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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 767 | Thursday, 5 December 2019


Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference

Wednesday, 4 December 2019 | Madrid, Spain


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The Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference continued on Wednesday. Delegates discussed, among others, several finance-related issues, loss and damage, and Article 6 (cooperative approaches). The Koronivia workshop continued and the technical part of the pre-2020 stocktake of climate action convened.

COP 25

Pre-2020 Stocktake (Technical Part): The event, moderated by Robert Bradley, NDC Partnership, opened with Claudio Garrido, COP 25 Presidency, highlighting that Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) helped Chile build capacity for enhanced post-2020 ambition. Ovais Sarmad, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary, emphasized that efforts undertaken so far helped build trust among parties and enhance ambition which is urgently needed to achieve the Convention’s objective.

Gonzalo Muñoz, High-Level Champion for COP 25, highlighted the Marrakech Partnership’s Climate Action Pathways, which bring “experience, knowledge, and wisdom” from non-party actors. Alina Averchenkova, Grantham Research Institute, outlined lessons and challenges related to climate finance, noting the need to scale up bilateral and multilateral support and improve private sector mobilization.

Mitigation efforts up to 2020: Delegates heard inputs from the SBI, SBSTA, Consultative Group of Experts, and Technology Executive Committee (TEC) on how these UNFCCC bodies supported ambition up to 2020, including through capacity-building activities on reporting and on upscaling technical innovations, as well as reviewing and improving methods and tools for implementing mitigation and adaptation actions.

In discussions, some parties called for the ratification of the Doha Amendment. China, for the LMDCs, supported by others, called for a two-year work programme under the SBI to discuss pre-2020 implementation.

Supporting enhanced implementation and ambition of climate efforts up to 2020: Delegates heard inputs from the Paris Committee on Capacity-building, Standing Committee on Finance, Adaptation Fund Board, Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, and Katowice Committee of Experts on Impacts of implementation of Response Measures. Highlights included discussions on how multiple financing frameworks remain dependent on voluntary contributions from parties; the need to improve cooperation across bodies; and the place of “gender-responsive” climate finance, among others.

In discussions, several civil society organizations expressed disappointment that goals on mitigation and climate finance have not yet been reached. WOMEN AND GENDER criticized financial instruments for “lacking ambition to support gender equity and protect human rights.”

Matters Relating to Finance: Report of, and guidance to, the GCF: Contact group Co-Chair Toru Sugio (Japan) invited remaining views regarding elements for a draft decision text. IRAN called for not discriminating against any projects, in particular those with a carbon capture and storage component.

Co-Chair Sugio opened the floor for comments regarding clarification of the status of the provision of privileges and immunities to the GCF. Palestine, for the G-77/CHINA, said that the Fund is neither a UN agency nor a multilateral development bank, which makes it difficult for countries to afford privileges and immunities to it, and called for addressing the matter multilaterally. Many developing countries highlighted obstacles to pursuing bilateral agreements on privileges and immunities, including lengthy and cumbersome processes and domestic legislations not recognizing the status of the GCF. SWITZERLAND, supported by others, called for inviting the GCF Secretariat to respond parties’ questions to better understand related challenges. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA and ARMENIA requested for a solution “by the COP in a legal context.” The US called for an analysis by the Secretariat of the GCF Board’s proposal regarding an institutional linkage between the UN and the GCF.

Co-Chair Sugio invited parties to make additional inputs by the end of the day for the Co-Chairs to prepare a consolidated text. Discussions will continue in informal party consultations. The GCF Secretariat will be invited to the next session as an observer to respond to questions.

Report of, and guidance to, the GEF: Co-Chair Sugio invited views on elements for a draft decision. Palestine, for the G-77/CHINA, lamented: the “regression” in pledges over the last three GEF replenishments; the decline in the climate allocation in the Seventh Replenishment (GEF-7); rising co-financing ratios; and that countries are not provided with the means to meet their obligations under the Convention. The EU suggested welcoming progress made by the GEF in 2019, and for guidance to remain focused, add value, and avoid repetition. The US called for not focusing on past or upcoming replenishments. Maldives, for AOSIS, called for GEF arrangements to support developing countries in preparing their NDCs. Malawi, for the LDCs, called for highlighting support to the LDCs. INDIA, CHINA and IRAN stressed the need for eligibility of all developing countries for support.

