All posts by Rachitaa Gupta

SB58 CLIMATE TALKS

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.

Intervention by Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at Roundtable on Means of Implementation at TED 1.3

Delivered by Meena Rama, Third World Network on behalf of ENGO – DCJ

There is a clear need for an honest assessment of the lack of adequate progress on the moi, without beating around the bush. We talk of raising ambition on climate actions, but we do not see the reciprocal ambition on the means of implementation for developing countries.

There is evidence to indicate the following:

  1. Developed countries have collectively failed in meeting their commitments on the provision and mobilisation of the financial resources that have been agreed to. This is borne out by –
    • The failure to mobilise the US$ 100 billion per year by 2020 and even up till now. While the numbers of what exactly has been mobilised and delivered vary in the SCF reports, the fact of failure to meet this commitment in a timely manner is loud and clear. This is a pre-2020 implementation gap which has been carried over to the pre-2025 timeframe.
    • This 100b goal is not based on the needs of developing countries but was a political number arrived at in Copenhagen, as we all know.
    • The SCF’s Needs Determination Report clearly indicates that what is needed at least in the pre-2030 timeframe is around $ 5-11 trillion, even with only 30% of the costs estimated in the NDCs of developing countries. Hence, the needs far outweigh what is currently available.
  2. Even the promise to deliver on the doubling of adaptation finance is far from what is needed, as seen from the various reports from various UN agencies.
  3. The Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund are languishing for funds, as numerous projects in the pipelines are not able to be funded.
  4. Much of what has been provided including from the MDBs are mainly loans, with only a small portion being grants. With more and more developing countries in debt distress, loans are not the right instrument. There is clearly a greater need for non-debt creating instruments.
  5. Access to funds have not been easy to the limited funds available at the operating entities of the financial mechanism – the GCF and the GEF – with cumbersome procedures and slow disbursements. Intermediaries have largely been international entities as opposed to direct access entities from developing countries.
  6. The much hype about private finance and investment flows into developing countries. According to the SCF technical report on the 100b mobilisation report, the expectation for private finance mobilization has been severely an underperformance. The World Bank’s own ‘Scaling Solar’ project to try and leverage private finance for renewable energy projects only managed to leverage 28c private finance for every 1$ of public finance, and only with the support of generous guarantees, tax breaks and subsidies.
  7. Furthermore, access to low-cost finance is uneven as the cost of capital differs substantially between regions, with developing countries often paying an interest rate many times more to private creditors than other official creditors.[1]
  8. From recent IEA report on energy, the high cost of capital and rising borrowing costs threaten to undercut the economic attractiveness for investments in clean energy in developing countries, and that most of the positive trends in clean energy investments are leaving developing countries behind
  9. There are also studies which show that while international financial institutions (IFIs) have made progress, for example with increased climate financing and coordination from Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), a Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation in 2021, and a new Resilient and Sustainability Trust (RST) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but IFIs have also been slow to release their financial firepower to meet the demonstrated need,[2] and continue to prioritise de-risking modalities which have little evidence of success. 
  10. There are genuine concerns over use of Article 2.1c as a way to impose new conditionalities for accessing finance in the name of enabling environments and to shift the burden and responsibility onto developing countries, contrary to article 9 of the PA. Should not make it difficult for developing c to access finance for meeting their NDC implementation.

Technology gap –

  1. In the area of climate technologies and their accessibility and transfer from developed to developing countries, progress has been insignificant and abysmal. This reality is clear. 
  2. There is indeed a technology gap which needs to be addressed for climate technologies to developing countries. There is evidence that there are intellectual property rights concerns where developed countries dominate in climate technologies patent ownership, production and trade.
  3. There are reports including from UNEP, UNCTAD and WIPO that show the dominance of developed countries in relation to low-carbon technological innovations. But these are missing in the assessment. Between 1990-2015, 80% of all low-carbon technological inventions were concentrated in developed countries. The fact that most patents for climate-relevant technologies are in developed countries has significant implications on technology transfer possibilities, as the design and use of such technologies may not be directly responsive to the needs of developing countries.
  4. These implementation gaps in finance and technologies will be further   exacerbated by developed countries’ carbon border measures and unilateral trade measures including non-tariff barriers that grossly disadvantage developing countries.  The implications of CBMs is missing in relation to the response measures.
  5. We are good in this process of setting up institutions but real delivery of the moi for delivering is not significant.

If the GST is to have meaning, it must address these gaps and challenges, not repeat the failures and mistakes and dramatically course correct. If there is political will, there will be a way. Need to see that will to realise the hopes and aspirations of esp. of the poor and the planet.


[1] Eurodad, 2021. Sleep now in the fire: Sovereign Bonds and the Covid-19 Debt Crisis. https://www.eurodad.org/sovereign_bonds_covid19;

[2] An Independent Review of Multilateral Development Banks’ Capital Adequacy Frameworks, 2022. Boosting MDBs’ investing capacity. https://g20.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/CAF-Review-Report.pdf

SB58 CLIMATE TALKS

TWN Bonn Climate News Update No. 4


8 June 2023
Published by Third World Network

Equity and justice must be central to just transition pathways, say developing countries

Bonn, 8 June (Hilary Kung):  At the informal consultations on the newly established Work Programme on ‘Just Transition Pathways’ held on 6th and 7th June under the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) in Bonn, Germany, India expressed that “global equity and justice must be central to the understanding of just transition pathways”.

China stressed that many Parties were talking about the “transition” but not about “just transition”.

The informal consultations are being co-facilitated by Selam Abebe (Zambia) and Marianne Karlsen (Norway).

(The decision adopted last year under CMA 4 [4th meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Paris Agreement], established a work programme on just transition for discussion of pathways to achieving the goals of the Agreement, outlined in Article 2.1, in the context of Article 2.2, and requests the SBs to recommend a draft decision for consideration and adoption this year in Dubai, UAE, with the work programme to be implemented in a manner that builds on and complements the relevant workstreams under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, including for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation.)

(Article 2.1 of the PA refers to the following goals:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels…;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Article 2.2 states that the PA will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities [CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances.)

During the informal consultation sessions, the co-facilitators invited Parties to share views and expectations on the work programme from several aspects: objectives, scope, institutional arrangements, modalities, linkages, inputs and outputs and outcomes. There were varied views on the scope and linkages to other workstreams.

On the purpose and objectives, Cuba speaking for the G77 and China underlined that “Just Transitions/ Just Transition pathways” (in plural) are the key part of fully implementing the Convention and its PA in all aspects, drawing references to Article 2.1 in the context of Article 2.2 of the Paris Agreement [PA] and suggested that the work programme should be comprehensive including mitigation and adaptation and also referred to addressing response measures (i.e. the effects arising from the implementation of mitigation policies) and to unilateral coercive measures that are contrary to the Convention.

India stressed that “Just transition pathways for developing countries entail low carbon development based on the equitable access to the global carbon budget and fair and rational utilisation of resources per national circumstances and priorities. Climate change is a global collective action problem and therefore we must speak of equitable and just global transition pathways. Equity and principles of CBDR must be central to the consideration of our work under this program…Low carbon development pathways in developing countries have to foreground issues of energy access, eradicating poverty, and improving the well-being of our people.  There are issues of energy security, affordability and reliability that are central to the meeting of sustainable development goals and meeting the aspirations of the global south.”

In terms of the scope of the work programme, India reiterated that there should be no prescription and the importance of national circumstances in the understanding of just transition pathways.

“Discussions around just transition pathways must not be focused only on mitigation but must take into consideration the challenges for adaptation, the means of implementation, and the implications of the impacts of global warming on the availability of such pathways. This is why we believe that linkages of just transitions should not just be with the mitigation work program but must also foreground discussions on aspects of adaptation and means of implementation we concur with other colleagues who have highlighted the same,” said India.

