Day 5 Policy Updates: Taking Stock, Talking Lots

by Nathan Thanki

The informals continue. Today saw the ADP convene meetings on adaptation and technology which got fairly heated. The big sticking points are the issue of intellectual property rights (IPRs), which has been reintroduced by the G77 but is causing the developed countries much anguish. Yesterday developed countries began referring to IPRs as “the thing which must not be named” in reference to the Harry Potter series. This became so absurd that the chair eventually forced the issue to be named. TWN cover the ridiculousness in much more detail.

Another sticking point on technology was the proposal from the G77 in a SBSTA informal on agenda item 7a – the joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). Brought by the Philippines, G77 proposed draft text asking the COP to ask the secretariat to begin the process of acquiring observer status for the CTCN and TEC at bodies outside the Convention, namely the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the WTO. In ADP today, Philippines said that a compromise text had been reached late Thursday night in the SBSTA group, only to be blocked by the US this afternoon.

There were major disagreements in the ADP open-ended consultations focused on adaptation. While developing country parties were calling for a global adaptation goal that would include financial targets, developed countries were generally opposed to mentioning anything specific in terms of finance, and wanted to focus discussions on elaborating what already exists under the adaptation framework.

In an ADP session under work stream 2 entitled “the way forward,” consultations picked up where they had left off on Wednesday. Parties carried on providing interventions in answer to 2 questions: what do you want from work stream 2 in Warsaw? and what are practical solutions and proposals for raising pre-2020 ambition. Developing countries continued to highlight the need for finance to operationalise existing institutions.

In the evening, the COP president Marcin Korolec convened an informal stocktaking plenary where he provided an overview and invited the chairs of the SBSTA, SBI, and ADP to make remarks and update the room on the work that had been done so far.

The co-chairs of SBSTA reported that all groups were in full swing. So far they had been able to adopt 10 agenda items, including GHG data interface, land-use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF), HFCs, annex 1 review guidelines and reporting guidelines, and agriculture. However, agriculture, agenda item 10, remains carried forward to SBSTA 40. There will be need for additional time for some groups, specifically technical aspect of work in item 12a (methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol). There was an acknowledgement that they will need more time for REDD+ finance discussions. SBSTA also considered the “Brazilian proposal” and will come back together under the chairs’ guidance for further talks at 10am.

The co-chairs of SBI said that a number of issues had concluded but some need more time and some are politically sensitive, having impact in other areas of work under the Convention and Kyoto Protocol. One problematic area included loss and damage. During the second week ministerial this issue may be concluded. Negotiators are trying hard to conclude as much as possible now. The co-chairs stated their concern for implementation of previous measuring, reporting, and verification (MRV), especially the composition and modalities for teams of technical experts for consultative group of experts (CGE). There’s been no progress since Doha, and the entire MRV system will suffer. There are also problems with negotiations over the secretariat’s budget, which is alarming.

The co-chairs of ADP reported on their open ended consultations for all elements of 2015 agreements and pre 2020 ambition. Fiji, for the G77, stated that more effort was needed in negotiations to get momentum to close issues. They stressed the need for CTCN and TEC to have seats as observers in WIPO and WTO. G77 was generally happy that effort was being put on loss and damage, and maintained their insistence on getting an international mechanism on loss and damage out of Warsaw. They said they were ready to engage with all and willing to do everything, including working all day and night. Switzerland expressed frustration as it said there is a mandate from Cancun on MRV and a mandate from Doha on markets. It said that work stream 1 needs an invitation to prepare post 2020 commitments and work on modalities and rules. Yeb Sano, now 5 days into a voluntary fast for climate justice, spoke for the Philippines to say that they were very concerned about finance and loss and damage, and that public announcements from some Parties about lowering targets was not conducive to building trust.

The ADP is going to close on Thursday. SBI/SBSTA close tomorrow. The next stocktaking will be on Monday afternoon.

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