Daily report for 13 June 2023

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2023

With only two days remaining until the end of the 58th session of the Subsidiary Bodies, there is still no agreement in sight on the meeting’s agendas. Negotiations, however, continued largely undisturbed, including on the key issue of how to capture the outcome of the first Global Stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement.

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

National adaptation plans: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Antwi Boasiko (Ghana) and Jens Fugl (Denmark), parties continued discussing an informal note containing substantive elements of SBI conclusions. Parties requested changes related to, among others, adding references to science and Indigenous knowledge as providing guidance for developing national adaptation plans (NAPs).

Noting insufficient time to reach agreement on the substantive elements, parties converged on procedural conclusions, which specify consideration will continue at SB 59, including on the basis of the informal note from SBI 58.

Methodological issues under the Convention: Greenhouse gas data interface: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Thiago Mendes (Brazil) and Daniela Romano (Italy), parties were unable to agree on draft conclusions text concerning when to continue consideration of matters related to development of the GHG data interface, with options of SBSTA 60, 61, and 62 on the table. Some developing countries preferred SBSTA 62, citing data availability, while some developed countries considered that an unnecessary delay.

Subsidiary Body for Implementation

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: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Sandra Motshwanedi (South Africa) invited parties’ views on a revised informal note and suggested agreeing on short procedural conclusions that forward the note for further consideration at SB 59. Many parties questioned the use of brackets in the note, underscoring this is not the usual practice for a non-negotiated collection of views that has no formal status.

Several developing country groups called for inviting submissions on challenges faced by developing countries and proposals to address these. Several developed countries noted some of the proposed solutions listed in the note already exist. One developing country group emphasized this agenda item provides a space to evaluate support provided to developing countries to facilitate their participation in the Enhanced Transparency Framework, noting this goes beyond support by the Global Environment Facility and also encompasses other types of support, such as by the Secretariat.

The Co-Facilitators will consult with the SBI Chair on the way forward.

Agenda Items Considered Jointly by the SBSTA and SBI

Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation: During informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Janine Felson (Belize) invited parties’ views on three options for draft conclusions that differ with regard to how elements for the development of the framework are captured.

Many developing countries welcomed the first option, which features, as an annex, elements for the development of the framework. They called for the remaining workshop sessions to cover the development and use of targets, indicators, and metrics.

Several developed countries preferred the second option, which consists of procedural conclusions. They objected to the SBs taking note of the informal note and suggested inviting submissions on what to consider at the next workshops.

Matters relating to the Santiago network under the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Lucas di Pietro (Argentina). Reporting on discussions held in informal-informals, parties noted convergence on the structure and language of the draft COP and CMA decisions. Informal consultations will continue on the host recommendation.

Matters relating to the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement: Contact Group Co-Chairs Alison Campbell (UK) and Joseph Teo (Singapore) invited parties’ views on draft conclusions and a draft outline for the CMA 5 decision on the GST.

Most comments focused on the draft outline. Parties discussed whether to retain a section on “overarching messages,” with CHINA suggesting calling it “overarching information.”

CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, the US, and AUSTRALIA suggested moving a section on “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low-GHG emissions and climate-resilient development” above a section on means of implementation. Several developing countries, including CHINA, objected to the section on finance flows. The ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP (EIG) and others suggested combining the two sections.

CHINA objected to a section on “guidance,” but EIG and Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported the section.

The Co-Chairs encouraged delegates to discuss their views informally before the next meeting.

Work programme on just transition pathways referred to in decision 1/CMA.4: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Luisa Rölke (Germany) and Selam Kidane-Abebe (Zambia), parties continued exchanging views on a revised informal note, which many suggested could be streamlined. The Co-Facilitators also called for parties’ input on possible elements for draft conclusions.

Several developing countries emphasized just transition discussions are broader in scope than those on response measures. A developing country group opposed any reference to sources, noting the process’ focus on emissions and underscoring that developed countries do not live up to their own calls to phase out fossil fuels. Several developing countries emphasized the need to address poverty and reduce inequality within and between countries, noting this is the essence of just transition. Several parties called for inviting submissions ahead of CMA 5.

The Co-Facilitators will revise their informal note and prepare draft conclusions.

Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Lucia Perugini (Italy) and Milagros Sandoval (Peru), a developing country group introduced a proposal for the establishment of the group to facilitate coordination of the joint work, including detailed provisions on its mandate and rules of procedure.

Parties agreed to discuss the proposal in informal-informals.

Sharm el-Sheikh mitigation ambition and implementation work programme: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Carlos Fuller (Belize) and Kay Harrison (New Zealand). Some developing countries noted there was no agreement to include this issue on the agenda and it was therefore not appropriate for the Co-Facilitators to prepare text.

Many developing and developed countries stressed the need to capture the group’s discussions, including guidance for the organization and topics to be discussed at the second and subsequent dialogues and investment-focused events.

The Co-Facilitators will consult the SB Co-Chairs on the way forward.

Stocktaking Plenary

SBSTA Chair Harry Vreuls (the Netherlands) and SBI Chair Nabeel Munir (Pakistan) reviewed progress on all items on which work was launched on 5 June and invited delegates to reflect on progress to date.

Switzerland, for the EIG, said the SBs should take a decision on the host for the Santiago Network and expressed concern with the slow progress of the GST and the lack of robust ideas for adaptation. Supported by the EU, he said harassment and bullying at UNFCCC meetings is unacceptable.