China pointed out that “just transition” is different from “transition” and that a lot of Parties were talking about “transition” but not “just transition” and suggested that there is need to better define the “boundary” and focus on what is most crucial for this topic. Liberia made similar remarks.

Kenya for the African Group said that the launch of the just transitions work is timely and crucial towards the realisation of the PA goals and it would like to see a broader scope of the work programme. It stressed the right to development for developing countries which supports the implementation of all climate action, and that the work programme should therefore be comprehensive.

Ethiopia for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) also highlighted that the means of implementation is crucial for the just transitions work programme and should not create additional burdens for LDCs and other developing countries.

Saudi Arabia for the Arab Group emphasised the need for a balanced and inclusive just transitions work programme that recognized the different pathways in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Given that this is a cross-cutting topic, this work programme should not be mitigation centric but should adopt a wider scope, and not just focus on the just transition of the workforce, it added further.

Argentina for Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay (ABU) pointed out that it is important to make sure that the “just transitions” will not widen existing gaps or the inequality among countries and will not hamper the development pathways of the Global South.

Bolivia stated that, just transition is mostly about climate justice that implies thinking from the perspective of the most affected peoples and those that are most vulnerable.  It suggested four areas of work in the Just Transition Work Programme:  “(1) Just transition for Mother Earth with the requirement not to exceed the limits of life systems; (2) Just transition for developing countries, with economic diversification measures and comprehensive energy transition, aimed at drastically reducing social, economic and technological inequalities in the world; (3) Just transition for all peoples with the management of mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage and the provision of the means of implementation, allowing most of the vulnerable people of the world to have access to energy, a decent and secure livelihood, and a future with dignity; (4) Just transition for indigenous peoples recognizing the importance of their knowledge to address the climate crisis, considering the epistemological parity between the modern academic science and ancestral science. To date, indigenous peoples are the heirs and stewards of the wisdom of ancient and millenary civilizations, and have important solutions for the climate crisis.”

Bolivia also proposed a principled-based approach by taking into account equity, CBDR, climate justice, protecting and respecting the rights of Mother Earth for Living-Well in harmony with Mother Earth and also taking into account principles and views of indigenous peoples (Andean societies). It also called for the wise management of the remaining carbon budget (to limit temperature rise) and for developed countries to halt now the consumption of the carbon budget that already belongs to developing countries and for Parties to work for a sustainable future for people and planet.

The United States recalled the mandate of the decision from the Sharm el-Sheikh which stated that the establishment of the work programme is to achieve the goals of the PA outlined in Article 2.1, in the context of Article 2.2. The US agreed with the G77 that just transitions are nationally determined and inclusive of all technologies. The US also said that none of its proposals are inconsistent with CBDR-RC.

In response to calls from developing countries for means of implementationthe US and the United Kingdom, referred to Article 2.1(c) of the PA on aligning financial flows with ambitious climate action or “transition” towards phasing out of “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

(The interpretation of Article 2.1 (c) has been contentious with developed countries advancing a very broad interpretation which includes looking at financial flows from all sources, including from a broader donor base that covers developing countries as well as the private sector, while developing countries argue that the article should be read within the context of Article 9 of the PA, which makes developed countries responsible for the provision and mobilization of climate finance.)

Norway said that the purpose of the work programme should be to enhance knowledge and capacity and how countries can do just transition within the framework of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Canada said that the work programme can be powerful to enable ambitious mitigation action, provide new economic opportunities, and create new jobs and skill sets.

The European Union (EU) said the work programme should provide information on just transitions and it expects a yearly report to provide relevant information in relation to NDCs and Long-term Low Emissions and Development Strategies (LT-LEDS).

On linkages with other workstreams, most Parties mentioned the linkage between the Just Transition Work Programme and Response Measures. Some Parties suggested that the work programme could look at adapting from the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) but avoid overlapping with the KCI.

Japan gave an example that the mitigation work programme was also discussing just transition in the energy sector and suggested that there is need to first identify all the linkages to enhance synergies and avoid duplication.

Bolivia proposed that there should be a strong connection between just transitions and the PA’s Article 6.8 on Non-Market Approaches, which should also link with the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples (LCIP) Platform to incorporate alternative solutions to the climate crisis.

Other workstreams that were also mentioned were the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and Loss and Damage.

In terms of timeline, many interventions by Parties saw the potential of the Just Transition Work Programme feeding into the next global stocktake (which is a collective assessment of the achievement of the PA’s goals).

The organising of meetings, roundtables, technical dialogues, forums, workshops, submissions by Parties were mentioned as possible modalities for the work programme. Some Parties suggested an annual decision while others said an annual report or summary report could be the output and outcome of the work programme.

The informal consultations will continue on Friday and a draft text capturing Parties’ views is expected to be released by the co-facilitators.

Intervention By Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at Global Stocktake Roundtable 1 on Mitigation

Delivered by Victor Menotti on behalf of ENGO – DCJ

EQUITY: AR6 charts B, C

GST must give guidance to align future NDCs with 1.5C and agreed principles of equity.  GST must show us where we are, how we got here, and how we can correct course. Technical Dialogue outputs must include the key inputs that illustrate how we got here.

Co-facilitators hosted an online consultation where I asked about AR6 SPM charts B and C (page 14) show 4% of global population is responsible for almost one-quarter of emissions.  

Given reactions I’ve heard here, I respectfully request CFs to reconsider how best to balance the report by including it as relevant technical data on where we are and how we got here.

IPCC shows emissions from 1990-2019, so lets another chart showing pre-2020 emissions.

If countries can call for “environmental justice” domestically, why not internationally? If countries can call for people to pay fair share of taxes, why not also with climate action?

The principles of equity are already agreed and established but now need to be implemented to enable the actual ambition we need.

REAL SOLUTIONS: CCS, CDR

– We need real solutions, not undermining Fossil Fuels phase out with CDR, CCS and other technologies still in development. There’s just no time, and also “abatement” of emissions diverts attention from equitably phasing out fossil fuels. Countries must not rely on false solutions, land remake and CDR to meet their targets, but must prioritize a phase out and forest protection for any chance for 1.5C. Calling for RE targets without support also false.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: Civil Society Equity Review 

Demand: Not just production but also consumption. After Glasgow, top oil consuming countries proclaimed they would cooperate to create more supply, totally ignoring demand.

Debt cancellation

Diversification of economies

Trade, Investment, Finance and Technology

DCJ calls for “systems change, not climate change” so let that be our way forward.

SB58 CLIMATE TALKS

TWN Bonn Climate News Update No. 3
7 June 2023
Published by Third World Network

Address pre-2020 gaps and equity in global stocktake – say developing countries

Bonn, 7 June (Prerna Bomzan): Developing countries made strong calls for the assessment of pre-2020 gaps in implementation and equity to be addressed properly in the technical assessment phase of the global stocktake (GST), in order to assess the collective progress of Parties in the implementation of the goals of the Paris Agreement (PA).

These calls were made at the third and final meeting of the first technical dialogue (TD 1.3) of the first GST, chaired by Co-facilitators Harald Winkler (South Africa) and Farhan Akhtar (United States), which opened on 6 June in Bonn, Germany at the meeting of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Bodies. The first GST is scheduled to take place at the UNFCCC’s 28th Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, UAE, and the technical assessment phase currently underway, will inform the political messages which will emerge later in the year.

Developing countries, led by the G77 and China and many of its sub-groups underlined that the GST must enable Parties to look backwards at implementation gaps and challenges, including those related to the pre-2020 timeframe, as well as the historical responsibilities of developed countries to emissions since the pre-industrial era, and called for the equitable sharing of the carbon space to limit temperature rise.

