Daily report for 4 December 2023
UN Climate Change Conference - United Arab Emirates Nov/Dec 2023
Negotiations convened on many issues in informal consultations, particularly mitigation and adaptation issues. The Global Stocktake (GST) met in parties-only informal informals.
Sharm el-Sheikh Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Programme: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Kay Harrison (New Zealand) and Carlos Fuller (Belize) introduced an informal note prepared following consultation with the Subsidiary Body (SB) Chairs. They explained that the note focuses on areas of convergence and does not necessarily capture all views expressed in the informal consultations so far. Several parties expressed willingness to use the note as basis of further discussion, while pointing to its shortcomings. Others lamented the note mainly restates issues already agreed in previous CMA sessions and represents a step backward in the current consultations. Another group of countries opposed using the text as the basis of negotiations, noting it contains elements beyond the group’s mandate.
While parties could not agree to base discussions on the informal note, they proceeded to consider elements that should be included in draft decision text, such as: high-level messages or a placeholder for such messages pending the GST outcome; regional and virtual dialogues that are open and inclusive; and specific language on increased mitigation ambition.
On the way forward, while some parties called for a new iteration of the informal note based on the additional input provided, others stressed the need to proceed to draft decision text. The Co-Facilitators will consult with the SB Chairs.
Work Programme on Just Transition Pathways: Informal consultations, co-facilitated by Selam Abeb (Ethiopia) and Luisa Roelke (Germany), reconvened after a compilation of proposals was distributed as a second iteration of a draft CMA decision. Many said the text was too long but more reflective of the diversity of views. Parties agreed that further streamlining is needed.
Some expressed concern over duplication with the response measures agenda item, particularly regarding trade measures, sustainable development, and capacity building. Many pointed out the redundancies in the new preamble and its repeated references to the Paris Agreement. Proponents of the new preamble said that many concepts have evolved since 2015 and have different wording than in the Agreement.
On the scope, some parties were concerned that certain proposals go beyond the mandate outlined in decision 1/CMA.4. A few parties warned against watering down the concept of just transition, suggesting the decision uses the 2015 International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, while others insisted that it should be inclusive to ensure that it is just. Many said the work programme should not be an excuse to delay the energy transition.
On modalities, many parties voiced support for the work programme being institutionalized under the SBs, with the timeline preferences largely varying. One party suggested that the work programme’s modalities could be an “easier win” in Dubai, and its scope can be discussed in 2024 once the programme is up and running. Consultations will continue in informal informals.
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 continued their consideration of draft decision text, and focused on the section on authorizations.
Parties expressed their views regarding the use of authorization templates, with some supporting their use on a voluntary basis. One party, supported by others, called for a space for storing and publishing authorizations in the Centralized Accounting and Reporting Platform (CARP). Another party underlined the need to resolve the issue of the definition of cooperative approaches, noting the link to authorizations. One party noted that any definition of cooperative approaches would need to cover a broad range of possible approaches.
Regarding revocation of authorizations, parties expressed divergent views. One party opposed revocation, noting this would send the wrong signal, and supported the option in the text that “once an internationally transferred mitigation outcome (ITMO) has been authorized, its authorization cannot be revoked.” Another party highlighted the need to allow revocation of authorization provided it is done before the first transfer or at least while the ITMOs are still in the authorizing party’s holding account.
Joint Informal Consultations on Article 6.2 and Article 6.4: In the resumed joint informal consultations co-facilitated by Kate Hancock (Australia) and Sonam Tashi (Bhutan), parties focused on their second topic of authorizations. They discussed the timing and content of the authorizations, with one party stating authorizations need to be provided before the first transfer. One party stated that authorization relates only to Article 6.2 cooperative approaches and not to the Article 6.4 mechanism. Another party asked for clarity about whether the Article 6.4 mechanism would be considered a cooperative approach under Article 6.2, and if so, what the content of the authorization would be. Some parties supported the option to require a “coherent minimum” in the authorizations.
