Daily report for 9 June 2009
Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009
In the morning, the AWG-LCA met in an informal plenary. Throughout the day, various contact groups and informal consultations took place under the AWG-KP, SBI and SBSTA.
AWG-LCA INFORMAL PLENARY
The AWG-LCA informal plenary began with a tribute to Omar Bongo, President of Gabon. The African Group, the G-77/China and AWG-LCA Chair Zammit Cutajar highlighted his work in the global environmental arena and expressed their condolences to the people and delegation of Gabon. Delegates observed a minute of silence.
ADAPTATION: On the draft negotiating text, AWG-LCA Chair Zammit Cutajar introduced the revised chapter on adaptation, which, inter alia, incorporates new textual proposals received from parties and includes brackets around text that parties proposed to delete during the first reading.
The second consideration of the text on adaptation then commenced. Some parties proposed detailed additions and corrections to the text to ensure that their views are properly reflected. AWG-LCA Chair Zammit Cutajar encouraged parties to e-mail their detailed corrections to the Secretariat. He said he would consult informally to discuss the way forward on the text, and reminded delegates to submit their textual proposals on technology and capacity building for further discussion during an informal plenary scheduled for Wednesday morning.
CONTACT GROUPS AND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
ANNEX I EMISSION REDUCTIONS (AWG-KP): Parties met informally in the morning and afternoon to discuss Annex I parties’ emission reductions.
In the morning, discussions focused on individual targets and burden-sharing among Annex I parties. Delegates identified elements that should be taken into account when determining parties’ individual targets. The criteria considered included: capability; mitigation potential; past and current achievements and actions taken; population trends; compliance costs; relative wealth of countries; and historical and current responsibility for emissions.
Some Annex I parties underscored that setting individual country targets cannot be done pursuant to a specific formula, with some saying this should be a political decision made through negotiations culminating in Copenhagen. Another party highlighted the need to decide on LULUCF rules beyond the first commitment period. Several parties also highlighted the need to take an iterative approach and encouraged links between AWG-KP and AWG-LCA discussions.
Many developing countries emphasized the need to set targets based on science. They urged agreement on an aggregate range of emission reductions, which should then be shared among Annex I parties using specific criteria, including countries’ responsibilities and capacities. Several developing countries highlighted that the aggregate range calculated based on the pledges made by Annex I parties so far falls below the scale of emission reductions required by science, and proposed adoption of a criteria-based approach, which would inform numbers that can then be agreed upon. One developing country party pointed out that the bottom-up approach of setting individual targets has not worked previously.
Informal consultations continued in the afternoon and evening, based on a Co-Chairs’ non-paper. Issues discussed included: the status of the non-paper, and its relation to the negotiating text to be forwarded to COP/MOP 5 in accordance with the six-month rule; the appropriateness of inscribing in the document individual targets for Annex I parties other than the ones proposed by the parties themselves; the need to reflect discussions about the use of the flexibility mechanisms to meet Annex I parties’ targets; and mandate issues.
OTHER ISSUES (AWG-KP): The LULUCF spin-off group convened informally. Some developing countries, opposed by several developed countries, expressed concerns about the “complexity” of the Co-Chairs’ non-paper, and highlighted the need to focus discussions on targets and capping LULUCF sinks. One developing country suggested the possibility of a cap on forest management activities as opposed to a cap on LULUCF activities broadly. Some developed countries suggested further submissions of data to help evaluate the different proposals.
Describing the week’s informal discussions on natural disturbances, parties reported common elements with respect to definitions and triggers, and differences on the range of methods proposed to estimate or account for impacts of disturbances. Parties briefly discussed non-permanence, with some suggesting that this may be dealt with using a mix of the proposed methods.
POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES (AWG-KP): Parties met informally to continue discussing potential environmental, economic and social consequences of policies and measures available to Annex I parties to meet their commitments under the Protocol. They considered, inter alia: framing of work; vulnerability and ability to respond to the impacts of potential consequences; deepening understanding of potential consequences; methods of designing policies and measures to mitigate negative consequences; and use of technology to address potential consequences. Reporting issues were also raised, with some emphasizing use of non-Annex I national communications as a vehicle for conveying impacts and others calling for a new process to allow for a more frequent review of negative impacts.
LEGAL MATTERS (AWG-KP): During informal consultations, parties considered a streamlined proposal to simplify procedures for amending Protocol annexes. The text was forwarded back to the AWG-KP contact group on other issues. Several developing countries stated that work on the simplified amendment procedures fell outside the group’s mandate.
REDD (SBSTA): Parties convened in informal consultations and a contact group to consider draft SBSTA conclusions and a draft COP decision. On the draft SBSTA conclusions, parties agreed to language including both “reference emission levels” and “reference levels.”
On the draft COP decision, no agreement was reached during informal consultations. A contact group will convene on Wednesday to consider a proposal to forward the bracketed COP decision to SBSTA 31. Agreement was reached to include, in the title of the draft COP decision, reference to conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest stocks. Outstanding issues included, inter alia: language referring to use of IPCC guidance; reference to independent review of national forest monitoring systems; and issues to be accounted for when establishing reference levels.
NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS (SBI): Delegates met throughout the day in informal consultations and a contact group. During informal consultations, delegates discussed, inter alia, revised draft SBI conclusions on the provision of financial and technical support.
In the evening, a contact group briefly convened. Parties continued discussions on financial and technical support, and then moved on to discuss renewal of the CGE’s mandate. The US and the EU emphasized that the CGE should not be reconstituted with the same mandate and highlighted improvements made to the text in this regard. The G-77/CHINA emphasized their special interest in reconstituting the CGE, expressing preference to continue discussions based on the text negotiated during SBI 28. Informal consultations continued late into the evening.
FINANCIAL ISSUES (SBI): Delegates met in informal consultations throughout the afternoon and in a contact group in the evening. During the informal consultations, participants discussed a draft COP decision on the fourth review of the financial mechanism, which aimed to consolidate proposals put forward by parties. Much of the text remained bracketed. Parties also discussed draft conclusions on the assessment of the SCCF.
During the evening contact group, Co-Chair Fakir reported constructive informal discussions had taken place, but said outstanding issues remained concerning the draft COP decision. The Co-Chairs proposed, and parties agreed that consideration of the issue will continue at SBI 31, with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption by COP 15. They also agreed to annex the draft COP decision as it currently stands, with brackets in many paragraphs, to the SBI conclusions. The SBI conclusions also contain a bracketed paragraph recommending that COP 15 continue consideration of the issue in the event that the SBs do not take place during COP 15.
Regarding draft SBI conclusions on the assessment of the SCCF, Co-Chair Fakir noted that the entire text remains in brackets, pending further consultations.
CAPACITY BUILDING UNDER THE CONVENTION (SBI): Parties met in a contact group and informal consultations throughout the day, discussing draft SBI conclusions and a draft COP decision. Divergent views remained on most paragraphs in the draft COP decision. Discussions then focused on how to proceed with the group’s work. The main consideration was the need to complete the second comprehensive review of the capacity building framework at COP 15, as mandated by decision 2/CP.10 (capacity building for developing countries), and the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the next SBI session. The Co-Chairs proposed SBI conclusions with several alternatives with parties continuing to have divergent views.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS (SBI): Parties met informally to consider arrangements for intergovernmental meetings. Divergent views remained on issues, such as when the AWGs would report to the COP and COP/MOP plenaries in Copenhagen and arrangements for SB 31, with parties suggesting referring these matters to the COP Bureau for consideration.
PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES (SBI): Delegates considered the next steps to take forward bracketed text on privileges and immunities for individuals serving on constituted bodies under the Protocol. Some parties proposed that the SBI should take note of the work by the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP, including their consideration of proposals to establish new bodies and other entities possibly created under the post-2012 outcome. Other parties opposed linkages to the work of the AWGs and one party suggested forwarding the draft conclusions to SBI 31. Parties also considered an alternative formulation inviting the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA to consider the treaty arrangements in the event that SBI 31 is not held in conjunction with COP 15.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER (SBSTA/SBI): Parties met informally in the morning to discuss draft SBI and SBSTA conclusions. The outstanding issues included: instructions to the Secretariat regarding work to be carried out in preparation for the review of the effectiveness of the implementation of Convention Articles 4.1(c) and 4.5 (technology transfer); and reference to the draft report of the EGTT on performance indicators. Parties reached agreement on both and a contact group convened to agree on draft SBI and SBSTA conclusions.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Many delegates spent the bulk of the day in various informal consultations and contact groups, attempting to finish the SB agenda items before the closing plenaries scheduled for Wednesday. While some groups reached agreement on how to conclude their work earlier in the day, other issues required longer consideration. Discussions on issues such as REDD and non-Annex I national communications stretched into the evening. “Seems like I'll be missing tonight’s buffet reception in honor of the Lady Mayor of Bonn,” sighed one delegate. The REDD discussions culminated later in heavily bracketed draft decision text. With so many delegates happy about the first draft of the text, some expressed frustration about the “explosion of brackets at the eleventh hour.”
Informal consultations also continued under the AWG-KP throughout the day. Some delegates emerging from the negotiations introduced a new term into the corridors’ discussions: “esKPees” - which they explained refers to parties that are considering leaving the Kyoto Protocol. “I’m concerned,” sighed a seasoned developing country negotiator, “but we will be continuing discussions under the assumption that the Protocol will survive.” Many were predicting, however, that several long hours of discussions would be needed to bring AWG-KP 8 to a conclusion. “One of the major questions is how to proceed with the texts,” commented one.
Those following the AWG-LCA, in turn, seemed positively surprised by the early end to the informal plenary in the morning. Some commented that the Secretariat had done such a good job of incorporating proposals that very few people had to intervene to note omissions. “Great, more time to put together my proposals for tomorrow!” commented one.