Report of main proceedings for 15 November 2013

Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013

Throughout the day, a number of contact groups and informal consultations were held under the SBI, SBSTA and ADP. These included: ADP open-ended consultations on elements of the 2015 agreement and the way forward under workstream 2; SBI informal consultations on national adaptation plans (NAPs); SBSTA informal consultations on methodological guidance for REDD+; SBI/SBSTA informal consultations on the development and transfer of technologies; SBI/SBSTA contact group on the forum on response measures; SBI/SBSTA informal consultations on the Adaptation Committee; and SBI/SBSTA contact group on the 2013-2015 Review. The COP President’s informal stocktaking plenary convened in the evening.


In the evening, COP President Korolec convened an informal stocktaking plenary. He commended positive progress, while noting that issues are moving at different paces.

SBSTA Chair Muyungi explained that the SBSTA has concluded its work on ten items. On items requiring more time, possibly beyond the first week, he identified inter alia REDD+ institutional arrangements. He said parties have indicated they wish to reconvene to discuss the Brazilian proposal under other matters on Saturday.

SBI Chair Chruszczow highlighted that more time is needed to consider politically sensitive issues, including: loss and damage; response measures; composition, modalities and procedures of the team of technical experts under international consultations and analysis; and the budget.

ADP Co-Chair Kumarsingh reported that parties have engaged constructively and substantively on both ADP workstreams, and announced that an ADP stocktaking plenary will be held on Saturday.

Fiji, for the G-77/CHINA, urged agreement on pending technology issues, and loss and damage. He highlighted reassurances from the ADP Co-Chairs about the transparent way the negotiations were being guided.

Nauru, for AOSIS, urged fulfilling the Doha mandate on loss and damage. She noted positive progress on the 2013-2015 Review, and some technology items, while stressing the need for more efforts on finance.

Nepal, for the LDCs, stressed the need to deliver on loss and damage, REDD+ and NAPs. Regarding the ADP, he called for COP 19 to deliver on timelines and deliverables under both workstreams. He also called for a clear roadmap on finance.

Switzerland, for the EIG, expressed his “disappointment” with the first week of negotiations and called for parties to: send strong signals of progress under both ADP workstreams; fulfill the MRV mandates from Cancun; and deliver on the Doha mandate on loss and damage.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION emphasized: clearing the way for elaborating the new universal agreement as a strategic goal for Warsaw; the need to send a strong signal on follow-up actions; and ensuring sufficient allocations for the UNFCCC budget.

The PHILIPPINES expressed “deep concern” over lack of progress on loss and damage, and matters related to finance; and described some parties drastically lowering their targets as “dangerous.”

COP President Korolec indicated that he will convene the next stocktaking plenary on Monday.


CONTENT AND ELEMENTS OF THE 2015 AGREEMENT: Capacity Building: During the ADP’s morning open-ended consultations on capacity building, Co-Chair Kumarsingh asked parties to consider how capacity building can be reflected in the 2015 agreement and institutional arrangements for the post-2020 period.

Parties recognized that capacity building: is a cross-cutting issue; should figure prominently in the 2015 agreement; and be country-driven. Many developing countries said capacity building should focus on both mitigation and adaptation.

Pakistan, for the LMDCs, the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, and Nepal, for the LDCs, stressed the need for support for capacity building. St. Kitts and Nevis, for AOSIS, CHINA and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA called for a capacity-building window under the Convention’s financial mechanism. The EU emphasized the role of the private sector, especially in terms of technology.

On institutional arrangements, the EU and JAPAN suggested strengthening the Durban Forum on Capacity-Building. SOUTH AFRICA said the Durban Forum has not had the opportunity “to prove itself.” INDONESIA stressed the role of the Forum’s national focal points. The US called for encouraging existing bodies under the Convention that carry out capacity building. ALGERIA stressed that these bodies should be provided with adequate support. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA and JAPAN proposed mainstreaming capacity building in all aspects of the 2015 agreement.

SAUDI ARABIA, supported by CHINA and Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, urged building countries’ capacity to identify their capacity-building needs, and called for a working group on capacity building. The AOSIS stressed the need for a stand-alone body.