Non-market approaches (NMAs, Article 6.8): In a contact group, co-chaired by Kristin Qui (Samoa) and Jacqui Ruesga (New Zealand), many welcomed the spin-off groups and the in-session workshop held on forests and forest ecosystems. Parties requested time to review the draft CMA decision. The COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS (CfRN) and the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS) highlighted concerns that carbon pricing could be considered a non-market mechanism. Informal consultations will continue to discuss the decision.
Bunker Fuels: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Martin Cames (Germany) and Pacifica Achieng Ogola (Kenya) proposed draft conclusions developed with the SBSTA Chair. The text included options to: recognize the divergent views on the submissions from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO); or, acknowledge the exchange of views on these submissions.
Several developing countries objected, noting that their inputs on the submissions, largely around including common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), were not discussed. Some said the ICAO submission overlooked the delicate balance of the compromise achieved in ICAO negotiations. Several developed countries said this forum should not influence the submissions by other international organizations and preferred to welcome the submissions and note the exchange of views. Informal informal consultations ensued.
Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Mattias Frumerie (Sweden) and Janine Felson (Belize) said they worked through the night to produce the draft, based on 16 written inputs, totaling 90 pages, to help parties reach common ground.
Numerous groups and parties expressed serious concerns with the draft. They noted multiple submissions were not reflected, considered the text imbalanced, unacceptable, and unworkable, and asked the Co-Facilitators to “start over.” Reiterated concerns related to either missing or bracketed text on: CBDR-RC; means of implementation, particularly finance; quantifiable finance targets and accountability mechanisms; and the urgency of enhanced adaptation action and support, and of closing the adaptation gap.
While also expressing concern with the text, some parties were concerned with the remaining time and urged parties to “take the text into our own hands” and discuss informally to find agreement.
The Co-Facilitators will produce new text, but warned that this might bring the group farther away from achieving an outcome at COP 28. Informal consultations will continue.
Report and review of the Adaptation Committee (AC): In informal consultations co-facilitated by Pilar Bueno (Argentina) and Roberta Ianna (Italy), Bueno noted the Co-Facilitators had circulated a single document containing draft text with two parts: one, on review of the AC; another, on the AC report.
Exchanges ensued on whether to consider both sections jointly or separately, with some parties noting the first part includes elements under both, thus preferring to consider them jointly; and others preferring to comment on the two parts separately. Several parties and groups reiterated their priorities on both parts. Parties commented on references to: concerns about the limited engagement between the AC and the IPCC’s Working Group II; inputs of the AC to the GGA; and the adaptation policy cycle.
Parties debated whether to mandate the Co-Facilitators to streamline text or capture all views. The Co-Facilitators will produce a new iteration of the text reflecting the views shared and will request the SBI Chair for more time for informal consultations.
Matters Relating to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs): Parties considered draft conclusions in informal consultations, co-facilitated by Bob Natifu (Uganda) and Jens Fugl (Denmark). They made textual suggestions, and some proposed new paragraphs, many of which were accepted after some discussion.
A developing country group proposed, and parties agreed, to add a paragraph stating the numbers of LDCs with direct access entities accredited with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and those yet to access GCF funding.
Parties agreed to discuss bilaterally and submit textual proposals on a few outstanding substantive paragraphs. These related to: experience sharing; resource provision; and two additional paragraphs making further requests to the LDC Expert Group (LEG).
On experience sharing, views diverged on whether to “urge” or “invite” countries to share experiences in adaptation planning and implementation and whether this should be directed to “all” or “developed” countries.
On resource provision, parties disagreed on whether to call on “all” or “developed” countries to continue to support the LEG work programme’s implementation.
On requests to the LEG, some parties opposed the additions, considering these more appropriate for the GCF. Informal consultations will continue.
Long-term climate finance: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Carlos Fuller (Belize) invited those parties who had requested the floor during the previous session to make their statements. Developing countries, opposed by developed countries, requested deleting references to enabling environments. Developed countries opposed prescriptiveness with regard to specific technologies. One developed country opposed a reference to burden sharing. The Co-Facilitators will revise the draft decision text.
