Report of main proceedings for 21 November 2013
Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013
On Thursday morning, the high-level ministerial dialogue on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action took place. Throughout the day, contact groups, informal consultations and other meetings were held under the COP, CMP and ADP, including the ADP open-ended consultations on both workstreams. The COP/CMP President’s informal stocktaking plenary took place in the evening.
HIGH-LEVEL MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE ON THE DURBAN PLATFORM FOR ENHANCED ACTION
COP/CMP President Korolec opened the high-level ministerial dialogue calling on all parties to work together to protect “the most vulnerable people and the most valuable asset – our planet.”
Encouraging participants to “keep their feet on the ground but raise their eyes to the stars,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres stressed that maximum collaborative efforts from all stakeholders are needed to bend the emissions curve.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, called for developed countries to continue to lead the way, highlighting: scaling up emission reduction ambition in accordance with the long-term goals and objectives of the UNFCCC; taking a “bold approach” to finance; and closing the pre-2020 ambition gap on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building.
Three “icebreakers” opened the first part of the discussions, which was facilitated by Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (Singapore) who invited participants to have a “brutally honest discussion.”
Minister Xie Zhenhua (China) called for implementing rather than weakening the Convention. Emphasizing developed countries’ historical responsibility, he underlined that developing countries will be unable to meet their mitigation and adaptation targets without support.
Encouraging parties to move forward together, Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change, highlighted areas of convergence in the ADP negotiations, including: meaningful participation by all; nationally-determined mitigation commitments; strengthened transparency; and submission of commitments before Paris. He opposed holding on to past differentiation categories, stressing that to be operational, they have to evolve.
Vice-Minister Claudia Salerno Caldera (Venezuela) drew attention to the need to negotiate an agreement under the Convention’s principles, rules and Annexes, adding that “they are not up for negotiation.”
Several parties called for a clear roadmap, and urged moving discussions beyond mitigation by addressing adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building.
The EU lamented insufficient progress on a clear timeline for the 2015 agreement and on scaling up pre-2020 ambition, calling on parties to “do their homework.” She said the 2015 agreement should be a “hybrid” between top-down and bottom-up approaches to ensure both ambition and participation.
JAPAN highlighted the need for transparency, rules on market mechanisms, and LULUCF.
PERU called for: an ADP decision for effective negotiations in Lima; clear deadlines for mitigation commitments under the COP; political dialogue between developed and developing countries; political momentum; and private sector participation.
Stressing that the “moral basis” of the new agreement is the recognition that historic development activities increased the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, MALAYSIA called for an equitable redistribution of atmospheric development space.
Nepal, for the LDCs, stressed that the new agreement needs to incorporate the latest science and limit global average temperature increase to below 1.5˚C.
The second round of discussions was facilitated by Minister Tim Groser (New Zealand) opened by three “icebreakers.”
Noting that ADP draft decision text has a sharpened focus, Minister Phil Hogan (Ireland) emphasized the need to reach agreement on a timeline for the 2015 agreement, including a common set of rules to track progress, and flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
Highlighting comparability, transparency and adequacy, Vice-Minister Pablo Vieira (Colombia) said “all countries need to act, each doing what they can,” stressing the need to find “champions.”
Minister Jiko Fatafehi Luveni (Fiji) called for the adoption of a clear, flexible agreement based on a common framework that: encompasses fair differentiation; maximizes participation and ambition; combines top-down and bottom-up action; and includes MRV, market mechanisms, adaptation, means of implementation, transparency of support, and compliance.
In the ensuing discussion, many countries underscored the importance of building trust, and called for focus on adaptation. Several parties also underlined the importance of implementation, and loss and damage.
Stressing, that “at 2°C, which is 3°C for Africa, we shall not be able to adapt,” KENYA called for: a clear target for adaptation; strong support for loss and damage; and capacity development. BOLIVIA called for a commitment from developed countries at COP 19 on provision of finance of at least US$70 billion by 2016 and US$100 billion by 2020 as a starting point. ARGENTINA stressed the principles and provisions of the Convention, including CBDR and equity, and “a universal, but not uniform” system of application.
SWITZERLAND, the US and the EU stressed the need to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and phase out HFCs. INDIA emphasized the need to address the issue of IPRs and underlined that HFCs should be addressed under the Convention, not under the Montreal Protocol.
