Photo courtesy of Kiara Worth

2021 Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies

31 May – 17 June 2021 | Online

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC

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Photo courtesy of Kiara Worth
Photo courtesy of Kiara Worth

The Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) convened for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) undertook work originally mandated for their 2020 sessions as well as work mandated for 2021, to prepare for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.

There were a range of issues on the SBSTA and SBI agendas, including matters related to the Adaptation Fund and a number of issues related to the Paris Agreement, such as common time frames for Nationally Determined Contributions, sources of input for the Global Stocktake, and matters relating to Article 6 (operationalize the market and non-market mechanisms established by the Paris Agreement). In addition, the COP 25 and incoming COP 26 Presidencies convened consultations in preparation for COP 26.

To account for the challenges and constraints of virtual meetings, the sessional period was extended from the usual two to three weeks. After opening plenaries, 90-minute-long informal consultations convened on a range of issues. There were two consecutive sessions per day and the SB Chairs aimed for a maximum of four simultaneous meetings during these respective slots. Meetings were planned to take place each day from 31 May – 17 June, except for 6 and 13 June. The timing of each meeting shifted to accommodate people from different time zones.

There were joint SBI-SBSTA stocktaking plenaries at the end of each week and the SB Chairs will convened informal events to inform participants, facilitate exchange, and complement the informal negotiations. Progress was captured in informal documents prepared under the SB Chairs’ authority.

A number of mandated events, such as the meetings of the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures and of the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building, took place. There were no side events.

The meeting built on the experience with the June Momentum for Climate Change that took place in June 2020 as well as the Climate Dialogues that took place in November-December 2020.

IISD, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report of the meeting. 

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