There is still no agreement in sight on the adoption of the agendas for the Subsidiary Bodies’ meetings. Despite eleven hours of consultations among Heads of Delegation, no decision had been reached by Monday afternoon, and the wrangling was put on stage for everyone to see in plenary. What some called a “big showdown” ensued, but the two-hour plenary session still ended without the adoption of the agendas.
Bolivia, China, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia, among others, questioned the mandate for discussions on the mitigation ambition and implementation work programme and defended their “counter-agenda item” on urgently scaling up financial support from developed countries to enable implementation for developing countries in this critical decade. They lamented a lack of political will and a record of broken promises, citing the failure by developed countries to fulfill their commitment to jointly mobilize USD100 billion per year by 2020.
The EU, the US, the UK, and Canada countered that the discussion on the mitigation work programme provides just the space to discuss finance for mitigation, notably pointing to the work programme’s first global dialogue and investment-focused event on accelerating just energy transition. They also referred to the many other finance-related processes already established in the climate negotiations.
Yet, as Switzerland underscored, the fault line is not a clear cut split between developed and developing countries. For example, the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) also spoke up in favor of advancing discussions on the mitigation work programme.
Others mostly spoke in favor of not holding up the process, because the potential fallout is clear: Without agreement on the agendas, discussions held at the meeting will not be captured. Although the afternoon plenary left participants questioning the value of their time in Bonn, several constructive discussions took place during the day and delegates even reached agreement on the draft conclusions on the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change.