Summary report, 8–13 February 2015

Geneva Climate Change Conference - February 2015

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Geneva Climate Change Conference took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 8-13 February 2015. Over 1,300 participants attended the meeting, representing governments, observer organizations and the media.

The Geneva conference was the first of several meetings in preparation for the Paris Climate Change Conference that will be held in France in December 2015. The Paris Conference is mandated to adopt “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties,” which will be implemented from 2020 onwards. The body tasked with developing the Paris agreement is the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). In Geneva, the ADP held the eighth part of its second session (ADP 2-8).

In December 2014, the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UNFCCC requested the ADP to intensify its work, with a view to presenting a negotiating text for a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties before May 2015. In their scenario note (ADP.2015.1.InformalNote), ADP Co-Chairs Ahmed Djoghlaf (Algeria) and Daniel Reifsnyder (US) identified the objective of the Geneva session as delivering the negotiating text.

The ADP based its work towards a negotiating text on the elements for a draft negotiating text annexed to Decision 1/CP.20 (Lima Call for Climate Action). The ADP contact group worked through the elements text section-by-section with parties proposing additions in places where they felt their views were not adequately reflected. Co-Chair Reifsnyder stressed that the main objective was to ensure that the text fully reflects parties’ positions. Making good progress, parties finished the first reading of the elements text on Tuesday. The revised text grew in length from 39 to 86 pages.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, the Co-Chairs and many parties made proposals to start streamlining the text. Other parties called for more time to consider the revised text, indicating they were not ready to proceed with streamlining. By the end of the session, parties only submitted technical corrections to the Secretariat. A number of delegates expressed satisfaction with the progress made and the way in which the Co-Chairs had guided parties through the process of developing a negotiating text. Others indicated that they had hoped to make more progress and indicated that critical negotiating time had been lost.

On Friday afternoon, the ADP closing plenary agreed that the text developed in Geneva will be the basis on which the ADP will start substantive negotiations towards the Paris agreement in June in Bonn. Co-Chair Reifsnyder emphasized that the ADP has fulfilled the request by COP 20 and the negotiating text will be formally communicated to parties ahead of schedule in March.


The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992, which sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has 196 parties.

In December 1997, delegates to the third session of the COP in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a protocol to the UNFCCC that committed industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve emission reduction targets. These countries, known as Annex I parties under the UNFCCC, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six GHGs by an average of 5% below 1990 levels in 2008-2012 (first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005, and now has 192 parties.

LONG-TERM NEGOTIATIONS, 2005-2009: Convening in Montreal, Canada, in 2005, the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 1) decided to establish the Ad Hoc Working Group on Annex I Parties’ Further Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) in accordance with Protocol Article 3.9, which mandated consideration of Annex I parties’ further commitments at least seven years before the end of the first commitment period. In December 2007, COP 13 and CMP 3 in Bali, Indonesia, resulted in agreement on the Bali Roadmap on long-term issues. COP 13 adopted the Bali Action Plan (BAP) and established the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) with a mandate to focus on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action. Negotiations on Annex I parties’ further commitments continued under the AWG-KP. The deadline for concluding the two-track negotiations was in 2009 in Copenhagen.

COPENHAGEN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, took place in December 2009. The high-profile event was marked by disputes over transparency and process. Late in the evening of 18 December, these talks resulted in a political agreement, the “Copenhagen Accord,” which was then presented to the COP plenary for adoption. After 13 hours of debate, delegates ultimately agreed to “take note” of the Copenhagen Accord and to extend the mandates of the negotiating groups until COP 16 and CMP 6 in 2010. In 2010, over 140 countries indicated support for the Accord. More than 80 countries also provided information on their national mitigation targets or actions.

CANCUN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, took place in December 2010, where parties finalized the Cancun Agreements and extended the mandates of the two AWGs for another year. Under the Convention track, Decision 1/CP.16 recognized the need for deep cuts in global emissions in order to limit the global average temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Parties agreed to consider strengthening the global long-term goal during a review by 2015, including in relation to a proposed 1.5°C target. Decision 1/CP.16 also addressed other aspects of mitigation, such as: measuring, reporting and verification (MRV); and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+).

The Cancun Agreements also established several new institutions and processes, including the Cancun Adaptation Framework, the Adaptation Committee and the Technology Mechanism, which includes the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was created and designated as an operating entity of the Convention’s financial mechanism.

Under the Protocol track, the CMP urged Annex I parties to raise the level of ambition towards achieving aggregate emission reductions, and adopted Decision 2/CMP.6 on land use, land-use change and forestry.

DURBAN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, took place in November and December 2011. The Durban outcomes covered a wide range of topics, notably the agreement to establish a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, a decision on long-term cooperative action under the Convention and agreement on the operationalization of the GCF. Parties also agreed to launch the ADP with a mandate “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.” The ADP is scheduled to complete these negotiations by 2015, with the new instrument entering into force in 2020. In addition, the ADP was mandated to explore actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap in relation to the 2°C target.

DOHA: The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, took place in November and December 2012. The conference resulted in a package of decisions, referred to as the “Doha Climate Gateway.” These include amendments to the Kyoto Protocol to establish its second commitment period and agreement to terminate the AWG-KP’s work in Doha. The parties also agreed to terminate the AWG-LCA and negotiations under the BAP. A number of issues requiring further consideration were transferred to the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), such as: the 2013-2015 Review of the global goal; developed and developing country mitigation; the Kyoto Protocol’s flexibility mechanisms; national adaptation plans; MRV; market and non-market mechanisms; and REDD+.

WARSAW: The Warsaw Climate Change Conference took place in November 2013, in Poland. Negotiations focused on the implementation of agreements reached at previous meetings, including pursuing the work of the ADP. The meeting adopted an ADP decision that invites parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), and resolves to accelerate the full implementation of the BAP and pre-2020 ambition. Parties also adopted a decision establishing the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, and the Warsaw REDD+ Framework―a series of seven decisions on REDD+ finance, institutional arrangements and methodological issues.

LIMA: The Lima Climate Change Conference convened from 1-14 December 2014, in Peru. It included COP 20 and CMP 10. The three subsidiary bodies, SBSTA 41, SBI 41, and ADP 2-7, also met.

 Negotiations in Lima focused on outcomes under the ADP necessary to advance towards an agreement in Paris at COP 21 in 2015, including elaboration of the information and process required for submission of INDCs as early as possible in 2015, and progress on elements of a draft negotiating text. Following lengthy negotiations on a draft decision for advancing the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, COP 20 adopted the “Lima Call for Climate Action,” which set in motion the negotiations towards a 2015 agreement, the process for submitting and reviewing INDCs, and enhancing pre-2020 ambition.

Parties also adopted 19 decisions, 17 under the COP and two under the CMP that, inter alia: help operationalize the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage; establish the Lima work programme on gender; and adopt the Lima Declaration on Education and Awareness Raising. The Lima Climate Change Conference was able to lay the groundwork for Paris, by elaborating the elements of a draft negotiating text for the 2015 agreement and adopting a decision on INDCs, including their scope, upfront information and steps to be taken by the Secretariat after their submission.


ADP 2-8 opened on Sunday morning, 8 February 2015. COP 20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment, Peru, called on parties to maintain the momentum generated in Lima and work responsibly, efficiently and in a spirit of compromise. Co-Chair Ahmed Djoghlaf urged parties “to keep the promise made to our children in Durban.”

Noting the Co-Chairs’ scenario note (ADP.2015.1.Informal Note) and subsequent informal consultations with fifteen negotiating groups, Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder underscored the objective of delivering a negotiating text and that the main task of the ADP contact group will be to ensure that the text fully reflects parties’ positions. Parties agreed to the proposed organization of work.

South Africa, for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), noted that: the elements for a draft negotiating text annexed to Decision 1/CP.20 (Lima Call for Climate Action) are not fully negotiated; streamlining of options must be based on consensus; and parties’ views must be reflected in the text in a balanced manner. The European Union (EU) urged progress on: ensuring dynamism in the 2015 agreement through regular review of ambition; clarifying how the agreement will deliver transparency and accountability with respect to mitigation; delivering climate resilience through adaptation and climate finance; and enhancing mitigation before 2020. Australia, for the Umbrella Group, proposed distinguishing content that needs to be included in a legal agreement from content that is more appropriate for a COP decision. Switzerland, for the Environmental Integrity Group, proposed break-out groups to address specific issues and urged focusing on streamlining the text.

In the interest of time, other negotiating groups submitted their opening statements for posting online at


From Sunday to Friday, workstream 1 was considered in the ADP contact group, chaired by the ADP Co-Chairs. The main objective was to produce a negotiating text before May 2015 as requested by the Lima Call for Climate Action. The text was also considered in informal consultations facilitated by Co-Chair Djoghlaf on Thursday morning.

