Summary report, 2–15 December 2019
Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference - December 2019
After a last-minute change of venue from Santiago to Madrid, the 2019 Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference opened with expectations that delegates would finish negotiations on a few key issues, principally the guidance for Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms). Other key issues included the review of Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) and finance. But this was not the case. The disconnects between the demands of people and science, and what the process could deliver, and between countries that want to look to the future, and those focused on the past, ultimately undermined the ability for the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference to deliver, despite running nearly 44 hours overtime.
During the second week, the President of the 25th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile, attempted to facilitate progress on the outstanding political and technical issues by convening high-level consultations. After ministers and members of the COP Presidency conducted bilateral consultations, the issues were divided into two tracks: one, for Article 6; the other, for the WIM, response measures, and the overall outcome decision (1/CP.25).
Throughout Saturday night, 14 December, there were protracted ministerial-led discussions on these outstanding issues, which resulted in this COP becoming the longest in the history of the UNFCCC. On Sunday, 15 December, many delegates and observers, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, expressed disappointment with the few decisions adopted, and the language related to ambition in the text titled “Chile-Madrid Time for Action.” Several countries also noted, and expressed regret, that Rule 16 of the draft rules of procedure will be applied to many agenda items. Rule 16 is applied when parties are unable to complete their consideration of the issue, often owing to a lack of consensus on the substance, or on the process moving forward. When applied, the issue is automatically included on the agenda for the next session.
Countries were unable to reach agreement on Article 6. The texts will be forwarded to the subsidiary bodies meeting in June 2020. Several other issues were left unresolved, including common time frames, long-term finance, transparency issues for the Paris Agreement, report of the Adaptation Committee, and report of the Consultative Group of Experts.
The issues that were concluded included the review of the WIM, gender, 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. While the decision related to the Paris Agreement does not specifically call for greater ambition, there is a suggestion for parties to consider increasing their climate ambition.
More than 26,700 people attended COP 25, including over 13,600 government delegates, nearly 10,000 observers, and over 3,000 members of the media.
The Chile/Madrid Climate Change conference included the:
- 25th session of the COP to the UNFCCC (COP 25);
- 15th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 15);
- 2nd session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 2); and
- 51st meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 51) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 51).
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, 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.
In order 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. It will enter into force after reaching 144 ratifications. To date, 135 parties have ratified the Doha Amendment.
In December 2015, parties adopted the Paris Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, all countries will submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and aggregate progress on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation will be reviewed every five years through a Global Stocktake. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016 and, to date, 187 parties have ratified the Agreement.
Recent Key Turning Points
Durban Mandate: The negotiating mandate for the Paris Agreement was adopted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, in 2011. Parties agreed to launch the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) with a mandate “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties” no later than 2015, to enter into force in 2020. In addition, the ADP was mandated to explore actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap in relation to the 2°C target set out in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.
Lima: The UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, in 2014 adopted the “Lima Call for Climate Action,” which furthered progress on the negotiations towards what would become the Paris Agreement. It elaborated the elements of a draft negotiating text and the process for submitting and synthesizing intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), while also addressing pre-2020 ambition.
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. By 2020, parties whose nationally determined contributions (NDCs) contain a time frame up to 2025 are requested to communicate a new NDC and parties with an NDC time frame up to 2030 are requested to communicate or update these contributions.
Key features of the Paris Agreement include a transparency framework, and a process known as the Global Stocktake. Starting 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. They agreed to convene in 2018 a facilitative dialogue to take stock of collective progress towards the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals. This process was known as the Talanoa Dialogue.
In Paris, 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. Building on the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, several non-party stakeholders made unilateral mitigation pledges in Paris, with more than 10,000 registered actions. Attention to actions by non-party stakeholders continued through the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, launched in 2016.
Marrakech: The UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech took place from 7-18 November 2016, and included the first meeting of the CMA. Parties adopted several decisions related to the PAWP, including: that the work should conclude by 2018; the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB); and initiating a process to identify the information to be provided in accordance with Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante biennial finance communications by developed countries). Other decisions adopted included approving the five-year workplan of the 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 and established the “Fiji Momentum for Implementation,” a decision giving prominence to pre-2020 implementation and ambition. The COP 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 the CMA. 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. At COP 24, parties adopted the Katowice Climate Package. The Package 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 that COP 25 in 2019 would serve as the deadline for this work. The COP was also 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.
Report of the Meetings
This report summarizes the discussions by the five bodies based on their respective agendas. It begins with the subsidiary bodies, which began negotiations on many of the items. The report then turns to the COP, CMA, and CMP.
On Monday morning, 2 December, Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, reminded delegates of the latest IPCC findings, which show that, although climate stabilization requires GHG emissions to peak next year, emissions continue to increase.
In a video message, Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile, emphasized the need for more ambitious climate action in a much shorter time frame than that agreed to in Paris.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for “rapid and deep transformational change.” He noted the expectations of developing countries for adequate delivery of climate finance, and urged parties to make progress on Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches) to incentivize the private sector and support collective action.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez drew attention to women’s role in environmental protection, recalling Eunice Foote, the first scientist to demonstrate the effects of GHGs. He stressed leadership, saying that “as Europe led the industrialization, it must now lead in decarbonization.”
Opening Statements: Parties then gave opening statements pertaining to issues under consideration by the SBI, SBSTA, COP, CMP, and CMA.
Palestine, for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), said Article 6 negotiations should, inter alia, reflect the diversity of NDCs, and focus on avoiding double counting, and providing predictable funds for adaptation. She cautioned against a mitigation-centric COP. She also called for making the WIM an effective mechanism, including through financial support and technology transfer.
Finland, for the European Union (EU), outlined priorities, including: “robust and comprehensive” accounting rules for Article 6 to avoid double-counting; the second review of the WIM; and the review of the Lima Work Programme on Gender.
Switzerland, for the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), highlighted Article 6 as an “unprecedented opportunity” to increase NDC ambition, noting that EIG would not support transitioning Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) credits into the post-2020 mechanism.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, stressed the need for Article 6 rules to facilitate markets and enhance ambition. He also highlighted the WIM, capacity building, and the Adaptation Fund as key issues.
Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, urged consideration of the needs of developing countries in discussions regarding, inter alia, response measures and Article 6.
Egypt, for the African Group, stressed that the COP and the CMA should balance mitigation and adaptation, rather than become “consumed with reporting.” On finance, he stressed the importance of grant-based resources to avoid increasing the developing countries’ debt burden.
Bhutan, for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), outlined the group’s priorities, including: a COP decision announcing 2020 as a year of “strong ambition”; a meaningful review of the WIM; and that Article 6 should provide resources for adaptation through a share of proceeds.
Papua New Guinea, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, urged scaling up implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). He called for Article 6 rules to protect environmental integrity and called for an Article 6 “adaptation credit.”
Belize, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), expressed disappointment regarding inadequate action and urged COP 25 to “trigger a decade of ambition.” She called for Article 6 to go beyond offsetting and for reforming the climate finance landscape, including to address loss and damage.
Brazil, for Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay (ABU), outlined expectations on climate finance, calling on developed countries to scale up ambition with regard to the GCF and the Adaptation Fund. He also stressed, among others, the need to engage all stakeholders on Article 6 and to raise the profile of adaptation.
Malaysia, for the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs), stressed, among others: strengthening transparency for developed countries regarding implementation; engaging with all parties on cooperative approaches by operationalizing multiple metrics; and “depoliticizing” the flow of international financial resources.
Venezuela, for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), called for creating a financial mechanism under the WIM and emphasized the need for balanced support, noting that its priority is adaptation and that financial support is essential for raising ambition.
China, for Brazil, South Africa, India, and China (BASIC), called upon developed countries to honor existing financial commitments, scale up financial support, and increase predictability of support.
Guatemala, for the Independent Association for Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), emphasized the need to ensure environmental integrity and avoid double counting, and for developed countries to increase funding channeled through the GCF and the GEF.
Youth NGOs called for: refraining from double counting under Article 6; a financing facility for loss and damage; an enhanced post-2020 work programme for Action on Climate Empowerment; and “an end to fossil fuel lobbies at the COP.”
Business and Industry NGOs said there is a “race to the top,” with more companies placing climate change at the heart of their business strategies and, on Article 6, called for, inter alia, clarity on accounting of transfers and avoidance of double counting.
Stating that a “historic movement of climate justice is rising,” Climate Justice Now! said civil society would hold leaders accountable at this COP and called on governments to raise domestic ambition while realizing inherent climate justice linkages.
Trade Union NGOs underscored the need to protect human rights and called for working together towards a fair transition for workers.
Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMAs) called for COP 25 to take into account the thousands of cities and other subnational governments that declared a climate emergency and the objective of climate neutrality, as key to raise ambition.
Women and Gender called for system change and urged governments to end violence against women on the “frontlines of climate action.”
Subsidiary Body for Implementation
SBI Chair Emmanuel Dlamini (eSwatini) opened SBI 51 on Monday, 2 December. The SBI adopted its agenda (FCCC/SBI/2019/10) and organization of work.
Organizational Matters: Election of Officers: Election of SBI Chair: Marianne Karlsen (Norway) was elected as the next SBI Chair.
Election of officers other than the Chair: Yeonchul Yoo (Republic of Korea) was nominated by the Asia-Pacific Group to be SBI Vice-Chair.
Multilateral Assessment: The multilateral assessment convened, with Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, and Kazakhstan presenting on Saturday, 7 December; and Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland presenting on Monday, 9 December.
Facilitative Sharing of Views: The facilitative sharing of views convened Monday, 9 December, with Ghana, India, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia presenting.
Annex I Reporting
These sub-items relate to the national reports of Annex I countries, including their national communications and their biennial reports.
Status of submission and review of seventh national communications and third biennial reports from Annex I Parties: This item (FCCC/SBI/2019/INF.2) was first taken up in plenary and then through consultations by the SBI Chair. Ukraine raised concerns and proposed postponing consideration of this and subsequent sub-items until the Secretariat amends the relevant documentation. Egypt, for the African Group, expressed concern that three Annex I countries had not submitted their seventh national communications and biennial update reports.
Final Outcome: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.25), the SBI agreed to continue its consideration at SBI 52.
Compilation and synthesis of second and third biennial reports: Report on national GHG inventory data from Annex I Parties for the period 1990-2016 and 1990-2017: SBI Chair Dlamini noted that consultations did not allow enough time to conclude the matter. Palestine, for the G-77/China, and Egypt, for the African Group, expressed concern over the number of countries that had not submitted their communications and reports, and stressed that the lack of aggregated data complicates understanding of pre-2020 action, including means of implementation. China noted this could create difficulties with post-2020 implementation.
Final Outcome: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.25), the SBI agrees to continue its consideration at SBI 52 of:
- status of submission and review of seventh national communications and third biennial reports from Annex I parties;
- compilations and syntheses of second and third biennial reports from Annex I parties; and
- reports on national GHG inventory data from Annex I parties for the periods 1990–2016 and 1990–2017.
Non-Annex I Reporting
These sub-items relate to the national reports of non-Annex I countries,
Information contained in national communications: This item was held in abeyance.
Report and terms of reference of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE):This item relates to the report and future of the CGE, which assists developing countries in fulfilling their reporting requirements. The item (FCCC/TP/2019/4, FCCC/SBI/2019/18 and 19) was first taken up in the COP plenary, referred to the SBI plenary, and discussions proceeded in informal consultations co-facilitated by Sin Liang Cheah (Singapore) and Getraud Wollansky (Austria).
In informal consultations, parties discussed whether and when the CGE would transition to solely support the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework. Views also diverged on whether to review the CGE’s composition and its role in supporting the technical expert review (TER) of developing countries’ reports under the Paris Agreement.
On composition, several developing country groups rejected a review of the CGE’s composition, saying such a review is beyond the mandate of the discussions. Two non-Annex I parties that are not in developing-country regions supported the review, seeking to correct a “historic mistake” in the CGE’s design.
On the CGE’s future role in the TER, three developing country groups called for the CGE to participate in the review of developing countries’ biennial transparency reports under the Paris Agreement. One developed country opposed, saying that COP 24 decided the composition of the TER teams, and another developed country queried the CGE’s capacity to undertake this task. Some developing countries noted links to SBSTA discussions on the training of experts for the TER teams, suggesting the CGE should have a role in the design and implementation of the training materials.
The SBI could not reach agreement and referred the matter to the COP, which undertook informal consultations convened by the Presidency. The COP later adopted conclusions that decide to continue consideration of this matter.
During the COP closing plenary, Egypt, for the African Group, expressed disappointment that no decision was reached, underscoring the need for support to developing countries to facilitate their ability to complete their national reports, including under the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework.
Final Outcomes: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.24), the SBI, among others, notes the annual progress report on the work of the CGE and a number of the CGE’s achievements in implementing its work plan.
In its conclusions (FCCC/CP/2019/L.2), the COP requests the SBI to continue its consideration of the terms of reference of the CGE at SBI 52, with a view to recommending a draft decision to COP 26.
Financial and technical support: This item relates to support to developing countries to assist them in meeting their reporting obligations. It was taken up in plenary FCCC/SBI/2019/INF.10 and INF.13) and subsequently in informal consultations co-facilitated by Sin Liang Cheah (Singapore) and Getraud Wollansky (Austria).
During the SBI closing plenary, Egypt, for the African Group, lamented that a decision had not been reached on this item or the CGE due to a “lack of will” to support developing countries’ reporting.
Final Outcome: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.20), the SBI agrees to continue its consideration of the matter at SBI 52.
Summary reports of biennial update reports: The SBI took note of the information provided.
Common Time Frames for NDCs
Discussions on this item focused on the common frequency by which parties update or communicate their NDCs. Currently, those parties with a five-year NDC are requested to communicate by 2020 a new NDC and those parties with a ten-year NDC are requested to communicate or update their NDC by 2020. Paris Agreement Article 4.10 requires common time frames for NDCs to be considered. Grégoire Baribeau (Canada) and George Wamukoya (Kenya) co-facilitated informal consultations.
In contact groups and informal consultations, parties’ views diverged on common time frames’ length, links to the Global Stocktake, and ways forward.
On length, Switzerland for the EIG, Bangladesh for the LDCs, Zimbabwe for the African Group, Brazil, and Indonesia, supported five-year time frames.
Colombia, for AILAC, preferred that parties communicate NDCs for an initial five-year period, with another NDC for the subsequent five-year period, which will be updated on the basis of available science.
China, for the LMDCs, preferred options that specify time frames for the next round of NDCs, communicated in 2025, that could be up to 2030, 2035, 2040, or as decided by the party.
On links to the Global Stocktake, Brazil noted that 10-year time frames mean that two Stocktakes will occur during the length of an NDC. Two developing country groups opposed making a link to the Global Stocktake.
On the way forward, the Co-Facilitators produced a new informal note that included additional options proposed by parties. One developing country group made two additional proposals. In the first, common time frames would be divided along the mitigation, adaptation, and finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building aspects of NDCs, with separate time frames for each. In the second, developed country parties would have common time frames of five years, and developing country parties would have common time frames of either five or 10 years, as determined by the country. Two parties presented a joint proposal outlining options that would replace two previously proposed options, involving, common time frames of five years, and successive NDCs in the latter.
In the draft conclusions text, parties could not agree on whether to refer to any of the informal notes considered at this session. Some developing and developed countries called for placing the reference to informal notes in brackets to allow for further discussion, which two developing country groups opposed. One developing country lamented that “some parties had blocked its right to add new options,” which were captured in the revised informal note, for parties’ consideration.
In the SBI closing plenary, Chair Dlamini said that Rule 16 will apply.
Matters relating to Mechanisms under the Protocol
Review of CDM modalities and procedures: Parties agreed to consider this item at SBI 52 to allow progress on Article 6.
Report of the administrator of the international transaction log under the Protocol: The SBI took note of the information presented (FCCC/SBI/2019/INF.14).
Scope of the Next Periodic Review of the Long-term Global Goal under the Convention (LTGG) and of overall progress towards achieving it
This joint SBI-SBSTA item was first taken up in plenary on Monday, 2 December. Leon Charles (Grenada) and Madoko Yoshino (Japan) subsequently co-facilitated informal consultations.
