The fifth day of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference was packed to the brim with technical negotiations on a range of issues. Negotiators met throughout the day and into the night to discuss various finance-related issues, cooperative implementation under the Paris Agreement (Article 6), and scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation, among others.
The discussions on funding arrangements for loss and damage drew a crowd, with many sitting on the floor to listen to parties’ expectations for the decision to be adopted at the Conference. As Rachel Kyte, Dean of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, noted in an interview, “It was a logjam and some of the logs have shifted." There is now broad agreement on the need to urgently address the mounting climate change impacts, and some tensed up upon hearing developed countries envision another multi-year process.“Our action has to be on steroids now,” exclaimed a delegate.
As the negotiation schedule fills up, it also becomes increasingly challenging for delegates to coordinate positions between sessions and prepare inputs to submit to the various negotiation streams’ co-facilitators. Some submission deadlines on related agenda items are being shifted, but overall it is a good sign of progress: parties are moving from broad exchanges of views to concrete textual negotiations.
Meanwhile, text coming out on the work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation, established in Glasgow in 2021, carried a reminder of how some issues still remain highly politicized despite all the declarations that the Paris Agreement is now fully in implementation mode. Heavily bracketed and replete with different paragraph options, the text is a reminder that the old custom of the climate negotiations still holds that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
Outside the breezy meeting rooms, delegates convened in roundtable discussions in the context of the technical dialogue of the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement. Building on the successful tryouts at the previous session in June 2022, they again feature more interactive formats to allow frank exchanges between parties and with non-party stakeholders.