultations on the revised tool continued in the afternoon.
Further Guidance in Relation to the Mitigation Section of Decision 1/CP.21 (Paris Outcome): In informal consultations, parties heard reports from informal informal consultations on the format and outline of the outcome from APA 1-6, and on information to facilitate clarity, transparency, and understanding of NDCs. Parties accepted these reports as accurate reflections and offered further views. Two groups and some parties suggested there may be a need to engage in different modes of work to streamline and synthesize possible redundancies. In the evening, parties met in informal informal consultations to discuss accounting.
APA Co-Chair Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) said good progress “across the board” was putting delegates on track to meet the objective of developing an agreed basis for negotiation by the end of the Bangkok session.
On further guidance on the mitigation section of Decision 1/CP.21, Co-Facilitator Federica Fricano (Italy) reported that the next iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool would be published on Saturday morning.
On further guidance on adaptation communication, Co-Facilitator Beth Lavender (Canada), said a new iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool had been released.
On the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance, Co-Facilitator Janine Coye-Felson (Belize) said a new iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool would be issued on Thursday evening. Co-Facilitator Pieter Terpstra (the Netherlands) reported the same for issues related to the Adaptation Fund.
On the transparency framework, Co-Facilitator Xiang Gao (China) said a first iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool will be produced by Saturday.
On the global stocktake, Co-Facilitator Outi Honkatukia (Finland) noted that a first iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool had been produced on Wednesday, with a revised version expected by the end of the session.
On further matters except the Adaptation Fund, Co-Chair Baashan noted that the APA Co-Chairs had been coordinating closely with the other subsidiary body Chairs. She said a first iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool would be produced later on Thursday.
Co-Chair Baashan welcomed the revised iterations of the tools as a strong basis for success in Katowice.
SBI-SBSTA-APA Joint Stocktake
SBI Chair Emmanuel Dlamini (eSwatini) noted that first or second iterations of text have been prepared on: common timeframes; Adaptation Committee’s report and matters related to LDCs; Technology Mechanism; and response measures. On whether to hold a joint session on the NDC and adaptation registry or registries, he reported from his consultations that parties will continue working in two informal consultations.
SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson (France) highlighted the first iteration of three texts in Article 6; the mandate to revise text on the technology framework; and the first iteration of a text on Agreement Article 9.7.
Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted a need for comparable progress across the board and called for stronger engagement on key finance-related issues.
Iran, for the LMDCs, lamented efforts to move away from common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) as a basis for negotiations in a number of areas, including on guidance for NDCs.
INDIA stressed the need to ensure that the process remains party-driven and party-owned.
Gabon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, noted that progress on adaptation communication could be accelerated through a formal linkage with the transparency framework.
INDONESIA urged a focus on agenda items such as finance, which she said links to multiple other items.
Switzerland, for the EIG, supported a mandate to the subsidiary body Presiding Officers to develop a draft text. Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, expressed openness to the Presiding Officers undertaking intersessional work as needed.
The EU said that each text should mature as much as needed, warning against a focus on the number of iterations. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, called for two iterations of text on all agenda items to ensure balanced progress.
Ethiopia, for the LDCs, expressed satisfaction with APA discussions on NDCs and adaptation communication, on which he noted the need to retain a common set of elements.
The Maldives, for AOSIS, and Colombia, for AILAC, called for addressing linkages among issues, and clarity on the format of the decision or decisions envisaged for COP 24. Co-Chair Tyndall clarified that the Presiding Officers will open a discussion here in Bangkok to allow parties to express their views on this question.
In the Corridors
Thursday marked the halfway point of the conference, prompting the usual stocktake of progress, formally in sessions of the APA, SBI, and SBSTA, and informally in the hallways. The Presiding Officers’ official assessment was rosy, as reports highlighted that all agenda items have produced one, and in some cases two, iterations of draft text. Yet statements and interventions throughout the day still reflected underlying tensions, including a lack of “balanced” progress across different agenda items. The thorny issue of reporting on finance also triggered some frustrated exchanges. In one room, a delegate’s analogy that Article 9.7 will build an oven (modalities for accounting of finance) to put into the kitchen (transparency framework), prompted another to quip: “we like the oven and the kitchen, but what we really want is food.”