Daily report for 30 November 2023
UN Climate Change Conference - United Arab Emirates Nov/Dec 2023
Heads of delegation averted an agenda fight by striking a compromise before the meeting opened. Instead, delegates began the meeting by commemorating the passing of two long-time climate delegates, UK climate negotiator Pete Betts and Bangladeshi scientist and climate justice advocate Saleemul Huq. Those tributes were fittingly followed by decisions that operationalize the fund for loss and damage.
COP 27 President Sameh Shoukry (Egypt) lamented climate finance flow reductions, fossil fuel exploitation by countries who call for phase-downs, and unilateral measures, noting these signs erode trust in the climate regime.
COP 28 President Sultan Al Jaber called for adopting a “no-nonsense approach” guided by trust, partnership, and pragmatism while never losing sight of the 1.5°C target. He said the Global Stocktake (GST) represents a unique chance for increased ambition and action towards 2030.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell stressed the urgency of accelerated climate action and highlighted the GST and sufficient funding for loss and damage as opportunities for this COP to catalyze ambitious action. He urged participants to signal the decline of the fossil fuel industry and called for all NDCs to align with 1.5°C by COP 30.
Noting over 1°C temperature rise since the industrial revolution, Jim Skea, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighted that the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Gap Report states that business as usual would lead to a 3°C-warmer world. He pointed out progress in cutting emissions and steadily decreasing renewable energy costs.
Cuba, for the GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA (G-77/CHINA), expressed hope for a substantial capitalization of the loss and damage fund and called on developed countries to drastically increase adaptation finance. He underscored that a just transition should consider the three pillars of sustainable development: environmental, economic, and social equity.
Spain, for the EUROPEAN UNION (EU), said all countries, especially those with the largest share in emissions, must act to halve emissions by 2030. She highlighted priorities, including ensuring a just energy transition, tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency by 2030, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, and reducing non-carbon dioxide gases, particularly methane.
Switzerland, for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP (EIG), underlined the need for the GST to set a clear vision for the future. He urged all countries to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in line with 1.5°C and called for a clear message from COP 28 that the “future is renewables, not fossil fuels.”
Australia, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, underlined that the GST decision should catalyze ambition and set clear expectations for future action. She stressed the need to scale up investment in renewables, implement a global phase-out of unabated fossil fuels, and undertake action across other sectors, including ending deforestation.
Samoa, for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), reminded participants the world is at a tipping point and called for agreement on a robust framework for the global goal on adaptation (GGA), keeping small island developing states (SIDS) in mind.
Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, noted the finance gap is widening each year and stressed the importance of adaptation finance for the Paris Agreement and the African continent. He called for developed countries to provide finance commensurate with the losses and damages experienced in developing countries.
Bolivia, for the LIKE-MINDED GROUP OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (LMDCs), called on parties to refrain from renegotiating the Paris Agreement regarding means of implementation and response measures, among other issues. He said there is no evidence that the USD 100 billion pledge has been achieved and emphasized developing countries’ reliance on developed countries for financial support.
Saudi Arabia, for the ARAB GROUP, underscored the importance of the GGA, noting that the outcome should consider national circumstances and respect national sovereignty. He called for progress under all the sub-items of Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches).
Uruguay, for ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, and URUGUAY (ABU), called for developed countries to meet historic obligations to reduce emissions and provide means of implementation, stressing equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
Brazil, for BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA, and CHINA (BASIC), called for global solidarity and condemned unilateralism, trade protectionism, and fragmented multilateralism. She said the GST should account for achievements and failures, including on the part of developed countries.
Honduras, for the COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS (CfRN), reiterated the importance of nature-based solutions. He called for consistent reporting methodology across industries and full implementation of REDD+.
Senegal, for the LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs), urged the GST to provide clear guidance for countries to bolster their NDCs in line with the 1.5°C target. She called for developed countries to lead the rapid transition from fossil fuels and support renewable energy expansion and a just transition. She emphasized doubling adaptation finance and providing a clear framework for the GGA.
Nicaragua, for the BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE FOR THE PEOPLES OF OUR AMERICA (ALBA), emphasized the rights of Mother Earth and the right to development, noting the need to advance just transitions. He underscored that negotiations should advance based on the principle of CBDR and urged addressing unilateral coercive measures.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH called for an equitable phase-out of fossil fuels by 2050 and said youth should have a seat on the loss and damage fund board and the Santiago Network advisory board.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY NGOS (BINGOS) said the business sector recognizes its responsibility to help put the world back on track to achieve 1.5°C, and stressed they need parties’ support through, inter alia, aligning the global financial system to the Paris Agreement goals.
CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK welcomed the pledges to the loss and damage fund, but called it a drop in the ocean of the overall finance needed and urged a fully-funded fossil fuel phase-out.
DEMAND CLIMATE JUSTICE decried the ongoing crisis in Gaza and lamented that while rich countries “claim that their coffers are empty for climate, they find money for bullets.”
FARMERS emphasized progress on the joint work on agriculture and food security, and urged ensuring farmers are direct recipients of loss and damage funding wherever possible.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES underscored their right to full and direct participation, including in the development of an Article 6 grievance mechanism, and demanded direct access for Indigenous Peoples under the loss and damage fund.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES (LGMA) emphasized multi-level action as critical and pointed to the COP 28 Local Climate Action Summit.
RESEARCH AND INDEPENDENT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (RINGOs) highlighted the importance of locally- and Indigenous-led mitigation and adaptation measures for a successful GGA.
TRADE UNION NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (TUNGOs) emphasized the importance of just transition investments backed by employment guarantees.
WOMEN AND GENDER called for increased finance quality and quantity, especially easy-to-access, grant-based adaptation finance for marginalized groups. She echoed other NGO sentiments, concluding that “there can be no climate justice on occupied lands.”
Rules of procedure: Parties agreed to apply the draft rules of procedure (FCCC/CP/1996/2), except draft rule 42 on voting. The COP 28 Presidency will hold consultations.
Adoption of the agenda: President Al Jaber reported on pre-sessional consultations, highlighting that the proposed agenda items reflect the genuine concerns of the parties. He proposed that the Governing and Subsidiary Bodies adopt their agendas without including any of the additional agenda items proposed by parties, as well as without that CMA agenda item on the Sharm el-Sheikh dialogue on the scope of Paris Agreement Article 2.1(c), which calls for making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-GHG emissions and climate-resilient development. He noted that some of the proposed items could be discussed under existing agenda items, including the proposed items on mountains, doubling adaptation finance, operationalizing the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), and positive incentives for accelerating early actions and policies that are nationally determined.
Al Jaber added that the Presidency will convene consultations on:
- the special needs and circumstances of Africa, with the outcome to be reported back to the CMA;
- the seventh review of the Financial Mechanism on the CMA agenda, with the outcome to be reported back to the CMA; and
- Articles 3.9 and 21 of the Kyoto Protocol, with the outcome to be reported back to the CMP.
Parties agreed that the COP agenda items on considering proposals for amendments to the Convention and on the second review of the adequacy of Convention Article 4.2(a–b) be held in abeyance.
KYRGYZSTAN, supported by BHUTAN, supported an initiative or dialogue on mountains and climate to commence at this COP.
The COP, CMP, and CMA adopted the agendas as outlined by President Al Jaber. Parties adopted:
- the COP supplementary agenda (FCCC/CP/2023/1/Add.2) as amended, with agenda items 18, 19, 20 and 21 deleted;
- the CMP supplementary agenda (FCCC/KP/CMP/2023/1/Add.2), as amended, with agenda items 14 and 15 deleted;
- the CMA agenda (FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/1/Add.3) as amended, with agenda items 10(h), 10(i), 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 deleted;
- the SBI agenda (FCCC/SBI/2023/11/Add.2) as amended, with agenda items 21, 22, 23, and 24 deleted; and
- the SBSTA supplementary agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2023/5/Add.2) as amended, with agenda items 15, 16, 17, and 18 deleted.
Election of officers: Sultan Al Jaber was elected COP 28 President by acclamation. The Presidency will consult on the COP, CMP, and CMA election of officers.
Date and venue of future sessions: President Al Jaber announced that the Latin America and Caribbean region nominated Brazil to host COP 30. He noted ongoing consultations regarding the COP 29 host from the Central and Eastern European region.
Mandated events: A wide range of mandated events are scheduled under the bodies, including the multilateral assessment and facilitative sharing of views.
The report on the high-level ministerial round table on increased ambition of Kyoto Protocol commitments: The Presidency will undertake consultations on this issue and report back to the CMP.
Reports of the subsidiary bodies: Niall O’Dea (Canada) and Julio Cordano (Chile), Co-Chairs of the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue, emphasized the ocean’s important roles as a carbon sink and a vital source of food, and noted calls for solutions to problems facing the ocean and coastal areas to be incorporated into national climate policies.
Admission of observers: President Al Jaber invited parties to admit observers listed in the Secretariat’s report (FCCC/CP/2023/3). The RUSSIAN FEDERATION questioned the independence of two organizations. The US noted both NGOs meet the criteria for admission. The COP agreed to admit all observers listed.
