Three new documents are now available to further the negotiations under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
These are: “Draft text on ADP 2-7 agenda item 3 Implementation of all the elements of decision 1/CP/17”, “Elements for a draft negotiation text”, and “Compilation of Inputs received by Parties on the draft decision on the Durban Platform”. The first is a revised draft decision on the Durban Platform for adoption in Lima, and the second is a revised draft of the elements of a draft negotiating text for the 2015 Agreement, taking into account the textual proposals made by Parties.
The demand for a compilation of Parties’ inputs has been persistently made by developing countries. This featured prominently during the 6 Decemberinformal stocktaking of the progress made at the ADP during the first week of Lima climate talks, and the task at hand for the second week.
During the stocktaking, Co-chair Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago)said that on the draft decision text to be adopted in Lima where Parties had made textual suggestions on, the Co-chairs would take all of the suggestions into account and provide an “improved version of the decision” as agreed during the ‘friends of the chair’ meeting.
On the Co-chairs’ non-paper on elements for a draft negotiating text for the 2015 Paris agreement, Kumarsingh said Parties had made specific text proposals and “we hope to capture those in an improved paper.”
He said that both these documents would be made available on Monday (8 December) morning.
Kumarsingh also said that “once the improved version of the decision is done, Parties can negotiate on textual proposals”.
[The draft decision to be adopted in Lima by the Conference of Parties on “Advancing the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” includes matters regarding the 2015 Paris agreement, the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) for that agreement, as well as the pre-2020 climate actions.]
The ADP Co-chair also asked Parties to reflect and provide guidance on how they would like to “recognize the efforts” made in Lima and to provide guidance to the two new Co-chairs next week who will be elected end of this week to carry on the work of the ADP next year.
During the informal stocktake, several developing countries raised their concerns about the way ahead and wanted reassurance of the Co-chairs that the process in the second week would adhere to what was agreed at the ‘friends of the chair’ meeting on 4 December.
Following interventions from Sudan for the African Group, Malaysia, and China, the ADP Co-chairs also gave the assurance that there would be a ‘compilation text’ (see exchange below).
(In the first two days of the ADP session in Lima, many developing countries and their groupings had demanded a more transparent and participatory method of negotiations than the one practised by the Co-chairs before. In relation to the draft Lima decision, they had demanded the customary method of work of putting texts on a screen and making changes to the text as countries made their proposals. When these demands were unmet, it snowballed into a crisis. The stalemate had to be eventually resolved by ‘friends of the chair’ meetings on 3-4 December.)
When Cuba sought further clarification on the “improved texts”, Kumarsingh responded that “the improved version of both the draft decision and elements paper will be issued on Monday. As agreed this week during ‘friends of the chair’, once the improved version is issued, we will go into negotiations mode paragraph by paragraph, where Parties will get into textual proposals.”
He reminded Parties that Thursday, 11 December, is the deadline for the ADP to complete its work in Lima.
Speaking in its national capacity, Malaysia reminded Kumarsingh that during the ‘friends of the chair’ meeting on the draft decision, it was agreed that, there would be a compilation of all the proposals for the purpose of assessing the entire body of work that was used and transformed into the draft decision. “This would give comfort to those who did not have their proposals on the screen” it said further. Malaysia sought clarification on how the Co-chairs would provide access to that document.
To Malaysia, Kumarsingh responded, “I made reference to only the improved version because that is what you will be working on actively. Information that Parties have made is already available on the website. We look forward to receiving submissions from those who intend to do so. So, everything will be placed on the website.”
Sudan clarified that a compilation document would be more useful to see Parties’ views inserted in the relevant section of the decision text rather than a plain reference that they are on the website. “Submission by Parties were on specific sections. It will be quite welcome by the African Group for such a reflection on the compilation,” it said.
Speaking for the Umbrella Group, Australia said that another compilation would lead to a long text, which the group wants to avoid.
Switzerland said that it was not sure if it understood the African Group’s ask for a compilation text. “We would not support merging these proposals to a bracketed text. If things are merged they lose focus. I have heard ‘your text’ and ‘our text’ but this is our text written through you. It converges similar views and outlines possible common ground. If we don’t like something in the text it is not because of you but because one of us has written it that way. If you wrote the text, it would be very different,” said Switzerland to the Co-chairs.
Kumarsingh responded to Switzerland and said: “The decision that we arrive at, or Parties arrive at, will be your text, regardless of what options there might be. By the time you get to Thursday, the text will be yours. The Co-chairs are here only to facilitate.”
Sudan also responded to Switzerland and said that the idea of a compilation is where Parties’ views will be reflected in the respective areas in the papers. It reminded the Co-chairs that this was an essential part of the consensus reached at the ‘friends of the chair’ meeting earlier last week. “An important part of that understanding was having a compilation to our work going forward,” it said. Sudan also added that it was still not clear about how to proceed with work on the elements mandate vis-เ-vis how to get that work to conclude in Lima.
At this point Pakistan reiterated that in moving forward in refining the decision text, it has to be as per the proposals by Parties. “If those proposals are not aptly captured, it would be difficult to make quick progress.” Speaking for the Arab Group, Algeria hoped the revised version leads to a text that Parties can adopt.
