Bangkok Climate Talks Get Underway to Advance Paris Agreement Implementation Guidelines
Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu
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The guidelines, known as the Paris Agreement Work Programme, are required to make the Agreement’s institutions fully operational beyond COP 24.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa stressed that negotiators must produce solid text-based output that can provide the basis for negotiations and be quickly turned into final implementation guidelines at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland.

During the opening ceremony, Fijian Prime Minister and COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama lamented that currently countries’ NDCs are collectively insufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

5 September 2018: The Bangkok Climate Change Conference got underway as governments make a final push to advance work on implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement on climate change ahead of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 24), which is expected to adopt the guidelines in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.

The guidelines, developed under the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), are required to: make the Agreement’s institutions fully operational beyond COP 24; monitor progress on climate action; and determine whether emissions are decreasing quickly enough to achieve the Agreement’s goal of limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C, and as close to 1.5°C as possible this century.

The Bangkok negotiating session, which is convening from 4-9 September, includes the resumed sessions of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).

Prior to the Bangkok session, the APA Co-Chairs prepared a set of “tools” to facilitate negotiations. The APA Co-Chairs and SB Chairs also, for the first time, convened joint consultations with groups of Parties before the session to get a sense that their “proposed objective for and approach to the session is shared and supported by Parties.” An APA roundtable on interlinkages among various parts of the PAWP convened on 3 September.

Speaking at a press conference on 3 September, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa stressed that negotiators in Bangkok must produce solid text-based output that can provide the basis for negotiations and be quickly turned into final implementation guidelines at COP 24. She noted that the texts capturing progress to date are not yet sufficient. [UNFCCC Press Release on Press Conference] [Video of Press Conference] [UNFCCC Press Release on Opening of Conference] [Joint Message by APA Co-Chairs and SB Chairs]

Implementation guidelines must enable Parties to communicate, report, review and strengthen climate action in line with their capabilities, and in a way that is transparent and accountable to the international community.

The Bangkok session is addressing issues that require further negotiation related to the Paris Agreement’s iterative and cyclical nature, including operationalization of requirements for Parties to: update their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) at five-year intervals; regularly report on progress under a common transparency and accountability framework; and convene a global stocktake (GST) every five years to assess collective progress towards the Paris Agreement’s goals.

The session is also addressing, inter alia: climate change adaptation; support for developing countries, including finance, technology and capacity building; mechanisms to ensure implementation of, and compliance with, the Paris Agreement; cooperative approaches under the Paris Agreement, including both market- and non-market-based approaches; and the forum on the implementation of response measures.

During the opening ceremony on Tuesday, 4 September, Fijian Prime Minister and COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama lamented that currently countries’ NDCs are collectively insufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. He said the implementation guidelines must enable Parties to communicate, report, review and strengthen climate action in line with their capabilities, and in a way that is transparent and accountable to the international community. [Statement by the Fijian Prime Minister and COP 23 President]

After the opening ceremony, the SBSTA, SBI and APA held plenaries, adopted their respective agendas and agreed to the proposed organization of work. Following the convening of the APA contact group, Parties agreed to forward all substantive APA items to informal consultations. On Tuesday and Wednesday, delegates advanced negotiations on, inter alia, cooperative approaches, common timeframes for NDCs, the public registry for the adaptation communication, the transparency framework, ways to improve coordination with other APA agenda items on the GST, and the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance. [IISD RS Coverage of Bangkok Climate Talks] [ENB Curtainraiser] [ENB Coverage of 4 September] [ENB Coverage of 5 September]


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