In informal consultations, invoking the draft negotiating text that had been drawn up at SBSTA 50, several developing country groups supported an option whereby the periodic review and the Global Stocktake would both proceed, and suggested new language to the effect that the COP would coordinate with the CMP and CMA to ensure that the next periodic review would avoid duplication of efforts and take into account the work of relevant fora. Many developed countries opposed, and preferred options that consider closing the review on a permanent basis, with one arguing that the scope of the Global Stocktake is broader than that of the periodic review.
One group presented a series of amendments that involved, inter alia: removing a reference to “scientific” information to be noted in light of the second periodic review; and supporting an option whereby the periodic review would inform the Global Stocktake, as well as deleting options that would seek to end the periodic review. Many developed country parties opposed the latter two, arguing that all options should be maintained, and that “scientific” information remained in the SBSTA mandate.
Parties could not agree on whether the text should recall decisions related to the scope of the periodic review. They also disagreed on whether to include references to:
- “science related to” the LTGG;
- the timeline of the second periodic review’s structured expert dialogue; and
- the adequacy and effectiveness of the efforts to achieve the LTGG.
Several developing countries argued against any provision that would “limit the scope of the periodic review.”
Parties’ views diverged strongly on whether to include references to the “adequacy and effectiveness” of efforts to achieve the LTGG within the scope of the periodic review. One party recommended that the outcome of the second periodic review should not result in an alteration or redefinition of the long-term global goal.
After consultations, a developing country group made a bridging proposal regarding the scope of the periodic review such that the review would both enhance parties’ understanding of the LTGG and “assess the overall aggregated efforts of the steps taken by parties in order to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention.” They stressed that this proposal would be withdrawn if parties did not agree to it.
Many parties opposed the inclusion of the word “assess” in the scope of the review, citing concerns about duplication with the Global Stocktake. The Co-Facilitators proposed “consider.”
Many parties expressed their disappointment that consensus could not be reached. Several asked for more time, expressing a belief that significant progress had been made and that agreement was within reach.
This issue was transferred to the COP Presidency on Monday, 9 December. In informal consultations held by the COP Presidency, some parties proposed a pre-2020 work programme as part of the review of the LTGG, or suggested that such a work programme could be separately mandated by the COP. Others opposed establishing this work programme.
On Sunday, 15 December, the COP adopted a decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2019/L.9), the COP, inter alia: agrees that the second periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention will take place, beginning in the second half of 2020 and concluding in 2022, with a structured expert dialogue held in conjunction with the subsidiary body sessions, from SB 53 to SB 55. The COP also decides that the second periodic review should enhance parties’ understanding of:
- the LTGG and scenarios towards achieving it in light of the ultimate objective of the Convention;
- progress made in relation to addressing information and knowledge gaps; and
- challenges and opportunities for achieving the LTGG.
The second periodic review will also assess the overall aggregated effect of steps taken by parties in order to achieve the LTGG. The COP also agrees that the outcome of the second periodic review will not result in an alteration or redefinition of the LTGG as defined in decision 1/CP.21 (the 2013-2015 review).
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture
The Koronivia joint work on agriculture aims to highlight the role of agriculture in mitigation and adaptation to climate change, as well as of support needed.
The item was first taken up by both subsidiary bodies in plenary on Monday, 2 December. A workshop took place on 3-4 December discussing soil nutrients and manure management. The workshop and discussions that followed were co-facilitated by Monika Figaj (Poland) and Milagros Sandoval (Peru).
Informal consultations showed broad agreement among parties over engaging in more detail with the reports of the two previous workshops to extract concrete recommendations, as opposed to simply noting the reports.
Many developing countries called for beginning to engage on the way forward for the Koronivia process, especially with regard to means of implementation, with a view to adopting a decision at COP 26, as previously mandated. Some developed countries opposed discussing further developments at this meeting, with one country requesting clarification on the rationale for focusing on means of implementation.
In the draft decision text, one developing country called for two additions to the text: an invitation to the Adaptation Committee, the LDC Expert Group, and other bodies to support the development of new tools; and for means of implementation to support the actions outlined in the conclusions. The issue remained unresolved. Co-Facilitator Sandoval observed “overwhelming support” for the draft conclusions as presented, but noted no consensus.
In the SBI and SBSTA closing plenaries on Monday, 9 December, the decision was adopted.
Final Outcomes: In their conclusions (FCCC/SB/2019/L.5), the SBSTA and SBI, among others:
- consider the reports of the two previous workshops held at SB50 and their implications for sharing best practices among countries and stakeholders; the role of science, technology, and capacity-building; countries’ circumstances; food security; and adaptation and adaptation co-benefits;
- encourage the continued involvement of constituted bodies and financing entities in the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture;
- recall their request to the Secretariat to organize an intersessional workshop between SB 51 and 52; and
- agree to continue consideration of the matter at SB 52.
Report of the WIM Executive Committee and the 2019 Review of the Mechanism
This issue involves the second review of the WIM, mandated to take stock of processes to address loss and damage. This item (FCCC/SB/2019/5 and Add.1) was first taken up by the COP and CMA plenaries. In the plenaries, parties agreed to maintain the provisional approach whereby the COP continues to consider the report of the WIM Executive Committee (ExCom) and the WIM review without prejudging the outcome on matters related to the governance of the WIM. Joint SBI/SBSTA informal consultations, co-facilitated by Marianne Karlsen (Norway) and Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago), convened before the issue was raised to the COP and CMA Presidency for consultations.
In informal consultations, parties discussed:
- ensuring the work of the WIM is based on best available science and evidence;
- the role of national focal points in increasing parties’ engagement with the WIM;
- enhancing collaboration with other bodies and organizations;
- better tailoring WIM products to national and local-level users;
- disentangling work on different aspects of slow onset events and non-economic losses; and
- supporting the work and further establishment of risk transfer facilities.
Parties diverged on the breadth of the WIM review, with developing countries noting the need for a long-term vision for the WIM, which led to fundamental points of divergence on finance and establishing a new implementation arm of the WIM.
On finance, developing countries urged new and additional finance for loss and damage, including by creating windows for loss and damage funding under financial bodies such as the GCF. Some developed countries emphasized strengthening awareness and the efficient use of existing resources. Others expressed openness towards language on scaling up finance, noting it should entail references to channeling funding from a variety of sources and to supporting effective resource use. Several developed countries noted that the GCF already supports loss and damage related projects, such as early warning systems and flood protection infrastructure.
On implementation, developing countries called for establishing an “implementation arm” of the WIM that would, inter alia, feature technical and financial facilities to directly respond to parties’ needs, with some noting this would complement the “policy arm” that is the ExCom. Several developed countries favored enhancing existing structures and leveraging the catalyzing role of the WIM to strengthen collaboration with bodies within and outside the UNFCCC, including with humanitarian, disaster risk reduction, and scientific actors.
Parties discussed a developing country proposal relating to, inter alia: establishing an expert group on enhanced action and support by the end of 2020; and establishing, by the end of 2021, a “Santiago Network” supporting the implementation of action to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage.
Ultimately, parties did not reach a clear outcome and, on Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted procedural conclusions, including a draft COP decision with brackets remaining around contentious issues. Consultations continued under the guidance of the COP 25 Presidency and were co-facilitated by Ministers Simon Stiell (Grenada) and Ola Elvestuen (Norway).
The Ministerial Co-Facilitators convened bilateral discussions and requested two delegates to facilitate technical drafting work on potential resolutions. Ministers focused on, among others: the tasks of the potential expert group on action and support; the functions, modalities, and activities of the potential “Santiago Network”; and how the WIM ExCom will work with the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) to further mobilize access to finance for loss and damage.
On Sunday, 15 December, the issue was taken up by the CMA and COP plenaries, with different discussions and outcomes in each body.
The CMA plenary adopted a decision. Many developing country groups and parties expressed willingness to compromise, emphasizing that their agreement to adopt the decision under the CMA is conditional upon the adoption of a decision under the COP, and stressing that, as specified in a footnote to the decision, the adoption of the decision does not prejudge the discussions of the governance of the WIM.
Tuvalu recalled that the WIM was established under the COP and emphasized that the COP also has a role in providing guidance for loss and damage work, which “did not extinguish with the Paris Agreement.”
Many developing country groups and parties further underscored that finance for loss and damage is to be provided by developed countries, and emphasized their understanding that a reference to urging the scaling-up of action and support refers to developed country support, as reflected in previous iterations of the decision text. Uruguay, and Malaysia for the LMDCs, noted that finance for loss and damage, including through the GCF, has to be additional to adaptation finance.
During the COP closing plenary, President Schmidt noted that there was no consensus in consultations regarding the governance of the WIM, saying that COP 26 would discuss the matter. The COP adopted a procedural decision instead. Palestine, for the G-77/China, stressed that this decision does not prejudice the outcome of further considerations on the issue of WIM governance. Tuvalu lamented that one party, which he noted will soon not be party to the Paris Agreement, blocked the decision on the WIM under the COP.
Final Outcomes: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2019/L.12), the COP:
- notes the CMA decision on the WIM review and ExCom report; and
- notes that considerations related to WIM governance will continue at COP 26.
In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/L.7), the CMA, inter alia:
- welcomes the report of the WIM ExCom, including the recommendations contained therein;
- acknowledges the catalytic role of the WIM in mobilizing and connecting relevant stakeholders;
- acknowledges the progress, achievements, and successful practices in implementing the WIM since 2013, while noting areas for improvement and shortcomings;
- acknowledges that further work is needed to effectively operationalize the functions of the WIM;
- agrees that the best available science, particularly in the IPCC reports, should inform approaches to averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage, and recognizes the importance and value of indigenous, traditional, and local knowledge;
- encourages the WIM ExCom to communicate its outputs in formats that are easy to translate, adapt, and access in different contexts and by different users;
- encourages parties to establish a loss and damage contact point through their national focal points;
- recognizes the importance of particularly vulnerable developing countries and segments of the population that are already vulnerable owing to geography, socio-economic status, livelihood, gender, age, indigenous or minority status, or disability, as well as the ecosystems they depend on, in the implementation of the WIM;
- encourages the ExCom to take into account when updating its five-year rolling workplan areas of work that may require short-, medium- and long-term consideration and efforts, including in relation to sustainable development and transformative change;
- encourages relevant constituted bodies, networks, and work programmes under the Convention and the Paris Agreement to integrate loss and damage into their work;
- requests the ExCom to revise the terms of reference for, and launch the expert groups on, slow onset events and non-economic losses, taking into account the broad range of issues covered by the relevant strategic workstreams, which may need to be addressed using a sequential approach;
- urges the scaling-up of action and support, including finance, technology, and capacity-building, for developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change for averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage;
- urges private and non-governmental organizations, funds, and other stakeholders to scale up action and support;
- requests the ExCom to provide input for the preparation by the SCF of guidance to the operating entities of the financial mechanisms under the Convention and the Paris Agreement;
- requests the ExCom, in collaboration with the GCF, to clarify how developing countries may access GCF funding for the development of funding proposals related to the workplan of the ExCom and to include information thereon in its annual reports;
- requests the ExCom to establish, by the end of 2020, an expert group on action and support, and decides that the group shall develop a focused plan of action at its first meeting to take place in 2020;
- establishes, as part of the WIM, the Santiago Network for Averting, Minimizing, and Addressing Loss and Damage to catalyze the technical assistance of relevant organizations, bodies, networks, and experts, for the implementation of relevant approaches at the local, national, and regional levels, in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change;
- invites those engaged in the Santiago Network in providing technical assistance to developing countries to report on their progress to the ExCom, and requests the ExCom to include relevant information they have reported in its annual reports; and
- recommends that the next review of the WIM be held in 2024 and every five years thereafter.
Report of the Adaptation Committee
This item is to discuss the report and recommendations forwarded by the Adaptation Committee on its past and future work. This item (FCCC/SB/2019/3) was taken up in joint SBI/SBSTA informal consultations, co-facilitated by Annela Anger-Kraavi (Estonia) and Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu). Co-Facilitator Anger-Kraavi noted the objective to agree on a draft COP decision on the report and recommendations contained therein, and also to agree on how and what to report to the CMA. Parties commended the Committee for the clarity and reader friendliness of its report.
Discussions largely centered on the prominence given to private sector engagement in the report and the recommendations, with developing countries considering that this does not adequately reflect the breadth of the Committee’s work and underscoring that the main source of adaptation finance should be public finance from developed countries. Developed countries underlined that a recommendation to incentivize private sector engagement is complementary.
They also disagreed over how to reference the Committee’s recommendations, with several developing country groups objecting to referencing the recommendations in any form. Other developing country groups and many developed countries called for retaining references to the recommendations, emphasizing that the Committee was tasked to develop them. Bridging proposals included:
- the approach taken in a Co-Facilitators’ note where recommendations were indirectly referenced to by pointing to their placement in the Committee’s report;
- wording on encouraging parties and non-party stakeholders to take the recommendations into account “as appropriate or where relevant”; and
- engaging in substantive discussions on the recommendations to identify those supported by all and include them directly in the outcome document.
Parties also discussed the format of the outcome under this item, with some calling for more clarity on the implications of having one or two documents, and of using identical or different text for the COP and the CMA. Much of the discussions pertained to the possible implications of having the CMA decision “endorse the COP decision as it applies to the Paris Agreement.” The Secretariat’s legal advisor pointed to decisions under the CMP that applied this practice and clarified that this does not imply a legal hierarchy between the two governing bodies. As a way forward, several parties proposed to have separate draft decisions in which reference will be made to the mandate of each of the respective bodies and using, where relevant, the same text.
As positions remained divergent, the Co-Facilitators presented draft procedural conclusions, which contained provisions on noting with appreciation the Adaptation Committee report and on continuing the consideration of this item at SB 52. Some developing country groups opposed, noting the report “with appreciation,” and called for inviting submissions from parties by March 2020 and for the Secretariat to compile these into a synthesis report. Several developed countries opposed inviting submissions, highlighting that views had already been expressed at this meeting and pointing to the Secretariat’s budgetary constraints.
As no agreement was found and Rule 16 will be applied. This matter will be included in the provisional agenda for SBI 52.
Matters Relating to LDCs
This item was first taken up in plenary and subsequently in informal consultations co-facilitated by Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu) and Malcolm Ridout (UK).
Discussing the Co-Facilitators’ draft conclusions on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, one developing country called for supporting documentation regarding developed countries’ financial pledges to the LDC Fund.
Discussions largely centered on requesting the LDC Expert Group (LEG) to consider ways to increase the accessibility and transparency of its meetings and information on its workplan activities. Parties converged on the idea that the LEG should draw on the practices of other constituted and expert bodies, as appropriate, but disagreed over whether to specify, as examples of such practices: making meeting documents publicly available; opening meetings to observers; and possibly webcasting meetings. On urging more expeditious GCF processes, parties noted discussions on this issue underway in informal consultations on national adaptation plans (NAPs).
On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted conclusions.
Final Outcomes: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.26), the SBI, inter alia:
- welcomes the report on the LEG’s 36th meeting;
- requests the LEG to consider how to increase the accessibility and transparency of its meetings and information on its workplan activities, taking into account the rules of procedure and practices of other constituted bodies, as appropriate, and to include information on how it responded to this mandate in the report on its 37th meeting for consideration at SBI 52 (June 2020);
- notes the progress of the GCF in enhancing the process of accessing support for the formulation and implementation of NAPs, and expressed its appreciation to the Adaptation Committee and LEG for their engagement with the GCF in this regard;
- notes the challenges experienced by the LDCs in accessing funding from the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme for the formulation of NAPs; and
- invites delivery partners to strengthen efforts to support the LDCs with the goal of expediting the submission of readiness proposals to the GCF.
National Adaptation Plans
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. This item (FCCC/SBI/2019/16, INF.15, FCCC/SBI/2019/19, FCCC/CP/2019/3 and 5) was first taken up in plenary and subsequently in informal consultations co-facilitated by Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu) and Malcolm Ridout (UK).
Many developing countries emphasized challenges in accessing financial resources for NAP formulation and implementation, including in the context of GCF readiness finance, with several countries lamenting a burdensome process. On Saturday, 7 December, parties discussed and agreed upon a draft text.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded a draft decision to the COP.
Final Outcomes: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.21), the SBI, inter alia, welcomes the document on progress in the process to formulate and implement NAPs and recommends a draft decision to the COP.