China voiced its concern too. “We would stick to what we agreed to in the ‘friends of the chair’ the other day. It’s not compilation of what’s on the web. What are on the web are submissions by individual Parties. The understanding from the ‘friends of the chair’ meeting is we will have a consolidation of text. It’s not about just putting it together. It needs some work to put it in the right place. We need to put textual proposals in a logical way that leads to negotiations line-by-line, comma-by-comma, full stop-by-full stop. Since there is a rule that silence might mean agreement, it prompted me to make this intervention,” said China.
Saudi Arabia supported Sudan, Algeria and China.
As Kumarsingh was preparing to conclude the meeting and announced it, he noticed China raising the flag again to intervene.
“This is to seek reassurance that there would be a compilation and consolidation document,” said China.
Kumarsingh in response said that “there will be a compilation and a reference text”.
China intervened again to stress that “it is not a compilation on the web. That would be a separate thing,” it added.
Kumarsingh responded saying “You have a reassurance. You will receive a compilation text.”
Following are some of the key interventions by Parties:
India said that the road to Paris is dependent on how things unfold in the next days and added that it is hopeful of leaving Lima with clarity on the INDCs as well as elements of the draft decision. It called for a separate discussion on differentiation. “In the discussions we have been having, equity and common but differentiated responsibilities have been critical. It pervades all the discussions we have been having. Perhaps, if we could have a separate discussion on it, then we can move rapidly on other parts of the text,” it said.
China said the key Lima asks were centred around three tasks: elaboration of elements to be included in the draft negotiations text that is supposed to be presented in May next year; identification of upfront information of INDCs; work to accelerate pre-2020 action, including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building support. “We also think that it is very important that from next week, we will be moving to more focused and substantive negotiating mode of work. We are pleased to hear you will circulate two pieces of very important papers: elements and decision for the Lima conference. Whatever documents you produce, it is important to reflect in a comprehensive, balanced manner the discussions that have happened this week. On the decision text, we will have a line-by-line, paragraph by paragraph negotiations on screen, which is very common in the UNFCCC process,” it said.
On the elements paper, China said that it is important to have, by the end of Lima, a clear understanding of what would be the elements in the draft negotiating text.
Speaking of the Lima decision text, China emphasized that the document needs to reflect the series of options, and where there are divergence of views on a particular issue, those would have to be further negotiated in the coming days. “Another point is we should have very focused topics to cover those that are very necessary to have a decision at Lima and there are other aspects where we would have to have a very quick agreement on.” China cited the scope of INDC issue and the necessary follow up steps upon submission of INDCs as an example. “These would be addressed further in the context of the further elaboration of the elements of the 2015 agreement. Information in INDCs is very important to come to a common understanding on and what is the information required to accompany the INDCs,” it said.
Sudan said it is important to recognize the single mandate that Parties are working on under the ADP. It said that the “stand alone non-paper” (in relation to the elements for the Paris agreement) should be reflected in the Lima draft decision.
Tanzania said that there seems to be a lack of understanding among Parties why adaptation and means of implementation are priority areas and Parties would have to work on those areas. On INDCs, there should not be too much of prescriptive information and differentiation should be considered in this regard.
Speaking for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Tuvalu said that once Parties see the next iteration of the elements paper, they will be able to consider more carefully where they can identify these elements in a more formal way. “We must no longer call it the Co-chairs’ non-paper and give them a more formal recognition,” it said and added that it needs to be given Parties’ ownership. There is a lot of work to be done and as a process to consider which of the elements should go into the legal agreement and which ones can go into COP decisions, it said.
On the decision text, Tuvalu said there is a diversity of views on INDCs and their scope. “First, we can work on narrowing down the scope of the INDCs and then some of the procedural aspects can be worked on. There will be necessary technical work to be done to help countries develop their INDCs. We could also take some guidance from subsidiary bodies,” it said.
Singapore said Parties must remember that there are two pieces of text: one for Lima and an elements paper, which they have to deal with in the longer run. “We shouldn’t overload things that slow us down,” it said.
Mexicosaid decisions that need to be taken must be prioritized and sought clarity on what INDCs are and what are main elements Parties need to focus on. It said that the different proposals on differentiation that are out of the box are welcome and to focus on issues that Parties can agree on.
The European Union (EU) said it is looking forward to detailed negotiations to resolve differences next week.
Speaking for the Environment Integrity Group, Switzerland said that looking at concrete text proposals (in relation to the Lima draft decision) has been time consuming but has proved helpful to better understand the process. It urged the Co-chairs to prepare a new draft decision text and ‘reflections’ paper based on Parties’ written inputs, especially on convergence. Work on the decision text should focus on specific wording, it said.
Speaking for the Umbrella Group, Australia said on the draft decision text, Parties have a good sense of each other’s views, which should help reach consensus. It sought clarity on steps for next year. It said that it would like to see the further version of the non-paper, where the Group’s version is articulated clearly. It said it did not see the headings or structure of the non-paper reflecting the heading or structure of the agreement.