The MARSHALL ISLANDS urged seizing the immediate mitigation potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy, expressing his country’s willingness to share experiences in ocean thermal energy and clean hydrogen fuels.
NORWAY urged all parties to prepare their emission reduction targets in 2014, which should be “the year of mitigation ambition.”
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO said the 2015 agreement should: guarantee the survival of all countries and preserve the climate for present and future generations; ensure environmental integrity; encourage compliance; send a signal to the private sector; be ambitious, legally binding and applicable to all; and enter into force as early as possible.
ADP OPEN-ENDED CONSULTATIONS ON BOTH WORKSTREAMS: In the afternoon, Co-Chair Runge-Metzger cautioned parties against going into “divergent directions,” and invited specific drafting suggestions.
On the preparation of national contributions, JAPAN sought clarification on how domestic preparations called for in the draft text would be guided by the principles of the Convention. ECUADOR expressed concern over telling parties how to undertake national processes; noted the lack of reference to means of implementation; and suggested a clearer roadmap to Paris. BANGLADESH stressed the need for information to be provided in advance of COP 21, and PERU said parties should be encouraged to report on their domestic preparations at the intersessional meeting in 2014. AUSTRALIA said only “initial commitments” were expected by COP 21.
NORWAY called for: a timeline to intensify domestic preparations; and commitments that are quantifiable, ambitious and transparent. She said indicative commitments should be submitted by the end of 2014. Observing that “when we speak about commitments, we speak about developed countries; and when we speak about contributions, we speak about developing countries,” SAUDI ARABIA opposed a timeframe for contributions in the absence of a pathway on the delivery of the US$100 billion target.
On requesting the ADP to provide information to parties to enable them to enhance the transparency of their contributions, CHILE and PERU recommended adopting a specific timeframe. AUSTRALIA underscored the importance of adopting common rules to enhance transparency. CANADA said the ADP should provide this information at COP 20.
CANADA, the US, AUSTRALIA, NORWAY and NEW ZEALAND underlined that reference to the Convention’s principles is included in the preamble and does not need to be repeated.
On requesting the ADP to define a process to consider contributions, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, supported by CUBA and the EU, stressed the need to adopt a decision in Warsaw. KENYA urged defining, by COP 20, a process for the consideration of the contributions, including consideration of adequacy. Saudi Arabia, for the LMDCs, proposed text encouraging all parties to initiate or intensify their domestic preparations in order to submit nationally-determined actions.
On the nature of commitments, the EU and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA suggested reference to “commitments,” not “contributions.” With AFGHANISTAN, the Philippines, for the LMDCs, supported changing references to “contributions” to “commitments” noting that the former is not in the Convention. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA added that they should include targets and actions, while CANADA, JAPAN and AUSTRALIA stressed they should be nationally-determined. CANADA added that these would be “initial commitments” until they are legally inscribed. The MARSHALL ISLANDS highlighted commitments in areas other than mitigation; cautioned against the insertion of “nationally-determined” as this would prejudge the international process; and proposed referring to “indicative” or “proposed” commitments as a compromise.
On enhancing mitigation ambition under workstream 2, JAPAN expressed concern that text strengthens divisions between developed and developing countries, and preferred a more generic characterization. The Philippines, for the LMDCs, called for references to comparability of commitments and reductions of 40% below 1990 levels for developed countries. NAURU, supported by INDONESIA, suggested drawing a distinction between actions that consist in the implementation of agreed commitments, and new actions. He also suggested adding text on the evaluation of progress on these actions. Informal consultations on the draft decision text continued into the night.
COP/MOP PRESIDENT’S INFORMAL STOCKTAKING PLENARY
Comparing the conference to a marathon, COP/CMP President Korolec urged parties to keep up their pace for the “last two kilometers.”
ADP Co-Chair Runge-Metzger reported that parties were engaged in drafting text in a “businesslike” atmosphere. He said revised text would be available early Friday morning, and parties would discuss it later in the morning before convening the ADP closing plenary.
Ministers Bomo Edna Molewa (South Africa) and Lena Ek (Sweden) reported they are conducting ministerial bilaterals on loss and damage, and underscored the importance of demonstrating “the UNFCCC cares about those suffering from climate impacts.”
