Paris Climate Change Conference Negotiations Continue; Side Events Consider Renewable Energy and Cities
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On Thursday, 3 December, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-12) contact group continued consideration of the negotiating text of the agreement and associated decisions.

Spin-off groups, contact groups and informal consultations continued throughout the day.

cop213 December 2015: On Thursday, 3 December, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-12) contact group continued consideration of the negotiating text of the agreement and associated decisions. Spin-off groups, contact groups and informal consultations continued throughout the day.

During the ADP contact group, on a facilitative dialogue, several parties proposed a wider scope, beyond mitigation, which China and Saudi Arabia opposed, explaining that it could represent an ex ante review. The EU and the US said a dialogue would inform the next round of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). On decisions to give effect to the new agreement, parties agreed to “welcome,” rather than “invite,” all actors to scale up and demonstrate efforts. On adoption of the agreement, ADP Co-Chairs presented a proposal to rename the ADP to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Outcome (APO), and that the APO: prepare for the entry into force of the agreement and convene the first session of the CMA (the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement); oversee implementation of the work programme resulting from relevant requests in the decision; report to the COP; and hold its first session in 2016.

On differentiation, the African Group proposed a formula that: states the level of obligation or precision for developed and developing countries; provides flexibility for developing countries, such as “all countries willing to do so,” which the LDCs supported; and provides further flexibility for African countries, LDCs and SIDS. Te like-minded developing countries (LMDCs) underlined that historical responsibility lies with developed countries, which have yet to meet their Convention or Protocol obligations regarding mitigation and means of implementation. On finance, the EU, New Zealand and the US stated developed countries should meet their obligations, and that others in a position to do so should contribute, while the LMDCs underlined that finance should be from developed to developing countries.

On mitigation, the EU, the US and others said that the INDCs imply self-differentiation, with the EU stating that all countries should seek economy-wide targets, but that there should not be shared timelines. The US added that developing countries should be eligible for support in implementing their contributions, and that LDCs and others should have flexibility to submit at their discretion without expectation. Japan stated that only vulnerable countries should have “partly conditional” INDCs. The African Group and LMDCs underlined that developed country parties should have quantified economy-wide targets, and South Africa said binding obligations to implementation should “back up” developed countries’ commitment to take the lead. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 21]

The third day of the Rio Convention Pavilion (RCP) was hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and held under the theme, ‘Day for indigenous peoples and local communities.’ The sessions addressed: indigenous voices and climate change: outcomes of local-national dialogues; gender- smart climate policy; community innovation in the face of conflict; local actions to strengthen community resilience; and the contribution of protected areas to climate change mitigation and adaptation. A reception closed the day. [IISD RS Coverage of Rio Conventions Pavilion]

During an event on the ‘Paris Outcome and Africa’s Adaptation Need,’ organized by the Africa Pavilion, participants raised issues including labeling of official development assistance (ODA) as climate finance and “red lines” for the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) such as differentiation. The event ‘Young African Lawyers (YAL) Programme in Support of Africa’s Climate Negotiations’ emphasized the need to build the capacity of young lawyers to contribute to developing national legal instruments on climate change and environment so countries do not have to seek assistance from outside. At an event on ‘REDD+ Readiness in Ethiopia’ participants highlighted the need to enhance the role of women and youth regarding communication and participation, to implement biodiversity conservation laws, and to give a central role to local communities in forest-related projects. During an event on ‘Seizing Opportunity for Africa: Prioritizing Water in the New Climate Financing Mechanism,’ participants discussed good adaptation practices and project design to ensure access to international climate funds, accreditation to the Global Climate Fund (GCF) and building capacity to gain accreditation. [IISD RS Coverage of Africa Pavilion]

Many other events took place around the COP 21 venue. At the ‘Renewable Energy Initiatives Through Economic Diversification,’ participants addressed market versus non-market pricing mechanisms, the effect of subsidies on pricing and profitability, and the positive and negative environmental impacts of developing solar energy. The event ‘The Private Finance Gap: Challenges and Opportunities in Funding Adaptation’ approached science accessibility, avenues for changing business attitudes, getting support for start-ups, and the importance of policy being dependable and predictable, with a clear set of rules to allow investors to take on more risk. During the event, ‘Tale of Three Cities: Cities on the Front Lines of Climate Change,’ participants addressed the role of cities in inspiring action at the international level and how COP 21 outcomes will influence cities and suburban areas. At an event on the ‘Role of Oil And Gas Technology to Address Climate Change Challenges,’ participants discussed: innovative solutions to both add value to the production chain and contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing emissions; what is done with recovered gas; and whether renewable energy should replace or be complementary to fossil fuel use in the future.

The event ‘Making an Integrated Approach to Air Pollution and Climate Change a Reality in Asia’ underscored the co-benefits of renewable energy, including Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP) reduction, human health, climate change mitigation and human development. During an event on ‘Forests, Landscapes, Climate and Sustainable Development: The Evidence We Need for the Future We Want,’ participants focused on: how to better integrate REDD+ and climate-smart agriculture; elements of a good ecosystem restoration strategy; how to integrate forestry into carbon pricing; and concerns about the lack of focus on appropriate governance of existing forests. The event ‘Climate Change Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities for Research in the Global South’ focused on ways to support developing countries, especially in Africa, through international and regional collaboration to build capacity to develop their own models of sustainable development, while also enabling their contribution to global knowledge production. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events] [IISD RS Coverage of Paris Climate Change Conference]

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