Summary report, 31 October – 12 November 2021

Glasgow Climate Change Conference

The Glasgow Climate Change Conference convened after a year-long postponement due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Parties adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact: a series of three overarching cover decisions that provide an overall political narrative of the Conference of the Parties (COP). For the first time in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, there is a reference to phasing down unabated coal power and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Some of the substantive aspects of the decisions include calls for:

  • developed countries to double their adaptation finance from 2019 levels, by 2025; and
  • parties that have not yet communicated new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to do so before the next COP.

The Pact also establishes:

  • an annual high-level ministerial roundtable on pre-2030 ambition;
  • the Glasgow Dialogue between parties on loss and damage, to convene from 2022 to 2024; and
  • an annual dialogue to strengthen ocean-based action.

There are sections on science, adaptation, adaptation finance, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building, loss and damage, implementation, and collaboration in the cover decisions, except for the one related to the Kyoto Protocol.

Before COP 26 convened, 153 countries, accounting for 49% of global greenhouse gas emissions, had updated their NDCs to the Paris Agreement. As estimated by the Secretariat’s NDC Synthesis Report, these updated NDCs would lead to 2.7°C of global warming by 2100. Developed countries had also published a road map that admitted that they would miss the promised USD 100 billion per year by 2020 climate finance goal, and would not likely achieve it before 2023.

Against this modest beginning, the World Leaders’ Summit brought together over 120 Heads of State and Government. There were strong calls for greater ambition, and several developed countries made new financial pledges. The UK Presidency tallied that USD 800 million was pledged for adaptation over COP 26, including the first-ever US contribution to the Adaptation Fund. Additional financial pledges came from Japan, Germany, and Spain, among others. There were a few new NDC or net zero pledges. Most notable among these was India’s pledge for net zero by 2070. There are estimates that the new NDCs and net zero pledges, taken with NDCs and net zero pledges submitted before the COP, would lead to 1.8°C to 2.4°C of global warming by 2100, if these pledges are fully implemented.

New partnerships and declarations announced during the Leaders’ Summit included:

  • the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, signed by 120 countries, to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, backed by public funds for forest conservation and a global roadmap to make 75% of forest commodity supply chains sustainable; and
  • the Global Methane Pledge, signed by over 100 countries, to commit to collectively reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

Throughout COP 26, many other declarations and alliances were announced, in Presidency-led events or in press conferences.

After the leaders left, despite divisive negotiations, parties managed to finalize the Paris Agreement Rulebook and adopt other substantive outcomes. During the closing plenaries, parties reflected that the overall package was not perfect, and many stressed that they were adopting the package “in the spirit of compromise.” Many developing countries lamented the outcome on loss and damage. They had called for a financial mechanism for loss and damage, but the outcomes on loss and damage only include a strengthened Santiago Network and its technical support functions, and a two-year dialogue.

In completing the Paris Agreement rulebook, the Agreement is now operational and implementable. Since 2018, when countries completed most of the elements of the rulebook, Article 6 (cooperative approaches) and common time frames remained missing elements. In Glasgow, decisions were adopted on both issues to operationalize carbon credit trading, a carbon market, and a framework for non-market-based approaches. On common time frames, countries agreed to submit new NDCs in 2025, that will have an end date of 2035, and, in 2030 to submit NDCs with an end date of 2040, and so on. It will provide regular five-year updates to NDCs, with each lasting for ten years.

The enhanced transparency framework was fully completed, with the tables, outlines and other formats for the reports agreed. This will enable parties to submit their first biennial transparency reports under the Paris Agreement in 2024. Support for developing countries to undertake their obligations under the enhanced transparency framework was included in the finance decisions.

The Glasgow Climate Change Conference convened from 31 October – 13 November 2021. This was the first in-person meeting for a multilateral environmental agreement to take place since the global COVID-19 pandemic began. In total, 39,509 people registered for the conference: 21,967 representatives from parties and observer states; 14,033 observers; and 3,781 media.

The Conference featured unique arrangements, including daily testing requirements and socially-distanced meeting rooms. There was a 10,000-person limit to the Blue Zone, where negotiations and side events took place, which was often reached by midday. For those unable to access the Blue Zone, an online platform facilitated access to negotiations and other events. Throughout the Conference, and particularly during the World Leaders’ Summit, observers drew attention to the lack of access for civil society to negotiation spaces. Some aspects of the meeting were more familiar, including last minute huddles in plenary to work through outstanding issues. Data related to COVID-19 infection rates were not published.

A Brief History of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement

The international political response to climate change began with the 1992 adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which sets out the basic legal framework and principles for international climate change cooperation with the aim of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, has 197 parties.

To boost the effectiveness of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in December 1997. It commits industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve quantified emissions reduction targets for a basket of six GHGs. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 and has 192 parties. Its first commitment period took place from 2008 to 2012. The 2012 Doha Amendment established the second commitment period from 2013 to 2020. To date, 145 parties have ratified the Doha Amendment.

In December 2015, parties adopted the Paris Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, all countries will submit NDCs, and will review the aggregate progress on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation every five years through a Global Stocktake. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, and, to date, 193 parties have ratified the Agreement.

Recent Key Turning Points

Paris: The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference convened in Paris, France, and culminated in the adoption of the Paris Agreement on 12 December. The Agreement includes the goal of limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to increase parties’ ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development. The Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.

Under the Paris Agreement, each party shall communicate, at five-year intervals, successively more ambitious NDCs. Under the common time frames decision adopted in 2021 in Glasgow, each NDC will last ten years, but will still be updated every five years. The Paris Agreement also includes a transparency framework, and a process known as the Global Stocktake. Beginning in 2023, parties will convene this process at five-year intervals to review collective progress on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation. The Agreement also includes provisions on adaptation, finance, technology, loss and damage, and compliance.

When adopting the Paris Agreement, parties launched the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) to develop the Agreement’s operational details. Parties also agreed on the need to mobilize stronger and more ambitious climate action by all parties and non-party stakeholders to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals. Several non-party stakeholders made unilateral mitigation pledges in Paris, with more than 10,000 registered actions.

Marrakech: The UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech took place from 7-18 November 2016, and included the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). Parties adopted several decisions related to the PAWP, including: work should conclude by 2018; the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building; and initiating a process to identify the information to be provided in accordance with Paris Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante biennial finance communications by developed countries). Other decisions adopted included approving the five-year workplan of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM), enhancing the Technology Mechanism, and continuing and enhancing the Lima work programme on gender.

Fiji/Bonn: The Fiji/Bonn Climate Change Conference convened from 6-17 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, under the COP Presidency of Fiji. The COP launched the Talanoa Dialogue, a facilitative dialogue to take stock of collective progress towards the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals. The COP also established the “Fiji Momentum for Implementation,” a decision giving prominence to pre-2020 implementation and ambition. Parties also provided guidance on the completion of the PAWP and decided that the Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement, subject to decisions to be taken by CMA 1-3. Parties also further developed, or gave guidance to, the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, the Executive Committee of the WIM, the Standing Committee on Finance, and the Adaptation Fund.

Katowice: The Katowice Climate Change Conference convened from 2-14 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland, concluding a busy year that featured an additional negotiation session to advance work on the PAWP. Parties adopted the Katowice Climate Package, which finalized nearly all of the PAWP, including decisions to facilitate common interpretation and implementation of the Paris Agreement on the mitigation section of NDCs, adaptation communications, transparency framework, Global Stocktake, and financial transparency, among others. Work on cooperative approaches, under Article 6 of the Agreement, was not concluded, and parties agreed to conclude this work in 2019. The COP was unable to agree on whether to “welcome” or “note” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming.

Chile/Madrid: The Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference convened in Madrid, under the COP Presidency of Chile. Decisions were adopted on the review of the WIM and some finance-related issues, such as guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF). Parties also adopted three decisions each named the Chile/Madrid Time for Action. On many other issues, notably Article 6 and long-term finance, countries could not reach agreement.

Intersessional Meetings: The global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal meeting cycle. Online sessions were held in June and November 2020 to hear updates from the constituted bodies and hold mandated events. The Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020 served as a platform for countries to put forward new NDCs and net zero pledges. A subsequent online summit was convened in April 2021 by US President Biden. In June 2021, the Subsidiary Bodies met online for informal consultations. No decisions were taken. The meeting was a chance to share views, which were captured in informal notes prepared by the Chairs.

Report of the Meetings

This report summarizes the discussions by the five bodies based on their respective agendas. It begins with the governing bodies for the Convention, Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, and then turns to the subsidiary bodies. The Glasgow Climate Change Conference was comprised of the following:

  • 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26)
  • 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 16)
  • 3rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 3)
  • 52nd-55th meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 52-55)
  • 52nd-55th meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 52-55)

Opening Ceremony

COP 25 President Carolina Schmidt (Chile) opened the meeting on Sunday, 31 October 2021, and reminded delegates that science is non-negotiable and climate change requires multi-sectoral, transformative change. She stressed the importance of non-party stakeholders in climate action.

COP 26 President Alok Sharma (UK) described the IPCC Working Group I (WG I) contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report as a wake-up call, and said COP 26 “is our last best hope to keep 1.5°C in reach.”

Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, expressed hope that Glasgow, as a post-industrial city with a 2030 carbon neutrality target, can inspire delegates.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa highlighted three priorities: increasing ambition, especially by members of the Group of 20 (G20); achieving finance targets and mobilizing trillions of dollars; and strengthening adaptation action. She urged inclusion of all stakeholders and observers.

Hoesung Lee, IPCC Chair, called the WG I report sobering and said the true measure of effectiveness of collective efforts is the state of the climate system, which science attests is deteriorating.

Abdulla Shahid, President of the UN General Assembly, called for enhanced efforts to meet the USD 100 billion finance goal with equal shares for mitigation and adaptation, monitoring private sector net zero targets, and investing in green jobs.

India Logan-Riley, Ngāti Kahungunu, Aotearoa New Zealand, pointed to Indigenous leadership and resistance to fossil fuel extraction, and emphasized the need for a decolonial response to climate change, with the Global North committing to halting emissions and redistributing finance.

Opening Statements: Parties and observers provided opening statements that shared their expectations for work under all of the bodies.

Guinea, for the GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA (G-77/CHINA), called on developed countries to enhance their absolute economy-wide emissions reduction targets and scale up provision of support, stressed climate finance as key to success at COP 26, and underscored the need to fulfill long-standing climate finance commitments, such as the USD 100 billion goal.

The EUROPEAN UNION (EU) stated the group would “fight” for an ambitious outcome that advances action well before 2030. She outlined elements of a successful outcome, including: robust rules for Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches); enhanced transparency framework arrangements; and a common time frame for all parties’ NDCs.

Switzerland, for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP (EIG), emphasized three priorities: rules, finance, and ambition. He called for rules to be operationalized, not reopened, and for COP 26 to launch efforts to define the post-2025 finance target and ensure alignment of all financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, highlighted as critical, inter alia: finalizing the Paris rulebook, including on common time frames and the enhanced transparency framework; advancing work on adaptation; and enhancing action for practical, locally-led adaptation and resilience efforts.

Gabon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, underscored its expectation that resolution on the consideration of Africa’s special needs and circumstances would be reached, noting scientific evidence of the continent’s vulnerability. He called for: reaching agreement on the operationalization of the global goal on adaptation (GGA) by COP 27, concluding work on the new finance goal at COP 27, and for the “transparency package” to ensure adequate support for developing country reporting.

Bolivia, for the LIKE-MINDED GROUP OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), lamented developed countries’ “history of broken promises,” pointing to a lack of ambition in the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period and the failure to fulfill the USD 100 annual finance commitment. He underscored that calling on all countries to reach net zero by 2050 is “anti-equity” and said unilateral carbon border adjustments are discriminatory.

Antigua and Barbuda, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), called for: a formal platform to take stock of the gap to the 1.5°C goal, a COP 26 decision for major economies to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2023, and a concrete outcome at COP 26 on financial support for loss and damage, noting this should be additional to the USD 100 billion goal. She emphasized the need for grant-based finance to ensure vulnerable countries’ fiscal space.

Peru, for the INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (AILAC), urged parties to address the climate crisis on the basis of science. She called for: the G20 to take action following the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), a new collective finance goal, and operationalization of the Santiago Network on loss and damage.

India, on behalf of BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA, and CHINA (BASIC), underscored the principle of CBDR-RC and special circumstances of developing countries, especially in the context of COVID-19. He urged developed countries to dramatically reduce their emissions and increase support to developing countries on finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. He called for a new quantified finance goal and a clear roadmap to achieve it.

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, urged preserving balance across agenda items, especially under Article 6, and called for extending the action plan of the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) due to COVID-19-related delays.

Bhutan, for the LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs), highlighted finance, adaptation and support to address loss and damage as priority issues, stressing that “finance is now about rebuilding trust.” He called for operationalizing the Santiago Network on loss and damage, and stressed that both the COP and CMA continue to have authority to govern the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM).

Noting it had recently ratified the Paris Agreement, TURKEY said its withdrawal of an agenda item proposal on an amendment to Annex I of the Convention was an indication of the country’s will to work constructively.

Argentina, for ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, and URUGUAY (ABU), stressed climate finance as crucial for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and for greater ambition and, cautioning against “new categories,” underscored that all developing countries need assistance for sustainable recoveries. He proposed a body focused on advancing the post-2025 climate finance target, with equal representation from developed and developing countries, and clear and specific activities.

Papua New Guinea, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, highlighted the global importance of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and the need for constructive outcomes on transparency. On Article 6, she urged against “taxing mitigation to fund adaptation,” noting all future credits must be covered by NDCs.

Guatemala, for the CENTRAL AMERICAN INTEGRATION SYSTEM, appealed for recognition as a region highly vulnerable to climate change, which should be given priority access to financing. He demanded urgent resource mobilization, increased official development assistance, and strengthened adaptation efforts.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES (LGMAs) underscored the need for multi-level climate action and called for channeling resources to the local level.

RESEARCH AND INDEPENDENT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (RINGOs) called for reaching agreement on the outstanding elements of the Paris rulebook to ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement and noted science stands ready to support parties’ work.

TRADE UNION NGOs (TUNGOs) emphasized every sector needs to decarbonize, but that this requires engaging workers in social dialogue, ensuring quality jobs and social protection, and delivering climate education.

WOMEN AND GENDER lamented the murders of environmental defenders, calling for safeguarding human rights and investing in regenerative justice. The impacts of failing to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C will be devastating, she said, underscoring “there is no time for hollow speeches.”

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK regretted the significantly reduced participation of observers. She said the global health and climate crises have increased inequality, so civil society will do everything it can for this COP to deliver what is needed for vulnerable people around the world.

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE criticized the exclusion of observers and demanded an end to the fossil fuel era coupled with “real zero” targets in line with equity and fair shares.

FARMERS stressed the potential of farmers and agriculture to contribute to climate action, noting that only 15% of climate finance has been allocated to agriculture and calling for this imbalance to be redressed.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES expressed concern about nature-based solutions developed without Indigenous Peoples’ input and their free, prior, and informed consent. She called for the adoption and implementation of the draft second workplan of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP).

YOUTH NGOs (YOUNGOs) called for “action today at COP 26,” urging parties to finalize the Paris rulebook. Citing the UN Secretary-General’s call to “give youth a seat at the decision-making table,” they asked for meaningful constituency engagement at the meeting.

World Leaders’ Summit

On 1 and 2 November, over 120 world leaders gave statements. There were several new financial announcements and some countries, notably INDIA and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, announced new NDCs.

Opening Ceremony: Earth to COP: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson drew attention to the seriousness of the climate crisis, warning against the “anger and impatience” of the world should COP 26 not deliver the scale of action needed. He stressed that solutions are attainable, and the developed world has the responsibility to fund climate action in developing countries.

Brianna Fruean, an advocate from Samoa, stressed the power of words to “change worlds,” and called on leaders to “wield the right words” followed up by action. She highlighted the leadership of Pacific youth, rallied under the cry “we are not drowning, we are fighting.”

Txai Suruí, Amazon youth, urged ending “the pollution of hollow words.” She said that, while people were closing their eyes to reality, one of her childhood friends was murdered for protecting forests. She called for placing Indigenous Peoples at the center of COP 26 decisions.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that recent climate action announcements might give the impression the world is on track to fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s objectives. Calling this an illusion, he cautioned that if commitments fall short by the end of this COP, countries must revisit their plans, not every five years, but every year, until 1.5°C is assured, fossil fuel subsidies end, carbon has a price, and coal is phased out.

His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, underscored that trillions, not billions, of dollars are needed to create a sustainable future. He said world leaders understand that the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of prevention and urged them to work together to save the future for young people.

COP 26 People’s Advocate Sir David Attenborough said the stability of the climate system that enabled the development of human civilization is breaking, urging world leaders to turn this tragedy into a triumph by reducing the global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley described the mitigation, finance, and adaptation finance gaps as “immoral and unjust.” She called for an annual increase in International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights of USD 500 billion per year, for 20 years, to finance the transition, underscoring that a 2°C future is a “death sentence” for the people of vulnerable countries.

A youth representative from Chile, in a video message, urged leaders to listen to young people, take into account the knowledge of civil society, and work locally to have global impact.

A youth representative from Egypt, in a video message, shared lessons from his experience working with local communities, stressing opportunities to achieve economic empowerment through green initiatives.

WeThe15 campaign ambassador Edward Ndopu reminded leaders of their extraordinary power to change the trajectory the world is on and urged them to help guarantee a safer future for every life.

Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi called on COP 26 to go further than the G20, urging intelligent use of the tens of trillions of private funds available, and calling on the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to share risks the private sector cannot bear alone.

Delegates viewed a video animation of a poem written by eight-year-old Delphine, which won the UK’s “Our Planet Now” competition.

Elizabeth Wathuti, Kenyan youth climate and environmental activist, reminded leaders that their decisions at COP 26 will determine whether children will have food and water.

Statements from Leaders: Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez announced an allocation of USD 30 million to the Adaptation Fund in 2022 and a commitment to increase its climate finance by 50% by 2025, to EUR 1.35 billion per year, and to allocate 20% of its Special Drawing Rights to vulnerable countries.

US President Joseph Biden expressed determination to demonstrate that the US is not only back at the table but also leading by example. He announced the United States’ first: long-term strategy to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050; adaptation communication; and contribution to the Adaptation Fund. He stated the intention to quadruple US climate finance by 2024. He also announced the launch, with the EU, of the Global Methane Pledge, through which over 70 countries commit to collectively reduce methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo said his country’s forestry and land use sector, which contributes 60% of Indonesia’s emissions, will become a net carbon sink by 2030. Saying his country will continue to mobilize climate finance and innovative financing, including green bonds, he enquired how much support will be available from developed countries to developing countries.

Lamenting that small island states suffer the consequences of industrialization and climate change, and highlighting that COVID-19 wiped away 75% of his country’s tourism industry, President of Seychelles Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan called for an end to using a high-income status as a criterion for support, and instead adopting a “vulnerability index.”

Noting that current pledges would take the world to 2.7°C of global warming, French President Emmanuel Macron called for pledges and strategies to reduce the gap to the 1.5°C target before the closure of COP 26. He called for linking the climate, biodiversity, and trade agendas, and for trade agreements to reflect climate commitments.

President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba said his country is the most carbon-positive country in the world, has adopted a climate law, and will submit a new NDC after Glasgow. He called on major economies to submit new NDCs in line with 1.5°C, proposed a “Marshall Plan on climate,” and urged developed countries to increase the collective climate finance goal by tenfold beyond 2025 to meet developing countries’ needs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged developed countries’ responsibility to lead on climate action. She assured developed countries will achieve the USD 100 billion target by 2023 and Germany will increase its climate finance to EUR 6 billion per year by 2025. She also stressed the need for carbon pricing.

Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness urged all countries to act responsibly with the ambition to preserve the planet for current and future generations. He said for small island states, funding is critical to climate action, particularly for loss and damage.

President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta underscored the nexus between climate change and security, highlighting the impact of extreme weather events on the African continent. He said Kenya is “doing her fair share,” outlining expectations that COP 26 will deliver on ambition, finance, adaptation, loss and damage, and implementing the Paris Agreement.

Prime Minister of Fiji Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said the world is losing the race to net zero and urged high-polluting countries to halve their emissions by 2030. He emphasized that the existence of lowland and island countries is not negotiable, and that parties have the moral obligation to protect the future of our children and grandchildren.

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina underscored that all major emitters must submit and implement ambitious NDCs and developed countries must fulfill their financial promises. As Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, she called for a “climate emergency pact.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recalled the devastation in the village of Lytton due to wildfires. He characterized his country’s carbon pricing trajectory as one of the most ambitious in the world and called on all to work together and step up.

President of Bolivia Luis Arce denounced “carbon colonialism” and green capitalism, calling for a paradigm shift in economic and social systems to defend Mother Earth. He stressed the principle of CBDR and historic responsibility, urging developed countries to lead.

President of the Republic of Korea Jae-in Moon outlined promises to cut emissions by 40% below 2018 levels by 2030, join the Global Methane Pledge, and drive cooperation on forest restoration. He proposed regular youth engagement in climate decision making.

President of the European Council Charles Michel said activists are right to demand more, and leaders have a duty not to be found wanting.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the need for strong commitments to reduce emissions by 2030, a robust framework of rules to make global carbon markets a reality, and scaled-up climate finance.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced five new targets: increasing non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 Gigawatts by 2030; fulfilling 50% of energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030; reducing 1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions between now and 2030; reducing carbon intensity by 45% by 2030; and achieving net zero emissions by 2070. Citing the need to match finance with increasing ambition, he urged developed countries to provide USD 1 trillion of climate finance as soon as possible and proposed to set up a tracking system of climate finance to put pressure on countries that have not lived up to their finance commitments.

Conference of the Parties

Organizational Matters: Parties elected Alok Sharma, UK, as COP 26/CMP 16/CMA 3 President by acclamation.

Rules of procedure: Parties agreed to apply the draft rules of procedure (FCCC/CP/1996/2), with the exception of draft rule 42 on voting.

