Paris Climate Change Conference Considers Reports from Funds, Side Events Consider Land, Farmers, INDCs
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On Wednesday, 2 December, African parties to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) endorsed Morocco to host COP 22.

Also during the COP plenary, the Strategic Climate Fund reported that, for the first time, it has provided two draft compiled texts on guidance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF).

cop21_iisdrs2 December 2015: On Wednesday, 2 December, African parties to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) endorsed Morocco to host COP 22. Also during the COP plenary, the Strategic Climate Fund reported that, for the first time, it has provided two draft compiled texts on guidance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF). The GEF reported its support for 46 countries so far in the preparation of their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), 44 of which have since communicated their INDCs.

During the CMP 11 plenary, the Secretariat reported that, as of 30 November 2015, 55 instruments of acceptance of the 144 required have been received. On issues related to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Executive Board Chair noted with concern the continuing low demand and prices for Certified Emission Reduction units (CERs), while the World Bank underscored that the CDM sends a price signal for carbon, and called for simplifying the project cycle, streamlining programme activities and standardizing measuring, reporting and verification procedures. The Joint Implementation (JI) Supervisory Committee reported that its activity has “virtually stopped” due to a lack of new requests for projects or for issuances of emission reduction units. The Adaptation Fund reported that it “has never been more in demand,” and has delivered effectively on its mandate, but that the sustainability of the Fund is “in danger.”

During the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-12), spin-offs groups reported remaining disagreements on, inter alia: technology development and transfer; differentiation (capacity building); a compliance committee/mechanism (implementation and compliance); and the type of threshold to use for determining entry into force. Parties considered a proposal by the ADP Co-Chairs for a body to prepare for entry into force, and converged on using an existing body, specifically the ADP, by “importing” its governance and arrangements. They agreed the Co-Chairs will revise the text to reflect that the ADP will be given, in addition to a new mandate, a new name, with suggestions ranging from intergovernmental preparatory committee (IPC) or intergovernmental negotiating committee, to ad hoc preparatory committee or open-ended Paris committee.

Parties also discussed requesting the Secretariat to “provide information on the fairness and ambition of the INDCs communicated by parties.” The like-minded developing countries (LMDCs), India, the Arab Group, and the Russian Federation, among others, called for deleting the text. The ADP Co-Chair presented a revised proposal for paragraphs on taking note of the synthesis report on the aggregate effect of INDCs, noting the ambition gap, and noting expressed adaptation needs. Saint Lucia called for including a request for consideration of consistency with 1.5°C scenarios, while the Arab Group suggested deleting reference to “degrees.”

On decision paragraphs regarding giving effect to the agreement, specifically on efforts of all actors, Bolivia opposed juxtaposing local communities and indigenous peoples with the private sector. At the request of the Arab Group, two paragraphs, on non-state actors scaling up efforts and on using the NAZCA portal, were bracketed over concerns about legal implications of “inviting” non-state actors’ activities that may then cause environmental, social or other harm. Several parties emphasized the important role of non-state actors, and suggested “welcoming” or “encouraging” as compromise wording. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 21]

The second day of the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) convened under the theme of ‘Land Day: Land Degradation Neutrality as a Solution to Climate Change,’ and was comprised of four sessions on: ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA); evergreen agriculture and land restoration; ecological rainfall infrastructure; and, desertification, land degradation and climate change. A session on ‘Ecological rainfall infrastructure: a new perspective on how forests and trees matter for climate’ investigated linkages between trees, forests and rainfall patterns, and upwind and downwind interactions with rainfall. [IISD RS Coverage of Rio Conventions Pavilion]

The event ‘Economic Opportunities in African Drylands for Climate Change Adaptation,’ organized by the Africa Pavilion, focused on the benefits and challenges of utilizing non-wood forest products for climate change adaptation and food security in the Sahel region in Africa, as well as on the challenges of desertification and food security. At an event on the ‘Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI),’ participants discussed: the prevention and management of the impact of climate change on local communities, people and national resources; the need for participatory and inclusive approaches that enable local ownership; and the necessity to focus on soil restoration and the link between healthy soils and human wellbeing. The World Bank announced that it intends to allocate US$1.9 billion to GGWSSI projects and other climate change initiatives.

During a High-level Panel on Water and Climate Change in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), participants: argued for the creation of a “blue fund” for water management and infrastructure projects to increase the focus on and funding for water issues; highlighted the need to provide targeted support on gender and youth and to involve stakeholders in order to achieve success on water projects; and announced that more than 3,000 organizations in the Global Water Partnership (GWP) are ready to accelerate the delivery of the SDGs, water and climate resilience agenda. At the event ‘Climate Variability in Africa: Implications for Agricultural Transformation,’ discussion focused on fisheries as a part of agricultural production in Africa, land rights, and lowering the risk of lending to agricultural operations for the banking sector. [IISD RS Coverage of Africa Pavilion]

Numerous other events took place around the COP 21 venue on 2 December. During the event ‘The UNFCCC Technology Mechanism: Enhancing Climate Technology Action,’ participants discussed the possibility of multiple country requests to the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN); reactive versus proactive strategies for the work of the CTCN; and CTCN staffing and financial resources. At the event ‘Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) Focus on Resilience,’ participants addressed: making resilience a main objective in discussions on climate change; policies setting “red line” thresholds on water volume usage, efficiency and pollution levels; or development of risk atlases. During the ‘Farmers Day: Partnerships to Improve Agricultural Resilience and Productivity in a Changing Climate,’ participants considered the potential of an ecosystem service approach to reward farmers, as well as the potential for mainstreaming agroecology and fair trade into agriculture commodity chains.

At the event ‘Overview of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs): A Discussion of the INDCs Submitted by GCC Countries with a Focus on Practical Approaches to Achieving Sustainable Development and Addressing Climate Change Challenges,’ participants addressed the development of common GCC country strategies, the potential to develop a GCC blue carbon strategy, timeframes to calculate emission reductions, emissions intensity targets, and potential use of market mechanisms. The event ‘Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Adaptation Actions with Mitigation Co-benefits’ considered: ways to improve rainfall harvesting; ways to improve renewable energy and biodiversity conservation into water desalination activities; and how the preservation of “blue carbon” could contribute to the region’s mitigation commitments.

The event ‘Deploying Resources of the Green Climate Fund (GCF): What Makes a Good Project’ considered the characteristics of a good GCF project, present examples of lessons learned and future suggestions from countries and institutions. The event ‘Farmers Day: Agroecology as a Viable Solution for Climate Resilience and a Sustainable Food System’ addressed nutrition and food security, energy and integrated landscape management in the context of climate change, positioning the discussion in the SDGs framework. During the event ‘Resilient Safer Islands for SIDS,’ participants addressed: early warning systems; the role of science in increasing resilience in small island developing States (SIDS); gender-sensitive adaptation; and renewable energy generation in SIDS. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events] [IISD RS Coverage of Paris Climate Change Conference] [IISD RS Story on Day 1] [IISD RS Story on Day 2]


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