Daily report for 4 June 2013

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2013

In the morning, the opening plenary of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) and an in-forum workshop on response measures convened. In the afternoon, the second meeting of the Durban Forum on Capacity Building, SBSTA Research Dialogue and the ADP roundtable on Workstream 1: variety of actions, took place. In the morning and afternoon, various contact groups and informal consultations were held under SBSTA.


ADP Co-Chair Jayant Moreshver Mauskar (India) opened the session. 

OPENING STATEMENTS: The G-77/CHINA emphasized the need to bring Doha amendments on the second commitment period into effect at the earliest opportunity. Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, highlighted: the need to promote national actions and co-benefits, and define a spectrum of commitments.

Switzerland, for the EIG, emphasized: dynamic differentiation between parties according to CBDR and equity; and the need to catalyze means of implementation and climate-friendly investment. He identified Warsaw as the right moment to move to a more formal working modality.

The EU called for: mitigation commitments for all that would reflect evolving economic realities and development opportunities; tangible progress on pre-2020 ambition; and a draft negotiating text by COP 20.

Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for: a fair multilateral rules-based regime bringing into effect equitable access to sustainable development, and an equity reference framework.

Nauru, for AOSIS, called for cost-effective and scalable mitigation actions, and emphasized the need to overcome barriers to implementation. She said that the 2015 agreement: should strengthen the rules-based, legally-binding regime; and include a loss and damage mechanism, and a compliance system.

Nepal, for the LDCs, proposed a workshop on adaptation and stressed the need to clarify added value of the new agreement for addressing adaptation in developing countries.

Nicaragua, for ALBA, cautioned against focus on legally-binding mitigation commitments without means of implementation.

Costa Rica, for SICA, urged for concrete results on levels of ambition on mitigation, adaptation, means of implementation, transparency, MRV of action and support, and loss and damage. He said priority should be given to public finance.

Sudan, for the LIKE-MINDED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, expressed concern about themes not reflecting agreed elements, including: investments and enabling environment, which diverts attention from the problem of inadequate provision of finance and technology; and selective sectoral activities, which imposes additional burdens on developing countries.

India, for BASIC stressed that work under the ADP must be informed by the IPCC, the 2013-15 Review and the subsidiary bodies, and urged meaningful operationalization of the GCF, Technology Mechanism and Adaptation Committee.

Chile, for AILAC, suggested combining a bottom-up approach, which allows each party to define its own contribution based on national circumstances and capacity, with a top-down structure to enable comparability of efforts.

Papua New Guinea, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, advocated REDD+ as key to achieving global GHG reduction targets.

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, expressed dissatisfaction with discussions on pre-2020 ambition and called for a results-oriented approach.

GERMANY reported that during the recent Petersburg Climate Dialogue, ministers discussed how to reflect in a 2015 agreement a variety of commitments, based on CBDR and taking into account the dynamic nature of the climate challenge, as well as responsibilities, capabilities and national circumstances.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH described the US pledge and review system as unacceptable and called for: scaling-up of finance and technology transfer; agreement on a global feed-in tariff; energy efficiency; and dirty energy subsidies.

WOMEN AND GENDER suggested considering a non-discrimination principle in the context of UNFCCC and keeping out of a 2015 agreement any high-risk technologies, including nuclear, shale gas and geo-engineering.

YOUNGOs called for inclusion of inter-generational equity in the preamble of the 2015 agreement. 

ADP ROUNDTABLE ON WORKSTREAM 1: VARIETY OF ACTIONS: The roundtable started with several parties introducing their proposals. BANGLADESH explained there is no leeway and agreement must be: reached no later than 2015; applicable to all parties; rules-based, predictable, robust, bold, clear, enforceable and scientifically-sound; and take into account long-term perspectives, CBDR and equity, and loss and damage.

Suggesting consideration of quantifiability and standardization of certain commitment types, AUSTRALIA elaborated on the design of a spectrum of commitments by focusing on the benefits of a hybrid approach, which would enable parties to take ownership of their bottom-up nationally determined commitments and robust internationally-agreed rules. He characterized the approach as dynamic, allowing parties to update and enhance schedules without further negotiations.

