Daily report for 8 June 2013

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2013

In the morning, two ADP Workstream 2 roundtables convened on: building a practical approach to increasing pre-2020 ambition; and a Workstream 1 roundtable on variety of actions. In the afternoon, the ADP roundtable on variety of actions continued and a number of SBSTA contact and informal groups also met throughout the day. A Friends of the Chair group met throughout the day.


 ROUNDTABLE WORKSTREAM 2: BUILDING A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO INCREASING PRE-2020 AMBITION; enhancing climate finance, technology and capacity building: Parties discussed approaches to bridging the emissions gap and then turned to climate finance, technology and capacity building.

CHINA presented modeling results, concluding that Annex I parties’ “overuse of the carbon space” before 2020 caused the mitigation gap. He underlined other gaps in: adaptation; equitable access to sustainable development based on historical responsibilities and support to developing countries. The US cited another study indicating that, with multiple sectors considered, historical emissions from developing countries will exceed those of developed countries by 2020 and underscored that currently, emissions emitted every 12 years equal all historical emissions up to 1970.

The EU highlighted that policy choices made now, such as investment in fixed capital and infrastructure, have future impacts. In response, CHINA underscored that Annex I emissions account for 70% of cumulative emissions until 2010, and stated that emerging economies will have a slower emissions growth rate because of the global recession. 

Presentations by parties: The EU observed that the GCF could promote a paradigm shift towards low-carbon, climate resilient development and that long-term target setting is crucial for investors as well as for a legally-binding instrument in 2015. He said risk sharing and risk analysis are required to reduce risk and improve certainty of returns.  

Highlighting domestic initiatives to bridge the emissions gap, UGANDA observed that adjustments towards low-carbon development need to begin with informed policies, while also maintaining the development objectives of developing countries.

VENEZUELA noted the need to transform unsustainable lifestyles and cautioned against leaving policy setting to the markets.

On shifting investment towards climate-friendly technologies, the US said that developed countries have to mobilize financial resources and developing countries have to strengthen their domestic enabling environments. He emphasized a low emissions development strategy (LEDS) is crucial for ensuring that domestic and donor spending is aligned with climate change and development objectives, but cautioned that there is “no silver bullet” to address the finance mobilization challenge.

Interventions by parties: CHINA suggested using developed countries’ public finance as a catalyst to provide incentives for the private sector in capital and technology markets. Nauru, for AOSIS, called for a technical paper reflecting policy options for specific mitigation solutions in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage. INDONESIA highlighted the importance of considering enabling environments in developed countries and at the global level to mobilize finance and technology.

ADP ROUNDTABLE ON WORKSTREAM 1: VARIETY OF ACTIONS: Presentations by parties: Calling for elaboration of an equity reference framework, the Gambia, for LDCs, supported the use of metric and non-metric criteria, such as historical responsibility, future sustainable needs, and vulnerabilities.

ETHIOPIA proposed a hybrid approach based on, inter alia: historical and per capita emissions; the global temperature goal; quantified and apportioned atmospheric space; and quantified emission rights.

SWITZERLAND proposed a hybrid approach to burden sharing, including common rules and expectations, a consultative phase and a common MRV system. He called for the consultative phase to include: a compilation of pledges; comparison of pledges against the 2°C degree objective; and cooperation to address remaining gaps.

Interventions by parties: The EU said that the 2015 agreement needs to be tested against whether it is individually and collectively fair and capable of delivering on the 2°C objective. She noted that, to that end, all parties must have binding commitments, that are: in accordance with CBDR; subject to assessment according to indicators; and capable of being increased.

BRAZIL urged for a focus on positive incentives directed at action rather than “making things more difficult to execute,” adding that Annex I and non-Annex I countries’ pledges should be presented in different ways, and Annex I countries need to keep the Kyoto Protocol as a reference.  

The PHILIPPINES stressed the need for enhanced ambition “on all fronts” and cautioned against conditionalities on the provision of funding.

SOUTH AFRICA supported an equity reference framework. He emphasized, inter alia: reconciling science imperatives with national circumstances; perception of fairness of comparative action; bringing adaptation to the center of the global climate policy dialogue; and focusing discussions on ambition beyond parties’ structural differences. On the ex ante assessment framework, he proposed combining metric- and non-metric-based approaches to mitigation and adaptation commitments proposed by parties themselves.

With regard to ex ante assessment of commitments, SAUDI ARABIA said it should only be explored for developed countries and stressed that actions by developing countries are voluntary. NORWAY invited parties to learn from the difficulty of quantifying Cancun mitigation pledges in terms of basic metrics and assumptions, and fairness.

