Report of main proceedings for 2 November 2021
Glasgow Climate Change Conference
The third day of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference featured negotiations, and also the World Leaders Summit. Heads of delegations met to discuss Article 6 (cooperative approaches).
World Leaders Summit
The World Leaders Summit continued with a further 56 speeches given.
Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, President of Ecuador, announced his country would add 60,000 km² to its marine reserve around the Galápagos Islands and underscored efforts underway towards transitioning to a resilient and circular economy by 2050.
Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, highlighted Tanzania’s commitment to reduce economy-wide emissions between 30% and 35% relative to a business-as-usual scenario by 2030, and annual planting of 276 million trees. She queried, if developing countries can show leadership in climate action, why are large emitters lagging behind?
Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark, announced Denmark’s aim to mobilize at least 1% of the collectively promised USD 100 billion by 2023, noting 60% of the country’s climate aid will help the most vulnerable nations adapt.
Surangel S. Whipps Jr., President of Palau, called for COP 26 to finalize the Paris rulebook and better integrate the ocean into UNFCCC processes, including in the Global Stocktake. He urged fulfillment of the USD 100 billion commitment and further increasing climate finance, citing the USD 4 trillion that the World Bank estimates is needed, with substantial shares to support adaptation.
Carlos Alvardo Quesada, President of Costa Rica, reflected that if world leaders were CEOs, they would all be fired for failing to deliver results. Saying world leaders should be held accountable for being severely off track, he urged the developed world to get its act together as a matter of life and death.
Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, announced an additional climate finance contribution of up to USD 10 billion in the next five years. He indicated USD 100 million would support projects aimed at zero-emissions thermal power using ammonia and hydrogen; USD 240 million would go towards global forest conservation; and, on adaptation, Japan would double assistance to USD 14.8 billion to support disaster risk reduction.
Keith C. Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, lamented that the global goal on adaptation has not received sufficient attention, and called for a work programme to be agreed at COP 26. He stressed loss and damage as a core issue and urged easier access to finance for loss and damage.
Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway, announced Norway would double its climate finance to USD 1.6 billion by 2026 and will invite the private sector to mobilize capital. He also announced an initiative to fund renewable energy and preserve forests in developing countries.
Matters Relating to Finance: Standing Committee on Finance: COP Vice-President Federica Fricano (Italy) suggested, and parties agreed, that there would be COP and CMA contact groups to take up issues on both agendas related to the Standing Committee on Finance, to be co-chaired by Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) and Gard Lindseth (Norway).
Long-term climate finance (LTF): Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Georg Børsting (Norway) co-chaired the contact group, which focused on how to deal with the agenda sub-item going forward and decision text elements. Co-Chair Fuller reminded parties that COP 25 was unable to conclude consideration of this item.
Developed and developing countries’ views diverged on whether the LTF item should remain on the COP agenda, or should sunset at COP 26, with discussions continuing under the CMA. Developing countries stressed that provision of finance is a treaty obligation under the Convention, while developed countries suggested that implementation is now taking place under the Paris Agreement and cautioned against proliferation of agenda items. They also disagreed on whether work under the COP would duplicate workshops, events and reporting mandated under the CMA item on Paris Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante finance transparency).
Developing countries called for space under the COP for assessing and reviewing delivery towards the USD 100 billion goal both through 2020 and between 2021 and 2025, through official UNFCCC synthesis reports, and continuing LTF discussions until at least 2027. One developed country pointed out that the continuation of the 2020 goal was set under the cover decision of the Paris Agreement, arguing that the issue should be discussed under the CMA.
Developing countries further called for, inter alia: a definition of climate finance; a clear roadmap for climate finance; accountability and transparency; adaptation and loss and damage finance, in particular grant-based; and balancing mitigation and adaptation finance.
Developed countries called for reflecting lessons learned and the role of private finance.
Matters Relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): In the contact group, Co-Chair Yaw Osafo (Ghana) reminded parties that the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period ended on 31 December 2020 and that, in the absence of guidance from the CMP, the CDM Executive Board (EB) adopted temporary measures for emissions reductions occurring after this time that were submitted for registration, renewal or issuance. He noted that some issues under this item are linked to issues relating to Paris Agreement Article 6 that are being discussed under SBSTA, and some are “politically challenging.” He outlined the proposed organization of work for the session, namely identifying operational elements of draft guidance to the CDM EB using “standard language” as far as possible, and then addressing “more challenging issues” related to CDM post-2020 and linkages to Article 6. The Secretariat provided a presentation on the temporary measures applied by the CDM EB. Discussions continued in informal consultations.