Adoption of the agenda: COP 26 President Sharma noted consultations on the agenda and outlined the Presidency’s proposals regarding the new agenda items proposed by parties. On proposals by Gabon, for the African Group, and Bolivia related to adaptation on the COP and CMA agendas, Sharma proposed that the CMA agenda include an item on “matters relating to adaptation” that will include the reports of the Adaptation Committee for 2019 and 2020, the report of the Adaptation Committee for 2021, and the work on the global goal on adaptation. On the African Group’s proposal for additional sub-items under a COP item on the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), he proposed including a footnote that recognizes the African Group’s proposal. He suggested holding presidency consultations on these matters.

COP 26 President Sharma further suggested addressing two proposals under “existing” items:

  • a stocktake on financial support and means of implementation for alternative policy approaches, proposed by Bolivia, to be addressed as part of the SCF and guidance to the GCF discussions; and
  • equitable geographic representation in constituted bodies, proposed by Georgia, to be addressed during consultations on nominations to constituted bodies.

COP 26 Presidency Sharma proposed presidency consultations in lieu of adding the following items to the agendas:

  • special needs and special circumstances of Africa, proposed by Gabon, for the African Group; and
  • reporting and review pursuant to Article 13 of the Paris Agreement (enhanced transparency framework): provision of financial and capacity-building support to developing countries, proposed by Switzerland, for the EIG.

In the closing plenary, COP 26 President Sharma reported that consultations on these items had not led to consensus to add the issues to the agenda.

On Bolivia’s proposal for a COP agenda item on equitable, fair, ambitious and urgent real emissions reductions now consistent with a trajectory to reduce the temperature below 1.5°C, COP 26 President Sharma suggested the issue would be addressed in presidency-led consultations on the overarching cover decisions of the meeting and events such as the World Leaders Summit, Science and Innovation Day, and sessions on the IPCC WG I report. BOLIVIA lamented the exclusion of the item. She stressed the need for developed countries to acknowledge historical responsibility by undertaking immediate emissions reductions and compensating developing countries.

TIMOR-LESTE requested to consider the item on WIM under both the COP and CMA. COP 26 President Sharma confirmed that there will be presidency consultations on loss and damage.

VENEZUELA called for including the impacts of unilateral coercive measures on climate change and climate action on the COP and CMA agendas. Suggesting the existing agendas are conducive to such discussions and noting extensive agenda consultations, COP 26 President Sharma appealed to parties to proceed with the adoption of the agenda.

Accepting these proposals, the COP adopted the agenda (FCCC/CP/2021/1/Add.2), holding in abeyance items on proposals for amendments to the Convention and the second review of the adequacy of Article 4.2(a-b) of the Convention (on Annex I parties’ mitigation commitments).

UKRAINE proposed, and parties agreed, to defer the consideration of the item on reporting and review of Annex I parties.

Election of officers other than the President: Parties elected as Vice-Presidents Ephraim Mwepya Shitima (Zambia), Gabriela Fischerova (Slovakia), Carlos Fuller (Belize), Javier Gutiérrez Ramírez (Nicaragua) and Anne Rasmussen (Samoa). COP 26 President Sharma noted that the nomination for the Asia-Pacific was outstanding and encouraged the region to notify the Secretariat as soon as possible. Tosi Mpanu continued as SBSTA Chair, and Marianne Karlsen continued as SBI Chair. Iryna Stavchuk (Ukraine) was elected as Rapporteur.

Admission of observers: The COP admitted the observers seeking accreditation (FCCC/CP/2021/7).

Credentials: The COP adopted the report on credentials (FCCC/CP/2021/11).

Dates and venues: 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 (FCCC/CP/2021/L.1).

Reports of the Subsidiary Bodies: 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).

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 LCIPP as recommended by the SBSTA (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.3).

Reporting to and from Annex I Parties: This item was deferred to COP 27.

Reporting to and from Non-Annex I Parties: Report and terms of reference of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) (2020 and 2021): This item relates to the reports (FCCC/SBI/2020/15 and FCCC/SBI/2021/12) and future of the CGE, which assists developing countries in fulfilling their reporting requirements. The item was first taken up in the SBI plenary on Sunday, 31 October, and referred to informal consultations, co-facilitated by Gertraud Wollansky (Austria) and Sin Liang Cheah (Singapore).

In informal consultations under the SBI, a developing country called for insights from the CGE’s report on capacity-building needs in preparing national communications and biennial update reports (FCCC/TP/2021/2) to inform deliberations on guidance to the CGE. Some developed countries noted discussions should also address the composition of the CGE, highlighting the terms of reference “erroneously overlooked” non-Annex I parties in Eastern Europe.

In its closing plenary on Saturday, 6 November, the SBI noted that parties were unable to conclude consideration of the review and revision of the terms of reference (ToR) of the CGE, and forwarded the matter to the COP Presidency.

In informal consultations under the COP, discussions on the revised ToR focused on whether to, inter alia: include specific reference to Africa alongside LDCs and small island developing states (SIDS), or alternatively, use a more general reference to “most vulnerable countries” as needing special consideration; and remove a general provision that the CGE shall implement any other mandates provided by the CMA.

SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/ SBI/2021/L.9), the SBI:

  • welcomes the CGE’s reports;
  • acknowledges the CGE’s achievements in implementing its workplans for 2020 and 2021; and
  • extends its appreciation to the parties that financially supported the CGE’s work in 2020 and 2021.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.12), the COP, inter alia:

  • adopts the revised ToR of the CGE, annexed to the decision;
  • decides that the representative of non-Annex I parties that are not part of the established constituencies previously represented on the CGE shall participate in the work of the CGE in the same capacity as the other members of the CGE;
  • decides to include in the composition of the CGE, in addition to current members from non-Annex I parties, one additional member from the LDCs and one from SIDS; and
  • requests SBI 62 (2025) to initiate consideration of the extension of the term of the CGE after 2026, the composition of the CGE and its terms of reference, with a view to recommending a draft decision to COP 30 (2025).

Report of the Adaptation Committee (for 2019 and 2020): Parties first considered the reports (FCCC/SB/2019/3 and FCCC/SB/2020/2) in plenary and referred the issue to the SBI and SBSTA. Under the subsidiary bodies, there was also discussion of the 2021 Adaptation Committee Report (FCCC/SB/2021/6, and 6/Corr.1). Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Paul Watkinson (France) and Le-Anne Roper (Jamaica) on three matters jointly: reports of the Committee (2019, 2020, and 2021); the global goal on adaptation (GGA); and review of the Committee’s progress, effectiveness, and performance. On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI and SBSTA adopted conclusions. Decisions were recommended to the COP on the 2019 and 2020 reports, and to the CMA on the 2021 report and the GGA (which is summarized under the CMA).

In informal consultations, parties exchanged views on whether, inter alia: the Committee should engage with the IPCC; linkages should be made with the Global Stocktake; and the GGA has already been defined. Parties discussed whether to “note” or “welcome” the 2019 Adaptation Committee report; resume meetings in person or virtually, noting challenges some parties face with air travel for in-person events, and internet stability for virtual meetings. Parties also debated whether the review of the Committee’s progress, effectiveness, and performance should be concluded at COP 26, or conducted at COP 27.

Parties also exchanged views on focal points. Some developing countries suggested separate focal points for adaptation matters, while others preferred coordinating with the Convention’s national focal points to engage with the Convention’s other workstreams, due to resource constraints.

Views diverged on whether there should be two or three decisions on adaptation matters: some preferred two, following the COP and CMA agenda items; others preferred three, highlighting the need for a separate decision on the GGA. Parties considered the timeline and modalities of a work programme on the GGA.

In the closing plenary, the SBI and SBSTA adopted conclusions.

SBI/SBSTA Conclusions: In their conclusions (FCCC/SB/2021/L.2), the SBI and SBSTA:

  • considered but did not conclude their consideration of the Committee’s reports for 2019, 2020 and 2021, including the matters referred to them by COP 26, including the review of the progress, effectiveness and performance of the Adaptation Committee, and CMA 3, including the work on the GGA; and
  • agree to forward consideration of these matters to COP 26 and CMA 3, taking into account the text prepared by the Co-Facilitators.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/COP/L.11), the COP, inter alia:

  • requests the Adaptation Committee to resume holding its regular meetings in person, with the option of virtual attendance to ensure inclusive participation;
  • invites parties to identify one or more adaptation contact points through their UNFCCC national contact points to enhance information dissemination across Convention workstreams; and
  • invites CMA 4 to participate in the review of the Committee’s progress, effectiveness, and performance as it relates to the Paris Agreement, and invites parties to submit views no later than three months before COP 27.

Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM): Parties considered the 2020 and 2021 reports of the Executive Committee of the WIM (FCCC/SB/2020/3 and 4) in plenary. Informal consultations convened jointly under the SBSTA and SBI, co-facilitated by Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) and Cornelia Jaeger (Austria).

In informal consultations, delegates discussed operationalizing the Santiago Network, including its form and functions, and financial support for loss and damage. Views diverged on the extent to which the functions of the Santiago Network should be elaborated in this decision, with some calling to consider both form and function together in subsequent work under the SBs, while others stressed that form follows function.

On function, several developing country groups put forward ideas for operationalizing the network. These included mechanisms to identify the range, quality, and type of technical assistance available by various bodies operating at different scales, and coordination mechanisms to help developing countries identify their loss and damage needs. Some developed countries suggested leveraging the convening power of the Network, while another said it should do more. Developing countries stressed the Network should not simply be a matchmaking facility or database.

On form, suggestions included a coordinating body or entity to be established at COP 27 and an expert advisory body to support the Network.

On financial support for loss and damage, some opposed the Executive Committee providing input to the SCF. Several groups called for adequate finance to support the Network’s operationalization and the provision of technical assistance, including from the Financial Mechanism.

In their closing plenaries on Saturday, 6 November, the SBI and SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2021/L.6), in which they forwarded a draft decision to the COP and CMA, pending ministerial consultations.

In ministerial consultations, there were recurring calls by developing countries for a financial mechanism for loss and damage. These calls also took place in the context of the overarching cover decisions. Ultimately, no such mechanism was agreed.

The governance of the WIM was also debated in ministerial consultations. Many developing countries called for the WIM to be governed by both the COP and the CMA. The US preferred that the CMA alone govern the WIM. This issue was not resolved. The WIM will continue to appear on the agendas of both the COP and CMA, with a footnote that this inclusion does not prejudge future decisions on the governance of the WIM.

On Saturday, 13 November, the COP and CMA adopted decisions.

COP/CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/2021/CP/L.15), the COP and CMA endorse decision FCCC/CMA3/2021/L.22. The CMA:

  • welcomes the WIM Executive Committee’s 2020 and 2021 reports, including adoption of plans of action on non-economic losses, slow onset events, and action and support;
  • decides the functions of the Santiago Network, including catalyzing demand-driven technical assistance for the implementation of relevant approaches to loss and damage, by identifying, prioritizing, and communicating technical assistance needs and priorities, and actively connecting those seeking technical assistance with best-suited entities;
  • decides to further develop the institutional arrangements of the Santiago Network, including by inviting submissions on operational modalities, structure, the role of the Executive Committee, and possible elements for the terms of reference of a potential convening or coordinating body; and
  • recognizes the urgent need for scaling-up of action and support, including finance, for loss and damage, and encourages the Executive Committee to continue engaging with the SCF and to explore potential ways to enhance collaboration with the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.

Matters Related to Finance: Long-term finance: The programme on long-term finance has featured workshops, high-level events, and reports from developed countries on how their strategies and plans to scale up finance toward meeting the 2020 goal of providing USD 100 bn per year. It was due to conclude in 2020. This item was first referred to a contact group, co-facilitated by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Georg Børsting (Norway), and subsequently dealt with in informal consultations and “informal informals.” Presidency-led consultations also convened.

In informal consultations, parties discussed whether the item should remain on the COP agenda, how to address the USD 100 billion by 2020 goal, a definition of climate finance, and scaling up adaptation finance.

Developing countries stressed that provision of finance is a treaty obligation under the Convention, preferring this item to remain under the COP. Developed countries said implementation is taking place under the Paris Agreement, cautioning against proliferation of agenda items.

On the USD 100 billion by 2020 goal, developing countries called for assessing and reviewing delivery towards the goal until 2025. They favored official UNFCCC synthesis reports, and continuing discussions under this agenda item until at least 2027. Views diverged on how to reflect the state of play on the goal, with developing countries expressing disappointment at its failure.

Developing countries called for a definition of climate finance to be agreed by COP 28, opposed by developed countries who said this was out of scope for the item and duplicative of the discussion under the SCF. One developed country cautioned that any agreed definition would have implications for reporting on support and what counts as climate action.

Developing countries proposed scaling up adaptation finance, with developed countries objecting.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.14), the COP, inter alia:

  • notes with serious concern the gap in relation to the fulfillment of the goal of developed country parties to mobilize jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020, including due to challenges in mobilizing finance from private sources;
  • urges developed country parties to continue to scale up climate finance towards achieving the goal to mobilize jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020;
  • requests the SCF to continue its work on definitions of climate finance, taking into account the submissions received from parties, to provide input for consideration by COP 27;
  • requests the SCF to undertake further work on mapping the available information relevant to Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement, including its reference to Article 9 (finance), with a view to providing input for consideration by COP 27;
  • decides that continued discussions on long-term climate finance will conclude in 2027;
  • requests the SCF to prepare a report in 2022 on progress towards achieving the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, taking into account the Climate Finance Delivery Plan and other relevant reports, for consideration by COP 27, and to continue to contribute to assessing the achievement of the goal in the context of the preparation of its biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows;
  • decides to convene biennial high-level ministerial dialogues on climate finance in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and requests the COP Presidency to summarize the deliberations at the dialogues for consideration by the COP in the year thereafter;
  • invites the COP 27 Presidency to organize the high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance in 2022 on the progress and fulfillment of the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020; and
  • requests that the actions of the Secretariat called for in this decision be undertaken subject to the availability of financial resources.

Standing Committee on Finance: The SCF was established to provide technical support to the COP in matters relating to the Financial Mechanism. Its aims include improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of finance, mobilizing resources, and measuring, reporting, and verifying support provided to developing countries. Parties considered reports of the SCF (FCCC/CP/2020/4-FCCC/PA/CMA/2020/3 and FCCC/CP/2021/10-FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/7) in plenary and in a joint COP and CMA contact group was co-chaired by Gard Lindseth (Norway) and Richard Muyungi (Tanzania). Presidency-led consultations were required during the second week, in parallel to continued informal consultations.

In contact group and informal consultations, parties discussed the fourth biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows and the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement (NDR).

On the biennial assessment, many expressed disappointment that, for the first time, the report does not include recommendations, which one group indicated was in part due to a lack of agreement on a definition of climate finance. Developing country groups highlighted: UN climate funds comprise 0.34% of global finance flows; finance for mitigation and adaptation is unbalanced; there is decreasing funding for SIDS; there is not a fair allocation of resources for Africa; and the finance from multilateral development banks includes non-concessional loans. They called for improving methodologies, particularly for the mobilization of finance and for “other private finance,” and for defining climate finance.

Developed countries welcomed, among others: the 16% increase in climate finance flows; decreased unit costs, particularly in renewable energy; and the investors representing USD 90 trillion of assets that signed on to the Principles for Responsible Investment. A developed country suggested further disaggregating finance flows between public and private sources that provide finance to LDCs and SIDS in future biennial assessments.

Several highlighted the inclusion of Paris Agreement Article 2.1(c), which calls for making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development. Many developing countries highlighted the need for better operationalization and methodologies for the article.

A developing country group also noted several key issues raised by the SCF report, including that, inter alia: only 21% of bilateral climate finance has been for adaptation; climate finance must be new and additional; the current level of climate finance is insufficient; and more funding is needed to support NDC implementation.

On the NDR, two developing country groups called for better, and quantitative, inclusion of loss and damage. Another developing country group noted that needs will evolve as developing countries update their NDCs, and that countries used different methodologies to assess their needs. Several emphasized the need for capacity building.

Some developed countries said the report should be considered in broad terms that include capacity building, technology, policy reforms, and the Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. One highlighted the need for greater disaggregation of information on needs and suggested that the report feature more inputs from developing countries with greater capacity to identify needs.

On Thursday, 11 November, in Presidency-led consultations, a representative of the COP 26 Presidency highlighted remaining issues, including the definition of climate finance, and the governance of the SCF review. Parties continued to discuss draft text and reached agreement on Saturday, 13 November.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.9), the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the 2020 and 2021 reports of the SCF;
  • welcomes the fourth (2020) Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows of the SCF;
  • notes that global climate finance flows were 16% higher in 2017–2018 than in 2015–2016, reaching an annual average of USD 775 billion; the 2017–2018 annual average of public financial support reported by parties included in Annex II to the Convention in their biennial reports (USD 48.7 billion) represents an increase of 2.7% from the annual average reported for 2015–2016; the annual average of climate finance from multilateral development banks’ own resources to developing countries and emerging economies (USD 36.6 billion) represents a 50% increase since 2015–2016; and UNFCCC funds and multilateral climate funds approved USD 2.2 billion and USD 3.1 billion for climate finance projects in 2017 and 2018, respectively;
  • calls upon developed country parties and other climate finance providers to continue to enhance the harmonization of methodologies for tracking and reporting climate finance provided and mobilized;
  • recognizes the fact that there is no multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance, notes the submissions received in response to decisions 11/CP.25 and 5/CMA.2, which highlighted that some parties noted how the lack of a common definition impacts the ability to track and assess climate finance, while other parties mentioned that a single definition would not be useful, and also notes that the operational definitions in use generally reflect common understanding of what is considered mitigation and adaptation finance;
  • requests the SCF to continue its work on definitions of climate finance, taking into account the submissions received from parties on this matter, with a view to providing input for consideration by the COP at COP 27 (November 2022);
  • encourages parties to ensure that just transition financing is incorporated into approaches to align climate action with the goals of the Paris Agreement;
  • welcomes the first report by the SCF on the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement, and endorses its key findings and recommendations, as contained in Annex II;
  • notes that NDCs from 153 parties included 4,274 needs, with 1,782 costed needs identified across 78 NDCs, cumulatively amounting to USD 5.8–5.9 trillion through 2030, and that, although developing country parties identified more adaptation needs than mitigation needs, more costs were identified for the latter, which may not imply that mitigation needs are greater but rather that there is a lack of available data, tools, and capacity for assessing adaptation needs;
  • expresses its concern that the first NDR does not have disaggregated data for SIDS;
  • emphasizes that there is a particular challenge in deriving cost estimates for climate adaptation and enhancing resilience needs and, in this context, deriving cost estimates for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage needs;
  • invites the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral financial institutions, and other relevant institutions to make use of the information contained in the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement when supporting developing country parties in identifying and costing needs;
  • requests the SCF, in preparing future NDRs, to continue to reach out to developing country parties and relevant developing country stakeholders when generating data and information on needs;
  • endorses the workplan of the Standing Committee on Finance for 2022 and underlines the importance of the SCF focusing its work in 2022 in accordance with its current mandates;
  • endorses the outline of the technical report of the fifth Biennial Assessment and underscores that this report will continue to contribute to assessing the achievement of the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 in the context of meaningful mitigation action and transparency on implementation, in accordance with decision 1/CP.16;
  • notes that the SCF was not able to produce draft guidance to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism and that it has not agreed on recommendations from the fourth (2020) Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows, and in this regard requests the Committee to improve its working modalities;
  • requests the SCF to report to COP 27 on its progress in implementing its 2022 workplan; and
  • requests the SCF to consider the guidance provided to it in other relevant decisions of the COP.

Report of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and guidance to the GCF (2020 and 2021): Parties considered the reports of the GCF to the COP (FCCC/CP/2021/5 and 8) in plenary. A contact group was established, co-chaired by Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda) and Toru Sugio (Japan).

In contact group and informal consultations, the Co-Chairs encouraged parties to use an SCF Co-Facilitators’ proposed draft guidance contained in an addendum to the report of the SCF as the basis of the discussion, which the US supported. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, noted that the SCF was unable to conclude its deliberation on the draft guidance, and opposed using it as a basis for negotiation.

Parties discussed the work of the GCF, challenges developing countries face in receiving funding from the GCF, and how to provide guidance to the GCF.

On the work of the GCF, BOLIVIA questioned why alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, were not taken into consideration in the GCF’s 2020-2023 workplan. The EU stressed the difficulty of discussing finance separately from other issues such as technology and adaptation, and indicated that several elements in the group’s submissions were not included in the draft guidance, including a mention of the 1.5°C  target. Colombia, for AILAC, proposed several areas for improvement for the GCF including: efficiency and transparency; funding projects with co-benefits; increasing grants to indebted middle- and upper-middle-income countries; and providing loans in national currencies. Switzerland, for the EIG, proposed improving coherence with other financial institutions and enhancing national ownership of projects. The group suspended, as parties disagreed on whether the Co-Chairs could issue a new text to serve as a basis for negotiation.

On challenges for developing countries, Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, underscored the need to highlight the unique challenges that SIDS face in accessing climate finance, including lack of loss and damage finance and high transaction costs of project applications. Citing a project proposal that has been waiting four years for a funding decision, Malawi, for the LDCs, indicated funds are not always accessible for developing countries, and urged reconsidering project-by-project accreditation procedures.

On the guidance to the GCF, the EU called for prioritizing projects with the highest impact and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fund’s decision making. Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, supported by CANADA, called for requiring all financial flows from the operating entities and trustees of the Financial Mechanism to be aligned with Paris Agreement Article 2.1(c) (consistency of financial flows with a pathway towards low-emissions and climate-resilient development). NORWAY, supported by CANADA and the US, said GCF guidance should remain at a strategic level to avoid micromanaging the GCF Board, with the US adding it should, however, not shy away from taking steps to increase efficiency. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, raised concern about the imposition of unilateral funding access conditions on Board members and developing countries, and reminded it could not accept the Co-Facilitators’ proposed draft guidance submitted to the SCF.

One group queried the inclusion of loss and damage, noting the GCF is currently struggling to provide resources to match demand. Others called for stronger language on loss and damage. A developing country group stressed the need to avoid pre-empting the GCF Board’s workplan, and to avoid mandating the COP to carry out activities for which it does not have authority. Another group said the COP has a mandate to give guidance to the GCF.

Particular areas of disagreement related to references to the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, and women and gender balance on the GCF Board. One developing country group requested a specific reference to supporting national adaptation plan (NAP) readiness.

After several rounds of deliberations, parties reached agreement on Friday, 12 November, and the COP adopted the decision.

Final Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.6), the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the reports of the GCF, including the list of actions taken by the GCF Board in response to guidance received from the COP;
  • encourages further collaboration and engagement between the GCF, the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), through continued joint work, as well as collaboration on events, and taking into consideration elements related to gender mainstreaming and observer engagement;
  • reiterates the request to the GCF Board to continue efforts to maintain the balance in the allocation of resources between adaptation and mitigation;
  • urges the GCF Board to finalize in a timely manner its work related to the guidance and arrangements of the COP on financing for forests and alternative approaches, as mandated by COP 21; and
  • requests the GCF Board to include in its annual report to the COP information on the steps it has taken to implement the guidance provided in this decision.

Report of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and guidance to the GEF (2020 and 2021): Parties considered reports of the GEF to the COP (FCCC/CP/2020/1 and 9) in plenary. A contact group was established, co-chaired by Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda) and Toru Sugio (Japan).

In contact group and informal consultations, parties discussed how to provide guidance to the GEF. The EU suggested reflecting the collaboration between the private sector and GEF trustees. The US, CANADA, NORWAY, and Switzerland, for the EIG, underscored that the guidance should not be prescriptive. When discussing draft text, two developed country parties called to delete a paragraph on increasing grants to middle- and upper-income countries, saying it prejudges the GEF replenishment process. One opposed a new line of support for loss and damage in the context of the LDC Fund (LDCF), saying loss and damage is part of adaptation. One group called to delete a paragraph relating to improving access or creating a new window, stating that so far, all funding requests have been approved.

Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, indicated that GEF funding should be predictable and adequate, calling for more direct finance for SIDS and no conditionality related to co-financing. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said he could not agree with many things in the draft guidance, and called on the GEF to step up direct access, otherwise it would be a “dinosaur institution.” Colombia, on behalf of AILAC, suggested increasing funding for increasingly indebted middle- and upper-middle-income countries.

A developing country group stressed the GEF will primarily receive contributions from developed country parties, and those developing country parties who contribute voluntarily do not need to be encouraged. A developing country stressed CBDR-RC. Another said Annex I countries should contribute to the LDCF and the Special Climate Change Fund. A developing country group highlighted the need for: dedicated seats for SIDS at the GEF Council; more resourcing for capacity-building needs for transparency; opening the GEF Partnership to ensure access for SIDS; and alterations to the co-financing ratios. Another stressed the importance of loss and damage and capacity building.

Parties reached agreement on Friday, 12 November and the COP adopted the decision.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.8), the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the reports of the GEF and their addenda, including the responses of the GEF to guidance received from the COP;
  • welcomes the work undertaken by the GEF during its reporting period (1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021);
  • encourages the GEF, as part of the eighth replenishment process, to duly consider ways to increase the financial resources allocated for climate action, including the climate change focal area and climate co-benefits, and to apply a coherent approach across its focal areas to prioritize projects that generate environmental co-benefits;
  • calls upon developed country parties to make financial contributions to the GEF to contribute to a robust eighth replenishment to support developing countries in implementing the Convention, and encourages additional voluntary financial contributions to the eighth replenishment;
  • calls upon the GEF to continue to improve the governance framework for its agencies and the standards to which the implementing partners are accountable;
  • urges the GEF to enhance its support for projects that engage with stakeholders at the local level, and to continue to provide funding for projects related to technology training and scale up South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation with the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the CTCN;
  • requests the GEF, as part of the eighth replenishment process, to take note of the needs and priorities for climate finance, including those identified in the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement, NDCs, national communications and NAPs, as well as in other sources of available information, including the biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows and other relevant reports;
  • requests the SCF to consider the submissions of parties when preparing its draft guidance for the GEF for consideration by COP 27 and CMA 4 (November 2022); and
  • requests the GEF to include in its annual report to the COP information on the steps it has taken to implement the guidance provided in this decision.

Seventh review of the Financial Mechanism: On Sunday, 31 October, a contact group was established, co-chaired by Eva Schreuder (Netherlands) and Daniela Veas (Chile). Discussions focused on the relationship between the review and the CMA, and the relationship between the review and the replenishment processes of the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.

Switzerland, for the EIG, suggested that the review take into account the Paris Agreement and said the CMA should be part of the review, as the Financial Mechanism also serves the Paris Agreement. Costa Rica for AILAC, CANADA, the EU, and the US supported the proposal.

South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by INDIA and Saudi Arabia for the ARAB GROUP, cautioned parties that the Financial Mechanism serves the needs of developing countries, not the Paris Agreement. AILAC proposed that the SCF submit the report of the review to COP 27 and CMA 4.

On replenishment, a developing country group cautioned that language on the review informing the replenishment processes of the operating entities should reflect the COP’s memoranda of understanding with the entities, noting that some criteria are specific to the GEF, such as country allocation and co-financing.

During the closing plenary, COP 26 President Sharma reported that parties were unable to reach agreement on this matter. Applying Rule 16 of the draft rules of procedure, the issue will be placed on the agenda for COP 27 and documents developed during this meeting will not be forwarded for further consideration.

Compilation and synthesis of, and summary report on the in-session workshop on, biennial communications of information related to Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement (ex ante finance transparency): Parties considered the first biennial communications in accordance with Article 9.5 (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/3), and the biennial in-session workshop on information to be provided by parties in accordance with Article 9.5 (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/5) in plenary. A contact group was co-chaired by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Georg Børsting (Norway).

In contact group and informal consultations, parties discussed the elements of the draft COP decision. Egypt, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and INDIA called for including most of the same elements as in the CMA decision and adding a component relating to the predictability of long-term finance under the COP. The EU supported mirroring the CMA decision but opposed further additions. The US, supported by Switzerland, for the EIG, expressed preference for a procedural decision, noting that the Article 9.5 communications are pursuant to the Paris Agreement alone. Several countries suggested that the COP decision should be short and “take note of” the CMA decision.

The COP adopted the decision on Saturday, 13 November.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.7), the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the compilation and synthesis prepared by the Secretariat of the information contained in the first biennial communications in accordance with Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement;
  • welcomes the summary report on the biennial in-session workshop on information to be provided by parties in accordance with Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement held 11 June 2021; and
  • takes note of the CMA decision on the same matter.

Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint report of the TEC and CTCN (2020 and 2021): This item was referred to the SBSTA and SBI, where parties first considered the joint annual reports for 2020 and 2021 (FCCC/SBI/2020/4, 2021/5) in plenary. These bodies seek to provide support for developing countries to identify technology-related needs and match them with technology providers, in the case of the CTCN. Stella Gama (Malawi) and Toshiaki Nagata (Japan) co-facilitated informal consultations. On Saturday, 6 November, the SBSTA and the SBI adopted conclusions, which include a draft COP decision that was adopted by the COP on Friday, 12 November.

In informal consultations, parties discussed, inter alia: how to mention engagement with the private sector; whether to commend the TEC’s work on gender mainstreaming; and whether to reference “sector-focused approaches” when discussing the CTCN’s activities.

On the draft decision related to the TEC’s activities, developed countries proposed a new paragraph to note the role of the private sector. Many parties supported this addition, with some suggesting giving general guidance to the TEC on its work related to the private sector. One developing country proposed to delete a paragraph commending the TEC’s efforts on gender mainstreaming. Many parties opposed, underscoring the need to acknowledge the TEC’s work on gender and achievement of gender balance in its events in 2021.

One party lamented the lack of geographic balance in the membership of the TEC, suggesting adding a paragraph noting that some countries are prevented from fully participating in the Committee’s work. Several parties indicated the TEC membership is a cross-cutting issue, and Co-Facilitator Nagata encouraged parties to engage in the Presidency’s consultation on the election of officers.

On the draft decision related to the CTCN’s activities, many parties proposed to omit “the implementation of sector-focused approaches,” noting lack of clarity for the term “sector-focused.” A developed country opposed, indicating that mentioning “sector-focused” will not exclude any sectors but help identify priority areas for the CTCN’s work.

After several rounds of informal consultations and informal informals, parties agreed on draft text.

In their closing plenaries, the SBSTA and SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded draft decisions to the COP and CMA, which were adopted on Friday, 12 November.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/SB/2021/L.4), the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the joint annual reports of the TEC and CTCN for 2020 and 2021 and commends the efforts to advance their work amid the pandemic;
  • welcomes the continuing collaboration of the TEC and CTCN and invites them to strengthen it;
  • welcomes the collaboration between the TEC and the Financial Mechanism and encourages the continuation of this collaboration; and
  • welcomes the implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems of TEC and CTCN and requests them to continue reporting.

Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism: This item is summarized under the SBI.

Review of the constitution of the Advisory Board of the CTCN: In the opening plenary, the COP referred this item to the SBI, which conducted informal consultations, co-facilitated by Federica Fricano (Italy) and Mareer Husny (Maldives).

In informal consultations, parties discussed how to amend the constitution of the CTCN Advisory Board to increase representation of all UN regional groups and UNFCCC observer organization constituencies. A non-Annex I country suggested increasing the number of Advisory Board members from 16 to 18, and ensuring equitable representation from each UNFCCC geographic regional group. A group stressed the need for a LDC representative on the Board. One developed country agreed with the need to enhance the representation of some developing countries, but preferred not to increase the number of Board members. Several countries also suggested including representatives of Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, YOUNGOs, and Women and Gender. Another developed country underscored the need for: balance among Annex I countries, non-Annex I countries, and NGOs; balance among regions; and ensuring the organization’s efficiency. Parties were able to reach a consensus and on Friday, 12 November, the COP adopted the decision.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.3), the COP agreed to amend the constitution of the Advisory Board of CTCN by, inter alia:

  • changing the number of government representatives from 16 to 18 to ensure equitable representation of UN regional groups;
  • adding representatives for Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, the women and gender constituency, and YOUNGOs; and
  • increasing the maximum term of board members from one to two years.

Second review of the CTCN: In the opening plenary, parties agreed to conduct informal consultations on this agenda item. In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Madeleine Diouf Sarr (Senegal) and Stephen Minas (Greece), parties discussed, inter alia, whether or not to specify the challenges that the CTCN faces identified by the review, how to draw the conclusions regarding financial resources of the CTCN, and how to reference the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

On challenges identified by the review, a party noted that projected funding for the CTCN will be inadequate and suggested adding specific language on strengthening the CTCN’s efforts on resource mobilization and diversifying its funding sources. Several developing countries suggested specifying the challenges the CTCN faces in three respects, namely financial challenges, management and administrative challenges, and challenges to improving work relationships with national designated entities and network members. Some developed countries preferred to not specify different challenges. Several developing countries also suggested requesting the UNFCCC Secretariat to support the CTCN’s resource mobilization efforts.

On financial aspects, many developing countries suggested 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 GCF and 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 because the UNFCCC Secretariat does not have a memorandum of understanding with UNIDO.

After bilateral consultations, parties put forward a proposal, which, inter alia, reiterates that enhanced and sustainable financial support should be provided to the CTCN for its full and effective implementation; encourages the UN Environment Programme (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.

On Friday, 12 November, the COP adopted the decision.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.5), the COP, inter alia:

  • notes the key findings of the second independent review regarding the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the services provided by the CTCN;
  • notes the main successes and challenges regarding the effective implementation of the CTCN, as contained in the review report;
  • decides to renew the memorandum of understanding between the COP and UNEP regarding the hosting of the CTCN, as contained in Annex I to decision 14/CP.18, for a further five-year period;
  • encourages UNEP as host of the CTCN, in collaboration with UNIDO and in consultation with the Advisory Board of the CTCN, to implement the recommendations contained in the report;
  • requests the CTCN to include in its joint annual report with the TEC for 2022 and in the subsequent reports to the COP, through the subsidiary bodies, information on its plans and actions undertaken in response to the recommendations contained in the report;
  • notes that the CTCN continues to face challenges that need attention, including limited and insufficient financial resources and a constrained budget for implementing its mandates given its broad scope of services; administrative and communication challenges related to its management structure; lack of resources of the developing country national designated entities to better engage and fulfil its role; and limited engagement and synergies among the network members;
  • encourages the CTCN to enhance its provision of support for strengthening the capacity of national designated entities in developing countries with a view to enabling them to fulfil their roles;
  • reiterates that enhanced and sustainable financial support should be provided to the CTCN for the full and effective implementation of its mandate;
  • invites the CTCN to continue working with the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism to further strengthen their linkages with the aim of scaling up the CTCN’s provision of technical support to developing country parties;
  • decides to align the periodicity of the independent review of the effective implementation of the CTCN with the periodic assessment of the effectiveness and adequacy of the support provided to the Technology Mechanism in supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on matters relating to technology development and transfer by changing the periodicity of the independent review from four to five years until the COP reviews the functions of the CTCN at COP 31 (2026) and decides whether to extend its term;
  • requests the SBI to start considering, at SBI 62 (2025), matters relating to the alignment between processes pertaining to the independent review of the CTCN and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism, with a view to recommending a draft decision on this matter for consideration and adoption by COP 31;
  • requests the Secretariat, pursuant to decision 2/CP.17, annex VII, paragraph 20, and subject to the availability of financial resources, to commission the third independent review of the effectiveness of the CTCN for consideration at COP 31; and
  • requests the Secretariat to organize a dialogue, in conjunction with COP 31, to consider the findings of the third independent review of the effective implementation of the CTCN.

Capacity Building under the Convention: Parties considered capacity-building work of bodies established under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol (FCCC/SBI/2021/2), and implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries (FCCC/SBI/2021/3 and 5). The issue was referred to the SBI, where informal consultations were co-facilitated by Rita Mishaan (Guatemala) and Ismo Ulvila (EU). On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.6), including a draft decision for the COP’s consideration. The COP adopted the decision on Thursday, 11 November.

COP Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.6), the COP, inter alia:

  • encourages the engagement of countries with economies in transition in future discussions to be held at the Durban Forum, as appropriate, to explore potential ways for enhancing capacity building in countries with economies in transition by sharing examples of best practices and lessons learned;
  • invites parties to enhance reporting on best practices related to capacity building in their national communications, biennial reports, submissions, and other relevant documents with a view to furthering learning and broadening the impact of capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition;
  • invites parties included in Annex II to the Convention and other parties in a position to do so, the GEF, multilateral and bilateral agencies, international organizations, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, and the private sector or any further arrangements, as appropriate and within their mandates, to continue to provide support for capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition;
  • invites parties and relevant institutions to provide information on capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition to the Secretariat for inclusion in the capacity-building portal;
  • decides to conclude the fifth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition and requests SBI 64 (2026) to initiate the sixth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition with a view to concluding it at SBI 64; and
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report on implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition to support the sixth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition, for consideration at SBI 64.

Matters related to LDCs: Discussions related to the LDC Expert Group (LEG), which supports LDCs in a range of adaptation-related activities. This matter was referred to the SBI and later discussed in informal consultations, co-facilitated by Giza Martins (Angola) and Jens Fugl (Denmark). Parties considered reports on LEG meetings (FCCC/SBI/2020/6, 7, 14; FCCC/SBI/2021/6 and 13) and a report on progress, need for continuation, and terms of reference (ToRs) for the LEG (FCCC/SBI/2020/8).

In its closing plenary on Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions and recommended a draft decision to the COP. On Thursday, 11 November, the COP adopted the decision.

SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.12), the SBI inter alia:

  • invites delivery partners of the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme for the formulation of NAPs to strengthen efforts to support the LDCs with the goal of expediting the submission of readiness proposals to the GCF;
  • notes that all 46 LDCs have initiated the process to formulate and implement NAPs but that progress in advancing the process is slow;
  • invites parties and relevant organizations to support LDCs in the formulation and implementation of NAPs and in implementing elements of the LDC work programme;
  • initiates the review of the progress, need for continuation, and terms of reference of the LEG, and took actions and steps that resulted in the following outcomes; and
  • completes its consideration of the review of the LEG.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.12/Add.1), the COP, inter alia:

  • decides to extend the mandate of the LEG under its current ToR;
  • decides that the next review of the LEG’s mandate will take place at COP 36 (2031);
  • decides to take stock of the LEG’s work in order to review its progress and terms of reference at COP 31 (2026), the midway point before the review at COP 36, to reflect on the evolving needs of LDCs;
  • invites the CMA to review the progress of the LEG as it relates to implementation of the Paris Agreement at CMA 8 (2026) as part of the stocktake;
  • decides to outline the steps for the stocktake at COP 29 (November 2024);
  • requests the LEG to continue to provide technical guidance and support to LDCs for advancing the formulation and implementation of NAPs, including in relation to the work on improving their access to funding under the GCF, to build capacity to measure adaptation outcomes, and to enhance linkages among NAPs, national, and subnational development plans and strategies, the Sustainable Development Goals, and relevant frameworks;
  • invites the LEG to consider under its workplan the possibility of creating thematic working groups;
  • requests the LEG to continue to support the LDCs in understanding the modalities for and ways of accessing relevant sources of financing, capacity building and technology transfer for adaptation in accordance with the Group’s mandate;
  • requests the LEG, in collaboration with relevant constituted bodies, to assist LDCs in addressing adaptation-related provisions of the Convention and the Paris Agreement, including the submission and updating of adaptation communications;
  • decides to adjust the composition of the Group to be as follows: five members from African LDCs, two members from Asia-Pacific LDCs; two members from SIDS LDCs, four members from LDC parties; and four members from developed country parties;
  • requests the LEG to develop, taking into account its current practices and its terms of reference, its draft rules of procedure, for consideration and adoption by the COP 27 and CMA 4 (November 2022); and
  • requests the LEG to include in its draft rules of procedure provisions on, inter alia, the nomination, term limits, and rotation of its members.

Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: This item was first taken up in plenary and referred to the Subsidiary Bodies as a joint item. The Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) reported on progress towards the completion of its workplan, pointing to the publication of two technical papers.

Informal consultations convened, co-facilitated by Mattias Frumerie (Sweden) and Andrei Marcu (Papua New Guinea). The KCI Co-Chairs presented on the 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.

In their closing plenaries, SBI Chair Karlsen and SBSTA Chair Mpanu reported that no agreement had been reached. This item was subsequently taken up in consultations led by the COP Presidency. On Saturday, 13 November, the COP, CMP and CMA adopted a joint decision.

COP/CMP/CMA Decision: The COP, CMP, and CMA adopted a joint decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.4, FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/L.2, FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.6/Rev.1). In their decision, the COP, CMP, and CMA, inter alia:

  • adopt recommendations on activity one of the workplan (explore approaches to inform the development of NDCs), and invite parties to implement them, as applicable;
  • adopt the revised rules of procedure of the KCI contained in Annex II of the decision;
  • request the forum to consider ways to minimize the adverse impacts and maximize the positive impacts of the implementation of response measures on the recommendations in Annex I;
  • request the Secretariat to organize a regional workshop on activity three of the workplan (facilitate modelling and assessing the impacts of response measures) to address regional needs and acknowledge the KCI’s work; and
  • invite parties and observers to submit, by April 2022, their views on the elements of the midterm review of the workplan of the forum and its KCI and request the Secretariat to prepare a summary to inform discussion on the midterm review at SBSTA 56 and SBI 56.

Annex I of the decision contains recommendations on activity one of the workplan on exploring approaches to inform mitigation strategies, plans, policies, and programmes that maximize the positive and minimize the negative impacts of response measures.

Annex II of the decision contains revised rules of procedure of the KCI.

Gender: This item considers how to mainstream gender-responsive approaches throughout the UNFCCC’s work. It was referred to the SBI, under which informal consultation convened, co-facilitated by Sibongile Mavimbela (Eswatini) and Thomas Cameron (Canada).

Parties addressed two reports on gender composition of constituted bodies and party delegations (FCCC/CP/2020/3), with one featuring an analysis of speaking times during plenaries (FCCC/CP/2021/4), and a report on progress in integrating a gender perspective into constituted body processes (FCCC/CP/2021/5).

During its closing plenary on Saturday, 6 November, the SBI recommended a draft decision for adoption by the COP, which the COP adopted on Thursday, 11 November.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.13), the COP, inter alia:

  • recalls the intermediate review of the progress of implementation of the activities contained in the gender action plan is due at SBI 56 (June 2022);
  • invites parties and observers to submit, by 31 March 2022, information on the progress of implementation of the activities contained in the gender action plan, areas for improvement and further work to be undertaken:
  • invites the International Labour Organization to prepare a technical paper exploring linkages between gender-responsive climate action and just transition for promoting inclusive opportunities for all in a low-emission economy, and to submit the paper to the Secretariat by 31 March 2022;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report based on the submissions, information and recommendations arising from virtual and in-person workshops and events held between 1 December 2019 and 31 March 2022, and any relevant research conducted in preparation for SBI 56;
  • takes note of the annual reports on gender composition, which highlight the persistent lack of progress in in-person participation, the challenges identified in promoting women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in virtual forums, and the urgent need for improving the representation and leadership of women in party delegations and in all bodies established under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement;
  • requests the Secretariat to explore ways of automating the analysis of data disaggregated by sex on speaking times at UNFCCC meetings;
  • reminds parties and observers of the invitation for submissions, by 31 March 2022, on the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change, the role of women as agents of change, and opportunities for women;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare an informal summary report prior to SBI 56 reflecting the proposed responsibilities of and support for national gender and climate change focal points; and
  • encourages parties to be more explicit about the gender-responsiveness of climate finance with a view to strengthening the capacity of women and furthering work under the gender action plan in order to facilitate access to climate finance for grassroots women’s organizations as well as for Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Consideration for Proposals by Parties to Amend the Convention under Article 15: This item was held in abeyance.

Second Review of the Adequacy of Articles 4a and b of the Convention: This item was held in abeyance.

Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: Audit report and financial statements for 2019 and 2020: Budget performance for the biennium 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: Programme budget for the biennium 2022-2023: This item and sub-items are summarized under the SBI.

Decision-making in the UNFCCC process: This item was first taken up in plenary, then through Presidency-led consultations. In the closing plenary, COP 26 Vice-President Carlos Fuller (Belize) reported that parties had noted the importance of the issue, but did not agree on conclusions.