Standing Committee on Finance (SCF): In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Apollonia Miola (Italy) and Ali Waqas (Pakistan), parties continued sharing their views on draft decision text elements on: Paris Agreement Article 2.1(c) (on making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development), specifically a report by the Secretariat (FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/7/Rev.1) and a report by the SCF (FCCC/CP/2023/2/Add.3−FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/8/Add.3); and doubling adaptation finance, including an SCF report (FCCC/CP/2023/2/Add.1–FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/8/Add.1).
On Article 2.1(c), many called for agreeing on work moving forward, including a work programme or agenda item, a capacity building “component,” and a substantive focus on, inter alia, domestic policy frameworks that support greening financial systems. One group called for complementing the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) to allow for tracking progress toward Article 2.1(c). A developing country suggested such proposals were intended to avoid discussions on Paris Agreement Article 9 (on finance), and another one opposed discussing domestic policies, suggesting this would be akin to discussing budgetary processes of developed countries in relation to climate finance provision. A developing country group outlined its opposition to extending the Sharm el-Sheikh Dialogue on this matter or to calls under the GST for a work programme.
On doubling of adaptation finance, several developing countries and groups lamented: the insufficiency of the doubling target itself; low levels of adaptation finance, particularly grants and financing from multilateral development banks (MDBs); the lack of balance between mitigation and adaptation finance; a drop in adaptation finance flows in 2021; and the SCF’s inability to agree on a baseline for the doubling effort. Some developed countries indicated their understanding that the baseline is USD 20 billion. A developing country group, opposed by developed countries, suggested a target to “double the doubling.” Two developing country groups called for a work programme to “address systemic issues around adaptation finance.”
In informal consultations in the afternoon, parties discussed the issue of urgently scaling up financial support, which they had agreed to remove from the agenda after its proposed insertion by the Like-Minded Group of Developing Countries (LMDCs). Highlighting the importance of Paris Agreement Article 4.5, several developing country groups called for the SCF to assess the extent to which support is commensurate with needs and expected ambition. They underscored that any discussion of increased ambition, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, requires enhanced support for developing country implementation. Others recalled that Article 4.5 does not mention bifurcation between developed and developing countries and noted discussions on Paris Agreement Article 2.1(c) and the mitigation work programme as conducive to address support for mitigation. A developing country group urged avoiding discussions on the contributor base. One developing country noted that while some developing countries have means to transform, many do not.
Parties then briefly turned to the SCF’s report on definitions of climate finance, restating well-known positions. The Co-Facilitators welcomed further input in writing and will prepare draft text.
Report of, and guidance to, the Green Climate Fund: In informal consultations under the COP and CMA, Co-Facilitator Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) invited views on draft texts. Groups and parties suggested many deletions and reformulations, with much agreement on the need to avoid micro-management and pre-empting Board discussions. Comments related to, among others, regional presence, resource allocation for NAPs, reducing language barriers, and the accreditation strategy. Several developed countries, opposed by a developing country group, emphasized GCF support for systems transitions. Delegates also discussed how best to foster access for conflict-affected countries and progress on results-based payments. Several preferred keeping the annual cycle for the provision of guidance.
Discussions will continue in informal consultations.
Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund (AF): Discussions opened in a CMP contact group co-chaired by Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda). Responding to the AFRICAN GROUP, the AF Secretariat indicated that the AF Board had not discussed the possibility of the Article 6.4 share of proceeds not materializing, noting that the Fund’s resource mobilization strategy mostly relies on voluntary contributions.
Discussions then continued in a CMA contact group co-chaired by Louise Rousseau (France). Responding to the US, the AF Secretariat outlined what steps will need to be taken in the eventual transition to the Fund exclusively serving the Paris Agreement, including revising operating policies, guidelines, and strategic priorities, and preparing institutional arrangements with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for Secretariat services and the World Bank for trustee services. Other points related to: ensuring country ownership in the design of multi-country projects; increasing country caps; and expediting re-accreditations.
