Daily report for 14 June 2023

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2023

The Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) finally adopted their agendas. A compromise was struck among Heads of Delegation: the mitigation ambition and implementation work programme will not feature on the agendas, but the SB Chairs will capture discussions held at the session in an informal note issued under their own authority. This agreement paved the way for the adoption of conclusions at SB 58.

Joint SB Plenary

In an evening plenary, the SBI and SBSTA adopted their respective agendas (FCCC/SBI/2023/1/Add.1 and FCCC/SBSTA/2023/1), with an amendment for the relevant agenda items to read “work programme on just transition pathways referred to in the relevant paragraphs of decision 1/CMA.4” and with the exception of the agenda items on the Sharm el-Sheikh mitigation ambition and implementation work programme (MWP), noting the understanding that work carried out on the MWP at SB 58 will be captured by the SB Chairs in an informal note issued under their own authority.

SBSTA Chair Harry Vreuls (the Netherlands) and SBI Chair Nabeel Munir (Pakistan) expressed appreciation for parties’ flexibility in reaching an agreement and allowing work to be launched prior to the adoption of the agendas. They noted this is not setting a precedent for future work.

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

Research and systematic observation: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Elizabeth Bush (Canada) and Ladislaus Chang’a (Tanzania), parties discussed draft conclusions and draft COP and CMA decision text. With regard to the draft conclusions, some developing countries suggested adding references to equity and historical responsibilities in a sentence on the urgency for action in this decade.

With regard to the draft decision text, parties debated at length how to recognize the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Many developed and developing countries suggested recognizing that AR6 represents the most comprehensive and robust assessment of climate change to date, with an increased scope compared with previous assessment cycles providing integrated scientific, technical, and socio-economic information. Some developing countries called for recognizing that AR6 represents the latest assessment of climate change and expressing serious concerns regarding disputes among Panel members and the inclusiveness of its decision-making process.

Parties continued their consultations into the evening.

Subsidiary Body for Implementation

Second review of the functions of the Standing Committee on Finance: In informal consultations, Co-Facilitators Ali Waqas (Pakistan) and Gabriela Blatter (Switzerland) invited parties’ views on draft conclusions, pointing to carefully crafted bridging proposals based on consultations with groups and parties. Regarding disaggregated information on participation in sessions of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), parties converged on referring to Annex I and non-Annex I parties, in line with language on the SCF’s composition. They also converged on the technical paper to be prepared by the Secretariat to consider, among others, “the extent to which” the SCF fulfilled its core functions and mandated activities.

With these amendments, parties agreed on the draft conclusions.

Agenda Items Considered Jointly by the SBSTA and SBI

Review of the progress, effectiveness, and performance of the Adaptation Committee: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Maria Samuelsen (Denmark) and María del Pilar Bueno (Argentina), parties reflected on how to capture discussions held at SB 58. They converged on procedural draft conclusions and agreed to continue the consideration of the review on the basis of the draft decision elements contained in the informal note from SB 58.

Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Mattias Frumerie (Sweden), parties remained divergent with regard to whether and how to capture elements for the development of the framework on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). Many developing countries favored annexing a list of elements to the draft SB conclusions, welcoming further discussion over the elements at SB 58. Some developed countries underscored the list of elements is not a negotiated text and does not capture progress in the discussions.

Informal consultations continued into the evening.

Matters relating to the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement: Contact Group Co-Chairs Alison Campbell (UK) and Joseph Teo (Singapore) invited parties to comment on draft conclusions and an informal note containing a draft structure for the CMA 5 decision on the GST. The draft structure included five sections:

  • preamble;
  • context and cross-cutting considerations;
  • collective progress towards achieving the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, in the light of equity and the best available science, and informing parties in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, action and support;
  • enhancing international cooperation for climate action; and
  • guidance and way forward.

Most of the discussion focused on the section on collective progress, which included five sub-sections: mitigation; adaptation; finance flows and means of implementation and support; efforts related to loss and damage; and efforts related to response measures.

Many parties indicated they would support the Co-Chairs’ draft without any changes, recognizing in particular that the sub-section on “finance flows and means of implementation and support” was finely balanced.