From Sunday to Tuesday, the ADP contact group worked through the elements for a draft negotiating text annexed to Decision 1/CP.20 section-by-section, focusing on adding new text. The Co-Chairs stressed that the objective was to ensure that parties’ views are fully reflected and that no new text may be added to sections already considered.

The contact group completed the first consideration of the text on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of schedule. The revised sections were then made available online. The length of the overall text grew from 39 to 86 pages.

Discussions on parties’ proposed additions to the text and the Geneva outcomes are summarized below, section-by-section.

FIRST CONSIDERATION OF THE TEXT: General/Objective: Section C “General/Objective” was considered by the ADP contact group on Sunday morning.

The US questioned the need for a separate section on objectives. Brazil identified Section C as necessary to explain why a new agreement is needed. Saudi Arabia suggested omitting the section or reflecting the objective in just one or two paragraphs. Several parties suggested focusing Section C on the agreement’s overall objective and including details on how to achieve this objective elsewhere. Singapore called for addressing the relationship between the Convention and the new agreement.

The Maldives, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), called for a reference to science on keeping the average temperature increase below1.5°C. Jamaica proposed text on ensuring significant and rapid global GHG emission reductions of at least 70-90% by 2050. The EU underscored the need to reach zero net emissions of CO2 and other long-lived GHGs by the end of the century to ensure consistency with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Switzerland agreed on the need to reflect the objective of achieving zero net GHG emissions. Brazil warned that references to the IPCC could lead to politicization.

Sudan, for the African Group, announced a new text proposal on loss and damage. AOSIS underscored the need for high ambition from all parties, interlinkages between mitigation and adaptation, and addressing loss and damage.

Brazil lamented that parts of the text are not in line with the Lima outcome, such as references to “evolving common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).” He supported universal undertakings with commitments from all parties.

Malaysia, for the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs), called for addressing adaptation with the same urgency as mitigation. He proposed emphasizing, inter alia, the link between developing countries’ mitigation actions and enhanced support by developed countries; and that developed countries must not resort to any unilateral measures on climate change.  Saudi Arabia suggested combining text on ensuring resilience and adaptive capacity with text on ensuring that all investments are resilient to climate change.

Several parties supported including text on gender equality. Tuvalu, for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), identified similarities between the proposals. Mexico, supported by Uganda, Chile and Bolivia, also suggested text on human rights. Tuvalu, for the LDCs, called for language on universal participation, human rights, and rights of people with disabilities.

Outcome: Section C “General/Objective” is four pages, including paragraphs 0-12, many of which include several options, as well as structural suggestions for the section.

Mitigation: Section D on mitigation was considered by the ADP contact group on Sunday afternoon.

Argentina, for the LMDCs, underscored, inter alia, that commitments, contributions and actions should comply with the Convention’s principles and obligations, with developed country parties undertaking quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs) that are comparable, verifiable and implemented without any conditions. She added that developing country action may include REDD+ and joint adaptation and mitigation approaches, in accordance with their specific circumstances and needs.

Chile, for the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), suggested text on distinguishing between ex ante and ex post review of INDCs, proposing that all parties make successive mitigation commitments. On the use of market mechanisms in the land-use sector, he suggested including references to environmental integrity, avoiding double counting, and a levy to support climate change resilience in developing countries.

 Panama, for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN), called for: the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ to be reflected and anchored in the new agreement; applying safeguards; and strengthening institutional arrangements under the Convention based on Decision 10/CP.19 on support for the implementation of mitigation activities in the forest sector by developing countries.

The EU, inter alia, emphasized accounting rules and suggested bringing these into the mitigation section from that on transparency of action and support. He proposed separating text on land-use and market mechanisms. He highlighted the need for parties to periodically review and update their commitments. Australia proposed text on national schedules and intended mitigation contributions, including that parties individually update their respective national schedules in accordance with modalities to be agreed by the governing body.

Kenya, for the African Group, emphasized developed countries’ obligation to provide means of implementation (MOI), and that social and economic development and poverty eradication are first and overriding priorities. The Maldives, for AOSIS, proposed, inter alia, that proceeds from the use of market mechanisms will be used for meeting the costs of adaptation in the most vulnerable developing countries.

Underlying the importance of text on “emissions peaking for developed countries in 2015, with an aim of net zero emissions by 2050 in the context of equitable access to sustainable development,” Tanzania proposed text specifying these efforts be quantitative and time-bound for developed countries and aspirational for developing countries.

The US proposed replacing references to developed or developing countries throughout the text with references to new regularly updated annexes x and y. The US also proposed text to provide clarity on how parties engage in consultations on future cycles of contributions, specifying “parties to submit INDCs no later than six months before the beginning of each cycle.” Canada proposed text suggesting that all parties prepare national inventory reports in accordance with IPCC guidance.

Senegal stated that market mechanisms and actions in the land-use sector should contribute to the sustainable development of the host countries. He proposed a centrally-governed market mechanism under the Convention, building on existing market mechanisms. Ethiopia announced a new submission clarifying the details of market mechanisms in the 2015 agreement.

South Africa stressed review as an integral part of a dynamic contribution cycle. She proposed text on common accounting rules to be developed by the COP. New Zealand noted that accounting rules must be more explicitly addressed and, with Norway, emphasized the importance of avoiding double counting.

Bolivia stressed the need for inclusion of alternative, non-market, and joint mitigation and adaptation approaches, and for adding text on “the protection and integrity of Mother Earth.” On a global emission budget, Ethiopia proposed including a reference to national per capita emissions and taking into account historical emissions.

Market and non-market approaches: On Friday morning, Co-Chair Reifsnyder proposed that the ADP contact group further exchange views on “markets, non-markets and no markets,” in particular paragraph 23 of Section D. He acknowledged that parties, including Venezuela, had proposed discussing the topic in order to understand parties’ new proposals.

Brazil highlighted the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ as a “typical” non-market mechanism, given that REDD+ will not generate internationally transferable units. Brazil stressed that actions in the land-use sector should not be linked to markets. Brazil proposed a new economic mechanism, building on Kyoto Protocol Articles 12 (Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)) and 17 (emissions trading) with the transfer of units taking place in accordance with rules developed by the COP or the governing body of the new agreement. Brazil explained that accounting relating to the mechanism would be separate from national inventories. He identified absolute, economy-wide and quantified emission reduction targets as eligibility criteria for participating in the emissions trading system on the basis of supplementarity. He said the CDM+ should incorporate current CDM modalities with necessary adaptations. Brazil proposed that projects under the CDM+ cover projects in the aviation and maritime transport sectors. He proposed that cancelled certified emissions reduction credits could be counted towards parties’ finance commitments, while the EU opposed quantified financial commitments in the 2015 agreement and questioned how the proposal by Brazil would work. 

The EU stressed the importance of considering markets in a new post-2020 setting where all parties undertake mitigation. He said the mechanisms in the new agreement will not be the same as in the Kyoto Protocol. The EU supported Brazil’s idea of a two-tiered approach to carbon markets. He envisaged one mechanism focusing on transfers of mitigation outcomes between parties with mitigation commitments, saying such commitments are not necessarily economy-wide as suggested by Brazil. The EU proposed that the second mechanism involve transfers of certified outcomes outside the framework of quantified mitigation commitments.

Calling for an alternative approach supported by public climate finance, Bolivia opposed market mechanisms in the new agreement, viewing them as: transferring responsibilities to developing countries and the private sector; promoting inefficient technologies; and increasing inequalities. Argentina opposed the inclusion of markets in the 2015 agreement, emphasizing, with China, that proposals on market mechanisms in relation to the land-use, maritime transport and aviation sectors should be deleted.

The Russian Federation cautioned against elevating the market mechanism approach to a “bigger political issue.” The EU explained that no party would be compelled to participate in carbon markets. The US reminded that parties do not need permission to use international markets.

Japan suggested that in the post-2020 period, not only centralized market mechanisms administered by the UN, but also mechanisms developed jointly by parties may be used. She stressed the importance of accounting rules applicable to all parties and the avoidance of double counting. New Zealand envisaged broader and more diverse participation in international market activities in the new agreement, and emphasized that the governing body should take a supportive rather than restrictive role. Panama emphasized that the UNFCCC should play a role in facilitating of a regulated carbon market. He emphasized the important role of a REDD+ mechanism with established safeguards and standards. Belize, for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), highlighted the importance of: common accounting rules in light of the diversity of commitments; the need to avoid double counting and ensure environmental integrity; and oversight by a compliance body.

