Report of main proceedings for 19 October 2015
Bonn Climate Change Conference - October 2015
The Bonn Climate Change Conference opened in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, 19 October, for the 11th part of the second session of the ADP. Following a brief opening plenary, the ADP convened in a contact group throughout the morning, debating how to proceed. In the afternoon, the contact group continued, working through the draft agreement text article-by-article.
ADP Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder (US) opened ADP 2-11. For the COP 20/CMP 10 Presidency, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment, Peru, via video message, suggested parties take advantage of previous work and engage constructively to develop consensus text.
For the COP 21/CMP 11 Presidency, Laurence Tubiana, France, commended the Co-Chairs for their work on the non-paper. She noted the text still lacks ambition and called on parties to produce a clear, concise and ambitious text.
Acknowledging lack of consensus on this text, ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder reminded delegates that the ADP Co-Chairs’ non-paper (ADP.2015.8.InformalNote) is intended to be a basis for text-based negotiations. Pursuant to a meeting held on Sunday evening, he noted an understanding among parties that work would proceed in a contact group with parties making “surgical insertions” of “must-haves” into the text followed by a meeting of Heads of Delegation on how to proceed, as outlined in ‘Further Clarifications on the mode of work at ADP 2-11.’
South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, supported by Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, lamented that the Co-Chairs had not fulfilled their mandate to produce a balanced text. She proposed an open-ended drafting committee, with text on the screen and live editing.
ADP CONTACT GROUP
In the morning, ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder opened the contact group. Maldives, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), noted that the Co-Chairs’ text does not reflect the existential challenge faced by vulnerable states.
Parties then debated the G-77/China proposal, with Malaysia, for the LIKE MINDED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), and Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, reiterating the importance that views expressed during pre-consultation meetings be fairly reflected.
SWITZERLAND, NEW ZEALAND and the EU supported the mode of work presented by the Co-Chairs.
Drawing an analogy with apartheid, the G-77/CHINA lamented that developing countries had to justify themselves, questioning the approach of the ADP Co-Chairs. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA said the Co-Chairs’ text does not accurately represent the discussions from ADP 2-10.
SWITZERLAND and the US noted that all parties and groups feel there are missing elements in the text. NEW ZEALAND expressed uncertainty about the volume and status of proposals for surgical insertions and the modus operandi. MEXICO said his country could go along with the G-77/China proposal.
ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder asked parties to agree on: going through the sections of the non-paper; capturing insertions on the screen; and deciding later among Heads of Delegations on the way forward.
MEXICO and the LMDCs suggested parties send their insertions by email, with the LMDCs proposing these be displayed quickly on screen to address parties’ anxiety about what is being inserted, while avoiding lengthy explanations.
Parties agreed to continue in an open-ended contact group, moving article-by-article through the text and reflecting proposals submitted by parties on the screen.
In the afternoon, on the preamble, Malaysia, for the LMDCs, suggested references to: Article 2 of the Convention; equity and CBDR; and sustainable development and poverty eradication as “overriding priorities” of developing countries. BOLIVIA stressed indigenous peoples’ rights and the right to development.
Maldives, for AOSIS, called for referencing the outcomes of the 2013-2015 Review and the specific vulnerabilities of small island developing States (SIDS).
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, expressed reservations about reintroducing parties’ text, worrying it would create a “ballooned, un-navigable” text.
Angola, for the LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs), suggested references to IPCC reports and party inputs, and the need for deep emission cuts.
Proposals from the PHILIPPINES, NORWAY, Mexico, for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP (EIG), and Costa Rica, for the INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (AILAC), referenced human rights and gender equality.
Panama, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS (CfRN), highlighted the critical role of REDD+.
SWITZERLAND suggested text on carbon pricing. CANADA underscored the role of local authorities and non-state actors.
On definitions and purpose (Articles 1-2), the LMDCs proposed insertions on sustainable development, the protection of mother earth and adaptation.
The LDCs proposed, inter alia: a below 1.5 °C temperature goal; an effective response to loss and damage, gender sensitivity and equality; and respect of human rights .
Marshall Islands, for AOSIS, stressed putting the long-term temperature goal at the heart of the agreement.
On mitigation (Article 3), several parties presented proposals on reporting and reviewing mitigation contributions, including suggestions that the first mitigation contributions be communicated upon joining the agreement.
Saint Lucia, for the CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, said mitigation commitments should be housed in an annex to the agreement. Noting that parties’ emissions will peak at different times, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION said contributions should be legally-binding and annexed to the agreement.
New Zealand, for a group of UMBRELLA GROUP countries, proposed establishing parameters for nationally determined contributions (NDCs). SWITZERLAND suggested NDCs reflect parties’ highest level of ambition “in light of recommendations by science.” The US proposed including decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century. The EU suggested reinstating language on LDCs and SIDS and addressing emissions from international bunker fuels.
AOSIS proposed that the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement (CMA) conduct a process to facilitate the understanding of INDCs. The LDCs suggested parties work towards economy-wide targets over time. Several parties proposed language on avoiding double counting.
Algeria, for the AFRICAN GROUP, proposed, inter alia, a new paragraph on differentiation, and MOI provisions to enable mitigation. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, inserted language indicating that NDCs can include co-benefits resulting from adaptation and economic diversification.
