Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 12 Number 752 | Thursday, 20 June 2019
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 | Bonn, Germany
The Bonn Climate Change Conference continued on Wednesday. Discussions throughout the day focused on transparency and Article 6 (market and non-market approaches). Workshops were held on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, seventh Action for Climate Empowerment Dialogue, and Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform.
Common time frames for NDCs: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Grégoire Baribeau (Canada) and George Wamukoya (Kenya). Delegates reflected on: the relevant decision from Katowice (Decision 6/CMA.1); options presented in the related informal note referred to in the decision; and next steps.
Several groups lauded the decision that parties shall apply common time frames to their NDCs to be implemented from 2031 onwards. On options, some developing countries favored 10-year common time frames, saying that differences in domestic policy environments need to be respected. Some proposed to refine options for a COP 25 decision. Others suggested a decision at a later time.
The Co-Facilitators will prepare draft procedural conclusions, and will ask the SBI Chair for more time to revise the informal note and allow parties’ to submit views if they are not captured.
Development and Transfer of Technologies: Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer: In informal consultations Co-facilitator Stella Gama (Malawi) presented Co-Facilitators’ draft conclusions. Parties engaged in paragraph-by-paragraph discussions of the text. One group was concerned about language in the Technology Executive Committee’s (TEC) updated evaluation report of the Poznan strategic programme, specifically on the effectiveness and efficiency of the African Climate Technology Centre supporting sub-Saharan African countries. Some raised concerns about some of the TEC report’s recommendations. Views diverged on whether to “welcome” or “note” the TEC report.
Several proposed language on learning from the Programme’s regional climate technology transfer and finance centres, and pilot projects under the fourth replenishment cycle of the GEF. Rather than suggesting continued GEF support for these projects, some preferred language on continued GEF support for technology development and transfer more generally. Co-facilitators will revise the draft conclusions.
Matters Relating to Capacity-Building for Developing Countries: Parties met to consider the fourth comprehensive review of the framework for capacity building for developing countries, co-facilitated by Felipe Osses (Chile) and Ismo Ulvila (EU). Parties raised concerns about proceeding without first establishing terms of reference (ToR) for the fourth review, and rejected the Co-Facilitators’ proposals to use the ToR from the third review. The Co-Facilitators encouraged an informal informal session on Saturday to discuss potential solutions.
Gender: Penda Kante Thiam (Senegal) and Colin O’Hehir (Ireland) co-facilitated informal consultations. Views diverged on whether to prioritize the gender action plan or to review it in conjunction with the Lima Work Programme on Gender. Several supported waiting for all inputs from workshops and submissions before drafting a decision. Informal consultations will continue to discuss the priority areas.
Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings: Una May Gordon (Jamaica) chaired the contact group. On the frequency of meetings, SWITZERLAND and the US favored considering a new frequency for COPs. The AFRICAN GROUP, AOSIS, and AILAC opposed, citing existing mandates through 2030. The EU suggested other changes, such as the involvement of heads of state to raise ambition.
On the involvement of non-party stakeholders, the EU called for a “more outward looking UNFCCC,” while the AFRICAN GROUP, CHINA, and the ARAB GROUP underscored that the UNFCCC is an intergovernmental process. Informal consultations will convene.
Matters Relating to Science: Research and systemic observation: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) and Christiane Textor (Germany), parties discussed the Co-Facilitators’ draft conclusions. Parties approved, though could not agree on the location of, a paragraph noting a recent World Meteorological Organization (WMO) resolution on its Country Support Initiative. One party recommended noting “with alarm” the WMO statements on the state of the climate in 2018 and its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Discussions will continue.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C: In informal consultations, many favored discussing the report in depth, including through a work programme or workshops. Most emphasized the usefulness of the report, in particular for the most vulnerable countries. One group said these discussions must include barriers to accessing technology.
Some opposed, stating that the report demonstrates the need for further research on the specific impacts and costs at various temperature levels. Others stressed that the report is based on an increasing base of robust scientific knowledge. Informal consultations will continue.
Methodological Issues Under the Paris Agreement: Outlines of biennial transparency report, national inventory document and technical expert review report: Co-Facilitator Xian Gao (China) invited general views on all three outlines.
On the biennial transparency report (BTR) outline, many cited the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) as a starting point, with some noting the need for additional headings, such as on the application of flexibility provisions or loss and damage. Several developing countries noted that BTRs and national communications would both be due in some years and said the outline should provide guidance on how to avoid duplicating efforts.
On the national inventory report outline, several noted existing outlines. One developing country said parties could modify the outline as required.
On the technical expert review report outline, several cited existing expert reviews as a model. Views diverged on the link with the implementation and compliance mechanism.