The EU highlighted progress on: the conclusion of the GST technical dialogue; the launch of the mitigation ambition and implementation work programme; progress on naming the host for the Santiago Network; technical dialogues on the new finance goal; and discussions on adaptation.

Samoa, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), lamented that “tactics are being used to slow progress.” She welcomed the draft outline for the CMA 5 decision on the GST, and expressed hope that the lack of an agenda would not jeopardize the work on mitigation and the host for the Santiago Network would be selected soon.

Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, noted the mitigation work programme was mandated by CMA 4, expressed appreciation for the work to build consensus on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), and said the outcome on agriculture should be in line with the SBs’ mandate.

Costa Rica, for the INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (AILAC), called for an adequate outcome on the GGA in Dubai and a clear decision on the host for the Santiago Network.

Bolivia, for the LIKE-MINDED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), said the GST needs to take into account pre-2020 implementation. He emphasized moving the round tables on the operationalization of non-market approaches forward and lamented that developed countries only wanted a procedural decision on the GGA.

Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, expressed hope there would be progress on NAPs and the GGA. Senegal, for the LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs), expressed concern with the progress on the GGA and encouraged others to resolve as many issues as possible at SB 58.

BRAZIL called on the SBs to signal, in this first UNFCCC meeting after the adoption of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, that delegates are “hearing the science.”

Mandated Events and Other Sessions

Ocean and climate change dialogue: In opening remarks, Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, emphasized the need to regulate the carbon market, including with regard to nature-based solutions such as blue carbon. He underscored the importance of ocean science and cautioned on the risks of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell called upon participants to “blue the Paris Agreement” and exchange lessons learned to inform nationally determined contributions (NDCs), national adaptation plans (NAPs), and the GST.

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, INTERGOVERNMENTAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION OF THE UN EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO-IOC), emphasized the need for more effective coordination within the UN on ocean issues and underscored addressing land-based pollution, fostering low-carbon maritime transport, and protecting blue carbon ecosystems. Tristan Tyrrell, CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (CBD), noted parties to the CBD are in the process of revising their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in light of the Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in 2022 and said this is an opportunity to enhance synergies with other processes, such as the UNFCCC. Tarub Bahri, UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO), emphasized the sustainable expansion and intensification of aquaculture in food as a solution to undernourishment and micronutrient deficiencies and highlighted the importance of renewable energy in small scale fisheries’ value chains.

Participants then engaged in breakout group discussions on coastal ecosystem restoration, including blue carbon, and fisheries and food security.

Sixth Technical Expert Dialogue under the Ad hoc Work Programme on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance: Participants engaged in breakout group discussions, addressing sources of finance and the relation between the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) and Article 2.1.c of the Paris Agreement (aligning finance flows). Discussions related to, among others:

  • taking into account lessons learned from the USD100 billion goal, especially with regard to the mobilization of private finance;
  • accountability mechanisms for tracking work done by actors such as multilateral development banks and avoiding greenwashing by the private sector;
  • aligning finance flows not only with climate objectives, but also biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction; and
  • reducing harmful finance flows, as done in the context of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

As topics for future work, suggestions included: burden sharing arrangements between developed countries; barriers related to budgetary cycles in developed countries; and tracking the impacts of climate finance.

Participants emphasized the relevance of political guidance on: sources, timeframes, and the structure of the NCQG, and defining climate finance.

Third meeting of the technical dialogue under the first Global Stocktake: In the closing plenary, SBI Chair Munir stressed the GST is one of the most consequential events for the UNFCCC in 2023. SBSTA Chair Vreuls highlighted the innovative discussion formats used in the context of the technical dialogue and the online tool to harvest submitted information.

In closing remarks, Cuba, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed energy access, energy security, and food security need to be achieved in addition to the environmental goals. Switzerland, for the EIG, said equity issues should be captured in a multi-dimensional perspective. Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said equity is the lens for the different pathways parties will follow to achieve the Paris Agreements’ goals. Trinidad and Tobago, for AOSIS, called for highlighting, inter alia, the need to address equity between countries, intergenerationally, and within countries, and the need to enhance international cooperation and cooperation between states and non-state-actors. Malawi, for the LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs), said the GST outcomes should inform the NCQG.

The EU supported including a technical annex in the outcome. Saudi Arabia, for LMDCs, and Algeria, for the ARAB GROUP, opposed an annex. The LMDCs also said opportunities for action and the need for political trust should be highlighted.

CHINA, supported by ENVIRONMENTAL NGOs (ENGOs), called for capturing the IPCC’s findings on the cumulative GHG emissions of developed countries. AUSTRALIA, supported by the US and JAPAN, said the report should not focus on historic responsibility. Business and Industry NGOs (BINGOs) called for NDCs to lay out a clear roadmap for the private sector. Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPO) called for safeguarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Local Government and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) emphasized the role of local actors in achieving the Paris Agreement.

In the Corridors

“We were expecting more” admitted an earnest delegate, reflecting on plans for the process leading to a political outcome on the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement. This echoed many delegates’ sentiments, not just on what some still hope will be the wake-up call spurring increased climate action, but also with regard to the climate process more generally.

The Subsidiary Bodies’ meetings in June have always been more of a stepping stone towards the big-ticket governing bodies’ meetings at the end of year, but this year “they are more akin to a stumbling block.” Neither discussions on mitigation nor on adaptation or finance are making much progress. And delegates working on fleshing out the just transition work programme “can’t even agree on its skeleton,” as one observer noted.

With only two days left to turn things around, delegates hoped that the most important agreements from this meeting would be more than the adoption of the agendas, while civil society kept up the pressure to expect more.

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