BRAZIL explained that its proposal made in 1997 was to create a matrix that differentiates responsibilities not based on current emissions, but on contributions to global warming.

ECUADOR proposed to: establish an international court of climate justice; promote the UN declaration on the Rights of Nature as an instrument to protect the Earth and its ecosystems; and mandating finance support to enable MRV and establishing a registry thereof in the 2015 agreement.

The EU highlighted the need to deliver in Warsaw a process and proposed a step-wise approach to formulating mitigation commitments: exploring options and ex ante clarity for post-2020 commitments; allowing parties to formulate and put forward their commitments; a review of proposed commitments assessing if they are sufficient to be on track to the 2ºC goal; and inscribing commitments into the 2015 agreement. He suggested that parties consider, transparency rules, an internationally-agreed accounting framework, a review process and indicators to inform parties to develop commitments.

The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES stated that no one indicator gives a complete view of what constitutes a fair commitment and proposed that each party provide an explanation of its commitment using its own yardstick. He said a new agreement must support countries dealing with climate change impacts and those trying to diversify their economies.

In the ensuing discussion, parties further presented ideas, including: the need for means of implementation, a timeframe and common accounting rules in the new agreement; reflections on currently proposed actions in terms of building trust and reconciling limited time with a need for a thorough review of commitments; and moving towards economy-wide emission reduction targets.


SBSTA RESEARCH DIALOGUE: Recent developments in global climate information: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, IPCC, highlighted improvements of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) including on integration of adaptation and mitigation, risk management approach and uncertainty handling.

Sybil Seitzinger, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) said that, based on regional reconstructions, a sharp rise in mean temperature records is occurring. She said it is possible to limit the global temperature increase to 2ºC if short-lived climate pollutants are tackled. She reported on a new inclusive wealth index that considers a sustainability approach.

Participants discussed, inter alia:the feedback effects of the carbon cycle, non-temperature effects of short-lived climate pollutants, the role of black carbon in mitigation, and seismic events, such as tsunamis.

Emerging scientific findings: Dmitry Zamolodchikov, the Russian Federation, presented on the management of ecosystems based on Russian cases, saying that human and climate-induced changes have a relevant impact on GHG emissions.

Mitsuru Osaki, Japan, discussed estimations of carbon emissions and their fluxes in tropical peatlands, highlighting results from a project towards a real time monitoring system, integrated MRV system and real time carbon dioxide emissions mapping.    

Sybil Seitzinger, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS, drew attention to areas for further attention, including: carbon emissions due to urbanization; climate change occurring more rapidly than species’ capacity for adaptation; and identification of multiple global climate targets.

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), spoke on carbon fluxes in tropical dry forests and savannas, noting that climate change will impact around 60 million people living in tropical dry forests and that these forests, which have been largely ignored, are a barometer for climate change. 

In ensuing discussions participants addressed, inter alia: the need for an overview of carbon fluxes; possibility of developing robust methodologies for REDD+; and integration of knowledge in policy-making and collaboration.

Andrew Matthews, Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN), highlighted activities to support identification of policy priorities and regional capacity development actions, including supporting the region’s young research community.

Sybil Seitzinger, IGBP, WCRP, and Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START), described efforts to downscale climate model results for applications in food security, agriculture and climate change, as well as a number of capacity building programmes, including a writing retreat for young African scholars.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, for Programme on Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA), highlighted identification and synthesis of research priorities to support policy decision-making. She underscored plans to develop tracking systems to identify research gaps for the preparation of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report.


SECOND SESSION OF THE DURBAN FORUM ON CAPACITY BUILDING: The Forum was co-facilitated by Helen Plume (New Zealand) and Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago). Participants heard presentations and discussed building capacity for: mitigation, adaptation, and gender and climate interlinkages.

On building capacity for mitigation, Ben Good, Global Village Energy Partnership, highlighted Climate Innovation Center Kenya, a business incubator to support small businesses in developing mitigation and adaptation solutions. During the discussion, participants addressed: financial guarantees; selection of businesses for inclusion in the scheme; eligibility criteria; and the scale of the initiative.