Glasgow Climate Pact: During the closing plenary, the COP adopted an overarching cover decision, called the Glasgow Climate Pact. The discussions on this cover decision, and for the similar but not identical, decisions under the CMP and CMA, took place in consultations with Heads of Delegation throughout the COP.

In informal stocktaking sessions, there was considerable debate over how to reflect balance among the elements in the cover decisions, support for loss and damage, and references to phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

On support for loss and damage, Guinea, for the G-77/CHINA lamented that their proposal for a loss and damage finance facility was not included in the text and queried the inclusion of the technical facility as it appeared in the draft text. The technical facility was later removed from the text. All developing countries expressed regret that loss and damage support was excluded from the text.

On the phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies, the US, CHINA, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA, and others specified a preference for specifying unabated coal and inefficient subsidies. Antigua and Barbuda for AOSIS, Bhutan for the LDCs, and others called for phasing out all coal and all fossil fuel subsidies. In the closing plenary, after an informal huddle with the US, EU, and COP 26 President Sharma, CHINA and INDIA proposed an amendment from the floor: “call upon parties to escalate the development, deployment, and dissemination of technologies and adoption of policies to transition towards low-emissions energy systems including by rapidly scaling up development of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures including escalating efforts to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies including providing support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support to a just transition.”

The EIG, EU, MARSHALL ISLANDS, FIJI, and ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA all expressed their disappointment with the language and the non-transparent way in which it was developed and introduced. FIJI pointed out that countries were told that their text on loss and damage “proposed days ago” was too last minute, but observed that this text was inserted on the last day. But they all accepted the text “in the spirit of compromise.”

The COP then adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact, as orally amended by India’s proposal.

Final Decision: In the decision (FCCC/CP/2021/L.13), the COP, inter alia:

  • recognizes the role of multilateralism and the Convention, including its processes and principles, and the importance of international cooperation in addressing climate change and its impacts, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty;
  • expresses appreciation to the Heads of State and Government who participated in the World Leaders Summit in Glasgow and for the increased targets and actions announced and the commitments made to work together and with non-party stakeholders to accelerate sectoral action by 2030; and
  • recognizes the important role of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and civil society, including youth and children, in addressing and responding to climate change, and highlights the urgent need for multilevel and cooperative action.

On science and urgency, the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the contribution of Working Group I to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the recent global and regional reports on the state of the climate from the World Meteorological Organization, and invites the IPCC to present its forthcoming reports to the SBSTA in 2022; and
  • expresses alarm and utmost concern that human activities have caused around 1.1°C of global warming to date and that impacts are already being felt in every region.

On adaptation, the COP, inter alia:

  • emphasizes the urgency of scaling up action and support, including finance, capacity building, and technology transfer, to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change in line with the best available science, taking into account the priorities and needs of developing country parties; and
  • invites the IPCC to present to COP 27 the findings from the contribution of Working Group II to its Sixth Assessment Report, including those relevant to assessing adaptation needs, and calls upon the research community to further the understanding of global, regional and local impacts of climate change, response options, and adaptation needs.

On adaptation finance, the COP, inter alia:

  • urges developed country parties to urgently and significantly scale up their provision of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building for adaptation to respond to the needs of developing country parties as part of a global effort, including for the formulation and implementation of NAPs; and
  • calls upon multilateral development banks, other financial institutions, and the private sector to enhance finance mobilization to deliver the scale of resources needed to achieve climate plans, particularly for adaptation, and encourages parties to continue to explore innovative approaches and instruments for mobilizing finance for adaptation from private sources.

On mitigation, the COP, inter alia:

  • invites parties to consider further actions to reduce by 2030 non-carbon dioxide GHG emissions, including methane; and
  • calls upon parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards the phase down of unabated coal power and phase out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards a just transition.

On finance, technology transfer, and capacity building for mitigation and adaptation, the COP, inter alia:

  • urges developed country parties to provide enhanced support, including through financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building, to assist developing country parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation, in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention, and encourages other parties to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily;
  • notes with deep regret the goal of developed country parties to mobilize jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation has not yet been met, and welcomes the increased pledges made by many developed country parties and the Climate Finance Delivery Plan: Meeting the USD 100 Billion Goal and the collective actions contained therein;
  • urges developed country parties to fully deliver on the USD 100 billion goal urgently and through to 2025, and emphasizes the importance of transparency in the implementation of their pledges; and
  • urges the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, multilateral development banks, and other financial institutions to further scale up investments in climate action, and calls for a continued increase in the scale and effectiveness of climate finance from all sources globally, including grants and other highly concessional forms of finance.

On loss and damage, the COP, inter alia:

  • reiterates the urgency of scaling up action and support, as appropriate, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building, for implementing approaches to averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change in developing country parties that are particularly vulnerable to these effects; and
  • urges developed country parties, the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, UN entities and intergovernmental organizations and other bilateral and multilateral institutions, including NGO and private sources, to provide enhanced and additional support for activities addressing loss and damage

On implementation, the COP, inter alia, strongly urges all parties that have not yet done so to meet any outstanding pledges under the Convention as soon as possible.

On collaboration, the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the improvement of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action for enhancing ambition, the leadership and actions of the high-level champions, and the work of the Secretariat on the Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action platform to support accountability and track progress of voluntary initiatives;
  • invites parties to submit views on how to enhance climate action on land under the existing UNFCCC programmes and the report on the dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation related matters and requests the SBSTA Chair to prepare an informal summary report for COP 27;
  • invites the relevant UNFCCC work programmes and constituted bodies to consider how to integrate and strengthen ocean-based action in their existing mandates and workplans and to report on these activities within the existing reporting processes, as appropriate;
  • invites the SBSTA Chair to hold an annual dialogue, starting at SBSTA 56 (June 2022), to strengthen ocean-based action and to prepare an informal summary report for COP 27;
  • urges parties to swiftly begin implementing the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment, respecting, promoting, and considering their respective obligations on human rights, as well as gender equality and empowerment of women;
  • urges parties and stakeholders to ensure meaningful youth participation and representation in multilateral, national, and local decision-making processes, including under the Convention and the Paris Agreement;
  • invites future COP Presidencies, with the support of the Secretariat, to facilitate the organization of an annual youth-led climate forum for dialogue between parties and youth in collaboration with the UNFCCC children and youth constituency and other youth organizations with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment; and
  • calls upon parties to strengthen their implementation of the enhanced Lima work programme on Gender and its gender action plan.

Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement 

Organizational Matters: Adoption of the agenda: Parties adopted the agenda on Sunday, 31 October, with the changes outlined during the adoption of the COP agenda, as summarized above.

Election of additional officers: Given that all CMA parties are also parties to the Convention, no additional officers were elected.

Credentials: The CMA approved the report on credentials (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/9).

Status of ratification of the Paris Agreement: CMA 3 Vice-President Carlos Fuller (Belize) 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.

Reports of the Subsidiary Bodies: 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 (FCCC/SB/2021/L.5).

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).

Matters Related to Adaptation: Report of the Adaptation Committee (2021) and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA): The Report of the Adaptation Committee for 2021 (FCCC/SB/2021/6, and 6/Corr.1) was discussed in conjunction with the 2019 and 2020 reports. These discussions are summarized under the COP. The discussions on the GGA convened in ministerial-led consultations.

On Saturday, 13 November, the CMA adopted two decisions. On the goal, it established the Glasgow-Sharm El Sheik Work Programme on the GGA.

CMA Decision: The CMA adopted two decisions. In its decision on the Committee’s reports (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.15), the CMA, inter alia:

  • requests the Adaptation Committee, with the engagement of IPCC Working Group II, to expedite its work on developing the draft supplementary guidance for voluntary use by parties in communicating adaptation information and on producing a technical paper on methodologies for assessing adaptation needs; and
  • encourages parties to make available sufficient resources for the successful and timely implementation of the flexible workplan of the Adaptation Committee for 2022–2024.

In its decision on the GGA (FCCC/PA/CMA/L.14), the CMA, inter alia:

  • establishes and launches a comprehensive two-year Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the GGA, to be carried out jointly by the SBSTA and SBI and implemented immediately after CMA 3;
  • decides that the work programme should aim to enable the full and sustained implementation of the Paris Agreement, contribute to reviewing the overall progress made in achieving the GGA, and strengthen implementation of adaptation actions in vulnerable developing countries, among others;
  • agrees that the work programme should reflect the country-driven nature of adaptation, avoid creating any additional burden for developing country parties, and draw on a variety of inputs including Indigenous and local knowledge systems; and
  • decides that four workshops should be conducted per year, and requests the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis of submissions for consideration at the workshops, then prepare a single annual report on the workshops for consideration by the SBSTA and SBI, which will then report annually to the CMA on progress in implementing the work programme.

Methodological Issues relating to the Enhanced Transparency Framework for Action and Support referred to in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement: Discussions under this item centered on the operationalization of the Enhanced Transparency Framework, which sets out reporting guidelines, including on GHG inventories and on financial, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building support. This item was referred to the SBSTA. Decisions on the specific sub-items, where discussions further refined the tables, outlines, and other reporting formats and technical review training programmes are summarized under the SBSTA below.

 In the SBSTA contact group, co-chaired by Helen Plume (New Zealand) and Xiang Gao (China), parties exchanged general views. In the SBSTA closing plenary on Saturday, 6 November, parties agreed to forward the consideration of the matter to the CMA. During the second week, discussions continued both at technical level and in ministerial consultations led by Antigua and Barbuda and Norway.

Divergent views were expressed on, among others: the legal status of the outlines; the operationalization of flexibility provisions; references to the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines and whether, if at all, these should be made in the conclusions or the decision; and references to GEF support for developing countries’ reporting, both in terms of the references’ phrasing and their placement in the transparency decision as opposed to the GEF guidance. Delegates also debated how and where to capture flexibility provisions, with several countries preferring that this be done in the annexes, and whether the use of background tables should be mandatory.

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 modalities, procedures, and guidelines for the transparency framework (MPGs). SWITZERLAND and CANADA cautioned not to renegotiate the MPGs.

BRAZIL and CHINA queried the inclusion of a reference to the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories because the 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.

With several developed countries calling for requests for the GEF to support developing countries’ reporting to be addressed in the relevant decision on COP guidance to the GEF, the US proposed to insert a cross-reference for the CMA to take note of the COP guidance decision.

Delegates agreed that the reporting tools should be ready as soon as possible, with a view to parties providing feedback and ensuring the final version is ready by the end of 2023, and that the training programme should be available earlier than 2024. Other comments related to, inter alia: the role of the CGE and lead reviewers in supporting the development of the training programme for expert reviewers; the considerations of gender and geographical balance in relation to the training programme; reporting on loss and damage; the review of voluntary adaptation information; and capturing both unconditional and conditional targets in tracking NDC progress.

Many delegates underscored the need for more technical work on the annexes, and several developing country groups stressed the importance of support for reporting.

In the closing plenary, the SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.9), inter alia, agreeing to forward consideration of these matters to the CMA. In its closing plenary on Saturday, 13 November, the CMA adopted the decision.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.21), the CMA, inter alia:

  • adopts the common reporting tables for national inventory reports, the common tabular formats for tracking NDC progress, the common tabular formats for reporting on support, the outlines for the biennial transparency report (BTR), national inventory document (NID), and technical expert review report (TERR), and the training programme for technical experts participating in the TERR of BTRs, contained in seven annexes to the decision;
  • encourages parties to prepare their BTRs and NIDs in accordance with the respective outline;
  • decides that technical expert review teams will follow the TERR outline;
  • reaffirms decision 18/CMA.1, which states that each party shall report the information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs in a narrative and common tabular format, as applicable, noting that the information provided in the common tabular format may be further complemented by other formats in a party’s BTR, as applicable;
  • decides those developing country parties that need flexibility in the light of their capacities may, when reporting on a provision for which they have a capacity constraint, choose one or more of the options delineated in the decision;
  • requests the Secretariat to develop reporting tools, taking into account the operationalization of the flexibility provisions, and make available a test version by June 2023 with a view to the final version of the tools being completed by June 2024, subject to the timely availability of sufficient financial resources;
  • requests the Secretariat, once the test version of the reporting tools becomes available, to organize regular technical training workshops (online and/or in person) to facilitate an interactive exercise with experts from parties that demonstrates the functions of the reporting tools;
  • decides that, if the final version of the reporting tool for common reporting tables for inventory information is not available within the outlined time frame, parties can submit the national inventory report after 31 December 2024, with a delay not exceeding the delay in the availability of the reporting tool;
  • decides that, if the reporting tools for common tabular formats for tracking NDC progress and reporting on support are not available within the outlined time frame, parties shall submit the information in the BTR (excluding common tabular formats) in line with the agreed deadlines but can submit the common tabular formats after 31 December 2024, with a delay not exceeding the delay in the availability of the reporting tools;
  • emphasizes that each interested party may provide information related to enhancing understanding, action, and support, on a cooperative and facilitative basis, to avert, minimize and address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in its BTR;
  • notes that parties may use on a voluntary basis the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories;
  • requests the Secretariat, incorporating, as appropriate, technical advice from the CGE and lead reviewers, to develop the training programme for technical experts participating in the technical expert review of BTRs;
  • requests the Secretariat to promote geographical and gender balance among the technical review experts participating in the training programme, giving special consideration to experts from developing countries, particularly LDCs and SIDS;
  • notes that the information related to climate change impacts and adaptation under Article 7 of the Paris Agreement is not covered by the scope of the technical expert review, and that voluntary review of such reported information is not prohibited under the same decision;
  • notes that parties have expressed interest in the possibility of requesting the information related to climate change impacts and adaptation be reviewed on a voluntary basis and recognizes the important role that review of this information could play in improving the relevant reporting;
  • requests SBSTA 56 (June 2022) to consider the options for conducting such reviews on a voluntary basis, and respective training courses needed to facilitate these voluntary reviews, with a view to recommending a draft decision to CMA 4 (November 2022);
  • invites the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee to liaise with lead reviewers, as needed, when identifying cases of significant and persistent inconsistencies; and
  • decides to consider at CMA 4 and at each session thereafter an item on “Reporting and review pursuant to Article 13 of the Paris Agreement: provision of financial and technical support to developing country Parties for reporting and capacity-building.”

Public Registries Under the Paris Agreement: Discussions under this item focused on the development of a registry to record NDCs communicated by parties as well as of a registry to record adaptation communications. This item was first taken up by the CMA opening plenary on Sunday, 31 October, and referred to a contact group co-chaired by Peter Wittoeck (Belgium) and Emily Massawa (Kenya). The Secretariat presented prototypes of the registries and parties discussed amendments.

In its closing plenary on Friday, 12 November, the CMA adopted its decisions.

CMA Decisions: In its decision on modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 4.12 (mitigation)  (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.4), the CMA, inter alia, requests the Secretariat to adopt the prototype as the public registry and finalize its implementation, verify with parties the name of the party, document title, document file type, version number, status, language and date of submission, as referred to in paragraph 1(a) of the annex to decision 5/CMA.1 and make the registry available for use by 1 June 2022.

In its decision on modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 7.12 (adaptation communication) (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.5), the CMA inter alia, requests the Secretariat to adopt the prototype as the public registry and finalize its implementation, verify with parties the name of the party, document title, document type, hyperlinks to corresponding documents containing the adaptation communications, version number, status, language and date of submission as referred to in paragraph 1(a) of the annex to decision 10/CMA.1, and make the registry available for use by 1 June 2022.

WIM: This item is summarized under the COP.

Matters Relating to Finance: Matters Relating to the SCF: This item was discussed in conjunction with the COP discussion on the SCF. These discussions are summarized under the COP.

CMA Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.11), the CMA, inter alia:

  • affirms the COP decision on this matter, which, inter alia, welcomes the reports of the SCF and endorsed the findings and recommendations contained therein;
  • invites parties, operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, international financial institutions, and other stakeholders in the financial sector to submit views regarding ways to achieve Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement (ensuring financial flows align with low-emissions, climate-resilient development), including options for approaches and guidelines for implementation, by 30 April 2022 and requests the SCF to submit a synthesis for consideration by CMA 4 (November 2022);
  • requests the SCF to continue its work on definitions of climate finance, taking into account the submissions received from parties on this matter, with a view to providing input for consideration at CMA 4;
  • requests the SCF to report to the CMA 4 on progress in implementing its 2022 workplan; and
  • requests the SCF to consider the guidance provided to it in other relevant decisions of the CMA.

Guidance to the Green Climate Fund: This item was taken up with the COP contact group on guidance to the GCF, which is summarized above.

Guidance to the Global Environment Facility: Parties considered report of the GEF to the COP (FCCC/CP/2020/1) in plenary and in a contact group co-chaired by Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda) and Toru Sugio (Japan). On Saturday, 13 November, the CMA adopted its decision.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.10), the CMA, inter alia:

  • recommends that CMA 3 transmit to the GEF the guidance indicated in its decision;
  • calls upon developed country parties to make financial contributions to the GEF towards a robust eighth replenishment to support developing countries in implementing the Paris Agreement and encourages additional voluntary financial contributions to the eighth replenishment of the GEF
  • requests the GEF to continue to facilitate improved access to the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency by developing country parties;
  • requests the GEF to consider increasing its support for the enhanced transparency framework as part of its eighth replenishment process;
  • requests the GEF to consider combining the application processes for support for producing biennial transparency reports, including by considering raising the funding ceiling of expedited enabling activity projects, and for Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency projects, as appropriate, and by developing an expedited process for projects related to preparing biennial transparency reports;
  • encourages the GEF, parties, and implementing agencies to work collaboratively to ensure that financing for national inventory reports and biennial transparency reports is delivered in a timely manner, including through utilizing the bundled application modality and expedited procedures for enabling activities, and requests the GEF to monitor the timeliness of project review, approval and preparation, including disaggregated tracking of each phase of project development (from project identification form approval to submission of chief executive officer approval requests and disbursement through implementing agencies) and report to CMA 4 on the actions taken to implement the guidance;  and
  • requests the GEF to consider raising the funding ceiling for expedited enabling activities.

Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund: Parties considered the 2020 and 2021 reports of the Adaptation Fund Board (FCCC/KP/CMP/2020/2, FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/2, FCCC/PA/CMA/2020/2, and FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/4) in plenary and in a contact group co-chaired by Claudia Keller (Germany) and Ali Waqas Malik (Pakistan). Parties agreed to provide written inputs for the Co-Chairs to draft a decision text for their consideration. In the contact group, discussions related to eligibility for funding from the Adaptation Fund, as well as eligibility for Adaptation Fund Board membership.

On funding eligibility, South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by Belize, for AOSIS, said that the CMP has authority to confirm eligibility, clarifying that the CMA can make recommendations to this effect.

On Adaptation Fund Board membership, South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said agreement will be in sight when a share of proceeds is available and suggested, supported by India, for the LMDCs, stating that the CMA agrees to continue discussing eligibility matters.

 On Saturday, 13 November, the CMA adopted a decision.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.7), the CMA:

  • confirms that parties to the Paris Agreement are eligible for membership on the Adaptation Fund Board, and invites the CMP to request the Board to amend the relevant procedures and modalities;
  • requests the Board to update on its support in relation to assisting developing country parties; and
  • confirms that developing country parties to the Paris Agreement that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change are eligible for funding from the Adaptation Fund.

New collective quantified goal on climate finance: The mandate for this item was to establish, at COP 26, a process that would lead to the definition of the new collective quantified goal by 2025. A contact group, co-chaired by Outi Honkatukia (Finland) and Zaheer Fakir (South Africa), convened, followed by informal consultations and informal informals. The Co-Chairs prepared three iterations of draft text.

In informal consultations, parties discussed working modalities and institutional arrangements, timeline, and substantive topics for the deliberations.

On working modalities and institutional arrangements, Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, favored an open-ended ad hoc working group. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, preferred an ad hoc committee. Some developed countries proposed a recurring agenda item under the CMA. Many supported both technical and political elements, in a cyclical manner. The US suggested a “more fluid” approach, cautioning against over-engineering the process. A bridging proposal consisted of technical expert dialogues, and high-level ministerial dialogues informed by reports on the technical dialogues.

On the timeline, AOSIS and the AFRICAN GROUP said the process should end by 2023 at the latest. The EU and AUSTRALIA favored the original mandate of 2024. Costa Rica, for AILAC, suggested a three-stage approach to decision-making, opposed by the EU and SWITZERLAND.

On substantive topics, the EU and the US favored an option that repeated text from the Paris outcome, noting the need not to prejudge the outcome of deliberations. Several developing country groups preferred an option stating that the goal would consist of elements relating to quantity, quality, access, and transparency arrangements. Malawi for the LDCs, CHINA, and the LMDCs supported establishing a definition of climate finance. Some developing country groups favored an option stating that the goal should be at least USD 1.3 trillion per year. A developed country said parties need to define providers and receivers of the new goal. Views also diverged on a reference to fossil fuel subsidies.

On Thursday, 11 November, this item was passed to ministers for further consultation. On Saturday, 13 November, the CMA adopted a decision.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.17), the CMA, inter alia:

  • initiates deliberations on setting a new collective quantified goal and to conduct the deliberations in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, ensuring participatory representativeness;
  • establishes an ad hoc work programme from 2022 to 2024, to be facilitated by Co-Chairs, one from a developed country and one from a developing country, appointed, in consultation with the respective constituencies, by the President of CMA 4, 5, and 6, respectively;
  • agrees to conduct four technical expert dialogues per year as part of the ad hoc work programme, with one of these dialogues to be held in conjunction with the first regular session of the subsidiary bodies for the year and one to be held in conjunction with the session of the CMA, and the two remaining dialogues to be organized in separate regions with a view to facilitating inclusive and balanced geographical participation;
  • decides to convene high-level ministerial dialogues starting in 2022 and ending in 2024, ensuring effective political engagement and open, meaningful and robust discussion, to be informed by the reports of the technical expert dialogues above and the submissions, with a view to providing guidance on the further direction of the ad hoc work programme for the following year, and requests the COP President to prepare a summary of the dialogues for the CMA’s consideration;
  • continues its deliberations on setting a new collective quantified goal at its fourth, fifth and sixth sessions, taking stock of the progress made and providing further guidance on the ad hoc work programme, taking into consideration the annual reports of the Co-Chairs of the ad hoc work programme, and the summary reports on the high-level ministerial dialogues;
  • decides that the new collective quantified goal aims at contributing to accelerating the achievement of Article 2 of the Paris Agreement of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change; increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low-emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development;
  • also decides that the consideration of the new collective quantified goal will take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries and include, inter alia, quantity, quality, scope and access features, as well as sources of funding, of the goal and transparency arrangements to track progress towards achievement of the goal, without prejudice to other elements that will also be considered as the deliberations evolve, and taking into consideration the submissions;
  • agrees that the deliberations shall be informed by and take into consideration, inter alia: inputs from parties, constituted bodies, including their relevant outputs, in particular the biennial assessment of overview of climate finance flows and the report on the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement; the best available scientific information, including the IPCC’s findings of the information from other relevant intergovernmental processes and insights from the business and research communities and from civil society; information from parties, particularly information related to the needs of developing countries; and other technical reports prepared by the Secretariat and other independent organizations and observers; and
  • decides to conclude its deliberations by setting the new collective quantified goal in 2024.

