Daily report for 17 June 2019

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2019

The Bonn Climate Change Conference began on Monday. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) opened, and heard statements from parties in a joint session. Workshops on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and Gender convened, and contact groups and informal consultations began, including on methodological issues related to the Paris Agreement.


SBI Chair Emmanuel Dlamini (eSwatini) opened the session, announcing its motto as greater ambition and enhanced implementation.

Organizational matters: Parties adopted the agenda (FCCC/SBI/2019/1) with the sub-item on information contained in national communications from non-Annex I parties held in abeyance. SBI Chair Dlamini outlined the mandated events, and reported which countries would present at the multilateral assessment and the facilitative sharing of views.

Election of officers other than the Chair: The SBI elected SBI Rapporteur Ayşin Turpanci (Turkey). SBI Chair Dlamini noted that Turpanci and the SBI Vice Chair Naser Moghaddasi (Iran) are not from Paris Agreement parties. The SBI elected as additional Vice-Chair Yeonachul Yoo (Republic of Korea) and as additional Rapporteur Constantinos Cartalis (Greece) from Paris Agreement parties.

Reporting from Annex I Parties: Status of submission and review of seventh national communications and third biennial reports: SBI took note of the information.

Revision of modalities and procedures for international assessment and review: The SBI noted that the modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs) for the Paris Agreement transparency framework will supersede these modalities and procedures.

Reporting from Non-Annex I Parties: Provision of financial and technical support: The GEF highlighted its activities, including: the resources available for the preparation of national communications and biennial update reports; the global support program on national adaptation plans (NAPs); and the Capacity Building Initiative on Transparency, which has been allocated resources from the GEF Trust Fund. Parties agreed to convene informal consultations.

Revision of the modalities and guidelines for international consultation and analysis: The SBI noted that the MPGs for the Paris Agreement transparency framework will supersede these modalities and guidelines.

Matters Relating to Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms: Procedures, mechanisms and institutional arrangements for appeals against decisions of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board: The SBI agreed to defer consideration of this item to SBI 52.

Matters Relating to Least Developed Countries (LDCs): LDC Expert Group (LEG) Chair Hana Hamadalla Mohamed (Sudan) reported on the LEG’s activities. She highlighted the development and testing of an integrated framework for NAPs and targeted support for countries facing obstacles in NAP formulation. Parties agreed to convene informal consultations.

Matters relating to the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures serving the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement: Birgit Aru (Estonia), Co-Chair, Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI), reported that the Committee developed a workplan at its first meeting.

Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad reported on the programme budget for the biennium 2020–2021, the review of Secretariat functions and operations, and other financial matters, noting the pressing issue of outstanding party contributions. Parties agreed to convene a budget contact group.

Other financial and budgetary matters: The UN Board of Auditors reported on the 2017 statements and draft 2018 statements, noting issues of outstanding contributions, long-term employee benefit liabilities, and compliance. Parties agreed to consider this item in the budget contact group.

Annual report: The SBI took note of the 2nd annual report for 2018 and its summary (FCCC/SBI/2019/8).

Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement: The SBI heard an update on the facility developments presented by Nicole Wilke (Germany).

The following items were referred to informal consultations:

  • Reporting from and Review of Annex I Parties: Compilations and syntheses of second and third biennial reports from Annex I parties; report on national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory data from Annex I parties for 1990–2016; revision of the “Guidelines for the preparation of national communications by Annex I Parties, part II: UNFCCC reporting guidelines on national communications”;
  • Reporting from Non-Annex I Parties: Terms of reference of the Consultative Group of Experts; summary reports on the technical analysis of biennial update reports of non-Annex I parties;
  • Common time frames for nationally determined contributions (NDCs);
  • Review of the modalities and procedures for the CDM;
  • Scope of the next periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention and of overall progress towards achieving it;
  • Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture;
  • Terms of reference for the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM);
  • Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer;
  • Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund: membership of the Adaptation Fund Board;
  • Matters relating to capacity building for developing countries;
  • Terms of reference for the review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention;
  • Gender and climate change.

The SBI referred the following agenda items to contact groups:

  • Matters relating to the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures serving the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement;
  • Arrangements for intergovernmental meetings.


Pointing to an image of the Keeling Curve, which shows rising CO2 concentrations, SBSTA Chair Paul Watkinson (France) underscored the need for further action.

Organizational Matters: Chair Watkinson noted agreement in informal consultations to consider the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C without pre-judging the substantive outcome of the discussions at this session. Parties adopted the agenda and organization of work. Chair Watkinson outlined the mandated and special events for this session.