In response to these calls, the United States said that this was “unacceptable”, adding that the GST is a collective assessment of the PA and “not” the Convention and that equity did not have a single definition but had multiple dimensions. (See below for the detailed interventions). (The PA came into effect in 2016 and nationally determined contributions of Parties for climate action cover the timeframe post 2020, while the Convention covers obligations pre-2020).

At the opening of the TD, the G77 and China led by Cuba said that the Group looks forward “to being able to discern and discuss any emerging messages and findings that may be derived from the information inputs assessed during the technical dialogue” and that the key issues to be addressed in this regard include “the reflection and operationalisation of equity; reflection of the best available science; the importance of the provision of means of implementation from developed to developing countries to enhance their climate actions; contextualising collective progress and ambition on sustainable development, the right to development, and the eradication of poverty in an integrated and holistic manner; the progress in implementation and ambition in, and the linkages between mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, response measures, and the means of implementation”.

Cuba said that “to do so, it would be necessary that the modalities of the GST TD1.3 are done in a way that provides balanced treatment across all the thematic areas of the GST and also enables the perspectives that have been raised by Parties all throughout the technical dialogues (TD 1.1 and TD 1.2) since last year to be properly reflected. For example, equity is reflected in only mitigation – we would note that equity should be considered in all of the thematic areas as it is, together with the best available science, a key basis of the work of the GST. Finance is imbalanced in its focus on only Article 2.1(c)”.

(Article 2.1 (c) of the PA provides as follows: “Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”, and has been controversial in the climate negotiations among developed and developing countries with differing interpretations about its scope. While developed countries are contextualising it as stand-alone matter with attempts to shift their financial obligations to the private sector and the multilateral development banks, including linking of provision of financial resources to achieve net zero by 2050, developing countries are pushing for its consideration in the entirety of Article 2 including Article 2.2 which anchors equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities [CBDR&RC] in light of national circumstances, as well as in the context of Article 9 which obligates developed countries for the provision and mobilisation of climate finance.)

Cuba stressed that the GST “must be carried out in a holistic, balanced, integrated and facilitative manner, considering all thematic areas, and in light of equity and best available science”, further underlining that the GST “must enable us to look backwards at implementation gaps and challenges, including those related to pre-2020.” The Group also underscored “the critical importance of substantive attention to this area, in order to sufficiently fulfill the mandate of the GST and of assessing collective progress. Our Group expects to see this front and center in the outcome of the GST”.

The G77/China underlined the importance of activities under TD 1.3 and looked forward to a “robust and substantive CMA5 decision”. In this regard, it noted that “the output of the technical dialogue informs the work of the Joint Contact Group and the High Level Committee in achieving their respective mandates”. The Group suggested that the Co-facilitators “take into consideration the structure of elements or outline for the GST decision that the Joint Contact Group is expected to develop so that the outputs and their format coming from the technical dialogue will be fit for purpose for the political phase of the GST”.

“This implies that the discussions in the technical dialogue as part of the technical assessment phase should focus on enabling Parties to collectively answer the questions of where we are, how we got here, and where do we go from here in terms of the collective progress in the implementation of the PA”, Cuba added.

It further said that the “technical dialogue should assist us identify and assess the implementation and ambition gaps, barriers, and opportunities that exist with respect to climate action and international cooperation under the PA, so that we can collectively progress in meeting its goals. In this context, while stressing that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) findings are multilaterally agreed, other information could also be noted as useful for us to consider. We also need to have an assessment of the enablers – finance, technology transfer, capacity building – and the extent to which they have been provided, the costs and support needs that should be addressed. This is particularly important with respect to adaptation in terms of progress towards achievement of the GGA (global goal on adaptation). We also need to have information about the landscape of international cooperation and the barriers and opportunities to it – including looking at barriers such as unilateral measures. We also need to know what the status is of what is happening in other workstreams. Gaps in terms of information and substance need to be addressed”.

Cuba emphasised that “the evolution and recognition of the institutional role of loss and damage issues should also be reflected in the GST” and in closing, expressed hope that “this first GST can be a positive turning point for our multilateral climate change regime, one that can move us from a period of inadequate action and gaps in implementation of commitments, to a period of hope, rebuilt trust, and enhanced international cooperation. For this hope to turn into reality, it will take all of us as Parties, with the support of non-Party stakeholders, to work together in good faith to achieve the outcome that the world expects from us through this GST”.

Ghana for the African Group highlighted the “unique challenges” particularly faced by Africa as backed by the latest IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report’s (AR6) Synthesis Report and focused on what’s been missing until now, especially the “pre-2020 implementation gaps”. Commenting on the various thematic areas – on mitigation, it said that work must be reflected around “equitable sharing of the remaining carbon space”; on adaptation, the largest challenge is “inadequacy of support provided”; on loss and damage, the GST cannot be approached in the context of adaptation so “reiterate our call for a dedicated focus on loss and damage”; on finance, its provision founded under the UNFCCC of “new and additional resources” and that the failure of this commitment is a “key barrier” to achieving the goals of the PA, further responsibilities are clear under Article 4, 9, 13 of the PA with Article 9.3 being clear on commitment of developed countries and “not Article 2.1c” as is currently in emerging messages; on response measures, the “negative impacts” that are being currently dealt with and provision of support to countries affected. Further, Ghana highlighted the “universally recognised right to development”, stressing that understanding the context on which developing countries are pursuing their climate action is one way to reflect “equity” and that “this context must be clearly articulated in the emerging messages”.

Saudi Arabia for the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) clearly articulated “three very important overarching messages for the GST to keep in mind during this final technical dialogue and towards the outcome – 1) A message of hope and acknowledgment of the positive and effective role of multilateralism and cooperation. Since the PA, we have been able to move the needle, in terms of demonstrable commitment to climate action by many. Many developing countries during this period have been making very ambitious commitments without any support. 2) We are progressing, but we are not progressing past the principles of the PA. Equity, based on historical responsibility, CBDR-RC and differentiation will continue to govern the implementation of this Agreement. Climate action will only truly be just when enacted in support of developing countries’ diverse development pathways, sustainable development, poverty eradication and economic diversification aspirations. 3) The real success of the GST will be a sense of global unity and ownership of an outcome which is equitable, fair and enables international cooperation and on-the-ground implementation across all solutions and approaches, truly leaving no one behind”.

It also expressed frustration on why developing countries’ consistent and repetitive calls to having a “dedicated space to discuss pre-2020 within this technical process have been ignored” and also highlighted the priority issue of adaptation for developing countries stating that the “GST can provide the signals on what is next to operationalise the GGA through its framework and indicators, which will be completed at COP28. This will be able to contribute to enhanced nationally determined adaptation action, and address the gaps and needs in adaptation action and support”. Further, on means of implementation and support, Saudi Arabia expressed concerns about the current positioning as “largely problematic” and underscored that “the GST must ensure the following signals: 1) Finance from developed countries, that is adequate, predictable and responds to the needs and priorities of developing countries, is an obligation, one that cannot be replaced by crafting confusing language merging Article 2.1c with the obligations of developed countries. 2) Technology development and transfer is severely lacking, but represents a key opportunity to enhance the implementation of the PA across mitigation and adaptation. 3) Enhanced capacity building is critical, especially during a time where developing countries may be considering how to enhance their ambition and implementation, in response to the GST”.