Co-Chair Sugio invited parties to make additional inputs by the end of the day for a Co-Chairs’ consolidated text. Discussions will continue in informal party consultations. The GEF Secretariat will be invited to the next session as an observer to respond to questions.

CMA 2

Public Registries under the Paris Agreement: Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 7.12 (adaptation communications): In a contact group, Co-Chair Emily Massawa (Kenya) proposed that the Secretariat present the prototype of the registry for comment by parties, with the aim of providing a recommendation to the CMA. Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, China, for the LMDCs, and Egypt, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for a single meeting that would address the NDC registry and the adaptation communications registry to ensure consistent decisions. CANADA, the US, and Belize, for AOSIS, supported discussing these items separately, noting the two different mandates.

Modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a public registry referred to in Article 4.12 (NDCs): In the contact group, co-chaired by Peter Wittoeck (Belgium), parties engaged in the same procedural debate about how to proceed with this agenda item and the item on the NDC registry. The Co-Chairs will consult with the Bureau on the way forward.

Matters Relating to Finance: Guidance to the GCF: Contact group Co-Chair Sugio invited views on elements for a draft CMA decision text. Parties agreed on the need to avoid duplication of guidance under the COP and CMA, with the EU stressing the need to avoid prejudging discussions ongoing under the GCF Board. Malawi, for the LDCs, and South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, called for text on support for the formulation and implementation of NDCs and implementation of other provisions of the Paris Agreement. Discussions will continue in informal party consultations.

Guidance to the GEF: Co-Chair Sugio invited views on elements for a draft decision. Palestine, for the G-77/CHINA, noted its views on this item are the same as on the COP item on the GEF. Discussions will continue in informal party consultations.

SBI 51

Development and Transfer of Technologies: Matters relating to alignment between review of the CTCN and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism: During informal consultations, delegates considered draft conclusions prepared by Co-Facilitators Karsten Krause (Germany) and Spencer Thomas (Grenada). Parties made textual suggestions on specifying the independent nature of the review of the CTCN, and on including evaluation areas and methodologies within the information that needs to be taken into account in considering alignment. Parties requested a technical paper to gain clarity on the legal and practical implications of possible options for aligning the review and the periodic assessment. One party cautioned against opening negotiations on the scope and modalities of the periodic assessment. They agreed to request an “information note” to inform future discussions at SBI 52. Consultations will continue.

Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer: During informal consultations, delegates considered draft conclusions prepared by the Co-Facilitators Elfriede-Anna More (Austria) and Mareer Mohamed Husny (Maldives). Developed countries raised concerns about elements in the text addressing the GEF, arguing this lies outside the focus of the Poznan strategic programme, and stressed that the COP negotiates the GEF guidance. Developing country groups noted references to the Poznan programme in the GEF report to the COP. They highlighted elements in the GEF report on the plan for the long-term implementation of the Poznan strategic programme that aim to further scale up investments, including: support for climate technology centers and a climate technology network; piloting priority technology projects to foster innovation and investments; and technology needs assessments. Consultations will continue.

Common Time Frames: The contact group was co-chaired by Gregoire Baribeau (Canada) and George Wamukoya (Kenya).

Parties indicated their preferred options, with Switzerland, for the EIG, Bangladesh, for the LDCs, Zimbabwe, for the AFRICAN GROUP, BRAZIL, and INDONESIA, supporting five-year time frames. Colombia, for AILAC, preferred that parties communicate NDCs for an initial five-year period, with another NDC for the subsequent five-year period, that will be updated on the basis of available science. China, for the LMDCs, preferred options that specify time frames for the next round of NDCs, communicated in 2025, that could be up to 2030, 2035, 2040, or as decided by the party.

