Monday, 13th November 2017 | after the opening ceremony on Monday, 6th November 2017, negotiations got underway in all the organs. The organs aimed at finalizing issues on the pre-2020 discussions and further deliberate on the operationalization of the Paris Agreement (for the post-2020 era). The first week was characterized by being more technical whereby procedures were as important as contents. Also, there were more divergence in views from the Parties on the negotiations which has led to most (if not all) being done in informal consultation modality. The summary of key negotiations areas that FORUMCC is following:
Climate Finance and Adaptation: Long-term Finance (Pre-2020 and Post 2020 period): discussions were made on the long-term finance in terms of accessibility of finance resources and sustainability and predictability of financial flows with African Group calling for decisions to ensure the three key issues. The African Group also called for guidance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) to be in line with the eligibility criteria laid down in the Convention and Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, discussion on setting new quantified finance goal (for post-2020 period) was not made during the week.
Adaptation Fund (AF): Parties are still discussing on if, when and how the AF shall serve the Paris Agreement. Developing country Parties are in support of having a decision at this COP and further deliberate on issues of its governance, safeguards and operating modalities. While developed country Parties are in support of having a transition period for the AF and not making a decision here in COP23. Another key issue for the AF is to ensure sustainability and predictability of its sources of funding. There is though seems to be a consensus on the importance of the Fund in its direct access mechanism and supporting the most vulnerables.
Identification of reporting information on finance to be provided under Paris Agreement (Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement | ex-ante finance transparency): Parties highlighted on the following to form part of the information to be provided – an overview of trends of support to be provided; pledges; indications for mitigation and adaptation finance; base years; channels used; economic sectors; instruments (such as grants and loans); the principle of new and additional; strategies and approaches for scaling up climate finance; enhanced transparency and comparability of information; drawing from the common tabular format; and a definition for climate finance. But there were divergent views on whether to include discussion of mobilization of climate finance as part of this agenda. Also, on whether Official Development Assistance (ODA) and climate finance can be separated. Mali (on behalf of the African Group) submitted a paper proposing elements to be discussion under this agenda. The paper is expected to be read and discussed (if accepted) next week.
Review of the functions of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF): there were also divergent views in this agenda item whereby developing country Parties are in view of having SCF forum annually, alternative member and prioritizing on mobilization of finance. While developed country Parties are in view of having SCF forum biennially (after two years) and not having alternative member and or prioritizing any SCF function.
Adaptation Communication: throughout the week, Parties also made discussion on what was termed as ‘skeleton’ of the possible draft text on adaptation communication. This was advanced as the co-facilitators receive inputs from both developing and developed country Parties. Some of the areas of divergence were on flexibility of reporting and whether or not to include guiding principles such as of Common But Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC); with developing country in favour of including the later.
Mitigation: There were also divergent views on the discussion of the guidance for the mitigation section. Though many Parties agreed on differing capacities needs to be reflected in the guidance, there were still divergence in operationalization of differentiation between the developed and developing countries. Also, Parties had a discussion on coming-up with a decision that will provide a balanced guidance in order to fulfil Paris Agreement obligations. To address such divergence, a 45-page “preliminary material” document was prepared by the co-facilitators which accommodated all Parties’ views. By end of the week, Parties went through the document to identify areas of convergence and reduce duplication in order to shortening it for further deliberation during second week of the negotiations.
Agriculture: Parties discussed on the need for having concrete outputs on agriculture agenda that linked to implementation. A draft decision was then submitted from the developing country ‘camp’ which requested to establish and periodically assess a five-year work programme and continue work on six topics. These are: Methods and approaches for assessing adaptation; Improved soil health, carbon, and fertility; Improved nutrient use; Improved livestock management; Socio-economic dimensions; and Methodologies for accelerating technology transfer, accounting for gender considerations. Parties then reflected on how the work programme and topics would be addressed, potential scope of a mapping exercise and the goal of the draft decision. This is expected to be concluded in the second week of negotiations.
What is there for the Second Week?
The second week of the negotiations has started on Monday, 13 November 2017. Negotiations in this week are expected to conclude discussion on the pending agenda prior to the start of the High-level segment to which they are required to send draft decisions/conclusions to be agreed and/or taken decision on. Some of key issues for Tanzania and Africa include: conclusion on agriculture agenda; discussion on the new quantified finance goal (which discussion has not yet started); finalization of other climate finance agenda; and clear roadmap for the Paris Agreement.
As indicated above, the second week will consist of High-level segment whereby senior officials from all country Parties will be coming to Bonn-Germany for the conference. These include Heads of State, Ministers, Ambassadors and other senior officials. Tanzania is expected to be represented by the Ambassador of Tanzania in Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Abdallah Saleh Possi.
This summary was prepared by FORUMCC representatives at the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 in Bonn. Reference was also made to IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin.