During the 2017 Ministerial Dialogue convened by the COP 23 Presidency in Nadi, Fiji, countries outlined their expectations for COP 23 deliverables to get them closer to a set of guidelines on operationalization of the Paris Agreement.
Incoming COP 23 President and Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama highlighted on several occasions the need to advance implementation of the Paris Agreement through a “Grand Coalition” of actors, including governments at every level, civil society, the private sector, ordinary citizens and other stakeholders.
Under the 2017-2018 work programme of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, “acting further, faster and together” is a priority for advancing climate action and the SDGs.
Described by some as a “transition COP,” the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November 2017, is expected to make progress on developing modalities, procedures and guidelines for operationalization of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which are to be finalized in 2018.
Presided over by the Government of Fiji, the Conference will include the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC, the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 13) and the 47th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 47) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 47). The fourth part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-4) and the second part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1-2) will also convene. Mandated events and workshops, as well as numerous side events will be held in the margins of the formal negotiations.
Work on operationalization of the treaty in accordance with the Paris Agreement work programme commenced at the May 2016 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, including the first meeting of the APA. It continued through COP 22 in Marrakech and the May 2017 sessions in Bonn, where Parties began to map out options for the “skeletons” of the decisions that will need to be adopted at COP 24 in 2018. Many Parties would like to see a coherent package of decisions delivered across all issues, and COP 23 is expected to capture interim progress in this regard.
In addition to contributing to implementation of SDG 13 (climate action), the Marrakesh Partnership work programme calls for COP 23 to make progress on SDGs 2 (zero hunger) and 11 (sustainable cities and communities).
During the 2017 Ministerial Dialogue convened by the COP 23 Presidency in Nadi, Fiji, countries outlined their expectations for COP 23 deliverables to get them closer to a set of guidelines on implementation of the Paris Agreement. They highlighted the need to complete a robust framework for reporting of climate action and finance, urging COP 23 to highlight progress on reaching the US$100 billion goal in climate finance that developed countries agreed to provide to developing countries on an annual basis by 2020. Pre-COP participants also underscored the need to provide the design for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue “on where the world stands, where it wants to be and how it will jointly get there to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals,” including the long-term temperature goal of keeping the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Indeed, a number of Parties, including Canada, China, Brazil, the EU, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, highlighted the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue among their top priorities for COP 23, which the Fijian Presidency envisions to be conducted in the spirit of ‘talanoa,’ an inclusive, participatory and transparent process that aims “to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions … for the collective good.”
It is widely recognized that operationalization of the Paris Agreement goes beyond the mechanics of a “rulebook,” a term many Parties appear more and more reluctant to use. Outside the formal negotiations, worldwide engagement of non-party stakeholders in strengthening pre-2020 action to close the ambition gap is a crucial enabler of implementation of the Paris outcome as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Incoming COP 23 President and Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama highlighted on several occasions the need to advance implementation of the Paris Agreement through a “Grand Coalition” of actors, including governments at every level, civil society, the private sector, ordinary citizens and other stakeholders. In the Addis Ababa LDC Ministerial Communiqué on Climate Change, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) also stress that climate action enables the delivery of the SDGs, and that coherent integration of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national economic planning is a priority for all Parties.
Under the 2017-2018 work programme of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (GCA), an initiative launched by the High-Level GCA Champions during COP 22, “acting further, faster and together” is a priority for advancing climate action and the SDGs. For example, in addition to contributing to implementation of SDG 13 (climate action), the Marrakesh Partnership work programme specifically calls for COP 23 to make progress on SDGs 2 (zero hunger) and 11 (sustainable cities and communities). According to the work programme, SDGs 12 (responsible production and consumption), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) should be addressed at COP 24, and SDGs 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), 6 (clean water and sanitation) and 7 (affordable and clean energy) should be addressed at COP 25.
However, the GCA COP 23 agenda does not only focus on tackling world hunger and promoting sustainable cities. In addition to agriculture and human settlements, GCA thematic days are expected to deal with, inter alia, energy, water, oceans and coastal zones, transport, industry, forests and health. GCA high-level days are anticipated to specifically address the nexuses between climate action and SDG 2, and climate action and SDG 11, along with issues such as finance, resilience, innovation and gender. The 11th Focal Point Forum of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), to be held under COP 23 mandated events on 8 November, will also contribute to the achievement of SDG 11 by exploring the topics of human settlements and adaptation.
Another example of concerted efforts on climate change and the SDGs is the recently issued ‘Climate Action Now: Summary for Policymakers,’ which also contributes to implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The report summarizes concrete examples of successful climate policy implementation around the world, and ways to replicate and scale up such action between now and 2020, originally identified in the Marrakech Partnership’s 2017 Yearbook of Climate Action.
The SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference will seek to highlight the interlinkages among the various efforts furthering implementation of the Paris Agreement, the SDGs, the Sendai Framework for DRR and other international frameworks. It will include daily updates on the negotiations and selected side events, as well as reports on new publications, initiatives, launches and partnerships.