Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 742 | Monday, 10 December 2018
Katowice Climate Change Conference
Saturday, 8 December 2018 | Katowice, Poland
The Katowice Climate Change Conference concluded its first week of work with the closing plenaries of all subsidiary bodies and a COP plenary.
COP 24 President Michał Kurtyka opened the meeting.
Reports of the Subsidiary Bodies: The Chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies introduced their reports. SBI Chair Dlamini noted that work on one PAWP-related item, namely common time frames, had been concluded, and a draft COP decision was contained in the subsidiary bodies’ joint PAWP conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.27). He said that on the sub-item of terms of reference for the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on national communications, there was strong support to resolve this issue under the COP Presidency’s guidance, given linkages to Paris Agreement Article 13 (transparency framework).
COP 24 President Kurtyka noted that much work remained to secure “the balanced outcome we all desire.” He announced the presiding officers would help parties address outstanding technical issues. He stated that technical details have to be resolved by Tuesday, 11 December, and, in parallel, the Presidency would engage with ministers on “crunch issues,” starting with finance on Monday. He underscored that regular stocktaking meetings will be convened, with the first stocktaking planned for Tuesday evening.
SBI Chair Emmanuel Dlamini (eSwatini) opened the session.
Organizational Matters: Election of officers other than the Chair: The SBI elected Naser Moghaddasi (Iran) as the SBI Vice-Chair. Chair Dlamini informed that the nomination for the SBI Rapporteur remained outstanding and the current Rapporteur would remain in office until a nomination is received.
Reporting from and Review of Annex I Parties: Compilations and syntheses of second and third biennial reports: The SBI agreed to continue its consideration of this matter at SBI 50.
Report on national GHG inventory data 1990-2016: The SBI agreed to continue its consideration of this matter at SBI 50.
Reporting from Non-Annex I Parties: Work of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on National Communications: The SBI adopted draft conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.25).
Review of the Terms of Reference for the CGE: The SBI was unable to conclude its consideration of this matter.
Provision of financial and technical support: The SBI agreed to continue its consideration at SBI 50.
Matters Related to Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms: Review of the CDM modalities and procedures: The SBI agreed to continue its consideration at SBI 50.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2018/L.7).
Report of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): The SBI adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2018/L.6).
Report of the Adaptation Committee: 2018 Report: The SBI adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2018/L.5).
Matters Relating to LDCs: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.23).
National Adaptation Plans: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.26) and forwarded a draft COP decision (Add.1).
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN: The SBI adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2018/L.8).
Matters Related to Capacity Building: Annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI.2018/L.21) and a draft COP decision (Add.1).
Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: Improved forum and work programme: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2018/L.9) and forwarded draft COP conclusions (FCCC/SB/L.9/Add.1) for consideration by COP 24.
Matters relating to Kyoto Protocol Article 3.14 (minimization of adverse impacts on developing country parties by Annex I parties): Progress on the implementation of Decision 1/CP.10: SBI Chair Dlamini reported that no conclusions had been reached under these sub-items, and the SBI agreed to continue their consideration at SBI 50.
Gender: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.22) and forwarded draft COP conclusions (Add.1).
Administrative, Financial, and Institutional Matters: Audit report and financial statements for 2017: Budget performance for the biennium 2018-2019: Budgetary matters: Continuous review of the functions and operations of the Secretariat: The SBI adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.24), and forwarded a draft COP decision (Add.1), and a draft CMP decision (Add.2).
Closure and Report of the Session: UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad reported on the budgetary implications of non-PAWP-related conclusions adopted at SBI 49.
The SBI adopted the report of the session (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.20).
During the joint plenary, Chair Dlamini closed the SBI at 9:15 pm.
The plenary was chaired by SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson.
Organizational Matters: The SBSTA elected Annela Anger-Kraavi (Estonia) as SBSTA Vice-Chair and Stella Funsani Gama (Malawi) as Rapporteur.
Report of the Adaptation Committee: 2018 Report: The SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2018/L.5).
Report of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): The SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2018/L.6).
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN: The SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SB/2018/L.8)
Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform: The SBSTA adopted conclusions and a draft COP decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.18).
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES offered their “indefinite” traditional knowledge to address the limits of western science and the destruction of Mother Earth.
NORWAY said the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Convention (ILO Convention No. 169) should have been reflected in the decision.
CHINA celebrated the establishment of the Platform and the contributions of indigenous peoples’ “unique traditional knowledge and know-how” to climate action, but expressed “serious concerns” about the content of the resolution.
ECUADOR, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, the EU, MEXICO, and BOLIVIA welcomed the Platform, highlighting the leadership of indigenous peoples in its operationalization.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.7).
Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: Improved forum and work programme: The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SB/2018/L.9) and forwarded a draft COP decision (Add.1).
Bunker Fuels: The SBSTA invoked rule 16 to resume consideration at SBSTA 50.
Research and Systematic Observation: Maldives, for AOSIS, supported by Colombia, for AILAC, Republic of Korea, for EIG, Ethiopia, for the LDCs, NORWAY, the EU, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, GHANA, SOUTH AFRICA, TANZANIA, ZAMBIA, and ARGENTINA urged “welcoming,” rather than “noting,” the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C in the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.19).
SAUDI ARABIA, KUWAIT, and RUSSIAN FEDERATION opposed. The US said that the IPCC’s acceptance of the Report does not imply that the US endorsed it.
After a huddle, parties considered compromise language to “welcome the effort of the IPCC experts.” Many parties opposed, urging that the UNFCCC welcome the report. Invoking rule 16, the SBSTA forwarded the issue for further consideration by SBSTA 50.
Closure and Report of the Session: The SBSTA adopted the report (FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.17).
During the joint plenary, Chair Watkinson noted “mixed progress,” highlighting the decision on the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform as an “excellent result” while expressing disappointment about the lack of a decision on research and systematic observation. He closed the SBSTA at 9:18 pm.
APA Contact Group: APA Co-Chair Jo Tyndall (New Zealand) opened the meeting, reminding parties that the outcomes from the APA should contain the bare minimum of options.
On guidance on the mitigation section of Decision 1/CP.21 (Paris outcome), Sin Ling Cheah (Singapore) reported that the third iteration of text could serve as a basis for work next week.
On adaptation communication, Beth Lavender (Canada) reported that three iterations had been developed.
On the transparency framework, Andrew Rakestraw (US) reported three iterations were completed and thanked co-facilitators of linked issues for their coordination.
On the global stocktake, Outi Honkatukia (Finland) reported that positions were “not close enough” on a limited number of issues and said that, while the third iteration is a good reflection of the group’s work, the Co-Facilitators’ notes from their final informal consultations would be forwarded to the APA Co-Chairs to inform possible future work.
On the implementation and compliance committee, Janine Coye-Felson (Belize) characterized the third iteration as significantly streamlined and providing fertile ground for finding solutions.
On the Adaptation Fund, María del Pilar Bueno (Argentina) reported that some parties shared strong concerns regarding the way forward.
On possible additional matters, APA Co-Chair Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) reported that parties had worked through all five possible matters and an in-session submission on loss and damage.
Parties then reflected on the work under each agenda item.
On guidance on the mitigation section of Decision 1/CP.21, Gabon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and Maldives, for AOSIS, opposed references to the land sector and called for guidance to ensure environmental integrity and prevent double counting under Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches).
Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, said that guidance on features and accounting should be concise, bottom-up, and non-prescriptive, and that NDCs are “full scope.” Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, expressed concern over bifurcation and scope, as well as the “degree of legal bindingness” reflected in the text.
Colombia, for AILAC, called for guidance that recognizes the nationally-determined nature of NDCs as the “operationalization of differentiation itself.” Switzerland, for the EIG, suggested that information could be specific to the NDC type.
Ethiopia, for the LDCs, called for the inclusion of capacity-building support for NDCs.
On adaptation communication, AILAC called for clear guidance to enhance adaptation actions. The EIG expressed concern that parties can choose information to be communicated as a component of an NDC.
On transparency, the AFRICAN GROUP raised concerns about brackets around “flexibility options,” stressed tracking progress on all elements of the NDCs, and, with AOSIS, called for guidance on reporting loss and damage. AOSIS said flexibility should be expressed in the individual provisions of the modalities, procedures, and guidance. The UMBRELLA GROUP expressed concern about bifurcation related to review and stressed the need for specific flexibility provisions to have an end date.
The ARAB GROUP opposed linkages to the compliance mechanism.
The LDCs called for recognition of the special circumstances of LDCs and SIDS and said the adaptation section requires more elaboration.
On the global stocktake, the AFRICAN GROUP stressed the need to operationalize equity. AOSIS called for including loss and damage. The ARAB GROUP lamented that the text does not sufficiently reflect response measures and adaptation actions or economic diversification plans with mitigation co-benefits.
The LDCs and AOSIS underscored the need to recognize the special circumstances of LDCs and SIDS.
The EIG expressed disappointment that so many issues remain open.
On compliance, AOSIS stressed the need for initiation beyond a self-trigger or a committee trigger based on the party’s consent. AILAC cited the linkages with the transparency framework, keeping in mind the facilitative nature of the compliance mechanism.
The EIG opposed a link to response measures.
