‘Loss and damage’ issue should be considered at intersession meetings – says G77

Bonn, 10 May 2017 (Jade Chiang)

Bonn, 9 May (Jade Chiang) – Developing countries at the Bonn climate talks called for the possibility of considering the issue of ‘loss and damage’ at intersessional meetings, rather than considering it only once a year at the annual UNFCCC’s meeting of the Conference of Parties (COPs).

The G77-China stated this, when delivering its statement at the opening plenary of the 46th session of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA46), which launched its work on 8 May.

Ecuador, speaking for the G77 and China said that it would explore this idea and discuss this with the current (Morocco) and incoming (Fiji) Presidencies at the Bonn session for decision at the year-end COP23 to be held in Bonn later this year in November.

(The term ‘loss and damage’ refers broadly to the entire range of damage and permanent loss associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that can no longer be avoided through mitigation nor can be avoided through adaptation.)

At the opening plenary of SBSTA, Parties expressed their views on the various issues on the agenda, with developing countries stressing issues related to adaptation, finance, and technology transfer, while developed countries lay emphasis on the mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (PA), dealing with cooperative approaches between countries including emissions trading and non-market measures.

Presiding over the session, Chair Carlos Fuller (Belize) sent Parties to work on the various agenda items either in contact groups or informal consultation and informed that negotiations should end by noon of 17 May with draft conclusions prepared for adoption on 18 May.

Speaking for the G77 and China, Ecuador’s  Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carola Iniguez said the Group was of the view that as the PA moved into the implementation phase, the delicate balance of all issues achieved in Paris as well as the principles and provisions of the Convention must be preserved, noting that this is the context in which they expect developed countries to continue taking the lead role in addressing climate change, in accordance with their historical responsibilities and their respective capabilities.

The G77 believed that the Technology Framework can provide the much needed guidance to the work of the Technology Mechanism and a clear strong link with the Financial Mechanism of the Convention in supporting the implementation of the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the PA.

It considered that adaptation co-benefits in agriculture to the adverse effects of climate change continues to be the key priority for developing countries for SBSTA work on this matter, in light of the particular vulnerabilities of the sector and its relationship with the livelihood of millions, food security and poverty eradication.

On the issue of ‘science and review’, the G77 emphasised the need for the further enhancement of capacity building for developing countries. It looked forward to the work of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a source of input to the Global Stocktake (in 2023), stressing that the continuous funding of the IPCC remains paramount.

On response measures (measures taken to combat climate change), the Group welcomed the first Technical Expert Group meeting on the impact of the implementation of response measures and looked forward to the inputs and recommendations from the experts to support the work of the improved forum (on response measures). It also emphasised the importance of working on the modalities, functions and work programmes for the forum under the PA.

Ecuador reiterated the importance of multilateral solutions when addressing emissions from fuel used for international civil aviation and maritime transport, while taking into account the principles and provisions of the Convention and not on the basis of unilateral measures.

On matters relating to Article 6 of the PA, the G77 was of the view that all three components of the matter are of equal importance and Parties must proceed in a coherent and balanced manner. It stressed that actions under Article 6 should preserve national policy space, promote sustainable development, foster enhanced adaptation and mitigation actions and ensure environmental integrity and that participation is voluntary.

(Article 6 provides for cooperative approaches between countries; Article 6.2 provides for internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs), while Article 6.4 relates to a sustainable development mechanism and Article 6.8 focuses on non-market approaches.)  

The G77 also would like to see the development of the modalities for the accounting of financial resources provided and mobilised through public interventions in accordance with Article 9.7 of the PA, so as to allow for a clearer accounting. This work should aim at ensuring transparency, accuracy, completeness, consistency and comparability of data and provide more clarity on what is being accounted for as climate finance, avoid double counting and draw from the lessons learned from work existing reporting system as well as making a distinction between accounting of climate finance provided and mobilised.

The Group also welcomed the multi stakeholder dialogue on the design of the platform for indigenous peoples and views it as an important approach to discuss ways to effectively operationalise the platform and called for discussions and submissions by Parties to be reflected in a report by the Secretariat.

Iran representing the Like-minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) said that the development and transfer of technologies, facilitated by the Technology Framework under Article 10 of the PA, will be the key enablers for ensuring the effective implementation of the PA.

Iran said that “the Technology Framework under the PA must be a mechanism that will integrate and make fully functional all the various elements on technology development and transfer under the Convention. The Framework should enable technology R&D, particularly endogenous technologies, and the assessment of technologies that are ready for transfer; it should also enable the provision of enhanced financial and technical support and address barriers to technology transfer (including policy-related barriers).”

“Local and indigenous knowledge systems and technologies should be strengthened and supported. There should be a strong link between the Technology Framework with the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the PA”, it added further.

On matters relating to Article 6 of the PA, the LMDC view is that focus must be on ensuring that the modalities lead towards supporting the implementation of NDCs.

Iran said that the approaches and mechanisms under Article 6 should preserve national policy space; promote sustainable development; foster enhanced adaptation actions by reflecting the mitigation co-benefits of adaptation and economic diversification actions; and ensure that the use and transfer of ITMOs is voluntary and subject to the consent of participating Parties, with quantitative limits, and result in emission reductions or avoidance additional to any that would otherwise occur as part of the implementation of previous commitments under the UNFCCC or the Kyoto Protocol, thereby ensuring their environmental integrity.

