The United Nations Climate Change Conference organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened on June 01, 2015 in Bonn, Germany and will continue till June 11, 2015. The groups convened at the conference were, 42nd session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 42); the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 42), and the ninth part of the 2nd session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-9)
Inter-sessional highlights for the conference are:
The Opening Ceremony held on the June 01, 2015 with the presence of UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres who noted that this session should be seen as “a construction site” for the subsidiary bodies and the ADP to pave the way for the 2015 agreement.
Incoming COP 21/CMP 11 President Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister, France, suggested four pillars that would underpin success in Paris: a universal, legally-binding agreement; INDCs; finance, technology and capacity-building (MOI); and the role and contributions of non-state actors. He also stressed the importance of clarity on what would be included in the COP decisions and the agreement, determining the political issues that the ministers are to decide upon and a decision on 2020 action for adoption in Paris. His statement also indicated that this year nations were working under the “dual banner of sustainable development and climate action”.
(c) UNFCCC and RTCC
ADP 2-9 proceeded on the basis of the agenda (ADP/2013/AGENDA) adopted at ADP 2-1structured around the 2015 agreement and the pre-2020 ambition. The task of the ADP is based on the negotiating text adopted at the ADP 2-8 in February 2015.
The ADP plenary session was also held on June 01, upon the opening of the session by the ADP Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder (US). France and Germany presented and reported on the dialogues that had taken place in the respective countries.
The address of ADP Co-Chair included an indication proposing a process to identify “low-hanging fruits” within the text for merging and updating. He also addressed whether the section should exist at all, which was supported by Saudi Arabia and Malaysia for the LMDCs. Whereas the importance of the section was highlighted by Peru for AILAC, Tuvalu for LDCs, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Russian Federation. On the contents of the text: Norway, EU and US stated that the section should be concise; Russian Federation added that it should be scientifically- based; Indonesia added that it should not rewrite or interpret the convention; LDCs were supported by Switzerland in their suggestion to deal with the various options before merging the paragraphs.
The ADP negotiating groups took up the first reading of the sections on technology, transparency, capacity building and finance in the Geneva negotiating text. There were also informal facilitated discussions on the same topics, on the 2nd and 3rd of June. On the 3rd there was also a discussion on the preamble, procedural and institutional provisions.
The ADP contact group continued identifying and gathering the contribution of the negotiating and facilitated groups. Facilitated groups took place on mitigation, and adaptation, loss and damage, work stream 2 (pre-2020 ambition) and capacity building from June 4-6, 2015.
On June 05, there were important aspects on finance that were discussed. There was a debate on whether this would entail a restructuring and “clustering” exercise within each section, or directly addressing substance.
The plenary session was opened by the address of the SBSTA Chair Lidia Wojtal (Poland) on the June 01, 2015. Among many other matters the plenary session also addressed agriculture, methodological issues under the Convention, Cooperation with other international organisations. The parties also made their own opening statements. Under SBSTA there were a number of informal discussions on June 2-6, 2015.
Agenda item 5 of the SBSTA was on issues relating to agriculture, was dealt with on June 05. According to the conclusions of the Chair, the SBSTA had taken note of the views of the Parties and admitted observer organisations offered as a response to the invitation of the SBSTA 40.
On June 06, the negotiators dealt with the Draft text on SBSTA 42 agenda item 9(a) relating to Methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol, Implications of the implementation of decisions 2/CMP.7 to 4/CMP.7 and 1/CMP.8 on the previous decisions on methodological issues related to the Kyoto Protocol, including those relating to Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Kyoto Protocol.
During the opening plenary of the SBI session, Chair Amena Yauvoli (Fiji) stressed the need to deliver results on critical issues that will inform the ADP, including the 2013-2015 review and impacts of response measures. Parties adopted the agenda (FCCC/SBI/2015/1). Main highlights of the session were Multilateral Assessment Working Group Session under the Independent Assessment Report (IAR) Process; Reporting From and Review of Annex I Parties to the Convention: Status of Submission and Review of 6th National Communications (NCs) and 1st Biennial Reports (BRs); Reporting From Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention: Provision of Financial and Technical Support; Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings; Administrative, Financial and Institutional Matters: Programme Budget for the Biennium 2016-2017; Continuing Review of the Functions and Operations of the Secretariat; Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement.
There were a number of informal meetings under the SBI from June 2-7, 2015.
There was an in-session SBI/SBSTA/Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) workshop on methodologies for reporting of financial information by Annex I parties was held on the 6th of June.
(c) RTCC and UNFCCC
On June 02, one of the main highlights was the INDC submitted by Japan, which was noted by the experts to be a “less ambitious plan than what was offered by the US and EU”.
The day also included the ‘first session of the 3rd Dialogue on Convention Article 6 (education, training and public awareness) and an in-session workshop on development of early warning systems and contingency plans to address extreme weather events and their effects in the context of agriculture on the June 02, 2015. The second session of the Convention Article 6 Dialogue was held on June 03, respectively which also included an in-session workshop on the assessment of risk and vulnerability of agriculture systems to different climate change scenarios at regional and local levels.
On June 05, the TEM on accelerating energy efficiency in urban environments was held. And the second working group session of the multilateral assessment under the international assessment and review process also took place. There was also a workshop on long term finance. The TEM on accelerating energy efficiency action in urban environments was held on June 06.
Bhagya is an attorney-at-law, and a researcher. She focuses on policy and legal research on climate change, and environment, environmental rights, human rights, and sustainable development.