Report of main proceedings for 13 June 2022

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2022

With only a few days left until the end of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, discussions on a number of agenda items are going into overtime, with delegates requesting additional slots for informal consultations and convening “informal informals” to iron out outstanding issues. Finance negotiators met for the Second Technical Expert Dialogue on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance.

Contact Groups and Informal Consultations

Guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement: Co-Facilitators Kuki Soejachmoen (Indonesia) and Peer Stiansen (Norway) introduced an informal note containing parties’ views on the six elements the SBSTA was requested to consider in relation to the Article 6.2 cooperative approaches: review, infrastructure, reporting, special circumstances of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and small island developing states, corresponding adjustments, and emission avoidance. They also introduced draft conclusions outlining possible intersessional work. Parties discussed the informal note, with a focus on ensuring it effectively captures all views. They suggested including reference to, inter alia:

  • qualitative and quantitative reviews of information submitted by parties;
  • data security issues in relation to the international registry;
  • tracking the share of proceeds and corresponding adjustments; and
  • timelines for implementing capacity-building activities.

The co-facilitators will produce a second iteration of the text incorporating parties’ comments.

Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement: Co-Facilitators Kate Hancock (Australia) and Mandy Rambharos (South Africa) introduced: the co-facilitators’ informal note containing parties’ views on the rules, modalities, and procedures for the Article 6.4 mechanism; and draft conclusions containing recommendations for intersessional work, such as technical workshops and submissions by parties and observer organizations.

Parties considered the informal note, suggesting areas for improved clarity in language, and also requesting reference to, among other things:

  • whether the share of proceeds and corresponding adjustments would apply to all activities under the mechanism, or would exclude Clean Development Mechanism activities that transition to the mechanism and emission reductions that are not authorized by the host party;
  • respective roles of the Article 6.4 supervisory body, the SBSTA, and the Adaptation Fund; and
  • timing and procedure for the first transfer of Article 6.4 emission reductions.

On the draft conclusions, parties discussed the number of technical papers to be prepared by the Secretariat. Some suggested combining Article 6.2 and Article 6.4 technical papers, while many others preferred keeping these separate but combining some of the six suggested technical papers under Article 6.4. Parties also discussed whether to hold the technical workshops in a virtual, in-person, or hybrid format, and whether to hold them immediately prior to COP 27 or earlier in the intersessional period.

The co-facilitators will revise the informal note based on the discussions.

Revision of the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention: Co-Facilitator Daniela Romano (Italy) invited views on an informal note. She explained that the note contains two options: either a single paragraph to the effect that parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Paris Agreement shall use the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) of the Enhanced Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement in their reporting; or a suite of paragraphs addressing the issue of harvested wood products, the web-application for the common reporting format, and the submission deadline for annual greenhouse gas inventories for Annex I parties in 2024.

Discussions mostly related to the submission deadline. Several developed countries preferred to set it at 31 December 2024, to align it with reporting under the Paris Agreement. A developing country group preferred an earlier date, indexed to the availability of the web application.

The co-facilitators will prepare draft decision text.

Common metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of greenhouse gases: Marina Vitullo (Italy) and Felipe Díaz (Chile) invited parties’ views on draft SBSTA conclusions and a draft COP decision. They noted that the draft conclusions contain two options: either conclude the consideration of the matter, which several developed countries favored, or continue it at SBSTA 57, which many developing countries preferred.

Regarding the use of Global Warming Potential (GWP) values, several developing country groups opposed references to decisions by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), noting this item relates to the Convention.

Delegates debated a developing country group’s proposal to invite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to present its findings on metrics upon the finalization of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR 6). Several developed countries cautioned that the AR 6 Synthesis Report might be delayed and noted that a review of the MPGs is scheduled for 2028.

Several groups and parties said the issue of common metrics relates to more than inventory reports, highlighting its relevance for climate policy design. One developed country suggested concluding consideration of common metrics under the item of methodological issues and instead consider it more broadly under matters related to science and review. Several groups and parties expressed openness to discuss the proposal.

Discussions continued in an “informal informal.”

Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport: Co-Facilitators Martin Cames (Germany) and Pacifica F. Achieng Ogola (Kenya) presented draft conclusion text for parties’ input.

Parties were unable to agree on a way forward. Many developed country parties supported the co-facilitators’ text. A developing country group, opposed by several developed country parties, proposed adding a paragraph on highlighting the importance of reducing emissions and addressing all aspects of the Convention in the aviation and maritime transport sectors. One party recommended deleting the paragraph altogether.

The co-facilitators will seek further time slots for discussions.

Matters relating to reporting and review under Article 13 of the Paris Agreement: Co-Facilitator Yamikani Idriss (Malawi) introduced draft decision text and delineated further proposals for revising the text. Delegates generally supported deleting a reference to “other constituted bodies,” noting the Consultative Group of Experts already has the mandate to consult with these. They debated paragraphs on the role, scope, and objective of the voluntary reviews, with a developing country group encouraging clarity on the differences between these aspects. A developing country group suggested rewording a preambular paragraph to clarify that the reviews play an important role in informing the Global Stocktake (GST), but would not themselves consider collective progress towards the global goal on adaptation (GGA) or actions related to loss and damage. Several developed countries added that the reviews and identification of improvements pertain to the reported information, not the adequacy of adaptation actions.

Delegates diverged on whether parties should be able to choose elements to be reviewed. A developing country group noted it would make the review less onerous, whereas several developed countries preferred that the reviews cover all elements, noting this would foster capacity building. Parties also debated whether the outcome of the voluntary review should be presented as a separate section of, or an annex to, the overall technical expert review report.

A supplementary session of informal consultations was scheduled at parties’ request.

Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund: Co-Facilitator Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda) solicited parties’ views on the second iteration of the draft conclusions. Parties disagreed about whether and how to refer to “accessibility” as an objective of the fourth review. Some developed countries suggested referring to the “access modalities of the Fund.” Developing countries opposed, arguing this narrows the scope of the review unnecessarily. A developed country, supported by others, opposed language on “grant-based finance,” arguing that it introduces new language and prejudges discussions about broadening the Fund’s funding instruments. Developing countries preferred retaining the language, noting the review is “backward-looking” and that its findings will thus not prejudge any future changes. Parties also disagreed about how to best address the issue of timing around the preparation of the technical paper to inform the fifth review. A developing country group called for an additional informal consultation to resolve these issues.

Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation: Co-Facilitators Patience Damptey (Ghana) and Bastiaan Hassing (the Netherlands) presented draft text for parties’ consideration. Several parties expressed disappointment that their views had not been captured in the co-facilitators’ draft, and asked to make textual suggestions.

Once text was put on screen and parties began making suggestions, several parties raised a point of order, noting that transcribing only certain parties’ text would create a false equivalency with the co-facilitators’ text.

Parties will submit written suggestions and discussions will continue.

National adaptation plans: Co-Facilitator Giza Gaspar Martins (Angola) invited parties to share views on draft decision text. A developed country, supported by others, preferred to remove text requesting the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to consider how to expedite approval of projects to implement priorities identified in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). These countries argued that there is another process for providing guidance to operating entities. Developed countries suggested noting the “challenges, complexities, and delays” experienced by parties in accessing support from the GCF for NAPs. Parties suggested noting the contribution of NAPs to the ongoing work of the Adaptation Committee (AC) and the LDC Expert Group (LEG). A developing country group opposed, arguing that the AC and LEG support NAP implementation. The developing country party clarified that it sees the relationship as a “circle” and a “learning process” whereby the AC and LEG support the NAPs but also draw lessons from their implementation. Discussions continued in “informal informals.”

Matters relating to the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures: Parties considered new draft text on the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures, making suggestions for improvements. One party proposed requesting a concrete outcome, such as a toolkit on just transition, as well as references to global changes since the work plan was agreed in 2019.

One developing country requested that a paragraph taking note of a number of reports be divided into two, separating the documents that parties have discussed from those that are yet to be considered. She said parties should do more than “take note” of the documents that have been discussed, and called for highlighting key messages. Several developing country parties also requested specification of the topics to be discussed at COP 27.

Gender and climate change: Parties continued considering draft decision text on the intermediate review of progress in implementing the Gender Action Plan (GAP).

