Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 721 | Saturday, 5 May 2018
Friday, 4 May 2018 | Bonn, Germany
On Friday, a key focus area was once again the negotiations under the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), which needs to be finalized by COP 24. A range of topics were taken up during the day, including the Technology Framework, issues related to the Adaptation Fund (AF), mitigation, and education, training and public awareness, public participation, and public access to information to enhance actions (ACE). Negotiating groups also met to discuss various other issues on the SBSTA and SBI agendas, including national adaptation plans, research and systematic observation, and the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.
The fifth workshop of the facilitative sharing of views (FSV) under the International Consultation and Analysis also took place, along with the meeting of the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building.
Technology Framework under Agreement Article 10.4: During informal consultations, parties made detailed suggestions on the SBSTA Chair’s informal document, focusing on the issue of support. Parties diverged on how to address the links to other workstreams, specifically the transparency framework and the global stocktake. Some argued for an explicit description of linkages while others said this was either unnecessary or premature. Parties agreed to mandate the Co-Chairs to refine the draft text for the next meeting based on input collected.
Agreement Article 6.2 (Cooperative Approaches): Parties continued their first read-through of the SBSTA Chair’s informal note. Issues addressed included: the difference between overall mitigation and the environmental integrity of cooperative approaches; share of proceeds; and elements listed under multilateral governance and rules-based system. Parties discussed how best to reflect final accounting and linkages with Agreement Article 4.13 (mitigation accounting).
Parties then began the second read-through and made comments on the note’s elements including principles, preamble, scope and purpose. They diverged on the need for a section on principles. A number of parties urged avoiding edits.
A proposal was made to organize an informal informal. After discussions on its format and scope, parties agreed to meet without the Co-Facilitators.
FSV: UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad highlighted the importance of the FSV for trust building, and preparations for the Paris Agreement’s implementation.
CHILE provided an overview of his country’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR), noting an increase in emissions of over 100% since 1990, and about 20% since 2010. He described mitigation efforts being undertaken nationally, including: policies and actions in the energy, waste, and vegetation resources sectors; several registered Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs); and voluntary actions being taken by the private sector.
Responding to questions, he described: the scope of Chile’s green tax, which generated close to US$ 200 million in the last year; and the BUR process, which was an opportunity to promote climate action and improve capacity.
On his country’s second BUR, SINGAPORE explained that the country was “well on track” to achieve its 2020 pledge to reduce emissions by 16% below business as usual. He drew attention to the target to increase the deployment of solar photovoltaics to 350 megawatt peak by 2020.
Public registry referred to in Agreement Article 4.12 (NDC registry): In informal consultations, a group of parties reiterated its call to consider this item jointly with the public registry on adaptation communication before discussing technical issues.
Delegates also discussed a party’s proposal to record parties’ successive NDCs and supporting documents in the registry, with one group arguing this issue should be considered in the context of NDCs’ timeframes.
The Co-Facilitators will prepare draft conclusions.
Common Time Frames for NDCs in Agreement Article 4.10: In informal consultations, parties discussed draft conclusions, including how to best capture views expressed on the time of applicability of NDCs’ common time frames. Some expressed concerns about losing progress made during this session if it were not reflected in conclusions or an informal note, whereas others noted they would like to provide further input if views are to be included in an informal note or conference room paper.
Stocktaking Contact Group: During the evening contact group, Co-Facilitators reported on progress from the informal groups. APA Co-Chair Tyndall noted two meetings with heads of delegations, reporting interest expressed in: streamlining the informal note on item 3 (mitigation); convening joint informal consultations on item 4 (adaptation communication) and item 5 (transparency framework); and convening joint informal consultations on different issues under the SBI and SBSTA. She noted ongoing discussion on the need for an additional negotiating session, and said the APA Co-Chairs expect the final iterations of all informal notes with options crystallized to reflect a “coherent, navigable text.”
Ethiopia, for the LDCs, expressed concern over slow progress on finance-related issues, and called for more time to consider items 3 and 5. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, opposed changing the work modalities for the possible additional session.
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, called for more time for item 5. The EU stressed that the need for consistent progress should not hold back progress on some items.
Gabon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, lamented slow progress on means of implementation (MOI), and called for progressing from informal notes to textual narratives. Maldives, for AOSIS, urged parties to engage substantively and move towards a streamlined text before negotiations in Bangkok.
Ecuador, for the LMDCs, supported by INDIA, called for a dedicated discussion on transparency of support in line with the time allocation for transparency of action, and for more time to discuss MOI. Iran, also for the LMDCs, highlighted interlinkages between item 5 and items under the other Subsidiary Bodies.
