15 November 2016
SBI, SBSTA and APA Convene Closing Plenaries Ahead of High Level Segment
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

On Monday, 14 November, the UN Climate Change Conference continued in Marrakech, Morocco.

Contact groups under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) met throughout the day.

In the evening, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) and the APA held closing plenaries, with SBI and SBSTA closing plenaries to resume on Tuesday, 15 November.

A High Level Forum of South-South Cooperation on Climate Change convened, and High Ambition Coalition ministers released a statement following the US election.

14 November 2016: Contact groups under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) continued meeting during the second week of the Marrakech Climate Change Conference. On Monday evening, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) and the APA held closing plenaries, with SBI and SBSTA closing plenaries resuming on Tuesday, 15 November.

In the SBI closing plenary, on the revision of the guidelines for the preparation of national communications by Annex I Parties, the SBI adopted draft conclusions, following which many expressed regret that the guidelines themselves had not been adopted. On review of the modalities and procedures for the Clean Development Mechanism, conclusions were not reached and negotiations will continue at SBI 46.

The SBI adopted conclusions on the report of the Warsaw International Mechanism Executive Committee and recommended a draft decision for consideration by the COP.

The SBI also adopted conclusions on the Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and on the terms of reference for the review and functions of the Standing Committee on Finance. The SBI also adopted conclusions and recommended a draft decision for consideration by the COP and the CMP on the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the capacity-building framework under the Convention and under the Kyoto Protocol, respectively.

On the impact of the implementation of response measures, the SBI adopted conclusions on the improved Forum and work programme, and on modalities, work programme and functions under the Paris Agreement. On matters relating to Protocol Article 3.14 and progress on the implementation of Decision 1/CP.10, no conclusion was reached and consideration of these sub-items will continue at SBI 46.

On gender and climate change, the SBI adopted conclusions and recommended a draft decision for consideration by the COP. On administrative, financial and institutional matters, the SBI adopted conclusions and recommended draft decisions for consideration by the COP and CMP.

The Secretariat reported on the budgetary and administrative implications of decisions adopted at the meeting thus far, noting the need for an additional €320,000 for implementation of gender-related activities in 2017.

During the SBSTA closing plenary, conclusions were adopted on, among other things: the Nairobi Work Programme; the report of the Adaptation Committee; the Technology Framework under the Paris Agreement; issues relating to agriculture; matters relating to science and review, including on research and systematic observation and advice on how the assessments of the IPCC can inform the global stocktake; bunker fuels; land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); carbon capture and storage (CCS) in geological formations as CDM project activities; guidance on cooperative approaches; and the work programme under the framework for non-market approaches.

The SBSTA could not reach agreement on greenhouse gas data inference and SBSTA 46 will continue consideration of this sub-item.

Regarding COP contact groups and informal consultation, consultations are continuing on: linkages between the Technology Mechanism and Financial Mechanism of the Convention; the sixth review of the Financial Mechanism; long-term climate finance; and the report of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and guidance to the GEF. Under the CMP, informal consultations are continuing on matters related to the CDM.

APA contact groups and informal consultations also met throughout the day. In informal consultations on matters related to implementation of the Paris Agreement, parties examined a list of nine possible matters not being addressed under the work programme of the Paris Agreement, with some parties seeking a comprehensive arrangement for all the items in the table of “orphan issues.” On the Adaptation Fund, views diverged regarding whether a G-77/ China draft decision should be forwarded to the COP. After some debate, parties agreed the draft decision would be annexed to the APA co-chairs’ reflections note, with clear indication that it has not been agreed.

In informal consultation on matters relating to the global stocktake, parties agreed to include a paragraph in the APA conclusions welcoming the advice of the SBSTA on how IPCC assessments can inform the global stocktake.

Informal consultations also convened on: the transparency framework for action and support; further guidance in relation to the mitigation section, in which parties agreed to convene a roundtable, but diverged on whether the roundtable should take place immediately prior to or during the next session, or intersessionally, and on whether it should produce outcomes; and further guidance in relation to the adaptation communication, where parties agreed to request the Secretariat to develop an information note, identifying possible information for adaptation communications, followed by new submissions, a synthesis report of submissions, and a workshop, either in-session, or in conjunction with a session.

During the APA contact group on agenda items 3-8, many parties supported recognizing the G-77/China draft decision on the Adaptation Fund serving the Paris Agreement. The APA Co-Chair proposed language in the draft conclusions that refers to the draft decision and reflects that other parties viewed such a decision as premature. Others urged clarity on how to advance the APA’s work beyond May 2017.

