TWN Bonn Climate News Update No. 5

9 June 2023
Published by Third World Network

Parties provide reflections on outcome of the Global Stocktake

Bonn, 9 June (Meena Raman)- Parties had a rich exchange of views on the global stocktake (GST) during the first joint contact group convened on 7 June at the ongoing 58th session of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Bodies (SB58) in Bonn. They provided their reflections on what the GST decision should look like at the climate talks be held in Dubai end of the year, as well on the GST conclusions out of the SB 58 session.

Differences emerged over whether the GST outcome should assess gaps in the pre-2020 period, with the Like-Minded Developing Countries and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) calling for inclusion of assessment of gaps in the pre-2020 period. This was however opposed by Canada. (The United States at the opening plenary of the GST had clearly said that the GST is an assessment of the collective progress in the implementation of the Paris Agreement (PA) goals and not the UNFCCC. (See TWN Update 3 ).

(At the current SB session, the technical assessment component of the first GST will conclude, with the convening of the third and last meeting of the technical dialogue, with the corresponding summary report to be published in July this year, and an overall synthesis of the summary reports to be published later in September.)

Cuba for the G77 and China said the GST outcome should be comprehensive and reflect all the thematic areas; it would be about looking backwards at implementation gaps and looking forward towards opportunities for addressing such gaps. The CMA (meeting of the Parties to the PA) decision should reflect an assessment on the progress and gaps in ambition and implementation of commitments and identify the opportunities, challenges and solutions for ambition and implementation in light of the principles and provisions of the Convention and the PA, said Cuba further.

Cuba also suggested that the joint contact group should agree on a top-level outline of the key elements of the CMA decision on the GST, which would then serve as the initial basis for further work to be undertaken intersessionally by the Parties in developing the outputs for the political consideration phase, including at the GT workshop in October and at COP28.

As part of preliminary areas in the outcome text, Cuba proposed a preamble; background/context/vision; crosscutting general assessment of collective progress; mitigation; adaptation; means of implementation; response measures; loss and damage; international cooperation; and way forward.

Cuba also suggested the Joint Contact Group should recommend to the SBs to “issue a joint call for submissions from Parties on the elements of the CMA decision, using the initial draft outline agreed at this session as the basis, and requesting Parties and non-Party stakeholders to provide their views and suggestions with respect to the substantive content based on the outline. The deadline for making submissions pursuant to this call could be in mid-August 2023 but after the publication of the factual synthesis report, with the Secretariat be requested to compile these submissions and make them available to Parties and non-Party stakeholders,” said Cuba.

Saudi Arabia for the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) highlighted the issues of pre-2020 to be at the forefront of the GST outcome. It said it is critical to respond to the mandate and ensure inclusive and comprehensive outcome. Saudi Arabia said that the LMDC sees the nature of the outcome as guided by common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), equity, historical responsibilities and how climate action can better synergise with poverty eradication and sustainable development.

On the types of outputs, Saudi Arabia said the CMA decision needs to be the core component and that the declaration or the annex would not be useful. On the outline of the decision, it recommended keeping it simple by looking at mandates and said it supports a preamble and context and cross cutting consideration sections. It also suggested having sections on gaps in collective progress; mitigation; adaptation; loss and damage; response measures; and international cooperation.

Zambia for the Africa group said the decision’s outline should ensure comprehensive and balanced content and comprise all thematic issues in light of equity. It also said the GST must include the pre-2020 gaps and have forward looking elements to address the gaps. Zambia stressed the importance of leaving Bonn with an agreed broad outline of the decision in COP 28.

Algeria for the Arab group said it expects the outcome of SB58 to have a top-level outline of key elements to be addressed by the decision to be adopted in Dubai. It emphasized on the need for a submission process following SB58, which would give the possibility for Parties and non-Party stakeholders to present detailed views on the elements to be addressed by the COP 28 decision, “based on the outline we agreed in Bonn”. Algeria also said that any political declaration has to reflect the views of Parties and added that it was too early to decide on whether to have a technical annex or not.

South Africa for Brazil, South Africa, India, China (BASIC) said the decision should have comprehensive messages and include messages on pre-2020. It called for the same structure and comparable outcomes for all the themes and for these to be informed by equity and CBDR. BASIC said that any mandate to the co-chairs is premature. BASIC expressed concern that Parties were transitioning to the political phase of the GST without pre-2020 and biennial reports synthesized by Annex 1 Parties. South Africa also expressed concern on the lack of balanced treatment to finance, with a disproportionate focus on Article 2.1 (c) of the PA.

