Daily report for 3 December 2023
UN Climate Change Conference - United Arab Emirates Nov/Dec 2023
Alongside high-level ministerial events on the new collective quantified goal on finance (NCQG) and just transitions, negotiations spanned a variety of issues. Informal consultations among others convened on the NCQG, Global Stocktake (GST), mitigation, just transition pathways, and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). Several meetings related to market approaches convened, including a joint contact group to discuss the interlinkages between Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement.
High-Level Ministerial Events
NCQG: Opening the event, CMA 5 President Sultan Al Jaber emphasized the importance of finance and trust for the UNFCCC process. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell highlighted that a strong outcome on the NCQG is needed to ensure a course correction through the next round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, called for, among others: a levy on both historic and current CO2 emissions; enhancing the capitalization of multilateral development banks (MDBs), acknowledging this requires adjusting voting shares; and reforming credit rating systems to enhance access to private capital.
Ministers then outlined their expectations. On timeframes, most emphasized a combination of a short-term actionable and a long-term aspirational goal for 2050. Many pointed to a ten-year short-term goal; others suggested a five-year goal followed by cyclical reviews of the quantum.
On sources, all emphasized public finance by developed countries as the core of the goal, with some urging expanding the contributor base in line with current and future responsibilities and capacities. Most underscored the mobilization of private finance and approaches such as levies as the second layer of the goal. Some also highlighted broader finance flow alignment, including through policy incentives, as the third layer.
On the process for reaching a decision in 2024, some called for at least three ad hoc work programme meetings for text-based negotiations, possibly alongside continued technical expert dialogues (TEDs), with many emphasizing early ministerial engagement.
Other points included:
- determining the quantum based on developing countries’ needs and priorities and informed by best-available science;
- ensuring transparent tracking of the goal’s implementation;
- challenges related to blended finance;
- rapidly directing funds to support renewable energy expansion;
- prioritizing support to the most vulnerable and poorest countries; and
- better financial flow alignment to support mitigation and climate-resilient development.
The Presidency will prepare a summary of the discussions for consideration by CMA 5.
Just Transition: Opening the roundtable, CMA 5 President Sultan Al Jaber underscored the need to achieve a just and fair transition where developing nations do not have to choose between climate action and development.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell emphasized innovation in charting a policy road to implement just transition and encouraged parties to engage in meaningful discussions in Dubai.
Nicholas Robins, London School of Economics, called for a work programme that: puts people at the heart of climate action; supports NDC priorities; takes a systemic approach to economic and societal development; and develops accessible climate finance solutions.
Manal Shehabi, University of Oxford, pointed out opportunities for sustainable development alongside transitioning to a low carbon economy and the need to establish an integrative, inclusive process for a just transition.
During discussions among ministers and interventions by civil society, several ideas for the work programme were raised, including that it should:
- address inequalities;
- share best practices and develop tailored approaches in national contexts;
- incorporate gender;
- include a range of sectors, not only energy;
- cover mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage;
- avoid unilateral or punitive measures;
- reflect common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities; and
- provide means of implementation through improved financial schemes and support for farmers.
Sharm el-Sheikh Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Programme: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Kay Harrison (New Zealand) and Carlos Fuller (Belize), parties continued to identify elements they wish to see in a decision on the work programme. Divergent views were expressed on, inter alia, whether to include high-level political messaging on the urgency of mitigation and the need to scale up action, with some urging to avoid duplicating the work of the GST.
Several parties urged the inclusion of references to ways to scale up mitigation ambition, such as by scaling up renewable energy and promoting energy efficiency. Others said the outcome of the work programme must be non-prescriptive and not result in new targets or goals, and preferred that the decision focus on ways to improve the work programme in the year ahead.
Divergent views also remained on whether to include elements of the reports of the global dialogues in the decision text. Some parties preferred simply acknowledging the report as a whole to ensure balanced representation of views. Consultations will continue.
Work Programme on Just Transition Pathways: Informal consultations, co-facilitated by Selam Abeb (Ethiopia) and Luisa Roelke (Germany), convened after providing parties time to review draft text and coordinate positions. Some welcomed the draft and proposed edits regarding institutional arrangements and the timeline, and suggested adding references to human and labor rights, gender, and inclusivity.
Many developing parties lamented that the text does not include their views and refused to use it as a basis for negotiations. The main concern of these parties was the “shallowness” of the draft text on ensuring that the transition is truly “just.” Parties will reconvene in informal consultations to review a revised text.
