Report of main proceedings for 10 June 2022

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2022

As the Bonn Climate Change Conference reached the halfway mark, negotiators considered draft decision text and mandated events continued. The first Technical Dialogue of the Global Stocktake included roundtables and a “world café” that brought delegates and scientists together in a new, informal setting. At a midday briefing, the incoming Egyptian Presidency addressed concerns from civil society about the inclusivity of COP 27.

Contact Groups and Informal Consultations

Training programme for review experts for the technical review of greenhouse gas inventories of parties included in Annex I to the Convention: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Harry Vreuls (the Netherlands) recalled that SBSTA 50 agreed to extend the implementation of the training programme to the end of 2022. Highlighting the upcoming availability of training courses for technical expert reviews under the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) of the Paris Agreement, he suggested parties could either decide that there is no need for a further extension of training under the Convention, or decide on modalities for an extension.

Discussions centered on two aspects: ensuring reviewer availability for 2023, which is the last year before reporting starts under the ETF, and for reviewing potential future reports by parties that would withdraw from the Paris Agreement. While developed countries favored concluding consideration of this item, developing countries noted they were not yet ready to take such a decision. A developing country group underscored interlinkages between a decision on this item and the item on reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Annex I parties. There was general convergence on a proposal to keep the self-paced online training courses, and related examination, available. Co-Facilitator Vreuls invited groups to consult with each other before the next informal consultations.

Training programme for review experts for the technical review of biennial reports and national communications of parties included in Annex I to the Convention: Discussions under this item largely mirrored those on the training programme on the GHG inventory reviews. Several developed countries hoped to find agreement at this meeting. They anticipated that keeping the existing online courses available would not require many resources, requesting clarification by the Secretariat on budgetary implications. They also expressed that, even without further training, the reviewer pool should be adequate to cover future review needs. A developing country group expressed confidence that agreement might be found once there is a decision on reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Annex I parties. Co-Facilitator Jae Hyuk Jung (Republic of Korea) invited parties’ submissions.

Revision of the modalities and procedures for international assessment and review: Revision of the modalities and guidelines for international consultation and analysis: In the joint informal consultations on these items, Co-Facilitator Helen Plume (New Zealand) invited parties’ views on draft conclusions, including separate draft decisions for each agenda item that follow the same approach. She noted the suggestion to synchronize possible further reviews of the guidelines with the review of the MPGs in 2028, which delegates welcomed. Discussions centered on how to address reporting requirements for parties to the Convention that would no longer be parties to the Paris Agreement. They converged on referencing specific paragraphs from decision 1/CP.24 that clarify the matter. The Co-Facilitator will forward the draft conclusions to the SBI Chair.

Matters relating to the work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation: In informal consultations, Carlos Fuller (Belize) invited parties’ views on an informal note prepared by the co-facilitators. He noted it captures participants’ suggestions on the work programme’s guiding principles, objectives, and modalities, among others.

Many parties agreed that the note broadly captures parties’ views. They made a number of suggestions about additional aspects which could be included, including on:

  • the relationships between the work programme, the Paris Agreement, and the Convention;
  • whether the work programme should continue until 2030, or only focus on the next year;
  • equity, national circumstances, and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities;
  • whether or not a draft decision should contain any guiding principles; and
  • using the Glasgow Climate Pact as the basis of the scope and objectives of the work programme.

One developing country party group strongly opposed a sectoral approach, noting that “the real problems are emissions, not sources.”

Guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6. 2 of the Paris Agreement: Parties continued consideration of guidelines for the review, including regarding format, modalities, and the composition of the expert review team. Parties expressed divergent views on the scope of the review. Many developing countries asserted that the Article 6.2 review should be primarily qualitative and focus on the consistency and completeness of information submitted by the parties, whereas the Article 6.4 review would be primarily quantitative, focusing on emission reductions achieved under that mechanism. Several developed countries disagreed, stating that the reviews under Article 6 should be both quantitative and qualitative, include all information and documents submitted, and not feature exemptions for any country or activity type.

Parties also considered the mechanism infrastructure, including guidance for registries, accounting, and reporting. Parties suggested, inter alia: national registries established by all parties plus an international registry; bilateral or multilateral registries; an interconnected national registry system; and a reporting platform. Most parties supported requesting the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper containing options for the infrastructure to assist the parties in future deliberations.

Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement: Parties continued discussion of elements necessary for operationalizing the Article 6.4 mechanism. On the reporting of Article 6.4 activities and emission reductions issued for the activities, several parties suggested requesting the Secretariat to prepare a paper identifying overlaps and gaps between the Article 6.2 and 6.4 reporting requirements.

On consideration of whether the Article 6.4 mechanism could include emissions avoidance and conservation enhancement activities, several parties said such activities are not a priority for them. Some developing countries noted that “emissions avoidance” is not officially defined or clearly understood. They pointed out that activities related to, for instance, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation fall under “emission reductions” and are already classified as mitigation activities. Other countries supported consideration of the issue, noting that there are some avoidance projects included under the CDM, such as methane avoidance projects.

Regarding the process for implementing the use of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) towards the first or first updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), one party said such CERs should first be de-registered from the CDM registry before being registered in the Article 6.4 registry. Several parties underlined the need for clear labeling of such CERs, not as Article 6.4 emission reductions, but as “pre-2021” credits or reductions. One developed country, opposed by some developing countries, said the 2% cancellation of mitigation outcomes to achieve overall mitigation in global emissions should also apply to such transitioned CERs.