The LDCs, AOSIS, SOUTH AFRICA, CUBA and others called for MRV of the delivery of capacity building. The EU and the US highlighted their reporting on capacity-building activities.

Parties noted the importance of assessing past capacity-building efforts and sharing lessons learned. They also identified the need for coordination among all bodies under the Convention and other organizations on capacity building. COLOMBIA called for “an innovative look” to identify the recipients and multipliers of capacity building. The US underscored the need for developing countries to build enabling environments.

Transparency: On transparency of actions and support, many parties emphasized the need for more work on MRV of support.Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed the need for  improved transparency in finance, technology and capacity-building commitments through clarifying specific amounts, timelines and sources. SAINT LUCIA called for: a robust and transparent MRV system built on lessons learned from fast-start finance; indicators to assess the impact of support; standardized format for reporting by developed countries; and simplification of reporting by developing countries. The US highlighted that transparency can enhance the provision of support, and emphasized the need for equal transparency rules for providers and receivers.

The LMDCs highlighted developed and developing countries’ differentiated responsibilities with respect to commitments and reporting, warning that attempts to develop common accounting rules applicable to all would delay action and progress. The AFRICAN GROUP, supported by ALGERIA, cautioned against overburdening developing countries and against equal obligations for Annex I and non-Annex I parties.

Calling for a common transparency and accountability framework for both up-front information on commitments and ex post MRV, AUSTRALIA clarified that the intention is not that the same rules apply to all parties under all circumstances or create unreasonable burdens. With SWITZERLAND, she underlined that parties’ capacities will evolve over time.

On transparency of mitigation commitments, the US proposed a staged approach to maximize participation, with: all parties submitting nationally-determined mitigation commitments under a single but flexible set of rules applicable to all; a global consultation process; and regular reviews at the implementation stage.

Regarding up-front information requirements when establishing mitigation commitments, the EU recognized the need for flexibility, while calling for information on: targets and target periods; sectors and GHGs covered; methodologies used; approaches to market mechanisms; and the accounting system for the land-use sector.

Regarding MRV for developed country mitigation, Nepal, for the LDCs, supported by CHINA, called for: accurate, complete and regular reviews; and stressed the need to avoid lowering the standards of the MRV and compliance system of the Kyoto Protocol.

Adaptation: ADP Co-Chair Kumarsingh invited parties to examine: how the current adaptation framework could be strengthened; and adaptation in the 2015 agreement, including a proposed global goal.

Many countries recognized the central role of NAPs and underlined the global, regional, national and local dimensions of adaptation. PERU reiterated the proposal by AILAC to use national communications to reinforce NAPs and identify gaps. SAUDI ARABIA said NAPs should be a requirement for all countries. INDONESIA, CHINA and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA stressed the link between adaptation and sustainable development.

On finance, Malaysia, for the G-77/CHINA, with INDIA, CHINA, KENYA and EGYPT expressed concern over lack of funding for adaptation. MALI called for funding for NAPs. INDIA highlighted financing for technology transfer. The US indicated its commitment to supporting adaptation.

On institutional arrangements, many called for strengthening the existing institutions addressing adaptation under the Convention.

The G-77/CHINA, BANGLADESH, KENYA and others called for a global adaptation goal based on the proposal made by the African Group, determined by estimating adaptation needs according to emission scenarios. AUSTRALIA, NORWAY, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA and the US stressed the technical difficulty of aggregating adaptation to a quantified global goal, with the US adding that setting such a goal could be counter-productive. ADP Co-Chair Kumarsingh invited the African Group, Australia, the US and others to consult on the proposed global goal on adaptation.

NEPAL, the PHILIPPINES and Nauru, for AOSIS, stressed the link between mitigation and adaptation. AOSIS stressed that small island developing States will be unable to adapt to some climate change impacts, and underscored that only ambitious and timely mitigation can reduce loss and damage.

Technology: In the afternoon, the ADP’s open-ended consultations continued on technology. ADP Co-Chair Kumarsingh requested parties to reflect on technology development and transfer in the 2015 agreement, and institutional arrangements in the post-2020 period. Many parties stressed: the Technology Mechanism as an important building block of the 2015 agreement; the need to strengthen related institutions; and the importance of addressing both mitigation and adaptation. Many called for financial resources and linkages with the financial mechanism, with ARGENTINA stating: “we have the car, now we need to fill up the tank.”

The US, with CANADA, highlighted IPRs as critical for innovation. CANADA emphasized that IPRs are sufficiently addressed in other fora, and the US, the EU and SWITZERLAND stated that IPRs are not the main barrier to technology transfer. Highlighting “an impasse” in the SBI/SBSTA morning informal consultations on technology, the PHILIPPINES noted that enhanced action on technology is required for meaningful actions in the post-2015 agreement. Together with SOUTH AFRICA and Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, he called for a built-in review mechanism for addressing the adequacy of support.

The AFRICAN GROUP also called for: Annex I countries to leverage private-sector support; and learning from other multilateral agreements. The EU suggested the 2015 agreement promote international technology cooperation, and emphasize the role of the CTCN and the importance of the public and private sectors. He added that the Technology Mechanism should be the technology component for the post-2020 period and stressed the importance of enabling environments.

Parties also called for: mapping technology needs through TNAs; supporting traditional and indigenous knowledge transfer; engaging with other intergovernmental institutions to avoid duplication; and promoting synergies between the Technology Mechanism bodies.

Co-Chair Kumarsingh urged parties to further discuss IPRs.

WORKSTREAM 2: In the afternoon open-ended consultations on the way forward under workstream 2, ADP Co-Chair Runge-Metzger called on parties to focus on what can be achieved to reach decisions in Warsaw.

ECUADOR stressed that progressing to close the pre-2020 ambition gap is a starting point for moving forward under workstream 1. Venezuela, for LMDCs, supported by KUWAIT and ALGERIA, called for, inter alia: clarity on finance and support for identifying developing country needs; addressing economic and social consequences from the implementation of response measures; and rapid capitalization and operationalization of the GCF. 

SOUTH AFRICA, the FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA and BOLIVIA underlined the mitigation, implementation, finance and technology gap. Cameroon, for COMIFAC, highlighted the role of reducing, halting and reversing deforestation in closing the mitigation gap. SOUTH AFRICA called for increased means of implementation for non-Annex I countries. MALI called for building on the US$100 billion goal, with SOUTH AFRICA proposing a portal to match funding with required support.

Many developing countries urged ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and raising the ambition of Protocol parties’ commitments, as well as commitments by developed countries not parties to the Protocol. BOLIVIA called for: free access to patents to enable developing countries to address climate change; and an operational institution to address loss and damage with an executive board and a finance facility for the pre-2020 period.

The US: supported a work plan to raise ambition by identifying win-win mitigation opportunities; encouraged countries to clarify their pledges to understand pre-2020 ambition and countries that have not yet made Cancun pledges to do so; suggested developing a system under FVA to ensure transparency and prevent double counting of emission reductions; and proposed a global effort to advance sub-national emission reduction actions in the pre-2020 timeframe. The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES welcomed cooperative initiatives among cities in green energy urban development.


REDD+ (SBSTA): In the morning SBSTA informal consultations on methodological guidance for REDD+, delegates considered elements of a possible draft decision on guidelines and procedures for the technical assessment of submissions from parties on proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels.

Discussions focused on text urging developed country parties and relevant international organizations to support the development and assessment of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels. Divergent views remained on broader finance-related issues. Progress was made on text concerning the scope of guidelines and procedures for the technical assessment of submissions by parties.

Informal consultations continued in the afternoon.

NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANS (SBI): Informal consultations on NAPs convened in the morning with parties considering a draft COP decision. Discussions focused on text regarding parties and relevant organizations submitting information on their experience with the initial guidelines for the NAPs process. Informal consultations will continue.

TECHNOLOGY (SBI/SBSTA): In the morning informal consultations on development and transfer of technologies and implementation of the technology mechanism, parties reviewed draft decisions on: the report on modalities and procedures of the CTCN and its Advisory Board; the Poznan Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer; the third synthesis report on non-Annex I parties’ technology needs; and the joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN. There was general agreement on the draft decisions, with the exception of the joint annual report.