In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.21), the COP, inter alia:
- takes note of the work of the Adaptation Committee and LEG on gaps and needs related to the process to formulate and implement NAPs, and invites constituted bodies and other organizations to provide the Adaptation Committee and LEG information on activities they undertake to address such gaps and needs;
- urges developed countries and invites others to continue to mobilize support for adaptation activities in developing countries;
- notes the challenges experienced by developing countries in accessing funding from the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme for the formulation of NAPs and invites delivery partners to strengthen efforts to support them with the goal of expediting the submission of readiness proposals; and
- requests SBI 53 to consider information from the reports of the Adaptation Committee and LEG, including on gaps and needs and the implementation of NAPs, and to take further action, as appropriate.
Development and Transfer of Technologies
Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN): This item was first taken up in the SBI and SBSTA plenaries, then addressed in joint SBI/SBSTA informal consultations co-facilitated by Stella Gama (Malawi) and Steven Turnbull (Australia). In the plenaries, the TEC and CTCN presented on their work (FCCC/SBI/2019/4).
In informal consultations, discussions related to, inter alia:
- encouraging collaboration between the entities of the technology and financial mechanisms;
- exploring the option of multi-country efforts in accelerating technology transfer;
- references to developing and updating technology needs assessments; and
- the challenge of securing financial resources for the CTCN.
Parties disagreed on a text proposal inviting “parties in a position to do so” to support the CTCN. Two developing country groups called for referring to technology transfer-related obligations under the Convention. Some developed countries and a developing country identified a distinction between language from COP decision 2/CP.17 on operationalizing the Technology Mechanism, on “parties in a position to do so,” and obligations under the Convention. Delegates further disagreed on encouraging parties to enhance interaction between the focal points, with one developing country group opposing, suggesting this would amount to “parties doing the work of the CTCN.” After much consultation, they agreed to delete paragraphs in the COP draft decision text relating to interaction among national focal points and inviting parties “in a position to do so” to support the CTCN.
Regarding the CMA decision, some parties viewed the report as “incomplete” based on the CMA mandate and wished to take note of this.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBI and SBSTA adopted joint recommendations, including a draft COP and a draft CMA decision.
Final Outcomes: In its final decision (FCCC/SB/2019/L.6), the COP, inter alia:
- welcomes the joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN for 2019, their progress in facilitating effective implementation of the Technology Mechanism, and the collaboration of the TEC and the CTCN;
- welcomes the engagement and collaboration of the TEC and CTCN with the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism and encourages their continued and enhanced collaboration;
- welcomes the rolling workplan of the TEC for 2019-2022 and the progress of the Committee in advancing the implementation thereof;
- invites the TEC to continue the efforts to reach out to regional stakeholders and national designated entities, including through the participation of TEC representatives in regional forums of the CTCN, to enhance the visibility of and seek feedback on its work, and requests the TEC to report on such efforts;
- welcomes the programme of work of the CTCN for 2019-2022 and the progress in implementing the activities therein, including multi-country and regional approaches to delivering its services;
- welcomes the progress of the CTCN in collaborating with the GCF and encourages the CTCN to continue this collaboration, including under the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, for, inter alia, developing and updating technology needs assessments and technology action plans to support implementation of NDCs;
- welcomes with appreciation the collaboration of the CTCN with relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, in implementing activities, and requests it to enhance this collaboration;
- requests the CTCN to analyze experience and lessons learned with regard to pro bono and in-kind contributions, including with a view to increasing such contributions, and to include information thereon in the joint annual TEC and CTCN report for 2020;
- notes with concern the challenge of securing sustainable financial resources for the CTCN;
- invites the UN Environment Programme, as the host of the CTCN, to develop and implement plans to financially support the CTCN’s operations so as to facilitate its effective functioning; and
- requests the CTCN to enhance its resource mobilization efforts and further diversify the sources, including by exploring new and innovative ways, to support its operation in order to effectively implement its programme of work, and report on these activities and plans in the joint annual TEC and CTCN reports.
In its decision (FCCC/SB/2019/L.7), the CMA, inter alia:
- welcomes the joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN for 2019 and the efforts of the bodies in incorporating the guidance contained in the Technology Framework into their respective workplans and programmes of work;
- notes that the information on how the TEC and CTCN have incorporated the guidance contained in the technology framework into their respective workplans and programmes of work was not included in a comprehensive manner in the joint annual report, and requests the TEC and CTCN to include this information in their joint annual report for 2020;
- notes the areas identified by the TEC and CTCN for collaboration in 2019-2022 in supporting implementation of the Paris Agreement and requests them to finalize in 2020 the development of activities to be undertaken jointly in those areas with a view to incorporating the guidance contained in the technology framework into these activities; and
- requests the TEC and CTCN to continue to implement their respective mandates with strengthened efforts on all key themes of the Technology Framework when serving the Paris Agreement.
Alignment between the processes pertaining to the review of the CTCN and the periodic assessment referred to in paragraph 69 of decision 1/CP.21:This item considers how to align the independent review of the CTCN with the review of the effectiveness and adequacy of the support provided to the Technology Mechanism. It was first taken up in the SBI plenary and then it was addressed in informal consultations co-facilitated by Karsten Krause (Germany) and Spencer Thomas (Grenada). Among other issues, parties discussed specifying the independent nature of the review of the CTCN, and including evaluation areas and methodologies within the information that needs to be taken into account in considering alignment. Parties reflected on legal and practical implications of possible options for aligning the review and the periodic assessment. One party cautioned against opening negotiations on the scope and modalities of the periodic assessment. On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted conclusions.
Final Outcome: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.18), the SBI, inter alia: agrees to continue its consideration of this matter at SBI 52 (June 2020); and requests the Secretariat to prepare an information note on possible options, and their implications, for aligning the processes for consideration at SBI 52.
Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer: This item entails discussions regarding a GEF programme that provides funding to climate technology and transfer activities. This item (FCCC/SBI/2019/4 and FCCC/CP/2019/5) was first addressed by COP, and then the SBI plenary. It was later addressed in informal consultations co-facilitated by Elfriede-Anna More (Austria) and Mareer Mohamed Husny (Maldives).
Developed countries argued that elements in the draft text addressing the GEF lie outside the focus of the Poznan strategic programme, stressing that the COP negotiates the GEF guidance. Two parties supported language encouraging the GEF to continue to provide support to developing countries. Others suggested encouraging parties to use available resources. Parties expressed concern that some LDCs and small island developing states (SIDS) have not undertaken their technology needs assessments (TNAs) and are not included in Phase IV of the global TNA project. Responding to a question on whether the GEF can also provide support for TNA implementation, the GEF explained that LDCs and SIDS can submit such proposals to the GEF.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted conclusions.
Final Outcome: In its final conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.22), the SBI, inter alia:
- notes the importance of implementing the technology action plans resulting from the TNA process and encouraged parties to consider using the System for the Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) for implementing the outcomes of TNAs and technology action plans;
- recommends that the COP invite the GEF to consider: exploring ways to include in the fourth phase of the global project on TNAs the LDCs and SIDS that have never undertaken a TNA and have not been included in the fourth phase; and relevant recommendations contained in the TEC’s evaluation report, within the scope of its mandate and its operational modalities; and
- invites other relevant stakeholders, including the regional development banks, to consider the relevant recommendations contained in the TEC’s evaluation report.
Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund
Membership of the Adaptation Fund Board: Under this item, parties discussed whether, and how, the membership of the Adaptation Fund Board should change given its role in serving the Paris Agreement. This item was first taken up in plenary on Monday, 2 December, and subsequently in informal consultations, and a joint CMP and CMA contact group, co-facilitated by Amjad Abdulla (Maldives) and Fiona Gilbert (Australia).
Developing countries considered parties to the Paris Agreement to already be eligible for membership on the Adaptation Fund Board and, emphasizing there is no need for any action on this item, favored a procedural decision on nominations by regional groups. Developed countries emphasized that the Adaptation Fund Board called for additional guidance from the CMP and/or CMA, with several countries expressing support for maintaining a majority of developing countries on the board, but calling for adjusting terminology on country groups to align with the Paris Agreement, and one country noting the need to enhance the representation of developed countries on the Board.
In CMP-related discussions, parties restated their views expressed in the SBI informal consultations, with developing and developed countries’ disagreeing over references to Board membership. They agreed on several paragraphs, inter alia, related to financial pledges to the Fund.
In CMA-related discussions, parties strongly diverged on the way forward. Several developing countries questioned the role of the CMA, noting the Fund is still under the authority of and accountable to the CMP until a share of proceeds from the Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches) are available. Several developed countries called for time to engage in substantive discussions on this item and made textual proposals that reflect that the CMA is in a position to give guidance to the Fund, including on sources of funding. Observing no consensus, several developing country groups urged closing the informal consultations, opposed by several developed countries. Parties did not agree on a way forward. Consultations continued under the guidance of the CMP and CMA Presidency.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded a draft decision to the CMP and CMA.
During the CMA closing plenary on Sunday, 15 December, President Schmidt noted that the CMA was unable to conclude its consideration of this matter at this session, and that Rule 16 will apply.
The CMP adopted a decision on Sunday, 15 December.
Final Outcomes: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.19), the SBI agrees to continue its consideration of this matter at SBI 52 (June 2020).
In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/L.3), the CMP, inter alia:
- takes note of the annual report of the Adaptation Fund Board;
- welcomes the financial pledges and contributions to the Adaptation Fund made by various governments, including a first multi-annual financial pledge;
- reiterates the encouragement to scale up financial resources, including the provision of voluntary support, that are additional to the share of proceeds levied on certified emission reductions in order to support the resource mobilization efforts of the Adaptation Fund Board;
- adopts the amended and restated terms and conditions of services to be provided by the World Bank as an interim trustee of the Adaptation Fund; and
- adopts the amended and restated memorandum of understanding between the CMP and the GEF Council regarding secretariat services to the Adaptation Fund Board.
Matters Related to Capacity Building
Annual technical progress report of the PCCB: Capacity building under the Convention, including enhancing institutional arrangements and the review of the PCCB: These sub-items were considered together. The COP referred the matter to the SBI, including the report (FCCC/SBI/2019/13) and documents related to the review (FCCC/SBI/2019/11, 13, INF.11, and INF.17). It was considered in informal consultations co-facilitated by Felipe Osses (Chile) and Ismo Ulvila (EU).
In its final plenary, the COP adopted decisions from the SBI on: the report of the PCCB; the fourth comprehensive review of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries; and the review of the PCCB.
Final Outcomes: On the report of the PCCB (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.27), the COP agrees to, among others, welcome the annual technical progress report of the PCCB, take note of the PCCB’s 2020 focus area, and welcome the PCCB’s work on enhancing coherence and coordination of capacity building under the Convention, and the collaboration of the PCCB with parties and non-party stakeholders.
On the fourth comprehensive review (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.28), the COP, among others:
- notes with appreciation the continued progress in implementing the capacity-building framework, and recognizing that its scope should also take into account “current and emerging areas” in the context of the Convention and the Paris Agreement;
- notes a number of gaps and needs in addressing the priority issues in the capacity-building framework under the Convention, as well as monitoring and review of the impacts of capacity building; and
- requests the SBI to develop terms of reference for the fifth comprehensive review of the implementation framework at SBI 60 (2024), and subsequently initiate the review during SBI 62 (2025) with a view to conducting it at COP 31.
On the review of the PCCB (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.30), the COP, among others,
- decides that the priority areas of the PCCB are: enhancing coherence and coordination of capacity building under the Convention, with a focus on avoiding duplication of efforts; identifying current and emerging capacity gaps and needs; and promoting awareness-raising, knowledge- and information-sharing, and stakeholder engagement with relevant actors and bodies under and outside the Convention;
- decides to extend the PCCB for five years, reviewing its progress at COP 30 (2024); and
- requests the PCCB to develop a workplan based on its extension to 2020, based on priority areas and activities.
In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.29), the CMA, inter alia:
- decides that the PCCB shall serve the Paris Agreement in accordance with its mandate and terms of reference, with its priority areas and activities; and
- decides that inputs to the work of the PCCB may include, inter alia: submissions; information reported through the enhanced transparency framework; and, as appropriate, the compilation and synthesis report on the capacity-building work of the bodies established by the Convention under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.
Matters relating to the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures serving the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement
Discussions under this item focused on development of the six-year workplan of the forum and its Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI). Introduced in plenary on Monday, 2 December, this matter was subsequently addressed in a joint SBI/SBSTA contact group co-chaired by Keith Anderson (Switzerland) and Una May Gordon (Jamaica).
Work in the contact group focused on updated draft conclusions with an annexed Co-Chairs’ proposal for the workplan of the forum and its KCI, in particular looking at activities and modalities of the workplan in more detail, including timelines.
Views diverged, among others, on: highlighting equity and people in vulnerable situations in the context of assessing the impacts of response measures and transitional strategies; sharing experiences and best practices of national reporting on efforts to analyze impacts of response measures; and including long-term low GHG emission development strategies as part of national strategies, plans, policies, and programmes to be developed and implemented in a way that maximizes the positive and minimizes the negative impacts of response measures. Parties also disagreed on focus areas, including:
- regional and/or national focused case studies on economic diversification, transformation and just transition of the workforce, and creation of decent work and quality jobs;
- divestment policies, stranded assets, low-emission, and climate-resilient development; and
- exchange and sharing of experiences and best practices on the assessment of the various co-benefits of mitigation policies and actions informed by the best available science.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBI and SBSTA Chairs informed that parties could not reach agreement but that parties indicated willingness to work diligently under the COP, CMP, and CMA. The SBI and SBSTA forwarded draft conclusions to the COP, CMP, and CMA to finalize and adopt the workplan, taking into account the draft text prepared by the subsidiary bodies.
The development of the workplan was further taken up in ministerial consultations, and, later in consultations led by the COP Presidency.
On Sunday, 15 December, the COP, CMP and CMA adopted identical decisions on the workplan of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures and its KCI, including two annexes.
During the CMA plenary, Egypt, the Maldives, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia emphasized: that their view that language in the decision and its annexes deviates from language agreed to at COP 24, noting for example a reference to “enhancing information-sharing through the exchange and sharing of experience and best practices”; and that the concept of “policy issues of concern” remains unclear.
Final Outcomes: In their conclusions (FCCC/SB/2019/L.10), the SBI and SBSTA, inter alia: agree to forward the annual report on the work of the KCI in 2019, including the possible recommendations to the forum, to COP 25, CMP 15, and CMA 2 for their further consideration and for the development of decisions; and recommended the draft rules of procedure of the KCI, as contained in the annex to the KCI report, for consideration and adoption at COP 25, CMP 15, and CMA 2.
In their decisions (FCCC/CP/2019/L.11, FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/L.6, and FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/L.6), the COP, CMP, and CMA, inter alia:
- adopt the rules of procedure of the KCI;
- adopt the workplan of the forum and its KCI, as contained in Annex II of the decisions;
- decide that the forum may consider, as needed, additional modalities for the workplan activities; and
- request the forum to continue considering the KCI first annual report, including the recommendations and considerations contained therein, at the SB 56 (June 2022).
Annex I of the decision contains rules of procedure of the KCI, including 16 sections on: scope; mandate; members; co-chairs; secretariat; meetings; agenda and documentation for meetings; decision-making; working language; participation of expert advisers in meetings; participation of observers; use of electronic means of communication; working groups; workplan; amendments to the rules of procedure; and overriding authority of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.
Annex II of the decision contains a workplan of the forum and its KCI with a table listing activities, estimated timeline, responsible actor, and modalities/outputs.
Gender and Climate Change
This item was referred by the COP, taken up by the SBI plenary, and then addressed in informal consultations co-facilitated by Winifred Masiko (Uganda) and Jorge Pinto Antunes (EU). The aim was to continue the consideration of the review of the Lima Work Programme on Gender and its gender action plan (GAP), and to agree on an enhanced five-year work programme to be adopted by COP 25. Discussions were informed by a synthesis report (FCCC/SBI/2019/15) prepared by the Secretariat at the request of COP 23, which outlines suggested areas for improvement, including for taking into account new gender-related mandates emanating from COP 24.
During the informal consultations, parties exchanged views on draft decision text and an annexed GAP, and agreed on the need to reduce the number of activities listed in the draft GAP.
On the draft decision, parties principally debated preambular language regarding human rights, which some parties insisted on retaining. Others suggested that parties consider gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity “in light of their respective national circumstances.” They also debated a reference to just transition of the workforce.
Views diverged on references to the GCF and its gender policy. Developed countries opposed the reference, while developing countries supported, calling for means of implementation to support the implementation of the GAP.