Report of the Implementation and Compliance Committee: CMA Vice-President Federica Fricano (Italy) proposed and parties agreed to establish a contact group on this issue, to be co-chaired by Arne Riedel (Germany) and Kunzang (Bhutan).
Matters relating to finance: New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance: The contact group was co-chaired by Outi Honkatukia (Finland) and Zaheer Fakir (South Africa), who noted two Presidency reflection papers reflecting non-exhaustive summaries of discussions to date.
On key principles for the deliberations, parties agreed the procedure should be transparent and inclusive, with engagement with non-party stakeholders. Many groups stressed Article 9.3 of the Paris Agreement (developed countries leading), and decisions 1/CP.21 (Paris outcome) and 14/CMA.1 (new collective quantified goal on climate finance). Costa Rica, for AILAC, and NEW ZEALAND highlighted a clear and ambitious objective. Malawi, for the LDCs, underscored taking account of the needs and priorities of developing country parties. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and India, for the LMDCs, stressed changing the financial sector to take account of economic, social and health justice.
On working modalities for the deliberations, Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, proposed an open-ended ad hoc working group, opposed by the AFRICAN GROUP, who proposed a representative committee. Others proposed a recurring agenda item under the CMA, although the US said the agenda item would not need to be recurring. Other suggestions included ministerial dialogues, obtaining inputs from parties’ communications as well as reports of constituted bodies, and appointing independent champions or ministerial co-facilitators. Several groups urged making the most of this opportunity, to avoid remaking “the uninformed mistake we made in Copenhagen.”
On main components of the process, many supported both technical and political elements, with some suggesting these be cyclical. The US opposed, suggesting a “more fluid” approach. AILAC suggested a three-stage approach to decision-making, opposed by the EU and SWITZERLAND who stressed that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
On key substantive topics or questions the deliberations need to consider, proposals included quantity, quality, efficiency, speed, access to, and scale of, finance. Some proposed a distinction between public and private finance, and between thematic areas of mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage. Fiji, for the PACIFIC SIDS, the LDCs, CHINA, and the LMDCs supported establishing a definition of climate finance. Some highlighted reporting, accounting and tracking progress.
AOSIS, the AFRICAN GROUP and PAKISTAN said the process should end by 2023 at the latest, opposed by the EU and AUSTRALIA, who said the original mandate of 2024 should be adhered to.
The Co-Facilitators invited further submissions until 6pm Wednesday, 3 November, and said informals would convene on Thursday, 4 November.
Methodological Issues under the Paris Agreement: In a contact group, Co-Chair Helen Plume (New Zealand) drew attention to a draft decision prepared based on parties’ views. The Co-Facilitators for the informal consultations on the transparency sub-items reported on discussions held so far. There was general agreement that the text captured what had been discussed, but several parties noted disagreement on some elements.
BRAZIL and CHINA queried the inclusion of a reference to the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories because the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) specify the 2006 Guidelines only. The EU, AUSTRALIA, and Switzerland, for the EIG, supported its inclusion because some parties may wish to use the Refinement on a voluntary basis. Trinidad and Tobago, for AOSIS, Paraguay, for AILAC, and INDONESIA suggested compromise is possible, provided there is clarity that the Refinement is optional, especially for developing country parties.
SOUTH AFRICA suggested overarching sections on support and flexibility, and a periodic review of the provision of support. CHINA and SAUDI ARABIA called for clarifying the legal status of each table and outline in the decision, which the US and AUSTRALIA said was clear in the MPGs. SWITZERLAND and CANADA cautioned not to renegotiate the MPGs.
Co-Chair Plume said a revised text would be issued and informal consultations would continue.
Training programme for technical experts participating in the technical expert review: Jae Hyuk Jung (Republic of Korea) co-facilitated informal consultations. Delegates disagreed over whether the informal note prepared on Monday by the Co-Facilitators could serve as a basis for discussion. Several developing country groups opposed, noting it does not adequately capture their views and the range of options, and called for using the note capturing discussions at the June SBSTA session. Parties debated the way forward. Delegates emphasized the importance of clarifying what elements on the training programme should be addressed in the transparency items’ cover decision and what elements to address in an annex. The Co-Facilitators will prepare a new note and consult with the SBSTA Chair on the way forward.