Statements of Intergovernmental Organizations: The IPCC cited as priorities for its seventh assessment cycle promoting gender and regional diversity, ensuring policy relevance, and using best-available science to deliver timely and actionable information.
The COMMITTEE ON EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITES and COORDINATION GROUP FOR METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITES underlined that space-based GHG measurement capacity is rapidly progressing, especially for methane, but the extent to which parties leverage satellite data varies.
The WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO) highlighted it is virtually certain that 2023 will be the warmest year on record and, in 2022, atmospheric concentrations of GHGs reached 50% above pre-industrial levels for the first time.
The UN CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) asked parties to prioritize children in every decision, not only as victims but also as rights holders.
The INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO) reported on the 2023 IMO GHG strategy, which calls for reducing GHG emissions by the international shipping sector by introducing incentives, exploring alternative fuel use, and adopting decarbonization measures.
The WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME discussed its activities and flagship projects that advance the use of climate science for a sustainable future.
The GLOBAL CLIMATE OBSERVING SYSTEM highlighted progress on satellite-based actions but noted persistent gaps such as in continental shelf data.
The INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION noted the recent agreement on their Global Framework for Aviation Alternative Fuels.
Work programme on Just Transition Pathways: The CMA referred this item to the Subsidiary Bodies, which established joint informal consultations.
Matters Relating to Article 6: Guidance on Paris Agreement Article 6.2 (cooperative approaches): The CMA forwarded the issue to SBSTA, which established informal consultations.
Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6.4 (mechanism): The CMA forwarded the issue to SBSTA, which established informal consultations.
Non-market Based Approaches (Article 6.8): The CMA forwarded the issue to SBSTA. The fourth meeting of the Glasgow Committee on Non-market Approaches will convene in a contact group format.
Matters Related to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): The CMP established a contact group.
Review of the status of the CDM Trust Fund: The SBI will convene informal consultations.
Matters Related to Joint Implementation: The Presidency will undertake consultations.
Emissions from Fuel used for International Aviation and Maritime Transport: The SBSTA will convene informal consultations.
Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation: The CMA forwarded the issue to the Subsidiary Bodies, which will convene joint informal consultations.
Report of the Adaptation Committee and Review of the Progress, Effectiveness and Performance of the Adaptation Committee: The COP and CMA forwarded this issue to the Subsidiary Bodies, which will convene joint informal consultations.
National Adaptation Plans: The SBI will convene informal consultations.
Matters Relating to the LDCs: The COP and CMA forwarded this issue to the SBI, which will convene informal consultations.
Loss and Damage
Report of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM): The COP and CMA forwarded this issue to the Subsidiary Bodies, which will convene joint informal consultations.
Santiago Network: The SBI and SBSTA will convene joint informal consultations.
A contact group was established to address the following finance-related items under the COP, CMA, and CMP:
- Long-term Climate Finance;
- Standing Committee on Finance;
- Report of, and Guidance to, the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund;
- New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance; and
- Compilation and Synthesis of, and Summary Report on the In-Session Workshop on Biennial Communications of Information related to Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement.
Matters relating to the Adaptation Fund: The CMP and CMA will convene a contact group on the report of the Adaptation Fund Board (FCCC/KP/CMP/2023/2, FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/6). The SBI deferred its consideration of matters related to the Adaptation Fund to SBI 60.
Operationalization of the funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage: The COP and CMA heard from the Transitional Committee Co-Chairs, Richard Sherman (South Africa) and Outi Honkatukia (Finland) on the Committee’s report and recommendations (FCCC/CP/2023/9 and FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/9). The COP and CMA adopted the draft decisions (FCCC/CP/2023/L.1 and FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/L.1) on the understanding that the Secretariat will update the decisions to reflect all contributions announced at this meeting. Several pledges were made on Thursday, including:
- The UAE announced USD 100 million;
- GERMANY announced USD 100 million;
- the UK announced up to GBP 60 million;
- the US announced, pending Congressional approval, USD 17.5 million and highlighted previous commitments to the Pacific Resilience Facility and Santiago Network;
- JAPAN announced USD 10 million; and
- the EU announced EUR 225 million, including Germany’s contribution.
Many countries welcomed the decision and the announced funding pledges. ZAMBIA, with several other developing countries, urged other developed countries to announce pledges. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC called for the fund to become an effective tool so countries do not have to choose between reconstruction and economic growth.
