Daily report for 24 May 2016

Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2016

On Tuesday, the Bonn Climate Change Conference continued with the APA meeting in open-ended informal consultations throughout the day. A TEM on enhancing the implementation of adaptation action convened in the morning and early afternoon. Informal consultations under the SBI and SBSTA met throughout the day.


FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE MITIGATION SECTION OF DECISION 1/CP.21: Co-Chair Jo Tyndall encouraged parties to focus on: whether and how the features and information on NDCs should be tailored to the type of NDCs or on some other basis, and lessons from INDCs; and whether and how the existing guidance on accounting should be taken into account, and the required level of detail.

On guidance in general, many countries called for reflecting the diversity of NDCs with some guidance common to all NDCs and some guidance specific to types of NDCs. Many stressed the aim is to enhance understanding of NDCs, including for tracking progress towards individual and collective goals.

MEXICO called for comprehensive guidance. BRAZIL suggested a general basis, with layers of detail depending on the kind of NDC or the purpose of the information provided. Noting differences in capacities and capabilities, China, for the LMDCs, opposed by the US, called for differentiation between developed and developing countries.

On features, many countries cautioned against prescriptive guidance. The LMDCs said guidance is already defined in the Paris Agreement, identifying both common and differentiated elements. The EU, SOUTH AFRICA and AUSTRALIA stressed the quantifiability of NDCs.

On types of mitigation NDCs requiring tailored guidance, countries suggested, inter alia, economy-wide emission reduction/limitation targets, deviations from business-as-usual, intensity and sectoral targets, and low-emission development strategies, plans and actions.

On information, Maldives, for AOSIS, stressed supporting improved quality of information over time, calling for full operationalization of capacity building for transparency. NORWAY stressed the need for clarity on the role of the land sector and markets. CANADA identified the need for a focus on enhancing information on baselines and projections. AUSTRALIA called for submissions.

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, stressed clarity, transparency and understanding as the main criteria, and noted his country’s INDC is centered on adaptation and economic diversification with mitigation co-benefits. Kuwait, for the G-77/CHINA, noted that, for many, the NDCs include mitigation, adaptation and other elements.

On lessons from INDCs, SWITZERLAND, the EU and NORWAY proposed drawing from the Lima guidance on INDCs. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA called for analyzing existing INDCs. VIET NAM called for future NDCs to reflect lessons learned.

On accounting, many countries called for building on the Paris Agreement, the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and stressed the principles of environmental integrity and avoidance of double counting.

Kenya, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for guidance that addresses the diversity of NDCs, and is voluntary and not prescriptive. The LMDCs called for general principles rather than detailed operational procedures or modalities.

BRAZIL, with GRENADA, suggested conceptual clarity around “accounting,” with BRAZIL stressing work should focus on tracking progress, not counting units.

NEW ZEALAND called for submissions on accounting guidance focused on: principles and norms to safeguard environmental integrity; drawing from existing approaches; and how to accommodate all NDCs.

FURTHER GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO THE ADAPTATION COMMUNICATIONS, INCLUDING, INTER ALIA, AS A COMPONENT OF NDCS, REFERRED TO IN PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLES 7.10 AND 7.11: Co-Chair Sarah Baashan invited parties to discuss: what adaptation communications seek to achieve, especially in light of linkages with other issues and what scope of guidance needed; and how balance be achieved between the need for both flexibility and guidance for adaptation communications.

On what adaptation communications seek to achieve and scope, many parties stated that adaptation communications should share national practices and experiences. Uruguay, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted the role of adaptation communications in: communicating needs, priorities and plans in catalyzing action and support; achieving parity with mitigation; and assisting developing countries in achieving the global goal on adaptation.

Botswana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and Jamaica, for AOSIS, emphasized the role of adaptation communications in assessing scale of needs and supporting an effective global stocktake. INDONESIA, with HAITI, urged viewing the global stocktake as an opportunity to help increase adaptation ambition. ARGENTINA said adequacy of support is also an important component of the global stocktake.

The LDCs and Colombia, for AILAC, said adaptation communications should clarify needs and priorities. NORWAY said adaptation communications are “just one part of the picture” for adaptation support.

The US highlighted the role of adaptation communications in maintaining the high profile for adaptation achieved in the Paris Agreement and proposed using adaptation communications as “high-level summaries” of lessons learned.

SWITZERLAND noted that adaptation communications should be based on national planning and have buy-in. The EU recommended the inclusion of backward- and forward-looking elements. INDIA cautioned against conflating adaptation planning and action with communication. Ecuador, for the LMDCs, stressed maintaining a differentiated approach for adaptation communications.

