At COP 23, Parties to the UNFCCC must realize the vision of Paris by making substantial progress on all agenda items under the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The development of a zero draft of the implementation guidelines, in form of a text, will be a key milestone to measure success. COP 23 must also lay the ground, in form of a roadmap, for a successful facilitative dialogue in 2018 to assess collective progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and indications of implications for revised NDCs.
Several elements will be necessary for creating the right conditions for enabling both immediate and longer-term action:
Raising Ambition to Avoid Increasing Impacts:
- The Ambition Mechanism consists of three elements: a facilitative “Talanoa dialogue” in 2018 (FD2018), to assess collective progress against a 1.5°C pathway and to increase ambition thereafter, a second periodic review to translate science into policy, and a global stocktake to increase ambition every 5 years. Comprehensive progress must be made in the design of these elements at COP 23 to ensure they fulfil the potential for raising ambition that they embody.
- Loss and Damage: CAN believes that the first Pacific COP is a unique opportunity for the WIM to fully implement its mandate. This includes generating and providing finance for loss and damage, including from innovative sources, adopting a stronger five-year workplan for the WIM than the one the ExCom approved in October, mandating the WIM and SCF to elaborate modalities for clear and transparent accounting of finance for loss and damage, and providing adequate finance to implement the mandate of the WIM.
- Adaptation: Adaptation must be part of the ambition mechanism. In order to make that happen, clear guidelines for adaptation communications need to be adopted by 2018 and the Global Goal on Adaptation needs to be operationalized. A more comprehensive review of the institutional arrangements on adaptation, including National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), must also be initiated to determine if they are fit-for-purpose.
- Agriculture: To enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to identify and catalyze action to address gaps in knowledge, research, action and support, a joint SBSTA/SBI Work Programme on Agriculture and Food Security should be established by COP 23.
Support for Action to Enable Increased Ambition:
- Finance: COP 23 should result in progress towards ramping up climate finance to US$100 billion a year by 2020 to be increased by 2025, progress in mobilizing private finance in developing countries, and improved transparency of finance mobilized and provided. The imbalance between mitigation and adaptation finance should also be recognized and lead to increased adaptation finance and confirmation that the Adaptation Fund will serve the Agreement.
- Technology: The Technology Framework must ensure support for climate technology towards the goal of successfully implementing NDCs. To this end, the periodic assessment must include metrics and indicators that will enable countries to make informed choices and predict the needs of developing countries for transformational technologies.
Transparency of Action and Support:
- Enhanced Transparency Framework: A core set of robust and enforceable guidelines that build on and enhance the existing systems of transparency, towards a common framework, is critical in driving ambition. The modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) should ensure that accurate and sufficient qualitative and quantitative information on adaptation, finance, policies and measures, and projections are submitted by Parties.
- Transparency of Action: MPGs must include transparency of mitigation and adaptation and should be broad enough to account for different NDC types towards providing up-to-date and relevant information to the global stocktake.
- Transparency of Support: Key concepts of modalities for accounting climate finance must be identified at COP 23, including further guidance on how to report on non-financial support. Support should be provided to developing countries that will enable them to comply with common standards of the transparency framework.
- Flexibility in the Transparency Framework: CAN encourages Parties to recognize flexibility in different ways for countries that need it while at the same time encourages Parties to make MPGs that could be implemented by all Parties that will ensure maximum levels of detail, accuracy, and comparability.
- Accounting for Agriculture Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU): CAN believes that it is essential that all Parties account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in all land use sectors in a comparable and transparent way using the methodologies provided in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines and NDC-consistent base years measured using agreed methodologies.
- Accounting for International Transfers: CAN believes that any transfer of international units should help enhance ambition of NDCs. This can be done by ensuring that the guidelines for Article 6 avoid double counting and are in line with the goals of transparency, enhanced ambition, environmental integrity, human rights, and sustainable development.
- Accounting for International Shipping and Aviation: Parties should urgently take action through national, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures to reduce transport emissions and ensure that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) give adequate account of measures and efforts in the FD2018. Parties should also include information on bunker fuel burn and relevant transport work in their NDCs and ensure that the use of any mitigation outcomes guarantees environmental integrity and is not double counted.
