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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 12 Number 670 | Friday, 20 May 2016

Bonn Highlights

Thursday, 19 May 2016 | Bonn, Germany

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On Thursday, the Bonn Climate Change Conference continued with a workshop on gender-responsive climate policy. In the afternoon, the Fourth Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) and the SBSTA Research Dialogue were held. Throughout the day, several SBI and SBSTA informal consultations convened. Late in the afternoon, informal consultations on the APA agenda convened.


FOREST IN EXHAUSTION: In the informal consultations, Co-Facilitator José Sanhueza (Chile) recalled that this issue had been examined since SBSTA 32 without progress. One party described the proposal to include lands with forest in exhaustion as afforestation and reforestation activities under the CDM. Other parties raised concerns over environmental integrity and suggested closing the agenda item. Co-Facilitator Sanhueza encouraged parties to consult bilaterally.

MATTERS RELATED TO ARTICLE 6 OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT (COOPERATIVE APPROACHES): Work programme for Article 6.8 (non-market approaches): In informal consultations, some parties described non-market approaches as any actions that: do not rely on market mechanisms; may include tools like NAMAs and REDD+; and do not use tradable units. One party emphasized they are nationally determined, needs based and not results based, and based on public funding from developed countries. Many agreed the work programme should avoid duplication. Some parties suggested mapping potential synergies that could enable or enhance opportunities for coordination across relevant institutional arrangements.

Guidance on Article 6.4 (mechanism to contribute to mitigation and support sustainable development): In informal consultations, parties agreed on the need to build on the experience of the CDM. Some parties noted the changed context where all parties have obligations but emphasized that additionality and environmental integrity continue to be essential. Parties identified issues requiring further discussion, including: scope of eligible activities; membership structure of the supervisory body; legal nature of outcomes; host country benefits and national bodies; mechanisms for registration and transfer; development of methodologies; and the linkages with Article 5 (sinks and reservoirs). Views diverged on the need for a technical paper, with a party suggesting that submissions were more suitable at this stage. Some parties supported creating a report that inventories elements of the CDM.

Guidance on Article 6.2 (Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes): In informal consultations, parties exchanged views on: the need for supplementarity over domestic actions; the importance of robust accounting; linkages with Article 4.13 (accounting of NDCs); how to operationalize the term ‘corresponding adjustments’; and the scope of submissions to be invited for the guidance that the CMA is expected to adopt. The co-facilitators will issue a note reflecting views on all three sub-items by 20 May.

ACCOUNTING OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES PROVIDED AND MOBILIZED THROUGH PUBLIC INTERVENTIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 9.7 OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT: In the informal consultations, parties discussed the elements for draft conclusions to advance this item via: submissions; a technical paper; an in-session workshop or an information event; and a continued consideration at SBSTA 45. Parties agreed on the need for precision on the scope of submissions and a timeline. Views diverged on the need for and scope of the technical paper. Some parties emphasized that the Convention’s arrangements for MRV do not constitute accounting modalities under Article 9 (finance) of the Paris Agreement. The co-facilitators will revise the elements for draft conclusions.

RESEARCH DIALOGUE: Following a poster session, pesentations on new scientific findings and emerging information addressed: contributions of the World Climate Research Programme to the Paris outcomes; state of the science and knowledge gaps on temperature change; new findings and emerging needs from the GCOS; observational constraints on the global carbon budget and preliminary analysis of the 2015 anomaly; differences in climate impacts between 1.5°C and 2°C; and implications from climate-carbon cycle modeling on socio-economic scenario development. Discussions focused on the need for more research on low emission scenarios, slowing in-ocean circulation and regional variations.

Presentations on scientific knowledge and capacity building, addressed: knowledge and capacity building in developing countries; connecting science to people; climate adaptation and slow onset events; perspectives from the Pacific on slow onset events; climate services; and translating climate research into useful products and services. Discussions addressed forecasting on different timescales and data rescue in the Pacific.


THIRD REVIEW OF THE ADAPTATION FUND: In informal consultations, parties discussed the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) of the review. On the objective, one group proposed to specify the concept of adequacy of the Adaptation Fund’s resources. On scope, parties considered: language on lessons learned from the access modalities; inclusion of references to mobilization and effective use of financial resources; and assessment of the effectiveness and transparency, as well as coherence and complementarity of institutional linkages. On information sources, parties suggested: including references to the technical examination process on adaptation; relevant CMA decisions; and report of the WIM. The co-facilitators will revise the draft ToR.

METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES UNDER THE PROTOCOL: Review of Joint Implementation Guidelines: In informal consultations, the Secretariat presented the recommendations of the JI Supervisory Committee (JISC) on implementing the draft JI modalities and procedures (FCCC/SBI/2016/INF.7) and on the JI guidelines (FCCC/SBI/2016/INF.8). Parties agreed that this agenda item should be concluded at CMP 12, while emphasizing the importance of capturing the lessons of JI for the implementation of Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches). Parties expressed support for the JISC’s recommended amendments to the draft JI modalities and procedures, and agreed they would be incorporated for parties to review on 20 May.

CAPACITY BUILDING: In informal consultations, parties focused on: elements of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) ToR and the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries.