In the closing APA plenary, parties adopted the draft conclusions forwarded by the contact group. The Secretariat reported on the preliminary administrative and budgetary implications of actions under the Paris Agreement. Parties agreed to suspend APA 1-2 and reconvene in Bonn, Germany in May 2017 for APA 1-3. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 22]

IISD’s video coverage of Day Five in Marrakech focuses on education. [IISD RS Video Coverage of COP 22]

A Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) event addressed international developments in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). The International Energy Agency said that carbon, capture and storage (CCS) is not optional in terms of delivering the Paris Agreement, and while significant progress has been made in the sector, CCS deployment is not on track and will need to be scaled up in order to meet 2025 targets by 2025. Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia, said that fossil fuels will be with us for a long time to come, but investment in renewable energy solutions, especially CCUS, is needed. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, US, noted that to achieve deep decarbonization, CCS will need to play a bigger role, particularly in the industrial sector. Panelists also said: the transition to a low-emissions future has put pressure on governments to make CCS economically viable; the world is currently learning from large-scale CCUS operational facilities; and CCS can help meet national and local emissions reduction goals. [IISD RS Coverage of GCC Events]

The International Energy Agency said that carbon, capture and storage (CCS) is not optional in terms of delivering the Paris Agreement.

A US Center Event, organized by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance and the Climate Policy Initiative, on unlocking private finance for climate action discussed how: the Lab gathers pioneering ideas geared to use public funds; the Lab identifies, develops and launches transformative climate finance instruments, and “incubates” them with private sector funds; the Lab needs to focus on barriers on getting investments for, inter alia, water and renewable energy investment; and at least US$90 trillion will be needed in the next 15 years to ensure constant and consistent low-carbon pathways.

Another event on US support for adaptation and the national adaptation plan (NAP) Global Network focused on: building capacity; improving access to information for planning and decision-making; and increasing access for financing implementation. Panelists presented on: a project to increase communities and ecosystems resilience to climate change in Senegal; Jamaica’s drought forecast service; climate change information and moving from planning to implementation in Samoa; and the NAP Global Network Secretariat, whose objective is to harness the collective knowledge and resources of governments, practitioners, donors and civil society.

Another US Center event showcased actions and accomplishments by countries in implementing their NDCs, and explored successful approaches and lessons for achieving national climate change targets. Panelists discussed: how NDCs are at the heart of how countries will implement the Paris Agreement; a national initiative in Colombia to analyze mitigation potential from each sector to determine major emissions sources; how public participation was critical for the adoption of Kenya’s Climate Change Act and its Climate Change Framework Policy; and market penetration of energy efficiency in West Africa. [IISD RS Coverage of US Center Events]

A High Level Forum of South-South Cooperation on Climate Change aimed to: enhance exchanges among developing countries so they can better address climate change and achieve sustainable development; maintain and increase momentum towards greater South-South Cooperation; expand global partnerships for Southern countries and improve the capacity and readiness of developing countries to implement their NDCs; and take stock of on-the-ground experiences and share successful cases and good practices to expand the impacts of South-South cooperation in the context of implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thematic sessions convened on: South-South cooperation and financing for climate and sustainable development; South-South cooperation on technology and capacity building; and multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships.

During the event, David Nabarro, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, highlighted the Southern Climate Partnership Incubator (SCPI) initiated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April 2016. The SCPI aims to initiate, facilitate, and support partnerships that will help developing countries address climate change. The Forum was co-hosted by China, Morocco and the UN. [Conference Agenda] [UN Press Release]

A joint statement from the High Ambition Coalition ministers following the US election affirms that acting on climate change is in “all of our national interests” and is good for the environment, the economy and climate security. Ministers reaffirm their commitment to work with the whole international community, including the US, to tackle climate change, one of the greatest challenges currently faced. [Joint Statement]

On Friday, 11 November, 29 new signatories joined the Under2 Coalition at a high-level ceremony, demonstrating the strength of the Coalition in both industrialized regions and in developing and emerging economies. All signatories to the Coalition commit to reduce their emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels, or achieve a per capita emissions target of less than two metric tons, by 2050. The Coalition: is in line with scientifically established emissions levels necessary to limit global warming to below 2°C; provides an opportunity for states, regions, and cities to share ideas and best practices on how to reduce emissions and promote renewable energy; brings international attention to the actions and reduction goals of subnational climate leaders; and highlights the diversity of approaches to reducing emissions.

A total of 165 jurisdictions representing 33 countries and six continents have signed or endorsed the Under2 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), representing more than one billion people and US$25.7 trillion in gross domestic product, which is equivalent to more than a third of the global economy.

The Under2 MOU was initiated in 2015 by a partnership between California, US, and Baden-Württemberg, Germany, to bring together states and regions willing to commit to emissions reduction and to help galvanize action at COP 21 in Paris. The Climate Group acts as the Secretariat for the Coalition. [Climate Group News Story] [Under2 MOU Website]

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