AFRICA CSOs RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT OUTCOME OF THE UNFCCC COP24
13th December 2018 | Katowice, Poland
A coalition of African environmental Civil Society organisations under the Umbrella of Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) have jointly raised concern about lack of concrete outcomes so far, following the ongoing climate change negotiations in Katowice, Poland.
“We detest the fact that despite working to beat the deadline to deliver a credible report as mandated by COP 21 held in Paris in 2015, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is under contemptuous attack by a coalition of climate deniers revolving around the United States,” said Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director for PACJA.
“There is no doubt that we leave Katowice when the IPCC Special Report has been trashed by a section of parties to the Climate Change Convention thus posing a credibility gap to the report,” he said.
The coalition feels that this is not good news to climate diplomacy which has traditionally relied on IPCC to inform the conversations. And this, sadly, could be a victory to those who have fought to reverse gains made to combat climate crisis. The functionality of the Kyoto Protocol is currently on ‘life support machine’ and may be declared dead by 2020 because 23 Parties/countries have deliberately declined to ratify the Doha Amendment.
“We therefore urge the COP24 Presidency to expedite the consultations both under the Presidency and the Ministerial consultations on such critical areas of finance; Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) under the Paris Agreement with a focus on Transparency, Guidance on Mitigation/NDCs, Global Stocktake and compliance; Technology; Adaptation; and Cooperative Implementation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. We elaborate these issues as follows:
Climate finance: We are greatly disappointed with the negotiation progress and lack of concrete and ambitious outcomes on the climate finance. A day to the conclusion of the negotiations, there is still no clear roadmap to fulfil pre-2020 commitments climate finance commitment; no conclusion on discussion of the robust climate finance communication and reporting framework for developed countries. In addition, there is no clear guidance on how the Adaptation Fund will serve the Paris Agreement and its resource mobilisation, as well as lack of a way forward on initiating discussion for a new quantified climate finance goal.
We also convey our discomfort with the emerging trend where developed country Parties want to shift their climate finance obligation to private companies. As non-state actors recognised in the Paris Agreement, private companies may contribute to the mobilization efforts, but developed country Parties should be guided by their obligation under Article 4.3 of the Convention, to provide public, grant-based, new and additional financial resources to developing countries. We wish to reiterate that developed country Parties should not exploit the finance provisions under the Paris Agreement to escape their obligation to provide new and additional climate finance under the Convention.
We welcome the pledges of USD 129 million to Adaptation Fund which broke the single-year record of resource mobilization. However it falls short of around USD 264 million required for the Fund. Much more need to be done to support adaptation. We further welcome pledges for Green Climate Fund, but additional substantial pledges should be made and fulfilled to make the replenishment process a success. Assessment should therefore be done to identify the amount of funds necessary to assist developing countries in implementing the Convention.
Adaptation: This is an essential pillar in African climate responses at all levels. We thus are worried about the disagreements on which Parties should be encouraged to provide resources for the implementation of the work of adaptation-related institutions; an inventory of relevant methodologies for assessing adaptation needs; and the role of the IPCC in that process.
Loss and Damage: Africa continues to suffer enormous economic losses in billions of dollars as a result of climate change impacts. This is coupled with un-costed social losses due to climate induced displacement of persons thus triggering conflicts. Our conviction is that insurance is not the best solution for loss and damage. As we continue calling for a predictable and grant-based financing approach for loss and damage, we reiterate that Loss and damage must be reflected separately throughout the Paris Agreement Work Programme and should be integrated into every agenda item.
Enhanced Transparency Framework: We demand for flexibility as guided by the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) for developing countries; and financial support with capacity building for the enhanced transparency framework.
Technology Transfer: We re-emphasis the need for provision of support to the technology mechanism, and that a clear and effective framework is put in place for the periodic assessment of the support provided by developed countries on technology development and transfer.
We urge the COP Presidency that he has a life-long legacy to cultivate, in avoiding any manoeuvres to open re-negotiations of the Paris Agreement by upholding the principles of transparent and participatory consultations. Ministers have the potential to simplify the complexities that remain outstanding under the technical negotiations. We encourage our African Ministers to be steadfast on the African Position to ensure the outcomes in Katowice reflect our peoples’ expectations and needs.
For further information, please contact:
Mike O’maera | Communication and Knowledge Management Officer
Read the communique released by PAP: climate legislation, role of civil society and the African positionWritten by Ann Mwende
African Civil Society Concerns on the COP24 Proceedings
8th December 2018 | Katowice, Poland
The UN Climate Change Conference has entered into the final day of the first week termed as the technical segment. Few agenda items have been concluded and many, especially the essential ones, are not even near to be concluded in time to be taken forward to our Ministers who will be joining the conference next week for the second part of the high-level segment.