On the ToR, parties shared views on a pre-prepared list, including: terms; gender; chairmanship; cross-membership rules; participation of observers; annual workplan; rules of procedure; and decisions. Parties suggested adding quorum, transparency, and cooperation with bodies and institutions within and outside the Convention. On decisions, parties converged on using the consensus principle.

On the review, the Secretariat presented on a technical paper (FCCC/TP/2016/1) drawing attention to, inter alia, information gaps, and the review’s overlap with the PCCB ToR and the workplan on capacity-building. Parties’ questions addressed impact analyses, information sharing, influence of in-country institutions on results and other UNFCCC bodies’ activities. Consultations will continue on 21 May.

LDCs: In informal consultations, parties discussed revised draft conclusions, including a paragraph inviting developed country parties and other parties in a position to do to fill the finance gap. After a proposal to delete “other parties in a position to do so” and hesitance about the term “finance gap,” parties deleted the paragraph and inserted slightly-amended, agreed language, which notes the lack of funding in the LDC Fund (LDCF), and urges parties “and others” to contribute to “the LDCF and/or the GCF.” With other amendments, parties agreed to the draft conclusions.

WORKSHOP ON GENDER-RESPONSIVE CLIMATE POLICY (DAY TWO): Participants worked in four breakout groups to develop recommendations. Reporting back, the group on UNFCCC policy makers and implementers suggested building the capacity of delegations on, and engaging more men in, gender and climate issues.

On finance, the group called for: feeding evaluation results back to project participants; creating windows for women to access finance; and increasing project implementers’ awareness of the benefits of including gender considerations.

On the UNFCCC Secretariat and UN system, the group suggested the Secretariat strengthen coordination and coherence of gender mainstreaming, including with other intergovernmental processes, and add more substance to current reporting on gender balance numbers.

The group on implementing agencies and civil society at national and subnational levels underscored the importance of: male champions; capacity building for grassroots organizations; curricula development; and power analysis to convince men of women’s importance.

Many participants called for continuing the Lima work programme on gender after COP 22. In closing, SBI Chair Tomasz Chruszczow said the solutions identified would feed into the contact group on 20 May.

FOURTH DIALOGUE ON ACE (DAY TWO): Marie Jaudet, France, facilitated this event on public participation and public access to information. Ella Behlyarova, Aarhus Convention, identified linkages between UNFCCC Article 6 and the Aarhus Convention, and proposed developing a guidebook for Article 6 implementation. Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, Lord Mayor, Bonn, stressed the availability and transparency of information as preconditions for implementing the Paris Agreement.

On public participation, presenters shared experiences in: INDC development in Chile; civil society participation in UN country delegations; legal frameworks for public participation in climate policy in Mexico; community involvement in adaptation projects in Senegal and the Philippines; and civil society participation in environmental governance in Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Four working groups considered: tools and innovative approaches to public involvement; citizen participation in mitigation and adaptation activities; and multi-stakeholder partnerships for public participation.

On public access to information, panelists presented on: a regional instrument for implementing access rights in Latin America; the European Commission’s Climate-ADAPT and the UNFCCC’s Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) information repositories; and carbon footprint product labeling in the Republic of Korea.

Ideas going forward included: involving social scientists in ACE work; an ACE section in the NAZCA portal; and a space for “lay citizens” in the ACE framework.


SCOPE OF THE NEXT PERIODIC REVIEW OF THE LTGG AND OF OVERALL PROGRESS TOWARDS ACHIEVING IT: During informal consultations, parties agreed to work on the basis of the co-chairs’ draft conclusions. Parties proposed inserting references to: the mandate of the periodic review; the 2018 facilitative dialogue; and a workshop on the review at COP 22. Some parties raised concerns about referring to the facilitative dialogue, noting that no work would have been carried out on it by SB 48. While some expressed willingness to consider a workshop, others expressed concerns over its timing and purpose. A revised draft will be discussed on 24 May.

RESPONSE MEASURES: Improved forum and work programme: On the work programme, many delegates agreed that the focus on economic diversification and a just transition was beneficial. One group proposed focusing on how response measures impact economic diversification and sustainable development. A party suggested adding a consideration of gender as part of a just transition. Parties also commented on potential ToRs for the ad hoc technical expert groups. Many parties agreed the improved forum would benefit from a more action-oriented approach with real outcomes and called for clear timelines for identified actions. One group suggested an expert workshop at COP 22. Informal consultations will reconvene on 21 May.


On Thursday, SBSTA and SBI delegates continued in a business-as-usual manner, engaged in numerous informal consultations and mandated events. To the casual observer, the continuing consultations on the APA and SBI agendas might almost have gone unnoticed. Mulling over the APA Co-Chairs’ “snapshot” of the draft agenda based on discussions with groups and parties, several delegates thought the options for compromises offered in this draft had moved delegates closer, including on how to take stock of the work in the subsidiary and constituted bodies to advance the Agreement. As SBSTA and SBI already undertake some of this work, one participant took comfort in the APA’s delay, saying that it allowed for the two permanent subsidiary bodies to “pick up speed after staying in the margins” during much of 2015.