On monitoring and evaluation, some developing countries called for removing language on tracking implementation, preferring to implement and report on their efforts. Despite extended consultations, parties could not reach agreement. On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted procedural conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.31), including a draft COP decision with brackets remaining around contentious issues.
Consultations continued under the guidance of the COP 25 Presidency. Discussions continued to consider the GAP, reference to human rights, and the GCF.
On Sunday, 15 December, the COP adopted the draft decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2019/L.3), the COP, inter alia:
- acknowledges that climate change is a common concern of humankind, and that parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote, and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities, and people in vulnerable situations, and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity; and
- welcomes the report on the implementation of the Lima Work Programme and its GAP and takes note of the report on the gender composition of party delegations and constituted bodies, which highlights the persistent lack of progress in and the urgent need for improving the representation of women in party delegations and constituted bodies.
The COP also, inter alia:
- adopts the enhanced five-year Lima Work Programme and its annexed GAP;
- notes that gender-responsive implementation and means of implementation of climate policy and action can enable parties to raise ambition, as well as enhance gender equality, and just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities;
- decides to undertake a review of the implementation of the enhanced Lima Work Programme and its GAP at SBI 61 (2024) and to conduct an intermediate review of the progress of implementation of the activities contained in the GAP at SBI 56 (June 2022);
- encourages parties to appoint and provide support for a national gender and climate change focal point for climate negotiations, implementation, and monitoring; and
- invites relevant public and private entities to increase the gender-responsiveness of climate finance with a view to strengthening the capacity of women.
The annex to the decision contains the enhanced GAP and sets out objectives and activities under five priority areas:
- capacity building, knowledge management, and communication;
- gender balance, participation, and women’s leadership;
- gender-responsive implementation and means of implementation; and
- monitoring and reporting.
Report on activities related to Action for Climate Empowerment
The SBI took note of the information provided in the report (FCCC/SBI/2019/12).
Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters
These items address the operational and financial-related aspects of the Secretariat and the various mandates assigned to it. Discussions for each sub-item took place in consultations facilitated by Yeonchul Yoo (Republic of Korea).
Audit report and financial statements for 2018 and Budget performance for the biennium 2018-2019: Parties discussed the financial report and audited financial statements (FCCC/SBI/2019/14 and Add.1-2, INF.9 and Add.1, and INF.16). On Monday, 9 December, the SBI adopted conclusions and forwarded one draft decision to the COP and one to the CMP.
Final Outcomes: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.23 and Add.1), the SBI agrees to continue its consideration of possible ways to increase the efficiency and transparency of the budget process, including operations for increasing the flexibility of the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities, approaches to addressing outstanding contributions to the core budget, the level of the working capital reserve, and timely funding for the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process.
In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.23/Add.1), the COP, inter alia:
- requests the Executive Secretary to take further measures to recover outstanding contributions and encourages parties to pay those outstanding contributions as soon as possible;
- urges the Executive Secretary to implement the recommendations of the auditors, as appropriate, including those outstanding from the 2017 audit report, and to update parties on progress in the next audit report; and
- requeststhe Executive Secretary, in her update to parties on progress towards implementing the recommendation of the auditors, to provide expected timelines for the completion of audit recommendations that are under implementation.
In its decision (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.23/Add.2), the CMP, inter alia:
- requests the Executive Secretary to take further measures to recover outstanding contributions and encourages parties to pay those outstanding contributions as soon as possible;
- urges the Executive Secretary to implement the recommendations of the auditors, as appropriate, including those outstanding from the 2017 audit report, and to update parties on progress in the next audit report; and
- requeststhe Executive Secretary in her update to parties on progress towards implementing the recommendation of the auditors to provide expected timelines for the completion of audit recommendations that are under implementation.
Parties adopted the draft report of SBI 51 (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.17). Chair Dlamini closed the meeting at 11:04 pm on Monday, 9 December.
Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
Adoption of the agenda: SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson opened the meeting, recalling the findings of the IPCC on the ongoing climate deterioration, on Monday, 2 December. The SBSTA adopted its agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/3) and organization of work.
Election of Officers: Election of the SBSTA Chair: Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) was elected as the next SBSTA Chair.
Election of officers other than the Chair: Kakhaberi Mdivani (Georgia) was elected Vice-President of SBSTA. No candidate has been put forward for the role of Rapporteur, therefore, Stella Gama (Malawi) will continue in her role until the next SBSTA election.
Report of the Adaptation Committee
This item is summarized under the SBI on page 7.
Report of the WIM and the 2019 Review of the Mechanism
This item is summarized under the SBI on page 6.
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN
This item is summarized under SBI on page 8.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture
This item is summarized under SBI on page 6.
Matters Relating to Science and Review
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 on page 5.
Research and Systemic Observation: This item concerns ongoing research and systematic observation which informs the SBSTA and the COP. It was first taken up in plenary on Monday, 2 December, and subsequently in informal consultations co-facilitated by Elizabeth Bush (Canada) and Qingchen Chao (China).
In consultations, views strongly diverged on: whether to “welcome,” “note,” or “note with appreciation” the release of the IPCC Special Reports on Climate Change and Land, and the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate; and whether to “note with concern” the state of the global climate system. Parties could not agree on a paragraph on managing and openly sharing data, which referred to examples presented at Earth Information Day 2019; and the meaning of “comprehensible” data products.
Several parties requested that individual geographic circumstances be recognized.
One party requested that the SBSTA ask the IPCC to prepare a Special Report on “gaps in the science,” but Co-Facilitator Bush noted that the session’s scope was restricted to systematic observation.
Many opposed a proposal from the same party to request that the SBSTA Chair prepare, with assistance from the Secretariat, “a summary report on knowledge gaps in systematic observation,” with many parties noting their opposition and the Secretariat clarifying that it had no such capacity.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBSTA adopted conclusions.
Final Outcome: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.15), the SBSTA, among others:
- notes with appreciation the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Provisional Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019; the 2019 Greenhouse Gas Bulletin; the 2019 State of Climate Services report; and the update on the Global Climate Observing System, World Climate Research Report, WMO, and Global Framework for Climate Services activities;
- notes the release of the recent IPCC Special Reports and expresses its appreciation and gratitude to the IPCC and the scientific community for preparing them;
- requests its Chair to prepare a summary report on Earth Information Day 2019, including on reported knowledge gaps on systematic observation;
- notes with concern the state of the global climate system as conveyed at Earth Information Day 2019; and
- urges parties and relevant organizations to continue to establish and support open data-sharing and the development of openly available, relevant, and accessible data products.
Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform
The LCIPP was established for the exchange of experiences and sharing of best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner that respects, promotes, and considers the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
This item (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/4) was first taken up in plenary on Monday, 2 December. The LCIPP Facilitative Working Group presented on its second meeting, noting the group needs to start work in January 2020 and urging parties to agree on its two-year workplan. Informal consultations convened, co-facilitated by Geert Fremout (Belgium) and Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu (Democratic Republic of Congo).
In informal consultations, many parties welcomed the report and called for adopting the workplan. Some developed countries characterized the workplan as a constructive next step in the incremental approach taken on this issue. One developed country suggested some “institutional issues” should be considered.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.13), the SBSTA, inter alia:
- welcomes the report of the first meeting of the Facilitative Working Group and notes that its second meeting had taken place in conjunction with the session;
- welcomes the two-year workplan for the 2020-2021 period on implementing the functions of the LCIPP; and
- reaffirms the importance of enhancing the coherence between the Facilitative Working Group and relevant bodies under and outside the Convention consistently with their relevant mandates.
Matters relating to the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures
This item is summarized under the SBI on page 11.
Methodological Issues under the Convention
This issue deals with transparency mechanisms related to reporting within the UNFCCC. It was first taken up in plenary on 2 December.
Revision of the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Annex I Parties: Rule 16 will apply because no agreement could be reached.
Guidelines for the technical review of information reported under the Convention related to GHG inventories, biennial reports and national communications by Annex I Parties: This item was forwarded to SBSTA 54 (2021).
GHG data interface: This item was taken up in plenary, then in informal consultations, co-facilitated by Clifford Mahlung (Jamaica) and Riitta Pipatti (Finland).
In informal consultations, parties considered draft conclusions. Views diverged on whether the SBSTA should continue its consideration of this matter, with developing country groups viewing the mandated task as completed for the time being. Parties engaged in lengthy discussions about requesting the Secretariat: to continue to regularly update the information contained in the GHG data interface in line with the guiding principles set out at SBSTA 30; and whether to request it to enable the GHG data interface to display data from the most recent submissions from parties.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBSTA adopted conclusions.
Final Outcome: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.14), the SBSTA agrees to continue consideration of the matter at SBSTA 54 with a view to determining next steps.
Common metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of GHGs: Clifford Mahlung (Jamaica) and Riccardo de Lauretis (Italy) co-facilitated informal consultations and introduced draft text. One developing country group reported that it could not reach internal consensus. Several parties expressed their disappointment as Co-Facilitator Mahlung recommended reconsidering the matter at either SBSTA 52 or 55. Parties failed to reach consensus.
During the SBSTA closing plenary, Palestine, for the G-77/China, expressed disappointment, and hoped for substantive conclusions at SBSTA 52. Rule 16 will be applied.
Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport: This item was addressed in informal consultations co-facilitated by Jeanette Mani (Fiji) and Bert van Loon (Belgium).
Views diverged over whether to call for submissions by interested parties regarding further information needed from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The ICAO and IMO spoke to clarify their current relationship with the SBSTA. One party raised a point of order to close the informal consultations given perceived lack of cooperation from these two organizations. Egypt, for the African Group, highlighted this as an important issue and called for engagement with the ICAO and IMO with regard to support for developing countries. Consultations closed without reaching an outcome.
In the SBSTA closing plenary, Palestine, for the G-77/China, requested the Secretariat to report on the work done and the role of the UNFCCC as a party-driven process. Rule 16 will be applied.
Methodological Issues under the Paris Agreement
This issue primarily considers transparency and reporting, tracking national emissions, progress in achieving NDCs, support needed and received, and documents on transparency and reporting.
The item was first taken up in plenary on Monday, 2 December, and subsequently in a contact group co-chaired by Helen Plume (New Zealand) and Xiang Gao (China). Five informal consultations were convened.
In the contact group, Co-Chair Xiang laid out the programme of work, noting that the group would aim to produce at least one iteration of a draft decision for each sub-item by the end of the week. Participants raised views on, inter alia: the pressing need to complete work; how best to capture progress; and the role of the CGE.
In the discussion, views diverged on whether operationalization of flexibility should be included within outlines and tables, with Brazil, for ABU, supporting, or expressed in specific provisions, with Saint Kitts and Nevis for AOSIS, Costa Rica for AILAC, and the EU supporting.
Many, including India for the LMDCs, Canada, Australia, the US, and the Republic of Korea, argued that flexibility provisions are clearly stated in the modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs). Others, including South Africa, for the African Group, argued that the MPGs are not an exhaustive list. Parties also discussed, inter alia, ways to operationalize flexibility, including notation keys, footnotes, and summary tables; and the acceptability of deleting rows and columns in tables if information is not available.
Many parties clarified that any informal note should take into account the diversity of views. Co-Chair Xiang invoked the possibility of intersessional work, with the EU, Australia, the US, Saint Kitts and Nevis for AOSIS, and Switzerland for EIG supporting; and Saudi Arabia for the Arab Group, China, and Egypt objecting.
During the closing plenary, early in the morning of Tuesday, 10 December, SBSTA Chair Watkinson noted that, despite significant efforts, parties were unable to reach consensus on two paragraphs in the draft conclusions for the five sub-items under this agenda item (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.19), on: welcoming further submissions from parties, taking note of parties’ views at this session, and clarifying that informal notes were prepared by the Co-Facilitators under their own responsibility; and requesting the Secretariat to organize intersessional work under this agenda item, including technical papers, workshops, and an expert dialogue. He noted “clear instructions” from the COP Presidency to close the SBSTA.
The US, the EU, Costa Rica for AILAC, Bhutan for the LDCs, Belize for AOSIS, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Norway called for keeping the SBSTA open and continuing efforts to reach a solution, or forwarding the issue to the COP Presidency. This was opposed by China, India for LMDCs, and Egypt for the African Group, who stressed the need to give equal importance to other agenda items, in particular ones relating to finance and adaptation.
Rule 16 will be applied and this item will be considered at SBSTA 52.
Common reporting tables for national inventory reports of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs: In informal consultations, parties reported discussing specific tables, as well as efforts to consolidate tables to be consistent with the 2006 IPCC guidelines. Conclusions and an informal note were forwarded to the contact group.
Common tabular formats necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs under Agreement Article 4: In the contact group, the group reported constructive discussions on projection tables and flexibility provisions. Conclusions were forwarded to the contact group.
Common tabular formats for financial, technology development and transfer and capacity-building support provided and mobilized, as well as support needed and received, under Paris Agreement Articles 9-11: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Delphine Eyraud (France) and Seyni Nafo (Mali), parties exchanged views on the elaboration of proposed tables. Several parties and groups commented on the tables they would be submitting.
On technology transfer, several developing country groups proposed separate columns for contributions for capacity building and contributions for technology transfer. One developed country noted the importance of maintaining “factual consistency” with modalities, procedures, and guidelines for the transparency framework.
On finance mobilized, some developed countries said information could be provided in textual or tabular format, and several developing countries called for footnotes or documentation boxes to provide space to clarify the methodologies used.
Several groups and parties welcomed an informal note that included general elements for discussion and draft tables, but also reserved the right to provide additional comments later on. Some developed countries suggested discussions on how to leverage the electronic reporting format to cross-reference and autofill some parts of the tables. Two developing country groups, supported by a developed country, called for disaggregating information to indicate support for mitigation and adaptation, with one developing country group suggesting adding support for loss and damage. Two developing country groups further called for discussing grant equivalency.
Conclusions and the informal note were forwarded to the contact group.
Outlines of the biennial transparency report, national inventory document, and technical expert review report pursuant to the modalities, procedures, and guidelines for the transparency framework for action and support: Helen Plume (New Zealand) and Xiang Gao (China) co-facilitated informal consultations and sought views on the outlines of all three documents according to the informal note produced during SBSTA 50. Parties generally agreed that the informal note was a good basis for discussions.
On flexibility, views diverged about whether the issue should be discussed in a standalone section or integrated across each document. One party suggested having a separate table outlining flexibility, as well as mentioning when certain parties had applied flexibility across the document, noting that “it is not an either/or” question. Several parties underlined the fact that these outlines are optional and intended as a tool rather than a requirement. Conclusions and an informal note were forwarded to the contact group.
Training programme for technical experts participating in the technical expert review: In the contact group, Co-Facilitators Jae Hyuk Jung (Rep. of Korea) and Harry Vreuls (the Netherlands) reported agreement on who will develop the programme. Conclusions and an informal note were forwarded to the contact group.
Matters Relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
Discussions under this agenda item aim to operationalize the market and non-market mechanisms established by the Paris Agreement in Article 6. This is the final piece of the Paris Agreement Work Programme to be completed. This item was first referred by the CMA, then taken up by the SBSTA opening plenary. The SBSTA established one contact group on this item chaired by SBSTA Chair Watkinson, who met with heads of delegations on Tuesday, 3 December, to confirm the way forward, and regularly throughout the week.
Informal consultations, co-facilitated by Peer Stiansen (Norway) and Hugh Sealy (Barbados), convened from 3-9 December. The Co-Facilitators prepared three iterations of draft text under each of the sub-items under this agenda item. A contact group convened on Monday, 9 December and agreed to forward the texts to the SBSTA closing plenary the same evening, which subsequently forwarded the texts to the CMA for further consultation.
Discussions continued under the CMA Presidency in informal round tables, first co-facilitated by ministers and later by CMA 2 President Schmidt. Several issues were outstanding, including share of proceeds and whether to allow the carryover of unit generated pre-2020 to the post-2020 period.
On Sunday, 15 December, CMA President Schmidt reported no substantive agreement could be reached on this agenda item. The CMA adopted its procedural decision on matters relating to Paris Agreement Article 6 that asks the SBSTA to continue its consideration of the issue.
Many parties expressed disappointment about not reaching agreement on Article 6, with Bhutan, for the LDCs, lamenting the lack of willingness by some parties to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable communities.