Christina Colon, UNDP, presented on the Low Emission Capacity-building Programme and strengthening public sector capacity for the identification of NAMAs and LEDS and facilitating their uptake by the private sector. In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed the inclusion of SIDS in the programme; the results chain; stakeholder involvement; and removal of barriers.

Chizuru Aoki, GEF, highlighted capacity building as a foundational element of GEF support integrated into projects and cited their National Communications Umbrella Programme as an example.

 Alexia Kelly, US, described the Low-Emissions Development Strategies Global Partnership, which supports strategy development and providing a platform for donor collaboration with developing countries, NGOs and the private sector. During the discussion, participants addressed the extent of integration of capacity building in projects and ability to support experts.

On building capacity on gender and climate change linkages, Meena Khanal, Nepal, addressed gender action plans, highlighting a climate and gender awareness programme in her country. During the discussion, participants addressed mobility of human capital; linkages between climate change and adaptation; and timely information sharing with stakeholders.

On building capacity for adaptation, Darrel Danyluk and David Lapp, World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), highlighted the positive correlation between engineering and science graduates, and economic and social development.

Batu Krishna Upreti and Lava K.C., Nepal, presented on National and Local Adaptation Plans for Action designed to enhance understanding of climate impacts and implement adaptation actions.

Daouda Ndiaye, Adaptation Fund, presented on integration of capacity-building elements in adaptation projects and lessons learned.

During the discussion, participants raised issues relating to: funding for projects; adaptation capacity gaps; and monitoring and evaluation of adaptation projects, including with regard to capacity building.


RESPONSE MEASURES FORUM ON ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION AND TRANSFORMATION: This workshop was facilitated by SBSTA Chair Richard Muyungi and SBI Chair Thomasz Chruszczow. Participants exchanged experiences and shared views on opportunities for economic diversification and transformation. Discussion focused on possible recommendations, trade issues and subsidies.

Presentations: The Secretariat highlighted sectors vulnerable to climate change responses including conventional fuels, energy-intensive goods and tourism. He observed that industrial policy with the right mix of macro-policies can address market failures and target support.

G-77/CHINA underlined the need to consider the high adjustment costs faced by developing countries and barriers presented by policies implemented by developed countries affecting economic diversification.

SAUDI ARABIA underlined that mitigation actions should not hinder developing countries’ diversification. She said economic diversification is a meaningful tool, but insufficient on its own.

Drawing on their experience, the EU observed that economic diversification policies could offer co-benefits for addressing climate change. International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) highlighted opportunities to develop renewable energy, increase efficiency and support adaptation.

OPEC said economic diversification needs to be supported with technology transfer and capacity building. Saying that OPEC members would be the most adversely affected, he stressed the need to design a support mechanism.

On the response measures report and possible recommendations to COP 19, the G-77/CHINA identified consideration of national circumstances and addressing high adjustment costs. The US and EU highlighted numerous reasons for diversification unrelated to climate change. ARGENTINA, supported by CHINA, and opposed by the EU and the US, suggested unilateral measures could be a cross-cutting issue in response measures.

On trade issues, a party noted that when the whole lifecycle is considered transportation may not necessarily imply higher emissions. Views diverged on whether the UNFCCC or the WTO is the appropriate forum to discuss trade issues related to climate change.

On subsidies, several developing countries noted the negative effects of agricultural subsidies and the need for targeted subsidies to access modern energy services. Many noted the challenge of ensuring access to energy, increasing the proportion of renewable energy and decreasing negative impacts of transitioning, amid rising demand for energy.


All seemed calm enough on the second day at the Maritim, compared to the rockier first day. In the ADP, as one participant expressed, “some countries’ proposals are constructive and we can see efforts to find some middle ground between top-down and bottom-up approaches." Another, however, was less convinced that progress was being made, and opined that the discussions added little to last month’s positions.

Work also continued under SBSTA. Multiple groups began meeting as delegates “rolled up their sleeves and got down to business,” as one REDD+ negotiator put it, as he left the drafting group room late in the night.

Meanwhile, the prevailing SBI impasse continued. Looking ahead to Wednesday, one participant remarked that convening the workshop on the 2013-2015 Review was timely, given the recorded atmospheric concentration of 400ppm of carbon dioxide, which now gave the Review “extra gravitas.”

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