Daily report for 19 November 2013

Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013

On Tuesday afternoon, the opening ceremony of the COP 19 and CMP 9 high-level segment took place. In the morning, afternoon and evening, contact groups, informal consultations and other meetings were held under the COP, CMP and ADP. These included: ADP open-ended consultations on both workstreams; report of the compliance committee; REDD+ finance; and the ADP Co-Chairs’ special event.


Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland, opened the high-level segment and welcomed participants. Noting that Poland is hosting the COP/CMP for the second time, he outlined emerging challenges since Poznan: the financial crisis; failure to achieve a global agreement in Copenhagen; shifts in the world energy market; and recent IPCC findings. Emphasizing that “we cannot afford a failure; and cannot play with the climate,” he said the key goal for Warsaw is to produce a “sober assessment” of what is necessary to achieve a global agreement.

Calling Warsaw an important stepping stone, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon signaled a “steep climb” ahead. Among areas for action, he highlighted: ratifying the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period; increasing ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance for a large-scale transformation; sending the right policy signals to investors; and constructing an action agenda to meet the climate challenge by laying a firm foundation for the 2015 agreement. He invited all delegates to come to the 2014 Climate Change Summit with political leadership and bold announcements for action. He urged participants to “shape this future for all succeeding generations and an environmentally sustainable planet Earth.”

John Ashe, UN General Assembly President, stated that, although he understands the challenges of negotiations, “the picture outside this room is bleak.” He said parties must reach a deal in 2015, which should include: pre-2020 ambition; a compliance mechanism; and applicability to all. In response to the subnational governments, civil society and business groups that are acting on climate change and asking if parties have abdicated responsibilities, Ashe urged parties to “push back, stand up” and say “we will act.”

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said COP 19 is held in the context of “a clarion call from science, and a compelling call from the Philippines.” She stressed the need for Warsaw to pave the way to Lima and Paris, and called for ministers’ active involvement on core deliverables: finance; “a cornerstone for” the loss and damage mechanism; increased pre-2020 ambition; and elements of the new agreement. She added that they should “focus on what is feasible and necessary, and work with intensity and intent,” to “lead us a to meaningful draft agreement that is based on sound science, equitably enacted and applicable to all.”

The high-level segment continued with statements from other heads of state and heads of government, deputy heads of state and deputy heads of government, ministers, and other heads of delegations. A webcast of the statements is available at: http://bit.ly/HX8VgK


ADP OPEN-ENDED CONSULTATIONS ON BOTH WORKSTREAMS: In the morning, Co-Chair Runge-Metzger invited parties to continue clarifying their views on the draft text and acknowledged the submission from the LMDCs. He noted that “the time for wish-lists is over” and urged countries to identify areas of convergence.

Various developing countries, including Swaziland for the AFRICAN GROUP, INDIA, MALI, CHINA, Bolivia for the LMDCs, the PHILIPPINES and VENEZUELA, called for a pathway for the delivery of the US$100 billion target and MRV of support. BRAZIL underlined finance for NAMAs. The US stressed that the US$100 billion target was made in the context of a wide package of decisions and that new commitments “cannot be made along the way.” The LMDCs opposed proposals related to harnessing private investment for mitigation.

On the nature and extent of differentiation, the Gambia, for the LDCs, and BRAZIL preferred using the distinction between Annex I and non-Annex I countries.

On technical opportunities to enhance action, Nauru, for AOSIS, supported by the EU, suggested adding: a timeline calling for submissions by March 2014; a request for the Secretariat to compile a synthesis of technical data, including from external agencies; expert meetings in March and June 2014; and ministerial meetings in 2014, leading up to the UN Climate Summit and COP 20.

INDIA opposed “embarking on a technical process,” and, with the LMDCs, cautioned against referring to actions outside the Convention. The EU called for Warsaw to show that “we are on track” to reach a legally-binding agreement in 2015 and narrow the mitigation gap.

CHINA said the negotiations should be focused, emphasizing the need to enhance implementation up to 2020 and the Bali Action Plan (BAP). The LDCs called for reference to the principles of equity and fairness, and confidence building through full implementation of the BAP. SWITZERLAND said the ADP should focus on additionality.

The EU and SWITZERLAND underlined the importance of transparency in the process. BRAZIL called for more clarity on transparency, adding that it is not a goal in itself.

INDIA stressed the need to: increase developed countries’ mitigation ambition to at least 40% below 1990 levels; enhance technology transfer; and address IPRs. The PHILIPPINES called for strengthened Annex I countries’ reporting on mitigation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building. SAUDI ARABIA, the LDCs and SINGAPORE underscored the importance of developed countries’ leadership. SOUTH AFRICA highlighted the scientific assessement of mitigation action by developed countries. VENEZUELA called for assessing the performance of existing institutions.