Brazil for Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay (ABU) pointed out that the issue of equity appears explicitly only in the roundtable questions/topics about mitigation and encouraged consideration of “equity through all the thematic areas of the roundtables” (of TD 1.3). It also expressed regret that a dedicated discussion on pre-2020 has not been convened since TD 1.1 and said that “at this point in time, we are going to discuss “what’s next” with not an appropriate context taking stock of the reasons that brought the world to where we are now. It means that critical information is not yet available to take stock of the gaps in an appropriate manner, with a view to inform the way forward as requested by Article 14.3 of PA. Why the temperature increased to 1.1C compared to the pre-industrial levels? Why there is a significant gap in means of implementation and support? Those findings and other similar findings contained in the IPCC AR6 reports as well as in the co-facilitators summary reports are related to implementation gaps not coming only from the last three years after the post-2020 period started. It comes from some many years. Considering pre-2020 enables Parties to look back and take stock of what happened and where we are now, and then look forward to what could be done. This means that Parties and NPS (non-Party stakeholders) should reflect on the need to assess the progress and gaps related to the pre-2020 period during the roundtables, the World Café and other GST activities at this session. Our Group encourage them to do so, for example, bringing some of the findings emerged from the Second Periodic Review to the discussions to be conducted under the TD 1.3 activities, as mandated by the decision 21/CP.27 agreed in Sharm El Sheikh”.

South Africa speaking for Brazil, South Africa, India, China (BASIC) strongly voiced out that “our central concern is that no space has been provided for an in-depth technical discussion and information gathering on pre-2020 issues, which is unacceptable when we are undertaking a stock taking exercise. Securing a definitive account of the pre-2020 period is a critical part of the GST, as it will allow us to assess its achievements, progresses and gaps, with a view to providing the equity basis towards achieving the long-term global goals of the Convention and its PA. We call on you to address this glaring deficiency as a matter of urgency”. Further, it highlighted the issue of finance and was critical that “the guiding questions and materials prepared thus far present a very slanted and restrictive perspective of climate finance, with an overwhelming focus on alignment of financial flows under Article 2.1c. This narrative ignores the wider finance ecosystem, in particular the need for provision of support and honouring of commitments by developed countries and the need for systemic reform to the global financial architecture. Recommendations arising from the GST political phase that rely simply on Article 2.1c will fail the equity and credibility test and will not unlock climate action and ambition”.

Algeria for the Arab Group said that “we emphasised on several occasions the necessity to preserve the policy space for sustainable development, including poverty eradication. On this critical idea, we are of the view that it is important to create adequate conditions to get developing countries on track. For this reason, our reflection under the GST has to focus on solutions to enhance international cooperation for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to address, among other gaps, the lack of developing countries’ capacities to implement the PA when it comes to this particular context”. It added, “we consider that the principles of equity and CBDR-RC are still relevant. Our work has to focus on the manner to operationalise them in the context of implementing the relevant provisions of the PA. We would like, in this regard, to remind you that Parties are not at the same level of ability and the necessity that the global climate framework has to deal with the existence of a huge amount of national contexts of circumstances that have to be accommodated. Leaving no one behind means that we have to allow every Party to contribute to the global effort to stabilise global warming”.

Trinidad and Tobago for the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) expressed hope that the TD1.3 will be the “opportunity to further specify challenges and barriers so that we can have a full consideration of where we need to go in order to ensure that we can shift onto a 1.5C pathway as well as to strengthen international cooperation on climate action”. It echoed the call from the African Group for a “separate and focused treatment for the issue of loss and damage”.

Colombia for the Independent Alliance of Latin America and Caribbean (AILAC) highlighted that “the commitment to acknowledge the urgency to keep alive 1.5C is key to deliver ambition at COP28” and said that “equity and best available science plays a substantial role for effective climate action and higher climate ambition”. It also emphasised that “assessment and progress on adaptation needs to be strengthened as well as enhanced efforts to avert, minimise and address loss and damage as we move to the final synthesis report”.

Senegal for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) called for a clear guidance to “scale up finance and simplify access” given that there is “no adequate finance for adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage”. It also conveyed concerns on the treatment of loss and damage being included in the adaptation discussion.

China said that “there are a few significant missing pieces to present a clear picture of where we are and how we get there to achieve the goals of the PA” and elaborated on the “six missing pieces” in the technical assessment so far, namely, pre-2020 progress and gaps; global collective progress; progress and gaps on implementation and delivery of NDCs (nationally determined contributions), given many developing countries’ NDCs are conditional; absence of information and assessment of cost and support needs attached to different temperature goals, targets and modeled pathways; absence of substantive assessment of adaptation progress and gaps on a global scale towards achieving GGA; and assessment of landscape of international cooperation and what’s next.

It highlighted that according to the latest IPCC AR6 report on mitigation, the historical cumulative net CO2 emissions for the period 1850-2019 amounts to “four fifths of the total carbon budget for a 50% probability of limiting global warming to 1.5C and to about two thirds of the total carbon budget for a 67% probability to limit global warming to 2C”, adding that the report shows that “North America and Europe has taken up 39%, whereas Eastern Asia is 12%”. In relation to international cooperation, it pointed out that “enhancing international cooperation is the mandated aim of GST”; however, “the environment for global climate efforts is increasingly deteriorating” given “sanctions on clean energy products; blockages on international clean technology cooperation; green barriers and unilateral measures; disruptions to global economy, trade, investment, supply chains, etc.”. “These all undermine the capacities and progress collectively and individually in addressing climate change, in particular for developing countries”, it emphasised. China also requested the co-facilitators to “objectively and honestly capture” and “reflect” its messages in the technical assessment synthesis report.

India said that “we share the concerns raised by others regarding lack of operationalising equity in our dialogue so far, on pre-2020 gaps, the depletion of the global carbon budget due to disproportionate use by a minority, and the severe constraints and costs that this imposes on low-carbon development, in developing countries”. It firmly stated that “we would not support any prescriptive messages from the GST on what the content of our NDCs should be. Parties under PA retain the sovereign right to determine their climate targets in pursuit of their goals, and reflect them in their NDCs. In this context, we do not support that NDCs necessarily should be economy-wide, comprising all sectors or gases. Those that would like to frame their NDCs in this manner, voluntarily have our full support”. Referring to the IPCC scenarios on global mitigation pathways, India emphasized that “the models and scenarios currently in the scientific literature have not received the close scrutiny necessary to determine whether developing countries’ needs, rights and aspirations are anywhere close to being met by their projections. These models provide pathways that are based on constraining energy consumption and income growth in developing countries, and project a future for us that we do not want”.

The United States expressed concerns over the draft messages that will emerge from the GST process, and stressed the need for the appropriate balance between concerns and hope. Filling the gaps identified from the technical assessment is not solely up to developed countries, it added. It also said that calls for the assessment of the pre-2020 timeframe and for equitable access to sustainable development are “unacceptable”, adding that the GST is a collective assessment of the PA and “not” the Convention. It called for the next round of NDCs to be “economy-wide with all sectors and trajectories” in line with 1.5C. It also said that in order to mainstream adaptation, “good governance is equally important as finance”. On equity, it said that it is reflected in the PA and that there is no “singular” definition as there are “multiple dimensions” of equity. The US urged focus on one of the long-term goals of the PA which includes Article 2.1c, adding emphasis on requiring demand for investments, including and mobilising capital from all sources and managing financial risks and the contribution by non-Party stakeholders.

The European Union stressed on immediate, deep and rapid reductions to keep warming below 1.5C and said that for transforming economies making financial flows consistent with the PA is key.

Australia for the Umbrella Group said that significant progress has been made since the PA but also, more work needs to be done. It emphasised that it is important to clearly articulate the key messages coming up for global action by “all Parties”.

SB58 Climate Talks

TWN Bonn Climate News Update No. 2

6 June 2023
Published by Third World Network

UNFCCC bodies launch work, with agendas pending adoption

Bonn, 6 June (Prerna Bomzan & Hilary Kung): The 58th sessions of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies (the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice [SBSTA]) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation [SBI]) launched work on 5 June after a delayed start with the SBSTA Chair Harry Vreuls (Netherlands) and SBI Chair Nabeel Munir (Pakistan), convening the opening plenaries of the two bodies together.

SBSTA Chair Vreuls apologising for the delay said that they had to hold “consultations with Parties that needed time for preparation”.  The consultations, according to sources, relate to two agenda items. One is a on the Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) proposed by the European Union (EU), while the other is on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) proposed for addition by the G77 and China.

(The MWP agenda inclusion is being resisted by some developing country groupings including the Like-minded Developing Countries [LMDC]Brazil, South Africa, India and China [BASIC] and the Arab Group, while on the NAPs, developed countries wanted more clarity on what the G77/China want to discuss prior to its inclusion on the agenda. Developing countries have been keen to discuss the means of implementation of NAPs prepared by developing countries).

When coming to the adoption of the SBI supplementary provisional agenda issued on 4 June, SBI Chair Munir (Pakistan) informed that “extensive consultations with heads of delegations” were held by the SB Chairs, but their “understanding” was that there’s “no agreement on the adoption of the agenda”. Munir therefore proposed that work be launched on the basis of the supplementary provisional agenda, with the “understanding” that both Chairs will hold further consultations with Parties and “we will come back on the adoption of the agenda at a later plenary where we will report on the outcome of the consultations”.

Likewise, SBSTA Chair Vreuls (Netherlands) also proposed to launch work in a similar manner and understanding since “no compromise” could be reached on the SBSTA provisional agenda as well.

However, this process created confusion since on the one hand it was understood that the Chairs would come back later on the adoption of the agendas while on the other hand, work was launched on all agenda items, including on the two new additional items proposed.

Bolivia for the LMDC requested clarification on the status of the proposed joint agenda item on the Mitigation Work Programme to which SBI Chair Munir (Pakistan) explained that further consultations will be held as agreed “while launching work on the basis of the agenda as it stands, while not adopting the agenda”. Bolivia expressed confusion on the way forward as well as disagreement on work being launched since “it is very premature for Parties to start discussions on the Mitigation Work Programme when different understandings of how we should move forward on this agenda item”. Chair Munir clarified that “the agenda was not adopted” and that both Chairs will continue consultations as agreed. China too had raised similar concerns during the plenary when it spoke in its national capacity during statements by groupings and Parties.

(TWN has learnt that further consultations with delegations on this matter will take place afternoon of June 6).

After completion of launch of work on all items of the SBs, Parties and their groupings presented statements outlining their expectations for the session.

Expectations and priorities at SB58

Ambassador Pedro Pedroso of Cuba, speaking on behalf of G77 and China, reiterated that the multilateral system on climate change is based on the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement and “reaffirmed that the Paris Agreement is the collective achievement of all Parties, and seeks to enhance the implementation of the Convention, in accordance with its objectives, principles and provisions”. The Group wanted to see balanced progress on all issues, including adaptation, mitigation, means of implementation and loss and damage.

“We fully recognize the importance of keeping the global average temperature increase well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and continuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5ºC, emphasizing that developed countries must take the lead in such efforts. We recognize that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires rapid, strong and sustained reductions, based on the best available science and equity, taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty and leaving no one behind,” said the Group.

“Climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building are determinant enablers to what the Paris Agreement stands for and hence, G77 and China will be looking for tangible progress at this session and at COP28 on these issues. For developing countries, adaptation to climate change is a priority and a key component of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.” COP 28 will conclude the two-year Glasgow Sharm El Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) with a substantive outcome that delivers on the urgent need for progress on adaptation action and support. The Group also expects it to set the GGA framework and work beyond CMA5 (5th session of the Conference of Parties to the Paris Agreement). Therefore, the expectation is that this SB session must produce concrete progress towards this outcome, including on the delivery of finance to developing countries to support their adaptation priorities within their NAPs, NDCs and others under the UNFCCC.”

Elaborating further, Cuba said that, “As we advance our work on the GGA work programme, we must work to develop an equitable and inclusive framework that recognizes developing countries challenges, ensures flexibility and address the support needed for developing countries, according to article 9 of the Paris Agreement and take into consideration CBDR-RC (common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities) and countries different priorities, needs and circumstances These outcomes should be outlined in the draft decision of SB58.”

The Group welcomed “the historic decision at COP27 to establish the Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) and call for advancing its full operationalization at COP28. The group hope that discussions during the 2nd Glasgow Dialogue, taking place during this SBs session, will provide useful information to the work of the Transitional Committee (which is tasked with designing the fund). Also of great importance is the operationalization of the Santiago Network through the selection of its secretariat’s host agency at this SB session. The Santiago Network is intended to catalyze and facilitate the provision of loss and damage-related technical assistance to developing countries.”

The Group expected that “the LDF will provide new, additional, adequate, and predictable grant-based funding for ongoing and ex-post actions that developing countries are and will have to take to address impacts of slow onset and extreme events, including rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction. It also expects LDF to be a stand-alone operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and its Paris Agreement and be guided by and accountable to both the COP and CMA. In that regard, the outcomes of the loss and damage funding arrangements and fund must be designed in line with the provisions and principles of the Convention and its Paris Agreement, including the principles of equity and CBDR.”

On Global Stocktake (GST), the G77 said that “It must be carried out in a holistic, balanced, integrated and facilitative manner, considering all thematic areas, and in light of equity and the best available science. It must enable us to look backwards at implementation gaps and challenges, including those related to pre-2020.” The Group said that “the GST should also look forward in terms of identifying implementation and ambition opportunities to inform Parties in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, their actions and support, and enhancing international cooperation on climate change.” It also called for text based negotiations as soon as possible for the outcome at COP 28.

On the provision of climate finance, it expressed serious concern “on the failure of developed countries to meet the commitment made to jointly mobilize US$ 100 billion per year by 2020, while noting that the goal will continue through 2025. If we add the accumulation of non-compliance in pledges since the goal should have been achieved as the previous mandate in 2020 and the impact of inflation, this target, which was never based on the needs and priorities of developing countries nor informed by science, is considerably higher, even calculated under existing commitments. Further highlighting that the needs of developing countries to achieve their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are evolving and around USD 5.8 to 11.5 trillion up to 2030, …, recognizing that not all countries and regions have been able to quantify their needs.”  The Group added that “the current amount dedicated to climate finance for adaptation remains also very insufficient” and supported “the commitment by developed countries at COP26 doubling adaptation finance by 2025 to contribute to achieving a balance between mitigation and adaptation”.

On the New Collective Quantified Goal on Finance, the Group said that the new goal must reflect the needs and priorities of developing countries to enable the achievement of NDCs and other national plans.

On the work programme on just transition, the G77 highlighted the importance of adequate means of implementation for developing countries “to undertake concrete action and address all aspects of just transitions, taking into account different national circumstances and needs. Therefore, all options, solutions and technologies must be explored towards promoting just, inclusive, and affordable transition pathways.”

Zambia spoke on behalf of the African Group called on developed countries to take the lead in the efforts to address climate change and calls for an ambitious outcome on adaptation at COP28.  On the GGA, it called for “work on decision elements here in Bonn to reach collective targets captured in politically significant framing to materialize the GGA.”

On the GST, the Group expected the GST outcome to “operationalize fairness and a just transition for all” adding that “we cannot have deepened fossil fuel use in developed countries further eat into the ability of African countries to transition in light of constrained pathways towards 1.5 degrees C.

On finance, the African Group called on developed countries to deliver to restore trust in the UNFCCC process. It said further that, “The Green Climate Fund (GCF) replenishment in October is an opportunity for developed countries to show the world they are willing to do their part to address climate change and support climate action in developing countries.” On loss and damage, the Group expects that the finalization of the selection of the host of the Santiago Network during this session represents a major outcome towards the effective operationalization of the Network.

Bolivia, for the LMDC said that its priorities are the GGA, GST, means of implementation for developing countries as well as operationalizing the non-market approaches.

“For the GGA, the CBDR-RC principle shall be followed on recognition of the progress, gaps and needs from developing countries, in particular the means of implementation on adaptation action for the GGA.

