Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 731 | Saturday, 8 September 2018
Friday, 7 September 2018 | Bangkok, Thailand
On Friday, negotiators at the Bangkok Climate Change Conference continued their consideration of the PAWP. Contact groups and informal consultations met throughout the day to discuss issues related to:
- market and non-market approaches;
- guidance for adaptation communication;
- guidance for NDCs in the context of mitigation;
- predictability and accounting of finance;
- implementation and compliance;
- the global stocktake; and
- possible additional PAWP items.
A joint meeting of the informal consultations on the registry or registries for NDCs and adaptation communication convened in the afternoon. Informal consultations on mitigation continued late into the evening.
Scope and Modalities for the Periodic Assessment of the Technology Mechanism in Relation to Supporting the Paris Agreement: In informal consultations, parties welcomed a new iteration of the informal note and proceeded to informal informal consultations. Reporting back, they noted consensus on two sub-paragraphs on the periodic assessment’s scope. Parties also discussed whether and how the periodic assessment should relate to the review of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). Delegates mandated the Co-Facilitators to convert the informal note into draft text, accompanied by a short procedural draft decision. Informal consultations continued in the afternoon.
Agreement Article 9.5 (Developed Countries’ Biennial Ex-Ante Financial Communication): Co-Facilitator Edmund Mortimer (Australia) presented a revised version of the informal note, noting that it streamlines and simplifies options. A developing country group said that the note did not accurately represent its views and could not be used as a basis for negotiations. After the Co-Facilitators clarified that the most recent iteration of the note does not substantively change the annexes from the previous version, all parties accepted the note. Discussion will continue in informal informal consultations.
Registry/-ies for NDCs and Adaptation Communication: The SBI Chair reported the mandate for the joint informal consultations, namely a single joint meeting with no follow-up or outcome. He said that the meeting should avoid the one or two registry/-ies debate and only discuss the questions previously agreed in his consultations:
- On modalities: are there any commonalities in the technical design requirements? What is the possible structure of the tabular format?
- On functions: is a search function needed?
- On submitting: how are the documents going to be managed?
Many groups and countries observed that adaptation communication can be transmitted through several vehicles that have their own registries. One developing country group supported creating only an NDC registry, which can include adaptation communication incorporated in NDCs. Another developing country group underlined that having two registries ensures parity between mitigation and adaptation.
Several groups and countries supported a search function. Two groups opposed, with one suggesting that a search function implies that certain content ought to be included, which could prejudge negotiations on the content of NDCs and adaptation communication.
Technology Framework: In informal consultations, parties welcomed a new iteration of the informal note. On implementation of technology transformation, a developing country group proposed that the Technology Mechanism should provide guidance for establishing: targets, timelines, transformation metrics, and monitoring and reporting. The proposal was bracketed.
Discussions also focused on, inter alia: the promotion of “endogenous technologies”; and whether to specifically refer to the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) given that its future has not been decided.
Informal informal consultations convened in the afternoon.
Matters Related to Article 6 (Market and Non-Market Approaches): In informal consultations on baselines, additionality, and scope under Agreement Article 6.4 (mechanism), parties recounted views around the nature of outcomes. Some argued that Article 6.4 mitigation outcomes should be part of a coherent accounting regime under Article 6.2 (cooperative approaches), to be counted as ITMOs if internationally transferred. Arguing that Article 6.4 mitigation outcomes need to be subtracted from host country accounts, these parties reasoned that mitigation outcomes therefore need to occur within sectors covered by host country NDCs. They supported developing baselines to enable the necessary accounting. Others argued against the necessity of baselines, noting that Article 6.4 concerns transactions between the private sector and a buyer, which should not be subject to Article 6.2 accounting. They called instead for a focus on additionality of reductions. An informal informal consultation convened.
Accounting of Financial Resources Provided through Public Interventions under Agreement Article 9.7: Parties began line-by-line negotiations of the draft negotiating text, commenting on brackets, providing clarifications, and adding text. Under assumptions, definitions, and methodologies, several developing country groups expressed concern about proposals to expand the scope of parties that report on finance. Several countries also stressed the importance of retaining references to finance being “new and additional.” A developed country group, supported by a developed country, stressed that it is operationally impossible to identify and report funding disbursed per country for regional projects. The Co-Facilitators will produce a new iteration of the draft text, without deleting or merging any material.
Adaptation Communication: In informal consultations, parties considered the revised Co-Chairs’ tool, focusing on the preamble, purpose, and principles. Some developed countries questioned the need for these sections, while a developing country group said they could not accept the “no text” options. A group of developing countries highlighted that they had prepared a revised and streamlined text on preamble and purpose. Regarding purpose, some developed countries objected to including reference to clarity, transparency, and understanding, noting that this language is used in the NDC discussions. Informal informal consultations convened to discuss purpose.
