Report of main proceedings for 12 November 2013

Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013

In the morning, the opening plenary of the ADP took place. Throughout the day, a number of contact groups, informal consultations, workshops and other events convened under the SBI, SBSTA and ADP. These included, inter alia: a SBSTA in-session workshop on agriculture; SBI in-session workshop on gender and climate change; forum on response measures in-forum workshop on cooperation on response strategies; second meeting of the structured expert dialogue on the 2013-2015 Review; ADP briefing on overview of institutions, mechanisms and arrangements under the Convention; and a contact group on loss and damage.


IMPLEMENTATION OF ALL THE ELEMENTS OF DECISION 1/CP.17: Opening the third part of ADP 2, Co-Chair Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) highlighted that, by the end of the Warsaw session, half of the ADP’s lifetime will have passed. He called for a draft negotiating text by December 2014 and a negotiating text by May 2015. He drew attention to the Co-Chairs’ note on the organization of work (ADP.2013.16.InformalNote) and welcomed parties’ submissions. He explained that the ADP’s work will also be informed by technical papers on adaptation (FCCC/TP/2013/10) and pre-2020 ambition (FCCC/TP/2013/8 and Add.s 1&2).

On workstream 1 (2015 agreement), Co-Chair Kumarsingh said that parties are now ready to “shift gears” by moving forward, and not in reverse, and define the content and elements of the 2015 agreement. On workstream 2 (pre-2020 ambition), he called for a common understanding of the concrete outcome in Warsaw.

He explained that open-ended consultations, facilitated by questions from the Co-Chairs, will take place in a plenary setting, expressing hope that this more formal setting will provide for a dynamic, transparent and inclusive exchange. The Co-Chairs will also consult with parties on the need for further sessions in 2014, in addition to the three sessions already agreed.

OPENING STATEMENTS: Fiji, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted the Convention’s principles and the need to avoid their reinterpretation. He called for a fair, ambitious and equitable outcome under the Convention in accordance with its principles that will include mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation. Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, highlighted the need for a global goal for adaptation.

The EU called for progress on substantive elements of the new agreement and setting out a timeline for delivering it. Regarding workstream 2, he called for: specific options with tangible results; new pledges and implementation of existing ones; and scaled up action in areas with high mitigation potential, including HFCs. Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, emphasized the need to build momentum towards an effective agreement, with all parties contributing “to the best of their abilities”; and to lay the groundwork for the elements of a negotiating text. On workstream 2, he encouraged countries that have not yet submitted pledges, including 20 out of the top 50 emitters, to do so.

Switzerland, for the EIG, called for a decision on the elements, structure and scope of the new agreement. He identified the need to strengthen international cooperation, including by sending a clear signal to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs.

Nauru, for AOSIS, highlighted its submission on mitigation opportunities and strategies to overcome obstacles to their wider implementation. Opposing a non-binding pledge-and-review regime, Nepal, for the LDCs, suggested two contact groups for each workstream; called for exploring a range of options to increase pre-2020 ambition; and urged capturing the implementation of the AWG-LCA outcome for 2013-2020, particularly regarding finance.

China, for BASIC, welcomed the Brazilian submission proposing that the IPCC develop a reference methodology on historical responsibilities. Chile, for AILAC, urged building bridges within the variety of realities, capacities and responsibilities among countries, and expressed readiness to “dive deeper” into defining elements of the 2015 agreement, particularly on adaptation, finance, and transparency of action and support.

Venezuela, for the LMDCs, emphasized that “applicability to all” does not mean uniformity of application and stated that enhanced Annex I ambition in 2014 is crucial for success under workstream 1. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, called for: clear commitments by developed countries taking into account the principles of CBDR, and fairness and justice in sharing atmospheric resources; ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol; and operationalization of the GCF and the TEC.

Bolivia, for ALBA, stressed that “climate is not a lucrative business opportunity” and cautioned against transferring developed countries’ obligations to developing countries through bank loans, carbon markets, risk insurances and private investment. Papua New Guinea, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, called for new and additional financial and technical support for the implementation of REDD+ activities, to be accompanied by a new governance architecture.

