Daily report for 8 June 2022

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2022

The third day of the Conference saw negotiations take a back seat to mandated events. Co-Facilitators revised informal notes and prepared draft decision text, while delegates attending consultations on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture reported fruitful discussions in “informal informals.” Most of the day was filled with mandated events and other workshops, which further unpacked the latest insights from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and addressed the hot topic of loss and damage, among others.

Informal Consultations

Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change: Co-Facilitators Kaarle Kupiainen (Finland) and Julio Cordano (Chile) shared key highlights from the previous day’s side event on how to advance the work of the Nairobi work programme (NWP). They sought parties’ input on monitoring and evaluation of the work under the NWP, additional thematic areas that should be considered, and ways to strengthen the NWP’s operational and institutional modalities.

On monitoring, parties suggested improved monitoring of the use of the adaptation knowledge hub through, for example, assessing download data and administering short user surveys. A developing country group noted that it is unclear how the Secretariat monitors other areas of work, such as the effectiveness of the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative in reducing knowledge gaps.

On additional thematic areas, parties suggested: disaster risk reduction; Indigenous knowledge and practice; cattle raising; fisheries and aquaculture; circular economy; climate risk management; energy transport and infrastructure; and droughts and desertification. On strengthening modalities, parties suggested tailoring knowledge products to specific users; broadening membership of thematic expert groups to include Indigenous expertise; strengthening communication with adaptation contact points; and enhancing the NWP’s role as a knowledge broker, particularly by working with communities of practice.

The Co-Facilitators will prepare draft decision text based on parties’ inputs.

Matters relating to the work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation: Parties continued to share their views on the potential objectives, scope, and modalities for a mitigation work programme. The main points of discussion included:

  • how the scope of the work programme would reflect the objectives of scaling up mitigation and ambition, and how this would interact with implementation;
  • the form the work programme should take, with parties recommending workshops or a platform for information-sharing, and including non-state actors in proceedings;
  • connections with political processes, with many suggesting that the programme should inform the annual pre-2030 ministerial roundtable; and
  • the timeline of the work programme, with many agreeing that it should continue until 2030 with urgent emphasis placed on the next two years.

The Co-Facilitators will develop an informal note capturing participants’ views for discussion in a future session.

Matters relating to reporting and review under Article 13 of the Paris Agreement: Co-Facilitator Yamikani Idriss (Malawi) lauded the constructive exchange of views on options for conducting reviews and the respective training programme held during the first session of informal consultations. He invited parties’ views on a Co-Facilitators’ note prepared on that basis.

Several groups and parties underscored the focus of the review should not be on examining consistency with the modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs), since reporting under Chapter IV of the annex to decision 18/CMA.1 is voluntary and parties may not report on all elements. Many emphasized the objective to facilitate improved reporting over time.

Several developing country groups noted the voluntary review should be initiated by the respective party, which should identify which aspects to cover in the review. One developed country preferred not to be prescriptive on what elements the review team should focus on, with another saying that, if a voluntary review is initiated, it should cover all aspects of the MPGs. Other comments related to, among others: the role of the Consultative Group of Experts and the Climate Technology Centre and Network in developing the training programme; financial support for training experts from small island developing states and least developed countries (LDCs); and the timeline for making the courses available.

The Co-Facilitators will prepare draft decision text.

Membership of the Adaptation Fund Board: The informal consultations were co-facilitated by Eva Schreuder (the Netherlands) and Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda). Parties agreed that the Adaptation Fund Board is functioning well and that changes in membership do not currently need to be made.

They disagreed, however, about whether to continue discussions under this agenda item. A developed country suggested that the agenda item could be a useful forum to discuss changes that need to be made to prepare for when the Adaptation Fund exclusively serves the Paris Agreement. Specifically, parties could address legal issues around whether and how the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) will cede authority over the Fund. A developed country group supported, adding that legal issues around “annexes” also need to be resolved and that the discussion could include membership as an incentive for contributor countries.

Developing country groups preferred to defer discussion until the Fund receives a share of proceeds from the Article 6.4 mechanism. They also noted that “unnecessary” agenda items challenge the capacity of small delegations.

The Co-Facilitator will continue to consult informally.

National Adaptation Plans: In informal consultation, Co-Facilitator Jens Fugl (Denmark) pointed to a Co-Facilitators’ note prepared on this item at SBI 52-55 and invited parties’ views. Parties supported using the text as a basis for discussions. Several parties called for preparing draft decision text for COP 27 that contains concrete measures for increasing access to finance, such as encouraging the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support countries in implementing their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). One developed country cautioned that this should be dealt with in discussions on guidance to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.

Many expressed appreciation for the work of the LDC Expert Group and Adaptation Committee in supporting NAP formulation, with some developing countries urging expedited support. Delegates also noted the relevance of the NAP process in informing the global stocktake (GST) and that there no longer is a need to create NAP focal points now that COP 26 invited parties to identify adaptation contact points.

The Co-Facilitators will revise the note.

Gender and Climate Change: This informal consultation considered draft decision text prepared by Co-Facilitators Salka Sigurðardóttir (United Kingdom) and Juan Carlos Monterrey Gómez (Panama), which aims to implement the Gender Action Plan (GAP) along the priority areas of: capacity building; gender balance; coherence; means of implementation; and monitoring and reporting.

Groups and parties made a number of proposals, including: references to the impacts of multiple crises, including COVID-19, on women; prioritizing sex-disaggregated data; strengthening national gender focal points and enabling regional level work; and increased financial support from the GCF for the implementation of the GAP.

