Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 754 | Saturday, 22 June 2019
Friday, 21 June 2019 | Bonn, Germany
The Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Friday. Parties discussed a range of issues in technical negotiations. The Thematic Expert Meeting on Mitigation continued, and delegates gathered in two other events: a Special Event on the 2019 Refinement of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory, and a partnership-building dialogue on work relevant to the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform.
Common Time Frames: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by George Wamukoya (Kenya) and Grégoire Baribeau (Canada), parties did not give a mandate for the Co-Facilitators to “clean up” the informal note. Two groups preferred to work from the current note while others noted repetition among the six options. Some parties observed that the informal note has 2031 in brackets, while COP 24 agreed that 2031 would be the starting point for common time frames. One party noted that one of the new options could be read ambiguously: that a party may choose its time frame, or choose to submit an NDC. The proposing group clarified that their option was to allow for time frame choice only. The next consultations will discuss the draft conclusions.
Terms of Reference (ToR) for the 2019 Review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): During informal consultations, parties commented on the long-term vision for the mechanism and the Co-Facilitators’ elements paper.
On the long-term vision, many agreed the ToR should clarify parties’ common understanding of the vision as presented in previous decisions, in particular decisions 3/CP.18 (approaches to loss and damage), 2/CP.19 (WIM). Many agreed that the long-term vision should assist in defining the recommendations on how the WIM can be strengthened, but views diverged on how.
One group stressed that delivery of and access to means of implementation for developing countries is crucial to ensure the most vulnerable can address the adverse impacts of climate change. One party suggested discussing the long-term vision after the backward-looking review.
Many welcomed the elements paper. Some groups stressed the need to include both backward- and forward-looking approaches in the scope of the review. Others said that future aspects do not fit the context of a review, and cautioned against misplacing a reference to the global stocktake. One party opposed any lists of gaps and needs, calling on parties to focus on priorities and available resources, and where the WIM adds most value to these priorities.
Several groups preferred broader text, with references to the Convention, not just the Paris Agreement, and references to complete decisions rather than selected paragraphs. One group noted previous agreement that, for the review, inputs and submissions from parties and relevant organizations should be considered.
On what will be reviewed, several groups reiterated their call to highlight whether the WIM has delivered its functions with regards to enhancing action and support, including means of implementation. Discussions continued in the evening.
Poznan Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer: During informal consultations co-facilitated by Stella Gama (Malawi), parties discussed revised draft conclusions.
Views diverged, among others, on encouraging the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to strengthen collaboration with the regional centers and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). Some no longer viewed the GEF as actively involved with the regional centers, while others cited a role for the GEF in giving guidance on improving regional centers. Parties continued work on the recommendation that the COP invite the GEF to consider the relevant recommendations on the updated evaluation of the Poznan strategic programme in the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) report.
Gender: Penda Kante Thiam (Senegal) and Colin O’Hehir (Ireland) co-facilitated informal discussions. Parties agreed on draft conclusions and considered an informal note. Views diverged on keeping references to “learning” under the priority area of capacity building, and on including language on institutionalizing funding for women delegates participating in the UNFCCC. Discussions will continue.
Matters Relating to Science: Research and systemic observation: Co-Facilitator Christiane Textor (Germany) presented updated draft conclusions. Some parties supported noting “with concern” the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018 and its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, while one party requested more time for internal consultation.
On research, many parties recommended welcoming the research dialogues. Many parties supported, with one opposing, to welcome: the 2019 Refinement of the IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories; and the release of upcoming IPCC reports. The Co-Facilitators will reflect options in a future draft text.
GHG data interface: Co-Facilitators Takeshi Enoki (Japan) and Clifford Mahlung (Jamaica) presented draft conclusions, with options either to note the growing number of non-Annex I parties reporting GHG data, or to note as above and also request that the Secretariat display the latest GHG data, including those submissions by non-Annex I countries, in the GHG data interface.
After deliberations, one group was “not ready to engage” and requested more time. Discussions will continue.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C: Co-Facilitator Annela Anger-Kraavi (Estonia) proposed considering informal text which captures the previous discussion, while also holding further deliberations and not prejudging any conclusions. One party raised a point of order, arguing that the text had been agreed outside of the allotted time, and demanded that it be dismissed. Several expressed support for the Co-Facilitators’ approach. SBSTA Chair Wilkinson (France) clarified that the issue had been an “unfortunate misunderstanding.” The Co-Facilitators will, on the SBSTA Chair’s advice, remove the informal note from the UNFCCC website.
Methodological Issues Under the Paris Agreement: Common tabular formats (CTFs) for information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs: Parties focused on CTF for GHG projections. One developing country group underscored that the existing table for the biennial reports will require modification. Other developing country groups said that provision of this information is subject to flexibility, noting issues with gathering information on historical baselines. One developing country suggested two tables, for developed and developing countries, respectively, citing how time series, gases, and comparisons could change between countries when flexibility is accommodated. Some developed countries noted the linkages between projections data and data on key parameters and assumptions. Consultations will continue to focus on the structured summary.
CTFs for financial, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building support: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Seyni Nafo (Mali), many developed and developing countries underlined that the information on support needed and received is not subject to review and contains considerable built-in flexibility, although a few developed countries called for comparability among reports. Several developing countries relayed difficulties using existing tables. Some identified information that is difficult to report, such as expected timeframe and expected instruments. The Co-Facilitators will prepare a draft table for consideration.
Article 6: In informal consultations, parties exchanged views on Article 6.8 (non-market approaches). Many parties supported the formulation in the Presidency text produced in Katowice. Others, while preferring the SBSTA version, expressed willingness to work with the presidency text if details were incorporated. A group suggested an explicit focus on opportunities for capacity building and technology transfer. While some parties supported identifying eligible activities, others urged avoiding any limitations on scope.
Parties then resumed discussions on defining internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs). Views diverged on including emissions avoidance, with those opposed expressing concern about risks to environmental integrity. Others expressed willingness to include emissions avoidance if there were adequate safeguards. A party called for a work programme that would tackle conversion of different metrics and identify means to ensure environmental integrity. A group suggested focusing on the transfer of mitigation outcomes as opposed to their creation.
On governance, including oversight of Article 6.2 provisions on ITMOs, reporting, review, recording, tracking, sequencing with NDC accounting and compliance, many parties expressed willingness to work on the basis of the Katowice text, noting its “precarious balance.”
In the afternoon, many parties supported building on the Katowice text as the basis for moving forward. Parties exchanged views on the role of initial reports on ITMOs and how they relate to biennial transparency reports (BTRs). A group suggested having annual reports with annual information in addition to BTRs.
Many parties supported oversight of Article 6.2. Parties held divergent views on the kind of tracking of ITMOs required. Some suggested real-time tracking while others opposed, with some noting that ITMOs are “amounts” and not “units.” Two groups urged avoiding a system that imposes requirements on NDCs. Others, however, noted that a country’s NDC should determine how it engages with Article 6 provisions. A group suggested a link with Article 15 (compliance) which another group opposed.
On baselines and additionality, views diverged on the use of historical and business as usual baselines. A group proposed that the supervisory committee be asked to waive additionality requirements for LDCs and SIDS. Several parties suggested: avoiding a prescriptive approach to methodology development; baselines to reflect NDCs; and how emissions reductions achieved would be complementary to existing national policies. A group urged taking into account uncertainty and net leakage due to Article 6.4 activities. Discussions will continue on, among others: Article 6.2 and 6.4 linkages; Article 6.4c and 6.5 (double counting); and safeguards.
Scope of the Next Periodic Review of the Long-term Global Goal (LTGG) under the Convention and of Overall Progress towards Achieving it: Co-Facilitator Makoda Yoshino (Japan) presented preliminary draft conclusions with options for discussion.
On the adequacy of the LTGG, views diverged on whether to consider all possible outcomes, including changing formulations of the goal, or to review to enhance understanding of the meaning of the goal. Some parties reiterated their support for closing the periodic review, with others opposing.
On assessing overall progress towards the LTGG, views diverged between pursuing a full review, or exclusively reviewing areas not covered by the global stocktake. Some reiterated concerns about potential overlaps between the periodic review and the stocktake, while one recommended that both processes be “fully integrated.” The Co-Facilitators proposed informal informals to develop bridging proposals.
Response Measures: During the morning contact group, co-chaired by Delano Verwey (the Netherlands) and Xolisa Ngwadla (South Africa), AUSTRALIA and the US shared a list of their respective experiences and lessons learned from managing economic diversification.
In the afternoon, parties reflected on a work plan table presented by the Co-Facilitators, with headings outlining: activities; themes/clusters; responsibilities; modalities; outputs; as well as several columns for the years 2019-2025.
Several parties called for streamlining the table, with some warning of the budgetary implications of the 115 activities listed. Others lamented that the proposal was not based on models used in the past. Others viewed it as a good starting point to find synergies among activities. Discussions will continue.
In the Corridors
As discussions resumed on Friday, news came that young people from 16 countries were demonstrating in nearby Aachen, in the heart of Germany’s coal region. To some, the energy of youth seemed to be missing in the negotiations as one beleaguered delegated characterized negotiations as “sluggish.” With negotiators in transparency and Article 6 moving between meetings “non-stop,” others wondered when progress would begin to emerge, particularly on issues such as common time frames. “How many more options do we need?” one delegate wondered, with the issue only getting one more airing in Bonn.