Matters relating to the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures: Albara Tawfiq (Saudi Arabia), Co-Chair of the KCI reported from its first meeting, and SBSTA established a contact group to be held jointly with SBI.

Matters Relating to Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms: Procedures, mechanisms and institutional arrangements for appeals against decisions of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board: The SBI agreed to defer consideration of this item to SBI 52.

Methodological issues under the Paris Agreement: The SBSTA agreed to consider all sub-items of this item together in a contact group.

Matters relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (Cooperative Approaches): The SBSTA agreed to consider the three sub-items together in a contact group.

Cooperation with other international organizations: Chair Watkinson noted a Secretariat report to share information on cooperative activities and special event on interagency activities on Tuesday, June 18.

The following items were referred to consultations:

  • Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation;
  • Terms of reference for the 2019 review of the WIM;
  • Koronivia joint work on agriculture;
  • Matters relating to science and review: Scope of the next periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention and of overall progress towards achieving it; Research and systematic observation; IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C; and
  • Training programme for review experts for the technical review of GHG inventories for Annex I parties.

SBSTA Chair Watkinson then invited statements from international organizations.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC) noted 2019 is a “busy year” that includes revising the guidelines to its methodology used by governments to estimate their GHG emissions and removals, and two special reports

WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO) reported recent findings that show record warming, a continued upward trend of the GHGs, and increases in rate of sea level rise in 2018.

WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAM highlighted progress achieved in coordinating climate research and remaining challenges, including the need to enhance monitoring capacity and improve prediction of extremes to enhance emergency planning.

GLOBAL CLIMATE OBSERVING SYSTEM (GCOS) reported from its regional and steering committee meetings, and its task teams, including the team on terrestrial observations of the impacts of climate variability that is discussing, inter alia, observed changes in distribution and phenology of the terrestrial biosphere.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION (IOC) welcomed the theme of the research dialogue devoted to oceans and highlighted the IOC’s platform on ocean and carbon research.

EUROPEAN ORGANISATION FOR THE EXPLOITATION OF METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITES (EUMETSAT) outlined how space agencies can help inform SBSTA’s work, including through a web-based inventory of essential climate variables observable from space.

The INTERGOVERNMENTAL SCIENCE-POLICY PLATFORM ON BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES (IPBES) reported findings from the 2019 Global Assessment, including that large-scale deployment of bioenergy represents a threat to biodiversity because it converts habitats.

UN-OCEANS underscored that the impacts of global warming and sea level rise are becoming more evident, and highlighted the UN decade on ocean sciences starting in 2021 as a key platform to advance knowledge, inform policy, and identify solutions.

The INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION reported actions to further its strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, including amendments to rules related to ships’ energy efficiency.

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture Workshop: The second Workshop of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA), co-facilitated by Milagros Sandoval (Peru) and Heikki Granholm (Finland), began by considering methods and approaches for assessing adaptation, adaptation co-benefits, and resilience.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stressed the need for coherence and consistency in implementing and measuring adaptation approaches to ensure food security. He recapitulated the FAO’s work on the KJWA, including developing adaptation indicators to be used locally and nationally.

The Adaptation Committee gave an overview of the Committee’s monitoring and evaluation practices for adaptation and their interaction with national adaptation frameworks, stressing the challenge of aggregating national-level adaptation assessments to assess collective progress.

The LEG presented its work on linking NAPs to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Cautioning against “letting the perfect be the enemy of the good” in adaptation practice, the World Bank described its methodologies for assessing climate risk and measuring adaptation co-benefits and resilience in an agricultural context.

In questions and discussions, participants exchanged views on adaptation strategies for food security and climate change resilience. Several countries later presented their work.

Methodological Issues under the Paris Agreement: Co-Chair Helen Plume (New Zealand) opened the contact group.

The G-77/CHINA identified two principles to inform work, namely, avoiding undue burden on developing countries, and recognizing the importance of capacity building.

The EIG, with AOSIS, called for a “faithful” translation of the MPGs adopted in Katowice into common reporting products.

Brazil, for Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, with AILAC, stressed the importance of self-determined flexibility provisions, and interlinkages across SBSTA items on this issue.

EU urged respecting the guiding principles. The US, AUSTRALIA, and JAPAN urged building on existing experience. The ARAB GROUP called for a discussion on the framework and basic principles.

The AFRICAN GROUP called for a transitional process on reporting.

Many parties highlighted the importance of comparable information, varying legal obligations within the MPGs, and the need to avoid renegotiation.

Parties agreed that work under the sub-items of this agenda item will take place in informal consultations, with the Co-Chairs producing a non-paper, under their authority, to capture progress.

Opening Statements

Palestine, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed the importance of mobilizing support for adaptation and called for progress on means of implementation, including the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). He urged progress on, inter alia: Article 6; technology transfer; capacity building; and common time frames.

Switzerland for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP (EIG) stressed the need to establish robust rules, avoid double counting, and ensure environmental integrity in Article 6. He stated that common time frames should be agreed upon at COP 25 and highlighted discussions on the Adaptation Fund Board membership and the budget.

Underscoring that credible markets facilitate investments, Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, called for moving forward on Article 6 in line with the Paris Agreement mandate, focusing on key elements for a decision at COP 25.

The EU supported, inter alia, the collective mobilization of the USD 100 billion finance goal by 2020 and engagement with non-party stakeholders and youth.

Iran, for LIKE-MINDED GROUP OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), called for reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) in all work areas and equal treatment of adaptation and mitigation. He called for flexibility in common time frames, and no participation restrictions in Article 6 based on NDC type.

Belize, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), urged completion of work related to the transparency framework without renegotiating the agreement reached at COP 24 and for developing a robust terms of reference for the WIM review.

Egypt, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said there is a need for a reality check in relation to support provided, and expressed concern of the absence of adaptation on the agendas. He said that the COP should have authority over the WIM.

Bhutan, for the LDCs, said the WIM should be under both the COP and CMA and called for robust rules for markets under Article 6. She expressed concern over the limited progress in matters relating to LDCs.

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, called for response measures that avoid negative socio-economic impacts. She said all parties should be able to participate in cooperative approaches if they choose, and that Article 6 should reflect the bottom-up nature of NDCs.

Costa Rica, for the INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (AILAC), called for concrete results on common time frames, the scope of the next periodic review, and the WIM review.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS, drew attention to the need for implementation and facilitation of REDD+ processes, including REDD+ focal point meetings.

Calling attention to adaptation and implementation in transparency mechanisms, Brazil, for BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA, and CHINA (BASIC), emphasized CBDR and stressed that developed countries must “take the lead” in funding flows.

Venezuela, for the BOLIVIAN ALLIANCE FOR THE AMERICAS (ALBA), called for the expansion of financial flows “without discrimination.”

Argentina, for ARGENTINA, URUGUAY and BRAZIL, highlighted the IPCC’s finding that lack of sufficient financial resources and technology hamper climate action in developing countries. She stressed that the GCF replenishment must be considerable.

CHINA stressed the need to move to substantive negotiations on Article 6 and noted the budget situation.

UKRAINE objected to the inclusion of emissions and other data from Crimea in the Russian Federation’s national reports and called for this to be removed. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said it complied with the obligation to provide information on its territory in its entirety. The US and CANADA rejected the Russian Federation’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea.

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK called for an additional finance stream to adequately address loss and damage and the needs of the most vulnerable communities.

CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! urged adoption of a conflict of interest policy to prevent obstruction from fossil fuel lobbies.

FARMERS emphasized that transformative change in the agricultural sector requires scaling-up finance, innovation and technology transfer, and putting livelihoods of women and future farmers at the center.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ ORGANIZATIONS highlighted findings that over 2 billion hectares of land globally are degraded due to climate change, and stressed the effects on indigenous peoples’ lands in particular.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES called for mechanisms that enable early stage projects and build capacity and a focus on adaption and e-transportation.

RESEARCH AND INDEPENDENT NGOs urged parties to consider the IPCC report in a way that strengthens the role of science in the UNFCCC.

WOMEN AND GENDER called for action that is gender-responsive, people-centered, and promotes inter-generational justice.

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY NGOs stressed the need for strong and coherent long-term policies and significant progress on Article 6 to unlock needed investments.

YOUTH NGOs called for bold action, for all parties to have five-year timeframes, and for a conflict of interest policy.

In the Corridors

Sunshine and warm feelings were met with urgency and terse discussions as delegates entered the World Conference Centre. The SBSTA averted an agenda fight, and a delay of its work, through a “gentlemen’s agreement” that Rule 16 would not apply to consideration of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C and that consideration of the report would not necessarily lead to substantive outcomes. Several delegates expressed acute awareness that no time could be wasted regarding negotiations on the operational guidance for Paris Agreement’s Article 6, given the considerable work and limited negotiation time before the COP 25 deadline.

Throughout the day, many spoke of “reality checks,” from the swooping carbon concentrations of the Keeling curve looming over that morning’s SBSTA plenary to the 3-degree future of current NDC ambition, to the diminished GEF allocation to climate change funding. For many, the urgency and complexity of discussions lying ahead means that, perhaps, success will hinge on securing a limited number of clear options.

Further information