The co-facilitators will prepare an informal note capturing progress, as well as draft conclusions on input for possible intersessional work, for discussion by parties at the next informal consultations.

Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund: Co-Facilitator Eva Schreuder (the Netherlands) solicited parties’ views on draft SBI conclusion text and requested guidance on how to move forward with work during this session. Parties agreed to proceed on the basis of the text. Developed countries requested to add a reference to the Adaptation Fund’s Gender Policy and Action Plan.

On continuing work at this session, parties agreed not to begin work on a draft decision of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), preferring instead to wait for the Secretariat to complete a technical paper on the review process. Noting the timeline for the fourth review foresees the technical paper be made available for CMP.17/CMA.4, some parties suggested the subsequent paper on the fifth review should already inform discussions at the mid-year subsidiary bodies meeting.

Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: Co-Facilitator Kaarle Kupiainen (Finland) invited views on draft decision text. Parties broadly agreed to the general elements of the text and suggested line-by-line edits. Several parties suggested adding references to regional balance. A developing country group reiterated the need to translate information and knowledge products into all UN languages, with others calling for translation into additional languages. Discussion will continue in “informal informals.”

Gender and climate change: Co-Facilitators Salka Sigurðardóttir (United Kingdom) and Juan Carlos Monterrey Gómez (Panama) solicited parties’ views on the second iteration of the draft decision text. Delegates expressed their views on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, suggesting additions and deletions as well as opportunities for streamlining. Delegates queried terms such as “masculinities,” had discussions about a non-binary understanding of gender, and debated the merits and disadvantages of virtual means of participation. Many underscored that attention to gender balance should be pursued throughout, not only on Gender Day, and called for a broader ownership of the subject beyond delegates engaged in these specific negotiations. The co-facilitators will prepare a new iteration of text.

Research and systematic observation: Co-Facilitators Ladislaus Chang’a (Tanzania) and Christiane Textor (Germany) invited views on elements to include in draft conclusions. Participants raised a number of elements, including but not limited to:

  • expressing their appreciation for the recent events held by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Groups II and III;
  • calling for downscaled regional climate models for enhanced early warning;
  • including reference to carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, with many parties noting that such technologies remain too premature to be deployed at scale; and
  • noting a deep concern for the state of the climate system, gaps in attribution science, increasing loss and damage, and approaching limits to adaptation.

Matters relating to the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures: This contact group was co-chaired by Charles Fraser (United Kingdom) and Andrei Marcu (Papua New Guinea).

Saudi Arabia, for G-77/CHINA; Ghana, for the AFRICAN GROUP; and others stressed that there is not enough time available to complete all the intended tasks, namely considering: the midterm review of the workplan of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures and its Katowice Committee on Impacts (KCI); the KCI’s most recent report; and the KCI’s first activity, which took place at COP 26.

On the elements of the midterm review, the USA, AUSTRALIA, and the EU noted that work should be carried out in accordance with the principles of human rights; Indigenous and local knowledge; and the best available science. The AFRICAN GROUP noted that activities must have on-the-ground components, and should work from concrete examples and develop case studies. The Maldives, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), pressed for further scrutiny on transborder issues such as border carbon adjustments. PAPUA NEW GUINEA requested concrete examples of work beyond principles that should be integrated, specifically requesting that Australia, the US, and the EU, all of whom have industrial interests in her country, bring these to the next session.

A significant portion of the session was spent discussing the way forward. The co-chairs will consult the SB Chairs about additional time for deliberations, and requested submissions from parties on the two remaining issues for the group to consider.

Arrangements for intergovernmental meetings: SBI Chair Karlsen chaired this contact group, in which parties and observers shared views on process improvements.

Among other speakers, Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, supported by others, lamented the large number of agenda items. She called for using headline agenda items such as mitigation, adaptation, and transparency, to clarify what subject discussions relate to. CHILE, supported by others, considered that the lack of agreement on rules of procedure and the absence of voting is one of the reasons the UNFCCC is a slow process. Bhutan, for LDCs, suggested developing standard operating procedures for COP hosts to follow. Many supported inviting a reflection paper, tapping into the experience of former Executive Secretaries and looking at examples from other multilateral processes. YOUTH NGOs suggested a system for push notifications to keep track of changes in meeting times and rooms.

In the Corridors

Perhaps it’s the sunlight and warm weather in Bonn, but as the conference reaches its midway point, eyes have begun to turn towards Sharm el-Sheikh. In many negotiating rooms, delegates worked line-by-line through decision text to be adopted at COP 27. Even before the final session of the Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage, conversation is already percolating among participants on the likelihood of a finance facility as the major outcome in Egypt.

Yet for all these thoughts of the future, long-simmering concerns about the COP’s inclusiveness are also bubbling up to the surface. The Egyptian Presidency faced rigorous questioning at a briefing on logistics. For the first time, countries joined the chorus of those fearing they will be locked out by high prices. Calling on the Presidency to remember that “this COP is an African COP,” one African delegate lamented the “not very precise” assurances he heard from the incoming Presidency that hotel costs would be kept reasonable.

Another speaker reminded the Presidency that the COP is not just “some kind of commercial exercise.” If logistical barriers are not resolved, “it will be a crisis.”

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