Report of main proceedings for 26 June 2019
Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2019
The Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Wednesday, with negotiations on draft conclusions occurring on several issues. The Thematic Expert Meeting on Adaptation concluded.
Terms of Reference (ToR) for the 2019 Review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): Co-Facilitator Marianne Karlsen (Norway) presented draft conclusions with the ToR in the annex, which many welcomed, viewing the ToR as a balanced compromise and useful guide for the Review.
One party asked why a reference to the IPCC was left out. One developing country group opposed the text saying that its views were not included. One party proposed a footnote to avoid prejudging the governance issue. Co-Facilitator Karlsen said there was a common understanding in the room that decisions on the governance issue will take place elsewhere but that parties have no consensus on how to reflect this in the ToR. She proposed, and one developing country group opposed, to forward the draft conclusions with the annexed ToR to the SB Chairs for consideration. The SBI Chair will consult with parties.
Matters Relating to Science: Research and systemic observation: After lengthy discussions, participants agreed upon a compromise to remove a paragraph making reference to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018 and the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. In exchange, parties agreed to retain a footnote making reference to specific paragraphs in the SBSTA Chair’s summary report on the tenth meeting of the Research Dialogue, detailing ways in which parties could reduce uncertainties and support the work of the Global Carbon Project, and summarizing the research presented at the Dialogue. Co-Facilitators Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) and Christiane Textor (Germany) will prepare clean text for SBSTA.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming: Participants reviewed draft conclusions presented by Co-Facilitators Annela Anger-Kraavi (Estonia) and Ladislaus Chag’a (Tanzania). One party, supported by many, put forward a bridging proposal that streamlined paragraphs regarding “methodological challenges” and scientific knowledge in relation to the Special Report. Two parties strongly opposed and argued on a point of order that discussions should proceed paragraph by paragraph. SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson (France) intervened, welcoming the discussion and highlighting the importance of science, and the relationship of the UNFCCC to the scientific community. He will consult with the Co-Facilitators to ensure a conclusion in plenary.
Methodological Issues under the Paris Agreement: In the contact group, parties agreed to draft conclusions, with the exception of a request to the Secretariat to provide a synthesis report of parties’ views, which was opposed by one developing country group and a developing country. The Co-Facilitators will consult with the SBSTA Chair on the outstanding issues.
Common tabular formats (CTFs) for support: Co-Facilitator Seyni Mafo (Mali) invited parties’ views on the Co-Facilitators’ informal note in a final informal consultation. Some developed countries said references to flexibility, progression over time, underlying methodologies, and new and additional support were inconsistent and inaccurately reflected the MPGs and should be deleted. This was opposed by some developing country groups that said that the informal note is a collection of parties’ views.
On flexibility, developed countries noted that flexibility is not explicitly referred to in the chapters on support provided and received, and is instead operationalized in a specific manner. One developing country group said that flexibility has a specific, legal definition in these chapters of the MPGs. Another developing country group noted that flexibility is operationalized differently in these chapters, in that developing countries do not have to report on their use of flexibility provisions, and, with another developing country group, underlined that flexibility is a key part of Agreement Article 13 (enhanced transparency framework).
Bunker Fuels: Luiz de Andrade (Brazil) and Bert van Loon (Belgium) co-facilitated. Some parties expressed procedural confusion regarding why the session was taking place, having understood that the conclusions had been agreed upon. Some parties favored only adopting a paragraph noting that the SBSTA continued consideration of the matter; took note of the information provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO); and noted parties’ views. One party recommended a bridging proposal related to an invitation to the Secretariats of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Monetary Organization to report to the UNFCCC. One party strongly recommended invoking Rule 16, which would defer the matter to a future SBSTA. Parties were unable to agree on final conclusions. The Co-Facilitators will consult the SBSTA Chair on the way forward.
Article 6 (Market and Non-market Approaches): Hugh Sealy (Barbados) and Peer Stiansen (Norway) co-facilitated. Parties resumed their consideration of the Co-Facilitators’ draft texts, with this session focusing on Article 6.2 (ITMOs). A party sought clarifications from the Co-Facilitators on ideas put forward but not captured in the text and language that was not introduced but found in the text. Co-Facilitator Sealy noted the texts tried to capture the evolution of ideas and invited views in the spirit of making corrections which will be reflected in the next iteration.
On Article 6.2, parties raised issues, including: multi-year cumulative approach; principle of no increase in global emissions; frequency of reporting to the CMA; connecting national registries to the international transaction log; and a work program to develop further guidance to help bring extant sectors and gases within the purview of NDCs. A group of parties, supported by a party, expressed concern that paragraph 77d (corresponding adjustments in the transparency modalities, procedures and guidelines) prejudged discussions, and called for a decision superseding that paragraph.
In the afternoon, SBSTA Chair Watkinson (France) opened the contact group, explaining that its purpose was to discuss the outcomes of work and agree on the draft conclusions. Reporting back from informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Peer Stiansen (Norway) noted that a new iteration of the texts had been produced, with changes highlighted in yellow. Parties then considered the SBSTA Chair’s proposal for draft conclusions. Many parties and groups objected to discussing the draft conclusions without having had adequate time to review the new iteration of the draft texts. Others welcomed the conclusions, noting that their views did not prejudge the status of the new versions of the texts. A number of parties and groups supported intersessional work, while others opposed. A party urged a conclusion each for the three sub-items, opposing the single draft conclusions proposed. Chair Watkinson invited parties to consider the new iteration of the text. Parties will convene in a contact group setting on 27 June.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: Parties approved the draft text presented by Co-Facilitators Heikki Granholm (Finland) and Milagros Sandoval (Peru), with some parties seeking clarification on some items. In reflections following adoption, parties welcomed the progress, with some party groups and parties taking note of the importance of ensuring the means of implementation for future actions to avoid “talking endlessly” about agriculture without substantive developments. Some parties also stressed the need for agriculture to become a standing item in the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies agendas in future meetings.
Response Measures: During the contact group, the Co-Chairs presented an informal document, saying it: contains their original proposal to develop the 6-year work plan of the forum and the Katowice Committee of Experts on Impacts of Implementation of Response Measures (KCI); and captures submissions and interventions from parties on activities in the work plan. Co-Chair Ruben Verwey (Netherlands) proposed that parties consider procedural conclusions with the document attached in an annex. One developing country group advocated to continue working by engaging on time frames and modalities. Many questioned the feasibility to reach consensus on a work plan at this session. One proposed focusing on an interim 6-month work plan for the KCI. Co-Chair Verwey noted that the interim workplan could include activities parties did agree on during the session.
Parties considered draft conclusions paragraph by paragraph and engaged in lengthy discussions on when and what activities the KCI would undertake, and the KCI’s draft rules of procedures.
One party asked for specifying that the KCI’s second meeting be held after the adoption of the work plan. Several developed countries expressed preference for in-session KCI meetings. Two groups of developing country parties stressed the importance of giving the KCI an activity related to exchanging lessons learned and best practices that parties agreed to at this session.
Views diverged on how to capture progress made in this session. Two developing country groups preferred annexing the Co-Chairs’ proposal to develop the 6-year work plan of the forum and its KCI, whose listed activities were discussed by parties. Several developed countries preferred a later version as presented on June 26 by the Co-Chairs and taking note of the views expressed by parties at this session as well as the Co-Chairs’ suggested way forward.
On the KCI’s draft Rules of Procedures (RoP), parties inquired, and confirmed that the KCI could proceed in its work applying the RoP provisionally. Parties also agreed, with the understanding that some issues may still need further discussion at the next session, that: the Subsidiary Bodies would take note of the draft RoP prepared by the KCI, and request that the KCI append the draft RoP to its annual report for the forum, with a view to the forum considering them during SB 51 and forwarding the draft RoP to the COP/CMP/CMP for adoption.
Technical Expert Meeting – Adaptation
The 2019 Technical Expert Meeting on Adaptation concluded by holding sessions on adaptation finance, more specifically considering: multi-scalar adaptation planning and financing at the national, subnational, and community level; private sector engagement in climate resilience and adaptation; and transparency and trust. One panelist highlighted the need to “go for it” in climate adaptation action, reminding the audience that the process is iterative: the main need is to acknowledge that we’re all learning by doing. Another highlighted the important role of civil society organizations in successfully monitoring and implementing projects.
In the Corridors
On the penultimate day of the subsidiary bodies’ meeting, issues came down to the wire, leaving the SB Chairs to try to rally delegates toward the finish line. SBSTA Chair Watkinson was called into several negotiation rooms to “sort things out,” including the IPCC Special Report consultations.
The transparency discussions spent the afternoon in informal informal meetings, considering need for a synthesis paper on parties’ submissions, and on how to address parties’ disagreements on the informal note for the transparency of support. Emerging from the Article 6 contact group, an anxious delegate hoped that there could be agreement on how to move forward tomorrow. For another, perhaps more pragmatic delegate, even just agreeing on which texts to use, of the many that came out of Katowice, would be a “real step forward.”
With the final plenary poised to begin Thursday, the weight of how the outside world perceives the UNFCCC was palpable; pressure is mounting to secure—as one delegate opined—“an outcome that confirms the credibility of our process.”
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the Bonn Climate Change Conference will be available on Sunday, 30 June 2019 at http://enb.iisd.org/climate/sb50/