Compilation and synthesis of, and summary report on the in-session workshop on biennial communications of information related to Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement (ex ante finance transparency): Parties considered the biennial in-session workshop on information to be provided by parties in accordance with Article 9.5 (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/5) in plenary and in a contact group co-chaired by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Georg Børsting (Norway).

In the contact group and informal consultations, parties shared views on elements for a CMA draft decision. Many countries underscored the importance of predictability of finance. They also called for reflecting the work mandated and undertaken under this item, including a compilation and synthesis of the information, an in-session workshop held in June 2021, and a high-level ministerial dialogue to be held in the second week of CMA 3. Many, including Switzerland for the EIG, Belize for AOSIS, and Egypt for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for including recommendations for how the biennial communications could be improved, including recommendations from the workshop.

Ecuador, for the G-77/CHINA, called for reflecting consideration of developing countries’ needs and priorities, conditional elements in NDCs, and loss and damage support needs. India stressed: clarity; information on “new and additional;” and a multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance. Brazil, for ABU, and the AFRICAN GROUP called for methodological clarity. Colombia, for AILAC, called for enhancing both quantitative and qualitative information and lamented that Latin America is not considered a priority for finance.

One developing country group said that the communications did not provide sufficient content to ensure predictability as called for in Article 9.5. AOSIS noted that the in-session workshop report highlighted questions, including the scale and quality of finance and capacity building for LDCs and SIDS.

The EU and NORWAY expressed openness to discussing lessons learned to improve reporting. The US proposed as elements: reference to the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal on finance; mobilization of finance at scale; and challenges and barriers to scaling up climate finance.

Developed countries said several paragraphs included elements beyond the mandate of this agenda item, particularly a request to provide information in addition to what was agreed at CMA 1-3 (2018). SWITZERLAND recalled that a review of the types of information to be included in the communications is scheduled for 2023.

Countries debated calls for developed country reporting on “all types of information” specified in the annex to decision 12/CMA.1 (types of information to be provided), with developed countries underscoring that some information is to be reported “as available” or “as applicable.” A developing country group called for deleting references to reporting by other parties providing resources, noting such reporting is voluntary.

CMA Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.9), the CMA, inter alia:

  • recognizes the importance of predictability and clarity of information on financial support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement;
  • reiterates that developed country parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information, as applicable, including, as available, projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country parties, and that other parties providing resources are encouraged to communicate biennially such information on a voluntary basis;
  • urges developed country parties to submit biennial communications in 2022;
  • requests the Secretariat to organize a workshop on information to be provided by parties and prepare a summary report on the workshop for consideration by CMA 5 (November 2023);
  • requests developed country parties to submit their second biennial communications in 2022, in accordance with decision 12/CMA.1, paragraph 4, before 31 December 2022;
  • encourages other parties providing resources to communicate biennially indicative qualitative and quantitative information, including, as available, projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country parties on a voluntary basis;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a compilation and synthesis of the biennial communications in accordance with decision 12/CMA.1, paragraph 7; and
  • requests that the actions of the Secretariat called for in this decision be undertaken subject to the availability of financial resources.

Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN: This item was discussed in conjunction with the COP consultations on the joint annual reports of the TEC and CTCN for 2020 and 2021. Those discussions are summarized above. The CMA adopted its decision on Friday, 12 November.

CMA Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/SB/2021/L.5), the CMA, inter alia:

  • welcomes the joint annual reports of TEC and CTCN for 2020 and 2021 and commends the efforts to advance their work, as guided by the technology framework;
  • take notes of the information provided in the joint annual report for 2020 on how TEC and CTCN have incorporated the guidance contained in the technology framework into their respective work plans and programmes of work; and
  • invites TEC and CTCN to continue their work on technology and NDCs in 2022-2023 and enhance their efforts to ensure full and effective implementation of the technology framework.

Alignment between processes pertaining to the review of the CTCN and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism, referred to in paragraph 69 of decision 1/CP.21: Parties considered possible options and their implications for aligning processes pertaining to the independent review of the CTCN and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.5) in the SBI plenary. Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Stella Gama (Malawi) and Elfriede-Anna More (Austria).

In informal consultations, parties discussed options for aligning the review processes. Several parties and groups expressed their preference for maintaining stand-alone processes for the CTCN review and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism under the COP and the CMA but aligning their periodicity. They indicated that this option aligns with the agreed elements of effectiveness, efficiency, complementarity, and avoiding duplication of work. A developing country group proposed to defer this agenda item to a future meeting in the interest of time. Two developed countries supported the option of maintaining stand-alone processes without any alignment.

On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted draft conclusions, which include a draft CMA decision that was adopted on Thursday, 11 November.

CMA Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.2), the CMA, inter alia:

  • agrees to align the periodicity of the periodic assessment of the TEC and the independent review of the CTCN; and
  • requests the SBI to initiate, at its 62nd session (2025), consideration of matters relating to the alignment between processes pertaining to the independent review of the CTCN and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism with a view to recommending a draft decision for consideration and adoption by CMA 8 (2026).

First periodic assessment referred to in paragraph 69 of decision 1/CP.21: In the opening plenary, parties agreed to have informal consultations on this agenda item. Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Gabriela Fischerova (Slovakia) and Duduzile Nhlengethwa-Masina (Eswatini). On Friday, 12 November, the CMA adopted its decision.

CMA Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.2), the CMA:

  • initiates the first periodic assessment of the effectiveness and adequacy of the support provided to the Technology Mechanism in supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on matters relating to technology development and transfer; and
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare an interim report on the effectiveness and adequacy of the support provided to the Technology Mechanism in supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on matters relating to technology development and transfer for consideration at SBI 56 (June 2022).

Capacity Building under the Paris Agreement: Parties considered the annual technical progress reports of the Paris Committee on capacity-building (FCCC/SBI/2020/10 and 13) in the CMA plenary, then referred the matter to the SBI. Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Rita Mishaan (Guatemala) and Ismo Ulvila (EU). On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.4 and L.5). On Friday 12 November, the CMA adopted its decision.

CMA Decision: In its final decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.4), the CMA, inter alia:

  • welcomes the annual technical progress reports of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building for 2020 and 2021 and takes note of the recommendations contained in the 2021 report;
  • invites parties, as appropriate, the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, the constituted bodies under the Paris Agreement, UN organizations, observers, and other stakeholders to consider the recommendations made in the 2021 report to take any necessary action, as appropriate and in accordance with their mandates;
  • acknowledges progress made by the Paris Committee on Capacity-building in implementing its mandate to address gaps and needs, both current and emerging, in implementing capacity building in developing country parties and further enhancing capacity-building efforts, including with regard to coherence and coordination in capacity-building activities under the Paris Agreement;
  • notes that capacity gaps and needs still exist in developing countries pertaining to the implementation of the Paris Agreement; and
  • invites parties and relevant institutions, as appropriate, to provide support and resources to the Paris Committee on Capacity-building for implementing its workplan for 2021–2024 in the light of the aim of the Committee established in decision 1/CP.21.

Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: This item is summarized under the COP.

Matters relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: This item relates to the operational rules for the market and non-market-based mechanisms in the Paris Agreement. It was referred by the CMA to the SBSTA opening plenary.

Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Hugh Sealy (Barbados), Mandy Rambharos (South Africa), Peer Stiansen (Norway), and Kim Solberg (Netherlands). The Co-Facilitators prepared four iterations of draft text under each of the sub-items under this agenda item. On Saturday, 6 November, the SBSTA forwarded the draft decision texts (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.6, L.7, and L.8), to the CMA, saying further work was necessary to finalize the decision. During the second week, ministerial consultations were co-facilitated by Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Climate and the Environment, Norway, and Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore, who prepared three iterations of draft text under each sub-item.

On Saturday, 13 November, the CMA adopted a decision on each sub-item.

Guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6.2: In informal consultations, parties discussed how to address double counting, a share of proceeds for adaptation, limits to transfer and use, human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and cancellation of credits for overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE).

Some called for equal treatment of shares of proceeds under Article 6.2 and Article 6.4, with two groups stressing a voluntary mechanism on share of proceeds is not sufficient.

Some developed country parties said methods, and timing of the application of corresponding adjustments, should be resolved in Glasgow rather than carried forward into a work programme. Others preferred a 2028 or 2030 deadline for a methods work programme to conclude. Views diverged on the need for corresponding adjustments for internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) generated outside the scope of an NDC, the use of ITMOs for other international mitigation purposes, and non-GHG metrics. A developing country group called for inclusion of NDCs with policies and measures, rather than quantitative targets.

Several parties opposed quantitative limits to the transfer and use of ITMOs. Some developing country groups stressed the need for limits.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.6, L.7, and L.8), the SBSTA forwarded draft decision text to the CMA on all three sub-items, recognizing that further work by the CMA would be needed to finalize the decision.

Final Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.18), the CMA, inter alia:

  • adopts the guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6.2, as contained in an annex;
  • requests the SBSTA to develop recommendations for CMA 4 on: the special circumstances of the LDCs and SIDS; elaboration of further guidance in relation to corresponding adjustments for multi-year and single-year NDCs, in a manner that ensures the avoidance of double counting; and consideration of whether ITMOs could include emissions avoidance;
  • invites submissions from parties on options for the tables and outlines for the information required pursuant to Chapter IV of the annex (Reporting), by 31 March 2022;
  • requests the Secretariat to organize a technical workshop to develop options for the tables and outlines for the information required pursuant to Chapter IV of the annex (Reporting), including the agreed electronic format referred to in Chapter IV.B of the annex (Annual information), on the basis of the information in those chapters, for consideration by SBSTA 56; and
  • requests the SBSTA to develop tables and outlines for the information required pursuant to Chapter IV of the annex (Reporting), including the agreed electronic format referred to in Chapter IV.B of the annex (Annual information), on the basis of the submissions and taking into account the options developed for consideration by CMA 4.

The decision further requests the SBSTA to develop recommendations for guidelines for the reviews pursuant to Chapter V of the annex (Review), in relation to the Article 6 technical expert review team for consideration and adoption by CMA 4, including:

  • provisions ensuring that the reviews assess consistency of the information provided on the cooperative approach with that in the annex;
  • the reviews are desk reviews or centralized reviews and are conducted at regular intervals each year;
  • development of modalities for reviewing information that is confidential;
  • the reviews ensure consistency between the reporting of all of the parties participating in a cooperative approach, in respect of that cooperative approach;
  • the reviews specify recommended action to be taken when inconsistencies are identified, and provisions on how a party should respond to those recommendations and the implications of non-responsiveness, if any;
  • the composition of the Article 6 technical expert review team, how the team interacts with the participating party when undertaking the review, the implications of, and the training programme for the Article 6 technical experts; and
  • coordination of the Article 6 technical expert review with the technical expert review, including ensuring that Article 6 technical expert reviews in a given review cycle are completed in advance of, and the relevant reports are provided to, the technical expert review the annex to decision 18/CMA.1.

The decision also:

  • invites submissions from parties on options for implementing the infrastructure requirements referred to in Chapter VI of the annex (Recording and tracking), by 31 March 2022;
  • requests the Secretariat to organize a technical workshop to develop options for implementing the infrastructure requirements, including guidance for registries, the international registry, the Article 6 database, and the centralized accounting and reporting platform referred to in Chapter VI of the annex (Recording and tracking) for consideration by SBSTA 56;
  • requests the SBSTA to make recommendations relating to infrastructure, including guidance for registries, the international registry, the Article 6 database and the centralized accounting and reporting platform referred to in Chapter VI of the annex (Recording and tracking) for consideration and adoption by CMA 4;
  • requests the Secretariat to design and, following consultation with parties, implement a capacity-building programme, including through its regional collaboration centers, to assist parties, particularly developing country parties, intending to participate in cooperative approaches including to: support the development of institutional arrangements, including in relation to reporting, in order to enable parties to engage in cooperative approaches; help parties ensure that cooperative approaches in which they participate support ambition; assist LDCs and SIDS in meeting the participation requirements, as set out in Chapter II of the annex (Participation);
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare annually a compilation and synthesis of the results of the Article 6 technical expert review, including identification of recurring themes and lessons learned, for consideration by the CMA;
  • decides to review the guidance at its tenth session (2028) and to complete the review by no later than at its twelfth session (2030), and requests the SBSTA to commence work in 2028 in relation to this review, including, but not limited to, participation responsibilities; implementation of corresponding adjustments; implementation of Chapter IV (Reporting); implementation of Chapter V (Review); and consideration of the need for safeguards and limits in addition to those already operationalized;
  • requests the Secretariat to support the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures in considering ways to address negative social or economic impacts, especially on developing country parties, resulting from activities under Article 6.2, as requested by the forum; and
  • invites the Adaptation Fund to report in its annual reports to the CMA on funding related to participation in cooperative approaches.

Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4: In informal consultations, parties discussed carryover of pre-2020 Kyoto credits and activities under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), baselines and additionality, OMGE, and participation responsibilities.

On baselines and additionality, views diverged on approaches to setting baselines. Some preferred performance-based approaches, while others favored actual or historical emissions, or best available technologies. Some developing country groups were concerned about flexibility on baselines.

On participation responsibilities, views diverged on whether a host party “may” or “shall” be required to provide information on, inter alia, its baseline approaches and other methodological requirements.

On OMGE, some groups supported mandatory cancellation, opposing voluntary cancellation, while others said OMGE should primarily be delivered by strong rules and modalities.

On transition of Kyoto-era units, one groups strongly opposed any transition of certified emission reductions, while others said this was non-negotiable, although expressing flexibility on a cut-off date. Two developing country groups also expressed strong support for transition of all CDM activities, with other groups and parties opposing. One developing country group said they could consider the transition of CDM projects that meet acceptable standards.

CMA Decision: In the decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.19), the CMA, inter alia:

  • adopts the rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4, as contained in the annex;
  • designates the body that will supervise the mechanism with its membership and rules of procedure as set out in the annex and names it the Supervisory Body; and
  • decides that at least two meetings of the Supervisory Body shall be held in 2022.

The CMA requests the Supervisory Body to:

  • develop provisions for the development and approval of methodologies, validation, registration, monitoring, verification and certification, issuance, renewal, first transfer from the mechanism registry, voluntary cancellation and other processes, pursuant to Chapter V.B–L and Chapter VIII of the annex (Delivering OMGE);
  • in the context of developing and approving new methodologies for the mechanism: review the baseline and monitoring methodologies in use for the CDM with a view to applying them with revisions as appropriate pursuant to Chapter V.B of the annex (Methodologies), for the Article 6.4 activities; consider the baseline and monitoring methodologies used in other market-based mechanisms as a complementary input to the development of baselines and monitoring methodologies pursuant to Chapter V.B of the annex;
  • review the sustainable development tool in use for the CDM and other tools and safeguard systems in use in existing market-based mechanisms to promote sustainable development with a view to developing similar tools for the mechanism by the end of 2023;
  • review the accreditation standards and procedures of the CDM with a view to applying them with revisions, as appropriate, for the mechanism by the end of 2023;
  • expeditiously accredit operational entities as designated operational entities;
  • ensure the implementation of the requirements in paragraph 29 of the annex, in relation to LDCs and SIDS;
  • consider ways to encourage participation by small and micro businesses in the mechanism, in particular in LDCs and SIDS;
  • consider opportunities to engage with the LCIPP and its Facilitative Working Group; and
  • consider the gender action plan and the incorporation of relevant actions into the work of the Supervisory Body;

The CMA also requests the Supervisory Body to elaborate and further develop, on the basis of the rules, modalities, and procedures contained in the annex, recommendations, for consideration and adoption by CMA 4:

  • its rules of procedure and to operate and hold meetings on the basis of the annex;
  • appropriate levels for the share of proceeds for administrative expenses and its operation, including in order to enable a periodic contribution to the share of proceeds for adaptation to the Adaptation Fund;
  • activities involving removals, including appropriate monitoring, reporting, accounting for removals and crediting periods, addressing reversals, avoidance of leakage, and avoidance of other negative environmental and social impacts in addition to those activities in Chapter V of the annex (Activity Cycle); and
  • the application of the requirements in Chapter V.B of the annex (Methodologies).

The CMA further requests the SBSTA to develop, based on the rules, modalities and procedures contained in the annex, recommendations for consideration and adoption by CMA 4 on:

  • further responsibilities of the Supervisory Body and of parties that host Article 6.4 activities in order for such host parties to elaborate and apply national arrangements for the mechanism under the approval and supervision of the Supervisory Body;
  • processes for implementation of the transition of activities from the CDM to Article 6.4 in accordance with Chapter XI.A of the annex (Transition of CDM activities);
  • processes for implementation of Chapter XI.B of the annex (Use of certified emission reductions towards first or first updated NDCs);
  • reporting by host parties on their Article 6.4 activities, and the Article 6.4 emission reductions issued for the activities, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of reporting information that is already publicly available;
  • the operation of the mechanism registry referred to in Chapter VI of the annex (Mechanism registry);
  • the processes necessary for implementation of the share of proceeds to cover administrative expenses and the share of proceeds to assist developing country parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation, in accordance with Chapter VII of the annex (Levy of share of proceeds for adaptation and administrative expenses);
  • the processes necessary for the delivery of OMGE in accordance with Chapter VIII of the annex (Delivering OMGE); and
  • the consideration of whether activities could include emissions avoidance and conservation enhancement activities.

The CMA further, inter alia:

  • requests the Supervisory Body to evaluate the implementation of the share of proceeds no later than in 2026 and every five years thereafter and, following such review, to make recommendations on possible improvements in order to optimize the resources available to the Adaptation Fund for consideration and adoption by the CMA;
  • requests the Supervisory Body to evaluate the implementation and the delivery of OMGE, including the percentage applied, no later than in 2026 and every five years thereafter and, following such review, to make recommendations on possible improvements in order to optimize the delivery of OMGE, for consideration and adoption by the CMA;
  • decides that the CMA shall review the rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism at CMA 10 (2028) with a view to completing the review by no later than at CMA 12 (2030); and
  • requests the Secretariat, including through its regional collaboration centers and in consultation with the Supervisory Body, to design and implement, in consultation with parties, a capacity-building programme to assist parties wishing to voluntarily participate in the mechanism to, inter alia: establish the necessary institutional arrangements to implement the requirements contained in the annex; and develop the technical capacity to design and set baselines for application in host parties.

Work programme under the framework for non-market approaches referred to in Article 6.8: In informal consultations, parties discussed governance arrangements and focus areas of the work programme.

On governance, several developing countries supported a two-tier arrangement, with a permanent facilitative mechanism or network and a temporary task force that would further operationalize the work programme. One country presented a proposal consisting of a facilitative mechanism, a network, and a registry hub. Some called for references to human rights, gender, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

On focus areas, parties largely converged around the need to streamline a draft list containing 14 proposed areas. Many called for avoiding a “shopping list” and supported a more generic, open-ended listing. Two developing country groups called for ensuring, including through listing some initial activities, that work can start without delay, while governance arrangements are being finalized.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.20), the CMA:

  • adopts the work programme under the framework for non-market approaches, contained in the annex to the decision. The work programme includes principles, non-market approaches, governance, modalities, work programme activities, and reporting. The annex establishes the Glasgow Committee on Non-market Approaches to implement the framework;
  • decides that initial focus areas of the work programme activities include but are not limited to: adaptation, resilience and sustainability; mitigation measures to address climate change and contribute to sustainable development; and development of clean energy sources;
  • requests the Glasgow Committee on Non-market Approaches to develop and recommend a schedule for implementing the work programme activities by CMA 4 (2022); and
  • requests the SBSTA to review the work programme, and make recommendations for the CMA to adopt, in 2026.

Report of the Committee to Facilitate Implementation and Promote Compliance referred to in Article 15, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement (2020 and 2021): The role of the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC) is to facilitate implementation of and promote compliance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. On Tuesday, 2 November, CMA Vice-President Federica Fricano (Italy) proposed, and parties agreed, to establish a contact group on this issue, co-chaired by Arne Riedel (Germany) and Kunzang (Bhutan). Parties considered two reports on the PAICC’s work (FCCC/PA/CMA/2020/1 and FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/6).

On Monday, 8 November, the Co-Chairs introduced draft text, under which the CMA would, inter alia, welcome the 2020 and 2021 reports of the Committee, adopt the Committee’s rules of procedure, and encourage the commencement of its work. Parties welcomed the draft text as a basis for discussion. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, urged recognizing the challenges the Committee had faced due to the pandemic, clarifying that the rules of procedure to be adopted relate to institutional arrangements, while the Committee is still mandated to develop rules of procedure that address other matters, including those related to the reasoning of the Committee’s decisions. SAUDI ARABIA, CHINA, UGANDA, SINGAPORE, INDIA, and GABON supported, stressing that these changes would reflect the recommendations of the Committee itself. The text was agreed as amended.

On Thursday, 11 November, the CMA adopted its decision.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.1), the CMA, inter alia:

  • adopts the rules of procedure related to the institutional arrangements of the PAICC, as contained in the annex to the decision; and
  • invites the PAICC to continue and accelerate its work with urgency on its remaining rules of procedure with a view to recommending them for consideration and adoption by CMA 4 (November 2022).

Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: Audit report and financial statements for 2018: Budget performance for the biennium 2018–2019: Programme budget for the biennium 2020–2021: This item and sub-items are summarized under the SBI below.

Glasgow Climate Pact: During the closing plenary, the CMA adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact. The text for this pact was debated in Heads of Delegation meetings throughout the meeting. There were calls for balance during the discussions, many developing countries called for increased references to support and noted that developed countries had not delivered on the USD 100 billion annual finance goal. The LMDCs and ARAB GROUP called for including a reference to CBDR, equity, and pre-2020 action, underscoring that the Paris Agreement is under the Convention and that net zero targets applied to all equally undermines the principles of equity, developed country leadership, and the right to sustainable development. The EIG, AOSIS, and LDCs called for greater recognition of science and need for rapid, transformational action. AOSIS and LDCs called for updating NDCs in 2022, which others, including CHINA and INDIA, opposed as they urged parties to uphold the Paris Agreement, not to re-write it.

Final Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.16), the CMA, on science and urgency, inter alia:

  • welcomes the contribution of WG I to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the recent global and regional reports on the state of the climate from the World Meteorological Organization, and invites the IPCC to present its forthcoming reports to the SBSTA in 2022; and
  • recalls Article 2.2 of the Paris Agreement, which provides that the Paris Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of CBDR-RC in the light of different national circumstances.

On adaptation, the CMA, inter alia:

  • requests parties that have not yet done so to submit their adaptation communications ahead of CMA 4 so as to provide timely input to the Global Stocktake; and
  • recognizes the importance of the GGA for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, and welcomes the launch of the comprehensive two-year Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the GGA.

On adaptation finance, the CMA, inter alia:

  • urges developed country parties to urgently and significantly scale up their provision of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building for adaptation to respond to the needs of developing country parties as part of a global effort, including for the formulation and implementation of NAPs and adaptation communications; and
  • urges developed country parties to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing country parties from 2019 levels by 2025, in the context of achieving a balance between mitigation and adaptation in the provision of scaled-up financial resources, recalling Article 9.4 of the Paris Agreement.

On mitigation, the CMA, inter alia:

  • welcomes efforts by parties to communicate new or updated NDCs, long-term low emissions development strategies, and other actions that demonstrate progress towards achievement of the Paris Agreement temperature goal;
  • decides to establish a work programme to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation in this critical decade, and requests the SBI and SBSTA to recommend a draft decision on this matter for consideration and adoption by CMA 4, in a manner that complements the Global Stocktake;
  • urges parties that have not yet communicated new or updated NDCs to do so as soon as possible in advance of CMA 4; and
  • decides to convene an annual high-level ministerial roundtable on pre-2030 ambition, beginning at CMA 4.

On finance, technology transfer, and capacity building for mitigation and adaptation, the CMA, inter alia:

  • calls upon developed country parties to provide greater clarity on their financial pledges through their next biennial communications under Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement; and
  • welcomes with appreciation the initiation of deliberations on a new collective quantified goal on climate finance, and looks forward to the ad hoc work programme and to engaging constructively in the actions of the work programme; and
  • underscores the importance of the deliberations being informed by the need to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries and building on the work of the SCF.

On loss and damage, the CMA, inter alia:

  • decides that the Santiago Network on loss and damage will be provided with funds to support technical assistance for the implementation of relevant approaches to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change in developing countries;
  • also decides that the modalities for the management of funds provided for technical assistance under the Santiago Network and the terms for their disbursement shall be determined by the process set out in the relevant CMA 3 decision on the Santiago Network; and
  • decides to establish the Glasgow Dialogue between parties, relevant organizations, and stakeholders to discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change, to take place in the first sessional period of each year of the SBI, concluding at SBI 60 (June 2024).

On implementation, the CMA, inter alia, recalls the Katowice climate package, and welcomes with appreciation the completion of the PAWP.

On collaboration, the CMA recognizes the contributions and calls for meaningful engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, using the same language as the COP decision on the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol

Organizational Matters: Adoption of the agenda: At the request of UKRAINE, the sub-item on the annual compilation and accounting report for the second commitment period for Annex B parties was deferred to CMP 17. SOLOMON ISLANDS noted concerns with the documentation, but also that there is important information in the reports and suggested informal consultations. CMP 16 President Sharma suggested the SBI take up the matter. Parties adopted the agenda and agreed to the organization of work (FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/1 and Add.1).

Election of officers: Given that all nominated individuals are from parties to the Kyoto Protocol that are also parties to the Convention, no further elections were required.

Credentials: The CMP adopted the report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/7).

Status of ratification of the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol: Sharma reported that the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 31 December 2020 and, as of 30 October 2021, 147 parties had accepted the Doha Amendment.

Reports of the Subsidiary Bodies: SBSTA: The CMP took note of the oral report on SBSTA 52-55 and adopted the relevant report (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.1).

SBI: The CMP took note of the oral report on SBI 52-55 and adopted the relevant report (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.1).

Reporting to and from Annex I Parties: National Communications: This item was deferred to CMP 17.

Annual compilation and accounting report for the second commitment period for Annex B parties under the Protocol (2019, 2020, 2021): This item was deferred until CMP 17.

Date of completion of the expert review process under Article 8 of the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period: This item was deferred until CMP 17.

Matters related to the CDM: In its opening plenary on Sunday, 31 October, the CMP agreed to establish a contact group on this item, co-chaired by Yaw Osafo (Ghana) and Kazuhisa Koakutsu (Japan).

Co-Chair Osafo 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 were being discussed under the SBSTA, and some are “politically challenging.”

The Secretariat provided a presentation on the temporary measures applied by the CDM EB. Discussions continued in informal consultations.

It its closing plenary on Saturday, 13 November, the CMP adopted a decision. In plenary, Ukraine, for UKRAINE and KAZAKHSTAN, lamented that the transitional measures agreed to in relation to the CDM and Article 6 favor some non-Annex I countries over others, and called for addressing these disparities.

CMP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/L.6), the CMP, inter alia:

  • decides requests for registration, renewal of crediting period and issuance of certified emission reductions for project activities, as well as the equivalent submissions for programmes of activities, relating to emission reductions occurring after 31 December 2020 may not be submitted under the CDM, acknowledging that such requests and submissions may be made under the Article 6.4 mechanism, approval of which is subject to the compliance with its rules, modalities, and procedures and any other requirements determined by the CMA or the Article 6.4 mechanism’s Supervisory Body; and
  • decides to conclude its consideration of the following matters related to the CDM: review of the modalities and procedures for the CDM mechanism; procedures, mechanisms and institutional arrangements for appeals against decisions of the CDM EB; land use, land-use change and forestry under the CDM; and forests in exhaustion.

Matters related to Joint Implementation: The CMP took note of the annual reports of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (FCCC/KP/CMP/2020/4 and 2021/6).

Matters related to the Adaptation Fund: Report of the Adaptation Fund Board (for 2020 and 2021): In plenary, parties were presented the reports of the Adaptation Fund Board for 2020 and 2021 (FCCC/KP/CMP/2020/2, FCCC/PA/CMA/2020/2, FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/2, and FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/4). On Sunday, 31 October, a contact group was established, co-chaired by Claudia Keller (Germany) and Ali Waqas Malik (Pakistan). Discussions in the contact group primarily related to guidance to the Fund.

China, for the LMDCs, called for deleting reference to the provision of voluntary support by parties in a position to do so, with several developed countries objecting. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by Belize, for AOSIS, reiterated a suggestion made in the CMA contact group on the Adaptation Fund, for the CMP to clarify eligibility issues, notably confirming that developing country parties to the Paris Agreement that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change are eligible for funding from the Adaptation Fund.

On Saturday, 13 November, the CMP adopted its decision.

CMP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/L.3), the CMP:

  • encourages scale-up of financial resources, including the provision of voluntary support, additional to the share of proceeds levied on certified emission reductions;
  • confirms that developing country parties to the Paris Agreement are eligible for Adaptation Fund funding; and
  • requests the Adaptation Fund Board to consider providing support for country-driven adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries with a view to contributing to enhancing implementation of their NAPs.

Fourth review of the Adaptation Fund: The Adaptation Fund (AF), established under the Kyoto Protocol, finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change.

This item was referred to the SBI, which first considered it in plenary, then in informal consultations co-facilitated by Ali Waqas Malik (Pakistan) and Claudia Keller (Germany).

In informal consultations, parties considered text on the review of the AF and an annex containing its terms of reference. Some developed countries supported keeping a reference to decision 13/CMA.1 (inter alia, deciding that the AF shall serve the Paris Agreement). Other developing country groups opposed, suggesting the CMA may provide guidance once the CMP has concluded the review. A developing country group, supported by another developing country group, made a bridging proposal relating to references to the CMA, including referencing paragraph 33 of decision 1/CMP.3 (deciding to undertake a review of the AF), deleting references to new CMA decisions, and including a paragraph inviting the CMA to consider the outcome of the CMP review. In response to a party’s inquiry about whether this would imply that the CMA could consider the review before the CMP review has finished, the group clarified the CMA could take action if it wishes after the review.

On the scope of the review, one developing country group proposed including how the AF is supporting developing countries in implementing the Paris Agreement and addressing loss and damage, and efforts to achieve the global goal on adaptation. Several developing countries opposed references to “eligible” developing country parties. Developing countries also called for references to the provision of “credible” and “accessible” financial resources. Developed countries suggested that the review assess the AF Board’s governance and the Fund’s effectiveness in serving the Paris Agreement.

Parties agreed to note decision 1/CMP.14 which, inter alia, ensures that Paris Agreement parties are eligible for membership in the Adaptation Fund. Regarding the scope of the review, they agreed to delete the word “eligible” from a reference to support for eligible developing country parties.

SBI Conclusions: During the closing plenary, the SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.19) and forwarded a draft decision to the CMP.

CMP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.19), the CMP, inter alia:

  • decides that the fourth review of the AF will be undertaken in accordance with decision 1/CMP.3, paragraph 33, and the terms of reference contained in the annex;
  • requests the AF Board to make available in its report to the CMP at CMP 17 and the CMA at CMA 4 (both in November 2022) information on the financial status of the AF, including information on the share of proceeds levied on first international transfers of assigned amount units and emission reduction units for Article 6 projects of the Kyoto Protocol, in accordance with decision 1/CMP.8, paragraph 21, with a view to the fourth review of the AF being finalized at the same session;
  • invites parties, observer organizations, and other interested stakeholders to submit views on the fourth review of the AF by 31 March 2022 for consideration at SBI 56 (June 2022);
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the fourth review of the AF Board for consideration at SBI 57 (November 2022);
  • requests the SBI to complete its work on the fourth review of the AF at SBI 57, with a view to recommending a draft decision for consideration and adoption by the CMP at CMP 17; and
  • invites the CMA to consider outcomes of the review at CMA 4.

The annex contains the terms of reference for the fourth review of the AF, which contains three sections on the objective, scope, and sources of information.

Capacity building under the Protocol: In the SBI plenary, parties agreed to have informal consultations, co-facilitated by Rita Mishaan (Guatemala) and Ismo Ulvila (EU). On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions containing draft decisions for the CMP’s consideration.

During the closing plenary, the CMP adopted decisions related to the fourth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building for developing countries (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.8) and the fifth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.7).

CMP Decisions: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.8), the CMP, inter alia:

  • invites parties to foster networking and enhance their collaboration with academia and research centers with a view to promoting individual, institutional and systemic capacity building through education, training and public awareness;
  • invites parties to cooperate to enhance the capacity of developing countries to implement the Kyoto Protocol and also invites parties, as appropriate, and other stakeholders to continue to provide support for capacity-building actions in developing countries;
  • concludes the fourth comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries under the Kyoto Protocol;
  • requests the SBI to develop terms of reference for the fifth comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries under the Kyoto Protocol at SBI 62 (2025) for consideration and adoption by CMP 20 (2025); and
  • requests the SBI to initiate the fifth comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries under the Kyoto Protocol at SBI 64 (2026) with a view to the CMP concluding it at CMP 21 (2026).

In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.7), the CMP, inter alia:

  • invites parties to enhance reporting on best practices related to capacity building in their national communications, biennial reports, submissions and other relevant documents, with a view to furthering learning and broadening the impact of capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition;
  • invites Annex II parties to the Convention and other parties in a position to do so, the GEF, multilateral and bilateral agencies, international organizations, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, and the private sector or any further arrangements, as appropriate and within their mandates, to continue to provide support for capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition;
  • invites parties and relevant institutions to provide information on capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition to the Secretariat for inclusion in the capacity-building portal;
  • decides to conclude the fifth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition and requests the SBI, at SBI 64 (2026), to initiate the sixth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition with a view to concluding it at CMP 21 (2026); and
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report on implementation of the framework for capacity building in countries with economies in transition to support the sixth review of the implementation, for consideration at SBI 64.

Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: This decision is summarized under the COP. The COP, CMA and CMP took a joint decision.

Report of the Compliance Committee (2020 and 2021): The objective of the Kyoto Protocol Compliance Committee is to facilitate, promote, and enforce compliance with the commitments under the Protocol. In its opening plenary on Sunday, 31 October, the CMP took note of the reports (FCCC/KP/CMP/2020/3 and 2021/5) and invited parties to make contributions to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities to support the Committee’s work.

Report on the High-Level Ministerial Round Table on Increased Ambition of Kyoto Protocol Commitments: CMP Vice-President Carlos Fuller, for the CMP Presidency, reported that informal consultations did not reach consensus on the way forward. The issue will be included on the next CMP agenda.

Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: Audit report and financial statements for 2019 and 2020: Budget performance for the biennium 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: In its closing plenary on Thursday, 11 November, the CMP adopted a decision forwarded by the SBI.

CMP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.16), the CMP, inter alia:

  • expresses concern regarding the high level of outstanding contributions to the core budget for the current and previous bienniums, which has resulted in difficulties with cash flow and the effective implementation of activities;
  • strongly urges parties that have not made contributions in full to the core budget for the current and/or previous bienniums to do so without further delay;
  • calls upon parties to make their contributions to the core budget for 2022 in a timely manner, bearing in mind that contributions are due on 1 January of each year;
  • expresses concern about the high number of recommendations from the United Nations Board of Auditors not yet implemented by the Secretariat;
  • urges the Executive Secretary to implement the recommendations of the auditors, as appropriate, and to update parties on progress;
  • welcomes the proposed measures for improving the efficiency and transparency of the UNFCCC budget process;
  • requests the Secretariat to report on the implementation of those measures in the report on efforts to improve the efficiency and transparency of the UNFCCC budget process; and
  • requests the Secretariat to enhance follow-up on parties’ outstanding core contributions, including through payment plans.

Programme budget for the biennium 2022-2023: On Thursday, 11 November, the CMP adopted a decision forwarded by the SBI.

CMP Decisions: In its decisions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.14/Add.1, Add.2, and Add.3) the CMP, inter alia:

  • approves the programme budget for the biennium 2022-2023, amounting to EUR 62,347,351;
  • requests the Secretariat, in implementing its work programme for the biennium 2022-2023, to seek to allocate adequate resources to constituted bodies in support of their response to the mandates given by the governing bodies and to transparency- and adaptation-related activities while continuing to apply the established budget methodology, including to any new mandate; and
  • requests the Executive Secretary to further enhance the transparency of future proposed budget documentation by including in the work programme a breakdown of staff per objective and output.

Glasgow Climate Pact: In the closing plenary, the CMP adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact.

CMP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2021/L.5), the CMP, inter alia, strongly urges parties that have accepted the Doha Amendment to implement their pre-2020 commitments to the fullest extent as soon as possible.

Subsidiary Body for Implementation

SBI Chair Marianne Karlsen (Norway) opened the session on Sunday, 31 October, stressing the need for parties to move forward with negotiating texts.

Organizational Matters: Parties adopted the provisional agenda (FCCC/SBI/2021/9), holding sub-item 4(a) (information contained in national communications from Annex I parties) in abeyance.

Election of officers other than the Chair: The SBI elected Juan Carlos Monterrey Gómez (Panama) as the SBI Vice-Chair and re-elected Aysin Turpanci (Turkey) as the SBI Rapporteur.

Annex I Reporting: UKRAINE stated its concerns about postponing consideration of this and related sub-items until the Secretariat amends the documentation related to the reporting of emissions information. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said the UNFCCC is not a platform to discuss disagreements over Crimea. SBI Chair Karlsen proposed, and parties agreed, to defer this agenda item to SBI 56 in June 2022.

Non-Annex I Reporting: Report and terms of reference of the CGE (2020 and 2021): This item is summarized under the COP.

Information contained in national communications: This item was held in abeyance.

Provision of financial and technical support: During the SBI opening plenary, the GEF reported on the activities relating to the preparation of national communications and biennial update reports (BURs) (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.12 and FCCC/SBI/2021/INF.6/Rev.1). Informal consultations convened, but at the SBI closing plenary on Saturday, 6 November, SBI Chair Karlsen reported that consultations on this sub-item did not result in conclusions. The matter will be included on the provisional agenda of SBI 56.

Summary reports on the technical analysis of biennial update reports: In its opening plenary, the SBI took note of the summary reports.

Revision of the modalities and guidelines for international consultation and analysis: The item was deferred to SBI 56 (June 2022).

Common Time Frames for NDCs: This item deals with the common frequency by which parties update or communicate their NDCs, pursuant to Article 4.10 of the Paris Agreement. The item was first taken up in plenary. Informal consultations were co-facilitated by SBI Chair Karlsen.

In informal consultations, parties discussed time frame option preferences; NDC implementation period preferences; and implementation end dates for the next round of NDCs. A number of groups stressed the need for a single time frame for all countries, opposed by some. Many called for ministerial discussions to reach an agreement, with one group identifying the issue as part of the “full package.”

SBI Chair Karlsen incorporated proposals in draft text, which contained nine options based on her 16 June 2021 informal note, informal consultation inputs, and subsequent submissions. These included: communicating by 2025 NDCs with a time frame up to 2035, 2040, or 2035 and 2040, and so forth every five years thereafter; communicating and updating five-year NDCs in 2025 and every five years thereafter, consistent with progression; and communicating NDCs of five-plus-five years (an initial five-year period, plus an additional NDC for the subsequent five-year period). She highlighted that it reflected all views and options on an equal footing. However, parties could not reach agreement.

On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.3), which took note of the views exchanged and options considered and agreed to forward the outcome of its work to the CMA, with a view to CMA 3 adopting a decision.

Parties then considered the matter in ministerial consultations led by Switzerland and Rwanda, where the nine options were narrowed down to two: to communicate in 2025 an NDC with an end date of 31 December 2035, in 2030 an NDC with an end date of 31 December 2040, and so forth every five years thereafter; or to invite parties not in a position to communicate in 2025 an NDC with an end date of 31 December 2035 to instead communicate in 2030 a NDC with an end date of 31 December 2040, in 2035 a NDC with an end date of 31 December 2045, and so forth every five years thereafter. The first follows the Paris Agreement’s five-year cycle; the second provides some flexibility.

The CMA adopted the decision on Saturday, 13 November.

CMA Decision: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/L.12), the CMA:

  • reaffirms the nationally determined nature of NDCs; and
  • encourages parties to communicate in 2025 an NDC with an end date of 2035, in 2030 an NDC with an end date of 2040, and so forth every five years thereafter.

Matters relating to Mechanisms under the Protocol: This item and its sub-items were deferred to SBI 56.

Scope of the Next Periodic Review of the Long-term Global Goal under the Convention and of Overall Progress towards Achieving it: This item includes scientific inputs and deliberations over the long-term temperature goal of the Convention and assesses progress toward the goal. Parties agreed to discuss this agenda item in informal consultations, co-facilitated by Una May Gordon (Jamaica) and Frank McGovern (Ireland).

In informal consultations, parties discussed key inputs and the process of the review. Some developed countries suggested that some elements in the review have become politicized, and proposed, supported by other parties, more engagement with IPCC Working Groups II and III at the next meeting of the second structured expert dialogue (SED2).

Several groups recommended more in-person sessions for future SED meetings. Some groups underscored that the review should also consider progress towards means of implementation under the Convention, with one developing country group calling for a review of Annex I countries’ actions. A developing country party, supported by other developing countries, suggested equal focus on both themes of the review (adequacy of long-term global goal and progress towards achieving it). Some developing countries suggested to reflect the next steps of the review in the draft conclusions. Some developed countries suggested that the themes and dialogue should be considered holistically.

During the closing plenaries, the SBI and SBSTA adopted conclusions. Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, expressed disappointment with the lack of more substantive conclusions on the periodic review, suggesting “the room was held somewhat hostage,”

SB Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SB/2021/L.3), the SBSTA and the SBI, inter alia:

  • notes that the third meeting of SED2 will be convened in conjunction with SBSTA and SBI 56;
  • notes that summary reports on the meetings of the SED will be considered by the joint SBSTA-SBI contact group for this item; and
  • invites parties and observers to submit via the submission portal by 4 March 2022 views on the third meeting of SED2.

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA): During the SBI opening plenary on Sunday, 31 October, this joint SB item was referred to informal consultations, co-facilitated by Milagros Sandoval (Peru) and Philip Blackwell (Ireland). The Co-Facilitators noted the aim of the discussions was to consider: three outstanding workshop reports; what to report to COP 26 on work done in the three years since the Koronivia road map was approved; and future topics to be considered.

Some developed countries highlighted that the KJWA focuses on agriculture, not solely adaptation, and should also include mitigation, emphasizing this does not force any country to reduce emissions. Some developing countries opposed including mitigation. Some parties emphasized that the KJWA is under the Convention and should not be linked to the Paris Agreement. Discussions then took place in informal informals.

On Saturday, 6 November, both subsidiary bodies adopted conclusions.

SB Conclusions: In their conclusions (FCCC/SB/2021/L.1), the SBs inter alia:

  • welcome four workshop reports (FCCC/SB/2020/1, FCCC/SB/2021/1, FCCC/SB/2021/2, FCCC/SB/2021/3 and Add.1);
  • note the importance of scaling up support to enhance action on safeguarding food and nutrition security and ending hunger, aiming for inclusive, sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural systems, taking into consideration the vulnerability of agriculture to the impacts of climate change;
  • recognize the need to improve the enabling environment for mobilizing resources to implement action at the local, national, and international level; and
  • agree to continue consideration of this matter at SB 56 (June 2022) with a view to recommending a draft decision for consideration and adoption by COP 27 (November 2022).

