Report of main proceedings for 5 December 2012
Doha Climate Change Conference - November 2012
Throughout the day on Wednesday, the COP 18 and CMP 8 high-level segment took place. Various contact groups and informal consultations also convened under the COP, CMP, ADP, AWG-LCA and AWG-KP. In the evening, the COP President’s informal stocktaking plenary was held.
COP PRESIDENT’S INFORMAL STOCKTAKING PLENARY
During the evening informal stocktaking plenary, COP 18 President Al-Attiyah urged the facilitators to conclude the few outstanding issues.
SBSTA Chair Muyungi reported that concerning the work programme on a common tabular format for the UNFCCC biennial reporting guidelines for developed countries, agreement has been reached on the tables, but not on the use of biennial reporting guidelines outside the Convention. He further reported that no agreement has been reached on response measures. Chair Muyungi also reported that it had not been possible to advance work on the TEC report and that the “very political issue of IPRs” had not been resolved through bilateral consultations by the SBI Chair.
SBI Chair Chruszczow reported agreement on a draft COP decision on national adaptation plans. He explained that parties have been unable to agree on the composition, modalities and procedures for the team of technical experts under international consultations and analysis, and recommended that the item be moved to the next SBI session.
On the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE), he reported that, to avoid a gap, the CGE’s mandate has been extended by one year. On loss and damage, Chair Chruszczow reported that parties have managed to remove brackets from the text and that the text will be forwarded for ministerial consultations. On the CTCN, he reported one unresolved issue relating to the composition of the CTCN Advisory Board and recommended forwarding it to the ministers.
AWG-KP Chair Diouf reported on efforts to streamline text, noting proposals that consolidate previous options and suggest compromise options. She said a revised text with clear options for ministerial consideration would be issued later on Wednesday evening and considered in a contact group. She indicated that the closing plenary of the AWG-KP would take place “late at night.”
AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb said parties received different texts that capture the status of discussion under each AWG-LCA agenda item with a view to providing parties with a complete overview of the state of discussions. He explained that the AWG-LCA will continue to work through a single informal group throughout the evening with a view to making progress towards a more streamlined text by Thursday.
ADP Co-Chair Mauskar reported that he and Co-Chair Dovland have prepared draft ADP conclusions and a draft COP decision. He stated that the informal meeting scheduled for Wednesday was postponed at the request of a group of countries and expressed his understanding that the two AWGs scheduled to close in Doha need priority, noting that the ADP “has its own importance.”
Bard Solhjell (Norway) provided an update on progress following ministerial outreach that he had conducted with Luis Machado Figueiredo (Brazil), on: access to the flexibility mechanisms by Annex I parties that will not be taking on commitments in the second commitment period; and extending the share of proceeds to joint implementation and emissions trading. He noted that, after consultations, a “good picture” was emerging on different opinions, although there were “no final solutions.”
Observing that some issues continue to be difficult, COP President Al-Attiyah noted that those requiring ministerial outreach have been identified, and Mariyam Shakeela (Maldives) and Bruno Oberley (Switzerland) had been appointed to assist in ministerial outreach on finance issues. He said that ministerial outreach would not duplicate the work under AWG-LCA and COP finance contact group discussions.
In addition, Fatou Gaye (the Gambia) and Mark Dreyfus (Australia) will consult informally on reporting guidelines; Edna Molewa (South Africa) will facilitate informal consultations on loss and damage; Maria del Socorro (Mexico) will consult on the composition of the CTCN advisory board; and Figueiredo and Solhjell will consult on reporting by non-Kyoto Protocol parties and facilitate resolution of any outstanding issues on item 4 of the CMP agenda (AWG-KP report), as the need arises.
COP President Al-Attiyah encouraged parties “to be bold in their thinking to address the global threat of climate change and increase efforts to find common ground and solutions.”
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The COP 18 and CMP 8 high-level segment continued with statements from ministers, other heads of delegations and speakers on behalf of groups. A webcast of the statements is available at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/doha_nov_2012/meeting/6815/php/view/webcasts.php.
CONTACT GROUP ON FINANCE: In the afternoon COP contact group on finance, Co-Chairs Djemouai and Andrews provided an update of progress, noting efforts being made to harmonize the group’s work with finance discussions under the AWG-LCA.
On the work programme on long-term finance, Co-Chair Andrews explained that the draft text proposes extending the work programme and convening a ministerial dialogue to discuss the scaling up of finance. Revised text is being drafted.