The Group highlighted some of the challenges in the road to implementation which  includes: (a) attempts by developed countries to side-line equity and CBDR and their historical responsibility in causing climate change and its impacts; and not sticking to previous decisions and mandates; (b) tendency among developed countries to shift the burden of climate action to developing countries, which is neither practical nor feasible; (c) tendency to shift the responsibility of provision and mobilization of finance, technology, and capacity building from developed countries to the private sector and to the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs); (d) attempts to play to the gallery by making ambitious pledges and not fulfilling them, of which are not conducive to trust building; (e)  unilateral coercive measures against developing countries and proposals by developed countries to introduce unilateral carbon border adjustment measures in the name of climate change responses that are discriminatory towards developing countries and violate international trade rules, as well as the principles of equity and the UNFCCC provisions.

It outlined seven approaches to overcome these challenges: “(a) Negotiations must be Party-driven, inclusive and transparent; (b) Presiding officers must ensure the principles and provisions of the Convention and the Paris Agreement and the purpose of the Agreement are not diluted; (c) Equity, CBDR and historical responsibility of developed countries must guide all discussions under the UNFCCC; (d) We must not reopen and renegotiate what we have already agreed; (e) Ambition must be seen in all the elements of the Paris Agreement, clearly highlighting that mitigation for developing countries is contingent upon with the provision of finance and means of implementation; (f)There must be recognition that developing countries are already tackling various challenges in addition to  addressing climate change impacts; (g) We request the incoming Presidency and SB Chairs to follow a principles-based approach and continue with the practice of thematic consultations, Heads of Delegations meetings, and stress the importance of balanced texts, capturing the views of all the Parties. We also request the Presidencies and other presiding officers to allow maximum time for consultations before issues move into the political level.”

South Africa for Brazil, South Africa, India, China (BASIC) lamented that “developed countries failed to deliver enhanced ambition on means of implementation support for developing countries or progress on developing the multilateral response to adaptation. Once again, developed countries failed to honour their commitments under the Convention and the Paris Agreement”. It underscored that developed countries must honour their pre-2020 commitments regarding mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation and support provided without transferring any burden and responsibility to developing countries and that developed countries are required to take “immediate” actions to close the pre-2020 implementation gaps. It further expressed concerns that “some developed countries are burden shifting and imposing unilateral coercive measures in the name of climate action, such as carbon border taxes, that pose a grave threat to the sustainable development of developing countries.”

Samoa on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said that guided by the latest science, the global response to climate change must involve concrete actions on the interconnected response pillars – adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage response with commensurate support for developing countries. AOSIS has two high priorities that must be realised at COP28 at Dubai: (1) course correcting and ratcheting up ambition through the outcome of COP28 including the GST process, MWP and GGA; (2) the timely operationalisation and fit-for-purpose funding arrangement cantered around the new fund addressing Loss and Damage and focus on assisting developing countries that are particular vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, including the communities and ecosystems.

Senegal on behalf of Least developed Countries (LDC) stated that as we entering the third and final dialogue on GST and moving from technical to political, the Group hoped that focus will be on finding solutions which open the way to increase ambition and support.  On adaptation, the GGA needs to be based CBDR_RC. On loss and damage, it highlighted concerns that loss and damage continued to be side-lined in the GST discussion and that the third technical expert dialogue is only a roundtable devoted to adaptation and does not include a space to discuss financing even though support is very much needed for countries on loss and damage.

Venezuela for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) said it is clear that more ambitious commitments are required from developed countries on adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation and provision of means of implementation, including climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building, in line with their historical responsibilities. It stressed that “unilateral coercive measures” very seriously affects the implementation of the Paris Agreement and these are contrary to the basic fundamentals of international and environmental law, restricting countries’ right to sustainable development, further calling for an “inclusive and participatory multilateralism that brings everyone together to discuss the common future”.

Uruguay for Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay (ABU) also called for a strong “multilateral” climate regime governed by equity and CBDR-RC, expressing concerns about growing number of initiatives and groups proliferating “outside” of the UNFCCC regime which have the “opposite” of intended effect on the implementation of the NDCs as well as measures taken “unilaterally” should not affect negatively. It stressed that further work is needed to facilitate finance to support the efforts of developing countries.

Costa Rica for the Independent Alliance of Latin America and Caribbean (AILAC) said there is a need for ambitious climate action and urgent mobilisation of billions of dollars to meet the needs of developing countries recognising the importance of “public finance” given rising debts due to climate change. It said finance for ‘loss and damage’ must not undermine adaptation and mitigation and must come from “new sources”.

Sweden on behalf of the EU stated that the GST outcome at CMA5 should drive: (1) enhanced mitigation actions pre and post 2030 of all sectors towards decarbonised and resilient economies; (2) strengthening and scaling up adaptation by mainstreaming national policy and reinforcing adaptation policy cycle; (3) A shift in the global economy and the financial markets by orienting all financial flows toward low greenhouse gas (GHG) and climate resilient development.

On the Mitigation Work Programme, the EU hopes to further showcase Party and non-party stakeholders’ efforts and ambition. It also highlighted the recent ministerial meeting which promoted global goal for energy efficiency, renewable energy and peaking of emissions which complement other goals such as the phase out of unabated fossil fuels and fossil fuel subsidies and encourage following up on these discussions.

On climate finance, EU said that it stood by its climate finance commitments and recalled the announcement at the Petersburg Dialogue confirming that contributors are confident that the 100 billion USD goal will be met this year. “We underscore that financing transition to net zero emissions and climate resilient economies will require aligning global financial flows and integrating climate action into national budget and resource mobilisation processes.” It also looked forward to an agenda item on this topic at COP 28 engaging all relevant actors to participate in the implementation of Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement (which relates to making financial flows consistent with pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate -resilient development.

Australia, for the Umbrella Group said that, “The output of GST should provide clear recommendations for NDCs to include all gases, sectors and categories and to reflect Parties’ highest possible ambition towards keeping 1.5 degree C within reach, particularly from those Parties whose emission reductions are required to achieve this goal. It should call on Parties to peak global emission by 2025 at the latest.”

Switzerland for the Environment Integrity Group (EIG) said that it hopes to use this SBs to agree on the structure of GST so that Parties can start working on the elements in the coming months that will be part of the decisions at COP28. The EIG hoped to see strong commitment by Parties to peak emissions by 2025. The group further said that as energy transition will be centerpiece of this year’s outcome, it hopes to see a clear call for the expansion of energy including renewables accompanied by plan for urgent decarbonisation.

Intervention by Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at the Global Stocktake Opening Plenary

Mr, Madam Chair,

My name is Victor Menotti and this statement is delivered on behalf of the ENGO Demand Climate Justice.

For GST’s outcomes to truly guide future NDCs’ to align with both 1.5C and equity, we need a decision to initiate a process to collectively and transparently develop an agreed fair shares framework that makes apparent to all actors what effort is needed for both mitigation and – for developed countries – providing the finance and technology that developing countries need.

We endorse calls for the GST to an equitable phase out of fossil fuels, where the wealthiest producers in developed countries go first and fastest while providing sufficient support for developing countries, including not only finance and technology but, where needed, debt cancellation and economic diversification.

We also support the call by several Parties for a “fair shares”, and a phase out of fossil fuels, but we must integrate the two into one process that the GST can give guidance to.

Thank you.

Briefing: End Financing and Promotion of False Solutions

The world is experiencing an unprecedented climate crisis and the impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world, with devastating consequences for ecosystems, human health, and livelihoods. There are more frequent and severe weather events such as floods, droughts, and heatwaves. These events are causing widespread damage to infrastructure and economic activity, leading to food and water scarcity, displacement, and even loss of life. Nearly 3.5 billion people globally are climate vulnerable. Yet the world leaders have been more focused on pushing profit driven speculative technologies and technofixes.

