9 December 2019
IISD Webinar Updates on Progress During First Week of COP 25 Negotiations
story highlights

The webinar highlighted outstanding issues related to Article 6, including carry over, share of proceeds, and accounting.

Negotiators are discussing a possible “Santiago network of experts” to help with implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

Allan mentioned clear linkages among SDGs 13 (climate action), 7 (affordable and clean energy) and 14 (life below water) coming to the fore at COP 25.

IISD’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team hosted a webinar marking the half-way point of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC, which is convening in Madrid, Spain, from 2-13 December 2019.

The webinar took place on 8 December and was led by Jennifer Allan, ENB Team Leader for COP 25. It highlighted progress made on the main issues from the first week of negotiations and what is expected during the second week of the COP.

Noting that COP 25 is following up on unfinished business from COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, which agreed on most of the operational guidelines for the Paris Agreement on climate change, Allan highlighted ongoing work scheduled for agreement at COP 25 on Article 6 (cooperative approaches), which aims to help countries that are struggling to meet their emission reduction targets through market and non-market mechanisms. Noting ongoing controversies, she observed that the conversation is shifting away from completing the work in its entirety to determining what can be completed in Madrid and what can be finalized in the next couple of years. In this regard, she highlighted three issues that require further work:

  • carry over: whether countries should be allowed to carry over credits generated before 2020 to implementation after 2020 and for use in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs);
  • share of proceeds: whether to replicate the current process under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) whereby a share of proceeds goes to the Adaptation Fund; and
  • accounting and common metrics: whether it is possible to calculate emission reductions from activities using a variety of metrics.

Aside from Article 6, Allan mentioned lack of agreement on common timeframes for NDCs, with proposals ranging from five to ten years, with more than ten options currently on the table.

Regarding loss and damage, she said negotiators are discussing ways to ensure that the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) is “fit for purpose,” and ways to provide finance “when something happens,” such as through a loss and damage window in the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) or an emergency response fund. She highlighted the proposal for a possible “Santiago network of experts” to help with implementation of the WIM, and mentioned that negotiations are also focused on the need for funding for such a network.

In addition, Allan said the COP  aims to advance work on, inter alia, agriculture, periodic review of the long-term global goal, gender, and transparency issues.

Looking forward to week two, she said ministers are arriving in Madrid and will be called on to help guide technical discussions on unresolved issues related to Article 6 and loss and damage, among others. She also explained that the Chilean presidency will be hosting ministerial roundtables that bring together a range of ministries in order to introduce a more holistic approach to understanding various ministries’ roles in climate action and that this innovative approach could be a legacy of COP 25.

Responding to questions submitted by webinar participants, Allan discussed, inter alia:

  • potential activities that might be included in the Gender Action Plan and ensuring the Plan is implementable;
  • given that COP 25 is being referred to as the ‘Blue COP,’ a possible COP outcome on oceans that ensures a continued exploration of best practices and information;
  • difficulties related to referencing scientific reports, including recent special reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and reports by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and
  • possible inclusion of forests in Article 6 outcomes.

Regarding the ways in which the SDGs are reflected in climate negotiations, Allan mentioned clear linkages between SDG 13 (climate action) and SDGs 7 (affordable and clean energy) and 14 (life below water) coming to the fore at COP 25, although, she noted, most decisions lack direct reference to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. [IISD COP 25 Halfway Point Webinar] [ENB Coverage of COP 25]

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