Parties to the UNFCCC have arrived on a way forward on pre-2020 climate action.
In a closed-door informal consultation held on the morning of 15 Nov, COP22 Presidency representative Ambassador Aziz Mekouar from Morocco presented a proposal, titled, ‘Input for draft decision of COP23’ to Parties.
Sources revealed that major groups of Parties accepted the proposal presented to them.
The Like-minded Developing Countries (LMDC) with the support of the G77 and China, had been pushing for an agenda item to address pre-2020 issues that relates to the implementation of previous decisions taken to accelerate and increase mitigation ambition. Since the climate talks began in Bonn on 6 Nov, there have been various sessions dedicated to the issue of how to progress on pre-2020 issues. (For more, see TWN Updates 2, 7, 10 and 13 on the issue.)
According to sources, the input for the COP 23 draft decision, contains 8 operative paragraphs outlining the next steps for pre-2020 climate action. The draft decision touches upon some key areas demanded by developing countries. These include a request to issue letters to those Parties that are yet to ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, submission by Parties on actions taken pre-2020, preparing a synthesis report of the submissions and the synthesis feeding into the facilitative dialogue 2018, as well as convening a stocktake of pre-2020 actions in 2019 (see highlights of the proposal below).
Sources said the proposal enjoyed the support of Iran for the LMDC, the European Union (EU), the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Umbrella Group, Environment Integrity Group (EIG), BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China), Arab Group, Independent Alliance of the Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), Africa Group, and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
Iran for the LMDC though is said to have supported the proposal “in the spirit of compromise”.
Brazil spoke for the BASIC and said that the even though they would like an agenda item on the issue, the COP Presidency had struck a balance through the proposal, which would allow Parties to move forward on pre-2020 issues “in a more direct manner”.
South Africa for the Africa Group said that the proposal provided a good space for Parties to engage with the proposal. Sources also said that the group expressed that it was willing to “live with” the proposal “in a spirit of compromise” and whatever was left out of the proposal, Parties could take it up in the space provided and that it looked forward to the operationalization of the decision. It also is reported to have said that the ambition gap was a very serious matter which could not be taken lightly.
Cuba spoke for the ALBA and added its support and that it would have liked for the item to be included in the COP 23 agenda.
Sources also said that the EU was concerned about the 2018 facilitative dialogue and that it should focus on post-2020 ambition, but that the proposed draft decision captured the balance.
Sources also said that Australia for the Umbrella Group referred to the proposal as an “elegant” compromise, and added that there already exists a sharp focus on pre-2020 work.
Ambassador Aziz said he would report to the COP23 Presidency of the agreed outcome. The decision is likely to be presented at the COP23 closing plenary for adoption on 17 Nov.
Highlights of the proposal
The ‘inputs for the draft decision’ comprises the following operative paragraphs:
Paragraph 1 requests the President of the COP and the Executive Secretary to send joint letters to Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that are yet to ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, urging them to deposit their instruments of acceptance with the Depositary as soon as possible.
Paragraph 2 requests the Secretariat to consult the UN Secretary General on “ways to promote the ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol”.
Paragraph 3 requests the Secretariat “by 1 May 2018 additional information on progress in implementing decision ‘1/CP.21, chapter IV: enhanced action prior to 2020’”.
Paragraph 4 requests the Secretariat “to prepare a synthesis report of the submissions…as an input into the stocktake” in 2018.
Paragraph 5 welcomes the report by the COP23 Presidency, which noted that the “2018 facilitative dialogue will consider, as an element of the dialogue, the efforts of Parties on action and support, as appropriate, in the pre-2020 period”.
Paragraph 6 decides to convene a stocktake on pre-2020 implementation and ambition at COP24, which will apply the format of the 2016 facilitative dialogue; and consider: inputs of the COP, CMP (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol), the subsidiary and constituted bodies of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol and the operating entities of the financial mechanism; the mitigation efforts of countries in the pre-2020 period; the provision of support in the pre-2020 period; and the work of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, including the summaries for policymakers of the technical examination processes and the yearbooks on climate action prepared by the high-level champion.
Paragraph 7 also decides to convene a stocktake on pre-2020 implementation and ambition at COP25, which will apply the format of the stocktake in 2018, and consider: inputs of the COP, CMP (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol), the subsidiary and constituted bodies of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol and the operating entities of the financial mechanism; the outcomes of the high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance planned at COP24; relevant outcomes of the facilitative dialogue 2018; the outcomes of the stocktake in 2018; and the work of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.
Paragraph 8 requests the Secretariat “to prepare reports on the stocktakes” in 2018 and 2019.