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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 643 | Friday, 4 September 2015

Bonn Highlights

Thursday, 3 September 2015 | Bonn, Germany

Visit our IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage from Bonn, Germany at:

ADP 2-10 continued on Thursday, 3 September 2015, in Bonn, Germany. Delegates gathered in facilitated groups on: adaptation and loss and damage, technology, mitigation, transparency, and timeframes in the morning; finance, preamble, implementation and compliance, and capacity building in the afternoon; and general/objective and workstream 2 (pre-2020 ambition) in the evening. Throughout the day, informal meetings of the facilitated groups also took place.   


ADAPTATION AND LOSS AND DAMAGE: Andrea Guerrero (Colombia) co-facilitated the session.

Reporting back from the spin-off on loss and damage, GRENADA highlighted two proposals: from the G-77/China, placing a loss and damage mechanism with a climate displacement coordination facility in the agreement, noting that this mechanism would replace the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) after 2020; and from the US, the EU, Switzerland and Australia, addressing loss and damage through COP decisions, and capturing the WIM’s permanence.

Co-Facilitator Guerrero summarized the spin-off’s discussions on adaptation, including: the possibility of a long-term global goal or vision to reduce vulnerability and increase adaptive capacity; and potential means to achieve such a vision, including sharing knowledge, MOI, and improving science.

Spin-offs met in the afternoon to consider textual proposals.

MITIGATION: This session was co-facilitated by Franz Perrez (Switzerland).

On collective efforts, CHINA suggested focusing on providing a long-term objective. Colombia, for AILAC, said the section on general/objective should include a global goal, to be operationalized in relevant sections of the agreement. CANADA noted that COP decisions are appropriate to enable action in line with the latest science.

On differentiation, AILAC supported reference to commitments by all parties. NEW ZEALAND, CANADA and JAPAN said language on differentiation belongs to the paragraph on individual efforts. A number of developing countries said collective efforts should be linked to CBDR, equity and Convention Article 4 (commitments).

INDIA, with CHINA, said individual efforts would operationalize differentiation of collective efforts. NEW ZEALAND, with the US, said the agreement would recognize differentiation but emphasized the need for a common, collective effort. NORWAY suggested that the collective efforts paragraph provide a framework for individual efforts.

The MARSHALL ISLANDS called for clarity on the relationship between the general/objective section and collective efforts on mitigation. Co-Facilitator Perrez said discussions would inform his input to the ADP Co-Chairs.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND DEVELOPMENT: Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu (the Democratic Republic of Congo) co-facilitated the session. CANADA reported on Wednesday’s spin-offs, noting constructive discussions on the framework for enhanced action, and presenting a list of key aspects of the technology section.

The EU and the US highlighted convergence on the role and importance of technology, cooperative action and anchoring institutions.

Swaziland, for the AFRICAN GROUP, suggested further work on periodic assessments of institutional arrangements through COP decisions. The EU stated that a COP decision could strengthen institutions, while IRAN preferred doing so in the agreement.

JAPAN called for the framework for enhanced action to be in a COP decision. INDIA underlined that the agreement could be the “final reinforcement” of the framework and reflect its durability. The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES said the framework could feature in both the agreement and a COP decision, the former explaining “the what” and the latter “the how.”

Co-Facilitator Mpanu-Mpanu encouraged the spin-off to engage in a drafting exercise on cooperative action, the framework and institutions.

TRANSPARENCY: This session was co-facilitated by Fook Seng Kwok (Singapore). ALGERIA called for avoiding a mitigation-centric MRV system. Singapore, for AOSIS, presented a framing paragraph for this section of the agreement, conveying that developed countries shall provide adequate support for effective participation of developing countries in the transparency system.

China, for the LMDCs, presented a proposal that, inter alia, reflects that the extent to which developing countries can implement MRV arrangements will depend on developed countries’ financial support.

The EU underlined that textual proposals should be “bridging,” which she said implies a prior discussion among parties with varying views.

INDIA and BRAZIL called for capturing the full scope of “support.” The US suggested spelling out the capacity-building aspect.

The EU reported that Wednesday’s spin-off had identified various ways accounting can be used, and had compiled different, though not necessarily contradictory, perspectives on accountability.

Parties agreed to hold a final informal meeting to hear suggestions on elements for the agreement versus decisions, and on clarifying the different types of support.

TIMEFRAMES: This session was co-facilitated by Roberto Dondisch (Mexico). Adaptation and finance Co-Facilitators, respectively Andrea Guerrero and Diann Black-Layne, reported on discussions relating to timing in their groups. Parties then discussed a list of key elements presented by Co-Facilitator  Dondisch.

Many supported including a general stocktaking of global progress in the agreement. BRAZIL suggested the agreement establish a process for the stocktaking, with inputs deriving from existing processes under the Convention, such as the review of the adequacy of finance; and output timed at least one year before parties submit revised NDCs. The EU suggested a synthesis report coming out of the stocktaking.

Several parties emphasized the voluntary nature of adjustments to NDCs, with the EU underlining this should be compatible with progress towards a long-term goal in the agreement.

The US suggested different treatment of adaptation and mitigation under timeframes. Zimbabwe, for the AFRICAN GROUP, called for an article defining communication of the different types of undertakings, with flexibility for parties with limited capacity. Tuvalu, for the LDCs, suggested that: the term “NDCs” refers to mitigation; the term “contributions” does not apply to adaptation; and a parallel timing process for MOI is needed.