The US envisaged that the 2015 agreement will approach markets differently from the Kyoto Protocol, which was based on legally-binding commitments and transfers of units reflecting assigned amounts. Suggesting that importing and applying elements from the Kyoto Protocol is not a simple matter, he emphasized the need to agree on how to use international markets in order to avoid inconsistencies between bilateral mechanisms; and noted lack of clarity on how markets are designed and implemented.

China indicated there is no reason for including a market mechanism in the 2015 agreement. With Venezuela, he emphasized the need for eligibility requirements if one is included, stressing that developing country participation is voluntary. Venezuela stressed that trading an “artificially created commodity” can cause the market to collapse, leading to the collapse of the climate system. She added that the concept of voluntary cancellation of credits counting as climate finance would allow governments to avoid their financial commitments, and that if developing countries are to benefit from markets, how they will benefit must be specified in the text.

Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, with China, encouraged waiting until the commitments of developed countries are understood and agreed, and for the outcome of discussions on markets under other bodies of the Convention before further discussing markets. Many countries highlighted that any use of a market mechanism should only be supplementary to developed countries’ domestic actions.

Outcome: Section D is twelve pages, including paragraphs 13-24. It contains subheadings on: long-term and global aspects of mitigation; commitments/contributions/actions on mitigation; institutional arrangements; reporting of mitigation information; accounting rules; and a placeholder for a new platform for enhancing mitigation ambition. Section D also contains structural suggestions.

Adaptation and Loss and Damage: Section E on adaptation and loss and damage was considered by the ADP contact group on Monday morning.

Chile, for AILAC, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, suggested the inclusion of a global adaptation goal. South Africa proposed a global goal for adaptation that would include both quantitative and qualitative aspects.

 Ghana, for the African Group, called for an ex ante assessment of adaptation action, and for finance commensurate with adaptation needs. The EU suggested that all parties commit to adapt to climate change and cooperate to achieve climate resilient development. Canada suggested all parties adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, recognizing “its global and transnational effects.” Switzerland emphasized the need to share best practices. Brazil encouraged parties to include an adaptation component into their nationally determined contributions and developing countries to include assessment of vulnerabilities and MOI needs. Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, said adaptation action should contribute to economic diversification.

Norway emphasized using the best available science and knowledge, including traditional and indigenous knowledge, as a basis for parties’ adaptation efforts. The Maldives, for AOSIS, emphasized that the Adaption Committee should be the lead body on adaptation under the new protocol. The Republic of Korea emphasized the need to avoid duplication of efforts.

Tuvalu, for the LDCs, proposed regional adaptation centers and encouraging financial institutions to provide information to an international clearinghouse and registry on adaptation. The EU suggested promoting synergies with national, regional and international organizations to support adaptation action. China suggested the establishment of a mechanism integrating existing arrangements on adaptation.

Chile, for AILAC, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, suggested nationally determined adaptation commitments, considering: the dynamic nature of action; maladaptation; avoiding additional burdens on developing countries; building on existing tools; promoting human rights; and science- and traditional knowledge-based adaptation. The African Group, with Bolivia, highlighted traditional knowledge. He also called for text on gender sensitivity. Egypt proposed that commitments, contributions and actions be country-driven, gender-sensitive and focused on vulnerable groups, such as women and children. The Dominican Republic emphasized gender-sensitive and community-based adaptation.

On monitoring and evaluation, Mexico, for AILAC and the Dominican Republic, suggested launching a party-driven process on metrics. Japan proposed that all parties report their adaptation actions through a common reporting system.

On loss and damage, Saint Lucia, for AOSIS, with the LDCs, proposed moving text on loss and damage to a new section. Saudi Arabia, for the LMDCs, agreed that loss and damage should be addressed separately. He proposed that the Loss and Damage Executive Committee establish a compensation regime.

Saint Lucia, for AOSIS, submitted text to elaborate the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, proposing, inter alia: further developing the modalities and procedures for the mechanism’s operation; involving existing bodies and expert groups under the Convention, as well as relevant organizations and expert bodies outside the Convention; and considering relevant precedents under international law.

The LDCs called for a compensation scheme for countries affected by slow onset events and for a climate change displacement coordination facility to deal with relocation and population displacement. Mexico, for AILAC and the Dominican Republic, suggested that financial and technical support be made available to both countries and communities.

Outcome: Section E is thirteen pages, including paragraphs 25-33. It reflects some parties’ preference to separate adaptation from loss and damage. The section is organized under subheadings on: long-term and global aspects of adaptation; commitments/contributions/actions/Commitments under Article 4 of the Convention on adaptation; monitoring and evaluation/monitoring and evaluation for [Annex II Parties] [annex Y Parties] [all countries in a position to do so]; sharing information, knowledge and lessons learned; institutional arrangements; and loss and damage.

Finance: Section G on finance was considered by the ADP contact group on Monday morning and afternoon.

Bolivia, for the G-77/China, supported by Egypt, for the African Group, suggested that the agreement be arranged in clusters on, inter alia: scale of resources; assessment and review; and sources of finance. The G-77/China proposed that the Convention’s financial mechanism serve the 2015 agreement along with the Kyoto Protocol’s financial bodies, with the GCF as the main operating entity. She called for strengthening the GCF through predictable resources and regular replenishments.

The African Group called for a clear link between a quantitative financial goal and temperature goal. China requested a clear road map with targets for public funding from developed countries and progressively scaled up finance. Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, asked that financing be primarily public, including grant-based finance. On scale of resources, Egypt proposed that developed countries’ financial contributions be based on a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).

The EU proposed that all parties individually and collectively mobilize climate finance with developed country leadership. Japan opposed language that only Annex II parties are required to provide finance in the new agreement. Australia suggested replacing reference to countries in annexes with language on “all parties in a position to do so,” and encouraged the mobilization of finance from a variety of sources.

Norway proposed maximizing and incentivizing ambitious mitigation actions, including through payments based on verified results. The US stressed the need to strengthen recipient country reporting of financial flows. Highlighting fossil fuel subsidies, she stressed the importance of phasing out high-carbon investment. New Zealand emphasized the need to ensure that climate finance and investments deliver effective outcomes.

Tuvalu, for the LDCs suggested that half of adaptation finance be allocated to small island developing states (SIDS) and LDCs. He called for: a loss and damage finance window; a replenishment cycle for the GCF; financial support to be periodically reviewed and scaled up; an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)/International Maritime Organization (IMO) levy for adaptation finance; and new sources of finance. Panama, for CfRN, suggested separate finance windows for REDD+ and loss and damage.

Switzerland proposed a common transparency framework, which would evolve over time and be applicable to all parties, encompassing delivery, use, and impact of support. Ecuador, for the LMDCs, said developed countries should submit information on their financial contributions and developing countries on their needs.

Chile, for AILAC, suggested a new guiding principle that all investments become low-emission and resilient to climate impacts in the context of the mitigation goal. Bolivia suggested establishing a “climate resilience and sustainable development mechanism.” Kiribati suggested recognizing the need for a special mechanism to fast-track action to assist the most vulnerable countries.

The G-77/China called for developed countries and Annex II parties to provide finance in line with developing country needs, with references to Convention Article 4 and CBDR. She underscored: equal allocation between adaptation and mitigation; equitable distribution among developing countries; and MRV of support. On REDD+, she emphasized alternative approaches to results-based actions for the integral and sustainable management of forests.

Outcome: Section G on finance comprises seventeen pages, including paragraphs 34-53. It contains two alternative section options. Option 1 is divided into eight subsections on: guiding principles; anchoring institutions under the legal agreement; proposals for decisions related to anchoring institutions under the agreement; addressing the scale of resources; contributions under the legal agreement; sources of finance; a new subsection on reporting; and a placeholder for a proposal to include a subsection on MRV of climate finance that should also include a specific reference to a regular cycle of climate finance. Option 2 for section G is a three-paragraph version containing alternatives for paragraphs 34-36.

Technology: Section H on technology was considered by the ADP contact group on Monday afternoon.

Brazil proposed that parties include a technology component in their national contributions. Egypt suggested assessing the effectiveness and adequacy of GCF technology funding. India proposed that the GCF allocate funds to meet the full costs of developing country access to environmentally sound technologies.

Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, called for linking technology to the effective implementation of developing country INDCs. China proposed a long-term technology goal and that developed countries regularly assess and prepare a list of technologies “ready for transfer.”

Sudan, for the African Group, called for a technology framework to consider technology needs assessments, research and development and enabling environments. Bolivia emphasized technology originating from indigenous peoples and local communities.

Outcome: Section H includes four pages and paragraphs 53 bis.-57. It has four subsections entitled: long-term technology goal; general; commitments; and institutional arrangements.