Panama, for SICA, supported, inter alia, a finance roadmap for sustainable and predictable public finance supplemented by private sector funding; a solid oversight and monitoring mechanism with respect to finance, technology transfer and capacity building; and streamlined access to existing institutions.

PERU called for more ambitious goals and a clear roadmap for the 2015 agreement with additional meetings before COP 20. He stressed the importance of negotiating an agreement that is politically feasible and sustainable, and urged agreement on criteria for assessing past and present aid.

BINGOs underscored the importance of engaging business in the ADP process, noting that innovation and investment depend on clear rules and strong markets. CAN called for a common set of equity indicators for assessing parties’ future pledges. CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! urged governments to take more ambitious action based on equity. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES called for a human rights-based approach, stressing the need for full participation by indigenous peoples at all levels. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR AND CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS indicated that the new agreement must include sufficient support to deal with climate change impacts, and strong rules on accounting and compliance. WOMEN AND GENDER urged a shift away from a profit-driven paradigm, and called for measures that are: based on science; gender responsible; and reflect a human rights-based approach. YOUNGOs stressed that the principle of intergenerational equity should be central to the ADP.

OVERVIEW OF INSTITUTIONS, MECHANISMS AND ARRANGEMENTS UNDER THE CONVENTION: In the afternoon, the ADP convened to consider an overview of institutions, mechanisms and arrangements under the Convention. Co-Chair Runge-Metzger identified the state of play under the Convention as “a natural entry point” into discussions under both ADP workstreams. The Secretariat presented the overview (FCCC/ADP/2013/INF.2), noting an online interface for future reference.

Lamenting that critical aspects of REDD+ have been left out, BRAZIL requested that the document and online platform be amended to reflect the context of adequate and predictable support from developed countries and ongoing work on REDD+ financing. The PHILIPPINES underscored the need to address the adaptation funding crisis, and called for predictable, adequate and sustainable funding to make the existing institutions work. IRAN stressed the principle of CBDR.

CHINA underscored the review and implementation of Annex I parties’ commitments during the Protocol’s second commitment period and called for comparable mitigation efforts by Annex I parties with no current commitments under the Protocol. NEPAL called for capitalizing the GCF and ensuring all features of NAMAs are enabled through support to developing countries.

The EU suggested looking at existing institutions on  adaptation, mitigation, finance and technology, to assess adequacy or identify gaps to be filled to deliver on core elements of the 2015 agreement. Underscoring a financial mechanism without adequate resources and certainty as a structural problem, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA recommended that any future financial mechanism be under the Convention so that it is subject to review. She cautioned against reversing the polluter pays principle through loans from developed countries to developing countries for adaptation and mitigation.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA called for clarifying what constitutes climate finance, expressing concern that significant amounts are channeled to the private sector or fall under official development assistance. Calling for a practical way to address technology transfer, INDIA lamented that IPRs have “turned into a taboo” under the UNFCCC. NAURU called on developed countries to: raise the level of ambition using the ambition mechanism; help developing countries design, prepare and implement their NAMAs; and capitalize on the mitigation potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency.


WORKSHOP ON AGRICULTURE: In the morning, an in-session SBSTA workshop on agriculture took place, facilitated by Hans Åke Nilsagård (Sweden) and Selam Kidane Abebe (Ethiopia). SBSTA Chair Muyungi opened the workshop, noting his ongoing consultations on the establishment of a SBSTA contact group on agriculture. 

The IPCC presented on various impacts of climate change on agriculture explaining that the sector is vulnerable to climate extremes, with implications for food security. The UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION discussed challenges, opportunities and success stories of practical implementation of adaptation and identification of adaptation co-benefits in agriculture. 

In the panel discussion, SWITZERLAND and INDIA shared their experiences on the impact of climate change on agriculture. JAPAN and COLOMBIA discussed practices and approaches to deal with adaptation in agriculture. The EU, and Malawi, for the AFRICAN GROUP, highlighted scientific knowledge to enhance adaptation while promoting agricultural productivity.