Robustness of the Paris Agreement Now and Over Time:
- Long-Term Strategies and Action Agenda: To encourage increased ambition and early adoption of low-carbon pathways, all countries should come forward with long-term strategies as soon as possible, following a fully participatory planning process with G20 countries leading the way and submitting well before 2020. Strategies should include countries’ planned peak years, the year they expect to achieve a balance of sources and sinks, and details of conditions or support needed. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require urgent, ramping up of pre-2020 action on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.
- Civil Society Participation: Fijian “talanoa” spirit should serve the Parties with a longer-term framework for fruitful and balanced deliberations. In particular, active civil society participation should be guaranteed during the FD2018 process, the development of guidelines for the global stocktake, the transparency framework, deliberations on Article 6 and in the development and implementation of long-term strategies.
- Gender Action Plan and Indigenous People’s Platform: This year the Gender Action Plan should be adopted and the Local Communities and Indigenous People’s Platform should be made operational to ensure that those that may be victims of climate change are being empowered
The Paris Agreement was adopted with thundering applause worldwide and has entered into force in record time for providing a new architecture and regime for climate action past 2020. Now, we must deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement by accelerating efforts in producing its implementation guidelines and ensuring greater ambition in the pre-2020 period and beyond.
Negotiations for the Paris implementation guidelines must move forward towards reaching decisions in 2018 in a balanced and transparent manner. We must build on the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 and use it as an opportunity to raise ambition and strengthen Parties’ NDCs before 2020.
Climate Action Network provides this Briefing outlining its expectations on the outcome of COP 23 to inform Ministers and the Fijian presidency in view of the Ministerial Pre-COP gathering to be held from 17 to 18 October 2017. This Briefing is based on the key issues and guiding questions outlined in the Pre-COP agenda.
ECO heartily applauds the move by Parties negotiating loss and damage yesterday to deviate from the bad practice of closing informals to Observers after the first session. ECO was inside the second informal meeting (after being there for the first), and neither did the sky fall in nor did Observers disrupt any conversations. The work of the loss and damage mechanism itself already sets a good example of inclusiveness and interaction with civil society. This now sets another precedent which all other informals should follow. We hope this is the beginning of a long running love affair with openness and transparency.
With kisses, Civil Society
With transparency coming into focus in the APA, here are three cheat sheet answers to help with the transparency eye chart.
Transparency is a cross-cutting issue and Article 13 has many facets, making it a complicated piece of the Paris Agreement puzzle. To deal with this complexity, Parties need a boost of strong modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG).
The first step is to build a common and inclusive framework to enhance effectiveness. This means ensuring all strands of the transparency framework are tied together with flexibility and in the context of equity, to account for differing national circumstances. The MPG must be the leader of the transparency pack on several fronts. These include the level of action and support for how Parties implement the commitments, in the context of the cross-cutting principles reiterated in the Agreement, including the integrity of ecosystems, human rights and gender equality.
Secondly, non-Party stakeholders can provide a great contribution to the effectiveness and integrity of the transparency framework. The modalities, procedures and guidelines should recognise and promote this role.
Finally, the entire process needs to be complete and ready for 2018. When aiming to reach such an imperative goal, concrete steps must be taken. Hence extra sessions might be necessary to make this transparency framework operational for 2018. Also, it will aid national implementation to be comparable across the board. Let Marrakech be the constructive conversation that kick starts this. It’s a continuous journey; but let’s not forget that all marathons started with a single step in the right direction.
As people celebrated Bob Dylan’s birthday yesterday, negotiations in Bonn were ‘tangled up in blue’. ECO would like to inspire negotiators in answering the questions posed by the APA Co-Chairs.
Should the features and information on Nationally Determined Contributions be tailored to the type of NDCs or should they be tailored on some other basis? If so what? What lessons can be drawn in this respect from the INDCs already submitted?
‘ The times they are a-changin’
Yes, features of NDCs and supplementary information should be tailored but in a manner that facilitates comparability and provides further clarity in relation to what the countries intends to do nationally.
