Facilitative dialogue on enhancing ambition and support provides key findings

Marrakech, 15 November 2016 (Zhenyan Zhu)

The UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties at its 22st (COP 22) session in Marrakech convened the first part of the ‘Facilitative Dialogue on Enhancing Ambition and Support’ on 11 November.

The dialogue is being held in two parts, with the next part to be convened on 16 November (which will involve the participation of ministers) and relates to commitments and actions in the pre-2020 timeframe.

The first part of the dialogue assessed progress made, with regard to the enhancement of pre-2020 ambition, and the provision of means of implementation and was of a technical nature, and its findings are expected to serve as important input to these ministerial deliberations.

Speakers from various agencies including the UNFCCC Secretariat made useful presentations providing some facts and figures as regards the mitigation actions undertaken by Parties as well as on the provision of financial resources and technology transfer.

(Parties had agreed in Paris “to conduct a facilitative dialogue” at COP 22 “to assess the progress in implementing decision 1/C.P 19, paras 3 and 4 and identify relevant opportunities to enhance the provision of financial resources, including for technology development and transfer and capacity building support, with a view to identifying ways to enhance the ambition of mitigation efforts by all Parties, including identifying relevant opportunities to enhance the provision and mobilisation of support and enabling environments.”)

(Paras 3 and 4 of decision 1/C.P. 19 relates to what Parties agreed to in Warsaw in 2013 to accelerate the full implementation of the decisions as agreed to under the Bali Action Plan and in relation to the provision of means of implementation, including technology, finance and capacity-building support for developing country Parties, recognizing that such implementation will enhance ambition in the pre-2020 period.)

The first part of the Facilitative Dialogue (FD) was moderated by Joydeep Gupta, a journalist. Part 1 consisted of discussions in 7 panels:

  1. Introduction to Pre-2020 Action and Ambition
  2. Quantified Economy Wide Targets by Developed Country Parties
  3. National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) by Developing Country Parties
  4. Means of Implementation
  5. Finance
  6. Technology Development and Transfer
  7. Capacity-building.

In the panel on ‘Introduction to Pre-2020 Action and Ambition’, Dr. Katia Simeonova from the UNFCCC Secretariat presented the pre-2020 action and ambition. She referred to the 2016 UNEP Emissions Gap Report and showed that the pledges under the Cancun Agreements and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) submitted so far are insufficient to achieve the temperature goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

The secretariat presentation showed that all developed countries and many developing countries have submitted and are now implementing their pre-2020 emission reduction pledges. On aggregate greenhouse gases (GHG) emission trends of developed countries during 1990-2020 (based on their biennial reports), GHG emissions of Annex 1 Parties are on a downward trend by 2020; Annex 1 Parties are implementing policies and making progress towards their 2020 targets and the Kyoto Protocol Parties reached their first commitment period targets. Simeonova said that the ratification of the Doha Amendment (for the entry into force of the second commitment period) is deemed as an essential part of momentum for global climate action. She pointed out that 71 Parties have ratified the Amendment, as of end October 2016. (A total of 144 Parties are needed for the second commitment period to come into effect for the period 2013-2020).

All regions are active in preparation and implementation of NAMAs (nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries), said Simeonova. The number of registered NAMAs has increased by 35% since 2015. The largest increase in NAMAs is from African countries and Least developed Countries (LDCs). Financial, technology development and capacity-building support at scale is urgently needed, she added.

Through the international consultation and analysis (ICA) process, developing countries have outlined their efforts to attain their mitigation pledges enshrined in their NAMAs and implement actions, she said.

