On 12 November, the UNFCCC’s Ad hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) convened a contact group where Parties heard reports-back from ongoing informal consultations on various topics under the APA agenda.
(Over the past week of climate talks that began on 7 November, the APA has conducted several informal consultations on various agenda items such as guidance on features, information and accounting of nationally determined contributions [NDCs]; guidance related to the adaptation communication; modalities, procedures and guidelines for the transparency framework for action and support; matters relating to the global stocktake; modalities and procedures for the effective operation of the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance and further matters related to the implementation of the PA.)
During the reports-back, the co-facilitators of the informal consultations reported that work had progressed under each of the agenda items and that they would convene their last informal consultations on 14 November where Parties would provide their reflections on the informal notes prepared by the co-facilitators and continue to share their views on the work going ahead from Marrakech.
Each of the co-facilitators have prepared informal notes, which they said comprised the views expressed by the Parties during the informal consultations and which are available on the UNFCCC website.
The contact group also had a brief discussion on the revised draft conclusions of the APA prepared by the APA co-chairs Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) and Jo Tyndall (New Zealand).
(The Co-chairs had presented the draft conclusions to Parties during a contact group on 11 November. Parties had provided their initial reflections on the draft conclusions based on which the Co-chairs issued a revised iteration of the draft conclusions on 12 November.)
The draft conclusion states that “the APA noted that, at this session, it has been possible to progress work on all substantive agenda items. But much remains to be done and, in the light of the entry into force of the PA, the APA affirms its commitment to working diligently and expeditiously to fulfil its mandate as soon as possible. The APA emphasized the need to progress on all items in a coherent and balanced manner, and to ensure a coordinated approach with regard to related matters considered under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).”
(In Paris, various bodies including the APA, SBI and SBSTA were assigned tasks related to the implementation of the PA.)
The draft conclusions also have placeholders for the ongoing work in the informal consultations. According to the Co-chairs, these would be populated with the outcome of the work of the informal consultations on future work once they are finalised.
“If there is agreement on future work arising from any or all of the informal consultations that would provide the content to populate the placeholder paragraphs. Draft conclusions will come back to the whole group before they can be taken to the APA Plenary,” said Tyndall.
In the draft conclusions, the APA also noted “the progress made on all substantive items on the APA agenda as reflected in the informal notes prepared, under their own responsibility, by the co-facilitators of the informal consultations on those items. It agreed that the notes will help advance the work of the APA at its next session.”
With reference to the term “under our own responsibility”, Saudi Arabia for the Arab Group had proposed on 11 November a footnote to elaborate what the term means.
The footnote reads: “The notes prepared by the co-facilitators attempt to informally capture the views expressed by some Parties to date on the respective agenda items and they do not necessarily reflect the views of all Parties. The notes are not intended to prejudge further work that Parties may wish to undertake or to prevent Parties from expressing other views they may have in the future. The views presented in the notes are not in any order of importance and they do not signify any consensus among Parties or imply the basis for any future negotiations.”
The APA will convene another contact group on 14 November to finalise the draft conclusions, after which the closing plenary of the APA is expected to follow.