Developing country groups emphasized the need for financial support to implement the GAP. One developing country group suggested an additional paragraph requesting that the Convention’s constituted bodies and Financial Mechanism prioritize the enhanced Lima Work Programme in their work and report on progress at COP 28. A developed country, supported by many, proposed bilateral discussions on the Financial Mechanism’s role in providing means of implementation for the GAP.

A developing country requested the deletion of paragraphs on new monitoring and reporting requirements. Parties also streamlined preambular text, and agreed to delete a disputed paragraph on promoting capacity-building initiatives within government and other institutions involved in climate policy and action. Views diverged on whether to hold workshops in person or virtually, with developing countries citing accessibility concerns for virtual work.

Discussions will continue informally.

Arrangements for intergovernmental meetings: SBI Chair Marianne Karlsen invited parties’ views on draft text. Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and Antigua and Barbuda, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), supported by others, emphasized timely visa issuance as a key issue.

With regard to speaking time for observers, the EU called for encouraging presiding officers to emulate the speaking order applied in the opening plenary of the GST technical dialogue: group statements first, followed by alternating statements by observer and individual parties.

AOSIS called for data on observer organizations’ regional balance. She also asked whether observers accredited in the past still meet the accreditation criteria today, with the Secretariat clarifying there is no review or revocation process in place.

Delegates debated holding a workshop on increasing the efficiency of the UNFCCC process in enhancing ambition and strengthening implementation. Initially preferring submissions over holding a workshop, CHINA underscored that a potential workshop should ensure balance between observers from developed and developing countries, and be conducted virtually to reduce costs. Bangladesh, for the G-77/CHINA, supported a virtual workshop with balanced participation, and called for inviting former Executive Secretaries to attend.

Other points, related to, among others: timely document submission; time management in meetings; and encouraging parties to consider receiving textual proposals from observers.

Chair Karlsen will prepare a new iteration of text.

Mandated Events

Second Technical Expert Dialogue under the Ad hoc Work Programme on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance: Stressing that the “financial needs of developing countries will not be met with grand and unsubstantiated pledges,” Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said the new climate finance goal “must be deliverable.”

Michael Button, COP 26 Presidency, emphasized that “the time to act is closing fast,” and that developed countries must continue to work together to deliver on the USD 100 billion per year goal.

Co-Chair Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) pointed to the co-chairs’ reflection note on the first Technical Expert Dialogue, and said the second Dialogue aims to identify a roadmap for 2022, including milestones and topics for “deep dives.”

In a panel discussion, Dipak Dasgupta, The Energy and Resources Institute, highlighted key barriers to mobilizing climate finance, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, debt burdens, and climate impacts.

Zaheer Fakir, Co-Chair, Standing Committee on Finance, provided an overview of how the Committee’s current work programme intersects with topics addressed in the Dialogue, such as on developing countries’ needs, operational definitions of climate finance, and progress towards achieving the USD 100 billion per year goal.

Mariam Allam, Adaptation Committee, also highlighted how the Committee’s work intersects with the Dialogue, including on: identifying adaptation needs; developing methodologies for reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation and support; and developing country efforts to assess and meet costs of adaptation.

Participants then engaged in breakout group discussions to reflect on the “landscape of issues” raised in the co-chairs’ reflection note from the first Dialogue.

In the Corridors

It was a well-executed subterfuge: under the pretext of a heated complaint, observers demanded that Patricia Espinosa meet them for emergency deliberations… only for the outgoing Executive Secretary to be greeted by cheers, a celebratory cake, and heartfelt words of admiration for the one whose engagement has meant so much to civil society.

Many were effusive in their praise, profoundly grateful for having been treated “with the utmost respect” during her tenure. Those present noted that the Executive Secretary was visibly moved when she thanked them for the surprise, calling her time at the UNFCCC Secretariat the “culmination of her career.”

One thing is certain: whoever replaces Espinosa will have some big shoes to fill. She has made no secret of her own desire, mirrored by observers, that her successor be female—but the process is ongoing, and despite some not-so-subtle visits by former climate bigwigs, no hints have been dropped so far. Her advice to the eventual candidate? “Never give up. This is a cause that is worth every single effort.”

Further information

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