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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 746 | Friday, 14 December 2018


Katowice Climate Change Conference

Thursday, 13 December 2018 | Katowice, Poland


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Visit our IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage from Katowice, Poland at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop24/enb/

The Katowice Climate Change Conference continued on Thursday. Most negotiations took place in ministerial or presidency-led consultations. A stocktaking plenary reported the state of the negotiations, and the COP and CMP met to conclude items that are unrelated to the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP).

COP Presidency Stocktaking

COP 24 President Michał Kurtyka invited ministers to report back on PAWP issues under their responsibility.

On finance, Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Germany, said a final package had been sent to the President for further consultations. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Egypt, said parties were able to remove some brackets related to the new long-term finance goal and the Standing Committee on Finance.

On transparency, Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism, South Africa, said that on some issues there appeared to be a convergence of views, and in some other areas the differences were not large. He assured parties that the Co-Facilitators were listening very carefully and working hard to find an acceptable middle ground.

On mitigation, Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore, reported meetings with a number of parties to discuss bridging proposals on outstanding issues, inter alia, on the bindingness of guidelines, timing of application, and timing of review. Zulkifli said the issue of “full scope” remained unresolved and expressed hope that the Co-Facilitators’ suggestions will enable the Presidency to prepare cleaner text.

On adaptation, Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Housing, Finland, reported that bilateral meetings had addressed three main issues: methodologies for assessing adaptation needs; recognition of developing countries’ adaptation efforts; and mitigation co-benefits of adaptation action. He reported coordinating with the Co-Facilitators on finance. Pointing to emerging compromise, particularly on mitigation co-benefits, he said “almost clean text” had been forwarded to the Presidency.

On the global stocktake, Carole Dieschbourg, Minister of Environment, Luxembourg, pointed to four remaining open issues: equity; thematic areas; sources of input; and synthesis reports. On thematic areas, she noted openness for loss and damage, and, on equity, she said more options needed to be discussed. She noted that the Co-Facilitators had given guidance to the Presidency on possible landing zones.

On the Talanoa Dialogue and IPCC Special Report, Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Sweden, reported discussions on: how the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue should be captured; what type of indications should be given to parties for preparing their NDCs; and how the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C should be recognized. She said draft language would be presented to the Presidency as soon as possible.

COP 24 President Kurtyka announced that a package text would be available “as soon as possible,” based on the advice from co-facilitating ministers, and the SBI, SBSTA, and APA Chairs. He said that he would introduce the text in a ministerial meeting, which he called a “Sejmik” in honor of the 550th anniversary of the first meeting of the Polish parliament.

COP Plenary

COP Vice-President Ian Fry, Tuvalu, opened the meeting.

Reports of the Subsidiary Bodies: Report of the SBSTA: SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson (France) reported on the work of the SBSTA on matters not related to the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP).

He highlighted the draft COP decision on the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIP), describing it as a great achievement. He also informed that the SBSTA was not able to conclude its consideration on bunker fuels, and on research and systematic observation, noting that consultations were underway to address parties’ inability to reach agreement concerning the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C. He said both items would return to the agenda at SBSTA 50.

The COP took note of the oral report of the SBSTA Chair, the draft report of SBSTA 49 (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.17), and the reports of SBSTA 48 (FCCC/SBI/2018/4) and SBSTA 48-2 (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/6). The COP also adopted the decision on the LCIP (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.18). The COP further adopted conclusions on the improved forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures and its work programme (FCCC/SB/2018/L.19/Add.1) and the Koronivia joint work on agriculture (FCCC/SB/2018/L.7).

Report of the SBI: SBI Chair Emmanuel Dlamini (eSwatini) reported on the work of the SBI on matters not related to the PAWP.

Among the achievements of the SBI in 2018, he highlighted, inter alia: progress in various adaptation matters; initiation of the review of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB); review of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN); and REDD+ institutional arrangements.

The COP took note of the oral report of the SBI Chair, the draft report of SBI 49 (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.20), and the reports of SBI 48 (FCCC/SBI/2018/9 and Add.1), and SBI 48-2 (FCCC/SBI/2018/11).

The COP also adopted a decision recommended by SBI 48 on the review of the CTCN (FCCC/SBI/2018/9/Add.1) and conclusions recommended by SBI 48 on the terms of reference for the review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention (climate change education and training) (FCCC/SBI/2018/9/Add.1) and on coordination of support for the implementation of activities in relation to mitigation actions in the forest sector by developing countries, including institutional arrangements (FCCC/SBI/2018/9/Add.1).

Report of the APA: The COP took note of the oral report of the APA Co-Chairs. The COP also took note of the APA 1-5 report (FCCC/APA/2018/2), APA 1-6 report (FCCC/APA/2018/4), and draft APA 1-7 report (FCCC/APA/2018/L.5).