Further Matters Except the Adaptation Fund: Discussions focused on possible additional matters for the PAWP.
On guidance on NDC adjustment (Agreement Article 4.11), a developed country group suggested that the APA recommend that the SBSTA consider the matter, for decision by CMA 3 in 2020. A developed country requested that this option be added to the APA Co-Chairs’ revised tool.
- On loss and damage, parties discussed an in-session submission that seeks confirmation that CMA 1 will “take the matter up.” Several developed countries said the matter is already under consideration by existing mechanisms and that there is no need for an additional recommendation.
- On modalities for biennially communicating finance information (Agreement Article 9.5), two country groups reported that they will submit CRPs.
- On setting a new collective finance goal, a developing country group, supported by three others, introduced a CRP that proposes initiating a process to consider, and approve by 2023, a new finance goal. Several developed country groups opposed the proposal, saying it is too early to decide on a process. Parties could not agree to continue discussions in informal informal consultations.
- On initial guidance to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, and to the LDCF and SCCF, the Secretariat advised on implications of not providing guidance to CMA 1.
Further Guidance in Relation to the Mitigation Section of Decision 1/CP.21 (Paris Outcome): Reporting back from two informal informal consultations, delegates highlighted progress on accounting, while the outline of draft decision text generated debate. Some developing countries and groups considered that their views — including a proposal that the outline include a section on scope of coverage of NDCs — were being “blocked” from consideration. Other countries and groups recalled that the draft outline in the Co-Chairs’ tool had been the product of long negotiations at SB 48-1, and urged engagement in substantive discussion on the outline. Co-Facilitator Federica Fricano (Italy) proposed to capture the discussions in a document attached to, or separate from, the tool, and provided opportunities for further informal informal meetings. Discussions continued in the evening.
Global Stocktake: In morning informal consultations, Co-Facilitator Outi Honkatukia (Finland) outlined options that could be merged, many of which parties supported. Parties also provided general comments on the modalities for the technical phase (Activity B). Some questioned the utility of specifying Activity B’s aim, while others noted value in specifying that it will be a technical assessment of progress. Several developing countries supported references to CBDR-RC and equity. One developing country group, supported by other developing countries, called for only referring to equity indicators, which one country specified are quantitative proxies for principles or criteria, such as distribution of the global carbon budget. Several developed countries said that equity should not be a stand-alone part of Activity B.
In the afternoon, delegates reflected on overarching elements of modalities. Several said that although the proposed guiding questions in the Co-Chairs’ tool are identical to those considered under the Talanoa Dialogue, the global stocktake should not replicate the Dialogue. A developed country said the tool should be “much lighter touch” because the Paris Agreement already covers much of what is needed. She proposed deleting the majority of paragraphs on overarching elements of modalities.
Transparency Framework: In informal consultations, parties provided general comments on information necessary to track progress on NDC implementation and achievement. Two developing country groups said the transparency framework should be informed by discussions on accounting of NDCs, and on information to facilitate their clarity, transparency, and understanding. Some developed countries drew a distinction between these discussions, saying that NDC discussions are about potential NDC content, while the transparency framework tracks progress. Others identified connections to discussions on markets under Article 6. Informal informal consultations will continue.
Committee to Facilitate Implementation and Promote Compliance: In informal consultations, parties welcomed a new iteration of the Co-Chairs’ tool and reflected on its updated content on initiation, process, measures and outputs, and scope.
Parties then provided input on: purpose, principles, and nature; functions; institutional arrangements; and scope. Discussions centered around which elements should be retained in the decision text and which should be deferred for decision by the committee. A developing country group, supported by many, suggested entirely deleting sections on: scope; functions; and purpose, principles, and nature. Several developing countries opposed. Many suggested replacing these sections with a restatement of Agreement Article 15. Under institutional arrangements, views differed on what elements should be retained.
Informal informal consultations convened in the evening.
In the Corridors
In a country renowned for its elephants, parties faced their own elephantine task on Friday, as evidenced by the 300+ page compilation text of elements of the PAWP. The document elicited conversations on not just the content, but also the form, of the PAWP outcome in Katowice, as the Presiding Officers pursued informal consultations on this question. Even as questions loomed large on how to resolve divides on balance between mitigation and adaptation, and predictability of finance, some worried that other key aspects of the COP in Katowice remained similarly hazy. While not formally on the Bangkok agenda, questions about how the Incoming Presidency plans to handle the Talanoa Dialogue’s political phase, the October pre-COP, and various high-level events scheduled at the meeting, made some wonder how all of the pieces would fit together. As delegates settled down for informal consultations on another monsoon evening, some were heard hoping that “soon the clouds will part.”