Report of main proceedings for 11 November 2021
Glasgow Climate Change Conference
The day started with a collective hearing of the status of work before delegates separated off into their respective rooms. Some decisions were taken in an evening plenary, but the most contentious are still under negotiation. These include finance, Article 6, and loss and damage.
Presidency’s Stocktaking Session
COP 26 President Alok Sharma observed that “we are not there yet,” and said he had no illusion that parties were satisfied with current texts. He called for a “gear shift” to reach agreement on finance, particularly on the collective quantified finance goal and long-term finance; Article 6; the enhanced transparency framework; and mitigation and keeping 1.5°C within reach, saying “we know we cannot afford to fail.”
CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK called for: phasing out all fossil fuels, including oil and gas; keeping human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the Article 6 text, saying this is non-negotiable, and establishing alongside an independent grievance mechanism; and agreeing to a new submission date for NDCs before 2023.
GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE lamented the lower status given to loss and damage, the absence of a clear obligation for developed countries to scale up finance for loss and damage, and problematic references to nature-based solutions.
FARMERS urged parties to recognize the role of farming in adaptation and mitigation, and more finance for sustainable agriculture.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES called for the cover decisions to clearly differentiate between Indigenous Peoples and local communities, recognize Indigenous knowledge and best available science, and include recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. On Article 6, he said human rights and Indigenous Peoples’ rights should be included in the text on Article 6.8, and called for an independent redress mechanism on Article 6.4.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES lamented the lack of reference to multi-level and collaborative action, and to local and subnational authorities, in the cover decisions.
TRADE UNION NGOs said credible ambition at COP 26 means: clear support for a just transition, with human and labor rights at the core of the Glasgow cover decisions and Article 6; stepping up 2030 NDCs in line with a 1.5°C trajectory before the 2023 Global Stocktake; guarantees from rich countries to deliver climate finance; and money for adaptation and loss and damage.
WOMEN AND GENDER criticized the language on nature-based solutions, saying the focus should be on ecosystem-based approaches. She said a weak text on Article 6 undermines the Paris Agreement and called for safeguarding human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, a just transition, a gender-responsive approach, as well as an independent grievance mechanism in all Article 6 activities.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY NGOs suggested cover decision language on market frameworks improving business and investor confidence, and the necessity of voluntary cooperation for delivering market signals to scale up private sector investment consistently with Paris Agreement goals.
In closing, President Sharma reiterated his commitment to transparency and openness.
Organizational Matters: Credentials: The COP adopted the report on credentials (FCCC/CP/2021/11).
Rules of procedure: Parties agreed to take up this issue at COP 27.
Dates and venues of future sessions: Parties agreed that COP 27 will take place on 7-18 November 2022 in Egypt and COP 28 will take place 6-17 November 2023 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (FCCC/CP/2021/L.1).
Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Egypt, thanked all African partners, including civil society, for welcoming and endorsing Egypt to be the host of COP 27. Noting that Egypt is a strong believer in multilateralism, she looked forward to breakthrough at COP 27 on many critical issues including climate finance, adaptation, and loss and damage.
Sultan Al Jaber, Special Envoy for Climate Change, UAE, appreciated parties’ trust for choosing the UAE as the host of COP 28. He stated that COP 28 in 2023 will be a very important landmark, with the completion of the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement, and underlined that the UAE’s Presidency will aim to raise ambition by pulling together efforts to reduce emissions and ensure sustainable development.
Report of the SBSTA: The COP took note of the report and the oral report of SBSTA 52-55 (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.1).
The COP adopted the decision on the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform recommended by the SBSTA (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.3).
Report of the SBI: The COP took note of the report and the oral report of SBI 52-55 (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.1).
The COP adopted the decision on the review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention, now named the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.18).
The COP adopted the decision on national adaptation plans recommended by the SBI (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.11/Add.1).
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN): The COP adopted a decision (FCCC/SB/2021/L.4).
The review of the constitution of the Advisory Board of the CTCN: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Mareer Mohamed Husny (Maldives), parties read draft text.