SAUDI ARABIA, CHINA, and others proposed to refer to “means of implementation and support and finance flows,” instead of the other way around, or to delete the reference to “finance flows.”

The US insisted on retaining the reference to “finance flows” and suggested that “means of implementation and support” should be a sub-section under a heading “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.” NEW ZEALAND highlighted financial flows is a broader issue than means of implementation. CANADA and AUSTRALIA concurred.

After several proposals from the Co-Chairs and informal huddles to resolve whether and how to refer to “finance flows,” delegates reconvened for an evening session. Recognizing that delegates would not be able to agree on this sub-section at SB 58, the Co-Chairs suggested, and parties agreed, to include several options for the sub-section on finance flows and means of implementation.

On the draft conclusions, INDIA proposed deleting a paragraph welcoming the announcement of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit, which will take place in September 2023. SWITZERLAND supported retaining the text. Cuba, for the G-77/CHINA, said they would propose noting the Secretary-General’s appeal to reform the international architecture if this paragraph were retained. Delegates agreed to delete it.

Co-Chair Teo thanked delegates for their hard work and encouraged them to continue their constructive spirit as they complete the GST in the coming months.

Work programme on just transition pathways referred to in the relevant paragraphs of decision 1/CMA.4: In informal consultations co-facilitated by Selam Kidane-Abebe (Zambia) and Luisa Rölke (Germany), parties exchanged views on draft conclusions. On continued discussions at SB 59, many parties proposed these be “informed by” the informal note from SB 58, while some developed countries preferred saying the discussions “can be informed by” the note.

Parties debated who to invite to provide submissions, by when, and on what, and whose submission the Secretariat should capture in a synthesis report. Several developing country groups suggested inviting submissions on elements of the work programme, but not on activities and modalities, and preferred for the Secretariat to only synthesize submissions by parties. One developing country group questioned the reference to “non-party stakeholders” in addition to observers.

Parties also debated whether to hold an inter- or pre-sessional workshop prior to SB 59 and whether to request the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper.

Informal consultations continued in the evening.

Mandated Events and Other Sessions

Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue: Co-Facilitators Niall O’Dea (Canada) and Julio Cordano (Chile) reported on the previous day’s breakout sessions, noting participants stressed building awareness of coastal ecosystem benefits, closing data and knowledge gaps, engaging with coastal communities, and de-risking investments.

During a panel on coastal ecosystem restoration, including blue carbon, participants pointed to mangrove and seagrass restoration projects and highlighted their inclusion in nationally determined contributions. They noted the need to adjust policy frameworks and develop innovative financial instruments, pointing to the creation of “blue bonds” to facilitate loans to small-scale fisheries and other projects within a blue economy frame. Discussions related to, among others, awareness raising among youth and adopting a gender-responsive, human rights-based approach to project development.

In a panel on fisheries and food security, participants highlighted examples of private sector finance and investment to enhance community resilience, including through aquaculture expansion. They also emphasized Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge and solutions to local food security and fisheries stewardship. The ensuing discussion related to, among others: strategies for equitable investment and how to ensure projects are responding to the needs of women who rely on the Ocean for their livelihoods.

On what is needed to further centralize the role of the Ocean in climate change mitigation and adaptation through UNFCCC processes, including the Global Stocktake, some parties underscored the inclusion of ocean-based climate action and ocean science in countries’ NDCs and called for constituted bodies to integrate ocean action in their work plans.

In the Corridors

“Good to know this won’t all go to waste,” summed up a delegate as news of agreement on the Subsidiary Bodies’ agenda rippled across the World Conference Center around lunchtime on the penultimate day of the session. Some speculated this gave delegates just the push they needed to “fill their sails” and further clean up their texts as far as possible ahead of the closing plenary.

Considering this was their first substantive exchange over the matter, delegates working on the just transition work programme indicated they were quite pleased with progress made. Those working on the Global Goal on Adaptation and on research and systematic observation: much less so. With a panelist in the Ocean Dialogue promoting “eating clownfish” as an effective measure for addressing the rampant problems this invasive species causes around the globe, a frustrated observer suggested “eating other clowns” as she exited heated discussions on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the 2023 Bonn Climate Change Conference will be available on Monday, 19 June 2023

Further information