- Explain Fairness: the Lima guidance on information requirement should be enhanced. Parties ought to explain why they consider their contribution to be “fair and ambitious”. Parties should be clear and specific about which baseline, indicators, global mitigation pathways and/or temperature limits they used and how they utilised them to make their determination of fairness and ambition.
- Respect the preamble of the Paris Agreement: new guidance should call on Parties to clarify how they will protect human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equity, food security, ecosystem integrity and just transition when taking climate action.
- Common five year timeframes: convergence on a single common five year timeframe for future NDCs would enhance comparability of Parties’ actions and avoid future inconsistency of end dates.
- Conditional component feature of NDCs: many developing countries have formulated their current INDCs with a conditional component. This should be an official feature of NDC guidance and needs to specify the precise nature and scale of the support required to implement these conditional activities.
- Not everyone is the same: LDCs and SIDS should be supported in their application of the guidance on the features and information in NDCs and should be allowed to exercise discretion with regards to how they use this guidance when developing their NDCs.
- Nothing to hide: if countries are using market mechanisms (Article 6) to deliver their contribution that should be explicit within the NDC.
Can the existing guidance on accounting under the Convention be taken into account, and if so how? How detailed or general should the guidance be and what should it address
‘ I want you’
- Apply the guidance ASAP: as the APA develops and finalises these accounting rules, Parties should aim to not just apply them in the next round of NDCs but should apply them retrospectively to their current NDCs.
- No one should feel left out: guidance on accounting should apply to all Parties though applicability should be contingent on capacity levels within countries.
- The details are important, the guidance should ensure that countries:
- Account for anthropogenic emissions and removals, in accordance with methodologies and common metrics assessed by the IPCC and adopted by the COP.
- Ensure methodological consistency and transparency, including historical baseline, such that the metrics are comparable historically and between countries.
- Include all categories of anthropogenic emissions or removals as well as explain exclusion of any category.
What are adaptation communications seeking to achieve, especially in light of linkages with other issues, for e.g. with the global stocktake? What does that mean for the scope of the guidance needed?
‘Don’t think twice it’s alright’
- Understanding need: adaptation communications should enhance understanding of the finance needs for adaptation in the short and longer term. This should be reflected in the guidance and should help the global stocktake to identify gaps in adaptation finance.
- Connecting the dots: adaptation guidance would help countries design better adaptation contributions as well as help provide the necessary information to track progress towards the global goal for adaptation and identify gaps, which needs to be filled, including through significantly scaled-up finance.
How can a balance be achieved between the need for guidance for adaptation communications with the need for flexibility?
‘Shelter from the storm’
- Don’t increase the burden: Art. 7.10 already provides initial guidance on important elements. In order to reflect countries’ circumstances, the guidance should not create additional burden for developing countries. Support such as capacity building and readiness programs should be delivered for developing countries to meet these reporting obligations.
What are some of the experiences and lessons learnt from existing MRV arrangements, and how could they provide a basis for an enhanced transparency framework on action and support?
‘Things have changed’
- Learning from existing practices:
- It is important to build on the existing MRV system, especially the ICA process of Facilitative Sharing of Views, as this could be a helpful platform to match conditional NAMAs to finance and technology needs. It could provide a strong basis for future linkage developing country NDCs with necessary finance, from the GCF or elsewhere.
- Existing MRV arrangements, such as biennial reports, show a lot of inconsistencies because it is currently left to contributing countries, which tend to overestimate the climate relevance of bilateral finance. They allow countries to inflate the amount of actual support provided to developing countries by, for instance, counting loans at face value rather than only counting grants and grant-equivalent funding. They do not allow a proper assessment of the degree to which financial support is new and additional.
- Bolster institutional capacity: countries will need to do more to support the UNFCCC Roster of Experts as there will likely be insufficient capacity for the scaling up required by the enhanced transparency system.
What constitutes flexibility for developing countries and how could it be applied through modalities, procedures and guidelines in a way that supports full and effective participation in the transparency framework?
‘I shall be released’
- Little by little: there could be flexibility in terms of scope, economic sectors / gases covered, methodological tiers/granularity for estimating emissions and removals and reporting frequency though the IPCC guidance for estimating emissions and removals should be common.