Capacity Building: Section I on capacity building was considered by the ADP contact group on Monday afternoon.

Many developing country parties underscored that their enhanced climate change actions will depend on MOI provided by developed countries.

The Maldives, for AOSIS, proposed an international capacity-building mechanism, comprised of a coordination center that: compiles information; analyzes gaps and trends; develops tools and methodologies; matches available support with identified needs; and coordinates and cooperates with UNFCCC bodies and other relevant entities.

Egypt, for the LMDCs, emphasized that a capacity-building mechanism should be based on sharing experiences, lessons learned and best practices. Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, stressed that any support coming from developed country parties should not interfere with the nature, scope or substance of developing parties’ INDCs.

Outcome: Section I is four pages, including paragraphs 58-63. It has three subsections entitled: general; commitments; and institutional arrangements.

Transparency of Action and Support: Section J on transparency of action and support was considered by the ADP contact group on Monday afternoon.

New Zealand suggested bringing together all text on mitigation. The EU supported moving accounting rules for mitigation to Section D. He called for common methodologies and metrics and guidelines on MRV; and for land uses to be reported consistently. Japan proposed removing references to monitoring and evaluation of adaptation. Switzerland proposed a common accounting and tracking system to safeguard environmental integrity and avoid double counting of internationally transferable mitigation outcomes from cooperative arrangements.

Jordan, for the LMDCs, called for a finance registry and for reporting on finance using a common format. China proposed that information on MOI by developed countries be verified through a technical review process, followed by a multilateral assessment process and conclusions with compliance consequences. He suggested that developing countries report on their climate action consistent with the level of support received and that the information be subject to a “technical analysis” followed by a facilitative sharing of views among parties, on the basis of a non-intrusive, non-punitive process that is respectful of national sovereignty.

Outcome: Section J is eleven pages long and includes paragraphs 64-69. It contains three subsections entitled: general; commitments; and rules and modalities.

Time Frames and Process Related to Commitments: Section K was considered by the ADP contact group on Tuesday morning.

Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, cautioned that Section K, along with sections on compliance and procedural and institutional provisions, prejudge the legal outcome in Paris, falling outside the ADP’s mandate.

The EU identified the need for parties to increase their mitigation commitments periodically. Indonesia stressed that there should be no backsliding. Singapore stressed the importance of taking into account national circumstances and national legal requirements. India said parties should consider adjustments based on, inter alia, historical responsibilities and equitable sharing of the global carbon budget.

New Zealand emphasized the importance of the sequencing of commitments and rules for their implementation. She suggested clarifying that COP decisions on the transparency framework shall not be applied retroactively. 

Brazil suggested that each party submit a contribution for a five-year term and an indicative contribution for the subsequent term. The EU proposed reviewing ambition at five-year intervals.

Costa Rica said the level of risk associated with the level of mitigation commitments, or lack thereof, should be assessed. South Africa proposed a backward-looking review, as well as a forward-looking one, covering existing and future commitments on mitigation, adaptation and MOI.

Cycles: On Thursday afternoon, the ADP contact group exchanged views on the question of cycles in the new agreement, in particular paragraph 71 of Section K. 

Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, emphasized that the cycle must be linked to reviewing ambition and implementation of all six elements under the Durban mandate, and called for differentiation in the cycle for developing countries.

The EU noted that mitigation and adaptation commitments must be addressed differently. She indicated that all parties must maintain a mitigation commitment at all times, to be reviewed and regularly strengthened. She called for a simplified amendment procedure that does not require ratification. The Russian Federation cautioned that adopting timeframes may “backfire” or cause “backsliding” and called for avoiding quasi-legal procedures for adjustment.

Brazil noted that the finance component of the contributions is restrained by national budgetary cycles, as well as GCF and Global Environment Facility (GEF) replenishment cycles. On mitigation, he called for an approach based on two consecutive terms, with a five-year contribution having its final legal form and an indicative contribution for the subsequent five-year period, sending a longer-term signal to the private sector. He warned against requiring progressively more ambitious contributions, saying this could lead to low ambition in the first term. Brazil also proposed that the 2015 agreement include review provisions on aggregate progress towards the global target, as well as provisions concerning cycles for individual submissions of nationally determined contributions.

Japan called for a ten-year cycle as a signal to investors, and expressed willingness to consider a mid-term review focused on enhancing and understanding contributions. Chile, for AILAC, proposed that the scope of contributions be defined clearly in the new agreement providing different nuances to mitigation, adaption and MOI. Switzerland recapped that in Lima parties agreed to allow submissions of INDCs with different timeframes. He suggested that harmonization can be agreed for the second set of commitments, and that all parties will submit subsequent commitments at the same time.

China suggested a ten-year cycle focusing on enhanced ambition in 2020-2030 to build trust, during which: developed countries take the lead on emissions reduction and provide MOI to developing countries; and developing countries follow that leadership, using MOI to increase their level of ambition in mitigation and adaptation. He stressed the importance of domestic cycles and said developing countries will conduct domestic reflections on their enhanced actions. China also identified the need for a comprehensive approach and holistic link between the agreement’s different elements.

The US supported five-year cycles, expressing preference for synchronizing parties’ national cycles, so as to garner public attention to drive ambition. He expressed reservations against the idea of a 2030 target that will be revisited in five years, saying that experience shows that countries that have gone through the national process are reluctant to review ambition.

Mexico emphasized the need for assessing progress along the way and supported ex ante review of commitments, as proposed by AILAC. Belize, for CARICOM, supported five-year cycles, with the first cycle beginning in 2020. He also called for turning INDCs into legally binding commitments, taking into account the special circumstances of SIDS and LDCs.

India called for INDCs addressing all elements of the agreement with differentiated information for developed and developing countries but with identical timeframes. He opposed ex ante reviews of INDCs. Iran indicated that the cycle process has to be conditional on support from developed countries. Saudi Arabia highlighted the complementary nature of mitigation, adaptation and MOI, stressing that cycles should take into account all these elements.

Tuvalu, for the LDCs, called for parallelism in the cycles for mitigation and MOI and supported five-year cycles. The LDCs emphasized that countries can increase their contributions in the middle of a cycle. The Marshall Islands called for flexibility in the adaptation cycle, given the need to reflect local and national priorities. Co-Chair Reifsnyder thanked delegates for the “extremely rich and interesting” discussion, and said they provided even more “food for thought” than anticipated.

Outcome: Section K is entitled “Time frames and process related to commitments/contributions/other matters related to implementation and ambition” and indicates in a footnote that some parties considered it premature to discuss this section. The text stands at eleven pages and include two options.

Option I includes paragraphs 69 bis.-87 and contains four subsections entitled: commitments /contributions/actions/scope of implementation and ambition; ex ante consideration/further facilitation of transparency and clarity/consultative process/period; formalization/finalization/reflection of enhanced action; and strategic review of implementation/aggregate ambition assessment/enhanced ambition mechanism.

Option II contains only a paragraph 70 on a periodic review process.

Facilitating Implementation and Compliance: Section L was considered by the ADP contact group on Tuesday morning.

The Maldives, for AOSIS, proposed text on a robust compliance system to facilitate enforcement. Tuvalu, for the LDCs, and Trinidad and Tobago, for CARICOM, proposed a compliance committee with enforcement and facilitative branches. The EU supported adopting details of the compliance mechanism at the first meeting of the new agreement’s governing body. The Marshall Islands proposed that compliance committee membership reflect equitable geographic representation, including SIDS.

Pakistan, for the LMDCs, suggested monitoring developed country compliance with emission reduction commitments and the provision of MOI. South Africa called for a differentiated approach to compliance, including a system that is “preventative and cooperative.” Bolivia suggested the establishment of an international climate justice tribunal.

Outcome: Section L is three pages with three options for paragraph 88. It notes in a footnote that some parties considered it premature to discuss this section.

Procedural and Institutional Provisions: Section M was considered by the ADP contact group on Tuesday morning.

Norway proposed that all subsidiary bodies under the Convention also serve the 2015 agreement, unless otherwise decided.

On amendments to the new agreement’s annexes, the EU proposed that parties may adjust their mitigation commitments upward, to be accepted unless three-fourths of parties object, and that withdrawal from the agreement be possible only when a party has complied with its commitments.

Ethiopia suggested that the SBI and SBSTA review parties’ per capita GHG emissions and GDP, and present draft decisions on revisions to Annex I and Annex II based on a formula determining the global average of these figures and taking into account the size of the party’s population.

Mexico proposed that if every effort toward consensus is exhausted, decisions can be made by a two-thirds majority vote of parties present and voting, except in the case of issues related to finance, which would require a consensus, and procedural issues, which would require a majority.

Outcome: Section M is six pages and includes paragraphs 89-103. It contains two subsections entitled institutional arrangements and procedural provisions/final clauses. A footnote indicates that some parties considered it premature to discuss this section.

Preamble and Definitions: The ADP contact group considered these sections on Tuesday morning.

The Maldives, for AOSIS, together with the EU, proposed acknowledging that climate change requires the widest possible cooperation.

Switzerland called for a separate paragraph on gender and human rights. AILAC called for a stand-alone paragraph on human rights. Lichtenstein suggested that the agreement should significantly contribute to the achievement of the post-2015 development agenda.

Iran, for the LMDCs, proposed noting that the largest share of current global GHG emissions originates from developed countries and that emissions in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs.

The EU proposed adding reference to different national circumstances wherever common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC) appears. The US proposed a placeholder for a new annex x, to be agreed in Paris and updated regularly based on criteria relating to evolving emissions and economic trends, and for a new annex y, agreed based on capabilities and evolving economic circumstances. Saint Lucia proposed a placeholder for a new annex z for countries falling outside of the proposed new annexes.

Outcome: Section A on the preamble is four pages and contains two options. Option 1 is a placeholder for the preamble and Option 2 includes multiple proposals for preambular paragraphs. Section B on definitions contains proposed definitions and placeholders for the terms: “governing body,” “Party,” “emission reductions,” “Convention,” “present and voting,” “Subsidiary Body,” “Party included in Annex X,” “Party included in Annex Y,” “Party in Annex Z/III,” and other definitions, as needed.

STRUCTURE OF THE AGREEMENT: On Wednesday morning, the ADP contact group exchanged views on the structure of the 2015 agreement.

Co-Chair Reifsnyder invited parties to focus on: what the 2015 agreement should do; how it will advance the Convention; whether it will be a “one-time agreement” or an agreement evolving through successive sets of commitments; the role of the bodies and mechanisms created since COP 15; how to address adaptation, mitigation and MOI; and which issues should be included in the agreement and which ones should be addressed through COP decisions.

Guatemala, for AILAC, underscored the new agreement should: be ambitious and universal; prevent backsliding; and lead to gradual scaling up of all commitments. Tuvalu, for the LDCs, called for: a separate section on loss and damage; balanced treatment of mitigation and adaptation; and enshrining existing institutions. The Maldives, for AOSIS, proposed that loss and damage be included in the agreement separately from adaptation, and identified the need to clarify the relationship between the agreement and COP decisions. The Bahamas, for CARICOM, supported a protocol with sections on, inter alia: general principles; commitments and obligations; communication of information related to implementation; compliance; a dispute settlement mechanism; and a financial mechanism. 

Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, emphasized that the agreement’s legal nature should not be discussed ahead of agreement on the substance. The EU reiterated preference for a legally-binding outcome in the form of a protocol, identifying the need for provisions on entry into force and ratification, as well as on regional economic organizations and compliance.

The US stated that the agreement should evolve over time to progressively promote more ambitious action. He said the agreement should include both mitigation and adaptation. The US opposed including INDCs in annexes, indicating that another format will be more appropriate for 195 diverse INDCs. Switzerland called for an agreement that: brings in everybody; develops and strengthens existing institutions; and includes rules on mitigation, adaptation and finance that address each area according to its specific needs.

The Russian Federation said the agreement should include: objectives; principles; and major thematic issues. He emphasized: establishing a clear link between commitments and compliance; universal participation; and considering lessons learned from the Kyoto Protocol for the entry into force of the new agreement. Turkey suggested the new agreement take into account socio-economic realities and be guided by science. Norway said the new agreement should include a section on both mitigation and adaptation to reflect balance and the universal nature of commitments on each. Argentina stressed that the ADP’s work must be in line with the Convention and its principles, reflecting CBDRRC and, in a balanced manner, all elements in Decision 1/CP.17 (mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, transparency of action and support, and capacity building).

Emphasizing that form must follow function, Australia underscored: effectiveness; simplicity; durability; and avoiding duplication. Mexico, the US and Brazil supported including existing institutions under the new agreement to facilitate its implementation.

Brazil stressed the importance of an agreement that does not need to be revisited every cycle. New Zealand emphasized the principles of universality and longevity. Malaysia, for the LMDCs, underscored that the Paris outcome must enhance the implementation of “the already long-lasting and durable” Convention, not replace it.

The LMDCs called for shifting focus from the different nature of adaptation and mitigation to balanced and holistic treatment of all elements. He called for strengthening the rules on MRV of support. New Zealand identified mitigation as essential, noting that while arrangements for support are necessary they “should not be seen as an end in themselves.”

New Zealand suggested that accounting rules for the land-use sector and markets be included in the agreement and technical details be addressed in COP decisions. Argentina indicated that the land-use sector should be excluded from the agreement. Brazil underscored that any agreement with a market mechanism must be based on a common understanding of the mechanism’s accounting rules. Venezuela proposed deleting references to market mechanisms in the new agreement. Panama, for CfRN, called for including the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ and clear accounting rules in the new agreement. 

Several parties stressed the importance of distinguishing what will be in the agreement and what will be included in COP decisions. The EU identified the need to consider what stands the test of time and what needs to be amended on a regular basis. Mexico supported an agreement that allows for efficient adjustments without a ratification process. The US noted that there should be no hierarchy among the agreement and decisions. Brazil said there should be no “second-class elements.” China indicated discussions or decisions on what goes into the agreement are premature before agreeing on the legal form of the Paris outcome.

India opposed proposals for new annexes x, y and z, and called for: a workshop on the implications of the legal nature of the new agreement; clarification on how IPCC assessment reports will inform the negotiations; and ensuring that decisions on workstream 2 (pre-2020 ambition) are finalized before Paris.

Outcome: The negotiating text concludes with three structural suggestions and placeholders for attachments or annexes.

DISCUSSIONS ON STREAMLINING: On Tuesday afternoon, Co-Chair Reifsnyder called for parties’ views on streamlining the text. He proposed to work section-by-section through the elements text from Lima, with parties’ views captured in a separate document for parties’ reference.

China and Venezuela expressed concern that returning to the elements text from Lima would be a step backward. Several parties, including Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Malaysia, for the LMDCs, Belize and Sudan, for the African Group, stressed the need to concentrate on the revised text. Several parties emphasized their desire to verify that the revised text carefully reflects their views and postpone streamlining until the revised text becomes available, while some parties called for starting streamlining work immediately.

Brazil proposed a non-paper with visualization or a table to illustrate parties’ differences, as well as possible separations of treaty elements from COP decision elements. Sudan, for the African Group, opposed separating treaty elements from decision elements at this stage. Malaysia, for the LMDCs, said streamlining should focus on: aligning the text with the Convention and agreements reached in Lima; retaining the nuanced meaning of the proposals; and discussing each element in a balanced manner. Ethiopia and Venezuela stressed that parties have the right to suggest new text at any stage of the negotiations. Brazil encouraged parties to refrain from suggesting new text.

Parties agreed that consideration of streamlining would start on Wednesday afternoon after an opportunity to review all sections of the revised text.

On Wednesday afternoon, Co-Chair Djoghlaf asked parties to present proposals on how to streamline the text. He explained that the Secretariat had identified almost identical paragraphs in the revised text, which were displayed on the screen. Tuvalu, for the LDCs, and Bolivia raised points of order, requesting more time to reflect on the new text. Bolivia underscored that deciding which proposals in the text are alike is an exercise for parties, not the Secretariat, to undertake. Co-Chair Djoghlaf stressed that those parties who had refrained from presenting their proposals during the first reading of the text must be given the opportunity to present their streamlining proposals. Chile, for AILAC, Ethiopia and Australia made specific proposals on streamlining.

Venezuela urged using time efficiently and undertaking the first multilateral reading of the revised text. The Russian Federation supported starting negotiations but opposed the Co-Chairs’ proposal to move to a smaller setting. Ecuador, Venezuela and the LMDCs suggested having parties explain their specific proposals. Brazil suggested that parties identify areas of duplication through open-ended informal discussions. The Marshall Islands supported this approach, suggesting that parties decide later in the week whether to capture that work in a document. Malaysia sought clarification on what would happen to the Geneva text once parties start proposing changes.

Iran, supported by Egypt, requested that the Secretariat make an attributed version of the new text available, which Venezuela and Colombia opposed. Co-Chair Djoghlaf indicated that the text with attributions is an internal document and that parties will be able to obtain information on the proponents.

On Thursday morning, Co-Chair Djoghlaf facilitated informal consultations on streamlining. Reporting these discussions to the afternoon contact group, he highlighted streamlining proposals by Australia and Argentina, for the LMDCs.

