Daily report for 21 October 2015

Bonn Climate Change Conference - October 2015

On Wednesday, 21 October, ADP 2-11 continued. In the morning, an open-ended contact group took stock of progress and discussed items not covered in spin-off groups, including definitions (Article 1) and decision text. Spin-off groups convened throughout the day to address: transparency of action and support; adaptation, and loss and damage; finance; workstream 2; preamble and purpose/general; compliance and final clauses; and global stocktake. The contact group convened to assess progress in the evening. 


In the morning, ADP Co-Chair Ahmed Djoghlaf (Algeria) opened the stocktaking, which heard reports from Tuesday’s spin-off groups on: technology development and transfer, and capacity building; workstream 2; mitigation; and finance.

For the COP 21/CMP 11 Presidency, Laurence Tubiana, France, expressed concern with the progress of the spin-off groups, reminding delegates that “there is no plan B.”

Considering the mode of work, parties agreed to a G-77/China proposal to mandate co-facilitators to streamline the text and identify options for parties to consider, and to postpone the mitigation spin-off group to enable the G-77/China to coordinate.

ITEMS NOT COVERED IN SPIN-OFFS: On definitions (Article 1), parties said discussions are premature and registered concerns about terms inserted in the text. The US, BRAZIL, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and BOLIVIA opposed including definitions of “REDD+” and, with Malaysia, for the LMDCs, of “climate forcers.”

Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, requested a placeholder for the definition of “climate finance.” BOLIVIA proposed defining a mechanism for the implementation of joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral sustainable management of forests as an alternative to REDD+.

Parties also discussed differences on the categorization of parties through annexes or other criteria.

On the draft decision text, Sudan, for the AFRICAN GROUP, suggested brackets around “Agreement” to avoid prejudging the Paris outcome. CHINA proposed a new title: “Paris implementing agreement under the UNFCCC.”

On establishing an intergovernmental preparatory committee, a number of parties expressed concern and suggested using existing bodies.

On INDCs, the EU proposed a placeholder for updating commitments before entry into force and suggested text to ensure no backsliding.

Guatemala, for AILAC, lamented the gap between INDCs’ aggregate effect and the levels of emission reductions needed to stay within the 1.5°/2°C goal. BOLIVIA suggested changes to clarify that contributions are not only mitigation-related.

China, for the LMDCs, added that finance, technology and capacity-building support should be communicated by developed country parties in their INDCs. The US said the content of NDCs is being negotiated elsewhere.

With no comments on the remaining paragraphs, ADP Co-Chair Djoghlaf announced the first reading had been completed.

EVENING STOCKTAKING: In the evening, ADP Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder (US) opened the session. Parties agreed to establish a spin-off group on the global stocktake (Article 10). Following updates by spin-off group co-facilitators, ADP Co-Chair Reifsnyder noted uneven progress across groups and hoped that those groups making more progress would inspire action in others.

Parties clarified that co-facilitators would undertake streamlining and identification of options for Thursday. 

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed progress in spin-off groups is well below expectations. He called for substantive text-based negotiations, rather than a simple compilation of text. Maldives, for AOSIS, also expressed concern over the pace of work.

Malaysia, for the LMDCs, said their introduction of general (Article 2bis) was a bridging proposal to remove text from other sections, he asked for the co-facilitators in other spin-off groups to keep this article in mind. The EU called for addressing each element of 2bis under its substantive home.


ADAPTATION, AND LOSS AND DAMAGE: This spin-off group convened in the morning, co-facilitated by Andrea Guerrero (Colombia) and Georg Børsting (Norway).

On a global goal/long-term vision (paragraph 1) for adaptation (Article 4), parties agreed to remove brackets around “enhancing adaptive capacity.” One party queried the rationale for including language on “particularly vulnerable” developing countries in multiple places in the text. Parties agreed to consult bilaterally on duplications.

On the links between the level of mitigation and adaptation (paragraph 2), text was added on the resilience of people and livelihoods to abrupt climate change, mitigation efforts “in line with the provisions/principles of the Convention,” and the necessity of adaptation regardless of mitigation.

On human rights and gender responsiveness of adaptation (paragraph 3), delegates considered various textual proposals, and agreed to engage bilaterally to resolve differences.

One group noted that delegates should not insert language into others’ proposals, unless they fully embrace them, proposing that if insertions were made, they be included as an additional option. Several said this would not move the process forward. Co-Facilitator Guerrero called for a give-and-take of ideas to reach consensus and invited parties to engage bilaterally on their proposals.

On loss and damage (Article 5), delegates agreed to delete a paragraph on international cooperation and solidarity, and to consider the decision text at the next spin-off group.

TRANSPARENCY: In the morning, this spin-off group, co-facilitated by Fook Seng Kwok (Singapore) and Franz Perrez (Switzerland), began considering omissions and then discussed the text paragraph-by-paragraph.

On establishing or framing transparency (paragraph 1), parties considered the options, with disagreement on the treatment of differentiation and whether to emphasize bifurcation.

Some suggested that robustness was the key issue. One party proposed inserting text on a transition period for developing countries. Several parties expressed concern about a defined timescale, since transition is already built into the general framework and timescales are likely to be different for various parties.