AUSTRALIA saw adaptation communications as a vehicle for disseminating information on implementation progress, gaps, challenges and lessons learned, while cautioning against duplicating work under other Convention bodies. JAPAN called for clarity on the relationship between the process of recognizing efforts of developing countries and communications guidance.

EL SALVADOR emphasized that the communications and global stocktake should guard against backsliding and be guided by science and equity.

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, said the communications should show how parties are contributing to the global goal on adaptation, without being punitive.

On balance, many parties emphasized the need to maintain flexibility while minimizing additional burdens on developing countries.

Uruguay, for the G-77/CHINA, noted the need for flexibility in accordance with provisions of Paris Agreement Article 7 (adaptation), including on vehicles for communication.

The AFRICAN GROUP called for “common minimum guidance” regardless of the vehicle of communication used. AOSIS called for maintaining flexibility in adaptation reporting modalities. INDIA said guidance must be simple, bottom-up and country driven. ARGENTINA called for preserving flexibility while recognizing that identifying guidance would make the process more efficient. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA supported common minimum elements.

The US suggested including: overview of a country’s decision-making process, information on priorities and actions; adaptation activities for the near future; and needs for support.

The LDCs noted the linkage between the global stocktake and transparency, with adaptation communications as a source of input. INDONESIA supported parallel development of modalities, procedures and guidelines with those of the global stocktake and transparency.

JAPAN emphasized that a new type of communication is unnecessary, given the existence of NDCs, NAPs and National Communications, and suggested the guidance could recommend items to be included without making them mandatory.

The LMDCs said balance could be maintained by respecting the voluntary and discretionary nature of adaptation communications.

NORWAY urged sufficient detail to enable tracking of progress towards the global goal. MEXICO called for an ecosystem-based approach.

AILAC recommended, given the number of INDCs with adaptation components, requesting the Secretariat to develop a technical paper that distills their common elements.

MODALITIES, PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR THE TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION AND SUPPORT REFERRED TO IN PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 13: Co-Chair Tyndall invited parties to discuss: experiences and lessons learned from existing MRV, and how these provide basis for an enhanced transparency framework on action and support; and what constitutes flexibility for developing countries, and how it could be applied through modalities, procedures and guidelines to ensure full and effective participation.

On experiences and lessons, South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said that starting to report on a regular basis is more important than reporting in a transparent manner. He suggested that, in developing modalities, all parties need to take into account, inter alia: flexibility; capacity-building needs; and, with BRAZIL, interlinkages with other relevant Paris Agreement articles. The US, supported by NORWAY, emphasized that reporting and review are an opportunity to build capacity.

Peru, for AILAC, suggested that experiences from REDD+ can be useful in establishing baselines and noted that REDD+ guidelines will not be superseded by modalities, procedures and guidelines of the transparency framework.

JAPAN, CANADA, NORWAY and others identified the FSV as being instructive of capacity gaps and challenges. BRAZIL said one of the lessons of the FSV is that more general guidance is not synonymous to flexibility, but that detailed guidance could be more helpful for implementation and review.

MEXICO suggested entrusting the Adaptation Committee and the LEG on the technical work on adaptation, and called attention to the need for guidance on transparency of support. IRAN emphasized the need for preparation of comprehensive reports on MOI and mobilization of support to developing countries.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the LDCs, called for clear guidelines on what should be measured, verified and accounted for in the MRV system, and for an agreed operational definition of climate finance.

SAINT LUCIA called for, inter alia, common reporting formats and the use of common IPCC guidelines and metrics.

On flexibility, many parties supported using the principle of continuous improvement over time in the design of the transparency framework. Maldives, for AOSIS, stressed ensuring that parties’ capacities improve over time. NEW ZEALAND suggested learning from the use of the tiered approach of the IPCC.

India, for the LMDCs, emphasizing the differentiated nature of the transparency framework, called for operationalizing differentiation and the principle of CBDRRC and systematically integrating flexibility into the modalities, procedures and guidelines. SAUDI ARABIA identified two layers of flexibility: systematic application; and flexibility embedded in current guidelines.

The EU and NORWAY opposed applying flexibility at a general level. The US said flexibility could only be discussed in the context of common procedures, and, with NORWAY, that it depends on each country’s capacity. AUSTRALIA and the EU supported extending flexibility to the LDCs and SIDS.

The AFRICAN GROUP stressed, inter alia, the political will of developing countries to participate effectively in the transparency framework.

On the mode of work, many parties supported focused submissions. CANADA proposed launching technical work in Marrakech. JAPAN called for a work programme. SAUDI ARABIA opposed submissions at this stage and suggested working in a contact group or informal sessions.

MATTERS RELATING TO THE GLOBAL STOCKTAKE REFERRED TO IN PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 14: Co-Chair Baashan invited parties to discuss: inputs to the global stocktake; how the global stocktake will be conducted, keeping in mind the need for simplicity, relevance, ownership and inclusiveness; and the relationship, if any, between the global stocktake and the 2018 facilitative dialogue.

On inputs to the global stocktake, many parties mentioned the reports: of the IPCC; the constituted bodies under the Convention; and the subsidiary bodies. Many also noted that inputs would vary for mitigation, adaptation and MOI.

Colombia, for AILAC, proposed linking the global stocktake with the IPCC’s assessment cycle. GRENADA mentioned regional information. INDONESIA, JAPAN, NORWAY and NEW ZEALAND called for considering non-state actors’ inputs.

Kuwait, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted overall assessments of NDCs and information on mobilization of support. JAPAN pointed to information from the GEF and GCF. The EU and SWITZERLAND referred to the transparency framework outputs. INDIA, ARGENTINA and NORWAY called for including the state of adaptation support. BRAZIL urged consideration of inputs that would be necessary to assess equity in the global stocktake.

Jordan, for the LMDCs, suggested submissions on information in addition to that listed in Decision 1/CP.21 (the Paris outcome).

On how to conduct the global stocktake, the EU said form should flow from function, calling for a balanced process tailored to the different nature of mitigation, adaptation and MOI.

Botswana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, and INDONESIA said information should be made available with enough time for its consideration. The EU, GRENADA, NORWAY, NEW ZEALAND and VIET NAM, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, suggested separate technical and political processes.

Many countries, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, suggested learning from the SED on the 2013-2015 review. INDIA said the 2013-2015 review focused on assessment of mitigation efforts.

On output, GRENADA and Solomon Islands, for the LDCs, stressed the need for the global stocktake to conclude in 2023 to allow parties to take stock of its output in preparing their NDCs. The LMDCs suggested a summary report of a high-level roundtable issued after 2023. AILAC suggested the global stocktake output be considered by the CMA. CANADA and the EU suggested a high-level “political moment” in 2023.

INDIA supported submissions on the design of the global stocktake and a miscellaneous document by the Secretariat.

On the relationship between the global stocktake and the 2018 facilitative dialogue, there was general recognition that the facilitative dialogue and the global stocktake differ in scope, but that the latter could learn from the former. The LDCs said the dialogue provides an opportunity for parties to enhance ambition. INDIA stated that the dialogue should address how equity, sustainable development and poverty eradication efforts are considered in mitigation efforts. ARGENTINA suggested the dialogue look at the possible early into force of the Agreement.


AGRICULTURE: Parties considered draft conclusions intended to reflect the work accomplished at SBSTA 44, including: considering workshop reports; taking note of submissions from parties and observers; holding two in-session workshops; and agreeing to continue consideration of workshop reports at SBSTA 45. One group of developing countries proposed inserting “, recalling Article 9 of the Convention, on the basis of the objective, principles and provisions of the Convention,” in a paragraph indicating the SBSTA had continued its scientific and technical work as decided at SBSTA 40. Several developed countries opposed the insertion. The matter remains outstanding.

MATTERS RELATING TO SCIENCE AND REVIEW: Advice on how the assessments of the IPCC can inform the global stocktake: In informal consultations, two parties opposed a reference to: the SED on the 2013-2015 review in relation to learning from past experiences; the SBSTA Chair’s report on the special SBSTA-IPCC event held at this session; and the encouragement, adopted at COP 21, to the scientific community to address research gaps, including on 1.5°C scenarios. Parties agreed to refer to the 2013-2015 review in a footnote and to the “exchange of information” at the special event. Parties did not reach agreement on reference to the encouragement to the scientific community and consulted in informal informals in the evening.

REVIEW OF THE MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE CDM: In informal consultations, parties reviewed the draft conclusions proposed by the co-facilitators, taking into account the diversity of views heard at the last consultation. In general, parties appreciated the balance and compromises offered in the text. However, views diverged on whether to include direct links to party submissions in a footnote, with some advocating deleting the links. One party asked for clearer, more direct ways of finding the submissions, noting that the changes to the modalities and procedures that some parties feel are needed are not in the conclusions but can be found in these submissions. Parties agreed to the co-facilitators’ original formulation with links to the submissions.


MODALITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION AND USE OF A PUBLIC REGISTRY REFERRED TO IN PARIS AGREEMENT ARTICLE 4.12 (NDC REGISTRY): In informal consultations on the draft conclusions, discussions focused on paragraphs: taking note of views expressed by parties on this item at SBI 44; and noting linkages of the work on the registry to issues under two SBI and APA agenda items.