TÜRKIYE underscored her country’s vulnerability to climate change and, lamenting unjust treatment within the Financial Mechanism, urged the fund not to leave Türkiye behind.
The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO expressed hope that vulnerable countries will be the genuine beneficiaries of the fund and that the fund will be managed transparently. She announced that the three tropical forest basin regions intend to contribute to the fund, but she said this would require an upward revision of the carbon price to mobilize resources for the countries to implement national mitigation and adaptation projects while supporting vulnerable countries.
IRAN called for the newly operationalized fund to address all funding requests equally without politically-motivated considerations. He called for the fund’s scope to include dust and sandstorms.
NORWAY recommended the early nomination of board members for the fund. With Switzerland, for the EIG, he looked forward to the fund’s board utilizing a human rights-based approach. He said his country will announce a contribution during the World Climate Action Summit.
Senegal, for the LDCs, noted that the fund should guarantee new sources of financing, including subsidies, and ensure adequate capitalization.
The PHILIPPINES, the SOLOMON ISLANDS, and others recalled that loss and damage is best averted and minimized through ambitious action on mitigation and adaptation.
Reporting from and review of Annex I Parties: Compilations and syntheses of biennial reports: The COP forwarded the item to the SBI, which will convene consultations.
National communications: The COP forwarded this issue to the SBI, which will convene informal consultations.
Status of submission and review of national communications and biennial reports: The SBI will convene informal consultations.
Report on national greenhouse gas inventory data: The SBI will convene informal consultations.
Annual compilation and accounting report for the second commitment period for Annex B Parties under the Kyoto Protocol: The CMP took note of the 2023 report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2023/4 and Add.1). President Al Jaber noted that this will conclude the consideration of this agenda item, as this is the last annual compilation for the second commitment period.
Annual Reports on technical reviews: The SBSTA will convene joint informal consultations on all sub-items.
Reporting from Non-Annex I Parties: Information contained in national communications: The CMP forwarded this issue to the SBI, which will convene informal consultations.
Summary reports on the technical analysis of biennial update reports: The SBI will convene informal consultations to take place back-to-back with the consultations on national communications.
Report of the Consultative Group of Experts: The SBI will convene informal consultations.
Provision of financial and technical support under the Convention and the Paris Agreement: The COP and the CMA forwarded the issues related to the provision of support for reporting to the SBI, which established informal consultations on both items to convene back-to-back.
First Global Stocktake: The CMA forwarded the issue to the Subsidiary Bodies, which established a contact group that met in the evening.
Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures: The COP, CMP, and CMA forwarded this issue to the Subsidiary Bodies, which established a joint contact group.
Development and Transfer of Technologies and Implementation of the Technology Mechanism: Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network: The COP and CMA forwarded this issue to the Subsidiary Bodies, which established joint informal consultations.
Capacity building under the Convention, Kyoto Protocol, and Paris Agreement: The COP, CMP, and CMA forwarded their respective agenda items to the SBI, which established informal consultations.
Report of the Kyoto Protocol Compliance Committee: The CMP took note of the report (FCCC/KP/CMP/2023/3).
Science and Review
Research and Systematic Observation: The SBSTA will convene informal consultations.
Greenhouse Gas Data Interface: The SBSTA will convene informal consultations.
Gender: The COP forwarded this item to the SBI, which will convene informal consultations.
Action for Climate Empowerment: The SBI will convene informal consultations.
Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture and Food Security: The SBI and SBSTA established joint informal consultations.
Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters
Decision-making in the UNFCCC: The Presidency will undertake consultations.
In the Corridors
Despite the bright desert sun, COP 28 threatened to open under a cloud. Many contentious agenda items were proposed across the five agendas. The President was accused of, and vehemently denied, a conflict of interest in media reports. Indeed, President Al Jaber called on oil companies to innovate and invest to accelerate decarbonization at scale.
But negotiators seemed determined, if already tired. For several days, they have already discussed the agenda and substantive issues, such as the new collective quantified finance goal. The days of talks resulted in a compromise to proceed, excluding nearly the newly proposed agenda items. This doesn’t mean the end. Issues such as CBDR and incentivizing early mitigation actions will be raised under the GST. One delegate worried that may further burden those already wide-ranging discussions.
Any remaining clouds lifted as delegates applauded the decision that operationalizes the loss and damage fund. The Transitional Committee Co-Chairs stressed the delicacy of the consensus reached during intersessional work. It was a relief to have that consensus upheld by all and a historic moment— the first time a substantive decision was adopted on the first day of COP. Several, including President Al Jaber, hoped this decision would create momentum for the GST.