Colombia, for AILAC, signaled concern for the allocation of time to item 5, and with the lack of progress on Agreement Article 9.5 (developed countries’ ex ante biennial financial communications). Noting convergence on the issue, the US urged the Co-Chairs to allocate additional time to item 5.
APA Co-Chair Tyndall stated efforts would be made to allocate more time where necessary, and reaffirmed that comparable progress can be measured by outputs in the form of informal notes.
Issues Related to the AF: During informal consultations, parties discussed governance and institutional arrangements necessary for the AF to serve the Paris Agreement.
Divergent views were expressed on timing and exclusivity. On timing, parties discussed: the order of steps needed to give the CMA authority over the Fund; the need for a transitional period; and the importance of continuing trustee and secretariat services throughout the transition. Parties also considered whether the AF should serve the CMA exclusively or serve both the CMA and the CMP.
Further Guidance on the Mitigation Section of Decision 1/CP.21 (Adoption of the Paris Agreement): Informal consultations focused on accounting of NDCs. Several parties noted emerging points of convergence.
Many parties supported the use of the most recent IPCC methodologies, and the use of updated methodologies as they become available. Several parties mentioned the possible need for specific guidance on harvested wood products and natural disturbances.
Many parties called for coordination with discussions on cooperative mechanisms, and on the transparency framework, with two suggesting the use of placeholder text. There was divergence on the level of specificity to be used, with some developing country parties noting the need to accommodate the nationally-driven character of NDCs and parties’ respective capabilities, while others stressed the need for guidance that is sufficiently detailed to understand NDCs’ mitigation impacts across a variety of commitment types.
Compliance: In informal consultations, parties welcomed a tool provided by the Co-Facilitators to streamline the section on elements of guidance in the informal note. They discussed: quorum requirements; the personal and expert capacity of committee members; the definition of systemic issues; a deadline for the CMA to adopt the committee’s rules of procedure; whether the committee should have a bureau; and electronic decision-making. Parties diverged, inter alia, on whether facilitating access to support should be an output of the committee. The Co-Facilitators will produce a further iteration of the informal note.
Transparency Framework: Informal consultations focused on the format and steps of the facilitative multilateral consideration of progress. Many parties expressed willingness to consider combining in-person meetings with an online component, but a few parties expressed concern about technical challenges and obstacles to participation. Views diverged on the role of non-party stakeholders, with one party suggesting that they be permitted to attend the meetings but not to pose questions. Parties’ views on the frequency of the process varied from two to five years.
A number of parties expressed concern about insufficient time remaining to equally address all elements of the informal note. Parties disagreed on whether to meet in informal informals, and requested that the Co-Facilitators allocate more time for informal consultations.
Global Stocktake: In informal consultations, parties agreed to proceed based on the Co-Facilitators’ reorganized informal note. Several groups requested clarification on how parties will engage with technical sources of input, calling for a space to fully understand the information and interact with those responsible for the synthesis. One party suggested an open, online platform to ensure accessibility of party and non-party stakeholder submissions.
Other Matters, Except for the AF: In informal consultations, parties considered modalities for biennially communicating information in accordance with Agreement Article 9.5. Two developing country groups, supported by several parties, argued that while the SBI was elaborating what information should be compiled, operationalizing the obligations would mean also elaborating how to communicate it – a task that should be taken up by the CMA. Several pointed to what they said were unanswered questions, such as when the first communication would be due, number of years covered, whether a review or synthesis would ensue, and where the communications would be posted. Some developed countries countered that Agreement Article 9.5 provides sufficient guidance on such questions, and that existing modalities would be used. The Co-Facilitators will prepare a first iteration informal note.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: In informal consultations, a developing country group presented an updated roadmap proposal, which parties had discussed in informal informal consultations earlier in the day. Parties welcomed the proposal as a useful way forward, noting that elements may still be added or amended, and that further textual refinements may be needed.
Parties discussed arrangements for expert meetings and in-session workshops, and how submissions would inform the organization and content of workshops. On the way forward, one group proposed working on a draft conclusion text, with another party suggesting to draw on previous decision text in doing so. An observer organization urged parties to agree on guiding principles.
In the Corridors
With the meeting’s halfway point nearing, delegates were taking stock of progress both during the APA stocktaking contact group and informally in the corridors. Many delegates seemed increasingly concerned over a developing time crunch: “The need to engage with substance is competing with the need to stick to the schedule,” explained one. “There is never enough time in this process,” regretted APA Co-Chair Jo Tyndall, attempting to accommodate the several calls for more negotiation time during the evening’s stocktake.
One seasoned negotiator speculated that the prospect of extra negotiating time in Bangkok in the autumn might be contributing to the problem, noting that “negotiations expand to fill the available space.”
One delegate, observing that today was International Star Wars Day - hoped that as parties launched into a contracting space, “the Force would be with them.”