KENYA supported an equity framework approach with an equity review process. SINGAPORE said equity could not be distilled in indicators. Underlining that the Convention itself is the ultimate framework on equity, he cautioned against creating a new framework.

CHINA stressed that ethics requires consideration of both future and current generations and emphasized the need for an innovative low-carbon development path.

INDIA emphasized that equity can raise ambition, cautioned against applying equity dynamically and emphasized that the concept of respective capabilities should not result in a transfer of responsibilities from developed to developing countries.

The US cautioned that trying to come to an agreement on a set of indicators could be difficult. He expressed concern that wrongly constructed indicators could undermine parties’ shared objective. 

ADP ROUNDTABLE ON WORKSTREAM 1: Variety of Actions: Finance, Technology and Capacity Building: Calling support a “mutual responsibility,” NORWAY said support would always be forthcoming if it resulted in action. He stressed the need for the discussion to focus on both the costs and benefits of action. INDIA identified limited implementation of commitments regarding finance and technology as the central barrier. He called for provision of concessional technology to allow developing countries to take early and effective action.

COLOMBIA called for the new climate agreement to include a review process for means of implementation in light of evolving needs, such as the intensifying impacts of climate change. PERU drew attention to early action to avoid a steep rise in adaptation costs.

CHINA said the 2015 agreement must be built on the agreed outcome of the Bali process and implementation of commitments under the Convention. He proposed considering a mechanism for technology transfer. To bridge the trust gap and address the challenge of the insufficient provision of means of implementation, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA proposed developing MRV for finance with clear definitions, baselines and scope. He called for improved coordination between existing mechanisms inside and outside the UNFCCC. NEPAL underscored means of implementation for developing countries to deal with vulnerabilities and undertake a low-carbon development path.

BANGLADESH said means of implementation are key for the “Paris Protocol.” NAURU highlighted, inter alia, identification of sources, and scaling up provision of, climate finance. AUSTRALIA said provision of means of implementation means establishing a partnership between contributors and recipients, and the 2020 finance goal must be seen in the context of effective mitigation action and transparent implementation of support.

The EU highlighted the concepts of “massive transformation” and dynamism in the context of the new agreement. He stressed the need to ensure that created institutions, such as the GCF, deliver and continue their work beyond 2020. JAPAN suggested that consideration of capacity building, technology transfer and finance in the 2015 agreement build on existing arrangements and discussions, which should be part of the package in the 2015 process.

The US emphasized that financial flows to developing countries are dependent on policy and regulatory frameworks in place, and called for strengthening existing institutions.

MEXICO called for complementarities between national and international efforts, and private and public sources of finance. The PHILIPPINES cautioned against applying the notion of respective capabilities to developed countries’ commitments. SWITZERLAND underscored the need for a strong enabling environment, a blend of public and private sources, and domestic and multilateral finance for a low-carbon future. 


Coming to the end of the first week of negotiations, delegates’ impressions varied on Saturday. Some opined that “positive spirits” had prevailed in most SBSTA discussions and substantive progress appeared within reach. A delegate’s reflection on the ongoing work under the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change was hopeful: “I think we are making progress towards a second phase of the NWP. I hope we will manage to bring it closer to the implementation needs on the ground.” Those following REDD+ were pleased that outstanding tasks, such as MRV, national monitoring systems, and time and frequency of the presentation of information on safeguards, had advanced substantially. However, agriculture under the SBSTA was cited as an issue that was not progressing as smoothly as most hoped.

Meanwhile, on the SBI side of the corridor, delegates continued meeting in a Friends of the Chair group all day, with many delegates becoming increasingly frustrated with the impasse, as one voiced: “can you imagine how much work we’ll have to do in Warsaw to make up for lost time?” Another veteran negotiator explained that despite the SBI Chair’s conciliatory proposals, “none of the alternatives proposed seemed to satisfy parties’ interests,” but “hopefully, all challenges would be overcome by Monday or Tuesday.”  

The ADP co-chairs’ lunchtime civil society event was well attended, with some participants wondering if, perhaps, progress within the UNFCCC is being outpaced by initiatives outside the process. As one BINGOs representative put it: “we can, we are and we will” stay committed to tackling climate change. CAN announced an “informal process” to develop an equity-based framework. Local Governments, Women and Gender, and Climate Justice Now! joined in by highlighting their numerous activities. Participants also discussed elements for a 2015 agreement and reflected on their common wish for a more transparent, structured approach to civil society engagement. “It’s what we all want,” another emphasized. In this spirit, Mexico, for the EIG, announced that they will submit a proposal calling for a platform for continuous dialogue with civil society. Saying “all good things must come to an end,” Co-Chair Mauskar closed the meeting, as the ADP co-chairs prepare to pass the torch to their successors at the end of the Bonn session.

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