Daily report for 11 June 2022

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2022

The first week of the Bonn Climate Change Conference came to a close with a day focused on technical discussions. Saturday saw the conclusion of the first Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage, which continued to raise questions of equity and justice. In the afternoon, participants in the Technical Dialogue of the Global Stocktake broke into three roundtables structured around mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.

Contact Groups and Informal Consultations

Matters relating to the work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation: Parties continued sharing views on the informal note shared by the co-facilitators on potential draft elements for a work programme. Discussions related to, inter alia:

  • potential overlaps between a work programme and the Global Stocktake (GST), with some developed countries emphasizing “complementarity” with the GST and some developing country groups warning against duplication;
  • differing mitigation responsibilities in mitigation outcomes, with developing countries calling for developed countries to “take the lead” and for the work programme to avoid imposing an “undue burden” on developing countries; and
  • linking the work programme to political fora such as the annual High-Level Ministerial Roundtable. 

One developing country group warned against recurring “carbon colonialism” through imposing similar goals on all parties regardless of their capacity and historical emissions. Another developing country, supported by others, raised a concern that certain elements in the informal note are outside the remit of the Paris Agreement and Convention, and warned that he would be unable to continue discussions if future work would risk “amending the Convention.” 

The co-facilitators will prepare another iteration of the informal note.

Guidance on cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement: Parties discussed the format of reporting tables and outlines, saying it should enable submission of granular information and distinguish between voluntary cancellation in general and for the specific purpose of overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE). One developing country group said reporting should be based on tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

On special circumstances of least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), most countries agreed on the need for enhanced capacity building to enable these countries to participate in carbon markets. One developing country group called for, inter alia: flexible timeframes and support for reporting; exemption from paying registration and administrative fees; and contributing a share of proceeds.

Some parties disputed the need for further guidance on corresponding adjustments at the moment, noting further guidance could be provided in the future if needed. 

Divergent views remained on whether internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) could include emission avoidance. Some parties called for clarification of the term, while others preferred focusing on “removals” rather than “avoidance.”

Work programme under the framework for non-market approaches referred to in Article 6, paragraph 8, of the Paris Agreement: Co-Facilitators Maria AlJishi (Saudi Arabia) and Giuliana Torta (Italy) introduced an informal note capturing parties’ views on elements of the draft decision on a schedule for implementing Article 6.8 work programme activities. They explained the draft contains language from the CMA 3 decision text and, in brackets, parties’ views expressed at this SB session. Several parties preferred removing all brackets, noting that no part of the text has been agreed and the entire text should be considered bracketed. Several parties noted that portions of the text contain elements outside of the mandate of the SBSTA, such as references to assessments, registries, and a matching function. Parties also requested specific additions to the text on, inter alia: the assessment or review cycles, establishment of administrative facilities, and the web-based platform.

Matters relating to the Santiago network under the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts: Co-Facilitator Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) opened the session on a “sobering note” by warning parties that without progress at this session, they risk being unable to adopt a decision at COP 27, which would delay the operationalization of the network. Parties reported a “positive mood” in the previous day’s “informal informal,” with convergence on the roles and responsibilities of the network’s secretarial body, host organization, and network members. They requested that the Secretariat prepare a compilation paper of these roles and responsibilities to facilitate further discussion in “informal informals” later in the day.

Second periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention and of overall progress towards achieving it: Contact group Co-Chairs Stella Gama (Malawi) and Andrew Ferrone (Luxembourg) invited parties’ views on draft decision text. Parties called for specifying the timeline for the preparation of the synthesis report, underscoring it should be made available early enough for them to effectively submit views and to inform discussions at SB 57.

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, called for ensuring balance between the two themes of the long-term global goal under the Convention and the overall progress towards achieving it. CHINA said the synthesis report should not exclusively be a compilation of the summary reports of the meetings of the structured expert dialogue (SED), calling, among others, for updating factual information.

Many underscored the outcome of the periodic review should feed into the GST. Noting possible delays in the publication of the IPCC’s Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report, INDIA, opposed by the EU, called for extending SED2 accordingly.