The Co-Facilitators will prepare draft text and discussions will continue in informal consultations.
Compilation and Synthesis of, and Summary Report on the In-Session Workshop on, Biennial Communications of Information under Paris Agreement Article 9.5: Discussions opened in informal consultations under the CMA. Co-Facilitator Kelly Sharp (Canada) invited views on draft text.
Parties urged significant streamlining, noting large areas of convergence. The key point of contention was whether to update the reporting guidance. Many developed countries preferred to consider updating the guidance at CMA 7 (2025) to build on another reporting cycle and the adoption of the new collective quantified goal (NCQG). Some suggested the decision could identify elements for improvement, noting such recommendations had been well taken up in the second cycle.
Discussions then continued in informal consultations under the COP, where parties also called for streamlining the text. Recalling the approach taken at CMA 3, developed countries suggested that the COP welcome the reports and take note of the CMA decision on the matter. The Co-Facilitators will revise the texts.
Seventh Review of the Financial Mechanism: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Ricardo Marshall (Barbados) and Solomon Schonfield (UK) indicated that Presidency consultations are underway on the consideration of the review under the CMA, and welcomed parties’ willingness to engage on this matter under the COP.
Several developing country groups underscored the review under the COP has already been initiated with the adoption of decision 11/CP.23 and can proceed even without updating the review guidelines set out in decision 12/CP.22. One of the groups noted the expectation for COP 28 to reconfirm the decision and its request for the SCF to provide input. Other groups and developed countries urged reflecting that the Financial Mechanism also serves the Paris Agreement, with one noting the need to review the GEF’s support for reporting.
Some delineated a compromise proposal, which: acknowledges the initiation of the review; updates the guidelines to reflect on the role of the CMA; asks the SCF to report to the COP and CMA; and decides, at COP 28, that both the COP and CMA will conduct the eighth review. Informal consultations will continue.
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-facilitated by Elfriede More (Austria), parties reported on their discussions in informal informal consultations, where they completed a first read of both COP and CMA draft decisions and second read of the first seven paragraphs of the COP decision on the report (FCCC/SB/2023/3). Parties agreed to welcome, rather than take note of, the joint annual report of TEC and CTCN.
Brackets remained around areas of work to be included in the joint work programme for 2023-2027. On a proposal to include an activity on “geotagging forest tracking for carbon trading,” some parties expressed concern that this detailed addition was premature. Others showed flexibility and suggested incorporating it into existing programs.
Parties agreed to delete a few instances of duplicate paragraphs with the understanding that they would be maintained for further consideration elsewhere in the draft decisions. This included a paragraph on encouraging close collaboration between the TEC and CTCN to promote national systems of innovation and innovative technologies in water-food-energy systems and a paragraph welcoming with appreciation the Technology Mechanism initiative on artificial intelligence for climate action.
The Co-Facilitators will produce updated draft texts.
Annual Reports on Technical Reviews: In informal consultations, the Co-Facilitators Ole-Kenneth Nielsen (Denmark) and Marcelo Rocha (Brazil) invited parties to share their views on the draft conclusion text on the Secretariat’s reports (FCCC/SBSTA/2023/INF.4; FCCC/SBSTA/2023/INF.6; FCCC/SBSTA/2023/INF.7). One developed country pointed out that the draft text was not sent beforehand resulting in lack of time to review its contents. One developing country group proposed to take note of the Secretariat’s presentation and acknowledge its benefits, while one developed country wanted the whole text bracketed. The Co-Facilitators noted that no conclusion was reached and will seek guidance from the SBSTA Chair on the way forward.
Provision of Financial and Technical Support for Paris Agreement Article 13: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Sandra Motshwanedi (South Africa) and Julia Gardiner (Australia) invited parties’ views on draft decision text.
One developing country group proposed the “2024-2028 Dubai transparency capacity workplan,” which outlines activities designed to improve the provision of financial, technical, and capacity-building support. Several developing and developed countries supported the proposal, while some developed countries opposed it, stating the proposal could still be enhanced.