Views diverged on the content of the paragraph, with some requesting a brief and simple paragraph and others calling for principles and greater substance. Parties agreed to consult informally to present two clear options for paragraph 1.

On the purpose of the transparency system (paragraph 2), parties noted the need to define the logic of the paragraph, with essential concepts including: emissions and removals; progress in both mitigation and adaptation; assessment and review; and comparability. One party noted the need to emphasize resilience.

Parties disagreed on whether to have separate sections on action and support, with Co-Facilitator Kwok encouraging consideration of links between transparency and global stocktake. Some pointed to differences between adaptation and mitigation, noting MRV of each is differently understood. Parties agreed to “light treatment” of the paragraph by the co-facilitators, based on the discussions.

PREAMBLE AND PURPOSE/GENERAL: The spin-off group co-facilitated by George Wamukoya (Kenya) and Aya Yoshida (Japan) convened in the afternoon.

On the preamble, some parties suggested new text on, inter alia, “sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption,” and “the importance of promoting social and economic development.”

Others suggested integrating existing text on: human rights; the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities; and the special needs and circumstances of developing countries. Several parties expressed concern with the mode of work, lamenting “we are still compiling text.”

On purpose (Article 2), additions to the text were suggested on, inter alia: long-term goal; sustainable development; response measures; furthering the objective of the Convention; and national circumstances. Several supported rethinking the logic of the article to clearly and succinctly express the purpose of the agreement. Others proposed removing it entirely, stating each section will address purpose individually.

On general (Article 2bis), views diverged between those considering it an essential, separate section; and those that felt the section is not necessary and overlaps with discussions in other spin-off groups. One party highlighted nationally-determined time periods for NDCs, as opposed to an internationally-set timeframe.

Another emphasized the need to refer to INDCs, since developing country actions are dependent upon MOI. One party suggested a universal legal obligation applicable to all parties that join the agreement.

Brazil agreed to facilitate informal consultations on the streamlining of Article 2 and to report back to the spin-off group.

FINANCE: The afternoon spin-off group was co-facilitated by Georg Børsting (Norway) and Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda). Reporting back on informal discussions, Co-Facilitator Black-Layne said parties made some progress streamlining text on institutional arrangements and considered clarifying ex ante communication.

Parties then addressed agreement text on sources, scale and thematic balance of support.

On sources, parties made textual suggestions and considered merging paragraphs containing ideas on the desirability of a variety of sources and on public funds being distinct from official development assistance and the main source of financing.

On scale, parties clarified different ideas in two paragraphs, 5 and 5bis, containing the institutional idea of recognizing the GCF, as well as the scaling-up of climate finance. Preferring language that shows a progression of efforts, one party opposed fixed numbers in “a dynamic agreement.”

On balancing support to adaptation and mitigation, parties considered paragraphs 6 and 6bis. One group of parties stressed the importance of retaining language on the fifty-fifty allocation and a needs-based approach. Noting that need-based support changes over time, another party said fixed numerical allocations could pose difficulties.

Parties continued considering various paragraphs, making textual suggestions, clarifying ideas and merging options. Paragraph 12 on a high-level segment on climate finance was deleted.

Informal discussions continued Wednesday evening. A new iteration of the text to be presented Thursday will capture discussions and suggest further streamlining.

WORKSTREAM 2: In the afternoon, Co-Facilitator Aya Yoshida (Japan) introduced Juan Hoffmaister (Bolivia), Adaptation Committee Co-Chair, who presented on the Committee’s mandate, activities and results achieved.

Parties posed questions to Hoffmaister on: how the Committee provides technical support and guidance; gaps to be filled; the utility of a bottom-up approach; whether the Committee carries out activities similar to the Technical Expert Meetings; and whether its mandate includes assessment of enhancing adaptation activities.

Moving to the proposed adaptation TEP (paragraphs 34-39), many developed countries opposed addressing adaptation under workstream 2, calling for: using existing resources and institutions effectively, such as the CTCN, LDC Expert Group and Adaptation Committee; considering elements of the proposed TEP in discussions on workstream 1 decision text; and encouraging engagement by countries on adaptation agenda items in other bodies.

Developing country parties emphasized the “crucial” nature of adaptation, noting: the need to inject a sense of urgency; the workstream 2 mandate mentions adaptation co-benefits; adaptation is a matter of survival for them and deserves parity with mitigation; and a need for high-level engagement.

Presenting a streamlining proposal, one group of parties explained that the adaptation TEP would avoid duplicating other efforts under the Convention and create linkages and coherence.

Co-Facilitator Yoshida encouraged parties to “go offline and talk” to create proposals for streamlining and consolidating the text.


On Wednesday morning the mood at ADP 2-11 was decidedly gloomy, with many delegates bemoaning the lack of progress on negotiating text. Anxiety became palpable in the morning stocktaking contact group, where delegates were reprimanded for the lack of progress so far and warned that “there will be no miracle.”

During lunch, some delegates expressed frustration about the lecture-like nature of some spin-off groups, suggesting “they prevent rather than assist” direct engagement among parties, while other groups congratulated themselves on constructive conversations and willingness to engage in “dynamic offline discussions.” Equipped with “homework” from the spin-off groups, one seasoned observer expressed hope that parties would be able to begin converging on issues and crystalize options where fundamental differences remain.

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