Report of the Adaptation Committee: The COP adopted a decision on the report of the Adaptation Committee (FCCC/SB/2018/L.5).

Development and Transfer of Technologies and Implementation of the Technology Mechanism: Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee and the CTCN: The COP adopted the decision on this item (FCCC/SB/2018/L.8).

Reporting from and Review of Annex I Parties: Compilations and syntheses of second and third biennial reports from Annex I parties. The COP took note that the SBI will continue consideration of this item at SBI 50.

Capacity Building under the Convention: The COP adopted the decision on the annual progress report of the PCCB (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.21/Add.1).

Implementation of Article 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention: Implementation of the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures (Decision 1/CP.10): The COP took note that the SBI agreed to continue its consideration of this matter at SBI 50.

Matters relating to the LDCs: The COP adopted the draft decision on the LDCs work programme (FCCC/SBI/2018/9/Add.1).

Gender: The COP took note of the SBI conclusions on this item (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.22/Add.1).

COP Vice-President Fry adjourned the session.

CMP Plenary

Reports of the Subsidiary Bodies: Report of the SBSTA: The CMP took note of the SBSTA 48 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/4), SBSTA 48-2 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/6), and draft SBSTA 49 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.17). Chair Watkinson noted that the SBSTA will take up the annual report on the technical review of GHG inventories and other information reported by Annex I parties at SBSTA 50.

Report of the SBI: The CMP took note of the SBI 48 report (FCCC/SBI/2018/9), SBI 48-2 report (FCCC/SBI/2018/11), and draft SBI 49 report (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.20). Chair Dlamini reported that the SBI agreed to continue its consideration of compilations and syntheses of second and third biennial reports from Annex I parties at SBI 50.

Matters Relating to the Clean Development Mechanism: The CMP adopted the decision on this item (FCCC/KP/CMP/2018/L.1).

Capacity Building under the Protocol: The CMP took note of the SBI 48 conclusions on capacity building.

Matters relating to: Protocol Article 2.3 and 3.14 (minimization of adverse impacts on developing country parties by Annex I parties): The CMP took note that the SBI and SBSTA agreed to continue their consideration of these items at SB 50.

Report on the High-level Ministerial Roundtable on Increased Ambition of Kyoto Protocol: Informal consultations were undertaken by Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński (Poland), and no consensus on the way forward was reached. The CMP agreed that this item will be included on the provisional agenda of CMP 15.

In the Corridors

On the penultimate day of COP 24, delegates scrambled around the venue, but nothing was on the schedule. Behind closed doors, ministers and delegates met in a variety of formats: bilateral consultations; “heads of delegation” meetings; and open-ended consultations. For some issues, such as Article 6 (cooperative approaches), delegates had labored through Wednesday night. Other key issues continued throughout the day, and some still had to be assigned ministers to facilitate consultations. Consensus was rumored to be emerging on including loss and damage in the transparency framework, but seemed to remain far apart how, or whether, to incorporate loss and damage in the global stocktake.

Amid this “hurry up and wait” pattern, some groups and delegations were worried about being left out, citing cancelled bilaterals, and wondering when these “crucial” meetings would be rescheduled so that they could share their views with ministers and be part of the solution to issues close to their interests. With many worried about the Presidency’s overarching strategy, concerns about procedural transparency and equity began to simmer, with one delegate apprehensively wondering when “the text would fall from the sky.”

The Presidency’s stocktaking added a new format to the proceedings: a Sejmik, named in honor of the 550th anniversary of Polish parliamentarians. Essentially a Vienna format, with ministers around a table supported by a limited number of advisors, it was praised by one delegate as a “hunt for efficiency with so little time left.” Another delegate worried that the Sejmik discussions may end up being as circular as the table around which ministers sit, given the “last two days lost” during which delegates re-identified known issues and did little, in her view, to move parties closer. An optimist pointed to the bridging proposals being developed by ministers, including for issues like mitigation and adaptation, as evidence for hope that the process will deliver an outcome.

Many noted that in the stocktaking the COP President referred to “text” in the singular, denoting a package deal. For some this was welcome, as one delegate noted that the landing zone in his area depended on whether the countries involved “got what they want in other areas of the PAWP.” Some delegates waited for text on Agreement Article 6, and on the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue and recognizing the IPCC Special Report, which were among the proposals to still be compiled before the Presidency could put a bow on his package and present it to the Sejmik. Speculating about when the package would arrive, some wondered if they should “grab a nap” before being up all night, or if it was time to fortify themselves with another coffee.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the Katowice Climate Change Conference will be available on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 at http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop24/enb/

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