Several parties, opposed by two groups, noted links to the Global Stocktake and to raising ambition.

The Co-Chairs will produce a new version of the current informal note.

Adaptation Fund Board Membership: Informal consultations were co-facilitated by Fiona Gilbert (Australia). Parties’ views remained strongly divergent, with some supporting no action or a procedural decision on nominations by regional groups; others preferred further deliberations towards reviewing membership procedures and references to country groups. Some countries called for legal advice from the Secretariat over whether Paris Agreement parties are currently eligible. No consensus on the way forward was found. The Co-Facilitators will prepare procedural conclusions requesting the CMP to take this issue forward.

SBSTA 51

Matters Relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: Peer Stiansen (Norway) and Hugh Sealy (Barbados) co-facilitated informal consultations on all sub-items.

On the process going forward, Co-Facilitator Sealy proposed holding “all interested party bilaterals with the Co-Facilitators on specific themes.” He explained these would be: open to all parties; expert level meetings and not drafting-exercises; and intended for collecting further input for the next iteration, due on Friday, 6 December. He assured that a report-back from these meetings would be presented to the informal consultations before the Co-Facilitators would develop text for the next iteration. He then introduced new draft texts on each sub-item.

Article 6.4 (mechanism): Many welcomed the draft text. Interventions focused on, inter alia: the cover decision; share of proceeds; overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE); participation responsibilities; activity cycle; and transition from the Kyoto Protocol.

On the cover decision, views expressed related to, among other things: how to capture past experiences with methodologies; whether OMGE and issues relating to share of proceeds can be defined and operationalized at CMA 2; and how to prioritize the work programme under this sub-item for 2020.

On participation responsibilities, some developing countries suggested removing guidance that is “impractical to implement,” and some underscored that sustainable development is a national prerogative.

On activities, countries called for, inter alia, separating “approval” and “authorization” as these are distinct issues. They also expressed different preferences regarding setting of baselines for calculating emissions reductions.

On transition, views shared related to the eligibility of Kyoto Protocol units and methodologies. Some called for avoiding a gap between the end of the CDM and the full operationalization of the Article 6.4 mechanism, with one group calling for a parallel CMP decision.

Parties also expressed diverging views on references to human rights in the text. Co-Facilitator Stiansen informed that views on the draft text on Article 6.2 (cooperative approaches) will be taken up during informal consultations on Thursday afternoon, 5 December.

Article 6.8 (non-market approaches): Parties reiterated their preferred options in the new version of the draft CMA decision.

On governance of the work programme, several developed countries stressed the need for a clear purpose for an institutional arrangement, suggesting that SBSTA could undertake work programme activities. Others supported establishing a “non-market approaches forum.” Some preferred establishing a task force for the framework.

On work programme activities, one group preferred identifying how to leverage and generate co-benefits that assist the implementation of NDCs more generally, without referring to mitigation and adaptation co-benefits specifically. Two other parties asked to retain text on identifying barriers to and incentives for: enhancing the engagement and addressing the needs of the private sector, and vulnerable and impacted sectors and communities; and achieving a just transition of the workforce.

SBSTA/SBI

Development and Transfer of Technologies: Joint annual report of the TEC and CTCN: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Steven Turnbull (Australia), delegates heard CTCN Advisory Board Chair Orly Jacob explain calculations of aggregate numbers in the report. Some parties suggested making the report more accessible in the future, in particular sections on key impacts of the CTCN’s work and messages to the CMA.

Co-Facilitator Turnbull introduced two draft decisions prepared by the Co-Facilitators, one for the CMA and one for the COP. One group suggested referencing the technology framework, but another pointed out that the framework was specifically adopted by the CMA 1, not by the COP. Parties asked to clarify that TEC support comes from the core budget, and to add references to developing and updating technology needs assessments. Discussions continued informally among parties.