Matters Relating to Article 6: Guidance on Article 6.2 (cooperative approaches): In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Maria AlJishi (Saudi Arabia) and Peer Stiansen (Norway), parties indicated their preferences in a draft text section on authorization containing sub-sections on the timing, content, revision and revocation of authorizations for cooperative approaches, internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs), and entities. Some parties identified where they felt previous CMA decisions already provided the necessary guidance on authorization, calling for consistency. Others pointed to areas where text could be streamlined across the sub-sections.
Various groups called for first clarifying the definition of “cooperative approaches.” One group suggested that cooperative approaches must involve at least two parties, while others pointed out that other international uses of ITMOs, such as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), would not fit this definition.
On cooperative approaches, views differed on whether an authorization form should be mandatory, voluntary, or necessary altogether. On ITMOs, they diverged on whether parties can revise the authorization of ITMOs at any time or on the condition that they have not been first transferred, cancelled, or used for any purpose. They also debated whether and under which circumstances ITMO authorization revocations should be allowed. Parties further differed on the timing of recording of ITMO authorizations, with options including: at any time; prior to; at the time of; or after achieving the mitigation outcomes. Some questioned the need for a sub-section on entities. Consultations on the authorization section will continue.
Guidance on Paris Agreement Article 6.4 (mechanism): During informal consultations co-facilitated by Kate Hancock (Australia) and Sonam Tashi (Bhutan), parties considered draft decision text for a recommendation to the CMA. The Co-Facilitators invited parties’ views on the first section of the text, on emission avoidance and conservation enhancement activities.
Most parties opposed any reference to emission avoidance and supported concluding this discussion at this session. Some parties argued there is no need for further guidance, as all examples given of possible emission avoidance activities may already be covered by emission reduction or removal. Other parties appreciated the option in the text separating emission avoidance from conservation enhancement, noting that the former is not an acceptable new category under Article 6.4, and the latter is already covered under removal enhancement activities.
Joint Informal Consultations on Article 6.2 and Article 6.4: Maria AlJishi (Saudi Arabia) and Peer Stiansen (Norway) co-facilitated the joint informal consultations. They explained that the consultations would focus on transfer of units and authorization.
On transfer of units, parties expressed their views on if, and how, the international registry under Article 6.2, the Article 6.4 mechanism registry, and national registries, should be connected. Parties discussed the purpose of connecting the registries, identifying tracking, enabling the transfer of units, or just “pulling and viewing” data and information. Several parties noted the need for connection between the mechanism and international registries, to enable the transfer of authorized Article 6.4 emission reductions from the mechanism to the international registry. Other parties said the connection should be limited to tracking and “pulling and viewing,” and not to facilitate transfer. One party noted that unauthorized Article 6.4 emission reductions should flow from the mechanism to national registries, and several parties noted that only authorized Article 6.4 emission reductions should flow from the mechanism to the international registry.
Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation: Co-Facilitator Janine Felson (Belize) convened informal consultations.
One group expressed concern that the previous day’s discussions, which left the Co-Facilitators without a mandate to draft decision text based on areas of convergence, erased progress made since COP 27. He proposed working from areas of convergence and keeping the framework simple and easy to adopt.
Several developing country groups reiterated the framework’s importance and key elements they want to be included, such as principles, overarching targets, and strong provisions on means of implementation.
Two developing country groups underscored as a priority having a chapeau before the targets that articulates that developed countries will provide and continue leading on means of implementation, including through financial resources which must be on a grant and high-concessional basis.
Developing countries emphasized the framework should be science-based and invite input and workshops from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
One developing country group highlighted the need for a standalone joint agenda item under the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) on the GGA, managed by an open-ended contact group, and the establishment of an expert working group to develop indicators.
Parties agreed to give the Co-Facilitators a mandate to draft text, to be made available overnight. Some suggested the text capture points of convergence; others preferred it capture all views and submissions. Some developing country groups noted they made several submissions, which should also be incorporated. Other groups will provide additional submissions for the Co-Facilitators to incorporate in the draft.
Report and review of the Adaptation Committee (AC): In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Roberta Ianna (Italy) and Pilar Bueno (Argentina) proposed for parties to first consider draft text on the AC report, before turning to the text on the review of the AC’s work.
