Report of main proceedings for 22 June 2019
Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2019
The Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Saturday. Technical negotiations continued throughout the day.
Common Time Frames: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Grégoire Baribeau (Canada), parties discussed draft conclusions. Many developed and developing countries proposed, opposed by two groups, a call for submissions and a synthesis report of those submissions. Several called for a decision in 2019, citing the importance of the decision for planning and developing future NDCs. Two developing country groups opposed specifying a date for a decision. The Co-Facilitators will report to the SBI Chair the lack of consensus on the date at which parties will reach agreement, and on a call for submissions with a synthesis report.
Terms of Reference (ToR) for the 2019 Review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): Parties engaged in informal consultations on elements of the scope of the review. Many stressed the need to assess the WIM’s performance in fulfilling its three functions, namely: enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches; strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence, and synergies among relevant stakeholders; and enhancing action and support. Some parties suggested taking into account the special needs of the most vulnerable countries, gender, and vulnerable communities. In this regard, one group emphasized addressing access to support at the national level.
Many agreed on the timeframe for the WIM to be reviewed from its establishment to the present.
Several parties suggested having outputs, rather than outcomes, from the review, including a report and recommendations on how to enhance and strengthen the WIM to inform decisions. On effectiveness, one party stressed considering timeliness, quality of outputs, and whether parties used them. Others suggested looking at whether tangible outputs, including from scientific and technical bodies, have been beneficial to countries.
In the afternoon, parties’ views began to converge on sources of input, including a document for the preparation of the review, encompassing: Secretariat technical paper; annual report of the WIM Executive Committee (ExCom); submissions made by parties; relevant COP decisions; and the ExCom work plan. They recognized a number of sources of information useful for the review, including international reports, national and regional strategy reports, and outputs of constituent bodies and relevant UNFCCC events. They also agreed on the need for scientific reports as sources of input. Views differed on the need to make a reference to Agreement Article 8 (loss and damage). The Co-Facilitators will prepare an informal paper for Monday.
Adaptation Fund Board Membership: During informal consultations co-facilitated by Fiona Gilbert (Australia), views on draft conclusions diverged substantially. Parties could not agree on whether to engage with Co-Facilitators’ informal note, to refer to it in the draft conclusions, or to add an addendum capturing the views expressed during the session.
On a proposed draft decision text, parties disagreed on whether the SBI would decide or confirm that the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement parties shall be eligible to serve on the Board.
Parties expressed opposing views on a paragraph that would invite the CMA to consider, once the Adaptation Fund begins to serve the Paris Agreement exclusively, the Board membership modalities.
Gender: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Penda Kante Thiam (Senegal) and Colin O’Hehir (Ireland), participants adopted an informal note by Co-Facilitators to inform submissions from parties for COP 25. Parties discussed, among other things, priority areas of the Gender Action Plan; the Lima Work Programme on Gender; other proposals from parties; and next steps. Discussions on gender will continue at COP 25.
Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings: In informal consultations, discussions focused on the frequency of meetings and engagement with non-party stakeholders as expressed in an “elements” paper presented by Facilitator Una May Gordon (Jamaica). Some preferred continuing discussions on frequency and others favored deferring discussions. Some developed countries called for another Secretariat paper on the costs and other implications.
On non-party stakeholders, one group of developing countries suggested a policy or framework to ensure all observers are working to further the goals of the Convention and the Paris Agreement. One country opposed and others noted the intergovernmental nature of the process. One group called for a mandate to consider the future of the Global Climate Action Agenda under this agenda item. Informal consultations will address draft conclusions on Monday.
Nairobi Work Programme: Monika Antosik (Poland) and Majid Shafipour (Iran) presented the latest version of the Co-Facilitators’ draft conclusions, with several parties noting their broad agreement with the text. One party requested more time to consider textual changes. The Co-Facilitators will disseminate updated draft text. Discussions will continue.
Matters Relating to Science: Research and systemic observation: Co-Facilitator Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) proposed draft conclusions. Views diverged on, among others, whether to “note with concern” the information reported in the WMO’s Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018 and 2018 Greenhouse Gas Bulletin; and whether to “note” or “welcome” the summary report on the tenth meeting of the research dialogue.
The Co-Facilitators will prepare a draft reflecting new understandings. Discussions will continue.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C: Several parties expressed their disappointment at the previous meeting’s outcome and, with one opposing, pressed for the need to engage with the Co-Facilitators’ draft text in order to build draft conclusions.
One party raised strident concerns about, among others, perceived knowledge gaps in the Special Report and the geographic distribution of its authors. Many disagreed, proposing language to: reflect their countries’ use of the report to inform national policies; that the report had “enhanced their understanding”; and to encourage the science community to continue its work bridging existing knowledge gaps.
Most parties called for the presentation of draft conclusions by the next meeting; the party raising concerns objected. Discussions will continue.
Methodological Issues under the Paris Agreement: Common tabular formats (CTFs) for information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs: Informal consultations focused on the structured summary. All parties reaffirmed that this is a “shall” requirement and recalled the need to accommodate different types of NDCs. Several developed countries, and a few developing countries, envisioned the structured summary as a table only, while some developing countries pointed to the need for a table, a narrative, or both. Some developing countries suggested the format of the structured summary could be nationally determined. Discussions will continue.
Article 6: Parties resumed discussions on baselines and additionality. In setting the baseline, parties expressed diverging preferences for a performance-based approach that reflects best available technologies and a business as usual/historical approach. Those preferring the latter urged avoiding a restrictive approach for developing countries. Parties diverged on how to reflect the context where developing countries also have mitigation goals. Some parties suggested that crediting take place below NDC levels, while others called such an approach too restrictive. Parties disagreed on whether baselines provided the basis to operationalize overall mitigation global emissions (OMGE). Parties also disagreed on whether the issuance of credits was possible in the absence of commitments by Annex B countries (developed countries with targets under the Kyoto Protocol).
On 6.2 and 6.4 linkages and operationalizing Article 6.4c and 6.5 (double counting), many parties supported the application of corresponding adjustments when Article 6.4 units are internationally transferred. A group of parties suggested that corresponding adjustments be applied at the time of issuance rather than transfer. A number of parties supported the generation of credits outside the scope of NDCs to avoid the risk that the generated credits will be double counted. Parties diverged on whether the group had the mandate to formulate accounting guidance under Article 6.4. Two groups of parties called for capacity-building support to countries to bring activities undertaken within the scope of their NDCs.
On safeguards and limits, parties discussed how best to organize work. Some parties proposed a sequential approach whereby safeguards are discussed after the guidance for Article 6 is agreed. Others disagreed, noting that safeguards are integral to the overall package. A number of parties suggested a middle ground that involves an agreement on the principle to avoid increasing emissions while listing the safeguards in the annex to the decision and mandating a work program to operationalize them in the future. Parties diverged on specific safeguards such as unilateral measures and fluctuations of credit prices.
In the afternoon, discussions began with share of proceeds. Parties disagreed on the applicability of share of proceeds to Article 6.2. Some groups urged “levelling the playing field” amongst Articles 6.2 and 6.4. Others objected. A number of parties suggested a 5% levy at issuance, while others supported tasking the supervisory committee to formulate recommendations based on needs. For the interim period before share of proceeds becomes available, a group of parties suggested using the CDM trust fund, while others opposed.
On delivering OMGE, parties diverged on its operationalization, including applicability to both Articles 6.2 and 6.4. While several parties supported conservative baselines and emissions factors, others opposed. A group suggested going beyond an offsetting approach, which was described as “zero sum.” A number of parties favored cancellation of units.
On response measures, two groups called for a process to channel information about the impacts arising from the implementation of Articles 6.2 and 6.4 to the response measures bodies. Some preferred using the response measures forum and committee to address response measures. Parties will discuss accounting and transition issues next.
Scope of the Next Periodic Review of the Long-term Global Goal (LTGG) under the Convention and of Overall Progress towards Achieving It: Co-Facilitator Leon Charles (Grenada) invited views, with one group presenting a bridging proposal for consideration. On assessing progress towards the LTGG, views continued to diverge concerning potential overlaps between the periodic review and the global stocktake. Some parties requested language on, among others, the importance of using the best available science. Several parties reiterated a request for text to reflect all potential outcomes, including a closing of the periodic review. Some parties requested more time for informal and informal informal consultations. Discussions will continue.
In the Corridors
As a week’s negotiations drew to a close, and the dense Article 6 discussions jangled to music from a nearby festival, some delegates looked back with wry optimism. “Progress is progress,” one said, “but we can’t afford to get stuck.”
What some called “fireworks” burned up hopes of swift resolutions on various texts. Longstanding tensions and explosive language strained talks on the Adaptation Fund, the periodic review, and the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming. On the IPCC report, one delegate was ready to declare the SBSTA’s carefully crafted “gentleperson’s agreement” broken.
Moods rose in those sessions that progressed, or even finished, discussions. Yet unspoken worries remained: these items, though important, are far from the most urgent. Still, as delegates left, eager for rest, some hoped that, with these out of the way, next week’s discussions will focus on bridging disagreements in sensitive areas and fulfilling process mandates.