On the Standing Committee report, it was noted that parties were close to a decision and were consulting on the remaining brackets.
Regarding the Green Climate Fund (GCF) report and initial guidance, delegates were informed that draft text takes note of the GCF report and progress towards operationalizing the Fund, and that “informal informals” are convening to finalize the text.
NUMBERS/TEXT: During the morning spin-off group on numbers/text, parties focused on drafting clear options for inclusion in the AWG-KP Chair’s revised text that will be forwarded to ministers for consideration.
Parties considered text on Protocol amendments, eligibility to participate in the flexibility mechanisms, carry-over of surplus AAUs, and the share of proceeds. Parties had before them new proposals on some of these issues, as well as text consolidating previous proposals. Parties agreed on which proposals should be forwarded to the AWG-KP Chair for inclusion in her revised text, and the spin-off group concluded its work.
AGREED OUTCOME: During afternoon informal consultations that were open to observers, AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb reported that some issues are “close to conclusion,” while others are “moving in circles” or “even backwards.” He also noted that ministers from the Maldives and Switzerland had agreed to facilitate informal consultations on the continuity of finance in the 2013-2020 period.
Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, proposed closing all the spin-off groups under the AWG-LCA and called for a “central forum” to help parties understand the status of negotiations. He also called for prioritizing finance.
The PHILIPPINES, BANGLADESH and others emphasized the need for consultations on finance to be open, inclusive and transparent. Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for a decision on finance, scaling up mitigation and support for adaptation. SWITZERLAND said financing is a “core and ongoing issue” that cannot be concluded in Doha, and that a COP decision is needed to define how to continue working on it. The EU expressed disappointment over the lack of progress on, among other issues, shared vision and various approaches. She called for consensus text with clear options for ministers.
The Gambia, for the LDCs, urged for a “balanced text” that would be the basis for further negotiations. BOLIVIA expressed concern over the lack of balance in the texts, underscoring the need for further reflecting non-market approaches in text on various approaches and REDD+. Highlighting the relevance of interlinkages, VENEZUELA suggested considering various approaches together with other interlinked issues under the AWG-KP and CMP, such as CDM continuation. Egypt, for the ARAB GROUP, supported by CHINA, encouraged the AWG-LCA Chair to prepare a revised text. INDIA and ARGENTINA noted that text on response measures did not adequately reflect parties’ submissions.
Colombia, for the ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STATES (AILAC), called for an open “Indaba” on finance, saying that ministerial bilateral meetings will not suffice. Noting lack of progress, she supported discussing adaptation and REDD+ issues at a higher level.
Many parties queried the working methodology and status of the texts presented, with many calling for predictability concerning the issues that will be addressed, and meeting times. AWG-LCA Chair Tayeb clarified that negotiations on the AWG-LCA agreed outcome will continue in a single open-ended group and that in those areas where progress was still within reach, such as developed and developing country mitigation and REDD+, break-out groups will meet again.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As negotiators were going about their business in an attempt to achieve a successful outcome for Friday, high-level discussions also continued both during informal ministerial roundtables and “behind-the-scenes” consultations. The COP President’s informal stocktaking plenary in the evening provided an overview of “informal ministerial outreach” on key issues. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also reportedly met with many of the key players and, in his ministerial roundtable speech, announced plans to convene a meeting of world leaders in 2014 to help build political momentum for 2015 when parties are scheduled to conclude negotiations under the ADP. Noting that this kind of high-level engagement helped achieve what many considered successful outcomes in Cancun and Durban, one experienced negotiator opined: “I really hope our ministers can step in and once again save the day.” Some in the corridors commented on the “evident urgency” of the task, given the news of deaths and destruction caused by typhoon Bopha raging in the Philippines.
Regarding progress under the three working groups, delegates from the G-77/China requested postponing meetings scheduled under the ADP, ostensibly to attend the AWG-LCA informal consultations taking place at the same time. Thus, work under the ADP made way for informal consultations under the AWG-LCA, which continued for the second night in a row.
The mood in the corridors late in the evening was a mixture of suppressed anticipation and depression, as tired-looking delegates passed the time, constantly scanning the live meeting schedule as the AWG-KP contact group and closing plenary, initially scheduled for the evening, were subsequently postponed until midnight. “I hope we will not be here until morning,” commented one delegate, adding: “Otherwise I will be spending the third night in a row in my delegation’s office.” Relief was palpable when the closing plenary was eventually postponed to the more manageable time of 11:00am on Thursday.