They agreed to amend the constitution of the Advisory Board, by, inter alia: changing the number of government representatives from 16 to 18 to ensure equitable representation of the UN regional groups; including representatives for Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, the women and gender constituency, and youth NGOs; and increasing the maximum term of board members from one to two years. The Co-Facilitators will prepare a clean draft decision for the COP’s consideration.
The second review of the CTCN: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Madeleine Diouf Sarr (Senegal) and Stephen Minas (Greece), parties continued to deliberate on draft text. Disagreement remained on the conclusions regarding financial aspects related to the work of the CTCN, and how to reference the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
On financial aspects, a developing country suggested, supported by many others, noting the lack of a dedicated framework for allocating resources from the Financial Mechanism to the CTCN, and inviting the CTCN to work with the operational entities of the Financial Mechanism to further strengthen their linkages. Developed countries strongly objected to this proposal and asked to bracket all paragraphs on financial aspects. One developed country said it is inappropriate to add new substantive text at a late stage of the negotiations, noting the issue of linkages between the Financial Mechanism and Technology Mechanism should be addressed in the negotiations on guidance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF). A developing country said his group’s proposal on linkages was not taken up in the finance negotiations.
On UNIDO, a developed country proposed, supported by several parties, specifying UNIDO’s role as a co-host of the CTCN. A developing country group insisted that the COP does not have the mandate to give guidance to UNIDO due to the lack of agreement between the UNFCCC Secretariat and UNIDO.
Seeing no consensus, Sarr suggested informal discussions among parties. After some bilateral consultations, parties put forward a package deal, which, inter alia, reiterates that enhanced and sustainable financial support should be provided to the CTCN for its full and effective implementation; encourages UNEP in collaboration with UNIDO and in consultation with the CTCN Advisory Board, to implement the recommendations of the review; and invites the CTCN to continue working with the operational entities of the Financial Mechanism to further strengthen their linkages. The Co-Facilitators will prepare clean text for consideration by the COP.
Capacity building under the Convention: The COP adopted decisions on the annual progress reports of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building, and on capacity-building under the Convention (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.5 and L.6).
Matters relating to the Least Developed Countries: The COP adopted a decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.12/Add.1).
Gender: The COP adopted a decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.13).
Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: Audit report and financial statements for 2019 and 2020: Budget performance for the bienniums 2018–2019 and 2020–2021: The COP adopted the relevant decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.15).
Programme budget for the biennium 2022–2023: The COP adopted a decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.14/Add.1).
Decision-making in the UNFCCC process: COP 26 Vice-President Carlos Fuller reported that parties had noted the importance of the issue, but did not agree on conclusions. Rule 16 will be applied.
Organizational Matters: Credentials: The CMA approved the report on credentials (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/9).
Status of Ratification of the Paris Agreement: Fuller reported that Turkey ratified the Paris Agreement on 11 October 2021 and became a party on 10 November 2021, and Iraq ratified the Agreement on 1 November 2021 and will become a party on 1 December 2021. He further reported that, as of 11 November 2021, 193 parties to the Convention have ratified the Paris Agreement.
Report of the SBSTA: The CMA took note of the report and the oral report of SBSTA 52-55 (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.1).
The CMA adopted the decision on the joint annual report of the TEC and the CTCN (for 2020 and 2021), titled Enhancing climate technology development and transfer to support implementation of the Paris Agreement (FCCC/SB/2021/L.5).
Report of the SBI: The CMA took note of the report and the oral report of SBI 52-55 (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.1).
The CMA adopted the decision on the review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention, now named the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.18).
The CMA adopted the decision on capacity building under the Paris Agreement (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.4).
Public registries under the Paris Agreement: Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 4.12 of the Paris Agreement (mitigation): The contact group was co-chaired by Peter Wittoeck (Belgium), who invited views on a revised draft decision. With minor amendments, parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the CMA.
Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 7.12, of the Paris Agreement (adaptation communications): The contact group was co-chaired by Emily Massawa (Kenya), who invited views on a revised draft decision.
CHINA suggested, and parties agreed, for the decision to mirror the draft decision on the public registry referred to in Article 4.12. At CHINA’s suggestion, parties also agreed to insert a footnote, both in the public registry and in the decision, specifying the possible ways for parties to submit adaptation communications. With these changes, parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the CMA.
Report of the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance referred to in Article 15, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement (for 2020 and 2021): The CMA adopted a decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.1).
Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: The CMA endorsed decisions adopted by the COP (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.14/Add.1 and L.15).
Matters Relating to Finance: In Presidency-led consultations, a representative of the COP 26 Presidency presented the way forward, saying long-term finance and the new collective quantified goal would now be considered in ministerial consultations in bilateral settings, with no further technical informals on these issues. On the remaining finance items, he said consultations would be conducted under the Presidency’s authority, with informal discussions taking place during the afternoon. On the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), he highlighted remaining issues, including the definition of climate finance, and the governance of the SCF review. On the review of the Financial Mechanism, he stressed the issue of governance. On the Adaptation Fund, he said there had been good progress on the guidance from the CMA, but the issue of board eligibility remained outstanding.
Work continued with the aim of producing new draft texts to be released early morning Friday, 12 November.
Organizational Matters: Credentials: The CMP adopted the report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/7).
Report of the SBSTA: The CMP took note of the oral report on SBSTA 52-55 and adopted the relevant report (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.1).
Report of the SBI: The CMP took note of the oral report on SBI 52-55 and adopted the relevant report (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.1).
Capacity building under the Kyoto Protocol: The CMP adopted the relevant decisions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.8 and L.7).
Report on the high-level ministerial round table on increased ambition of Kyoto Protocol commitments: CMP Vice-President Fuller, for the CMP Presidency, reported that informal consultations did not reach consensus on the way forward. Rule 16 will be applied.
Administrative, financial and institutional matters: Audit report and financial statements for 2019 and 2020: Budget performance for the bienniums 2018–2019 and 2020–2021: The CMP adopted the relevant decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.16).
Programme budget for the biennium 2022–2023: The CMP adopted the relevant decisions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.14/Add.1, Add.2, and Add.3).
In the Corridors
On the penultimate day, delegates wrestled with big ideas, but increasingly individual words matter. A IPCC author noticed what he hoped is an “innocuous, because easily fixed” problem in the cover decisions, that state “limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2100 requires … reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century.” He noted that this misrepresents the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C, by replacing the Special Report’s phrase “1.5°C with no or limited overshoot” (which does require 45% reductions by 2030) with “1.5°C by 2100” (which does not). Even very small words matter. This change could suggest that a scenario in which global average temperatures reach 1.8°C by 2070 and return to 1.5°C by 2100 through active, significant CO2 removal after 2070 would still be consistent with the goals stated in the cover decisions.
In short, the world could miss 1.5°C and attempt to mop up the atmospheric damage, but, he explained, there will be irreversible damage to people and the planet associated with this further global warming. And, he said, it would become impossible to assess whether the 1.5°C goal had been missed (or achieved) until after 2100. He worried that allowing scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2100 through “arbitrarily high levels of CO2 removal in the second half of this century” might stifle any imperative for early emissions reductions. All this from “by 2100.”
Two other words heard were “going backwards” in relation to the Article 6 negotiations. The weary delegate was not referring to whether or not there would be agreement, but rather the ambition represented in the options on the table. In Madrid, fears of a market mechanism that would undermine environmental integrity led some climate-vulnerable countries to declare that “no agreement is better than a bad agreement.”
Another delegate also recalled Madrid, noting that “this is in many – most – ways the same package that we failed to finish.” Finance, loss and damage governance, and Article 6 were among the issues left unresolved at the last COP in 2019. Delegates have experience with the trade-offs involved. On the last day, perhaps days, of this meeting, many hoped that ministers could find the final forms of words that eluded them in the past.