Report of the Adaptation Committee: Informal consultations, co-facilitated by Pepetua Latasi (Tuvalu), convened in the morning. Discussions largely centered on: the prominence given to private sector finance, with developing countries emphasizing that the focus should be on public finance from developed countries, and developed countries arguing that a recommendation to incentivize private sector engagement is complementary; and whether the breadth of the Committee’s work is adequately reflected, with several developing countries noting an imbalance. Parties discussed the format of the outcome under this item, with some calling for more clarity on the implications of having one or two documents, and of using identical or different text for the COP and the CMA. The Co-Facilitators said they would circulate a draft document by the end of the day that would not prejudge the format.

WIM: Informal consultations, co-facilitated by Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) and Marianne Karlsen (Norway), met in the morning and afternoon. In the morning, several groups of developing countries called for establishing an “implementation arm” of the WIM which would, inter alia, feature technical and financial facilities to directly respond to parties’ needs, with some noting this would complement the “policy arm” that is the ExCom. Several developed countries favored enhancing existing structures and leveraging the catalyzing role of the WIM to strengthen collaboration with bodies within and outside the UNFCCC, including with humanitarian, disaster risk reduction, and scientific actors.

Other points raised included: disentangling work on different aspects of slow onset events and non-economic losses; creating windows for loss and damage funding under financial bodies such as the GCF, GEF, and Adaptation Fund; the role of national focal points in increasing parties’ engagement with the WIM; and better tailoring WIM products to national and local-level users.

In the afternoon discussions, views expressed related to, inter alia, the need to: support the work and further establishment of regional risk facilities; establish an expert group on action and support, including finance, technology and capacity building; and “overall improve the international response to loss and damage.” Noting areas of convergence, the Co-Facilitators said they would prepare a note for the next session on Thursday 5 December. Informal informal consultations took place in the evening.

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: The fourth workshop, co-facilitated by Monika Figaj (Poland) and Milagros Sandoval (Peru), continued to discuss issues related to nutrient and manure use in agriculture.

Ellen Matupi, smallholder farmer from Malawi, described how climate impacts experienced in Malawi caused food insecurity, exacerbated by the specific challenges that women face in farming: limited land ownership, “inadequate” agricultural extension services, and limited market access. She described the negative effects of nitrogen-based fertilizers and praised agroecological techniques such as cover cropping, mulching, and manure-based fertilization.

Participants heard presentations from several financing entities. Many presenters advised including nutrient management in NDCs as a way of improving their fundability. Martien van Nieuwkoop, World Bank, highlighted the need to realign public and private support to improve nutrient management and to improve means of assessing nutrient use efficiency, possibly through common standards. Muhamat Assouyouti, Adaptation Fund, presented case studies of successfully supported adaptation. Pascal Martinez, the GEF, stressed the need to demonstrate the environmental benefits of projects. Janie Rioux, GCF, said that while most projects measure changes in yield and farmer income, few measure changes in environmental factors such as soil health and emissions reductions.

In subsequent discussion, participants considered, inter alia: data gaps in reporting soil health; the role of farmer cooperatives in achieving effects at scale; and difficulties in meeting funding bodies’ requirements.

In the Corridors

With processes well under way on Wednesday, some delegates found time for reflection, as a SBSTA-IPCC event and the stocktake on pre-2020 climate ambition drew attention to unmet mitigation targets. Listening to mandated bodies report on their achievements to date, one civil society observer seethed that “there’s a difference between ticking boxes and actually making substantial progress.”

Meanwhile, in the world of Article 6, a fresh set of draft texts provoked multiple reactions from negotiators. Heeding to the SBSTA Chair’s request to work towards achieving outcomes, the Co-Facilitators declared a motto of “forward ever, backward never”: from Thursday onward, work will proceed in thematic “get-togethers” which will report back to the informal consultations to maintain transparency. “Once again, the devil of Article 6 lies in the details,” remarked one negotiator, suggesting that, with discussions increasingly complicated, many are eager to keep technical decisions out of the hands of the ministers arriving next week.

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