With respect to non-market approaches, it added that it is important point to ensure that such approaches enable Parties to identify and enhance linkages and create synergies between inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity-building; and facilitate cooperation between Parties to achieve an integrated, holistic and balanced approach in their implementation of the Convention and the PA, without the transfer of units and in the context of their efforts to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication.

It called on developed country Parties to increase their pre-2020 ambition on both emission reductions and provision of finance, technology and capacity-building support to developing countries, noting that adequate spaces and slots should be provided in this session for the discussion related to accelerating pre-2020 implementation.

Representing the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Ethiopia said that given the urgency from the frightening global average temperature rise of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels and the new high in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide that has exceeded 400ppm, it welcomed the research dialogue to explore issues that are highly relevant to the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue and the options for assessing progress as well as scientific support for adaptation and risk management.

It was frustrated with the slow pace of work on agriculture and looked forward to making substantial progress on this matter which is the backbone of the LDCs’ economies and food security.

The LDCs expect further clarity on the nature of the Technology Framework, its linkages to the Technology Mechanism and how it will enable effective implementation of the PA, noting that it is important that adequate support be mobilised for developing countries’ access to technologies.

On the periodic review of the long term global goal, Ethiopia would like to have further progress on defining the scope of the next periodic review and called for an in-session workshop.

On matters related to modalities for the accounting of financial resources provided and mobilised through public interventions, the Group was of the view that the modalities should build on existing arrangements. It also stressed the importance of agreeing on an operational definition of climate finance, particularly now that Parties are going to be regularly reporting on climate finance provided and received under the PA.

Maldives representing the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said after another year of ominous climate records and tragic impacts around the world, including the loss of five islands in the Solomon Islands archipelago, it was clear that limiting warming to 1.5°C is absolutely critical. Having the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees C as early as possible in 2018 will be vital so it can properly be considered in time for the Facilitative Dialogue later that year.

Maldives said that given there is need to find ways to work together cooperatively and collaboratively to raise mitigation and adaptation ambition and it hoped that Article 6 of the PA related to markets and non-markets approaches can generate some of these opportunities.

It welcomed the adoption of the decision on the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damage report to COP22 which approved the indicative framework for the five-year rolling workplan and the review of the WIM, noting that Parties shared a common understanding on the need for periodic review of the WIM in light of emerging and evolving circumstances.

Speaking for the African Group, Mali said that it is important to establish a link with the Ad Hoc Working Group on the PA (APA) work to ensure coherence and balance in the advancement of the work for the completion of the work programme of the PA by 2018.

“Therefore, it is important to provide space and determine a clear process for these agenda items to report on their activities and, depending on their level of maturity, to request and get additional guidance from Parties through the APA.”

The African Group stressed the importance of continuing the discussions on the issues relating to agriculture where Parties have engaged fruitfully in past few years in technical workshops. It believed it is now time to take the work forward and to reach a decision that will facilitate the implementation of action to address the impacts of climate change on agriculture.

On the scope of the next periodic review, it stressed the importance of ensuring an explicit assessment of the extent of implementation of the Convention as part and parcel of the assessing the adequacy of the long term global goal and importantly pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

On the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures under the PA, it said Parties must be given the space to discuss views on the functions and modalities of the forum as a basis to support future work with respect to defining an enhanced activities orientated work programme on response measures for the post-2020 forum, especially how the forum can contribute to enhanced support for developing countries and their priority issues of concern on the socio-economic impacts of response measures.

Cuba representing the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) noted that SBSTA work must be conducted in a balanced and comprehensive manner in relation to the APA work programme. It also stressed that any results on the implementation of PA should not be limited to those countries that have ratified the Agreement.

Saudi Arabia speaking for the Arab Group stressed the necessity to adopt a balanced approach in negotiating the issues related to the implementation of the PA with the view of reaching a ‘package’ by 2018. It warned against any imposition of unilateral measures on developing countries arising from the implementation of carbon pricing by developed countries.

Representing the Independent Alliance of the Latin America and Caribbean (AILAC), Guatemala stressed on finalising the ‘rulebook’ of the PA. On Article 6 of the PA, it considered that it would provide additional resources for developing countries and facilitate achievement of NDCs and is therefore important to design robust guidance and rules to measure the market approaches.

The European Union said the second round of submissions for the Technology Framework were helpful. It looked forward to progress on Article 6 and was motivated to work towards positive outcome on issues relating to agriculture.

Australia speaking for the Umbrella Group also stressed on progress to be made in the deliberation on Article 6 of the PA.

 

Mexico speaking for the Environmental Integrity Group said implementation of Article 6 of the PA should aim for higher ambition and ensure environmental integrity. On agriculture, work should continue and tap the potential the sector may have for both mitigation and adaptation, it added.

Bonn News Updates 3

UNFCCC / SBSTA 46
8 May - 18 May 2017, Bonn, Germany
by Jade Chiang
Bonn, 10 May 2017