Common tabular formats (CTF) for financial, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building support: In informal consultations, co-facilitated by Delphine Eyraud (France) and Seyni Nafo (Mali), many countries suggested building on existing CTFs for biennial reports and learning from other processes such as national communications, biennial update reports, and guidance from the Consultative Group of Experts. Many noted the distinctions between the legal obligations: that developed countries “shall” provide information on support provided, and other countries are “encouraged” to do so, and that developing countries “should” provide information on support received. Multiple developing country groups called for “no backsliding” by developed countries on the level of detail provided. A developed country and a developing country group suggested disaggregating data provided, to separate bilateral and multilateral finance reported. Informal consultations will next discuss financial support provided.
Article 6: SBSTA Chair Watkinson (France) opened the contact group. Reporting back from the heads of delegation meeting that was convened to address the overlap between Article 6 and transparency discussions, he said parties agreed to proceed with discussions under Item 10 (methodological issues under the Paris Agreement) by prioritizing issues not related to Article 6 and avoid overlapping discussions between the Article 6 section of Item 10 and Article 6 discussions of this contact group.
Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Hugh Sealy (Barbados) and Peer Stiansen (Norway). Co-Facilitator Stiansen outlined the steps forward: “stabilize” the draft negotiating text given multiple versions; identify issues that require further discussion, including consultations in spin-off groups; hold report backs from the spin-offs; and discuss remaining issues. Parties agreed to proceed without a “stabilization text” for the moment.
On Article 6.2 (internationally transferred mitigation outcomes), parties called for clarity on corresponding adjustments, particularly on single-year and multi-year accounting and NDC scope. Views diverged on the applicability of share of proceeds and overall mitigation of global emissions. Parties raised unresolved issues needing discussion, including: definition of ITMOs; linkages between Articles 6.2 and 6.4; governance and oversight; NDCs types including scope and timelines; reporting, review, recording and tracking; and share of proceeds.
On Article 6.4 (mechanism), many parties emphasized the need to focus on the supervisory body and transition issues from the Kyoto mechanisms. Parties highlighted issues to discuss among others, activities; baselines and methodologies; overall mitigation; and governance of the mechanism.
On 6.8 (non-market approaches), parties agreed on the need to focus on governance arrangements of the work program, with some parties calling for more permanent arrangements.
Informal consultations will next consider governance of the framework for Article 6.8, governance of the Article 6.4 mechanism, activity design, defining ITMOs, and NDC types and metrics.
Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: Co-Facilitator Verwey reported from informal informal discussions on the workplan, noting general agreement that it should: be developed in tabular format; cover all four areas of the work programme for the entire six years; have built-in flexibility; be clear on timelines, activities, and outputs and responsibilities; and specify the workflow between the Forum and the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of response measures.
One party, supported by others, suggested three work streams: methodologies to identify the vulnerable sectors; assessment of the impacts of response measures; and measures to address those impacts. Many supported a workplan with a clear, sequential timeline of activities to ensure accountability. Discussions will continue.
Scope of the Next Periodic Review of the Long-term Global Goal (LTGG) under the Convention and of Overall Progress towards Achieving it: Parties discussed the adequacy of the LTGG in light of Convention objectives.
Participants pressed that assessing adequacy should not aim to redefine the LTGG, but rather inform it with relevant science. Many parties championed the relevance of the periodic review, suggesting that it can engage parties outside the Paris Agreement, and inform and reinforce the global stocktake. Others reiterated reservations about the consequences of the review duplicating the work of the global stocktake, with one suggesting that other ongoing processes under the Convention should also be considered.
Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: Milagros Sandoval (Peru) and Heikki Granholm (Finland) co-facilitated discussions on soil health and management.
Ronald Vargas, Global Soil Partnership, provided a survey of soil organic carbon (SOC) monitoring techniques, calling for a balanced global SOC monitoring system and financial incentives for farmers.
Mary Sakala, smallholder farmer from Zambia; Sarah Lickel, ENGOs; and Ndivile Mokoena, the Women and Gender, pressed for agroecological approaches in soil management, and for curbing chemical fertilizer use. Beverley Henry, Global Research Alliance on Agricultural GHGs, gave an overview of its activities. Jeffrey Seale, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, championed partnerships around value chains in the private sector, and called for jurisdictional baselines for soil carbon data. Gyso von Bonin, Farmers, presented local examples of successful organic production techniques.
In discussions, participants considered, among others, the question of comparable indicators of soil health; context-specific practices; and traditional knowledge and science-based policy.
In the Corridors
The sudden downpour of rain in the afternoon was welcomed as a source of life, bringing growth and dynamism, in the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform. Its positive energy was welcomed in other discussions, although some delegates were puzzled by the continued debate on the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C. With growing worry about the rapidly narrowing window to meet the temperature goals, a delegate noted that, “the scientific findings clearly show there is no excuse for inaction anymore.” One climate scientist opined that “if parties would only agree to report aggregate emissions of cumulative pollutants, we could calculate both individual and collective impact of NDCs on global temperature.” A delegate doubted countries would accept such attribution.
Meanwhile, the UK announced it would host COP 26, but Turkey made clear that its competing bid meant that the decision was far from settled. As the vitality of water quenched the ground, one delegate said, “any Presidency that can create ground for ambition and implementation is welcome.”