Report of main proceedings for 2 December 2018
Katowice Climate Change Conference - December 2018
On Sunday, the Katowice Climate Change Conference opened all of the Convention bodies: COP 24, CMP 14, CMA 1-3, SBSTA 49, SBI 49, and APA 1-7. The APA also met in a contact group. In the evening, a joint plenary convened to hear statements.
COP 23 President, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Fiji, opened the session.
Organizational Matters: Election of the COP 24 President: Parties elected by acclamation Michał Kurtyka, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Energy, Poland, as COP 24/CMP 14/CMA 1-3 President.
Adoption of the rules of procedure: Parties agreed to apply the draft rules of procedure (FCCC/CP/1996/2), with the exception of draft rule 42 on voting. The COP Presidency will hold consultations.
Adoption of the agenda: President Kurtyka introduced a supplementary provisional agenda (FCCC/CP/2018/1/Add.1), containing a new agenda item proposal on the special needs and special circumstances of Africa under the Paris Agreement. He also explained that, since the issuance of this document, Honduras, for the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), Iran, for the Asia-Pacific States, and Saudi Arabia, for the Arab Group, had proposed new agenda items, each on the special needs and special circumstances of developing countries in their respective groups or regions. He proposed that the COP adopt the supplementary provisional agenda without a sub-item on a proposal to remove Turkey from the list in Annex I to the Convention and the four proposed items on the special needs and circumstances. The COP adopted the agenda as proposed.
The COP agreed to hold in abeyance the sub-items on proposals from the Russian Federation and from Papua New Guinea and Mexico and an item on the second review of the adequacy of Convention Article 4.2 (mitigation policies and measures by Annex I countries).
Election of officers other than the President: Parties agreed that COP Vice-President Majid Shafiepour, Iran, will continue consultations until the nominations have been finalized.
Admission of organizations as observers: The COP admitted new observers as proposed (FCCC/CP/2018/2).
Organization of work: The COP adopted its organization of work.
Dates and venues of future sessions: The COP Presidency will conduct consultations with the relevant regional groups regarding the hosting of COP 25 and COP 26.
Preparations for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and CMA 1: The COP will return to this item in the second week after the subsidiary bodies have concluded their work.
Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM): Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, and Maldives, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), noted that the consultations will consider the Executive Committee (ExCom) report and recommendations, rather than the COP’s authority over and guidance to the WIM. Informal consultations will convene.
The following items and sub-items will be taken up in informal consultations:
- Linkages between the Financial Mechanism and the Technology Mechanism of the Convention; and
- Decision-making in the UNFCCC process.
All sub-items under matters relating to COP finance were referred to contact groups.
Organizational Matters: Adoption of the agenda: Parties adopted the agenda (FCCC/KP/CMP/2018/1) and agreed to refer several sub-items to the SBSTA and SBI.
Election of additional officers: CMP President Kurtyka said consultations would continue.
Status of ratification of the Doha Amendment: CMP President Kurtyka reported that, as of 20 November 2018, 122 parties had submitted instruments of acceptance.
Reporting from and Review of Annex I parties: CMP took note of the information contained in the annual compilation and accounting report for Annex B parties (FCCC/KP/CMP/2018/5 and Add.1).
Organizational Matters: Adoption of the agenda: CMA President Kurtyka recalled that the agenda was adopted at CMA 1 in Marrakech.
Election of additional officers: CMA Vice-President Shafiepour will continue leading consultations. On electing the members of the WIM ExCom, Maldives, for AOSIS, and the US recalled statements made in COP plenary, with AOSIS noting that the footnote referring to the election of officers to the WIM does not fully reflect their views on the CMA’s governance of the WIM.
Organization of work: The CMA adopted its organization of work.
Status of ratification of the Paris Agreement: CMA President Kurtyka reported that, as of 1 December 2018, 184 parties to the Convention had ratified the Paris Agreement, and invited parties to expedite the deposition of their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession. The CMA took note of the information.
Matters Relating to the Implementation of the Paris Agreement: Parties agreed to return to this agenda item in the second week, once the subsidiary bodies have concluded their work.
SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson, France, opened the session.
Organizational Matters: The SBSTA adopted the agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/7) and agreed to the organization of the work of the session.