Switzerland, Tuvalu, Canada, Costa Rica for AILAC, among many others, supported references to human rights and indigenous peoples and local communities.
Egypt, for the African Group, with Brazil, opposed by Belize for AOSIS, requested that three iterations of draft decision text prepared during the second week of CMA 2 on this item be included for future consideration, not just the latest draft text. The EU stated that it could agree to forward all of the documents, with the understanding that they have different levels of maturity.
Switzerland and Costa Rica, for AILAC, invited other parties and stakeholders to sign on to the San Jose Principles for Ambition for Article 6, a declaration by 31 countries that outlines what, in their view, a successful Article 6 outcome out entail, with a focus on environmental integrity.
Malaysia, for the LMDCs, emphasized the value of share of proceeds towards the Adaptation Fund, with Argentina calling to ensure share of proceeds coming from both Article 6.2 and 6.4. Brazil supported a mandatory share of proceeds provision under Article 6.2.
The EU stressed that the absence of rules to operationalize Article 6 does not prevent parties from having carbon markets, including relating to international carbon markets.
Senegal, for the African Group, underscored the need to ensure confidence and trust of all stakeholders, including those that already have made investments in emission reductions.
CMA 2 President Schmidt said that the decision would be modified to include references to the three versions of the draft text from 13, 14, and 15 December.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/L.9), the CMA:
- notes the draft decision texts on each sub-item related to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement prepared by the CMA 2 President, while recognizing that these draft texts do not represent a consensus among parties; and
- requests the SBSTA to continue consideration of Paris Agreement Article 6 at its next meeting in June 2020 on the basis of these draft decision texts, with a view to recommending draft decisions for consideration and adoption by CMA 3 in November 2020.
The decision references in a footnote the versions of the draft decision prepared on 13, 14, and 15 December, as modified orally during plenary.
The CMA draft text (15 December version) on Paris Agreement Article 6.2 includes in its annex guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Paris Agreement Article 6.2., with seven sections on: internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs); participation; corresponding adjustments; reporting; review; recording and tracking; and ambition in mitigation and adaptation actions.
The CMA draft text (15 December version) on Paris Agreement Article 6.4 includes in its annex rules, modalities, and procedures for the Article 6.4 mechanism, with eleven sections on: definitions; role of the CMA; supervisory body; participation responsibilities; activity cycle; mechanism registry; levy of share of proceeds for adaptation and administrative expenses; delivering overall mitigation in global emissions; avoiding the use of emission reductions by more than one party; use of emission reductions for other international mitigation purposes; and transition of CDM activities and certified emission reductions.
The CMA draft text on Paris Agreement Article 6.8 includes in its annex a work programme under the framework for non-market approaches, with sections on: principles; non-market approaches under the framework; governance of the framework; modalities of the work programme; work programme activities; and reporting.
Crosscutting issues: On Friday, 6 December, parties exchanged views on which elements of Article 6 needed to be decided at COP 25 and which to include in a SBSTA work programme to develop further guidance from 2020. Some suggested the work programme should be focused, and be divided into separate phases and timelines. Others opposed, calling for one strict deadline.
Guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6.2: This item was first taken up in the CMA and referred to SBSTA.
In the informal consultations, parties worked on draft decision text with the annexed guidance. Parties said the outcome should deliver on meeting the needs to: avoid double counting; ensure environmental integrity, limits and safeguards; raise ambition in mitigation and adaptation action; and promote sustainable development.
Discussions revealed different views on: applying corresponding adjustments; preventing or limiting the use of Kyoto Protocol units; allocating 5% share of proceeds to the Adaptation Fund; and ensuring overall mitigation in global emissions through cancellation of ITMOs.
In the decision for the entire agenda item, several opposed requesting the Secretariat to assist parties in incorporating sectors and/or GHGs into their NDCs to enable participation in cooperative approaches. Parties expressed various cautions with regard to: listing “requirements” for participation; engaging with non-state actors; distinguishing between avoidance and removals of emissions; and referencing response measures.
On the guidance, parties elaborated views on corresponding adjustments, whereby several parties underscored the need for flexibility. Views diverged on: timing and recording of corresponding adjustments; methods used by parties with multi- versus single-year NDCs; and the need for corresponding adjustments for actions both “inside and outside NDCs.”
Parties differed also on: referencing human rights, with some parties calling for adding a list of other rights; and, in the context of safeguards in Article 6.2 and 6.4 text related to emission reductions achieved in sectors where there is a high degree of uncertainty in emission estimates, managing risks that may arise in the creation of ITMOs from certain sectors’ emission estimates.
Several parties suggested avoiding duplication of work with regard to the technical expert reviews for Article 6 and Article 13 (transparency). Regarding a reporting and review process, some stressed the importance of carefully balancing environmental integrity with national prerogatives. Calling for equal treatment and balance, one country stressed the need for a “seamless governance solution” for both Articles 6.2 and 6.4. On review, many supported referencing Paris Agreement Article 15 (compliance) in the section on the Article 6 technical expert review. On governance, one party suggested a single supervisory body for both Article 6.2 and 6.4 matters.
Parties also sought clarifications on: timing of transfers; net flows of ITMOs; minimizing the risk of reversal and the meaning of ensuring “compensation” of any material reversals.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBSTA adopted its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.16) in which the SBSTA agreed to forward to the CMA the draft decision text on guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Paris Agreement Article 6.2 (ITMOs), recognizing that this text does not represent a consensus among parties and that further work by the CMA is necessary to finalize the decision.
Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4: In the informal consultations, discussions centered on: the decision, containing a work programme for further work beyond COP 25; and an annex to the decision, containing sections on, inter alia, the mechanism’s supervisory body, participation responsibilities, activity cycle, share of proceeds, delivering overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE), avoidance of double counting, use of emission reductions for other international purposes, response measures, and transition from the Kyoto Protocol. One group emphasized that guidance should be implementable and not place a burden on participating countries. Parties also expressed diverging views on references to human rights in the text.
On the cover decision, views expressed related to how to capture past experiences with methodologies; whether OMGE and issues relating to share of proceeds can be defined and operationalized at CMA 2; and how to prioritize the work programme under this sub-item for 2020.
On the supervisory body, some parties called for stronger language on the issue of conflict of interest for the body’s members. Others emphasized gender-balanced representation.
On participation responsibilities, some developing countries suggested removing guidance that is “impractical to implement,” and some underscored that sustainable development is a national prerogative.
On the activity cycle, countries shared views regarding the length of the crediting period. One country called for forest-specific crediting periods. They also expressed different preferences regarding setting of baselines for calculating emissions reductions. One country suggested adding language on ensuring environmental integrity when setting baselines. On the aims of activity design, parties diverged on whether or not to refer to mitigation co-benefits or economic diversification plans.
On avoidance of double counting, some parties called for clear “no options.”
On transition from the Kyoto Protocol, some called for an orderly transition from the CDM to the new mechanism. Parties shared different views related to the eligibility of Kyoto Protocol units and methodologies, with some opposing any use of Kyoto credits.
On Monday, 9 December, the SBSTA adopted its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.17) in which the SBSTA agreed to forward to the CMA the draft decision text on rules, modalities, and procedures for the mechanism established by Paris Agreement Article 6.4, recognizing that this text does not represent a consensus among parties and that further work by the CMA is necessary to finalize the decision.
Work programme under the framework for non-market approaches referred to in Article 6.8: In the informal consultations, parties worked on draft decision text with the annex on the work programme under the framework. Parties stressed the importance of Article 6.8, with one group calling for it to be operationalized along with other Article 6 items and not be left behind.
On governance of the work programme, several developed countries preferred a permanent arrangement over an open-ended working group, stressed the need for a clear purpose for an institutional arrangement, and suggested that SBSTA could undertake work programme activities, or this could possibly take place under a joint SBI/SBSTA chairmanship. Other suggestions included: to have an expert group, working in parallel with the SBSTA and SBI; to establish a task force for the framework; and to establish a non-market approaches forum.
Several parties responded to the question of purpose, that the framework’s objective is to enable developing countries to meet their adaptation needs, including economic diversification. They proposed developing implementation tools, including a “registry” complemented with a “matching facility” supportive of generating means of implementation.
On work programme activities, several parties highlighted the value of opportunities for leveraging and generating mitigation “and adaptation co-benefits.” Views diverged with some referring to “adaptation co-benefits as appropriate,” and others preferring to identify how to leverage and generate co-benefits that assist the implementation of NDCs more generally, without referring to mitigation and adaptation co-benefits specifically.”
Parties also discussed the need to identify barriers to and incentives for: enhancing the engagement and addressing the needs of the private sector, and vulnerable and impacted sectors and communities; and achieving a just transition of the workforce.
On Monday, 9 December, SBSTA adopted its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.18) that agree to forward to the CMA the draft decision text on the work programme under the framework for non-market approaches referred to in Paris Agreement Article 6.8, recognizing that this text does not represent a consensus among parties, and that further work by the CMA is necessary to finalize the decision.
Annual Reports on Technical Reviews
Technical review on information reported under the Convention by Annex I Parties in their biennial reports and national communications: SBSTA took note of the report (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/INF.3).
Technical review on GHG inventories of Annex I Parties: SBSTA took note of the technical review and other information provided (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/INF.5).
Ukraine reiterated its concern regarding the Russian Federation’s reporting of emissions from the Crimea region and called for postponing consideration of these sub-items until the documentation is revised.
Technical review on GHG inventories and other information reported by Annex I Parties, as defined in Article 1.7 of the Kyoto Protocol: This item was deferred to SBSTA 54.
The SBSTA adopted its report (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.12). Chair Watkinson closed the session at 2:19 am on Tuesday, 10 December.
Conference of the Parties
COP 24 President Michał Kurtyka, Poland, opened the conference on Monday, 2 December, emphasizing the need for a just transition in all sectors, and to address the needs and dignity of vulnerable people.
Election of the President: Parties elected by acclamation Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile, as COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 2 President.
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. This issue will be taken up at COP 26.
Adoption of the agenda: President Schmidt noted that an agenda item proposal from the African Group, on clarification of the status of the provision of privileges and immunities to the GCF, had not been included on the provisional agenda (FCCC/CP/2019/1) with the understanding that the issue would be discussed under the agenda item on the report of, and guidance to, the GCF. She also informed that Turkey had withdrawn its proposal relating to an agenda sub-item on deleting the country’s name from Annex I to the Convention.
The COP adopted the agenda as amended, and the organization of work, with the following items held in abeyance: a proposal from the Russian Federation to amend Article 4.2(f) of the Convention; a proposal from Papua New Guinea and Mexico to amend Articles 7 and 8 of the Convention; and the second review of the adequacy of Articles 4.2(a) and (b) of the Convention.
Election of officers other than the President: The COP elected the following members of the Bureau: Tosi Mpanu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) as SBSTA Chair; Marianne Karlsen (Norway) as SBI Chair; Tanguy Gahoume (Gabon), Muhammad Irfan Tariq (Pakistan), Bianca Moldovean (Romania), Andrej Bojic (Serbia), Lois Young (Belize), Federica Fricano (Italy), and Anne Rasmussen (Samoa), as Vice-Presidents; and Ahmad Rajabi (Iran) as Rapporteur.
The COP also elected members to the: Adaptation Committee; Adaptation Fund Board; Advisory Board to the CTCN; Paris Agreement Compliance Committee, both the facilitative and enforcement branches; Kyoto Protocol Compliance Committee, both the facilitative and enforcement branches; CGE; CDM Executive Board; WIM Executive Committee (ExCom); Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee; KCI; LCIPP Facilitative Working Group; PCCB; SCF; and TEC.
Admission of observers: The COP admitted new observers as proposed in FCCC/CP/2019/6 Rev.1, and agreed to request SBI 52 to review and provide recommendations to the Secretariat on the current approach.
Dates and venues of future sessions: The COP agreed that COP 26 will take place 9-20 November 2020 in the UK (FCCC/CP/2019/L.4).
Credentials: The COP adopted the report on credentials (FCCC/CP/2019/12).
Report of the Subsidiary Bodies
SBSTA Report: The COP took note of the oral report and adopted the SBSTA 50 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/2) and the draft SBSTA 51 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/L.12).
SBI Report: The COP took note of the oral report and adopted the SBI 50 report (FCCC/SBI/2019/9 and Add.1) and the draft SBI 51 report (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.17).
On Monday, 9 December, the COP adopted two SBI draft decisions, on the terms of reference for the review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention (FCCC/SBI.2019/9/Add.1) and on national adaptation plans (FCCC/SBI/2019/L.21).
Annex I Reporting
This item is summarized under the SBI on page 4.
Non-Annex I Reporting
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 4.
Report of the Adaptation Committee
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 7.
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 6.
Matters Relating to Finance
These sub-items, which focus on considering reports relating to climate finance to developing countries from the SCF, the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism (the GEF and GCF) and the Secretariat, and on providing guidance to the SCF, GCF, and GEF, were first taken up by the COP opening plenary. The COP agreed that, although an agenda item proposal from the African Group, on clarification of the status of the provision of privileges and immunities to the GCF, would not be included on the agenda, the issue would be discussed under the sub-item on the GCF. The African Group emphasized the need to allocate sufficient time for consultations on this issue.
Work on all sub-items progressed under two contact groups (one for long-term climate finance and the SCF, and another for the GCF and GEF) and in informal and “informal informal” consultations taking place during both weeks. On sub-items relating to the SCF, GCF, and GEF, the same groups also considered draft CMA decision text (see page 23 for related discussions). Text on all sub-items evolved through various iterations, shared via a parties-only email list.
During the closing plenary, on Sunday, 15 December, the COP adopted decisions on all the sub-items, with the exception of long-term climate finance.
Long-term climate finance: This sub-item (FCCC/CP/2019/4) was discussed in a joint contact group with the sub-item on matters relating to the SCF, co-chaired by Rob Moore (UK) and Richard Muyungi (Tanzania), and consequently in informal and “informal informal” consultations.
In discussions on elements of the draft COP decision text, developed and developing countries’ views diverged on whether to extend this sub-item post-2020. Palestine, for the G-77/China, stressed that long-term finance is a critical issue and “not a two-year matter” and called for a forum for discussing climate finance from a strategic perspective. The EU saw no reason to extend discussions under the long-term finance item beyond 2020. Norway cautioned against duplicating work, given the biennial finance communications due from developed countries starting in 2020. Some developing countries underscored that the discussion regarding the extension does not relate the “work programme” on long-term finance as such, but to the “issue” of long-term finance.
Regarding finance mobilized, developed countries highlighted the importance of emphasizing results achieved so far. Several developing countries emphasized the importance of scaling up adaptation finance and called for mandating the SCF to assess developed countries’ progress towards achieving the goal of mobilizing USD 100 billion annually by 2020. Developed countries opposed making this request, observing a duplication of the SCF’s work on biennial assessments.
Parties also discussed whether to refer to financial pledges made at the UN Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit, with developing countries arguing against, noting it was not “a multilateral event.” While some countries called for a reference to increasing trends in climate finance flows, developing countries underscored methodological uncertainty, such as on the definition of climate finance, and emphasized that such evaluations should not be based on assessments undertaken by bodies outside the UNFCCC.
During the COP closing plenary on Sunday, 15 December, Egypt, for the African Group, said that a paragraph in the draft decision text presented that “affirms the importance of climate finance and decides to continue discussion on this matter under the COP” did not reflect agreement reached in consultations the previous night.
Switzerland and Canada supported the paragraph. The US stated its understanding of this paragraph was that the COP would continue to discuss climate finance but not that this agenda item would continue at the next COP. The African Group requested returning to language that reflected the group’s understanding of agreed language, namely “notes the importance to the COP of continued discussions on long-term climate finance and decides to consider the matter at COP 26.” Malaysia, for the LMDCs, and Nicaragua supported, with Nicaragua stressing there should not be a one-year hiatus in discussions of this matter.
Japan suggested there had been no agreement on the language in this paragraph during the consultations.
COP President Schmidt noted a lack of consensus on the matter. Rule 16 will apply.
Egypt for the African Group, Saudi Arabia for the Arab Group, Argentina for ABU, and Malaysia for the LMDCs, with many others, expressed their profound disappointment, and pressed developed countries to commit to climate finance. The African Group noted its appreciation to countries that doubled their climate finance pledges to the GCF.