After further contact group discussions on streamlining on Thursday afternoon, Co-Chair Reifsnyder indicated that the Geneva text will not be changed, apart from parties’ corrections to proposals already made, which were to be submitted to the Secretariat by 6:00 pm on Thursday. He said the text will be translated and circulated to parties, and noted that streamlining proposals and additions can be introduced in June. On parties’ request for more ambition in Geneva, he noted that parties have “too many concerns” about streamlining and said no further informal consultations on streamlining would be held.

Outcome: On Friday afternoon, the ADP closing plenary agreed that the text developed in Geneva will form the basis of substantive negotiations towards the Paris agreement in June in Bonn. They also agreed that the negotiating text will be issued as an official document, translated and circulated to parties, as requested by COP 20. Co-Chair Reifsnyder said the text will be communicated to parties ahead of schedule in March and stressed that communicating the text will not prejudge: the legal outcome in Paris; the legal nature of any of the paragraphs or their placement in the text; the structure of the agreement; or whether the Paris outcome will be a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties. The ADP negotiating text is available at:


Workstream 2 on pre-2020 ambition was considered during the session on the technical examination process (TEP) on Tuesday morning. It was also taken up during ADP contact group discussions on Thursday morning and addressed during the contact group’s brainstorming session on the approach for ADP 2-9 in June.

TECHNICAL EXAMINATION PROCESS: Opening the meeting on TEP on Tuesday morning, Co-Chair Reifsnyder recalled that the ADP must recommend to COP 21 how to advance the TEP. 

Jorge Voto-Bernales, COP 20 Presidency, Peru, highlighted the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and the role of non-state actors. Laurence Tubiana, COP 21 Presidency, France, emphasized efforts to move the Lima-Paris Action Agenda forward and identified a low-carbon economy as “inevitable.” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres stressed the “relatively new wisdom” of incentivizing action by all stakeholders, not just central governments. Facilitator Tosi Mpanu Mpanu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) called for considering how to strengthen the TEP and its outcomes.

Mali, for the G-77/China, stressed that the focus must shift to doing “more, faster, now” and the Maldives, for AOSIS, called for focus on urgent action, highlighting renewable energy in SIDS. Brazil suggested a technical expert meeting (TEM) bringing together expertise from “the financial and investment worlds.” India called specific attention to the cost of technology, finance available, and countries’ capacity to absorb technology and finance. China suggested that the TEP use information from the multilateral assessment process and the Standing Committee on Finance. South Africa, supported by Colombia, called for TEMs focusing on experiences from implementation.

The US, supported by the EU and Colombia, suggested a summary for policymakers. The EU suggested focusing on areas with high mitigation potential and good practice examples. Colombia called for attention to “missing policy options,” such as transport. Saudi Arabia called for attention to water, marine protection and blue carbon, economic diversification, land-use, urban planning, and food security.

Discussions continued with a focus on ways to engage the UNFCCC institutions and relevant leading international organizations in the TEP. In the afternoon, participants addressed the role of leading international organizations.

On Friday afternoon, Facilitator Mpanu Mpanu reported on the discussions on TEP to the ADP closing plenary. He highlighted that some UNFCCC institutions and international organizations have been able to mobilize significant financial resources to implement activities related to the TEP. He highlighted participants’ eagerness for “more, faster, now” and for MOI, finance in particular, for the implementation phase. He reported that, in addition to topical suggestions for future TEMs, ideas for formalizing the collaboration of relevant institutions, such as a dedicated task force or liaison group, were proposed.

CONTACT GROUP DISCUSSIONS ON WORKSTREAM 2: The ADP contact group addressed workstream 2 on Thursday morning.

Mali, for the G-77/China, supported by China, for the LMDCs, called for a comprehensive approach addressing all building blocks of pre-2020 action, following three permanent and parallel tracks: accelerated implementation process; technical expert process; and high-level engagement.

South Africa and others stressed the importance of advancing work on paragraphs 17-18 of Decision 1/CP.20 on ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and implementation of the agreed outcome on Decision 1/CP.13 (Bali Action Plan). Australia expressed reservations about proposals to consider paragraphs 17-18 in detail and the US urged delegates to focus on the agreed workplan for workstream 2.

The LMDCs, with the Maldives, for AOSIS, and Colombia, for AILAC, urged parties to ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. Nicaragua lamented the current “lost decade” concerning mitigation, finance and vision. South Africa called for a process to consider increased developed country ambition. AILAC called for: scaling up of finance; focusing on sustainable development co-benefits; and high-level engagement.

Several parties, including Japan, New Zealand and the US, emphasized the role of existing institutions. The EU highlighted progress made, including on finance, indicating that the agreed goal of US$100 billion of annual climate finance includes multiple sources of finance. New Zealand stressed multiple channels for distributing public finance in addition to the GCF.

New Zealand, supported by Switzerland, proposed addressing policy options for energy sector fiscal instruments. Brazil called for a TEM on how to recognize the social and economic value of voluntary mitigation activities and translate their results into units of financial value. Mexico stressed the need to translate TEMs into implementation of new projects. Supported by Switzerland, he proposed regional or sub-regional TEMs to focus on specific projects that can be replicated through support from the GCF or bilateral cooperation. Saudi Arabia said TEMs should include consideration of adaptation co-benefits. South Africa emphasized the need for clear links between TEMs and existing institutions, such as the GCF and Adaptation Fund. Norway suggested that TEMs focus not only on adaptation, but also on health and sustainable development co-benefits.

Co-Chair Reifsnyder thanked delegates for their suggestions, inviting them to reflect on the Lima mandate on enhancing pre-2020 ambition and how to approach this in Bonn in June. During the closing plenary on Friday afternoon, Co-Chair Reifsnyder recognized parties’ and other participants’ views on how to advance workstream 2, saying these will help to plan the ADP’s work in 2015 and noted that such work includes considering in June how to respond to the request by COP 20 to make recommendations to COP 21 on further advancing the TEP.


On Friday morning, the ADP contact group held a brainstorming session on how ADP work should proceed at the Bonn session in June.

South Africa, for the G-77/China, with Sudan, for the African Group, and Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, called for immediately starting negotiations in Bonn, requesting that the Co-Chairs prepare a clear scenario note well in advance. She requested: no more than two parallel sessions at once; balance among developed and developing countries in selecting facilitators; not disconnecting the discussion on mitigation and adaptation from discussions on MOI; and dedicated time for discussing workstream 2. On meeting rooms, she, with the Russian Federation, stressed the need to avoid “small, cramped spaces.” China called for treating all elements of workstream 1 equally and, with India, securing adequate time for workstream 2, lamenting the current “imbalance.” The Russian Federation warned that attempting to negotiate a balance between workstream 1 and 2 would “lead nowhere.”

Underscoring disappointment that parties had not been able to streamline text and delete repetitious paragraphs in Geneva, the EU called for a “radical change of pace” in Bonn. He suggested that the Secretariat produce a technical analysis of the text, highlighting areas that can be streamlined; and supported negotiating in issue-specific, time-limited spin-off groups in June. He also called for a debate on INDCs, including their aggregate impact and the remaining gap with respect to the 2°C target. On workstream 2, the EU said there is no need for specific work based on paragraph 18 of Decision 1/CP.20.

Emphasizing the need to accelerate progress, Tuvalu, for the LDCs, proposed reducing duplications in the text first, and that the Co-Chairs’ scenario note identify areas of overlaps, in a commentary or a table. He supported two spin-off groups in Bonn.

Sudan, for the African Group, with China, suggested moving one of the ADP sessions planned for the second half of the year to April. Switzerland, Ecuador and Norway opposed additional meetings before June.

Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, requested that issues, such as mitigation, adaptation and MOI, be discussed in a tandem. Mexico asked for no more than two or three simultaneous facilitated sessions, which should be open-ended and use facilitators selected in a balanced manner, who will report back to the contact group after each facilitated session. Switzerland, with Norway, supported Mexico’s proposals for time bound spin-off groups that report back to plenary. Ecuador proposed dedicating initial segments in Bonn to the streamlining work that could not be finished in Geneva, before moving into “facilitated mode.” China supported proposals that the Secretariat prepare a technical support paper “without touching the text,” while stressing that the Co-Chairs should not produce guiding text. On spin-off groups, he identified the need for clarity on what issues will be discussed and how the facilitators are selected.

Australia, for the Umbrella Group, lamented that opportunities have been missed to eliminate duplications in the text, and called for clarity on the future mode of work. The Russian Federation highlighted the Geneva negotiating text as a breakthrough, which he hoped would not be forgotten as the process moves forward. He suggested skipping the opening plenary in Bonn.