On finance, some developed country parties demurred, noting that financial discussions should be raised under finance-related items. A developing country, supported by others, raised the point that lack of funds impedes the full implementation of the GAP at party level, which highlights the need for support by the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.

The Co-Facilitators will prepare new text for the next meeting.

Mandated Events and Workshops

First workshop under the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation: SBI Chair Marianne Karlsen (Norway) highlighted the workshop objectives to enhance understanding of the global goal on adaptation (GGA) and review progress towards it. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa regretted that adaptation has long been the “forgotten piece of the climate equation” and reminded participants of the need to establish a shared vision and ambition.

The Secretariat shared a synthesis of views submitted by parties to inform the workshop. She highlighted that parties expect the GGA to be global in nature, defined both qualitatively and quantitatively, and not designed to fit a certain region or country.

In the subsequent discussion among parties and observers, Saudi Arabia, for the LIKE-MINDED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), underscored that the GGA should account for different levels of development and address gaps in adaptation action.

Stressing that “the window of opportunity is rapidly closing to secure a livable future,” Botswana, for the G-77/CHINA, called for a concrete outcome at COP 27 to steer the process going forward.

Maldives, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), emphasized that the GGA must drive action while addressing the urgency of support for vulnerable communities. Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said the work programme should seek to: define the GGA and articulate its elements; achieve the GGA, focusing on means of implementation; and inform the GST process under the Paris Agreement.

Other comments related to, among others, attention for the financial dimension of the GGA and providing a clear picture of what works and what does not in adaptation.

IPCC-SBSTA special event on IPCC Working Group III (WG III): IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee and SBSTA Chair Tosi Mpanu Mpanu co-facilitated this event, which unpacked WG III’s contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, dealing with climate change mitigation. The report’s principal message is that the past decade has seen the highest increase in greenhouse gas emissions in human history, but that there are options available now in every sector that can halve emissions by 2030.

Jim Skea, WG III Co-Chair, outlined the assessment’s new chapters on innovation and technology, a more extensive treatment of carbon dioxide removal, and work on demand options and social impacts.

Shonali Pachauri, WG III lead author, explained that the temporary drop in emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic has already rebounded. Moreover, humanity remains “stuck in the era of fossil fuels,” with current nationally determined contributions largely insufficient to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach. She explained that an “unprecedented” mitigation effort is required to achieve this goal.

Parties’ questions focused on the gap in emissions between developing and developed countries; fossil fuel subsidies; and low-emissions technologies, among others.

Glasgow Dialogue: This second part of the first Glasgow Dialogue consisted in breakout group discussions which each considered: funding arrangements, including synergies and complementarities between different arrangements; lessons learned to improve support and funding; and barriers and challenges to accessing funding.

Many developed countries highlighted funding available through existing streams, including the GCF, disaster risk reduction funds, and humanitarian aid.

While one speaker suggested that the distinction between averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage is “nebulous,” developing countries argued that addressing loss and damage is not the same as averting and minimizing it. They repeated their call for a finance facility to compensate for gaps within and outside the UNFCCC. Many underscored gaps in addressing non-economic losses. Speaking about parametric insurance as an often-raised solution, one delegate noted that for slow-onset events triggers are difficult to pinpoint.

One participant noted that a large amount of work has already been produced on possible formats for operationalizing loss and damage financing, of which the Glasgow Dialogue should make use. Another speaker noted that the finance facility should be sourced from annual contributions by developed countries, proportional to their emissions, with disbursement triggered by national thresholds such a declaration of national calamity.

High-Level Champions event on taking stock of progress: This event was organized by the UNFCCC High-Level Champions to showcase the contribution of non-state actors to the different areas of the GST’s Technical Dialogue and to help enhance climate action. Speakers highlighted:

  • lessons learned from implementing the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, including that data and evidence based on scientific knowledge come first, adequate implementation follows, and finance connects everything together;
  • the role of non-state actors in drawing attention to what communities experience on the ground;
  • the third revision of the “Race to Zero” criteria, which aims to, inter alia, ensure a high standard of targets around net zero in order to “flush out greenwashing”;
  • the Global Climate Action Portal and the work being undertaken to evolve it from a tool for recognizing action to an accountability tool for tracking action; and
  • launch of the “Climate Action Data 2.0” working group aimed at improving metrics and criteria for target setting and progress tracking.

In the Corridors

“Are these negotiations, or a John Wayne movie?” one delegate quipped, looking at a mere two hours of planned negotiations for Wednesday. “Because it’s getting quiet… too quiet.” Indeed, from the large number of mandated events spilling forth PowerPoints and prepared statements, it seemed to some seasoned delegates that the most productive discussions at the Bonn Climate Change Conference are taking place in small groups and bilaterals, far from the contact groups and informal consultations.

More experienced voices cautioned patience: “some things can’t be resolved in public,” they noted, pointing to finance as an obvious sticking point in open negotiations. “It may be best to take the first steps out of public view.”

Not all things benefit from invisibility, though. One delegate was shocked to report that a recent COP Presidency meeting found mostly men at the table, raising questions about institutional commitments to gender parity. “It’s incredible that we’re this far behind—even the IPCC reported that only a third of their authors are women,” they fumed. No matter how quiet things get, it would seem, the process still needs to work to ensure that all voices are properly heard.

Further information