After lengthy discussions, parties agreed to delete the paragraph on linkages, and add a reference to linkages “to agenda item 6 of the SBI and to the APA” in the paragraph on taking note of parties’ views.

Parties also decided to add text acknowledging that “the Secretariat will continue to improve, as appropriate, the interim registry.”

Two parties were unable to agree whether to refer to “the” or “a” public registry in a draft paragraph. Co-Facilitator Madeleine Diouf Sarr (Senegal) encouraged the parties to consult on the matter, and said a final proposal on the draft conclusions would be presented to the SBI closing plenary.

GENDER: In informal consultations to discuss draft conclusions, some countries, opposed by others, proposed removing a reference to insufficiency of funding for the Lima work programme. One country suggested adding references to “subject to national circumstances,” and removing references to preparing, at SBI 45, a draft decision for COP 22 and to inputs from parties annexed to the draft conclusions. Some suggested keeping the references to national circumstances and to the draft decision, without reference to the annex, as a compromise. Parties were unable to agree on these remaining issues. Co-Facilitator Martin Hession (EU) will report to the SBI Chair, with a view to securing additional time to reach agreement.


RESPONSE MEASURES: During morning informal consultations, parties considered the third version of the revised co-facilitators’ proposal of the work programme, including elements, timelines and deliverables. On sharing views and experiences including through case studies, one party opposed specification and preferred general reference to guidance from the Paris outcome decision. Similarly, while many parties agreed on inviting submissions, some preferred a more general framing on the scope of the submissions than others.

On hosting a workshop, some parties preferred an inter-sessional workshop. Concerned this could limit participation and have budgetary implications, others preferred an in-session workshop and/or a launch event at COP 22.

In the subsequent contact group, parties considered draft conclusions. SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow noted this item as important for many countries “entering economic transition and sustainable development.” SBSTA Chair Carlos Fuller welcomed the conclusion on the modalities, work programme and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum, and encouraged progress on the improved forum and work programme. Bahrain, for the G-77/CHINA, and South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said they consider conclusions for all sub-items together as a package. Parties then continued considering elements of the work programme. Discussions will continue.

TEM ON ADAPTATION: Enhancing the implementation of adaptation action: Farhana Yamin, Track 0 and Chatham House, moderated. On implementing adaptation, panelists highlighted the role of information systems, such as linking hydro-meteorological systems with other data systems and automatic weather stations that advise on which crops and practices to choose. Several panelists noted the need for governance systems to shift to a multi-sectoral perspective and focus on policy reforms, as well as to engage in multi-level governance and joint decision-making among stakeholders. A speaker stressed engagement with the private sector, with another emphasizing the need to design new, climate-resilient business models. Many highlighted taking a contextual approach, including landscape planning.

Discussions focused on the risk of maladaptation, with participants highlighting building in flood-prone areas, planting cash crops that are sensitive to both climate change and market forces, and depleting aquifers to increase food security in the short term. Participants underscored that climate change data and information need to be available and accessible to reduce maladaptation, and that technologies can assess risks and maximize efficiency of existing systems. Many underscored the availability of water as fundamental for adaptation and development.

Breakout groups then discussed provision of financial, technology and capacity-building support, and opportunities and options for accelerating the implementation of adaptation action. In the afternoon, participants discussed opportunities for accelerating implementation of adaptation action, including replicable good practices, support and partnerships.


With clouds hanging over the World Conference Center Bonn on Tuesday, the grim weather seemed to seep into consultations as delegates tried to work through the outstanding agenda items before the Wednesday deadline set by the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies. Tensions persisted: one delegate expressed frustrations that some parties were “cherry picking” which aspects of the Paris Agreement to dig into, while another said old positions still loomed, slowing technical work.

With well-known entrenched positions re-emerging, including on the science-policy interface, one delegate worried that if progress did not accelerate at SB 44, “one year will have passed without work since Paris” when parties come together again in Marrakech. Others disagreed, recognizing that calls emerging from the informal consultations for technical papers, workshops, submissions, dialogues and stakeholder actions signaled for important work to be expected in preparation for and during

COP 22.

Late in the day, observers welcomed a special event by the French and Moroccan Presidencies on the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, grateful that “loss and damage had not completely disappeared from this session.” With an abundance of examples from NGOs and IGOs on how they are supporting resilience, insurance, risk management, gender responsiveness and much more, participants left the room feeling upbeat about the range of solutions being advanced by non-state actors. However, those non-state actors left the meeting still seeking clarity on how COP 22 will address this important issue.

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