CfRN suggested text on prioritizing actions that are immediately implementable, scalable and results-oriented, including REDD+. Argentina, for the G-77/CHINA, presented decision text establishing a cooperative mechanism to minimize the adverse impacts of response measures.
On adaptation (Article 4), Bolivia, for the G-77/CHINA, submitted several insertions on institutional arrangements and the global goal/long-term vision. MEXICO proposed text on transfer of technology relating to early warning systems, and the communication of adaptation efforts for stocktaking by the high-level session.
On loss and damage (Article 5), the G-77/CHINA suggested the establishment and purpose of a new mechanism linked to the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. SWITZERLAND requested bracketing the entire article. CANADA proposed Article 5 be removed, suggesting addressing loss and damage in a COP decision.
On finance (Article 6), the REPUBLIC OF KOREA called for inscribing the GCF and the GEF as financial entities of the agreement. MEXICO recommended the CMA facilitate finance communications. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC proposed channeling support from developed countries to advance policies and regulations on climate change.
The EU called for referencing carbon pricing, and the role of all parties in mobilizing climate finance in line with evolving responsibilities and capabilities. NORWAY inserted a paragraph on prioritizing results-based payments for verifiable emission reductions.
The US, for a group of UMBRELLA GROUP countries, with SWITZERLAND, suggested donors include all parties in a position to do so and that developing parties “in need” be eligible for support.
Bolivia, for the G-77/CHINA, emphasized the provision of finance for increasing developing countries’ ambition.
On technology development and transfer (Article 7), Canada, for a group of UMBRELLA GROUP countries, called for less focus on barriers, adding text on enabling environments.
Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, suggested the technology framework provide guidance on technology assessments. The LMDCs proposed developed countries support research, development and application of environmentally-sound technologies and facilitate transfer to developing countries. INDIA suggested addressing barriers created by intellectual property rights.
On capacity building (Article 8), China, for the G-77/CHINA, suggested developed countries support developing countries’ capacity-building, based on country needs. The EU suggested text on effective institutional arrangements.
On transparency (Article 9), the LMDCs emphasized: differentiation; MRV of support; and no double-counting. AOSIS suggested ensuring transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency.
The UMBRELLA GROUP supported a unified and robust transparency system, covering both action and support applicable to all parties. BRAZIL proposed including a placeholder for enhancing International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) and International Assessment and Review (IAR) processes.
The EU proposed a technical expert review in accordance with common guidelines and procedures, and an international multilateral assessment process. Guatemala, for AILAC, suggested tracking progress in achieving developed countries’ commitments to provide new, additional, predictable and adequate support to developing countries.
The AFRICAN GROUP suggested, inter alia, that developed countries, operating entities of the financial mechanism, and any other organizations in a position to do so allocate financial resources for transparency-related capacity for developing countries.
On global stocktake (Article 10), the LMDCs underscored assessing overall progress and respect for CBDR. The EIG suggested the CMA take stock of implementation of the agreement to assess aggregate progress. Colombia, for AILAC, called for a forward-looking dimension to enable maximizing ambition. The EU suggested five-year stocktaking cycles.
On implementation and compliance (Article 11), the LMDCs proposed drawing on Kyoto Protocol language and on the notion of differentiation. Colombia, for AILAC, suggested paying attention to the respective national capabilities and circumstances of parties. Norway, with AILAC and the EU, supported establishing a compliance committee no later than COP 21. BOLIVIA called for an international tribunal of climate justice to address developed countries’ non-compliance.
Tuvalu, for the LDCs, proposed a compliance mechanism with an enforcement branch dealing with countries with economy-wide targets, and a facilitative branch to assist developing countries.
Some parties submitted textual proposals on: the CMA (Article 12); the Secretariat (Article 13); and voting (Article 22). CfRN proposed a new article defining a REDD+ mechanism.
Moving forward, many parties asked for clarification on the treatment of text insertions, requesting their integration into the non-paper in advance of spin-off groups. The AFRICAN GROUP, supported by AILAC, the EU and the US, suggested the Secretariat undertake “technical work” to streamline duplications and overlaps in the text. Co-Chair Djoghlaf agreed the Secretariat would undertake light editing of the text if agreed by the G-77/China. The G-77/CHINA agreed to consult on whether streamlining could take place and report to the Co-Chairs later in the evening.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On Monday, ADP delegates gathered in a packed plenary room to discuss what many described as the de minimis text for the Paris agreement included in the non-paper prepared by the ADP Co-Chairs. As the session unfolded amidst procedural wrangling, numerous delegates expressed dissatisfaction with the text. Some lamented the text “went too far in eliminating options,” and failed to adequately capture parties’ input from previous sessions. Others commented that dramatically shortening the text had been a “gamble” that may well put parties back where they began, with the compilation of the negotiating text in Geneva in February 2015.
The afternoon session confirmed these anxieties, with numerous parties putting forward dozens of textual suggestions. Yet, leaving the plenary in the evening, many delegates welcomed the restoration of parties’ ownership of the text. Others, however, doubted whether parties would manage to present a concise text with clear options by the end of the week, pointing out that some parties had hinted at more textual proposals to come.