Day 4 Policy Updates: Loss and Damage text

by Nathan Thanki

In general negotiations continue in “contact groups” and informals which are by and large closed to observers (though try your luck!) and in informal-informals and bilaterals in the corridors.

In the contact group on loss and damage, chaired by ministers (rather than negotiators) from Sweden and St. Kitts, the G77 proposed a draft text yesterday (Tuesday) which was supported universally by developing country blocs (AOSIS, LDCs, Africa Group). Elements of the G77 text include

• establishing an international mechanism on loss and damage associated with climate change impacts–extreme and slow onsets, and includes non-economic and socioeconomic losses.

• establishing a Technical Facility which would carry out impact assessments, date management, develop new tools and approaches to build capacity to address l&d.

• establishing a Financial Facility, to assist with financial support in addressing l&d

• Establishing an Executive Board of the Mechanism

• The mechanism would be funded through a dedicated trust fund financed by developed countries

• Would be under the COP

• Would support development of risk transfer tools such as insurance

• An invitation to Parties to establish more regional centres and networks

On Thursday Australia brought in their finance negotiator to play hard ball. Everyone is willing to engage somewhat, apart from Australia. The US wants to engage but by drafting its own text. Norway the EU and AOSIS have their own proposals but not text. The resolution going forward (because of the US and Australia being obstinate) is that the chairs will make their own text. Loss and damage seems unlikely to be resolved before the SBs close at the end of the week. For even more detail on the G77 text, read this update.

On markets, the Framework for Various approaches (FVA), New Market Mechanism (NMM), and Non Market Approaches (NMA) talks – The G77, with Bolivia leading, are prolonging the conversation. The pilot scheme desired by the Polish presidency for FVA is seeming less and less likely with increased developing country pushback. The form of the pilot may change into launching an info sharing pilit. There’s also been a push to put NMM and NMA both under the FVA and talk about them all as one thing. Bolivia is keen to have a moratorium on market based approaches. For explanations on markets, please see this brief.

In the ADP, informals went on with WS1 focusing on tech and finance. There are big fights being played out here. Developing countries point to a lack of finances to operationalize anything. They state clearly that without the possibility of ratcheting up ambition, no 2015 agreement will work. On technology, IPRs are back on table. In a group discussing finance under the ADP, the US and Switzerland blocked parties from discussing finance pre-2020. As reiterated in COP and SBI finance discussions, the G77 can’t talk about a 2015 agreement without commitments and pathway to the 2020 $100b pledge. For a longer and more comprehensive update of all things ADP, read this.

Another developing issues is the “Brazilian proposal” to develop methodology to determine historical responsibility. The proposal, which is now a G77+China position, asks the IPCC to determine each country’s historical contribution (since 1850) to climate change. Brazil wants the IPCC to report back to the next meeting of SBSTA in June 2014 so that the simple estimates of national historical responsibility can be use in calculating what reductions countries should undertake. They proposed a similar thing 17 years ago which was shot down. The US and EU were opposed in the SBSTA, saying IPCC would take too long. Some members of civil society were also concerned. Read this for details of the proposal, which is available on the FCCC portal.

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