Standing Committee on Finance: This sub-item (FCCC/CP/2019/10, 3 and Add/1-2) was discussed in a joint contact group with the sub-item on long-term climate finance, co-chaired by Rob Moore (UK) and Richard Muyungi (Tanzania), and subsequently in informal and “informal informal” consultations.
In discussions on elements of the draft COP decision text, several groups and parties lamented the absence of draft guidance from the SCF to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism. For this reason, a developing country group objected to “welcoming with appreciation” the SCF report. Many commended the SCF report, the SCF Forum, and the outline of the 2020 report on the determination of developing country needs.
Some called for structured guidance from the COP to the SCF regarding its performance and deliverables. Several developed countries questioned the need to explicitly invite parties to participate in the SCF’s work, noting parties are already invited to do so.
Parties also exchanged differing views on the capacity in which SCF members should be represented in the deliberations at COP 25. Some expressed dissatisfaction with not having the SCF Co-Chairs present to answer questions. Others referred to opportunities to seek such clarifications before the COP.
Developed and developing countries’ views diverged on paragraphs requesting the SCF to establish a common definition on climate finance; and mandating work by the SCF, or inviting submissions, on the new collective goal on finance before COP 26. Developing countries stressed the importance of text on the determination of developing countries’ needs related to the implementation of the Convention and Paris Agreement, with one group highlighting loss and damage-related needs. Another group called for a more open approach to hosting SCF meetings in developing countries. Developing countries also highlighted: insufficient arrangements for linkages with other bodies; a needs-related mandate for the SCF report; and insufficient budgetary resources of the SCF.
Parties also called for, inter alia: improving understanding of finance flows; the SCF to present a status report on the achievement of the USD 100 billion goal for consideration by COP 26; and enhanced capturing and follow-up of SCF Forum outcomes.
On Sunday, 15 December, the COP adopted a decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2019/L.6) the COP, inter alia:
- endorses the workplan of the SCF for 2020 and underlines the importance of the SCF focusing its work in 2020 in accordance with its current mandates;
- notes the outcomes of the discussions of the SCF on the 2020 Biennial Assessment and 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 as well as the respective workplans, outreach activities, and indicative timelines for preparation;
- notes the inputs of the SCF to the technical paper on the elaboration of the sources of and modalities for accessing financial support for addressing loss and damage;
- encourages the SCF to present, to the extent possible, disaggregated information in relation to, inter alia, mapping data availability and gaps by sector, assessing climate finance flows, and presenting information on the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement;
- underscores the important contribution of the SCF in relation to the operational definitions of climate finance, and invites parties to submit, by 30 April 2020, their views on the operational definitions of climate finance for consideration by the SCF in order to enhance its technical work on this matter in the context of preparing its 2020 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows;
- takes note of the strategic outreach plan of the SCF on enhancing stakeholder engagement;
- encourages the SCF, in implementing its strategic outreach plan, to build on existing efforts to reach out to developing country parties and relevant developing country stakeholders when generating data and information for the determination of the needs of developing country parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement;
- looks forward to the inputs that may be provided by the WIM ExCom to the work of the SCF for its consideration in preparing elements of draft guidance to the operating entities;
- encourages the SCF to continue to enhance its efforts towards ensuring gender-responsiveness in implementing its workplan;
- decides to initiate the review of the functions of the SCF at COP 27 (November 2021) with a view to concluding it at COP 28 (November 2022); and
- requests the SCF to report to COP 26 on progress in implementing its workplan.
Report of, and guidance to, the Green Climate Fund: This sub-item was discussed in a joint contact group with the sub-item on the GEF, co-chaired by Toru Sugio (Japan) and Amena Yauvoli (Fiji), and consequently in informal and “informal informal” consultations.
Several groups and countries expressed disappointment with the SCF’s inability to agree on draft GCF guidance, but agreed that a compilation of information from submissions could serve as a starting point.
In the contact group, Palestine, for the G-77/China, highlighted, inter alia: inconsistencies in reporting on the GCF’s first replenishment (GCF-1); the need for information about actual disbursements; and concerns around delays in accreditation and politicization of project eligibility decisions. Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, called for the GCF to incorporate a strategic direction addressing loss and damage and to establish an emergency response window. Malawi, for the LDCs, with several others, stressed the need for streamlined processes for accreditation, particularly for Direct Access Entities. South Africa for the African Group, the EU, Japan, and Norway, among others, called for welcoming GCF-1, in particular contributions by countries that doubled their pledges. Many developing countries underscored the insufficiency of contributions. Iran called for not discriminating against any projects, in particular those with a carbon capture and storage component.
Javier Manzanares, GCF, with GCF legal staff, presented and responded to parties’ questions on: GCF-1 terminology; disbursement of funds; and direct access experiences. Responding to questions raised by parties in the contact group, Manzanares explained, inter alia: the introduction of Special Drawing Rights to provide a uniform approach to expressing pledges; use of “credit earned due to early payment encashment” in the total replenishment figure; and how the GCF has been supporting direct access. Parties asked further questions relating to, inter alia: consistency of reporting on replenishment figures; disbursement data; unfulfilled pledges; and evaluating the accreditation process.
In further informal consultations, many stressed avoiding “micromanagement” and prejudging the GCF Board’s decisions. Developing country groups called for stronger language on, inter alia, accelerating direct access and fund disbursements. One developing country group cautioned against creating new geographical categories when referring to capacity limitations.
Most developing countries diverged from developed countries on the inclusion of paragraphs relating to incorporating loss and damage-related support and establishing an emergency response window under the GCF. Developed countries suggested that loss and damage should be discussed under the agenda item on the WIM review. Developing countries recalled developed countries’ insistence under other agenda items that all finance-related discussions relevant to the GCF pertain to the discussion under this sub-item.
Privileges and immunities: The contact group also discussed clarification of the status of the provision of privileges and immunities to the GCF. Palestine, for the G-77/China, said that the Fund is neither a UN agency nor a multilateral development bank, which makes it difficult for countries to afford privileges and immunities to it, and called for addressing the matter multilaterally. Many developing countries highlighted obstacles to pursuing bilateral agreements on privileges and immunities, including lengthy and cumbersome processes and domestic legislations not recognizing the status of the GCF. Switzerland, supported by others, called for inviting the GCF Secretariat to respond to parties’ questions to better understand related challenges. The Republic of Korea and Armenia requested a solution “by the COP in a legal context.” The US called for an analysis by the Secretariat of the GCF Board’s proposal regarding an institutional linkage between the UN and the GCF.
In a subsequent session, Manzanares, with GCF legal staff, presented and received parties’ questions on the legal status of the GCF as per its governing instrument paragraphs 7 and 8 (on juridical personality, and privileges and immunities). Manzanares explained how the absence of privileges and immunities is “hindering the GCF from reaching its full potential.” Parties’ questions related to expected benefits and implications, in particular of a possible UN linkage. Parties suggested requesting a report on how the absence of privileges and immunities has hindered the GCF’s operations.
In the informal consultations, on Friday, 6 December, parties agreed to temporarily defer discussions on privileges and immunities, with some suggesting waiting for a report on the COP President’s discussions with the UN Secretary-General and others for a written response from the GCF Secretariat to questions raised in previous consultations.
On Sunday, 15 December, the COP adopted a decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2019/L.13), the COP, inter alia:
- encourages further pledges and contributions towards the first formal replenishment period;
- also encourages contributing countries to confirm their pledges to the GCF in the form of fully executed contribution agreements or arrangements as soon as possible;
- reiterates the request to the GCF to accelerate the disbursement of funds for already approved projects, including for readiness support, and provide detailed information on disbursement levels and measures taken in this regard in its report to the COP;
- welcomes the approval of the Board’s four-year workplan and requests the Board to complete its work on closing policy gaps, streamlining, and simplifying approval processes, including for readiness support and NAPs, and addressing the review of the accreditation framework as soon as possible so as not to disrupt the project and programme approval cycle during the first formal replenishment;
- encourages the GCF Board to continue its efforts to ensure that the GCF enjoys privileges and immunities;
- takes note of the engagement of the COP 25 President with the UN Secretary-General on the matter of granting privileges and immunities for the GCF and its officials and decides to continue its consideration of this matter at COP 26;
- invites parties to submit to the Secretariat their views and recommendations on elements to be taken into account in developing guidance for the Board no later than 10 weeks prior to COP 26;
- requests the SCF to take into consideration these submissions when preparing its draft guidance to the Board for consideration by the COP and CMA; and
- requests the 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.
In the same decision, the COP also decides to transmit to the GCF the following guidance from the CMA, which, inter alia:
- encourages the GCF to continue to enhance its support for adaptation;
- requests the GCF to swiftly conclude its work on guidance on the approach and scope for providing support to adaptation activities, and continue to enhance its support for the implementation of NAPs in line with Board decisions on enhancing readiness programming;
- encourages the GCF to continue to collaborate with the CTCN and TEC with a view to both strengthening cooperative action on technology development and transfer at different stages of the technology cycle and achieving a balance between support for mitigation and support for adaptation; and
- invites the GCF Board to continue providing financial resources for activities relevant to averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage in developing country parties, to the extent consistent with the existing investment, results framework, and funding windows and structures of the GCF, and to facilitate efficient access in this regard, and in this context to take into account the strategic workstreams of the five-year rolling workplan of the WIM ExCom.
Report of, and guidance to, the Global Environment Facility: This sub-item (FCCC/CP/2019/10, INF.10 and FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/3 and Add.1-2) was discussed in a joint contact group with the sub-item on the GCF, co-chaired by Toru Sugio (Japan) and Amena Yauvoli (Fiji), and consequently in informal and “informal informal” consultations.
Eligibility for GEF support and related criteria were discussed at length. In the contact group, India, China, and Iran stressed the need for eligibility of all developing countries. Palestine, for the G-77/China, lamented: the “regression” in pledges over the last three GEF replenishments; the decline in the climate allocation in the seventh replenishment (GEF-7); rising co-financing ratios; and that countries are not provided with the means to meet their obligations under the Convention.
On guidance, the EU suggested welcoming progress made by the GEF in 2019, and for guidance to remain focused, add value, and avoid repetition. The US cautioned against focusing on past or upcoming replenishments. Maldives, for AOSIS, called for GEF arrangements to support developing countries in preparing their NDCs. Malawi, for the LDCs, called for highlighting support to the LDCs.
Chizuru Aoki, GEF Secretariat, presented and responded to parties’ questions on, inter alia: difficulties faced by countries in accessing resources; System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) allocations; accessing Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) resources; and support for reporting required under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. Aoki made clarifications relating to: different ways in which developing country reporting is supported; the need for formal submissions by GEF Implementing Agencies for access to resources; and the current STAR policy, including its weighting to provide additional support to LDCs and SIDS. She also highlighted: support to 46 intended NDCs; continued availability of CBIT funds; and sufficient availability of data to inform rolling out of support to biennial transparency reports under the Paris Agreement. Some parties enquired about specific access-related challenges, including not having a STAR allocation and suspension of approved or proposed projects, with the GEF Secretariat noting an absence of proposals in the Secretariat’s database from some of the countries enquiring.
In subsequent informal consultations, developing countries further underscored: accreditation of new project agencies; the need to support loss and damage activities, implementation of technology action plans, and preparation of biennial transparency reports; and, relating to the STAR allocations, that eligibility criteria agreed by the COP should not be “overridden” in GEF replenishment discussions. Developed countries noted that, inter alia: the GEF Council is scheduled to consider accreditations later in December 2019; no language on loss and damage is needed at this stage; and eligibility criteria is an issue distinct from STAR allocations.
Views also diverged on, inter alia: noting concerns over co-financing policies; and references to the GEF’s eighth replenishment, with developed countries considering addressing it premature. Several developed countries called for deleting a request to the GEF to continue mainstreaming adaptation across projects, referring to the objective of the GEF as “the delivery of global environmental benefits.” Developing countries and several developed countries objected, underscoring that adaptation is such is an environmental benefit. Several developed countries called for the GEF to clarify whether there are approved proposals that have not been funded.
On Sunday, 15 December, the COP adopted a decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/CP/2019/L.7), the COP, inter alia:
- welcomes the report of the GEF, including the responses of the GEF to previous guidance from the COP and the work undertaken by the GEF during its reporting period (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019);
- invites the GEF to continue its efforts to minimize the time between the approval of project concepts, the development and approval of related projects, and the disbursement of funds by its implementing/executing agencies to the recipient countries;
- urges the GEF to continue to report to the COP any change or update to the eligibility criteria for accessing the GEF resources, including the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources country allocation, in its future reports to the COP;
- encourages the GEF, as part of the overall performance study of its seventh replenishment, to analyze any challenges faced and lessons learned by the GEF and its implementing agencies in applying the updated policy on co-financing of the GEF and report back to the COP on the outcomes of the study;
- also encourages the GEF, in collaboration with the GEF country focal points, to promote the use of technology needs assessments to facilitate the financing and implementation of technology actions prioritized by countries in their technology needs assessments, within the scope of its mandate and operational modalities; and
- requests the GEF, in administering the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), to continue facilitating the smooth transition of countries graduating from least developed country status by continuing to provide approved funding through the LDCF until the completion of projects approved by the LDCF Council prior to those countries’ graduation from least developed country status;
- invites parties to submit to the Secretariat, no later than 10 weeks prior to COP 26 (November 2020), their views and recommendations on elements to be taken into account in developing guidance to the GEF;
- requests the SCF to take into consideration these submissions when preparing its draft guidance to the GEF for consideration by the CMA and requests the GEF to include in its annual report to the COP information on the steps that it has taken to implement the guidance provided in this decision.
The COP also decides to transmit to the GEF the following guidance from the CMA, which:
- welcomes the report of the GEF to COP 25, including the list of actions taken by the GEF in response to the guidance received from the CMA; and
- requests the GEF, as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism, to adequately support developing country parties in preparing their first and subsequent biennial transparency reports under its seventh replenishment and throughout its replenishment cycles.
Development and Transfer of Technologies
Joint report of the TEC and CTCN: This item was referred to the SBSTA and SBI, see page 8
Capacity Building under the Convention
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 10.
Matters related to LDCs
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 8.
Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures
This item was referred to the SBSTA and SBI, see page 11.
Gender and climate change
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 11
Consideration of Proposals by Parties to Amend the Convention under Article 15
Proposal from the Russian Federation to amend Article 4.2(f): This item was held in abeyance.
Proposal from Papua New Guinea and Mexico to amend Articles 7 and 18: 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 2018: Budget performance for the biennium 2018-2019: Programme budget for the biennium 2020-2021: The sub-items under this agenda item were referred to the SBI, see page 12.
Decision-making in the UNFCCC process: This item was briefly discussed in informal consultations led by the COP Presidency. COP 25 President Schmidt reported that parties agreed the issue was important but they could not agree on a way forward. Rule 16 will be applied.
The high-level segment took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 and 11 December. To read the statements at the opening ceremony see: https://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12772e.html
Chile-Madrid Time for Action
The Chile-Madrid Time for Action is an initiative of the Presidency to present a common vision and further the outcomes of the COP. The COP Presidency engaged parties through bilateral and other closed-door meetings. During the COP Presidency stocktake session held Saturday, 14 December, Brazil, with Argentina, expressed comfort with mandating further work on oceans but opposed mandating a SBSTA dialogue on land and climate change-related matters not addressed by other processes under the UNFCCC governing bodies. Saudi Arabia and Russia opposed text that would reference oceans but not land.
Mexico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Argentina called for references to the gender action plan, human rights, and rights of indigenous peoples. Noting that this was a “COP of action,” China stressed the need for ambition to implement the Convention and Paris Agreement, and, with India, underscored the importance of pre-2020 implementation for developing countries’ enhanced action. Egypt and Malaysia, for the LMDCs, called for a work programme to track progress and identify gaps in in pre-2020 implementation. Egypt, for the African Group, called for language on operationalizing the global goal on adaptation and on enhancing the provision of finance.
During the closing plenary on Sunday, 15 December, Brazil objected to references to oceans, including a SBSTA dialogue on the ocean and climate change to consider strengthening mitigation and adaptation in this context. This was opposed by Indonesia, Spain, Costa Rica for AILAC, the EU, Tuvalu, Belize for AOSIS, Marshall Islands, Canada, Norway, Egypt for the African Group, Australia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Argentina, Bhutan for the LDCs, Switzerland for the EIG, and Saudi Arabia. Brazil then withdrew its objection.