BRAZIL highlighted the difficulty of spelling out sub-national actors’ actions in a multilateral context. SINGAPORE said collaborative work at the sub-national level should be in the context of sharing and learning. The US, JAPAN and CANADA supported facilitating collaborative work on mitigation and adaptation at the sub-national level. Consultations continued throughout the evening.

REPORT OF THE COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE (CMP): The morning informal consultations were co-facilitated by Ilhomjon Rajabov (Tajikistan) and Ida Kärnström (Sweden). Parties considered draft decision text revised by the Co-Chairs in accordance with proposals by parties. After a brief discussion, parties agreed to delete text on voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities in support of the work of the Committee for 2014-2015. Following minor textual revisions, agreement was reached on a draft decision to be forwarded to the CMP.

REDD+ FINANCE (COP): In the afternoon informal consultations on the work programme on results-based finance for REDD+, delegates discussed the creation of an information “hub” on REDD+ finance, and the role of the GCF. Convergence emerged that the information hub should be a voluntary tool, possibly linked to the UNFCCC web platform, and promote transparency without imposing additional reporting obligations. Delegates agreed that: the GCF should play a central role in results-based finance for REDD+; and existing methodologies should be used. Some delegates underscored the need to: report on how safeguards are being addressed and respected; and recognize the link between safeguards and co-benefits. Others remarked that delegates “should not reopen issues that are already agreed,” emphasizing the need to make progress on technicalities on results-based payments.

Informal consultations will continue, based on a draft decision text to be prepared by the Co-Chairs of the work-programme on results-based finance, Agus Sari (Indonesia) and Christina Voigt (Norway).

ADP CO-CHAIRS’ SPECIAL EVENT: The afternoon event was facilitated by Jamie Peters (YOUNGOs). Participants focused on: how the 2015 agreement could foster enhanced collaboration between non-state actors and governments; and the role the UNFCCC could play in recognizing and strengthening non-state actors’ initiatives and actions. The Secretariat invited participants to address how non-states’ actor initiatives can catalyze, foster, facilitate and inspire the UNFCCC process.

ADP Co-Chairs reacted to comments from the floor on: the need for preparatory work with various constituencies to build domestic political momentum by spreading information about benefits in financing the transition to a low-carbon economy and green growth; and perspectives on how equity and fairness could inform the 2015 agreement.

Participants also discussed, inter alia: recognition of the role of non-state actors; a just transition for trade unions; the role of private climate finance; human rights-based approach; inter-generational equity; and the role of women in sustainable agriculture and land use.


As Monday night’s negotiations continued into the night, some delegates left the National Stadium at 6:00 am on Tuesday to be greeted by light of early dawn. During the day, buoyancy came from gender and youth groups. Many wore green ribbons on this “Gender Day” to promote the role of gender approaches in solving the climate crisis. A delegate from youth NGOs facilitated the ADP Co-Chairs’ special event, and the theme of intergenerational justice also appeared during the high-level segment in the afternoon, as many speakers called for delegates to think of “not only of your children, but of your children’s children.” Various high-level officials also presciently reflected a general feeling of frustration with the ADP’s discussions, while repeatedly urging concrete outcomes in Warsaw to pave the way to Paris in 2015.

During this second day of discussion of the ADP draft decision, one delegate admitted to a “growing sinking feeling” that parties will not find common ground and instead will “insist on emphasizing the areas of divergence.” Paraphrasing Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s words during the high-level segment that “each player is competing with his colleagues,” one delegate worried that parties were forgetting “that the match can only be won by the team.” While many expressed concern about procedural issues currently under discussion and the slow pace of negotiations thus far, a UNFCCC veteran reassured others that COP 19 is a “typical COP” that will “result in some last minute package late Friday night.”

#COP4Haiyan Solidarity Operation: On Wednesday and Thursday, Polish Humanitarian Action, a non-governmental organization specializing in emergency response, is organizing a charity collection to support the relief and reconstruction in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan. Volunteers will be present from 8-10 am near the cloakroom on level -2 zone 1, and from 5-8 pm at the main exit of the Stadium on level -1 zone A9. The first collection last Friday amounted to US$3,063. If each COP 19 participant gives US$20, approximately US$200,000 could be collected. Online donations are also possible through http://www.pah.org.pl

This collection has been facilitated by the COP 19/CMP 9 Presidency and by the UNFCCC Secretariat.

A fund-raising initiative Twitterstorm was also launched last week by youth delegates through four NGOs active in the Philippines, see http://bit.ly/1cX8WiQ

Further information