Report of the WIM Executive Committee (2020 and 2021): This item is summarized under the COP.

Matters Relating to LDCs: This item is summarized under the COP.

NAPs: NAPs are a means for developing countries to identify their adaptation needs in the medium and long term, and to develop and implement strategies to address these needs. In plenary, parties considered notes on progress in the process to formulate and implement NAPs (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.13/Rev.1 and FCCC/SBI/2021/INF.7) and a report on the 40th meeting of the LEG (FCCC/SBI/2021/13). Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Jens Fugl (Denmark) and Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu).

On gaps and needs related to the process to formulate and implement NAPs, parties agreed to procedural conclusions to continue deliberations at the next SBI meeting, capturing progress to date in an annex.

On the assessment of progress in the process to formulate and implement NAPs, parties debated the two invitations for submissions in the text on: progress towards achieving the objectives of the NAP process; and progress in the process to formulate and implement NAPs. They also debated the timeline for submissions.

On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded a draft decision to the COP.

SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.11 and Add.1), the SBI, inter alia, welcomes the reports on progress in the NAP process, initiates consideration of information from the reports of the Adaptation Committee and the LEG, and decides to continue consideration of this matter at SBI 56 (June 2022) with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption at COP 27 (November 2022). It also recommends a draft decision for adoption by the COP.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.11 and Add.1), the COP, inter alia:

  • decides on the steps necessary for the SBI to initiate the assessment of progress in the process to formulate and implement NAPs and to make recommendations for consideration and adoption by the COP in 2024. These steps include inviting submissions on progress towards achieving the objectives of the NAP process; requesting the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report on such progress; and requesting the LEG, in collaboration with the Adaptation Committee, to provide a summary of such progress;
  • decides that the assessment should take into account all the guiding principles of the NAP process; and
  • requests the constituted bodies and programmes under the Convention to continue providing information on their activities relevant to the NAP process through the annual progress reports on NAPs.

Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) (2020 and 2021): This item is summarized under the COP and the CMA.

Alignment between the processes pertaining to the review of the Climate Technology Centre and Network and the periodic assessment referred to in paragraph 69 of decision 1/CP.21: This item is summarized under the CMA.

Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer: This item was deferred until SBI 56 (June 2022).

Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism: Discussions under this item aim to strengthen collaboration between the bodies under the Technology Mechanism, the TEC and the CTCN, and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, the GCF and GEF. In the opening plenary, parties agreed to conduct informal consultations on this agenda item, co-facilitated by Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) and Elfriede-Anna More (Austria).

In informal consultations, parties discussed whether to continue the stocktaking of progress in strengthening the linkages between the Technology Mechanism and Financial Mechanism and to provide recommendations to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.

Disagreement between developing and developed countries persisted. Developing countries preferred to continue considering this matter whereas developed countries wanted to close this agenda item. On providing guidance to GCF and GEF, developed countries expressed their dissatisfaction, emphasizing that providing guidance to GCF and GEF is beyond the mandate of this agenda item. Many developing countries disagreed, noting that the GEF and GCF sought guidance on their linkages with the Technology Mechanism and such guidance had been made in the past.

SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.10), the SBI, inter alia:

  • welcomes the progress made by the TEC, CTCN, GCF, and GEF in strengthening linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism, as reported in their annual reports;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare, subject to the availability of financial resources, an information note on activities undertaken by the TEC, CTCN, and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism to strengthen linkages between the mechanisms for consideration by SBI 56 (June 2022); and
  • agrees to continue consideration of this matter at SBI 56 with a view to recommending a draft decision thereon for consideration and adoption by COP 27 (November 2022).

Matters Relating to the Adaptation Fund: Membership of the Adaptation Fund Board: This item is summarized under the CMA.

Fourth Review of the Adaptation Fund: This item is summarized under the CMP.

Matters Related to Capacity Building: Capacity building under the Convention: This item is summarized under the COP.

Capacity building under the Protocol: This item is summarized under the CMP.

Annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (2020 and 2021): This item is summarized under the CMA.

Matters relating to the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures serving the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement: This item is summarized under the COP.

Matters related to Action for Climate Empowerment: Review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention: Report on activities related to Action for Climate Empowerment (2020 and 2021): Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) is a term adopted by the UNFCCC to denote work under Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. The overarching goal of ACE is to empower all members of society to engage in climate action. In the SBI opening plenary, this item was referred to informal consultations, co-facilitated by Albert Magalang (Philippines) and Bianca Moldovean (Romania).

Parties considered a report on progress and effectiveness, as well as emerging gaps, needs and recommendations, in relation to the Doha work programme and ACE (FCCC/SBI/2020/9) and a note on options for future work to enhance ACE implementation (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.4).

During its closing plenary on Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.18), which contain a draft decision for the COP and CMA. Mexico, for the EIG, supported by the EU, ARGENTINA, COSTA RICA, and nine others expressed deep concern about the removal of references to human rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, gender responsiveness, and intergenerational equity from the 10-year-long work programme on ACE, noting this outcome resulted from a late-night session with very few parties and no observers allowed to provide support. She called on parties to fully engage in the development of the action plan to guarantee respect for human rights, gender responsiveness, and intergenerational equity. The EU expressed regret that, under strong pressure, parties were not allowed to include these references in the decision and sought further discussion on this at the next session.

On Thursday, 11 November, the COP and 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.

COP/CMA Decision: In their decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.18), the COP and the CMA, inter alia:

  • adopt the 10-year Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment, contained in the annex to the decision;
  • invite parties and relevant non-party stakeholders to engage in and support implementation of the Glasgow work programme, while maintaining a country-driven approach;
  • invite multilateral and bilateral institutions and organizations, including the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, as appropriate, to provide financial support for activities related to implementing Action for Climate Empowerment; and
  • request the Secretariat to promote partnerships with other organizations, the private sector, and donors in order to support implementation of the Glasgow work programme.

In the decision, the COP and CMA, inter alia, request the SBI to:

  • hold an annual in-session Action for Climate Empowerment dialogue at its first regular session of each year, with the first in-session dialogue to be held at SBI 56 (June 2022) to focus on the engagement of children and youth in implementation of the Glasgow work programme;
  • undertake the development of an action plan at SBI 56 focusing on immediate action through short-term, clear, and time-bound activities with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption by COP 27 and CMA 4 (November 2022); and
  • undertake a midterm review of progress at SBI 64 (2026) and a final review of progress at SBI 74 (2031) to evaluate the work programme’s effectiveness, identify any emerging gaps and needs, and inform any consideration of improving the work programme.

The annex contains the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment. It identifies four priority areas as relevant to addressing gaps and challenges in implementing the six ACE focus areas: policy coherence; coordinated action; tools and support; and monitoring, evaluation, and reporting.

Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings: At the SBI opening plenary on Sunday, 31 October, this item was referred to a contact group. On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions.

SBI Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.17), the SBI, inter alia:

  • expresses its appreciation to Egypt for offering to host COP 27 (November 2022);
  • expresses its appreciation to the United Arab Emirates for offering to host COP 28 (November 2023); and
  • notes that, while virtual engagement has its challenges, technology can be used to enhance engagement, including that of observer organizations from developing countries.

Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: Budget performance for the biennia 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: Parties discussed the financial reports, audited financial statements, and audit reports for 2019 and 2020 (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.9 and Add.1, FCCC/SBI/2021/INF.4 and Add.1). On Saturday, 6 November, the SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded a draft decision to the COP, which was adopted on Thursday, 11 November.

COP Decision: In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.15), the COP, inter alia:

  • expresses concern regarding the high level of outstanding contributions to the core budget for the current and previous bienniums, which has resulted in difficulties with cash flow and the effective implementation of activities;
  • strongly urges parties that have not made full contributions to the core budget to do so without further delay, and calls upon parties to make their contributions to the core budget for 2022 timely;
  • urges parties to further contribute to the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process and to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities;
  • expresses concern about the high number of recommendations from the United Nations Board of Auditors not yet implemented by the Secretariat, and urges the Executive Secretary to implement appropriate recommendations, and to update parties on progress;
  • requests the Secretariat to enhance follow-up on parties’ outstanding core contributions, including through payment plans; and
  • decides to keep the level of the working capital reserve at 8.3% of annual total expenditure.

Programme budget for the biennium 2022-2023: Audit report and financial statements for 2019 and 2020: This item is summarized under the CMP.

Other financial and budgetary matters: The SBI took note of the report on efforts to further improve the efficiency and transparency of the UNFCCC budget process (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.2) and the budgetary implications of UNFCCC mandates (FCCC/SBI/2020/INF.3).

Continuous review of the functions and operations of the Secretariat: The SBI took note of the report on the legal status of the Secretariat.

Annual report (2019 and 2020): The SBI took note of the 2019 and 2020 Secretariat activities, programme delivery highlights, and financial performance (FCCC/SBI/2020/4 and 2021/7).

Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement: The SBI took note of the oral report.

Closing Plenary: Some groups deferred their statements in the interest of time.

TURKEY lamented “constant references to Annex I,” stating the country would only accept language agreed in Paris.

Bhutan, for the LDCs, welcomed the extension of the mandate of the LDC Expert Group, the Santiago Network guidelines, and efforts on the review of the Adaptation Fund, but said progress on NAPs had been inadequate. He expressed concern that medium- and long-term finance for loss and damage remains an ignored issue.

Switzerland, for the EIG, thanked parties for the work accomplished in the first week, but said more could have been done on adaptation and loss and damage, and reiterated his disappointment on elements of the ACE decision.

Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, expressed disappointment with the lack of more substantive conclusions on the periodic review, suggesting “the room was held somewhat hostage,” stressing the importance of science and review, and thanking the IPCC for its outstanding work.

Bangladesh, for the G-77/CHINA, said parties had worked relentlessly despite the special circumstances under which the conference was taking place, but suggested the negotiations’ dynamics could have been more participatory. He lamented that many items were unable to conclude and called for higher ambition in line with the Paris Agreement.

Stating that “climate change is everyone’s business,” BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY NGOs (BINGOs) highlighted that a commitment by 450 firms managing USD 150 trillion in assets sends a message that “resources are there,” but rules and mechanisms to implement them effectively are missing.

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK called for provision of needs-based loss and damage finance and its inclusion in the post-2025 finance target. She lamented access constraints observers had faced and called on parties not to treat human rights as a bargaining chip in the remaining negotiations.

Saying 150,000 people marched through the streets, GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE called for adequate time for negotiations on adaptation and loss and damage, and said a global goal on adaptation is essential because countries in the South have no choice but to adapt.

WOMEN and GENDER said the review of the Doha Work Programme missed an opportunity to promote gender-based approaches and constitutes a bad precedent for transformative action on the ground.

YOUTH NGOs welcomed the inclusion of youth in the Glasgow Work Programme on ACE but said it is still insufficient. She called for a seat for youth at the decision-making table and policies and actions to be implemented, saying the youth’s wellbeing is a right, not a privilege.

Closure of the SBI: Parties adopted the draft report of SBI 52-55 (FCCC/SBI/2021/L.1). SBI Chair Karlsen closed the meeting at 12:07 am on Sunday, 7 November.

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

SBSTA Chair Tosi Mpanu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) opened the meeting on Sunday, 31 October, reminding parties of the rapidly closing window of opportunity to combat climate change. The SBSTA adopted its agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/2) and organization of work.

Organizational Matters: Election of Officers other than the Chair: The SBSTA elected Kakhaberi Mdivani (Georgia) as Vice-Chair, and Zita Kassa Wilks (Gabon) as Rapporteur.

Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation to Climate Change (NWP): Parties considered the report on progress in implementing activities under the NWP since SBSTA 50 (FCCC/SBSTA/2020/INF.1 and FCCC/SBSTA/2021/INF.2). Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Alessandra Sgobbi (EU).

In informal consultations, many parties welcomed the report and considered additional guidance on how to strengthen the role and enhance the relevance of the NWP in, inter alia, addressing knowledge gaps. Parties also discussed modalities to take stock of the NWP’s work, which will be conducted at SBSTA 56 (June 2022).

On strengthening the NWP, several developing countries proposed the use of existing inputs such as adaptation communications and NDCs, noting these already contain rich information on knowledge gaps. Parties debated whether to have specific focal points or simply coordinate with a relevant contact point when seeking inputs from parties. Some developing country groups suggested specific reference to LDCs and SIDS as warranting particular support from the NWP, while others preferred “developing countries” or “the most vulnerable countries.”

On the NWP stocktake, parties discussed guiding questions, including on monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and integrating alternative knowledge systems. Some developing countries suggested including a specific question on how the NWP has provided support in relation to capacity-building, finance, and technology knowledge gaps.

 On Saturday, 6 November, the SBSTA adopted conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.10), the SBSTA, inter alia:

  • requests the Secretariat to use existing inputs like adaptation communications, NAPs, NDCs, national communications, and other adaptation planning processes; and coordinate with national focal points and/or other relevant contact points in seeking inputs on priority knowledge gaps to inform the NWP;
  • requests the Secretariat, with a view to strengthening the support provided to constituted bodies, including in relation to addressing knowledge gaps on capacity building, finance and technology, and enhancing the responsiveness of the NWP to parties’ needs, to consider complementary work areas and strengthen long-term strategic engagement;
  • requests the Secretariat to continue efforts to close priority knowledge gaps in all parties, in particular developing countries, including LDCs and SIDS;
  • agrees that ways to strengthen the NWP should be identified to enhance its effectiveness in addressing knowledge needs of all parties, in particular developing countries, including LDCs and SIDS, relevant to implementing the Paris Agreement; and
  • agrees on modalities to inform the NWP stocktake, and to apply a comprehensive and transparent approach, engaging with parties and other stakeholders to ensure an effective outcome of the stocktake.

Report of the Adaptation Committee: This item is summarized under the SBI.

Report of the WIM: This item is summarized under the COP.

Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform (LCIPP): The LCIPP was established in 2015 and operationalized in 2016. It aims to engage in dialogues with and among local communities and Indigenous Peoples to exchange experiences and share best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner. Parties considered the report of the Facilitative Working Group (FWG) of the LCIPP (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/1) in plenary.

In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Maxine Burkett (US) and Carlos Fuller (Belize), many parties welcomed the report of the FWG and expressed support for its draft second three-year workplan. One developed country requested inserting language noting that the new workplan does not create new rights or obligations in relation to local communities under international law. A developing country underscored the parity of Indigenous knowledge with Western scientific knowledge.

On Saturday, 6 November, the SBSTA adopted conclusions and forwarded a draft decision to the COP.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.3), the SBSTA recommended the draft decision for adoption by the COP.

COP Decision: In its decision, the COP, inter alia:

  • welcomes the LCIPP’s second three-year workplan for 2022-2024, and recognizes that this workplan facilitates continued collaboration among parties and Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) on climate change;
  • decides to continue the FWG’s mandate, and recognizes its role in fostering full and effective participation of IPLCs in achieving the objective of the Paris Agreement; and
  • recommends that the activities under the second three-year workplan facilitate exchange of experiences between IPLCs and parties on approaches to ecosystem management.

Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN: This item is summarized under the SBI.

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: This item is summarized under the SBI.

Sources of Input for the Global Stocktake: This item relates to two lists that can inform the Global Stocktake. The first list contains types of information such as the state of GHG emissions and removals, finance flows, and the overall effect of NDCs and progress towards their implementation. The second contains sources of information, such as parties’ reports and communications, and IPCC and subsidiary bodies’ reports.

In informal consultations co-facilitated by Juliana Arciniegas (Colombia) and Christiane Textor (Germany), parties considered whether and how these two lists should be complemented. The Co-Facilitators emphasized the lists are non-exhaustive and this is but one of several channels to inform the Global Stocktake.

Some developed countries noted the lists’ non-exhaustive nature and saw no need to complement them.

While agreeing the lists were non-exhaustive, several developing country groups proposed additions. They also proposed that the text explicitly state the Stocktake can consider other sources and types of information, and sought robust reassurances that the lists will be interpreted in an open and comprehensive manner. They highlighted the need for a deliberate process to seek inputs from non-party stakeholders, particularly from developing countries, and for the Secretariat to provide support to enable this participation to ensure balanced inputs from developed and developing countries.

 On Saturday, 6 November, the SBSTA adopted conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.4), the SBSTA, inter alia:

  • agrees that the non-exhaustive lists will serve as a basis for the sources and types of information for the first Global Stocktake;
  • agrees that further sources and types of information will also serve as a basis for inputs to the first Global Stocktake with a view to informing the technical assessment component; and
  • notes that relevant constituted bodies and forums and other institutional arrangements under or serving the Paris Agreement and/or the Convention, including those established after the adoption of decision 19/CMA.1, can prepare synthesis reports on information relating to their areas of expertise for the technical assessment of the first Global Stocktake.

Matters Relating to Science and Review: Research and systemic observation: This item was first taken up in plenary on Sunday, 31 October, and subsequently in informal consultations co-facilitated by Ladislaus Chang’a (Tanzania) and Stefan Ruchti (Switzerland), where discussions related to how to welcome activities, information, and submissions from scientific bodies, and tipping points.

On scientific bodies, three parties, opposed by several others, requested removing a sentence encouraging parties to use the information to inform their actions under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. A party proposed “noting the relevance” of the information to inform such actions. Two parties called to remove an expression of appreciation for the IPCC’s continuing work on the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), including Working Groups II and III. A compromise agreement was reached, whereby appreciation is expressed for the continued work of the IPCC on AR6, without mentioning the Working Groups.

On tipping points, one group stressed the knowledge gap regarding, and need for further scientific work on, tipping points.

On 6 November 2021, the SBSTA adopted conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.5), the SBSTA:

  • welcomes the activities and information reported in the statements delivered at SB 2021 by various scientific body representatives, and notes the relevance of the reports to actions under the Convention and the Paris Agreement;
  • welcomes the contribution of Working Group I to IPCC AR6, expresses appreciation and gratitude to the IPCC and the scientific community, and looks forward to their continued work on the AR6; and
  • notes the importance of broadening participation at future mandated events by increasing participation of experts from a wide range of developing countries and geographical regions, as well as representatives of youth and knowledge holders including Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Scope of the next periodic review of the long-term global goal under the convention and of overall progress towards achieving it: This item is summarized under the SBI.

Matters relating to the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: This item is summarized under the COP.

Methodological Issues Under the Convention: This item was deferred to SBSTA 56 (June 2022).

Methodological Issues under the Kyoto Protocol: This item was deferred to SBSTA 56 (June 2022).

Methodological Issues under the Paris Agreement: Discussions under this item center on the operationalization of the Enhanced Transparency Framework, which sets out reporting guidelines, including on GHG inventories and on financial, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building support. The general discussions and CMA decision are summarized under the CMA.

Common reporting tables for national inventory reports of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs: Helen Plume (New Zealand) and Xiang Gao (China) co-facilitated informal consultations. Discussions mainly focused on flexibility provisions, the use of sectoral background tables, the display of output tables, and references to the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

While some developing countries emphasized countries should be able to self-determine how to indicate the application of flexibility provisions, several developing and developed countries underscored the need for a common approach, to ensure consistency between the reports. Delegates indicated their respective preferred approaches for specifications on the application of flexibility provisions, pointing to the use of notation keys, footnotes, cell shading, documentation boxes, summary tables, and combinations thereof. Some pointed to caveats related to the use of footnotes and shading, as these are already used for other purposes. Some developing countries considered the use of sectoral background tables not to be mandatory and lying outside the scope of the MPGs for the enhanced transparency framework, opposed by others.

Noting the difference between the application of flexibility provisions in filling out the tables and the question of how to display the output, a developing country group called for having empty lines collapsed in the exported tables. Some developing countries objected to references to the 2019 Refinement, noting it has not been discussed by the CMA, has no legal status, and lies outside of the scope of the MPGs. Others noted several countries already use the 2019 Refinement, notably with regard to hydrogen and biochar, and should be able to continue doing so as it improves the comprehensiveness of their reporting, with one country emphasizing that applying the 2019 Refinement does not necessarily entail changes to the structure of the tables.

Common tabular formats necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs under Agreement Article 4: Helen Plume (New Zealand) and Xiang Gao (China) co-facilitated informal consultations. Delegates made a number of detailed comments, including on: differentiating between indicators for tracking progress in implementation and achievement of NDCs; clarifying linkages between the energy and transport sectors in the tables on projections; having different tables for unconditional and conditional targets; and having separate tables for the first and subsequent NDCs. They converged on the need for parties to be able to specify the time frame of different policies and measures, and reflected on how to address interlinkages with outstanding decisions under Article 6. Disagreement mainly related to references to NDC descriptions, which two developing country groups considered to be beyond the mandate, and to the format of the structured summary, which these groups preferred to be narrative rather than tabular. One proponent put forward a suggestion for an alternative, noting it lists the mandatory requirements for the structured summary as per the MPGs, with parties free to also voluntarily report on other elements in the format of their choosing.

Common tabular formats for financial, technology development and transfer and capacity-building support provided and mobilized, as well as support needed and received, under Agreement Articles 9–11: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Seyni Nafo (Mali) and Karima Oustadi (Italy). Many emphasized the usefulness of having summary tables, including for providing an overview of the shares of finance for mitigation and adaptation and the proportions of different financial instruments. A developing country group called for the summary tables to provide an overview of progression over a decadal scale. Others noted that summary tables are a “nice to have” but not mandated in the MPGs, with several emphasizing such tables should be auto-populated.

Parties’ views diverged on whether to include columns on support for loss and damage activities. Developing countries underscored this as a priority, noting that there should, at minimum, be space for reporting on loss and damage-related needs. Several developed countries called for focusing discussions on what is reflected in the MPGs, objecting to adding a column on loss and damage or inserting parameters such as alignment with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. A developed country cautioned against reopening the “carefully negotiated balance” of the MPGs, and suggested that other organizations are better positioned than the UNFCCC to address disaster response.