Outlines of biennial transparency report (BTR), national inventory document (NID), and technical expert review report (TERR): Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Xiang Gao (China), who outlined outstanding questions detailed in an informal note issued in June. While many developed and developing countries underscored the facilitative nature of the outlines, some developing country groups called for mandatory use of BTR and NID outlines to ensure comparability, preserving flexibility provisions.
Parties converged on TERR outlines being mandatory. Many parties emphasized that the Implementation and Compliance Committee should be responsible for identifying significant, persistent inconsistencies since this requires consideration over several reporting cycles, with one developing country group suggesting further discussion on this, calling for leveraging the technical insights of TERR teams.
Other points included: linkages to Article 6 discussions; how the application of flexibility provisions should be indicated; the use of executive summaries; overlaps in sections on financial support; and the review of voluntary adaptation information as part of the TERR. The Co-Facilitators will prepare a first iteration of text by the end of the day.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: Discussions in informal consultations revolved around the way forward to conclude the consideration of outstanding workshop reports. Several parties and groups briefly presented draft texts. Parties agreed these texts would be compiled and circulated by the Co-Facilitators. Informal informals convened in the evening.
Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Maxine Burkett (United States), the Secretariat presented the report of the Facilitative Working Group (FWG), noting that it has completed most of its planned activities, and outlined the FWG’s draft second three-year workplan.
Delegates welcomed the FWG report, congratulated the FWG on advancing its work despite the global pandemic, and highlighted the important role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in achieving the Paris goals and stewarding ecosystems. Parties near-unanimously expressed support for the draft workplan as formulated. A developed country asked to insert language noting that the new workplan does not create new rights or obligations under international law, noting that “local communities” do not possess rights recognized by the international community. A developing country underscored the parity of indigenous knowledge with Western scientific knowledge, indicating the country would send a textual proposal to be added to the draft workplan. An Indigenous Peoples representative expressed support for the draft workplan.
The Co-Facilitators will prepare a draft text and then informal consultations will reconvene.
Nairobi Work Programme (NWP): In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Alessandra Sgobbi (EU) and Carlos Fuller (Belize) first sought views on additions to the informal note. On guiding questions for the NWP stocktake, some parties proposed adding questions, including on monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and integrating alternative knowledge systems.
The Co-Facilitators also sought guidance on how to strengthen the NWP, particularly in addressing knowledge gaps and supporting countries in implementing the Paris Agreement. Some suggested considering parties’ adaptation communications as input to understand knowledge needs and enhance the NWP’s relevance.
Discussions addressed, among others: ways to fill knowledge gaps, particularly on implementation of adaptation actions; adding cities to the NWP’s thematic areas; channels to communicate adaptation needs; and having adaptation-specific focal points or using national focal points. The Co-Facilitators urged parties to convene informal informals.
WIM: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago), parties focused on the Santiago Network. A developing country group introduced proposed decision text, including a proposal that the Network should engage with parties to assist in identifying, prioritizing, and accessing technical assistance, and support needs relating to loss and damage. The proposal also called for submissions on the institutional arrangements for the Network, with work to be concluded at COP 27. The group emphasized that the Network should not simply be a matchmaking facility or database.
On the functions of the Santiago Network, other suggestions included: full inclusion of a range of topics, including slow-onset events and non-economic losses; linking providers of technical assistance with parties needing it; giving voice and agency to frontline communities; undertaking pilot projects; and making the Network demand-driven.
Many agreed that the form of the Network should follow its function. Suggestions included a coordinating body or entity to be established at COP 27 and an expert advisory body to support the Network. A party called for more discussion on how the Network would link with the ongoing work of the WIM ExCom.
One party cautioned against displacing or duplicating existing efforts, and a group stressed additionality. Several groups called for adequate finance to support the Network’s operationalization and the provision of technical assistance, including from the Financial Mechanism.
Discussions continued in informal informals.
Technology Development and Transfer: Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN): In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Toshiaki Nagata (Japan), parties discussed draft decisions for the COP and CMA prepared by the Co-Facilitators. A developed country, supported by a developing country, lamented that the private sector was not mentioned in the text, given the CTCN’s engagement with the private sector. A group noted some elements in the draft COP decision should also be reflected in the draft CMA decision. Parties deliberated the draft text paragraph by paragraph, with minor changes suggested by different countries. Discussions will continue in informal informal consultations.
Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Elfriede-Anna More (Austria) introduced a draft text prepared by the Co-Facilitators, containing draft conclusions proposed by the SBI Chair and a draft COP decision. She clarified that the draft text did not reflect the debate among parties on whether consideration of this matter should be closed or continued by the COP. In ensuing discussions, parties made general remarks on the draft text, with several countries expressing their preference for continuing the stocktaking of progress in strengthening the linkages between the two mechanisms. A developing country proposed a new paragraph aiming to ensure transparency of processes in strengthening the linkages. Another country suggested to consider the linkages with respect to the implementation of technology needs assessments. Several countries requested clarification on a paragraph including recommendations related to Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund activities. Informal consultations will continue.
Capacity building: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Rita Mishaan (Guatemala) and Ismo Ulvila (EU). Delegates discussed draft decision text prepared by the Co-Facilitators. With minor edits, delegates found convergence on: a draft COP decision on the fifth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition under the Convention; a draft CMP decision on the fourth comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries under the Kyoto Protocol; and draft COP and CMA decisions on the annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (for 2020 and 2021).
Response Measures: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Mattias Frumerie (Sweden) and Andrei Marcu (Papua New Guinea). The Co-Chairs of the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) presented on KCI’s progress across its activity areas, highlighting recommendations for consideration. There were calls for regional workshops to be held within the regions and tailored to the issues relevant to the specific regions, but two countries noted that the workplan calls for a single regional workshop to be held in conjunction with the subsidiary bodies meeting. Views diverged on how to provide input to the Global Stocktake, with some calling for submissions and virtual intersessional work, and others recalling agreement to develop a single document during the subsidiary bodies meeting in 2022 and COP 27. Informal consultations will continue.
Report of the Adaptation Committee: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Paul Watkinson (France) and Le-Anne Roper (Jamaica) circulated a reflections note. Parties shared initial reactions to three headings: reports of the Committee (2019, 2020, and 2021); report of the Committee for 2021 and the Global Goal on Adaptation; and review of the Committee’s progress, effectiveness, and performance.
Parties exchanged views on, inter alia: IPCC engagement; linkages to the Global Stocktake; and whether the Global Goal on Adaptation has already been defined. Some parties expressed flexibility on whether the review of progress should be concluded at COP 26, or conducted at COP 27.
Some developing countries highlighted that mobilization of private sector funds for adaptation must be seen as complementary to, and not a replacement of, adaptation finance from public sources.
The Co-Facilitators invited written inputs by noon Wednesday, 3 November, which will be incorporated in another reflections note. Informal consultations will continue.
In the Corridors
On the surface, Tuesday looked very much like the day before. World leaders whisked between rooms, giving speeches and announcing pledges. Civil society remained outside the negotiation space; only 36 of their delegates were allowed to the core area where negotiations took place. Some negotiations were delayed because parties were in the queue outside. The 10,000-person cap on Blue Zone participation was reached in the early afternoon. Helicopters were heard hovering over an Extinction Rebellion protest blocking one exit, acoustically materializing civil society’s dissatisfaction with the process.
But, there were nuanced differences. The announcements focused on collective efforts beyond a single country. The Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use united 110 countries with the aim to end deforestation by 2030. As one negotiator from a forested country put it, “let’s hope this declaration can succeed where previous ones have failed us.” The Global Methane Pledge now has nearly 90 members, up from the original 20 in September. Together, they pledged to reduce methane emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030, which could avert 0.2 degrees of global warming. One observer asked, however, why these pledges were not in countries nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
As leaders departed, their efforts could be tallied. In a high-level event, US Climate Envoy John Kerry suggested that, if Japan’s contribution of USD 2 billion per year mobilizes an additional USD 6 billion through co-financing arrangements, then the USD 100 billion goal might be met in 2022 – a year before developed countries expected and two years after they initially promised.
Negotiations were in full swing. Heads of delegation met to discuss Article 6. According to some, it was a “tough go, but not necessarily negative” as some parties pushed to strengthen the current draft text, including on finance and capacity building. But the text is lengthy and parties need more time. Parties also began addressing the huge list of finance issues on the meeting’s agenda, including the process to determine the new collective finance goal. There was hope that, now that world leaders have left, COP could “return to normal,” allowing negotiators to get on with their work, with the participation and inclusion of observers.