During the ensuing discussion, Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, underscored that the SBSTA’s consideration of agriculture must focus on adaptation, and welcomed further consideration of this issue at SBSTA 40. Among several key issues for adaptation in the agricultural sector, he identified loss and damage as “crucial.”

Several developing countries, including VIET NAM, SRI LANKA, ARGENTINA and THAILAND, underlined climate vulnerability of their agricultural sectors, including: reduced yields; increased incidents of pests and diseases; droughts; and threatened livelihoods of rural populations dependent on agriculture. The Gambia, for the LDCs, and Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, and several other developing countries called for finance and technology transfer to aid adaptation efforts at the local level and include agriculture in NAPs.

AUSTRALIA noted common challenges faced by many agricultural countries, despite varying national circumstances. BRAZIL highlighted that tropical agriculture is more vulnerable, and underscored the need to focus on adaptation, not co-benefits. He suggested establishing a platform for collecting information.

The US identified knowledge management, capacity building and technology transfer as commonalities. CANADA noted many countries mentioned locally-appropriate approaches and the need to increase resilience. CHINA stressed food security as a priority and called for work on this issue to remain in accordance with the Convention’s principles, particularly CBDR.

The Secretariat will prepare a report of the workshop for SBSTA 40, and informal consultations on whether to convene a contact group will continue.

STRUCTURED EXPERT DIALOGUE ON THE 2013-2015 REVIEW: The second structured expert dialogue on the 2013-2015 Review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal and the overall progress made towards achieving it took place in the afternoon, co-facilitated by Andreas Fischlin (Switzerland) and Zou Ji (China).

Thomas Stocker, IPCC, presented the main findings of IPCC WG I’s contribution to AR5, highlighting that: warming of the climate system is unequivocal; human influence on the climate system is clear; and limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of GHGs. Discussions addressed: sea level rise projections; impacts of 2°C warming on small islands; reliability of projections; and assessment of climate models.

Detlef van Vuuren, Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, presented on representative concentration pathways (RCPs), noting that emission scenarios only include baseline scenarios and do not cover climate policy. Jonathan Gregory, IPCC, outlined causes of global mean sea level rise, stressing the non-linear relationship between emission trends and sea level rise. Krishna Kumar Kanikicharla, IPCC, presented on regional changes, focusing on dry days, monsoons, variability of El Niño Southern Oscillation, and tropical cyclones.

During the discussion, parties asked questions related to, inter alia: approximating pre-industrial emission levels; predicting thresholds; assessing the feasibility of RCP 2.6; forecasting extreme weather events under various scenarios; identifying targets other than temperature; and including adaptation costs in the long-term global goal.

FORUM ON THE RESPONSE MEASURES IN-FORUM WORKSHOP: The in-session workshop was co-facilitated by SBSTA Chair Richard Muyungi and SBI Chair Thomasz Chruszczow.

A UNFCCC consultant gave an overview of the work of the forum, noting that parties have expressed satisfaction with the forum as a venue to discuss the impact of response measures.

The G-77/CHINA stressed that cooperation on response strategies is to be viewed in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in accordance with the Convention’s principles and provisions. She highlighted the forum as a good platform to facilitate and strengthen cooperation. SAUDI ARABIA emphasized the importance of cooperation, identified questions that parties can explore, and underscored that the work of the forum has just started and should be continued. KUWAIT identified the forum as the right place to report on the impact of response measures, highlighting that this issue should also be addressed in national communications.

The UN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME highlighted a programme that supports developing countries undertaking mitigation actions. The INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION underscored the importance of decent work and green jobs. The INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION highlighted cooperation on response strategies. The INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR TRADE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT presented on climate change and trade, arguing that response measures should be the result of cooperation. The SOUTH CENTRE highlighted the need to enhance cooperation between Annex I and non-Annex I parties.


LOSS AND DAMAGE: The contact group on loss and damage met in the afternoon. Drawing attention to submissions by the G-77/China, the EU and Norway, Co-Chair Robert Van Lierop (St. Kitts and Nevis) invited parties to exchange views on the mandate from Doha and structuring work in Warsaw.

The G-77/CHINA, supported by AOSIS, the LDCs, the AFRICAN GROUP and others, called for textual discussions based on its recent submission, and stressed the need for a system to address loss and damage instead of an ad hoc humanitarian approach. AOSIS, the LDCs, the AFRICAN GROUP and others urged discussion on functions and modalities. The PHILIPPINES called for mobilizing resources for the GCF.

The US proposed consideration of responses within and outside the UNFCCC. The EU said institutional arrangements should draw on the Convention’s bodies and called for engaging all relevant stakeholders. NORWAY highlighted knowledge building, coordination, and action and support as elements of institutional arrangements. SWITZERLAND stressed the need for common ground on functions of institutional arrangements. NEW ZEALAND identified loss and damage as part of a continuum that prioritizes mitigation and adaptation first, and pointed to loss and damage solutions already in place. Informal consultations will be held.

WORKSHOP ON GENDER AND CLIMATE CHANGE: In the afternoon, an in-session SBI workshop on gender and climate change took place, co-facilitated by Lilian Portillo (Paraguay) and Georg Børsting (Norway), and moderated by Jane Chigyal (Federated States of Micronesia).

Delegates heard a report from the Secretariat on gender composition of bodies under, and delegations to, the UNFCCC; and on the work of the Collective Working Group on the COP 18 Gender Decision, including an analysis of submissions by parties and observers.

A panel on gender balance in the UNFCCC process shared experiences of a parliamentary union, national governments and the UN system, highlighting: creation of spaces for women; creative sanctions; securing buy-in from all; quotas; consistent funding and training for developing-country delegates; and supportive environments created by women leaders. Panelists also called for moving towards implementation of decision 23/CP.18 (gender balance and participation of women), including through a concrete timeline for action and a global fund for supporting women delegates.

The second panel discussed capacity-building activities to promote greater participation of women in the UNFCCC process. Presenters emphasized the importance of: the institutionalization of capacity-building and training; tailor-made capacity building; development of analytical skills; communication; and monitoring and reporting mechanisms. One panelist called for: a framework for continuing cooperation; a roadmap to set priorities, a timetable and targets; and a permanent training programme.

 A third panel addressed the issue of gender-sensitive climate policy.

In the discussions, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES called for further in-session workshops and events. ICELAND noted that gender balance is merely one aspect of gender equality. UGANDA suggested building institutionalized frameworks for reporting on gender and climate change, and incorporating gender reporting in national communications. The EU called for gender workshops under the SBI on, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance.


On Tuesday, the Warsaw National Stadium swarmed as delegates buzzed around the halls in what one delegate called “one of the busiest days in the history of the UNFCCC process.”

The day’s packed agenda included a number of informal groups on market mechanisms, including those on Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation reform, non-market approaches and the new market mechanism. Multiple meetings did not seem to yield much common ground. While some seemed keen to complement the familiar Kyoto mechanisms with new ones, others pointedly asked “why establish new mechanisms — where will the demand come from?” Some also continued to question the fundamental need for market mechanisms, stressing the need for robust domestic mitigation measures instead. The only agreement emerging was that concrete results, especially regarding new mechanisms, will take time.

Delegates continued to be moved by the plight of those affected by typhoon Haiyan. In the contact group on loss and damage, references to the damage in her country moved a Philippine delegate to tears. Throughout the day, red circles appeared on some participants’ lapels to show solidarity with Naderev Saño, the Climate Change Commissioner from the Philippines, and join his voluntary fast. One delegate explained that this show of support extends beyond the growing number of civil society representatives and even the halls of the UNFCCC conference venue, as individuals from around the world are pledging to fast in the hope of a meaningful outcome at COP 19.

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