Real, proven, community-centered, cost effective solutions to justly address the climate crisis are increasingly being swept aside in favor of industry-basked, risky, expensive, and harm-inducing false solutions. Climate justice begins with ending financing for and promotion of these false solutions.

This briefing provides simple talking points to help debunk and counter various false solutions.

Intervention by Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at SB58 Opening Plenary Session

June 5, 2023

Mr Chair,

This statement is delivered by Gadir Lavadenz on behalf of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice.

We want to clearly express that NO COP overseen by a fossil fuel executive can be seen as a COP that will deliver what people and the planet are owed. The science is clear: there’s no more room for fossil fuels on a living planet. Coal, oil and gas are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for 86% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Real, rapid, and equitable emission cuts are needed in line with principles of justice and equity and that cannot be achieved through a hyper focus on dangerous distractions such as carbon markets, offsets, nature based solutions and incredibly dangerous and ungovernable geoengineering– all of which allow for continued pollution and disrespect historical responsibility. 

The world is losing faith in this process and we are running out of time. We do not only wish for fruitful discussion, but expect the delivery of concrete measures that include: establishing an Accountability Framework to end the ability of polluting interests to undermine climate action; a publicly funded and operationalized loss and damage finance facility; a pathway for a fast and equitable fossil fuels phase out; the urgent global collaboration needed to advance real solutions through article 6.8; a global stock take that is holistic and non-mitigation centric; a just transition work program that spurs the urgently needed transitions deeply rooted in equity;

A legitimate COP, is a Fossil Fuel Free COP. There is no climate justice, without human rights

Thank you very much

SB58 CLIMATE TALKS

TWN Bonn Climate News Update No. 1

5 June 2023
Published by Third World Network


WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE INTERSESSIONAL CLIMATE TALKS

Bonn, 5 June (Meena Raman+) – The 58th sessions of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies (the Subsidiary Body for Implementation [SBI] and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice [SBSTA] are meeting in Bonn, Germany from 5 to 15 June, 2023.

The SB sessions will be presided over by the respective Chairs: Nabeel Munir (Pakistan) for the SBI and Harry Vreuls (Netherlands) for SBSTA.

The intersessional meeting of the subsidiary bodies (SBs) is key to advancing further work from the decisions adopted at the UNFCCC’s 27th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 27) in Sharm-el-Sheikh last year, as they prepare to adopt new decisions at COP 28, to be held in Dubai, UAE later this year.

The Bonn talks are taking place against the backdrop of scorching heatwave across many parts of the world, including from Asia to Africa and Europe, in part, attributed to climate change and global heating.

According to the latest news from the  World Meteorological Organization (WMO), “global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Niño event”.  Said the WMO further, “there is a 66% likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.  There is a 98% likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record.”

“A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” warned the WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas, adding further that “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment” and that governments need to be prepared for this.

Amid this grim alarm, the Bonn talks are also expected to be ‘heated’ on many fronts, especially along North-South lines. Some of the main issues to watch at the SBs are set out below.

Matters relating to loss and damage

Loss and Damage Fund and the Glasgow Dialogue

COP 27 delivered on what was the ‘litmus test’ for its success – consensus on the establishment of new funding arrangements and a fund on loss and damage to assist developing countries. Parties agreed that the fund’s mandate include a focus on addressing loss and damage. They also agreed to establish a Transitional Committee (TC) to make recommendations on how to operationalise both the new funding arrangements and the fund for the consideration and adoption by COP 28 later this year.

The TC has met twice already this year; the first meeting took place in Luxor, Egypt from 27-29 March, while the second meeting took place in Bonn, Germany from 25-27 May.  Discussions during the first TC meeting were not smooth, with differences of views across developing and developed country members on what should be discussed first, viz. the funding arrangements or the establishment of the fund. Developing country members wanted to focus on the operationalisation of the new fund for loss and damage, whereas developed country members wanted to focus on matters that would inform the funding arrangements and the fund, saying that more information was needed on the current landscape and institutions that are funding activities related to loss and damage. (See related update).

During the second meeting the TC, members had substantive exchange covering institutional arrangements, modalities, structure, governance and terms of reference for the fund; defining the elements of the new funding arrangements; identifying and expanding sources of funding; and ensuring coordination and complementarity with existing funding arrangements. Developing countries continued to express their preference of the fund over funding arrangements, and stressed that existing funding arrangements were far from enough and that there is very little explicit funding for loss and damage needs. Developed countries on the other hand, while covering all the four areas, stressed how the humanitarian assistance can be further improved (see related update).

In Bonn, the 2nd Glasgow Dialogue (GD) on loss and damage will be held, focusing on the operationalization of new funding arrangements and the fund, as well as on maximizing support from existing funding arrangements relevant for responding to economic and non-economic losses, slow onset events and extreme weather events. This Dialogue will inform the work of the TC.  The 1st GD took place last June.

Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD)

At CMA 4 (the 4th meeting of Parties to the Paris Agreement) last year, Parties agreed on the institutional arrangements to operationalise the SNLD in order to catalyse technical assistance to developing countries. The structure of the Santiago network and its terms of reference were agreed to. The decision was also that a selection process for the host of the network secretariat be launched in order to select the host by this year.

A call for proposals by the UNFCCC secretariat to host the Santiago network followed and the secretariat convened an evaluation panel for selecting the host on 5 April 2023 and supported the panel in preparing an evaluation report that includes a shortlist of proposals for the consideration of Parties. At SB 58, a draft decision is hoped for, with one proposal to host the network, which will then be adopted at COP 28.

According to the scenario note prepared by the Chairs of the SBs, a proposal from the Caribbean Development Bank and a joint proposal from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Office for Project Services were received.

Just transition work programme

A new and significant outcome from COP 27 was the decision to establish a work programme on just transition on the pathways to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Parties also noted that the global transition to low emissions provides opportunities and challenges for sustainable economic development and poverty eradication and emphasised that just and equitable transition encompasses pathways that include energy, socioeconomic, workforce and other dimensions, all of which must be based on nationally defined development priorities and include social protection so as to mitigate potential impacts associated with the transition.

At the Bonn session, Parties are tasked to develop the work programme and as per the scenario note of the Chairs, discussions are expected to focus on pragmatic approaches and technical aspects, with the focus on preparing a draft decision text for consideration and adoption at CMA 5, as mandated.

Sharm el-Sheikh mitigation ambition and implementation work programme

At COP 27, Parties confirmed that the objective of the work programme “shall be to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation in this critical decade in a manner that complements the global stocktake.”

Parties decided “that the work programme shall be operationalized through focused exchanges of views, information and ideas, noting that the outcomes of the work programme will be non-prescriptive, non-punitive, facilitative, respectful of national sovereignty and national circumstances, take into account the nationally determined nature of NDCs and will not impose new targets or goals.” (This was a grave concern to many developing countries).

It was also decided that implementation of the work programme will start immediately after CMA 4 and continue until its CMA 8 (2026), “with a view to adopting a decision on the continuation of the work programme at that session”.

As part of the work programme, CMA 4 decided that at least two global dialogues be held each year and the first of this was held under the SBs from June 3 to 4th in Bonn, followed on 5th June by what is called an “investment focused event”.

At the opening of the global dialogue on 3rd June, Ambassador Mohamed Nasr of Egypt, as the COP 27 Presidency, remarked that as Parties deliberate issues under the mitigation work programme with a focus on energy this time, “We also need to be reminded that substantial percentage of mitigation component of developing countries’ nationally developing countries (NDCs)s are conditional, which reflects how much impact this work programme can deliver in terms of supporting implementation and enhancing ambition.”