Some developed countries challenged the request to increase GEF funding for biennial transparency report (BTR) preparation, while a few developing countries suggested further consultation with the GEF is required before discussions can be taken up again. Another developing country suggested creating an information-sharing portal on best practices to guide and support developing countries’ BTR submissions. The Co-Facilitators proposed another informal consultation to give sufficient time for parties to agree on the draft text.
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 Catherine Goldenberg (US) and Peter Govindasamy (Singapore), parties considered revised draft decision text.
Regarding the forum’s work programme, several developed country parties supported retaining the existing work programme. One developed country party said if the work programme is to be amended, it should include only one or two additional elements, rather than the 14 proposed, and supported including the co-benefits of climate actions and the lack of implementation of response measures.
Several developing countries and groups highlighted that the purpose is not just to discuss the two- or six-year workplan of the forum, but to review the sufficiency of the existing work programme, which is distinct from, and broader than, the work plan adopted by COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 2.
On language in the draft text referring to the impacts of implementation of climate-related unilateral cross-border measures, several countries opposed the text, noting it is parties’ prerogative to decide what measures to implement in their NDCs. Other countries agreed, but noted that the purpose of the response measures forum is to consider the impact of implementing such measures.
There was also divergence on whether to call for reporting, with some developed country parties pointing to the BTRs as the appropriate reporting tools, and several developing countries underlining the need for reporting to ensure the availability of relevant information. Informal consultations will continue.
Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture and Food Security: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Annela Anger-Kraavi (Germany) and Una May Gordon (Jamaica), delegates further discussed the next steps on a draft text used in informal informal consultations. Delegates explained that while consensus had still not been reached on a number of items, many remained hopeful that having a compilation of options arranged and produced by the Co-Facilitators would help move discussions along. Many observers lamented the pace of the negotiations and urged parties to act quickly in the face of over 130 countries endorsing the Emirates Leaders Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. The Co-Facilitators will provide a compilation text for discussion at the next session.
Science and Review
Research and Systematic Observation: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Elizabeth Bush (Canada) and Patricia Achieng Nying’uro (Kenya) drew attention to draft conclusions, explained their rationale, and sought proposals for a paragraph on the Earth Information Day (held on Sunday, 3 December). Proposals included:
- highlighting the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) State of the Global Climate Report, specifically that 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record, and records have been broken across all monitored indicators;
- referring to the Global GHG Watch and the Early Warning for All initiatives;
- assessing progress in adaptation, noting insufficient data was a key reason for the insufficient assessment of adaptation in the first GST cycle; and
- the need for sustained, long-term observations, including of the ocean and cryosphere.
The Co-Facilitators will produce a revised draft.
In the Corridors
With only two days left before the Subsidiary Bodies close, negotiators tried to catch up on several issues. Many seemed to progress slowly. During an agriculture consultation, an impassioned YOUNGO rep exhorted: “We are afraid. Afraid of postponing discussions another day and action by another year…With over 130 countries endorsing the Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, this group is pushing itself closer to obsolescence.”
Many of the trickiest issues, mostly under the COP and/or CMA, also struggled to find common ground among parties. Several new texts were large, unedited compilations of views. The accusatory phrase “my way or the highway” was heard across rooms, emoting frustration over compilations replete with repetition, leaving Co-Facilitators with little leeway for synthesizing ideas into compromise proposals. Negotiators asking the Co-Facilitators to add further ideas led to one Co-Facilitator lamenting, “You’re pushing us to the limit of what might be possible at this COP. We will expand the text, which will be difficult to process during the remaining time here.”
Progress on finance issues, especially the SCF, soured. Averting an agenda fight pushed the disagreements into the negotiation rooms. Talks in the SCF turned into a negotiation on the LMDC agenda item on urgently scaling up support from developed countries to developing countries. Connections were drawn between the GST, the mitigation work programme, just transition, and Article 2.1(c), hinting at the delicate balance that must be struck. As these difficult negotiations continue, one finance negotiator pointed out that they did agree to one thing–many wore pink to celebrate Gender and Finance Day.