As key messages, Simeonova pointed out the following:

  • The 2015 Paris Agreement provides not only a long term direction and destination, but also adds momentum to the ongoing climate change action by all Parties contributing to achievement of their 2020 pledges;
  • All Parties are advancing their efforts in implementing their 2020 pledges and for developed countries this is reflected in the downward emission trend as demonstrated through the MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) system;
  • Many Parties demonstrated through the MRV system and other means that they are increasingly introducing a plethora of national policies and related instruments for low-emission and climate-resilient development building on the 2020 Cancun pledges, but greater mitigation potential is yet to be utilized;
  • Financial support, technology development and capacity-building at scale are deemed essential for developing countries to attain the climate objectives for 2020 and beyond.   

Asad Rehman from Friends of the Earth International cited the 2016 UNFCCC synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) and indicated that the carbon budget for 1.5C will be rapidly depleted, “leaving us with only 550Gt CO2; by 2025 we will have hardly any budget left and by 2030 we will have exceeded it.” For the more dangerous 2C target by 2025, less than 1/2 of the current available budget would remain by 2025 and by 2030 a quarter will remain.

In 2010 in Cancun, he said, Parties committed to limit temperature increases to below 2C with industrialized countries taking the lead and providing the means of implementation (finance, technology transfer and capacity building) to enable developing countries to also play their part.

According to a report just released by civil society organizations titled “Setting the Path Towards 1.5C: A Civil Society Equity Review of Pre-2020 Ambition”, developing country pledges are twice that of developed countries. “To be on track for 1.5C, we would need 2 to 3.5 times more than that and no matter how you measure fairness, developed countries should do more than developing countries”, he stressed, sharing the findings of the report at the FD.

Rehman also pointed to an analysis by Oxfam of the “Roadmap to US$100 Billion” produced by Australia and the United Kingdom, in which the analysis translated the USD 100 billion finance pledges into grant equivalent terms amounting to approximately USD 14 billion in 2020 for climate-specific net-assistance for emissions reductions. Based on International Energy Agency information, it is estimated that this may result in an additional 240Mt of CO2 reductions in 2020, he said.

He stressed that this is a negligible contribution to the actual mitigation needed to be on track for 1.5C. “By 2030 ambition will have needed to increase more than 5-fold (from 3.3Gt CO2 to 18.5 Gt CO2) and that’s just for the 2C goal. This is a massive transformation for developed countries but also a huge transformation for developing countries,” Rehman added. 

Solutions are possible and they do exist that can unlock the mitigation potential, if the support needed to do so is available but all are dependent on the necessary finance and technology transfers, he said further.

Rehman pointed out that in Doha, Parties agreed to an aggregate GHG reduction of 18% by 2014 for Annex 1 Parties, and for them to revisit those reductions to align them with the upper end of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 4th Assessment Report recommendation of 25-40% reductions on 1990 levels. However, that revisit never happened and Parties have yet to ratify the Doha Amendment, he lamented.

With some Parties such as the European Union and Japan already having met their 2020 targets, and in light of recent political events, Parties should ensure that they align their pre-2020 mitigation efforts, and the support needed to meet the goals agreed in Paris, he concluded.

In the panel of ‘Means of Implementation’, Dr. Carlos Fuller, the Chair of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) presented an overview of climate finance flows. USD 25.4 billion in 2013 and USD 26.6 billion in 2014 of climate-specific finance was reported in second Biennial Reports of developed countries, of which USD 23.1 billion in 2013 and USD 23.9 billion in 2014 were channeled through bilateral, regional and other channels. This represents an increase of about 50% from public finance reported through the same channels in 2011-2012.

34 biennial update reports (BURs) were submitted by developing countries as of 22 September 2016, of which 22 provide a summary of information on climate finance received during a certain period. The rest indicated climate finance received for a selective number of projects/activities, sectors or donors, or did not include quantitative financial information. The BUR guidelines do not require information on underlying assumptions, definitions and methodologies used in generating the information, said Fuller.