He also highlighted some of the key findings of latest reports including the International Energy Agency (IEA) which reports on energy that “Average growth rate in clean energy investments has reached 12% compared to 2% in 2015, but the investments were concentrated in China, the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), while the rest of developing economies has witnessed no or very limited increase in clean energy spending compared to 2015.”

He said further that the high cost of capital and rising borrowing costs threaten to undercut the economic attractiveness for investments in clean energy in developing countries, and that most of the positive trends in clean energy investments are leaving developing countries behind.  Nasr also stressed that “while we are talking about energy transition, there are 600 million Africans who have no access to energy.”  He added further that with these information and facts in mind, “the deliberations will provide the needed space to consider them and deliver real implementable recommendations.”

Separate from the mandated global dialogue above, Sweden on behalf of the EU has also proposed that the work programme be included in the provisional agendas of the SBs “in order to support the objectives of the mitigation work programme and robust annual decisions at the CMAit’s necessary to include an agenda item at the SBs in June, in addition to the SB’s sessions at every COP.” Parties will be asked to consider this proposal by the EU when the agendas of the SBs are presented for adoption. If the proposal is accepted, a contact group or informal consultations on the matter will have to be established and for conclusions to be agreed to and presented to CMA 4 for adoption.

Global goal on adaptation (GGA)

Parties had last year initiated the development of a framework for the GGA which is to be undertaken “…through a structured approach under the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme in 2023, with a view to the framework being adopted at CMA 5” later this year. The framework is “to guide the achievement of the GGA and the review of overall progress in achieving, it with a view to reducing the increasing adverse impacts, risks and vulnerabilities associated with climate change, as well as enhance adaptation action and support.”

Developing countries had firmly called for the establishment of a framework on GGA as a substantive COP 27 outcome, proposing detailed elements in the form of dimensions; themes; indicators/metrics/targets; among others. The means of implementation – finance, technology transfer and capacity building – being one of the integral components of the dimensions of the framework.

Negotiations on the GGA will continue at the current Bonn session. In addition, a workshop on mainstreaming adaptation, including target-setting, methodologies and indicators will take place from 4th to 5th June in conjunction with the SBs.  This is the 6th workshop of 8 workshops being held under the GGA work programme since last year, with the hope and expectation that these workshops will result in an “ambitious outcome”, as per the Co-Chairs scenario note for the SBs.

Finance

Many of the finance issues will be negotiated under the COP and CMA to be held later this year.  Among the main issues are the following:

2nd review of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF)

Parties initiate the 2nd review of the SCF at this session. The SCF plays a very important role in assisting the COP and the CMA in exercising its functions in relation to the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the Paris Agreement. This involves among the many roles viz.

  • Providing to the COP/CMA draft guidance for the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the Paris Agreement (such as the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Find);
  • Preparing a biennial assessment, overview of climate finance flows, drawing on available sources of information, including national communications and biennial reports of both developed and developing country Parties etc.

It is hoped that Parties will be able to arrive at conclusions at the SBI session with elements of a draft decision that will be adopted at COP 28.

New Collective Quantified Goal on Finance

In conjunction with the SBs, the sixth technical expert dialogue (TED 6) under the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG) will be convened, and will focus on the themes “quantum” and “mobilization and provision of financial sources”.

The decision from CMA last year acknowledged “the need to significantly strengthen the ad hoc work programme on the NCQG in the light of the urgency of scaling up climate action with a view to achieving meaningful outcomes…and setting the NCQG in 2024 taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries.”

The objective of TED 6 is to “discuss and identify options for ways to determine the quantum of the NCQG…and options on the mobilization and provision of financial sources.”

Developing countries have stressed the need to have a discussion on the quantum of the NCQG for some time now. However, developed countries have traditionally refused to engage in discussions on the quantum of the goal, in attempts to push this to discussions next year. This was among the key contentious issues in Sharm el-Sheikh (see related update). TED 6 will offer Parties an opportunity to go in-depth into the issue of quantum for the goal.

Workshop on Article 9.5

The second biennial in-session workshop on information to be provided by Parties in accordance with Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement will also be convened at this current SB session. (Article 9.5 provides for developed countries to biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information on the projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing countries.)

The objective of the workshop scheduled to take place on 6 June is to “share views, experiences and lessons learned on information contained in the second biennial communications”; and to “present and discuss the overall state of predictability and clarity of information on financial support to developing countries for the implementation of the Paris Agreement…”.

According to the compilation and synthesis report on the second biennial communications on Article 9.5 by the Secretariat, 34 Parties have submitted their communications. This includes Australia, Canada, Czech Republic and the EU, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the US.

Developing countries are expected to hold the developed countries to account in terms of the improvements requested in relation to their first biennial communications. Improvements which were sought included the following: “The indicative projections of climate finance for developing countries and specific plans for scaling up the provision and mobilization of climate finance; the information provided on projected levels of climate finance and lack of detail on themes, various channels and instruments across the biennial communications; and the information on the shares of projected climate finance for adaptation and mitigation, and on plans for addressing the balance between the two”.

Improvements were also sought “on enhancing the quality and granularity of information on programmes, including projected levels, channels and instruments, particularly on climate finance for the least developed countries and small island developing States, and on relevant methodologies and assumptions”.

However, the communication from the US reveals as follows:  “Given that these channels are demand-based, coupled with the fact that US bilateral channels depend on annual appropriations from Congress, it is not possible for the US to forecast or project future climate finance levels or quantitative ex-ante information.” The communication by the US also does not make any commitments and only reiterates their “intentional” announcements at best.

The Global Stocktake

The first global stocktake (GST) scheduled to take place at COP 28 in Dubai is among the most awaited outcomes in 2023. The GST is to assess the collective progress of Parties in the implementation of the Paris Agreement goals.

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.

At the current session, four roundtables will be convened as part of the technical assessment. These will be on mitigation, including response measures; adaptation, including loss and damage; means of implementation and support: finance, technology and capacity building; and integrated and holistic approaches. Discussions are expected to focus on “what next” for each of the roundtables. In these roundtables, Parties are expected to address and develop further the emerging messages (in the four areas corresponding to the roundtable topics) in the second summary report by the technical dialogue co-facilitators.

A joint contact group will also be convened where Parties are expected to discuss the structure and format of GST outcomes for COP 28, and potential follow up processes, if any. The high-level committee, comprising the Egyptian and the UAE Presidencies along with the SB Chairs, are expected to provide an update, during SB 58 on progress in planning their high-level events.

Several of these areas are likely to see divergences, with developing countries calling for the GST to be based on equity and best available science and the importance of taking stock of collective action and not transferring the burden of developed countries’ inaction onto developing countries via the GST.

Article 6: market and non-market approaches

As regards Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement (related to the use of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes [ITMOS] towards the implementation NDCs), CMA4 requested the SBSTA to work on a number of topics including the technical expert review and elements related to reporting.

On Article 6.4 (which is a mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of emissions and support sustainable development), SBSTA has been tasked with further work, including on responsibilities of the Supervisory Body (of the mechanism) and of Parties that host activities under the Article in order for such host Parties to elaborate on and apply national arrangements for the mechanism. The SBSTA was also tasked to continue its work in developing recommendations relating to the rules and procedures for the mechanism, including whether Article 6.4 activities could include emissions avoidance and conservation enhancement activities.

On Article 6.8 (non-market approaches), the Glasgow Committee on Non-market Approaches (GCMNA) agreed to will move fully into implementing the work programme activities for 2023-2026 in two phases. At SBSTA 58, the GCMNA will hold its third meeting in a contact group format on 5 June 2023, where the secretariat will provide update on the status of the development and operationalisation of the UNFCCC web-based platform for NMAs. There will also be an in-session workshop on 9 June 2023 to exchange information, best practices, lessons learned from identifying, developing and implementing NMAs, including the support needed in terms of financial, technology and capacity building.

+ With inputs from Hilary Kung.