Bunker Fuels: SAUDI ARABIA recalled that parties were unable to reach consensus on this issue at SBSTA 48 and emphasized that parties had therefore not extended an invitation to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) to report on their work at SBSTA 49. SBSTA Chair Watkinson highlighted that, although no conclusion was adopted during the last meeting, parties had at previous meetings issued a standing invitation to ICAO and IMO to inform SBSTA at its future meetings. Informal consultations will convene.
Reports on Other Activities: The SBSTA took note of reports on other activities (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/INF.3, INF.4, and INF.5).
The IPCC highlighted its Special Report on 1.5°C of global warming, stressing that “every bit of warming matters.”
The World Meteorological Organization reported on the current state of climate indicators, including GHG concentrations, global average mean temperature, and extent of sea ice.
The ICAO reported that its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) became effective in October 2018.
The IMO reported on actions and commitment to reduce emissions from international shipping, including its adoption of the Initial IMO Strategy in April 2018 and work on technology cooperation and capacity building.
SAUDI ARABIA restated his previous concern regarding the invitation to ICAO and IMO to make statements during this session.
The following items and sub-items will be considered in informal consultations:
- Report of the Adaptation Committee (jointly with the SBI);
- Report of the WIM ExCom (jointly with the SBI);
- Technology framework under Agreement Article 10.4;
- Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) (jointly with the SBI);
- Research and systematic observation;
- Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform;
- Koronivia joint work on agriculture (jointly with the SBI); and
- Impact and implementation of response measures: Matters relating to Article 2.3 of the Kyoto Protocol (consultations as needed).
Contact groups were established for the following items and sub-items:
- Impact and implementation of response measures (jointly with the SBI);
- Matters related to Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches); and
- Modalities for the accounting of financial resources provided and mobilized through public interventions in accordance with Agreement Article 9.7 (ex post finance transparency).
SBI Chair Emmanuel Dlamini, eSwatini, opened the session.
Organizational Matters: The SBI adopted its agenda (FCCC/SBI/2018/12) and its organization of work with the understanding that some non-Paris Agreement items might need to be concluded at SBI 50.
Multilateral assessment: The SBI took note of the information provided.
Facilitative sharing of views: The SBI took note of the information provided.
Other mandated events: The SBI took note of mandated events taking place at SBI 49.
Election of officers other than the Chair: SBI Chair Dlamini invited nominations.
Reporting from and Review of Annex I Parties: Status of submission and review of seventh national communications and third biennial reports: The SBI took note of the status of submission and review (FCCC/SBI/2018/INF.14).
UKRAINE raised concerns that the Russian Federation included data on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol in its communication, and requested the UNFCCC not to consider this data.
The US and CANADA stated their support of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION explained that its communication serves the implementation of its obligations under the UNFCCC. The SBI will consider this issue at its next session.
Compilations and syntheses of second and third biennial reports: Report on GHG inventory data: The SBI took note of the status of submission and review of second and third biennial reports from Annex I parties (FCCC/SBI/2018/INF.8/Add.1) and the report on national GHG inventory data from Annex I parties for the period 1990-2015 (FCCC/SBI/2018/17). Informal consultations will convene on both sub-items.
Reporting from Non-Annex I Parties: Work of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on National Communications: The Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) presented the progress report of the CGE (FCCC/SBI/2018/20) and its activities to increase the technical capacities of national experts of developing countries. He highlighted key achievements of the CGE, including developing training materials, training of over 1,000 national experts, and holding 23 regional workshops and 25 webinars. Informal consultations will convene.
Provision of financial and technical support: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) presented on the GEF’s activities relating to the preparation of national communications and biennial update reports (FCCC/SBI/2018/INF.9). She noted that, as of 3 September 2018, the GEF had approved support for 20 national communications and 22 biennial update reports.
The SBI took note of the summary reports on the technical analysis of biennial update reports of non-Annex I parties.
Matters Relating to the Mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol: The SBI took note of the report of the administrator of the Kyoto Protocol international transaction log (FCCC/SBI/2018/INF.10). SBI Chair Dlamini reported that the SBI will continue consideration of the modalities and procedures for the Clean Development Mechanism at SBI 50.
WIM ExCom Report: The SBI took note of the report (FCCC/SB/2018/1). Informal consultations will convene.