While some delegations called for the SED2 synthesis report to feature headline statements and key findings, the EU and CANADA noted agreement at COP 25 that SED2 would apply the modalities of SED1 mutatis mutandis.

Matters relating to Action for Climate Empowerment: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Bianca Moldovean (Romania) and Pemy Gasela (South Africa) invited parties’ views on a new iteration of draft decision text, including a list of possible activities in the four priority areas of the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). Parties expressed appreciation for the text, noting they need more time for detailed consideration. Several parties called for stronger language on gender equality, human rights, and Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Many expressed concerns over the lack of a timeline for the implementation of the proposed activities. Highlighting their value, many parties supported linking activities to the ACE Dialogues. Other comments related to: the relation between ACE focal points and national youth focal points; fostering peer exchange between ACE focal points; engaging local governments; and attention for persons living with disabilities.

Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings: Participants continued to discuss issues of time allocation in plenary and meeting access. Bhutan, for LDCs, said increasing access for all participants should not negatively affect parties’ capacity to negotiate. CANADA suggested that meaningful participation from observers is linked to efficiency, and pointed to a possible workshop on improving efficiency in UNFCCC processes.

Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP; TRADE UNION NGOs; BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY NGOs; and the GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE raised the issue of challenges in securing visas from host countries. SBI Chair Marianne Karlsen noted that visas are ultimately controlled by host governments.

YOUTH NGOs stressed that discussions under this agenda item should address conflicts of interest, as some observer groups hold financial interests that “deliberately undermine climate action.” She called for observers to declare conflicts of interest.

Mandated Events

Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage: Co-Moderator Joseph Teo (Singapore) invited facilitators from the four breakout groups held earlier in the week to share their take-aways.

A key debate across the groups focused on whether funding arrangements for loss and damage exist and whether they are sufficient to meet existing and future needs. Some argued that existing financial institutions address loss and damage, including those under the Convention–such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund–and others outside the Convention, such as arrangements for humanitarian aid, reconstruction and recovery, emergency relief, and migration. They argued that strengthening and scaling up these existing arrangements would be less costly and time-consuming than organizing a new facility. 

Others argue that existing funding arrangements are inadequate and under-resourced, particularly to address slow-onset events and non-economic losses. Many participants stressed that while insurance schemes can help address loss and damage, most remain in experimental stages and premiums are unaffordable, especially for people in highly vulnerable countries. Many called specifically for the creation of a loss and damage finance facility as a concrete outcome of the Dialogue. Some detailed how such a facility could be resourced from annual contributions from developed countries based on their “historical responsibilities under the Convention.”

Noting that “this discussion should have happened in 2014,” ENVIRONMENTAL NGOs called for the creation of a finance facility, “otherwise all this talking will only kill more people.”

Stressing that “the debt owed by the Global North to the Global South is beyond measure,” WOMEN AND GENDER called for a loss and damage mechanism “as a matter of justice.”

PALESTINE, Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, GHANA, PALAU, and other developing countries reiterated calls for a concrete outcome of the Dialogue and the creation of a finance facility at COP 27.

Underscoring that it “heard and understands” the urgency of the matter for vulnerable countries, the UNITED STATES said the need for support for loss and damage “does not necessarily equate to a new fund” and called instead for strengthening existing institutions.

In the Corridors

Saturday brought a renewed sense of buoyancy to the venue, with the promise of a day off and with long-time civil society observers applauding efforts to shake up traditional formats. “That World Café yesterday really broke down barriers,” one commented. “It’s not often that delegates, scientists, activists, and the private sector are all face-to-face like that.”

Traditional hierarchies were also shaken loose in mandated events: civil society intervened first, then alternated with parties in the Glasgow Dialogue, restoring some balance to a traditionally party-heavy process. “Maybe we are moving in a new direction,” one delegate pondered. “How long do you think it’ll last?” With some parties pushing back, and the persistent visa challenges affecting access to meetings, it is yet to be seen if a new feeling of equity will stick.

Sunday will be a day of rest for some, and of fevered coordination for others. “It looks like a late night tonight,” a delegate in the discussions on the Santiago Network said. “Let’s make use of the day off so we can return with fresh eyes on Monday.” For all the fresh air coming through, then, the old winds of debate still seem to be blowing strong.

Further information