- Progression: there should be a “best efforts” starting point, and those who have previously reported to a certain standard / frequency etc. should do at least that in the new system. Progression to better reporting and estimation over time is critical. It must however be recognised that it has taken many years for developed countries to build and improve their systems so developing countries will also need time to improve their systems.
What input is needed for conducting the global stocktake, by when and from whom? What mechanism/channels could be used to feed this input into the global stocktake?
‘ Blowin’ in the wind’
- The following inputs should feed into the stocktake:
- The results from the Second Periodical Review (SPR) of the Convention, which has the Sixth Assessment Report of IPCC and its three Special Reports as main sources, is supposed to consider the adequacy of the long term goal and it should be the main scientific input to the global stocktake in 2023.
- Assessment of support provided and received: Review of assessment and reports from the SCF, Financial Mechanism, Technology Mechanism, and annual reporting of capacity building activities, in addition to the technical expert review under Article 13 of the PA.
- National reports under the Transparency Framework for Action and Support (mitigation and adaption).
- Other inputs from relevant UNFCCC thematic bodies including lessons learned from the Technical Expert Meetings and technical examination.
- A proper assessment of fulfilment of Article 9 of the Paris Agreement as well as 4.3 and 4.4 of the Convention, drawing on existing work for instance by the SCF.
- Assessing Equity: Considering that the global stocktake is mandated to be conducted “in light of equity”, Parties will need to identify relevant sources of information and expertise to guide their taking stock of equity matters. In addition to relevant information contained in IPCC assessment reports, inputs from academia and broader civil society should be invited.
How will the global stocktake be conducted, keeping in mind the need for simplicity and relevance, ownership and inclusiveness?
- Open and Participatory: The global stocktake should be conducted in an open, participatory manner that ensures voices from stakeholders other than parties are taken into consideration.
- Political Momentum: The global stocktake should be conducted at ministerial level to formulate an effective COP decision resulting from the work of the SPR. With the SPR and the associated Joint Contact Group of SBSTA and SBI the same process and body will interact with the 2018 facilitative dialogue and the global stocktake in 2023.
- Science at the heart: The IPCC should be a key participant in the stocktake. Among other functions, it should inform parties on predicted impacts. For example, if Parties’ aggregate mitigation efforts are projected to lead to 3°C of warming, the associated impacts must be clearly communicated and juxtaposed to scenarios with 2 and 1.5°C of warming. It is crucial to have this ready for 2018, based on IPCC AR5.
What is the relationship, if any, between the global stocktake and the facilitative dialogue to be conducted in 2018?
‘Knockin’ on heaven’s doors’
- Trial: Parties should use the opportunity of the 2018 stocktake (the “facilitative dialogue” pursuant to para 20 1/CP.21) to trial the modalities for the 2023 stocktake as much as possible. This would mean that modalities for the 2023 stocktake would have to be near final by COP23 in 2017, or SB48 in 2018 the latest, in time for testing at the 2018 facilitative dialogue.
- Learning: there will be an opportunity to learn from the 2018 experience and to improve the modalities for the 2023 global stocktake thereafter in accordance with the lessons learned.
ECO has observed that many people believe there’s already an ambition mechanism in place. But the disappointing reality is, we don’t have one (yet). Though we left Paris with many useful things, that didn’t include a set of INDCs strong enough to support an real drive toward 1.5°C, nor even a clear plan for strengthening them.
A real ambition mechanism – one that can deliver 1.5°C – will need a significant number of Parties strengthening and resubmitting their INDCs before finalising them. Which is to say, before 2020, and the sooner the better. The key to ambition isn’t only in resubmission, it’s how all the mechanisms will work together to ratchet up the level of ambition. Here’s a recap of the mechanisms we already have:
- The NDC process with its bottom-up architecture, national planning and conditional NDCs, allows even poor countries to table ambitious low-carbon development plans. But they cannot, and should not, be expected to execute those plans on their own.
- The dynamic review cycle and formalised periodic process anchors and integrates a variety of iterative processes. Alongside that is the progression clause by which the Parties have agreed to avoid backsliding.
- The transparency agreement allows everyone to see what everyone is doing.
- The global stocktake with its comprehensive terms of reference, and the dress-rehearsals that we’ll have with the 2018 facilitative dialogue.
There are many good elements here, but not enough. We need actual reviews, which are not yet on the formal negotiating agenda, that go beyond collective assessment to considering the adequacy and fairness of individual pledges. Then there’s the matter of the public finance breakthrough needed as part of the ambition mechanism.
The 2018 trial-stocktake is our single best chance to decrease emissions before 2020. ECO suggests a COP decision in Morocco this year [requiring] [requesting] Parties to update and improve the ambition of their INDCs well in advance of the COP 24 in 2018. But dreams must become real. Increasing ambition must be matched by increased and predictable finance.
This is a good place to pause and suggest that we resume the discussion at Unfinished Business, the equity side event today at 16:45 in the Berlin Room.
Parties chose to land in the ‘well below 2°C’ zone, while still pursuing a 1.5°C warming limit. This is, however, not compatible with GHG emission neutrality somewhere in the second half of this century. Full decarbonisation, with no tricks (like non-permanent offsetting and geoengineering), is needed and should be what those who claim to be ambitious fight for!
The endless variations in the new text trying to reframe the Convention’s preambular ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions,’ [ECO’s emphasis] are a reflection of a genuine global struggle to come to terms with new realities. ECO does not romanticise the past, nor ignore historical responsibilities. The Paris Agreement can only deliver on its goal if all respect the Convention in full.
Which brings us to means of implementation. The floor of US$100 billion seems to now be established. But the agreement does not enough to ‘shift the trillions.’ ECO believes the Paris Agreement sends a signal to investors about the long-term direction. It pays lip service to setting a carbon price. Yet, Parties are about to fail in their duty of care, which would make them commit to finally end all fossil fuel subsidies, stop financing carbon-intensive investments or indeed commit to divestment.
That the current INDCs, many of which are conditional on adequate international support, are not enough to limit warming to well below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C, is acknowledged and shockingly taken for granted. For now, there is no plan to close the resulting gap. We do not need to wait until 2018 for the IPCC to tell us that the pathway we are on forecloses limiting warming to 1.5°C. Independent assessments have already shown that developed countries in particular are lagging behind. The facilitated dialogue in 2019 merely opens the door for countries to rethink their lack of ambition. In 2025, ECO does not want to be looking back on the Paris Agreement, and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight judge that this was a grave error. The five-year cycles of updating and enhancing #### (shall we just call them NDCs?) can start immediately upon entry into force.
Loss and Damage
The fight for loss and damage continues in dark corners of Le Bourget. To the most vulnerable, we say: Stay strong! To the blockers: You let the genie of liability and compensation out of the bottle. Please put it back in, as nobody is calling for it in this agreement.
Transparency, MRV and Compliance
After a decade of building confidence and trust through these talks, the Paris Agreement still reflects the fear that transparency on implementation and meaningful review of outcomes could be punitive. Shining a light is something ECO has done since 1972. In light of the bottom up character of the INDCs and the facilitative nature of the proposed review we urge all to lighten up and embrace transparency.
On a related note, ECO always understood the Durban mandate was ‘to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties,’ to mean an international agreement would have some teeth. Simply put: the bracketed wording on ‘compliance’ needs to be included in the Paris Agreement.
ECO is shocked that countries have surgically removed human rights from the core climate change agreement.
A broad coalition of civil society organisations and indigenous peoples have come together to collectively support joint text for Article 2, the heart of the agreement. All attempts were made to keep it simple for Parties. Instead, civil society’s voices are being ignored. You forgot that you represent us. You forgot that your job is to speak for us.
President Hollande: When you said that ‘COP21 would be a new step for human rights’, what exactly did you mean?
ECO praises Mexico and other champions for their work in promoting human rights in the operative text of the agreement. We owe it to the world’s vulnerable—those least responsible for and most impacted by climate change.
Today, Friday, a new moon will rise over Paris. ECO still has hope it will mark a new era. The change that is needed takes all of you. Soit brave!