Report of the Adaptation Committee: Matters Relating to the LDCs: The Adaptation Committee outlined its report, noting it: includes information on organizational and procedural issues; highlights progress on implementation of its flexible workplan; and contains the 2019-2021 flexible workplan and a recommendation for SBSTA’s consideration.
The LDC Expert Group (LEG) reported that it advanced its work to provide guidance on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and to consult parties on their needs.
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN: The TEC and CTCN reported on their activities, highlighting work related to innovation research, development, and demonstration, and South-South and triangular cooperation on adaptation and mitigation technologies.
Informal consultations will convene.
Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer: The SBI will continue consideration of this item at SBI 50.
Matters Relating to Capacity Building: Capacity building under the Convention: Annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB): The SBI heard an oral introduction of the annual technical report of the PCCB (FCCC/SBI/2018/15) and referred the two sub-items to informal consultations.
Capacity building under the Kyoto Protocol: The SBI took note of the summary report of the 7th Durban Forum on Capacity-building (FCCC/SBI/2018/13).
Report on Activities Related to Action for Climate Empowerment: The SBI took note of the report on the 6th Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment (FCCC/SBI/2018/19).
Administrative, Financial, and Institutional Matters: The Secretariat introduced this item and its sub-items (FCCC/SBI/2018/16, Add.1, and Add.2). The SBI also heard an oral report by the UN Board of Auditors. This item will be further considered in a contact group.
The following items and sub-items will be considered in informal consultations:
- National Adaptation Plans (NAPs);
- Development and transfer of technologies: Scope of and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement;
- The report of the Adaptation Committee and matters relating to LDCs, paragraphs 41, 42, and 45 of the Paris outcome;
- Common timeframes;
- Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Agreement Article 7.12 (adaptation communications registry);
- Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Agreement article 4.12 (NDC registry);
- Koronivia joint work on agriculture;
- Matters relating to climate finance: Identification of the information to be provided by Parties in accordance with Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante finance transparency);
- Impact of the implementation of response measures: Matters relating to Protocol Article 3.14 (minimization of adverse effects) (consultations as needed); and
- Gender and climate change.
The items related to impact of the improved forum and work programme for response measures, and the modalities, work programme, and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures were forwarded to a contact group.
APA Co-Chair Sarah Baashan, Saudi Arabia, opened the session and called on parties to complete work by Saturday, 8 December. She noted that, on Monday, 3 December, parties would be free to engage in self-organized consultations in parallel to the High-level Segment.
Organizational Matters: Election of officers: No actions were taken under this sub-item given the ongoing mandate of the existing officers.
Adoption of the agenda: Parties agreed to continue applying the agenda adopted at APA 1 in May 2016 (FCCC/APA/2018/5) with the exception of one sub-item, which was completed in Marrakech in November 2016.
Organization of work: Parties agreed to the proposed organization of work, including working in a single contact group that would meet at least three times, and conducting technical work in informal consultations. Co-Chair Baashan requested parties to deliver a first iteration of draft text no later than Wednesday,
APA Contact Group
Co-Chair Jo Tyndall, New Zealand, recalled the organization of work and timelines for the APA and encouraged parties to focus on essential elements and key options for each item, and to identify “landing zones.”
She outlined expectations for each agenda item, noting that informal consultations will convene for each:
Mitigation Section of Decision 1/CP.21: Tyndall underscored the need to find agreement on how guidance on information to facilitate clarity, transparency, and understanding of NDCs should be applied, and to whom.
Adaptation Communication: Urging parties to consider linkages, especially with item 5 (transparency), Tyndall stressed the need to ensure coherence across all APA items.
Transparency: Citing progress in Bangkok, Tyndall emphasized that remaining options and sub-options still need to be narrowed.
Global Stocktake: Tyndall urged parties to address unresolved linkages and multiple options.
Implementation and Compliance Committee: Noting progress at APA 1-6, Tyndall called on parties to address remaining overlaps.
Further Matters: On the Adaptation Fund, Tyndall underscored the need for parties to focus on essential questions. On possible additional matters, she urged parties to agree on a procedural way forward for each sub-item.
Joint COP, CMP, CMA, SBSTA, SBI, APA Plenary
Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed the need for balance between action and support, and urged reasonable comparability across issues, “leaving no issue behind.” He noted that finance could “unlock” other issues, and called for upholding common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) in the outcome.