The COP then adopted the outcome without amendments.
Final Outcome: In its final outcome (decision 1/CP.25, FCCC/CP/2019/L.10), the COP, inter alia: expresses its appreciation and gratitude to the IPCC for providing the Special Reports and invites parties to make use of the information. The COP re-emphasizes with serious concern the urgent need to address the gap between the aggregate effect of parties’ mitigation efforts and aggregate pathways consistent with keeping global average temperature rise below 2°C or 1.5°C. In this vein, the COP recalls the need for adaptation, stresses the urgency of adaptation, and recalls the commitment of developed country parties to jointly mobilize USD 100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020.
The COP decides to hold, at COP 26, a round table among parties and non-party stakeholders on pre-2020 implementation and ambition. It invites parties and non-party stakeholders to submit inputs by September 2020 to inform the round table and requests the Secretariat to prepare a summary report by September 2021 on the basis of the outcomes of the round tables to serve as an input for the second periodic review of the long-term global goal.
The COP welcomesthe continuation of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and decidesto continue to appoint high-level champions, for 2021-2025, and to continue convening an annual high-level event. It requests the high-level champions to explore how to improve the work under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and requests the Secretariat to continue engaging with non-party stakeholders and enhancing the effectiveness of the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action platform.
The COP requests the SBSTA Chair to convene, at SBSTA 52, dialogues on the ocean and climate change to consider how to strengthen mitigation and adaptation in this context, and on the relationship between land and adaptation without intervening in other processes under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, in relation to land. The COP invites parties to submit inputs by 31 March 2020 and requests the SBSTA Chair to prepare informal summary reports on the dialogues.
Closure of the COP
The COP adopted the report (FCCC/CP/2019/L.1). The COP adopted a resolution expressing gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Chile, the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, and the people of the city of Madrid (FCCC/CP/2019/L.5; FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/L.4; FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/L.2).
President Schmidt gaveled COP 25 to a close at 1:54 pm.
Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement
CMA 2 President Schmidt opened the session on Monday, 2 December.
Adoption of the agenda: President Schmidt invited parties to adopt the agenda (FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/4), explaining that parties had reached an understanding on:
- not including a sub-item proposed by the African Group on consideration of special needs and circumstances of African countries, but holding informal consultations at this session;
- not including a sub-item proposed by AILAC regarding the special needs and circumstances of Latin American states;
- including a sub-item proposed by the African Group on the report of the Adaptation Committee and convening an informal meeting with parties on the global goal on adaptation; and
- including an identical footnote as on the COP agenda relating to the WIM agenda item, which states that inclusion of the item does not prejudge outcomes on matters relating to the governance of the WIM.
Honduras, for AILAC, supported by several Latin American countries, reiterated a request to hold consultations on the special needs and circumstances of Latin American countries. The African Group, the Arab Group, and EIG opposed. The Arab Group called for also holding consultations on the special needs and circumstances of its region, if consultations for Latin America were to be held. AOSIS objected to discussions that would “amount to a renegotiation of the Paris Agreement.” Nepal called for consideration of the special circumstances of mountainous countries.
The CMA adopted the agenda as proposed.
Election of additional officers: The CMA elected Amjad Abdulla (Maldives) as additional Rapporteur from a Paris Agreement party.
Organization of work: The CMA adopted the organization of work and forwarded the relevant items to the subsidiary bodies.
Status of ratification of the Paris Agreement: Parties took note of the information.
Credentials: The CMA adopted the report on credentials (FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/5).
Public Registries under the Paris Agreement: Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 4.12 (mitigation)
Discussions under this item focused on developing modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a registry mandated by the Paris Agreement to record NDCs communicated by parties.
A contact group was established by the CMA opening plenary for both sub-items related to the registry for Article 4.12 (NDCs) and 7.12 (adaptation communications). The contact group, co-chaired by Emily Massawa (Kenya) and Peter Wittoeck (Belgium), met twice. Parties also met in an “informal informal” setting to view a prototype registry prepared by the Secretariat and request clarifications.
During the first contact group meeting, parties engaged in a procedural debate about how to proceed with this agenda item and the item on the adaptation communications registry.
During the second meeting, the CMA Presidency informed it had engaged with parties in bilateral meetings and only two changes were acceptable to all: to change the reference to NDCs to a reference to Article 4.12; and to change the reference to adaptation communications to a reference to Article 7.12. Co-Chair Wittoeck proposed that parties confirm the registry with the understanding that these changes will be made.
China, for the LMDCs, reiterated its call for a single contact group and said that some of the group’s proposed changes would need to be made. Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, recalled the Katowice decision on this item (5/CMA.1) and stated that the prototype does not conform to that mandate. India called for the NDC filter and functionality to be removed. Zimbabwe, for the African Group, said that parties should see the revised prototype before adopting it. Belize, for AOSIS, lamented that some parties appeared willing to lose progress and delay the registry’s roll out. The EU recalled that the Katowice decision mandates the Secretariat to operate the registry and mentions “NDC” several times and called for a decision, not a delay. The Co-Chair noted no consensus and said he would report to the CMA Presidency.
During the CMA closing plenary, President Schmidt observed no consensus on this issue. Rule 16 will apply.
Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 7.12 (adaptation communications)
Discussions under this item focused on developing modalities and procedures for the operation and use of the public registry where adaptation communication shall be recorded under Agreement Article 7.12.
A contact group was established by the CMA opening plenary for both sub-items related to the registry for Article 4.12 (NDCs) and 7.12 (adaptation communications). The contact group, co-chaired by Emily Massawa (Kenya) and Peter Wittoeck (Belgium), met twice. Parties also met in an “informal informal” setting to view a prototype registry prepared by the Secretariat request clarifications.
During the first contact group meeting, Saudi Arabia for the Arab Group, China for the LMDCs, and Egypt for the African Group, called for a single meeting that would address the NDC registry and the adaptation communications registry to ensure consistent decisions. Canada, the US, and Belize for AOSIS, supported discussing these items separately, noting the two different mandates.
During the second meeting, the CMA Presidency informed they had engaged with parties in bilateral meetings and only two changes were acceptable to all: to change the reference to NDCs to a reference to Article 4.12; and to change the reference to adaptation communications to a reference to Article 7.12.
China, for the LMDCs, said that their views were not reflected and asked for clarification on how to move forward in consultations and on the prototype. The Republic of Korea noted it had not been consulted in bilateral discussions and provided some substantive views, with Saudi Arabia making a point of order stating that this contact group was mandated only to discuss process, not substance.
Egypt, for the African Group, said that parties cannot make a decision without seeing the prototype, noting that it should be a straightforward tool, but that some parties introduced complications. Trinidad and Tobago for AOSIS, the EU, Australia, the US, Colombia for AILAC, and Switzerland expressed disappointment that there was no agreement, and that some countries would not be able submit their adaptation communications because the registry will not be ready. China, for the LMDCs, called for party-driven discussions. Co-Chair Massawa said she would report that there was no consensus to the CMA Presidency.
During the CMA closing plenary, President Schmidt observed no consensus on this item. Rule 16 will apply.
This item was referred to the SBI, see page 6.
Matters Relating to Finance
These sub-items, which focus on providing guidance to the SCF, GCF and GEF, were first taken up in the CMA opening plenary. Work on all sub-items progressed under two contact groups and in informal and “informal informal” consultations taking place over the first and second week. The same groups also considered draft COP decision text (see page 17 for related discussions and the decision). During the CMA closing plenary, the CMA adopted a decision on three sub-items. For the Adaptation Fund Board, the CMA was not able to reach agreement.
Matters Relating to the Standing Committee on Finance:This sub-item was discussed in a joint contact group with the COP. Specifically with regard to the CMA draft decision, South Africa, for the African Group, noted agreement at CMA 1-3 to initiate deliberations on setting a new collective quantified finance goal at CMA 3, and suggested requesting that the SCF outline this process. See page 18 for related discussions and the decision.
Guidance to the Green Climate Fund: This sub-item was discussed in a joint contact group with the COP.
Regarding elements for a draft CMA decision text, parties agreed on the need to avoid duplication of guidance under the COP and CMA, with the EU stressing the need to avoid prejudging discussions ongoing under the GCF Board. Malawi for the LDCs, South Africa for the African Group, and Antigua and Barbuda for AOSIS called for text on support for the formulation and implementation of NDCs and implementation of other provisions of the Paris Agreement.
Developing countries emphasized the need to advance discussions on how the GCF contributes to the global goal on adaptation. Several developed countries noted that they consider the goal to be qualitative and dynamic, rather than quantitative and time bound. Some noted that the GCF Board is set to consider adaptation matters at its next meeting. On loss and damage, several developed countries called for text reflecting that the GCF is already funding related activities, such as early warning systems and flood protection infrastructure, which a developing country group considered not to be completely accurate. See page 19 for the CMA decision that the COP forwarded to the GCF.
Guidance to the Global Environment Facility: This sub-item was discussed in a joint contact group with the COP. During the first week, regarding elements for a draft decision, Palestine, for the G-77/China, noted its views on this item were the same as on the COP item on the GEF.
On Sunday, 15 December, the CMA adopted a decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/L.3), the CMA, inter alia:
- welcomes the report of the GEF to COP 25, including the list of actions taken by the GEF in response to the guidance received from the CMA;
- requests the GEF, as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism, to adequately support developing country parties in preparing their first and subsequent biennial transparency reports under its seventh replenishment and throughout its replenishment cycles, in accordance with Paris Agreement Article 13 (transparency), paragraphs 14-15 (on support to developing countries for implementing the article on transparency, including for building transparency-related capacity) and decision 18/CMA.1 (on modalities, procedures and guidelines for the Paris Agreement enhanced transparency framework); and
- recommends that COP 25 transmit to the GEF the guidance in the paragraphs above, in accordance with decision 1/CP.21, paragraph 61 (on guidance by the CMA to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism).
Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund: These discussions took place in a joint contact group with the CMP, see page 10 for the discussions and related decision.
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN
This matter was referred to the SBSTA and SBI, see page 8.
Capacity Building under the Paris Agreement
This matter was referred to the SBI, see page 10.
Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures
This matter was referred to the SBSTA and SBI, see page 11.
Matters relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
Guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6.2: Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4: Work programme under the framework for non-market approaches referred to in Article 6.8:This item was referred to the SBSTA, see page 15.
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 was referred to the SBI, see page 12.
Chile-Madrid Time for Action
The Chile-Madrid Time for Action is an initiative of the Presidency to present a common vision and further the outcomes of the CMA. The CMA Presidency engaged parties through bilateral and other closed-door meetings. During the CMA Presidency stocktaking session on Saturday, 14 December, Belize, for AOSIS, lamented the lack of references to science and, with Mexico, Norway, Argentina, Nepal, Bhutan for the LDCs, and Colombia for AILAC, and others, urged explicit references to ambition and a call for countries to update their NDCs in 2020, noting the text was now “looking backward instead of forward.”
Belize for AOSIS, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Costa Rica, and Bhutan for the LDCs stressed the need for language prohibiting carryover of Kyoto Protocol emission reduction units into the Paris Agreement mechanisms.
During the CMA closing plenary, the CMA adopted the decision. Egypt, for the African Group, stressed that this does not preclude broader engagement on the topic of the global goal on adaptation and that the group views this decision as a process for the identification of elements of that goal.
Final Outcome: In its decision (1/CMA.2, FCCC/PA/CMA/L.4), the CMA, among others, recalls that each party’s successive NDC will represent a progression beyond the party’s then-current NDC and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances. It recalls the request from COP 21 for parties with a five-year time frame to communicate a new NDC by 2020, and, for parties with a 10-year time frame to communicate or update their NDC by 2020. The CMA urges parties to consider the gap between emissions and the pathways consistent with the Agreement’s temperature goals, with a view to reflecting their highest possible ambition when responding to this request.
The CMA requests the Adaptation Committee to consider approaches to reviewing the overall progress made in achieving the global goal on adaptation and to reflect the outcome of this consideration in its 2021 annual report. The CMA urges developed countries to provide financial resources to assist developing countries with both mitigation and adaptation and encourages other parties in a position to do so to provide such support voluntarily.
Closure of the CMA
The CMA adopted its report (FCCC//PA/CMA/2019/L.1). President Schmidt gaveled the meetings of the CMP to a close at 1:54 pm.
Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
CMP 15 President Schmidt opened the session on Monday, 2 December. The CMP adopted the agenda (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/1) and organization of work. The Presidency will consult on the election of Bureau members.
The CMP adopted the report on credentials (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/7).
Status of ratification of the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol
The CMP took note of the information.
Reporting from and review of Annex I Parties
National Communications: This item was referred to the SBI, see page 4.
Annual compilation and accounting report for the second commitment period for Annex B parties under the Protocol: The CMP took note of the annual compilation and accounting report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/6 and Add.1)
Matters relating to the CDM
This item (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/3) was addressed in a contact group co-chaired by Yaw Osafo (Ghana) and Dimitar Nikov (France). Noting the potential implications for the CDM of adopting decisions under Article 6, parties did not reach consensus. The CMP 15 Presidency consulted on the way forward and prepared a draft decision for adoption by the CMP.
On Thursday, 12 December, the CMP adopted its decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/L.2), the CMP, inter alia:
- welcomes the report for 2018-2019 of the CDM Executive Board;
- designates as operational entities those entities that have been accredited and provisionally designated as such by the Executive Board to carry out sectoral scope-specific validation and/or verification functions as set out in the annex to the decision; and
- encourages the Executive Board to continue to review the methodological approaches for calculating emission reductions achieved by project activities that result in reduced use of non-renewable biomass in households, in particular with respect to the default baseline assumptions applied.
The annex lists operational entities that were accredited by the CDM Executive Board during its reporting period (1 September 2018 to 12 September 2019).
Matters Relating to Joint Implementation
The CMP took note of the report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/2).
Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund
This matter was referred to the SBI, see page 10.
Capacity Building under the Protocol
This item is summarized under the SBI, see page 10.
Report of the Compliance Committee
The CMP took note of the report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/5) and invited parties to make contributions to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Contributions to support the Committee’s work in 2020-2021.
Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures
This matter was referred to the SBSTA and SBI, see page 11.
Report on the High-Level Ministerial Round Table on Increased Ambition of Kyoto Protocol Commitments
The CMP President undertook consultations. CMP 15 President Schmidt informed that informal consultations did not result in conclusions. Rule 16 will apply.
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: These items are summarized under the SBI, on page 12.
Chile-Madrid Time for Action
The Chile-Madrid Time for Action is an initiative of the Presidency to present a common vision and further the outcomes of the CMP. The CMP Presidency engaged parties through bilateral and other closed-door meetings. On Sunday, 15 December, the CMP adopted the decision.
Final Outcome: In its decision (1/CMP.15, FCCC/KP/CMP/L.5)), the CMP urges the urgent entry into force of the Doha Amendment.
Closure of the CMP
The CMP adopted its report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2019/L.1). President Schmidt gaveled the meetings of the CMP to a close at 1:54 pm.
On Sunday, 15 December, parties delivered closing statements.
Noting that this was the longest UNFCCC COP in history, COP 25 President Schmidt lamented the lack of agreement on Article 6, but suggested parties came very close and made concrete advances. Saying that the citizens of the world are asking governments to do more, she called upon countries to strengthen political will and accelerate climate action at the pace needed.
Groups and parties thanked the Chilean Presidency, the Secretariat, and the various Co-Facilitators for their leadership. Many expressed their gratitude to Spain for having organized the meeting on such short notice.
Egypt, for the African Group, supported by the EU, suggested that what parties achieved was “not negative.” Expressing hope that parties have heard each other on raising ambition and means of implementation, he stressed the need to work together in a multilateral process.
Australia, for the Umbrella Group, welcomed the gender action plan, outcomes on oceans, and the decision on loss and damage. China, for BASIC, said the outcome on Article 6 fell short of expectations, and called on all states to remain committed to multilateralism.
A youth delegate from Norway lamented insufficient ambition to reach the 1.5°C goal and urged parties to “take the right decisions for our future.”
Indonesia welcomed the inclusive process and congratulated the Presidency for the outcomes of the “Blue COP.”
Malaysia, for LMDCs, called for honoring the memory of Bernarditas de Castro-Mueller, long time member of the climate change community, who passed away on 14 December 2018.
Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, reiterated its commitment to the principles under the Convention, especially common but differentiated responsibilities. He called for balanced procedural work and equal consideration for all items under the SBI and SBSTA.