Applauding the positive and respectful tone in Geneva, Venezuela expressed support for ideas put forward by the EU, Switzerland, Norway and the Umbrella Group. Quoting Victor Hugo, she noted “nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come” and said “addressing climate change is no longer an idea but something we will make happen.”

Egypt emphasized the need for a party-driven process, rather than a Co-Chair-driven process. Indonesia noted the assistance by the Secretariat and the Co-Chairs in identifying duplications in the Geneva text as useful. The Maldives suggested two TEMs with a focus on developing actionable policy outcomes. The Marshall Islands suggested space in June for parties to share their experiences in preparation and presentation of INDCs. Malaysia suggested capturing Geneva’s discussions on streamlining in the Bonn scenario note.

Co-Chair Djoghlaf emphasized the Co-Chairs’ commitment to follow the principles of transparency and inclusiveness, stressing there will be “no surprises” concerning the process.


The ADP closing plenary took place on Friday afternoon. Parties agreed that the text developed in Geneva will be the negotiating text communicated to parties, as requested by Decision 1/CP.20, and based on which the ADP will start substantive negotiations in Bonn. Thanking parties for their views during the morning’s brainstorming session, Co-Chair Reifsnyder indicated a scenario note for the June session will be issued well in advance.

Co-Chair Reifsnyder recalled agreement last October that the ADP hold at least one additional session in 2015. Recalling the scenario note (ADP.2015.1.InformalNote), and Co-Chairs’ discussions with parties, he identified the need for two additional sessions of five days each in Bonn in the second half of 2015. He announced the first session will take place from 31 August to 4 September, and the second from 19 to 23 October. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres identified the need for a total of US$7.8 million in new funding for the logistics for the two ADP sessions and the replenishment of the participation fund for the COP and ADP sessions.

ADP Rapporteur Yang Liu (China) presented, and parties adopted, the report of the session (FCCC/ADP/2015/L.1).

Co-Chair Reifsnyder thanked observers for their valuable contribution to the process and parties for the successful outcome. He proposed, and parties agreed, that ADP suspend the session and resume it in June. Co-Chair Djoghlaf thanked parties, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary and the Secretariat, indicating that “having a negotiating text will help us with our common trajectory from Bonn to Paris.”

Peru, for the COP 20 Presidency, encouraged parties to consult on the substantive themes under workstream 1. On workstream 2, he called for focusing attention on: prompt implementation of existing commitments; execution and implementation of mitigation actions with benefits for adaptation, including the TEM process; and promoting action platforms that encourage the participation of different stakeholders. Costa Rica announced the Geneva Pledge on Human Rights and Climate Action, inspired by Geneva as “the international capital of human rights.” She explained the voluntary initiative intends to build collective capacity on how human rights can better inform climate action. Listing signatories, she identified Chile, Costa Rica, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Kiribati, the Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Palau, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Samoa, Sweden, Uganda and Uruguay.

In his closing remarks, Co-Chair Reifsnyder said “may the spirit of Geneva remain with you and guide us all on the road to Paris.” He adjourned the meeting at 3:47 pm.



“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

The Geneva Climate Change Conference marked the beginning of a busy and important year of negotiations dedicated to finalizing the 2015 climate agreement, scheduled for adoption at the Paris Climate Change Conference in December. The first on a long list of tasks for negotiators in 2015 was developing a negotiating text that forms an acceptable foundation for agreement in Paris. Gathering in the historic Palais des Nations in Geneva, delegates were able to achieve the meeting’s main objective well ahead of schedule.

As the conference closed on Friday afternoon, most delegates were in an upbeat mood, feeling that the Geneva outcome augurs well for the negotiations ahead. Some, however, revealed disappointment, saying that parties should have done more in Geneva to start streamlining the text. Regardless, everyone recognized that much hard work will be needed to turn the Geneva text into the Paris agreement.

This brief analysis will focus on the elaboration of the Geneva negotiating text as the key deliverable from the Geneva Climate Change Conference. It will discuss the key substantive issues reflected in the Geneva text that need to be resolved in order to reach an agreement in Paris. Finally, it will reflect on the key stops on the road to Paris.


At the Lima Climate Change Conference in December 2014, parties requested the ADP to prepare, by May 2015, a negotiating text that will be communicated to parties six months before COP 21 in Paris. Parties started this work on the basis of the elements for a draft negotiating text annexed to Decision 1/CP.20 (Lima Call for Climate Action).

The work focused on adding text in places where parties felt their views were not adequately reflected. By Tuesday evening, all new textual proposals had been collected. During the process, the text more than doubled in size, growing from the original 39 to 88 pages.

Veterans of climate negotiations warned against measuring success in Geneva by the length of the text. They saw the longer text as an “unavoidable part” of the process of transforming “the Co-Chairs’ text” from Lima into a “party-owned text.” There was widespread convergence, in other words, that what happened in Geneva was a necessary precondition to generate a sense of ownership among parties and boost confidence that all parties’ views will be taken into consideration in the negotiations on the Paris agreement.

Given that the first reading of the text was completed early in the week, the Co-Chairs, with the support of many parties, made several attempts to start streamlining the text by removing duplications and redundancies. However, some negotiating groups were not ready to proceed to this stage.  As a result, apart from technical corrections, the negotiating text remained the same on Friday as it was on Tuesday evening. Some parties, including the EU, expressed disappointment that streamlining did not advance in Geneva.

 Parties had several opportunities to discuss how to approach streamlining at future ADP sessions. Many expressed support for starting informal discussions in June. Many also proposed that, during the intersessional period, the Secretariat identify duplications and other obvious places to start streamlining. The Co-Chairs explained they would reflect parties’ ideas in their scenario note for the June session.

On Friday afternoon, the ADP agreed that the Geneva text should be issued as an official document and circulated to parties. Pleased with progress made, Co-Chair Reifsnyder indicated that this could be achieved already in March, earlier than requested by COP 20.

With the Geneva negotiating text, parties are able to comply with legal requirements for adopting a new protocol. However, on the road to COP 21, they will need to make up their minds on whether the Paris agreement will be “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties,” as suggested in the ADP mandate. While divergent views remain on whether the Paris agreement will be a new protocol, many envisage the possibility of a “Paris package” comprising both the Paris agreement and a set of COP decisions.


The Geneva negotiating text covers all key substantive areas of the ADP’s mandate, from adaptation to finance, technology, capacity building, mitigation and transparency. Reading through the Geneva text, some veterans commented that it “almost inevitably” reflects sharper differences in parties’ positions than the Lima text. Some also warned that it is “considerably easier” to make good progress when the focus is on adding text, as in Geneva, but the task is more challenging when parties start searching for middle ground. 

Mitigation remains a critical concern on the road to Paris. There is a well-known gap between the current and promised emission reductions, and those needed to lead the world to a safe pathway to prevent dangerous climate change. In this regard, the Geneva text includes a broad range of new and old ideas on how to carry out mitigation, including REDD+, the land-use sector and market mechanisms, such as emission trading, and an enhanced Clean Development Mechanism (CDM+).

One of the key outputs from Lima was agreement on the requirements and process of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). While parties are yet to submit their official INDCs, announcements of planned post-2020 emission reductions by key emitters China, the US and the EU have created concerns that the Paris agreement will not be sufficiently ambitious to lead parties to a safe pathway towards the 2°C target.

The Geneva text includes several proposals for the assessment of parties’ commitments/contributions and the time frames and “cycles” for the submission of commitments. These apparently technical details are vital elements for ensuring what many have called a “dynamic agreement” that allows mitigation ambition to be periodically reviewed and strengthened after COP 21. Parties’ views on this matter radically diverged.

The Geneva text reflects parties’ differences on whether there should be an ex ante and/or ex post review of parties’ mitigation commitments or contributions, at the aggregate and at the individual level, and with or without differentiation between developed and developed countries. The text also contains different options concerning the time frame for the submission of new commitments, with most preferring five-year cycles but some suggesting ten-year cycles. Finally, the text includes multiple options concerning how to review parties’ compliance with their mitigation commitments under the 2015 agreement. These include a compliance committee consisting of an enforcement and a facilitative branch, like under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as a proposal for an international climate justice tribunal. There are also parties who do not see the need for a compliance mechanism in the Paris agreement.

The question of differentiation and CBDRRC is another area of sharp differences in the Geneva text. The UNFCCC parties have been debating differentiation for years with positions ranging from a “static interpretation” of CBDRRC to an evolutionary one, removing or shifting the so-called “firewall” between developed and developing countries. After COP 20, some commentators emphasized that Decision 1/CP.20 laid the grounds to shift the firewall of differentiation. Nevertheless, the Geneva text clearly shows that all options on differentiation remain on the table. Differentiation is addressed in several sections of the text, from the preamble to the substantive sections, and many approaches are suggested. While some proposals rely on parties’ existing categorization embedded in the UNFCCC annexes, others suggest going beyond the existing distinction between developed and developing countries, with the some parties proposing entirely new annexes for the Paris agreement.

If the number of pages in the negotiating text is anything to go by, the issue of finance is also likely to keep negotiators busy at future ADP sessions. Seventeen pages in length, the text on finance encompasses a wide range of options concerning the sources of finance (private vs public), the institutions in charge of its disbursement, and thresholds for contribution. Also here a range of views exist on differentiation, from quantitative commitments for Annex II Parties to financial contributions from all “parties in a position to do so.”

Many references across the Geneva text address the question of giving greater prominence to adaptation in the Paris agreement, both in terms of parties’ procedural and substantive obligations, including the provision of means of implementation. The text also contains new ideas on the delicate issue of loss and damage, which, since the 2013 Warsaw Climate Change Conference (COP19), has been addressed by a dedicated mechanism. In Geneva the LDCs suggested text on the establishment of a climate change displacement coordination facility, breaking new ground in efforts to address what has arguably long been the elephant in the room at climate negotiations―namely the organized migration and planned relocation of populations that will be forced to move as a result of climate change. Several parties, however, have long resisted addressing this issue under the UNFCCC, and negotiations on loss and damage are likely to be complex.

Many perceive the matter of loss and damage to be inextricably linked to the relationship between climate change action and human rights protection, which now features in a few sections of the Geneva negotiating text, making reference, among others, to the rights of indigenous peoples, women and children. During the closing plenary, eighteen developed and developing countries announced an informal voluntary initiative to facilitate the sharing of best practices and knowledge between human rights and climate experts at the national level. While the relationship between human rights protection and climate change had already been inconclusively discussed ahead of COP 15 in Copenhagen, this issue has enjoyed greater prominence in the last few months, with the appointment of former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, as the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change.


With the Geneva text securely in the hands of the Secretariat for formal editing and translation, delegates have over three months to get ready for negotiations at the next session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies in June, with informal meetings at the negotiator level scheduled in April and May, and informal ministerial meetings in March and May.

Leaving the Palais des Nations, many delegates seemed cautiously optimistic about Paris. Undoubtedly, since 2009 there have been some important realignments in historical allegiances, with many new negotiating groups and alliances, some of them bridging the traditional developed and developing country divide. The US has also recently entered into some important bilateral agreements with China and India.

While a chasm exists between those who advocate for maintaining the status quo, and those who want to move beyond the “Kyoto world,” much hard political bargaining will be necessary to broker a solution to the deadlock that affects international climate governance. The Geneva negotiating text has formally put parties on a course to make history and address what has been termed as the greatest challenge facing mankind. Time will tell whether they will succeed.


Workshop on Harnessing Climate Change Financing for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Southeast Asia: Convened under the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) Facilitative Process to support financing for SFM, the workshop will consider links and opportunities for harmonization between SFM financing and REDD+. The workshop will be co-convened with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).  dates: 17-19 February 2015  location: Bangkok, Thailand  contact: Mark Petimezas  phone: +1-212-963-3401  email: www:

Hands-On Training Workshop on the Preparation of Biennial Update Reports (BURs) for Africa: The Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on National Communications from non-Annex I parties will hold a training workshop on the preparation of BURs for the Africa region.  dates: 23-25 February 2015  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email:  www:

Working Group Meeting of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC): The CCAC Working Group oversees the activities of CCAC, which is a voluntary international framework launched in February 2012 to address short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The CCAC aims to reduce emissions of methane, black carbon and many hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in order to protect the environment and public health, promote food and energy security, and address near-term climate change.  dates: 24-25 February 2015  location: Kathmandu, Nepal  contact: CCAC Secretariat  phone: +33-1-44-37-14-50  fax: +33-1-44-37-14-74  email:  www: 

41st Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): This session will meet in February to discuss, inter alia, future work of the IPCC and lessons from the AR5.  dates: 24-27 February 2015  location: Nairobi, Kenya  contact: IPCC Secretariat  phone: +41-22-730-8208  fax: +41-22-730-8025  email:  www:

International Meeting of the Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Community of Practice: The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA) and the facilitator of REGATTA’s EbA Community of Practice, Practical Action Latin America, are co-organizing this event to strengthen the EbA community of practice network, discuss regional experiences in EbA and identify opportunities for collaboration.  dates: 26-27 February 2015  location: Lima, Peru  email: www:[UNIQID]

36th Meeting of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC): The 36th meeting of the JISC under the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol is expected to take place in March.  dates: 12-13 March 2015  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228 815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email:  www:

UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction: The third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be hosted by the Government of Japan and organized by the UN Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). Participants are expected to agree a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. dates: 14-18 March 2015  location: Sendai, Japan  contact: Ms. Elena Dokhlik, UNISDR  phone: +41-22-91-78861  fax: +41-22-73-39531  email:   www:  

Ninth Meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board: The Board of the GCF will convene its ninth meeting to continue its work operationalizing the Fund. In addition, the Board committee meetings and panels will take place on 23 March 2015.  dates: 24-26 March 2015  location: Songdo, Republic of Korea  contact: GCF Secretariat  phone: +82-32-458-6059  fax: +82-32-458-6094  email: www:

CCAC High-Level Assembly: The CCAC High-Level Assembly will evaluate CCAC’s progress, provide input on the direction of CCAC’s future work and learn about the latest policy and scientific developments related to SLCPs.  dates: 19 May 2015  location: Geneva, Switzerland   contact: CCAC Secretariat  phone: +33-1-44-37-14-50  fax: +33-1-44-37-14-74  email: www:

17th Session of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Congress: The 17th session of the WMO Congress will discuss, inter alia, the strategic plan for 2016-2019, the post-2015 development agenda, aeronautical meteorology, disaster risk reduction and gender mainstreaming.  dates: 25 May - 12 June 2015  location: Geneva, Switzerland  contact: WMO Secretariat  phone: +41-22-7308111  fax: +41-22-7308181  email:  www:

42nd Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: The 42nd sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies to the UNFCCC and the ninth part of the second session of the ADP (ADP 2-9) are expected to take place in June 2015.  dates: 1-11 June 2015  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email:  www:  

High-level Event on Climate Change: The President of the UN General Assembly will convene this high-level event, with the aim of giving momentum and adding impetus to efforts to reach a global agreement in 2015 under the UNFCCC.  dates: 29 June 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: Office of the President of the UN General Assembly  www:

Our Common Future Under Climate Change: Organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Council for Science (ICSU) and Future Earth, in collaboration with a partnership of French organizations, this science-focused conference will examine the latest research around climate change. The event will touch upon: the state of knowledge on climate change; responding to climate change challenges; and collective action and transformative solutions.  dates: 7-10 July 2015  location: Paris, France  contact: Conference Secretariat  email:  www:

Third International Conference on Financing for Development: The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will be held at the highest possible political level, including Heads of State or Government, relevant ministers―ministers for finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation―and other special representatives. The conference will result both in an intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome and in summaries of the plenary meetings and other deliberations of the Conference, to be included in the report of the Conference.  dates: 13-16 July 2015  location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  contact: UN Financing for Development Office  phone: +1-212-963-4598  email: www: 

ADP 2-10: The tenth part of the second session of the ADP is expected to convene in August/September 2015.  dates: 31 August - 4 September 2015  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email:  www:

CCAC Working Group Meeting: The CCAC Working Group will continue its work in guiding CCAC’s cooperative actions.  dates: 2-3 September 2015  location: TBA  contact: CCAC Secretariat  phone: +33-1-44-37-14-50  fax: +33-1-44-37-14-74  email: www:

UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The summit is expected to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, including: a declaration; a set of Sustainable Development Goals, targets, and indicators; their means of implementation and a new Global Partnership for Development; and a framework for follow-up and review of implementation.  dates: 25-27 September 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development  fax: + 1-212-963-4260   email: www:

42nd Session of the IPCC: The 42nd session of the IPCC is expected to convene in October 2015.  dates: 6-10 October 2015 [TBC]  location: Dubrovnik, Croatia  contact: IPCC Secretariat  phone: +41-22-730-8208/54/84  fax: +41-22-730-8025/13  email:  www:

ADP 2-11: The eleventh part of the second session of the ADP is expected to convene in October 2015.  dates: 19-23 October 2015  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email:  www:

UNFCCC COP 21: The 21st session of the COP to the UNFCCC and associated meetings will take place in Paris.  dates: 30 November - 11 December 2015  location: Paris, France  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email:  www:

Further information