On the Adaptation Fund, the AFRICAN GROUP underlined that he could not accept the current text. The UMBRELLA GROUP expressed concerns on the way equity is reflected in the current text.
The EIG underlined that Board membership should be equally shared between developed and developing countries and that public and private funding will be voluntary.
The EU suggested, as a way forward, to continue to use a “multi-layered approach,” namely separating issues that can be solved at a technical level from those that need political attention, noting that this had enabled progress so far.
APA Co-Chair Tyndall then introduced the draft APA conclusions, proposing to forward the text to the COP so that the COP Presidency could determine next steps. Noting the African Group’s statement that it could not accept the text on the Adaptation Fund, she proposed options on the way forward: forwarding no text to the COP; reverting to the first iteration of the text; or using the present text prepared under the Co-Chairs’ responsibility, while identifying clearly that it did not represent agreed text.
Saying he preferred the first option, the AFRICAN GROUP requested amending the draft conclusions to reflect that it is the APA Co-Chairs’ proposals, rather than the “outcome of work,” which are being forwarded to the COP, and that this is without prejudice to the content and form of the final outcome of the PAWP. Parties accepted this and another, minor amendment.
Co-Chair Tyndall closed the contact group.
APA Plenary: Parties adopted the draft report of the session (FCCC/APA/2018/L.5).
Co-Chair Baashan expressed her appreciation to parties, calling her time as APA Co-Chair a “very special time of her life.” Co-Chair Tyndall said “it has been an honor, a privilege, and a huge adventure.” Together, they gaveled the meeting to a close at 9:30 pm.
APA/SBSTA/SBI Joint Plenary
APA Co-Chair Tyndall presented the procedural draft conclusions on all substantive APA items (3 through 8) (FCCC/APA/2018/L.6), which the APA adopted.
SBSTA Chair Watkinson presented the procedural draft conclusions on PAWP-related SBSTA items FCCC/SBSTA/2018/L.20), which the SBSTA adopted:
- Matters Referred to in Paragraphs 41, 42, and 45 of Decision 1/CP.21;
- Development and Transfer of Technologies: Technology framework under Agreement Article 10.4;
- Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: Modalities, work programme, and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures;
- Matters Relating to Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches); and
- Modalities for the Accounting of Financial Resources Mobilized in Accordance with Agreement Article 9.7 (ex post finance transparency).
SBI Chair Dlamini presented the procedural draft conclusions on PAWP-related SBI items (FCCC/SBI/2018/L.28), which the SBI adopted:
- Common Time Frames;
- Development of a Public Registry Referred to in Agreement Article 4.12 (NDC);
- Development of a Public Registry Referred to in Agreement Article 7.12 (adaptation communication);
- Matters Referred to in Paragraphs 41, 42, and 45 of Decision 1/CP.21;
- Development and Transfer of Technologies: Scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in Relation to Supporting the Implementation of the Paris Agreement,
- Information to be Provided in Accordance with Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante finance transparency); and
- Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: Modalities, work programme, and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures.
In their statements, many groups thanked the presiding officers. Several lamented the SBSTA’s inability to agree on appropriate language regarding the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C.
The EU looked forward to a strong outcome from the Talanoa Dialogue.
Maldives, for AOSIS, noted deep concern over the slow pace of progress thus far and underscored that his group “stands ready to do everything for this COP to be a success.”
Ethiopia, for the LDCs, called for more adequately capturing parties’ views in iterations of draft text and emphasized the need to preserve the integrity of the Paris Agreement.
Iran, for the LMDCs, opposed attempts to renegotiate the Paris Agreement through the work under its work programme and called for reflecting differentiation and equity in all modalities.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, called for including all sectors in the Paris Agreement.
Brazil, on behalf of ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AND URUGUAY, said that although there was progress during the week, the current status of negotiation showed a “clear misbalance across different topics.”
INDONESIA called for a “balanced, comprehensive outcome” that is applicable to all while maintaining the principle of CBDR-RC.
In the Corridors
The end of the first week is often difficult. Last time in Poland, parties were up until the early hours of Sunday wrapping up the work of the subsidiary bodies. Katowice’s midway point was more succinct, with a somewhat surprisingly smooth closing to the APA. Delegates bid a teary-eyed farewell to the APA Co-Chairs, before quickly saying hello to them as “experts” to facilitate technical work in the second week.
Many left the venue looking to the week ahead and the ministers’ arrival. After the “SBSTA showdown” on whether to “welcome” or “note” the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, in which a delegate drew applause by saying it was “ludicrous” not to welcome the report, delegates began to steel themselves for a potentially dramatic week ahead. As one delegate wondered “if all that was for one word, what will happen with the whole PAWP?”