On that report, some developed countries expressed concern over text requesting the TEC to consider participating as an observer in bodies, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and World Trade Organization. Proposals were also made to move to the preamble references to decision 2/CP.17 (support to the CTCN). Several developing countries expressed concern that reconsidering specific paragraphs could reopen compromises already made on the draft text. One party underscored the need to avoid deadlock and send a strong message on the importance of the TEC and CTCN.

No agreement was reached. The Co-Chairs will consult with the SBI and SBSTA Chairs.

2013-2015 REVIEW (SBI/SBSTA): Informal consultations and an SBI/SBSTA contact group on the 2013-2015 Review convened in the morning. After some amendments, the contact group agreed on draft conclusions. The draft conclusions refer, inter alia to: further meetings of the structured expert dialogue in 2014; consideration of IPCC WG II and III contributions to the AR5, and other inputs; and submissions on how the Review will inform the ADP’s work. Co-Chair Charles thanked parties for “good discussions” and said they had enhanced understanding of each party’s concerns.

FORUM ON RESPONSE MEASURES (SBI/SBSTA): An SBI/SBSTA contact group on the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures convened in the morning. SBSTA Vice-Chair Narcis Paulin Jeler (Romania) explained that further work is needed on the draft conclusions. He proposed establishing “an unchaired drafting group” for “active participants and anyone else willing.” SBSTA Vice-Chair Jeler also suggested parties consider his paper on possible elements for draft conclusions and a draft decision. The G-77/CHINA opposed this as premature and preferred proceeding with text submitted by parties.

Informal consultations continued in the afternoon.

FRAMEWORK FOR VARIOUS APPROACHES (SBSTA): In the afternoon, delegates consulted informally on a draft COP decision on the framework for various approaches. Several brackets were inserted in the text and informal consultations continued in the evening.

REVIEW OF CDM PROCEDURES AND MODALITIES (SBI): In the afternoon, parties consulted informally on elements of a draft CMP decision and SBI conclusions on the review of the modalities and procedures of the CDM.

Discussions focused on how the SBI should refer to a consolidated list of suggested changes to CDM modalities and procedures received to date, prepared by the Co-Chairs. Parties also exchanged views on issues to be covered in a technical paper. Informal consultations continued in the evening.

REPORT OF THE ADAPTATION COMMITTEE (SBI/SBSTA): During the afternoon informal consultations on the Adaptation Committee’s report, parties considered the Chair’s revised draft COP decision text.

Discussions focused on: changes in the rules of procedure; shortfall in resources; and encouraging parties to make available sufficient resources for the successful and timely implementation of the Committee’s three-year workplan. One party stressed the need to strengthen the Adaptation Committee in order for the Cancun Adaptation Framework to have a solid foundation. Agreement was reached on a decision text to be forwarded to the COP.


By Day 5, most delegates had figured out the layout of the conference venue and internalized the stadium’s round shape. Some also felt that discussions on some issues were going “in circles.” On technology discussions under the ADP, familiar controversies emerged concerning IPRs. In the SBI/SBSTA technology discussions, parties debated whether to refer to the World Trade Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization. Some also commented that progress on national adaptation plans slowed and, according to one delegate, impeded parties from focusing attention on loss and damage. One negotiator noted that the live meetings schedule briefly slotting “Loss and Damage: 4 pm until …” indicated that no one could, at this stage, estimate an end time, or date, for completing negotiations on this issue. Some items, such as REDD+, broke the mold, making comparatively good progress. One delegate, however, suggested that progress on REDD+ was an attempt to “save the day,” as consensus on other issues was not forthcoming.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres sought to bring inspiration to the proceedings by drawing attention to photographs showcasing CDM projects during an afternoon event on the CDM Changing Lives Photo and Video Contest. She said these photos are proof that the CDM is not an “esoteric” exercise, and that the mechanism is a “treasure trove” of ideas and tools for negotiators currently working to develop new market mechanisms. However, negotiations on the various agenda items related to market mechanisms were not progressing as smoothly. Many brackets filled the texts on the framework for various approaches, and delegates also struggled to find common ground on changes to the CDM modalities and procedures. As the conference approached its mid-mark, one negotiator commented: “It remains to be seen if we will be able to gather enough enthusiasm and spirit of compromise to take the bold steps required to achieve a successful and meaningful outcome here in Warsaw.”

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