Indigenous Peoples emphasized that they are the stewards of nature and experts on climate, and called upon delegates to “stop taking up space with false solutions.”
Noting the conference’s strong resistance against human rights references, Women and Gender: underscored that “undermining human rights means undermining gender equity”; welcomed the adoption of the enhanced GAP; and called for the dismantling systems of oppression, including but not limited to sexism, ageism, ableism, and colonialism.
Youth NGOs urged revising NDCs based on best available science and including youth in the process, and lamented that “the COP has failed the planet.”
Trade Union NGOs qualified the COP’s outcome as “a disgrace,” and called for social protection for workers in a just transition, as well as for workers to be at the table to negotiate enhanced NDCs.
Business and Industry NGOs stressed that business is ready to work with parties, and expressed deep disappointment that Article 6 was not finalized at this session.
Research and Independent NGOs regretted the “dilution of science in the text” and encouraged public-private cooperation on climate action.
Climate Justice Now! lamented that governments have “ignored the clear, simple solution” of leaving fossil fuels unexploited, and called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies.
Climate Action Network supported the principles of environmental integrity, human rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in Article 6, and expressed concern over the “exclusion” of certain countries in the negotiations.
Thanking all parties for the long hours of work, and especially ministers who she said made it possible to reach agreement, COP 25 Presidency Schmidt closed the longest meeting in UNFCCC history.
A Brief Analysis of the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference
It was impossible to deny the atmosphere of disappointment that followed delegates out of the half-empty plenary hall after the final gavel fell on the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference on Sunday afternoon, 15 December 2019. Many could only point to the outcomes on loss and damage and gender as substantive “wins.” Others asserted that no outcome on Article 6, which addresses market and non-market mechanisms for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, was better than one with major loopholes, particularly on environmental integrity. But these were, by all standards, below the expectations set for this meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and certainly highly troubling from a global signaling perspective.
What exactly caused that disappointment is more difficult to unpack. The COP had relatively modest ambitions in the continuum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process: its main task was to finalize the Paris rulebook in anticipation of 2020, when the Paris Agreement comes into effect. At the same time, the conference was a time to reflect on progress made, and assess if there are the necessary mechanisms for all countries to enter into the post-2020 period. Despite some advances, its final outcomes were met with largely negative reactions, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres himself declaring that “the international community lost an important opportunity...to tackle the climate crisis.”
This analysis considers two major gaps that the COP attempted to bridge. The first is the gap between the demands of science and civil society for an ambitious political response to “the climate emergency,” on the one hand, and the limitations of multilateralism in the UNFCCC on the other. The second is a continuing gap between those looking ahead to the Paris Agreement era and those still focused on the past record of implementation and ambition. These gaps weakened the outcomes of this meeting and have implications for COP 26, which will meet in 2020 as the Paris Agreement comes into effect.
The Expectations Gap
Civil society summed up the meeting at its close: “the COP has failed the people and the planet.” Their assessment aligns with the expectations set by the “outside world.” But could COP 25 have ever lived up to these expectations?
The general public’s expectations towards the annual climate change negotiations have risen exponentially with increasing media coverage and even more so now that “the climate emergency” has entered the public discourse in many countries. Greenhouse gas emissions reached a record high in 2018, and UNFCCC reports revealed that Annex I countries, excluding economies in transition, reduced their emissions by a mere 1.8% between 1990 and 2017. The 67 countries that announced their intentions to enhance their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019 still only represent 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. More countries have come on board since September, but the silence of all major economies, except for the EU, is striking.
2019 was also marked by the bleak messages from science, as the latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that climate change impacts will be more severe than previously anticipated and that current action does not put us on the track to limit the global average temperature increase to the collectively agreed level of well below 2°C. Informed and encouraged by this scientific consensus, calls from civil society for “changing pathways and increasing ambition,” especially in terms of emission reductions, grew louder over the year. Youth activists succeeded in rallying other constituencies to join in on increasingly frequent “climate strikes.” Midway through the conference, half a million people took to the streets of Madrid, directly addressing their calls for more ambition to negotiators at COP 25.
Yet the ambitions of the world, or even of those engaged in the climate regime, cannot realistically be met by a single COP, particularly one constrained by the mandates written by parties. From the point of view of the UNFCCC process, COP 25 was largely expected to deliver a robust set of decisions that would inform COP 26, and very few of the items on its agenda related to mitigation. None addressed ambition.
The Chilean COP Presidency attempted to address the lack of formal attention to raising ambition. The Presidency convened ministers from various sectors, namely science, agriculture, finance, transport, and energy at the COP; each meeting explicitly focused on how these ministers could contribute to developing more ambitious climate pledges. There was also considerable attention to the role of non-state actors. The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action showcased its results in the Yearbook of Climate Action in various thematic sessions throughout the conference. The COP outcome decision recognized its value, and strengthened the Partnership’s future by extending the mandate of the High-level Champions to 2025 and asking them to further improve the Partnership. Attention to these initiatives, conspicuously outside of the formal negotiation agenda, attempted to signal to the world that the UNFCCC could deliver on ambition.
But, in the end, such extra efforts could not make up for the limits of the multilateral climate process. Under the Paris Agreement, the level of countries’ ambition is determined nationally. There are primarily only soft levers, based on moral suasion, that can convince parties to do more. For COP 25, these limitations were in the agenda, defined by parties themselves. The modest mandates for COP 25 were set years ago, through states’ self-interested negotiations.
More in tune with the meeting’s agenda, negotiation insiders primarily pinned the meeting’s success on whether it would deliver on two issues: loss and damage, and robust enough guidance for Paris Agreement Article 6’s two segments on market-based mechanisms. Loss and damage is an issue where vulnerable countries need confidence of support, especially in view of the fact that high emitters’ low emission reduction ambition will confront them with ever increasing climate change impacts. In this respect, the final outcome was better than what emerged through closed-door discussions. The Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change will now be equipped with what some dubbed “an implementation arm,” in the form of the Santiago Network for Averting, Minimizing, and Addressing Loss and Damage. This network will bring together bodies working in related fields, such as disaster risk reduction, to provide technical assistance to vulnerable countries. The decision also established a new expert group on action and support, to help countries access expertise on slow-onset events (such as sea level rise) as well as the rumored funding available through non-UNFCCC bodies, such as multilateral development banks, for such work. Crucial to developing countries, the decision contains several references to scaling up financial and technical support for loss and damage activities.
On Article 6, parties came to Madrid still seeking to address fundamental differences, including whether and how to “carryover” credits generated under the Kyoto Protocol to count toward their Paris Agreement pledges. This and many of the other basic design issues were framed as questions about how the market mechanisms could incentivize ambition. In the end, the negotiations failed to reach agreement and the issue will be considered again at the intersessional meeting in June 2020. Perhaps counterintuitively, many found this outcome better than the alternative: an adopted text containing possible loopholes that could have undermined the environmental integrity of international carbon markets. In the final days of the COP, a group of 31 countries set out their vision of Article 6 in the “San Jose Principles for High Ambition and Integrity in International Carbon Markets,” which stipulate the delivery of overall mitigation in global emissions, address the need for so-called “corresponding adjustments” to avoid double counting of emission reductions, and prohibit the use of pre-2020 units—all key demands of those supporting strong environmental integrity under Article 6.
The 2020 and Beyond Gap
The Paris Agreement enters into force in 2020—mere days away. For some, COP 25 stood at the cusp of a new era governed by the Paris Agreement. For others, COP 25 was the moment to consider how the past actions and inactions will continue to shape the future.
Stocktaking the past featured prominently, and will continue to as parties agreed to hold a series of round tables on pre-2020 action. Many pointed to a “lost decade” of action by developed countries in terms of mitigation and support provided to developing countries.
The calls to continue discussions on pre-2020 action were loudest from the Like-minded Developing Countries (LMDCs). These middle-income developing countries, alongside other developing countries, called for the inclusion of a two-year work programme on pre-2020 action, extending discussions under the COP long-term finance item beyond 2020, a forum for discussing climate finance from a strategic perspective, and a status report on developed countries’ USD 100 billion by 2020 climate finance goal. These countries are in a difficult situation: while the onus of leadership in reducing emissions and providing support lies with developed countries, there are growing expectations for many LMDC countries to act because they currently have the highest levels of emissions growth.
Drawing attention to the pre-2020 period contextualizes these expectations. Implementation by all developing countries will be limited by the support they have received thus far, or lack thereof. They argue that they cannot be expected to leap into action when the calendar turns to 2020, and achieve robust mitigation results with a foundation weakened by years of undelivered finance, technology transfer and development, and capacity building.
For developed countries, and some developing countries, such calls tread dangerously close to re-writing the Paris Agreement. The Agreement, while under the Convention, including its principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, is premised on participation by all countries, “in light of different national circumstances.” These countries emphasized the need to focus on raising ambition in all NDCs in 2020, to both ensure the necessary emissions reductions and also send a strong signal to the world that the Paris Agreement is ready to deliver. The final decision under the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) titled “Chile-Madrid Time for Action,” shows the resolve of these countries to encourage all parties to raise their ambition, but shies away from a direct, clear call. Instead, it rather obliquely refers to a related COP 21 decision, a roundabout way of reminding parties to submit more ambitious NDCs in 2020.
Looking ahead without considering the limitations imposed by the past undermined progress on several issues. There was no consensus on long-term finance; the work under the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework for national reporting, is likewise stalled. Transparency is an issue dear to developed countries, especially the US, which has long demanded similar reporting requirements for all. Since 2007, the issue of common reporting framework has moved from an idea to a set of detailed tables that all countries will complete, with flexibility for developing countries. Several developing countries, most vocally China and the African Group, pointed out the imbalance of progress on transparency in tandem with the limited political attention to, and advancement of, adaptation and finance issues. Why, they asked, should parties continue advancing developed countries’ priorities, when they continue to stall progress on finance-related issues and block ongoing discussion of the global goal on adaptation?
On top of all this, the often unspoken, but still looming, aspect beyond 2020 is the imminent US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Taking effect in eleven months, less than a week before COP 26, the repercussions were already being felt. Many expressed anger that the future defector attempted to wield its influence in writing the rules for Article 6 and loss and damage—rules that the US will not be subject to unless it rejoins the Agreement. Delegates also wondered about the future credibility of the Paris Agreement. As with the Kyoto Protocol before it, there will again be a climate agreement, one designed around US demands, without the participation of the world’s highest per capita emitter. This raised questions of leadership, and serious concerns if the EU, hampered internally by some member states reluctant to engage on climate, or China, focused on its own development, can credibly lead the way to a more climate ambitious future.
Bridging the Gaps before COP 26
The gaps that undermined progress at COP 25, and arguably harmed the reputation of the UNFCCC, are likely not to disappear anytime soon. A COP 25 intergovernmental outcome that merely achieves an “overall balance”—in the words of COP 25 President Schmidt—will not keep the world under 1.5, or even 2°C of warming. What most participants at COP 25 did agree on is that finding a way to prove that the intergovernmental process—despite its limitations and divisions among parties—has the ability to generate the needed ambition. This responsibility to bridge these gaps now falls heavily on the shoulders of parties as they head towards COP 26.
57th Meeting of the GEF Council: The Council is the GEF ’s main governing body that meets twice annually to develop, adopt, and evaluate the operational policies and programmes for GEF-financed activities. It also reviews and approves the work programme (projects submitted for approval). dates: 16-19 December 2019 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings/gef-57th-council-meeting
Koronivia intersessional workshop: UNFCCC COP 23 in 2017 adopted a decision on the Koronivia joint work on agriculture, which requests the subsidiary bodies to jointly address issues related to agriculture, including through workshops and expert meetings, working with constituted bodies under the Convention and taking into consideration the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches to addressing food security. dates: March 2020 location: Bonn, Germany www: https://unfccc.int/topics/land-use/workstreams/agriculture
IPCC-52: The IPCC is currently in its sixth assessment cycle. dates: 24-28 February 2020 (TBC) location: TBC www: https://www.ipcc.ch/calendar/
25th Meeting of the GCF Board: The 25th meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund will convene to help guide its assistance to developing countries in meeting the climate challenge. dates: 10-12 March 2020 location: Songdo, Republic of Korea www: https://www.greenclimate.fund/home
35th Meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board: The Adaptation Fund (AF), established under the Kyoto Protocol, finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change. The Fund is supervised and managed by the AF Board. The World Bank serves as AF trustee on an interim basis. Since 2019, the Adaptation Fund has served the Paris Agreement with respect to all matters relating to the Agreement. dates: 17-20 March 2020 location: Bonn, Germany www: https://www.adaptation-fund.org
Africa Climate Week (ACW): The ACW is part of Regional Climate Weeks that are held annually in various regions. Regional Climate Weeks are organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership, which supports developing countries in preparing and implementing their NDCs. dates: 9-13 March 2020 location: Kampala, Uganda www: https://unfccc.int/event/africa-climate-week-2020
NAP Expo 2020: In 2020, NAP Expo will convene for the seventh time since 2013. The event is organized by the LDC Expert Group (LEG) under the UNFCCC, in collaboration with various bodies and organizations, to promote exchange of experiences and foster partnerships between a wide range of actors and stakeholders on how to advance National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). dates: 30 March – 3 April 2020 location: Gaborone, Botswana www: https://unfccc.int/event/nap-expo-2020
20th Meeting of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC 20): Created in 2010, the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) is the policy arm of the Technology Mechanism. It focuses on identifying policies that can accelerate the development and transfer of low-emission and climate resilient technologies. dates: 1-3 April 2020 location: Copenhagen, Denmark www: https://unfccc.int/ttclear/tec/meetings.html
Sustainable Energy for All Forum 2020: Focusing on the theme, “Building Speed, Reaching Scale, Closing the Gap,” the 2020 edition of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Forum will provide a global platform to mobilize resources, connect partners, and showcase action to realize the promise of the sustainable energy revolution for everyone. dates: 26-28 May 2020 location: Kigali, Rwanda www: http://seforallforum.org/forum-2020
52nd Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: The 52nd sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies will meet in June 2020. dates: 1-11 June 2020 location: Bonn, Germany www: https://unfccc.int/event/first-sessional-period-sb-52
58th Meeting of the GEF Council: The Council is the GEF ’s main governing body that meets twice annually to develop, adopt, and evaluate the operational policies and programmes for GEF-financed activities. It also reviews and approves the work programme (projects submitted for approval) . dates: 2-4 June 2020 location: Washington, D.C., US contact: GEF Secretariat email: https://www.thegef.org/contact www: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings/gef-58th-council-meeting
CIF Trust Fund Committee and Sub-Committee Meetings: The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Committees and Sub-committees will meet at World Bank Headquarters. dates: 8-11 June 2020 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/
Latin America & Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW): The LACCW is part of Regional Climate Weeks that are held annually in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific. Regional Climate Weeks are organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership, which supports developing countries in preparing and implementing their NDCs. dates: 6-10 July 2020 location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic www: https://www.regionalclimateweeks.org/
High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2020: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will convene the 2020 session of the HLPF under the theme “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.” Following the first five-days, the HLPF’s three-day ministerial segment takes place jointly with ECOSOC’s high-level segment. dates: 7-16 July 2020 location: UN Headquarters, New York www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2020
42nd Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol: The 42nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (OEWG 42) will prepare for the 2020 Meeting of the Parties. dates: 13-17 July 2020 location: Montreal, Canada www: https://ozone.unep.org/meetings
Global Adaptation Action Summit: The Netherlands will host the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) Climate Adaptation Summit in October 2020. Following the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the GCA began its Year of Action, which will present its findings in October 2020 at the Climate Adaptation Summit. dates: October 2020 (TBC) location: Netherlands www: https://gca.org/
IPCC-53: The IPCC is currently in its sixth assessment cycle. dates: 6-10 October 2020 location: TBC www: https://www.ipcc.ch/calendar/
Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW): The MENACW is part of Regional Climate Weeks that are held annually in various regions. Regional Climate Weeks are organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership, which supports developing countries in preparing and implementing their NDCs. dates: October 2020 (TBD) location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates www: https://www.regionalclimateweeks.org/
2020 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26): The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26), the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 16), and the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 3) will convene. dates: 9-19 November 2020 location: Glasgow, UK www: https://unfccc.int
For additional upcoming events, see http://sdg.iisd.org/