The European Union (EU) underscored that the outcome from Katowice must be in line with the spirit and letter of the Paris Agreement, taking into account national capacities and circumstances and ensuring the highest possible ambition over time. On the Talanoa Dialogue, he urged parties to reflect on levels of ambition in the light of the latest climate science.
Republic of Korea, for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP (EIG), called for living up to the promises made in Paris and stressed that delaying work beyond COP 24 is not an option. He also drew attention to the Talanoa Dialogue, urging parties to look for opportunities to close the ambition gap.
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, said the group would work as hard and constructively as possible to conclude comprehensive and robust guidance for the Paris Agreement.
Describing the Paris Agreement as an enhanced regime guided by equity and CBDR, Gabon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, outlined as core elements of the outcome, inter alia, finance, including the full operationalization of Paris Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante finance transparency). He welcomed the presiding officers’ addenda, but said the group would be making submissions on elements that were left out.
Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, emphasized the need to: preserve the balance between issues laid out in the Paris Agreement; achieve a consistent package reflecting parties’ textual submissions; and bear in mind national circumstances.
Maldives, for AOSIS, pointed to the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, underscoring the urgency of restoring a spirit of multilateral cooperation not impeded by narrow national interests. He called for, inter alia, a COP decision on the Talanoa Dialogue outcome.
Ethiopia, for the LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs), emphasized the need for improved predictability of financial flows through addressing ex ante information, and highlighted loss and damage as a critical component of the global response to climate change.
Underscoring equity as a core principle, Iran, for the LIKE-MINDED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), called for: a balanced treatment of all items leading to a singular omnibus decision and constructive engagement by developed countries on matters of finance and technology transfer.
Highlighting the vulnerability of her region, Colombia, for AILAC, stressed that effective implementation of the Paris Agreement requires consideration of countries’ special circumstances. She urged achievement of tangible results from mandated events, especially the Talanoa Dialogue.
India, for BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA, and CHINA (BASIC), underscored that the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) should support enhanced ambition without “back-sliding” on rules. He emphasized that public finance is “at the heart” of climate action in developing countries.
Argentina, for ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, and URUGUAY, called for ambition and a balance between mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation. She highlighted the need to avoid distractions to agreement on the PAWP.
Venezuela, for the BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE FOR THE PEOPLES OF OUR AMERICA (ALBA), said the Paris Agreement and its implementation should be governed by the principles and objectives of the Convention, urging not to reframe CBDR-RC. She expressed concern on lack of progress towards achieving the 2020 finance goal.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY (BINGOs) said delivering the Paris rulebook will send a strong global signal on continued political will and that all markets should be enlisted to support the Paris Agreement.
CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK (CAN) said the IPCC report on 1.5°C is “a siren alerting humanity to the climate crisis” and called on parties to commit to strengthening their NDCs by 2020 to be compatible with a 1.5°C emissions pathway, and to delivering on climate finance.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES lamented that GHG emissions increased in 2017, and called for further operationalizing the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.
Underscoring their historic responsibility, CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! (CJN!) urged developed countries to step up climate finance.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES (LGMA) pointed to the engagement of cities and regions in raising the ambition of climate action.
RESEARCH AND INDEPENDENT NGOs (RINGOs) offered expertise to parties, calling for an evidence-based process that welcomes different perspectives.
TRADE UNIONS (TUNGOs) underscored the challenge “to make a living” in a zero-emission economy and called on parties to adopt the “Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration.”
WOMEN AND GENDER cautioned against viewing climate finance obligations as investment opportunities and reminded of the need to address the financing of loss and damage.
YOUTH NGOs (YOUNGOs) called for incorporating grassroots input into adaptation and agriculture-related policy implementation, and respect for human rights in all processes.
In the Corridors
The Katowice Climate Change Conference started a day early but over three hours late as delegates huddled to sort out the COP agenda privately to avoid a public disagreement. Among the COP agenda points of contention were Turkey’s request for consideration of its special circumstancs, which led others to note their unique climate vulnerabilities and challenges. While a compromise was struck, some delegates intimated that these issues may again return in future years. After that hiccup, work under all the bodies launched quickly, with several reminders of the urgency to hone in on the solutions to the central issues related to the PAWP, or, as APA Co-Chair Sarah Baashan urged, “our journey to this point has been more of a marathon. Now we need to sprint to the finish line.”