Brazil for Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay (ABU) made an impassioned plea for countries to act as the United Nations and said the global Stocktake should unleash unprecedented level of international cooperation so that the international enabling environment is in place for countries to present their most ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and close the gaps. Brazil also called on countries to work on the basis of empathy, solidarity and trust.

Senegal for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) said the GST must provide a comprehensive assessment and a pathway forward concerning adaptation, mitigation, including response measures, loss and damage, and means of implementation and support. It must offer clear guidance to countries on enhancing NDCs to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. Additionally, it should promote actions, support, and enhanced international cooperation for climate action. It expressed concern on the way loss and damage continued to be considered only under adaptation, which undermined the “recognition given to loss and damage in the PA”. On the outcome, Senegal said that there should be a CMA decision with a technical annex, followed by a political declaration or a cover decision.

Trinidad and Tobago for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said the GST outcome should provide policy direction to course correct in areas where insufficient levels of ambition and needs of most vulnerable were not addressed. It said that the process and outcome must be both a backward looking as well as forward looking assessment of measures. The AOSIS said the outcome should include a political declaration, a CMA decision and a technical annex. It said the CMA decision should have a section on the way forward, which would invite Parties to explain how the GST has informed their NDC update once it is submitted in 2025 and that the decision must look at crosscutting issues including equity and best available science, progress and gaps, the role of non-Party stakeholders. It also said that it would like to see loss and damage treated separately from adaptation.

Colombia for the Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC) said the GST outcomes must be comprehensive and reflect equity and best available science and should provide a state of how “off-track” Parties are from the goal.

China stressed historical emissions of developed countries and pre-2020 gaps are important considerations for the GST. The GST should make substantive assessment and address gaps on adaptation and means of implementation and an ambitious outcome of the GST should focus on implementation and delivery of ambition, said China. “Empty numerical targets won’t get us anywhere,” said China, adding that the outcome of the GST should be a Party-driven, consensus based on the question of whether there should be a declaration or not, it said it is important to decide how to differentiate the content of the political declaration from the decision. It said an annex is beyond the mandate. The outline of the decision should reflect a balanced presentation of substantive assessment of progress and gaps and have sections on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, means of implementation and international cooperation, said China and added that there should be no reference to any sectoral approach. It also said within each thematic area, the structure should be comparable and identical and equity and science should be considered holistically instead of being segregated. It added that the formats, outline and the substantive elements are all interlinked and should be finalised as a packaged at COP 28.

The European Union said the conclusions from the SB 58 should have an introduction section, a section on technical dialogue, calls for submissions from Parties with a deadline of end of August. On the structure of the outcome at COP 28, it said they foresee a structure which includes sections on assessing collective progress toward long-term goals of the PA; high level response comprising political messages; opportunity for enhanced action and support along with new political commitments; thematic areas; guidance for NDC and long-term strategies, among others; and a final follow up section.

The United Kingdom said there must be a roadmap of actions across mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, setting out “forward-looking commitments”, including in relevant sectors. It said it is open to considering how to reflect loss and damage and response measures in the decision.

Switzerland for the Environment Integrity Group (EIG) said that the elements of the conclusions from SB58 should include recognition of importance of GST for collective progress; confirm the closure of the technical dialogue process; call for submissions ahead of the October session and for the Secretariat to produce a synthesis of the submissions. Switzerland also said that the COP 28 outcome must include overarching reflections on progress and scale of challenge as well as be a transformational roadmap comprising information on ways of assessing gaps, ways of closing gaps. It suggested that issues of response measures and loss and damage could be included in a crosscutting chapter and there should be specific section in the decision on updating and enhancing NDCs and on international cooperation. It said the outcome should contain a chapter on way forward, comprising how Parties and non-Parties will implement the GST outcome, provide guidance to the UN Summit. Switzerland also requested the co-chairs to prepare an informal note capturing the discussions in the room.

Australia spoke to the structure of the outcome and said it should contain a preamble and have sections on assessment of progress corresponding to the global goals of the PA and under each of the sections, description of progress, gaps and commitments to close the gaps. It also suggested having a section on enhancing international cooperation as well as next steps.

The United States also spoke along the lines of the structure proposed by Australia. Canada said it does not support an assessment of pre-2020 implementation in the CMA decision.