One developing country group preferred to consider the text on the AC review first, noting they needed time to coordinate on the draft. Several other groups and countries opposed, noting convergences and the desire to make progress.
Some parties shared views on the report text, and many provided textual suggestions. Some parties preferred a single text for both the report and the review. The Co-Facilitators urged parties to discuss informally, and will produce draft text on both matters in one document.
National Adaptation Plans (NAPs): In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Antwi-Boasiako Amoah (Ghana) and Jens Fugl (Denmark) reported they produced a document with a first section reproducing the text from 58th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 58), which took place in June 2023, or “Bonn text,” and a second section capturing views expressed so far at SBI 59. They noted some parts of section two repeat the Bonn text, and proposed starting with the latter to make progress.
Parties disagreed on whether to: mandate the Co-Facilitators to incorporate the second section into the Bonn text as they consider appropriate; or jointly work through the Bonn text, paragraph by paragraph. Discussions will continue in informal informals.
Loss and Damage
Report of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): Co-Facilitators Lucas di Pietro (Argentina) and Cornelia Jäger (Austria) facilitated informal consultations, seeking parties’ views on draft text.
Most parties generally welcomed the text, as well as the ExCom report. A group, supported by some parties, opposed welcoming the report and instead suggested noting with concern that the composition of ExCom membership prevents certain parties from fully participating in its work.
On the text, several parties suggested changing references to “organizations, bodies, networks and experts (OBNEs)” to “relevant bodies and organizations” or “relevant bodies and experts,” noting “OBNEs” is generally used in relation to the Santiago Network. Some developing country groups also proposed the translation of outputs into all official UN languages. A developing country proposed text inviting parties to consider hosting future ExCom meetings. Informal consultations will continue.
Santiago Network: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Cornelia Jäger (Austria) invited views on the draft decision on a recommendation for the host of the Santiago Network’s Secretariat. All delegations expressed their desire for more time to consult on the text, although many developing countries underscored their priorities as being: appropriate regional presence to serve vulnerable states and peoples; timelines for swift operationalization; and equitable distribution of technical assistance.
Parties tentatively converged on recommending as the host, the consortium of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Office for Project Services. Many parties said they would like to see the ensuing memorandum of understanding already adopted at this session. Informal informal consultations will convene.
Long-term Finance: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Gard Lindseth (Norway) invited views on draft text. Parties welcomed its structure, noting potential for streamlining and suggested various paragraphs be deleted or revised. Developing countries recognized progress, but underscored that needs are in the trillions. They reiterated their opposition to references to projections for years beyond 2021 and underscored the importance of agreed methodologies to track climate finance.
Several developing countries supported a reference to a burden-sharing framework for the delivery of developed countries’ commitment, opposed by a developed country that underscored the collective nature of the goal. The developed country also noted the importance of enabling environments for attracting private finance, called for disaggregation of annual and multi-year pledges, and emphasized grants are not always the most appropriate approach since they could lead to an outcompeting of investment plans. Discussions will continue in informal consultations.
NCQG: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Amena Yauvoli (Fiji) invited views on draft text, containing over 200 paragraphs and an annex. Noting many convergences on some parts of the draft, parties underscored the need to streamline the text and highlight bundles of options. A developing country group suggested deleting areas of divergence, opposed by others who called for further discussions.
Delegates reflected on how best to ensure a shift towards negotiations over the course of 2024. Recalling discussions at CMA 3, several groups and parties opposed establishing a technical or transitional committee, and suggested using the ad hoc work programme and TEDs. Some urged open-ended participation in the TEDs going forward, with others emphasizing the need to support developing country participation. Some called for high-level engagement in the form of a “true dialogue,” rather than a sequence of speeches.
On what substantive progress to capture, some pointed to convergence on the multilayered structure of the goal, timeframes, and transparency arrangements. Some cautioned against preempting discussions and emphasized interlinkages between the goal’s elements. The Co-Facilitators will revise the draft text.
Technology Development and Transfer
Joint Annual Report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN): In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Elfriede Anna More (Austria) and Vositha Wijenayake (Sri Lanka) invited parties to share views on the revised draft text. Several developed countries opposed the new text, stating it exceeds the CTCN’s function and mandate. Several developing countries welcomed the draft as a good basis for discussion. Informal consultations will continue.
First Global Stocktake: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Alison Campbell (UK) and Joseph Teo (Singapore) invited comments on the loss and damage and response measures sections of the “tool.”