FINANCE: Georg Børsting (Norway) co-facilitated this session.

Reporting back from spin-off discussions on scale, ECUADOR noted difficulty in disentangling cross-cutting issues. SWITZERLAND summarized spin-off discussions on sources, highlighting a common view that sources could not be limited to a single option.

Parties then proceeded to discuss four proposals on institutional arrangements from the G-77/China, the Republic of Korea, the EU, and a joint proposal by the US, Japan and Canada.

South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, noted commonalities across proposals, such as the financial mechanism under Convention Article 11 (Financial Mechanism) serving as the financial mechanism of the new agreement. Supported by BOLIVIA, he opposed the Republic of Korea’s proposal to designate the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the “main” operating entity of the agreement, noting that it would re-open the GCF’s governing instrument. NORWAY expressed concern about the G-77/China proposal to list existing funds under the Convention in the agreement. The EU emphasized flexibility and stressed the need for the COP to retain full authority to decide on operational matters of the funds.

Noting overlap across the proposals, Co-Facilitator Børsting encouraged parties to submit bridging proposals.

PREAMBLE: Co-Facilitator George Wamukoya (Kenya) recalled that the Wednesday spin-off had agreed on five concepts: reference to the Convention; science; the sustainable development agenda; integrity; and issues related to SIDS and LDCs. Reporting on informal discussions held after the spin-off, BOTSWANA said a group of parties was unable to agree on the mode of work and had not engaged in substantive discussions. BOLIVIA and GUATEMALA reported that some parties agreed on a list of concepts for possible inclusion in the preamble. After a procedural discussion, parties presented views on the concept of integrity.

AUSTRALIA said discussing the preamble is premature. The EU called for referencing human rights, while ZAMBIA expressed discomfort with such a reference. Many countries supported referring to gender equality and indigenous peoples. BOLIVIA and ECUADOR stressed references to Mother Earth. The US opposed references to the right to sustainable development. SWITZERLAND, with AUSTRALIA and VENEZUELA, supported including health.

Co-Facilitator Wamukoya indicated that he would circulate a summary of discussions in the evening, noting that parties’ comments on it would be part of the Co-Facilitators’ inputs to the ADP Co-Chairs.

IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE: Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) co-facilitated the session. Discussions focused on ways to facilitate implementation of and compliance with the new agreement.

On the facilitative nature, the US drew attention to her proposal for a multilateral consultative process. Colombia, for AILAC, described the facilitative nature of the Basel Convention’s Implementation and Compliance Committee, which in non-compliance cases is competent to recognize and assist with capacity needs, and advises the COP to make cautionary statements.

AUSTRALIA warned that providing for alternative avenues to access financial support through non-compliance could create adverse incentives. SAUDI ARABIA noted that intentional non-compliance would trigger the dispute settlement provision in the agreement. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said criteria for determining parties’ intention would need to be clarified.

CHINA noted the preference of some parties for an implementation branch and inquired about the scope of a compliance branch. The EU called for a mechanism that looks into parties’ performance and has adequate triggers. She noted the link to transparency and the MRV system. The BAHAMAS suggested the facilitative method be both forward and backward looking.

CAPACITY BUILDING: Artur Runge-Metzger (EU) co-facilitated the group. JAPAN reported on the institutional arrangements spin-off, noting that parties had not reached the “bridging” stage. SAUDI ARABIA reported that the pre-2020 milestone spin-off group was not able to draft compromise text.

SWAZILAND, JAPAN and UGANDA called for a specific discussion on which existing institutions could be strengthened and how, with Senegal, for the LDCs, Jamaica, for AOSIS, and China, for the G-77/CHINA, questioning whether the Durban Forum on Capacity-building could address existing gaps, as suggested by the US.

INDIA, with the G-77/CHINA, Saudi Arabia, for the LMDCs, and SUDAN requested the option for new institutional arrangements be moved to Part 1 of the Tool on the agreement.

AUSTRALIA underlined that some paragraphs in Part 1 had not yet been discussed, but may attract broad agreement.

Co-Facilitator Runge-Metzger noted consensus on the need to make enhancing capacity building a central part of the agreement, with disagreement on whether it will be enhanced through existing or new institutions. He said the Co-Facilitators would capture the discussion in text and gather parties’ reactions on Friday.


As negotiations moved toward the last day, delegates ruminated both on what the outcome of the session could be, and on samples of Ben and Jerry’s latest ice-cream flavor, “Save Our Swirled (SOS),” which were offered at the Bonn conference center. Some described Wednesday’s stocktaking session as a “waste of time,” noting a lingering lack of clarity on process and where things stand on each issue.

Yet, maybe a little sweetness, combined with Wednesday’s reprimand from the Co-Chairs, helped. Some noted more parties “reaching across the aisle” and welcomed a few textual proposals trickling into the spin-offs and facilitated discussions, in particular those on finance and on loss and damage.

As some parties start considering guidance to the ADP Co-Chairs on their possible intersessional work before the October meeting, one observer quipped “let’s hope the signal from Bonn isn’t an SOS.”

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the Bonn Climate Change Conference will be available on Sunday, 6 September 2015, online at: