Multilateral Environmental Agreement Body
Content associated with UNFCCC
When climate negotiators arrive in Dubai, they'll have a full agenda: completion of the first Global Stocktake under the 2015 Paris Agreement, operationalizing the funding arrangements for loss and damage, a new collective quantified goal on climate finance, and the global goal on adaptation, among other items.
Opening comments on ensuring climate action is achieved without sacrificing economic development or just transitions for energy security set the tone for the entire week. Participants discussed just and equitable energy transitions, economic diversification, and inclusive finance to meet climate goals.
With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report underscoring once more the urgent need for enhanced climate action, and less than six months to go before the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties convenes in Dubai, delegates had their work cut out for themselves in Bonn.
For the first time, countries agreed to recognize the need for finance to respond to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, and quickly established a fund and the necessary funding arrangements, with the details to be worked out over the coming year.
When delegates returned to Bonn after three years, the venue was the same, but so much else had changed: two parties are at war, greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, and climate impacts are increasing in severity. Loss and damage is now unavoidable—as are vulnerable countries’ calls for compensation.
Side Events at COP 26
Despite divisive negotiations at COP 26, parties managed to finalize the Paris Agreement Rulebook and adopt other substantive outcomes. During the closing plenaries, parties reflected that the overall package was not perfect, and many stressed that they were adopting the package “in the spirit of compromise.”
Delegates agreed to meet virtually, with the subsidiary bodies focused on a smaller set of agenda items in informal consultations only. To assuage some countries, there was no negotiating text or draft decisions in preparation for COP 26. Rather, progress on each item was captured in an informal note.
The COP sign at the entrance to the venue as the negotiations go 42 hours over time, making it the longest COP in UNFCCC history. UPDATE: Sunday, 15 December, 1:55 pm: - COP 25 President Schmidt gavels the COP, CMP, and CMA to a close. UPDATE: Sunday, 15 December, 10:17 am - The COP opened. After some debate, the COP adopted the "Chile-Madrid Time for Action" decision. UPDATE: Sunday, 15 December, 5:00 am - Closing plenary scheduled for 8:00 am. Delegates unsure of what the process moving forward will be. UPDATE: Sunday, 15 December, 12:30 am - The informal stocktaking plenary closes, with COP 25 President Carolina Schmidt outlining the outstanding, unresolved issues on WIM, Article 6, response measures, and others. She tells delegates "let's get to work." UPDATE: Saturday, 14 December, 11:00 pm - Informal Presidency stocktaking scheduled to convene. Delegates still engaged in closed-door negotiations on Article 6, loss and damage, response measures, and other issues. --- With the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference ticking over from what was meant to be its final day into overtime, delegates speculated about how close parties actually were to any meaningful agreement. A morning plenary stocktake by the Presidency confirmed several areas where views diverged in the final decisions, yet to be adopted. In the Paris Agreement governing body (CMA) outcome decision, Australia opposed calls from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to ensure that units or emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol could not be used towards countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs). There was also disagreement on whether the Conference of the Parties (COP) outcome decision should mention the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land, or mandate related work under the subsidiary bodies. In the same decision, several groups called for a clear call for enhancing ambition in NDCs in 2020, while other delegations supported a work programme on pre-2020 implementation and action. In the afternoon, bilateral Presidency-led consultations continued alongside closed informal consultations on finance, loss and damage, and Article 6 (market and non-market approaches). The resulting mood in the conference centre alternated between frustration and resignation. In a press conference, NGO representatives denounced the latest presidency texts. Civil society held an impromptu “People’s Closing Plenary” in the space between both official plenary halls, calling out the “COP that has failed us.” With the closing plenary delayed later and later into the night, press and observers alike were reduced to idly checking social media for any updates. For all the Presidency’s optimism that a plenary might be struck before midnight, some delegates meetings suggested otherwise. “It’s going to be a long night,” one said, rushing between rooms.
As the negotiations slow to a crawl inside the venue, members of Extinction Rebellion and FridaysForFuture demonstrate on the streets outside, calling this the 'ultimatum COP' to address the climate crisis. As the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference entered its scheduled last day, many expected the meeting to extend into Saturday. COP 25 President Carolina Schmidt confirmed such expectations in the stocktaking plenary when she asked the Co-Facilitators of various items to keep working, without providing a clear timeline for conclusion. Calling on all parties to “show the world that we are capable of reaching agreement,” she outlined the new model of work going forward. Negotiations would proceed in two tracks. The first track focuses on Article 6 (market and non-market mechanism). The second track includes three issues: the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts; response measures; and the outcome decision (decision 1/CP.25). As the day wore on, negotiations continued among parties only, facilitated by ministers. Several delegates expressed concern both at the number of unresolved issues, and the many divergent positions on each issue. Some whispers suggested the conference “might fail altogether,” considering that no agreement is in sight. Others were more optimistic, but wondered how agreement would emerge with the overtime clock running. After hours of waiting, with the live schedule advertising facilitated ministerial consultations through midnight, many delegates left the venue to catch a few hours of sleep. Outside the venue, with flags and banners held aloft, Extinction Rebellion labelled the meeting “another lost opportunity.”