On loss and damage, countries suggested different emphases on the links between mitigation and loss and damage. Many noted the IPCC shows that loss and damage is already a reality, and several stressed that related needs will increase without near-term emissions reductions.
For the forward-looking elements, developing countries proposed a mandate for a process to measure and monitor loss and damage using the biennial transparency reports (BTRs). They suggested common metrics and pursuing a mandate for a data interface to aggregate the data provided on these metrics, all backed with sufficient technical assistance and capacity building. Some developed countries disagreed, suggesting national inventories would be premature. Others were willing to engage, noting that providing loss and damage information in BTRs is voluntary.
Developing countries welcomed the initial pledges for the fund and funding arrangements and called for increasing resources after the initial capitalization phase. They underlined loss and damage finance should be new, additional, predictable, and permanent. One developing country group suggested scaling it up to USD 100 billion annually by 2030.
Developed countries suggested further references to funding arrangements and to ensure the complementarity and coherence of various arrangements, with cited examples including the Global Shield against Climate Risks. Developed countries also cited the need to include new and innovative sources of finance and an expanded donor base.
Several developed countries, supported by a developing country group, called for more attention to slow-onset events, particularly sea level rise, including its implications on maritime rights and statehood. There were also some calls for a paragraph on human rights, gender, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities.
On response measures, most of the discussion centered on the forward-looking elements. There were calls from many developing countries to significantly increase the profile of just transition, including by giving it its own section.
There was support for maximizing the positive benefits of response measures, with some noting health co-benefits. Some developing countries cited the need to specify negative impacts such as socioeconomic impacts, reduced adaptive capacity, and increased inequalities. One group stressed the effects of unilateral measures.
A group of developing countries supported expanding paragraphs on developing methodologies and tools, case studies, and capacity-building partnerships and networks, which several developed countries opposed.
There was support for references to economic diversification. Several developed countries called for a stronger reference to the economic opportunities arising from pursuing actions in line with 1.5°C, especially compared to a business-as-usual scenario. Informal consultations will continue.
Matters Relating to the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures serving the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Peter Govindasamy (Singapore) and Catherine Goldberg (US), parties called for more time to review the draft decision text. A few developed countries viewed the new draft text as comprehensive and emphasized that there is no mandate to negotiate new tools. One developing country pointed out that the text still does not address the midterm review of the six-year workplan of the forum and its Katowice Committee on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI). Informal consultations continued in the evening.
Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture and Food Security: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Una May Gordon (Jamaica), parties discussed a group’s proposal to create a coordination group. Several countries unfamiliar with the details of the proposal asked questions about the cost, role, and logistics of the coordination group, such as whether it would directly make recommendations to the SBI and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Discussions continued in informal informals.
Administrative, financial, and institutional matters
Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) co-chaired a contact group, during which discussions centered on a note by the Secretariat outlining its policy and criteria for engagement and collaboration with non-party stakeholders. Parties requested clarification on the mandate for the note, its status, and how they are expected to address it.
The Secretariat recalled that SBI 58 mandated the preparation of the note and pointed to the Secretariat’s continuous work on due diligence. Kumarsingh highlighted there is no expectation for parties to engage in negotiations over the engagement policy, which could be noted. He welcomed the ARAB GROUP and other interested parties to submit questions to the Secretariat and engage informally, noting that he will propose draft conclusions before the next consultations.
In the Corridors
The first iterations of text are out for almost all the agenda items. Most accepted; a few rejected. The Co-Facilitators on the Global Goal on Adaptation just received the mandate to draft text during the afternoon. The just transition work programme, the TEC and CTCN report, and a few other texts did not land well. Co-Facilitators were sent back to the drawing board, with sometimes less-than-clear direction from parties.
For other issues, a second draft is near at hand, followed by worries that they may be “balloons.” The new collective quantified finance goal text has over 200 paragraphs, although many delegates quickly pointed out there is a lot of convergence and duplication. As the GST room neared the end of its read-through of the text, one negotiator dreaded the “inevitable growth” of the tool, with another adding that “it will have to set out options just to be seen as acceptable to everyone.”
Just transition emerged as the hot topic of the day. Some called for a section on just transition in the GST, citing its centrality to the future of climate action. After several delays in the convening of the relevant informal consultations, another lamented that “we risk throwing in the dust bin a once in a lifetime opportunity where we have a chance to discuss justice,” suggesting that the work programme is the central decision of COP 28.