Regarding developing countries’ call to indicate grant-equivalent amounts, a developed country assured this would be addressed, noting challenges reflecting this in the tables since grant equivalency cannot be provided for several financial instruments. General convergence emerged on adding footnotes indicating that reporting on grant equivalency is done on a voluntary basis.

Developing countries emphasized distinguishing between: public and mobilized finance; total project and climate-specific amounts; and years in which a project is committed and in which funds are disbursed. On reporting years, several countries emphasized the importance of different tables per fiscal or calendar year to allow tracking progress on yearly commitments, while others stressed the need for flexibility to report on support needed on a biennial basis.

Delegates also discussed: the linkages between tables on financial support and those on capacity building and technology transfer; for cells to actively link to the underlying assumptions, methodologies, and definitions of the reporting party; and using notation keys to explain the rationale for blank space, with a developing country group noting this can provide insights on gaps to address.

Outlines of the biennial transparency report, national inventory document, and technical expert review report: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Xiang Gao (China) and Helen Plume (New Zealand). While parties, from the outset, converged on TERR outlines being mandatory, views diverged on whether the use of the BTR and NID outlines is voluntary or mandatory, preserving flexibility provisions. Delegates agreed the legal status of the outlines should be clarified in the transparency cover decision.

A recurrent point in the discussion related to provisions on the identification of significant, persistent inconsistencies. Many parties emphasized that the Implementation and Compliance Committee should be responsible for this task, noting it requires consideration over several reporting cycles. One developing country group suggested leveraging the technical insights of TERR teams. Several developing country groups called for differentiating between information on adaptation and information related to loss and damage, and emphasized addressing such voluntary information in the TERR. Several developed countries preferred not to extend the scope of the review.

Developing countries emphasized the need to address improvements in reporting over time separately from flexibility provisions. Other comments related to, among others: linkages to Article 6 discussions; the use of executive summaries; the level of detail of the energy chapter under the NID; and overlaps between two chapters related to support needs.

Training programme for technical experts participating in the technical expert review: Jae Hyuk Jung (Republic of Korea) and Harry Vreuls (Netherlands) co-facilitated informal consultations. During discussions, there was broad convergence on several points, such as for training courses to be available both online and to download, and for flexible examination formats with online and in-person options. Parties supported regional training seminars in LDCs and SIDS to foster reviewer diversity. Many expressed openness towards not limiting the number of examination attempts and several preferred an additional module, rather than separate training, for lead reviewers. On examination requirements, several called for clarifying “courses for the new elements under the Paris Agreement,” and a developing country emphasized that fast-track provisions for experts on GHG review should be addressed in the decision, and not the annex detailing the training programme. Developed and developing countries debated the need for training for review of voluntary reporting elements, such as adaptation.

Matters Relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: This item is summarized under the CMA.

Market and Non-Market Mechanisms under the Convention: This item was deferred to SBSTA 56 (June 2022).

Cooperation with International Organizations: Parties first considered the summaries of the cooperative activities with UN entities and other intergovernmental organizations (FCCC/SBSTA/2020/INF.2 and 2021/INF.1) in plenary, and then undertook consultations led by SBSTA Chair Mpanu Mpanu.

On 6 November, the SBSTA adopted conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.2), the SBSTA welcomes the summaries, notes the importance of cooperation, and encourages the SBSTA Chair to continue to provide opportunities for parties to provide input on the Secretariat’s cooperative activities.

Annual Reports on Technical Reviews: Technical review on information reported under the Convention by Annex I parties in their biennial reports and national communications: The SBSTA took note of the technical reviews (FCCC/SBSTA/2020/INF.5 and FCCC/SBSTA/2021/INF.3).

Technical review on GHG inventories of Annex I parties: This item was deferred to SBSTA 56.

Technical review on GHG inventories and other information reported by Annex I parties, as defined in Article 1.7 of the Kyoto Protocol: The SBSTA took note of the technical reviews (FCCC/SBSTA/2020/INF.4 and FCCC/SBSTA/2021/INF.4).

Closing Plenary: Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, welcomed constructive engagement on the enhanced transparency framework, but expressed concern around proposals, which it characterized as “backslides” from the progress made since COP 24. She also welcomed efforts on the Nairobi Work Programme.

Switzerland, for the EIG, indicated that the negotiations on transparency and Article 6 would benefit from further technical work at COP 26, while some outstanding issues can be solved in more political processes.

The EU expressed its gratitude to the scientific community, especially the IPCC. He underscored progress made on the WIM, which he said shows promising steps forward on several functions of the Santiago Network on loss and damage.

Bhutan, for the LDCs, highlighted the importance of: ensuring finance for loss and damage; providing a share of proceeds for the Adaptation Fund; and securing adequate and timely resources for developing countries to maintain their reporting capacity on a permanent basis.

Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, underscored the need to set a discount rate for the OMGE at the highest possible level, as well as the share of proceeds. She said transparency of action and of support are falling.

Peru, for AILAC, stressed that there is room for improvement on Article 6 on the areas that could undermine environmental integrity or allow double counting.

BINGOs called on parties to complete the Article 6 negotiations and expressed disappointment that parties could not reach agreement to further tighten linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism.

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK urged parties to set ambitious rules on Article 6 including no carry-over of Kyoto Protocol units and strong human rights safeguards, and called for finance for loss and damage to be included in the post-2025 goal on climate finance. He expressed strong concern on the lack of inclusivity in this COP due to non-COVID related issues.

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE said the global climate movement cannot be fooled by false solutions like carbon markets and empty promises like net zero pledges, calling for more visionary thinking about cooperation between countries.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES welcomed the forwarding of the LCIPP’s draft workplan for approval, while expressing concern about deficiencies in the Article 6.4 (mechanism) text in relation to free, prior, and informed consent.

WOMEN AND GENDER called for an independent grievance mechanism in relation to Article 6, and urged parties to ensure that the technology mechanism is rights-based and inclusive.

Parties adopted the draft report of SBSTA 52-55 (FCCC/SBSTA/2021/L.1). SBSTA Chair Mpanu Mpanu closed the meeting at 12:19 am on Sunday, 7 November.

Closing Plenary

On Saturday, 13 November, President Sharma said COP 26 had demonstrated countries can rise above differences to unite against a common challenge, and that the multilateral process can deliver. He said the Glasgow outcome keeps 1.5°C in reach, and called on parties to translate commitments into rapid action.

Guinea, for the G-77/CHINA, said Glasgow’s outcome is a result of compromise and constructive cooperation. He recalled the principles of equity and CBDR and said fighting climate change means fighting poverty and creating a better life for all, particularly the six billion people that the Group represents.

The EU expressed gratitude for a balanced and ambitious outcome, saying this COP was a step in the right direction, while acknowledging the need to do more, including aligning financial flows with low-emissions and climate-resilient development and scaling up support for adaptation and loss and damage.

Switzerland, for the EIG, invoking the image of the “Glasgow train,” highlighted the need to “drive the electric train engine at full speed,” cautioning that “the rail tracks are not fully built yet.”

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, underscored the critical role of finance in supporting developing countries’ net zero transitions, and highlighted the need to align all finance flows with a pathway towards low-emissions and climate-resilient development. She recognized the need to scale up efforts on adaptation, including in terms of finance.

Bhutan, for the LDCs, said they left Glasgow with an acceptable package, even though it cannot protect the lives and livelihoods of their people. She expressed disappointment that a loss and damage facility was not an outcome of this COP, urged developed countries to increase grant-based adaptation finance, but recognized the progress on the GGA and looked forward to proactively engaging with the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme.

Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, said the decision on Article 6 is a major compromise for the AOSIS position and the technical assistance is only a minor part of the overall solution to loss and damage. She welcomed the two-year programme on the GGA and was pleased that the ocean has been given recognition in the cover decisions.

Peru, for AILAC, welcomed the decision on gender and women, which can allow parties to see progress on the Lima Work Programme, but regretted little tangible progress on loss and damage. Underscoring the significance of having the 1.5°C goal to guide global climate action, she said decisions on finance provide a window of opportunity to define a new collective goal to mobilize “billions to trillions.”

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, expressed satisfaction with the package, which he said was concluded in a balanced manner.

India, for BASIC, said his group had committed themselves to serious climate action, notwithstanding domestic challenges, calling on developed countries to step up. He expressed concern about the lack of a predictable and scaled funding pipeline for adaptation, and stressed the importance of the operationalization of Article 6.

Argentina, for ABU, observed that the non-delivery of the USD 100 billion annual target has affected trust in this process, and expressed expectation that COP 27 will bring honest discussions on the need to align financial flows with the Paris goals. She lamented unmet expectations on loss and damage and promised continued, strong support for the development of this agenda item.

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK said that political leaders failed the litmus test to provide finance for loss and damage and called for a rapid and equitable “phase-out, not phase-down” of fossil fuels through a just transition, underscoring incremental progress is insufficient. She highlighted COP 26 was one of the most exclusionary COPs in the history of the UNFCCC process.

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE called COP 26’s outcomes an “utter betrayal” to the millions of people who already suffer from climate change and lamented that profits were valued over the lives of black, brown, and Indigenous Peoples. He underscored the “immorality” for the rich to talk about their future children and grandchildren when children in the Global South are dying now.

FARMERS called on governments to translate the outcomes of the KJWA into national plans, noting that farmers are at the forefront of climate change and are key to ensuring food security and contributing to mitigation and adaptation.

RINGOs commended the importance of science in decision making in the cover decisions, noted the importance of evidence-based action, and encouraged governments to continue to increase their support to researchers in different nations and disciplines.

TUNGOs lamented loopholes in Article 6, the lack of guarantee on climate finance for developing countries, limited progress on adaptation, and no financial instrument for loss and damage. Noting that labor rights are human rights, he urged parties to work towards just transition by creating millions of quality jobs through climate action.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES said the first gathering of Indigenous knowledge holders marked an institutional shift towards meaningful engagement, and welcomed the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in some provisions of the Article 6 decisions. She expressed disappointment at the lack of an independent grievance mechanism.

LGMAs lamented that COP 26 did not result in a meaningful outcome on loss and damage, and called for partnership and investments from the Global North for climate action by local governments and municipal authorities in Africa.

WOMEN AND GENDER said net-zero pledges without concrete emissions reduction plans and adequate legally-binding commitments to protect human rights are simply “greenwashing.” She said feminists, Indigenous Peoples, and grassroots women came to this COP with solutions that embody a holistic understanding of our relationships to the land and ecosystems, but governments prioritize large corporations producing nothing but hot air.

YOUNGOs, lamenting the last-minute, non-transparent change to phase down unabated coal, said 1.5°C is dying, and so are our children. They said they are the generation that takes action without waiting for COPs to enable change, and urged, “if you do not have the capacity to take the lead yourselves, do what is right: follow us.” 

BINGOs reminded that much needs to be done to finalize the work programme on Article 6, urging continued discussions to build confidence so it can function in the real economy. She said markets have the potential to drive emissions reduction at scale with efficiency and environmental integrity, and stated the private sector stands ready to bring needed investments.

President Sharma gaveled the COP, the CMP, and the CMA to a close by 11:30 pm on Saturday, 13 November 2021.

 

A Brief Analysis of COP 26

“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.”  – Hamlet

The Glasgow Climate Change Conference was tasked with turning words to action. As the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) after the Paris Agreement formally took over from the Kyoto Protocol, it shouldered a heavy burden: to show that the Paris Agreement could mount an effective response to the climate crisis.

To add to the burden, the world had changed since the parties last met in Madrid in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic brought hardship on many, and shone a stark light on equity, including vaccine and travel inequities that led delegates from the Global South to worry about their ability to participate in the COP, effectively and safely. While people and countries struggled with the health crisis, the climate crisis also proved deadly. The first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Sixth Assessment Report, released in August 2021, again highlighted the irreversible impacts of climate change and what lies ahead. The International Energy Agency reported that emissions increased during the pandemic and look to be the second-largest annual increase in history.

Announcing the Glasgow Climate Pact, COP 26 President Alok Sharma said it “charts a course for the world to deliver on the promises made in Paris,” and parties “have kept 1.5°C alive.” However, parties differ in their views as to what constitutes ambition, and whether COP 26 actually kept 1.5°C within reach. Although the Glasgow outcome had something for everyone, like all balanced packages it also contained a “bitter pill for each to swallow,” in the words of one delegate. In the closing plenary, accordingly, every delegate who spoke expressed disappointment, but also highlighted some element that, for them, represented progress.

COP 26 revealed that countries hold varied visions of ambition, among each other and apart from civil society and scientists. Looking ahead to COP 27 and beyond, managing these divides may be the greatest challenge the UNFCCC faces.

The Pandemic COP

“If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; if not this parting was well made.” – Julius Caeser

The Glasgow meeting was the first multilateral environment meeting to go ahead in-person since the pandemic ground multilateralism to a near halt. Communications lie at the heart of negotiations. Among 197 parties, spread across time zones around the world, online communication had proved challenging over the past two years. Many negotiators remarked that they enjoyed “being back in the room together” again, thrashing out agreement from divergent positions. In fact, despite the daily testing and distanced seating, old habits die hard and non-socially-distant huddles soon returned to meeting room and plenary floors.

At the same time, a number of observers condemned the COP as “the most exclusionary ever”—contradicting the UK Presidency’s assurances. Although nearly 40,000 delegates were accredited, the Scottish Event Campus maxed out at 10,000 due to pandemic-related restrictions (and narrow corridors), leaving delegates to follow the proceedings on the bespoke online platform. Long wait times in tight crowds at the venue’s entrance and limited access to the negotiations gave rise to questions asking why, if hybrid facilities existed, delegates had been required to travel to Glasgow—for some a life-threatening, costly journey.

Countries, too, decried a lack of inclusivity. The largest non-plenary rooms held 144 socially distanced seats, fewer than the number of parties to the Paris Agreement. Participation rules were enforced differently from one room and one day to the next, with profound hiccups, for instance when the AOSIS coordinator was refused entry to a negotiating session. Several parties also raised concerns that the Presidency consultations became “increasingly less inclusive” as time went on, with many condemning that they were asked not to reopen text in the closing plenary, while others’ concerns were addressed. At the end of the day, as one delegate noted, “it could have been worse”: while several delegates had to self-isolate due to COVID-19, the worst-case scenario of a mass outbreak did not come to pass.

The UN system watched this meeting closely. While the UK government has yet to publish infection data, if it is seen as a success, other multilateral meetings may soon resume in person.

Ambitious Expectations

“Talking isn’t doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds.”  – Henry VIII

COP 26 took place amid increasingly impatient calls from civil society and science for transformative change. The media coverage of COP 26 was the most extensive ever. Civil society’s presence was stronger than ever, with large marches on both the first Friday and Saturday. Greta Thunberg declared the COP to be “blah, blah, blah.” Both COP 26 President Alok Sharma and US Climate Envoy John Kerry billed the conference as “the last best hope to save the planet.”

Perhaps the leaders were pushing for better outcomes with such rhetoric. In the weeks before the COP, a UNFCCC synthesis report found NDCs would increase emissions 16% by 2030 relative to 2010. Developed countries also admitted that they would not meet their promise of delivering and mobilizing USD 100 billion by 2020. A political push for greater mitigation is needed, but how to do this and who should mitigate? On the first question, the Presidency innovated. On the second, parties showed different views of what ambitious climate actions means.

To the “drive for 1.5°C,” the Presidency tried to mix sparkle with substance, with limited success. The host of big-name speakers from fields as diverse as arts and entertainment, business and finance provided the sparkle. Idris Elba, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sir David Attenborough, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos were given the big stage at Presidency events. While engagement and outreach can play a positive role in climate action, especially if working with those with deep pockets, one long-time delegate worried that “these PR stunts distract that from the real work we are here to do: implement the Paris Agreement.”

It was left to world leaders to try to bring more substantive ambition through a host of pledges and commitments on methane, forests, finance, and emissions reductions. Estimates from the International Energy Agency suggested that these pledges, if fulfilled, could mean 1.8°C by 2100 is within reach, although Climate Action Tracker scaled this back to a more sober 2.4°C. Many asked about the accountability and credibility of pledges made by leaders who then flew away. If countries are serious, then why are these commitments not reflected in NDCs?

There is no place for mitigation on the formal intergovernmental agenda, even when countries are expected to submit new or updated NDCs. Like the 2019 Madrid COP, the Presidency asked parties to negotiate cover decisions that would provide an overall narrative to the COP and open up an opportunity to ask for more. In these talks, a key ask that proved contentious was accelerating the Paris ambition cycle, from five-yearly cycles to an annual submission of new NDCs. While parties retained the five-year cycle, there was a strong call for countries to “revisit and strengthen” their 2030 targets in the coming year.

A surprise ambition, for many, was the call to phase out coal and fossil fuel subsidies. In the final hours, India and China, after a back-room conversation with the US, toned down the language from “phasing out” to “phasing down” unabated coal. The latter implies a slower, incomplete transition. But, as observers were quick to praise, this is the first COP decision that mentions fossil fuels subsidies by name. One remembered a partnership announced early in the COP between South Africa and various developed countries to support a just energy transition, and wondered whether the subsidies phase-out would have been an issue if a similar agreement existed with China and India. A seasoned delegate also noted with surprise the strong words of the EU’s Frans Timmermans on ending coal when this is far from being achieved in the EU itself.

Such discontinuities between words and deeds led a delegate from a climate-vulnerable nation to accuse richer countries of “speaking from two sides of their mouths: they make flashy announcements with no accountability, then they sit in the finance room and say there’s nothing more they can possibly do.” As one developing country group recalled, ambition is not only about mitigation ambition, but also about adaptation ambition and, most importantly, ambition of support. How, they asked, can developing countries build their economies with neither fossil fuels nor support for cleaner alternatives?

On support, trust was low. Developing countries pushed to keep the achievement of the USD 100 billion per year by 2020 goal on the agenda. Developed countries admitted they would not meet the goal until 2023, prompting accusations that they shirked their obligations. Such bad blood tinged the negotiations on the new post-2025 finance goal. The African Group staked its claim between USD 750 billion and 1.3 trillion, while developed countries kept quiet on the figure, calling not to prejudge the outcome of deliberations. The finance outcomes give developing country groups some of what they wanted: a doubling of adaptation finance; keeping the USD 100 billion goal on the agenda until 2027; and establishing an “ad hoc work programme” to deliberate on the new finance goal. The US and others continued to offer reassurances that support was forthcoming.

Reassurances were necessary because developing countries will start implementing new decisions under the Paris rulebook. Glasgow succeeded where Madrid failed: it completed the last pieces of the Enhanced Transparency Framework and Article 6 (cooperative approaches). From the first informal consultations on Article 6 in Glasgow, there was determination to agree on an outcome. One long-time observer lauded the result, saying that the pillars of the new mechanism are stronger than in Madrid and will enable countries to use offshore credits to achieve their NDCs.

Of course, everyone had to swallow their bitter pills. Small island states and least developed countries did not secure a larger share of proceeds for adaptation or mandatory cancellation of credits. Countries concerned about environmental integrity were not happy that countries can carry over some Kyoto-era Clean Development Mechanism units to help meet Paris-era goals. But, as one expert observed, such “hot air” credits will be relatively few relative to the projected huge demand for credits. Meanwhile, some observers worried about the lack of human rights and Indigenous rights protections, for instance the lack of references to free, prior, and informed consent. As one put it, “this is another carbon market disaster for human rights.” If the ambition was to complete the rulebook, it was met, albeit with caveats.

The “Loss and Damage COP”

“Who can be patient in extremes?” –  Henry VI, Part III

Alongside the perennial issues of finance and mitigation ambition, delegates again debated loss and damage—harms caused by climate change that are irreversible or impossible to adapt to. On the UNFCCC radar since raised by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in 1991, this issue has been a slow burn, with agreement on the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage only in 2013. In 2019 in Madrid, parties established the Santiago Network on loss and damage, and a key question in Glasgow was how this Network would be operationalized. Looming larger was the question of whether and how finance could be provided to those already experiencing permanent climate damage. Here, Glasgow stumbled. Even a relatively smooth agreement on a robust work programme to operationalize the global goal on adaptation, something developed countries argued was duplicative two years ago, couldn’t quiet the calls for loss and damage finance.

The most vulnerable parties pushed hard for finance for loss and damage. Richer countries pushed back equally hard, cautioning not to replicate existing assistance, for instance on humanitarian aid. The G-77/China suggested a financial facility for loss and damage, while developed countries, particularly the US, countered with a technical assistance facility. Neither option was in the final agreement, which merely establishes a dialogue. Developing countries clarified that the dialogue should result in the establishment of a financial facility. Civil society observers termed the outcome “an utter betrayal” to the millions of people already suffering from climate change. But vulnerable nations ultimately decided to accept the package. As the Marshall Islands said, “We can’t go back to our country with nothing.”

Yet, pressure on developed countries is rising, not only from developing countries and civil society. Scotland pledged GBP 2 million in loss and damage finance with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explicitly naming the issue as one of “reparations.” Whether or not to provide finance is the question. Next year at COP 27 in Egypt, many already expect it to be a “loss and damage COP” and hope developed countries will come with a mandate to negotiate on loss and damage finance.

All Aboard the Glasgow Train?

“What is past is prologue” – The Tempest

In one sense it was poetic that COP 26 was held in Glasgow, home to James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine. What’s more, the city built its wealth on the back of the transatlantic slave trade and its sugar, tea, and cotton, which fueled European workers under the Industrial Revolution. Hence, Glasgow is indelibly implicated in the start of the rise of GHG emissions. Perhaps, then, it is a fitting station from which the “Glasgow Train of Ambition”—as Tuvalu called it—departs.

The question now is how this train is going to speed up. Small island states warned, we have 96 months to reach our low-emissions destination, Switzerland said “The tracks are not fully built.” Action will need to be national, on more ambitious NDCs and for developed countries to step up on finance; and multilateral, to work out details on the post-2025 finance goal, loss and damage, and the global goal on adaptation. All ambitions, however conceived, must be fulfilled for countries to move in lockstep. And as this electric train moves forward at full speed into the future, many of its passengers will be keeping one eye on history. Ignoring the needs of the vulnerable undermines the global effort. One thing that is clear is that the Glasgow Train needs to provide seats for all its passengers.

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