He said that the (UNFCCC) operating entities and other dedicated Funds also provided enhanced support and stated the following:

  • The initial resource mobilization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) hit USD 10.3 billion as at July 2016, with 27 projects and programmes approved as at 14 October 2016, amounting to USD 1.2 billion. The GCF is also active in engaging with the private sector.
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded 836 projects on climate change mitigation with more than USD 5.2 billion GEF funding in more than 165 countries. The GEF funding leveraged over USD 45 billion from a variety of sources.
  • The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) received cumulative pledges amounting to USD 1.2 billion of which USD 254 million were in 2016. It mobilized USD 4.0 billion in co-financing. USD 1 billion has been approved in grant funding, including financing the preparation of 51 national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), of which 50 are completed, and the approval of 173 NAPA implementation projects, submitted by 49 countries.
  • The World Bank’s Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) received cumulative pledges amounting to USD 351.3 million of which USD 2.2 million were in 2016. SCCF-A provided USD 289.9 million for adaptation projects. 66 projects were approved for funding, mobilizing USD 2.3 billion in co-financing. The SCCF-B provided USD 60.7 million for 12 projects that support technology transfer, mobilizing USD 382.3million in co-financing.
  • The Adaptation Fund has allocated USD 358 million to date to 55 adaptation projects and programmes in 48 countries. It received pledges amounting to almost $75 million in 2015.

He also presented an overview of capacity building support. In capacity building for adaptation, agriculture and land use took up 20%, with 15% for water, 23% for science and observation, 18% for risk assessment and the rest of 24% for others. In capacity building for mitigation, energy took up the biggest share of 54%, 13% for forestry, 16% for climate policy and the rest 17% for others.

In the panel on NAMAs by Developing Country Parties, Ash Sharma from the NAMA Facility presented some reflections. The NAMA Facility, said Sharma is to support developing countries and emerging economies in implementing ambitious actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. He said NAMAs are an important building block for implementing NDCs, themselves the building blocks of the Paris Agreement. Successful NAMAs need to incorporate a combination of policy, reform and improved institutional framework, appropriate financial instruments to lower risks and improve returns and develop a pipeline of investments projects so as to make low carbon investment the preferred development path.

In the panel on finance, Preety Bhandari from Asian Development Bank showed the 2015 total multilateral development banks’ climate finance of USD 25,096 million, 20% of which is for adaptation (USD 5,024 million) and 80% is for mitigation (USD 20,072 million) and with additional USD 56 billion in co-financing.

Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, the LDC Chair, said in his presentation that the cost of adaptation in developing countries is much higher than mitigation and is still underestimated and the most recent adaptation cost is 2-3 times higher. He stressed that finance allocation on mitigation and adaptation should be balanced and NDCs are for both adaptation and mitigation.

In the panel of ‘Technology Development and Transfer’, Chizuru Aoki from Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat presented the GEF’s support for technology transfer. Technology transfer is a key theme since GEF was established, he said. In its mitigation portfolio (1991-June 2016), the GEF supported a total of 836 projects of energy efficiency, renewables, urban transport, policy, capacity, etc. with USD 5.2 billion GEF grant and USD 45.2 billion co-financing. In its adaptation portfolio (2001-June 2016), the GEF supported over 300 projects of resilience of rural livelihood, reducing vulnerability of physical assets and natural system with USD 1.5 billion from LDCF and SCCF. GEF provides support to technology needs assessment as well.

He added that since 2014, the GEF has supported policies and strategies, and financial/institutional mechanisms to accelerate technology innovation. There have been 45 mitigation projects with technology transfer objectives of USD 401 million from the GEF Trust Fund support and USD 10.9 billion co-financing, and 22 adaptation projects with technology transfer objectives with USD 230 million from LDCF and SCCF with USD 1 billion co-financing.

Part 2 of the Facilitative Dialogue will take place on Wednesday morning, 16 November.

(Edited by Chee Yoke Ling)

Marrakech News Updates 15

UNFCCC / COP 22
7 November - 18 November 2016, Marrakesh, Morocco
by Zhenyan Zhu
Marrakech, 15 November 2016