President Korolec updated parties on several outstanding items. On matters related to finance, he reported that Ministers Maria Kiwanuka (Uganda) and Martin Lidegaard (Denmark) have conducted consultations and may have recommendations for the GCF contact group. Korolec relayed that a ministerial consultation on finance would take place on Friday, noting progress on the Adaptation Fund under the CMP.
He further reported that: work on Articles 5, 7, and 8 (methodological issues under the Protocol) had concluded; an agreement on REDD+ finance had been reached; and CDM discussions were “very close” to conclusion. Recognizing response measures as an important issue, Korolec indicated that he would consult with Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda) on the next steps. On the budget, he said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Robert Van Lierop (Saint Kitts and Nevis) are seeking to resolve outstanding issues.
On the FVA, non-market approaches and NMM, Korolec indicated that his informal consultations regarding transparency of actions, without prejudicing the outcome of SBSTA 40, “had not found the space” for reaching consensus in Warsaw. He reminded parties of the deadline for nominations to elect officers, and said several positions were outstanding, including that of the SBSTA and SBI Chairs.
Fiji, for the G-77/CHINA, reiterated the importance of transparency and efficiency, and advised not to revisit any decisions agreed under the SBs or any of the working groups.
The EU requested more time for the group on methodological issues related to Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8, explaining that it was “hours away from an outcome” and needed more time to finalize the “nuts and bolts” essential for the ratification of the second commitment period. This request was endorsed by the G-77/CHINA.
Noting that while Warsaw should be an important step forward on the implementation of the Convention and Kyoto Protocol, CHINA said it was “on the verge of delivering nothing.” He expressed solidarity with civil society in promoting the Convention’s objective by walking out of the negotiations, and expressed disappointment at some developed countries “backtracking” on their mitigation commitments and finance, and refusing to engage on loss and damage.
President Korolec took note of the request not to open decisions agreed by the SBs, and announced that he will convene a meeting on Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8 on Friday morning.
IN THE CORRIDORS
By Thursday night, delegates appeared completely exhausted, and many worried that negotiating throughout the night comes at the expense of broad participation. While all participants are weary, developing country delegates seemed to feel the pinch even more. A number of developing country delegates complained they were short on people and stretched by the busy agenda. Referencing Harry Potter, one delegate bemused: “None of us seems to have a ‘time-turner,’ so unlike Hermione, we cannot go back in time. We’re forced to bracket text and leave the room, so that we can make it to yet another informal.” A veteran of the process, who almost took pride in the fact that “in climate negotiations we are used to late nights during the second week,” bemoaned that the marathon actually kicked off during the first week of COP 19. Some blamed the “false start” on the SBI’s impasse last June, requiring the body to squeeze three weeks of work into one. The SBI closing plenary, which adjourned at 5:00 am last Sunday morning, kicked off a week of long nights, especially for those delegates working on finance issues and the ADP who had to stay at the National Stadium all night again on Wednesday.
In light of criticisms concerning “inappropriate procedures,” and the roles of the COP President and other presiding officers raised by several parties, concerns over transparency, inclusiveness and “party-drivenness” were repeatedly heard in the corridors. As participants steeled themselves anticipating a long night on Friday, many were left wondering if the UNFCCC process has the ability to address parties’ procedural concerns or is too long in the tooth to change. Looking forward, through half-closed eyes, to Lima and Paris, many were not hopeful about the prospects of a smoother road ahead.
#COP4Haiyan Solidarity Operation: On Friday, Polish Humanitarian Action, a non-governmental organization specializing in emergency response, is completing its solidarity collection to support the relief and reconstruction in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan. Sealed boxes for donation will be placed near the cloakroom on level -2 zone 1, and at the main exit of the Stadium on level -1 zone A9 until 5:00 pm. The cash collections have amounted to approximately US$7,000 so far. Online donations are also possible at: http://www.pah.org.pl
This collection has been facilitated by the COP 19/CMP 9 Presidency and by the UNFCCC Secretariat.
A fund-raising initiative Twitterstorm was also launched last week by youth delegates through four NGOs active in the Philippines, see http://bit.ly/1cX8WiQ
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the Warsaw Climate Conference will be available on Monday, 25 November 2013, online at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop19/enb/
CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY & PRACTICE: A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental activities addressing global climate change: For daily updates on follow-up to COP 19 and more, subscribe at: http://climate-l.iisd.org/about-the-climate-l-mailing-list/