We have seen progress on Agriculture, Gender and NAPs but there are serious concerns on the climate finance, adaptation and the finalization of the robust Paris Agreement Work Programme. We have taken stock of these alarming proceedings and share the following on the elements below:
At the start of the COP24, African Civil Society demanded for fulfilment on pre-2020 climate finance commitments, putting in place robust system for reporting on the support and ensuring new, additional and predictable climate finance beyond 2025. African civil society are gravely concerned about very slow progress on the climate finance agenda items with developed countries not committing to fulfil their pre-2020 commitment and not agreeing on even initiating the process for the new quantified climate finance goal. Conclusions on how the Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement, including ensuring adequate resource mobilization for the Fund, have not yet been agreed.
African civil society see a clear intent by the developed country Parties to shift their Convention obligation on provision of climate finance to private institutions and worse enough to developing countries. This is and will not be acceptable.
African civil society takes note of the progress on the NAPs whereby a conclusion has been reached and taken forward to SBI; but we are concerned with the overall dealings of the adaptation with no equal treatment as other elements. Adaptation has been stripped off from the transparency framework discussion and may not be part of the MRV. The elements from the transparency discussion also affect guidance to the modalities for adaptation communication.
African civil society reiterates that adaptation remains to be a priority for African countries.
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
The discussion on features and timeframe for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) started even before COP21 and the Paris Agreement. Continuous dragging of agenda, which should have been concluded in this first week, disappoints us. African civil society supports NDCs with all elements and a five-year timeframe to be in line with the Global Stocktake.
Developed country Parties are obliged to reduce emission and support developing countries to contribute to the efforts. African civil society has observed intent to shift the obligations to developing countries avoiding differentiation and flexibility in both reduction and reporting process.
We urge the COP24 Presidency to show great determination and leadership to ensure the best outcomes of the conference. This includes a robust and balanced Paris Agreement Work Program that covers all elements and meets the required ambition; and a comprehensive framework for fulfilment and reporting of the pre-2020 commitments and ambitions. We emphasize that the legacy of the Katowice Conference lies on these issues and will be placed in history books as one of the stepping-stones that paved the way for future generation. Whether positive or undesirable outcomes, it will remain in our books.
The science is clear and the sufferings are evident,
Let’s take our responsibility and get the best outcomes from the conference for the remaining week.
PRESSURE INTENSIFIES TO COMPLETE PARIS AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION RULES
The African CSOs under the auspices of PACJA are currently attending the UNFCCC’s 24th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland. Today marks the end of week one of the conference which began on 3rd December and is scheduled to end on 14 December.
To start off, African CSOs under the auspices of PACJA released a high passed press statement at the beginning of the 24th session of the Conference of Parties that seems to have read into the on-goings at the negotiation tables across the conference.
Negotiations intensified on December 5, as delegates were under pressure to complete the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP). This would enable the co-facilitators who are conducting informal consultations on the various issues, to produce a first draft of the negotiating texts as mandated by the Presiding Officers of the three subsidiary bodies: The Ad Hoc Working Group on Paris Agreement (APA), Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). This is important as it would enable ministers to make the final decisions needed for the implementation of PAWP before the talks end on 14 December. The first drafts of texts became available to Parties.
Many delegates seemed to be in a frenzy, with multiple negotiating sessions and conflicting schedules, especially those dealing with finance - Article 9.5 issue of the Paris Agreement (PA) and on the Adaptation Fund. Various bilateral meetings were undertaken with Parties, and meetings of heads of delegations (HODs) with the COP Presidency to give guidance to negotiators on matters, which are viewed as being politically sensitive.
The technical phase of the stock-take on pre-2020 implementation and ambition was conducted on 5th December; the political phase is scheduled to taking place next week when ministers arrive.
Article 9.5 (on ex ante information on public financial resources)
Some positive movement was seen on the issue, following the meeting among the HODs held on 4th December. After a year of stalemate, negotiators finally began discussing “procedural elements” in relation to Article 9.5 which mandates developed countries to biennially communicate ex-ante information on the projected levels of public financial resources to developing countries. Since last year, developed countries have refused to be drawn into a discussion on “modalities” for the communication of information on Article 9.5 which has been a key demand from developing countries led by the African Group, Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) and the Arab Group. The impasse seemed to have been somewhat resolved with developed countries agreeing to engage in considering “procedural elements” to make the article operational.
However, when informal consultations began, there remained several divergences among Parties especially regarding the scope of the procedural elements. These divergences emerged in discussions under the APA and the SBI. (The APA agenda item on Article 9.5 deals with ‘modalities’ for biennially communicating finance information, while the SBI agenda item deals with the ‘identification of the information to be provided by Parties.’)
During the APA 9.5 discussions, developed countries led by European Union (EU), Norway, United States (US) and Canada made it clear that they were not willing to engage in any discussion relating to the review of the information and they wanted discussions restricted to when the information would available and where it would be housed. This, they said, was the basis to move ahead, and that they would discuss these issues in the SBI agenda item.
In response, South Africa for the African Group suggested that the APA agenda item on 9.5 would only be “suspended temporarily” as they would like to see how the SBI progresses on it. Parties addressed both the procedural aspects to make Article 9.5 operational as well as the elements as contained in a textual proposal in the joint reflections note by the presiding officers of the APA, SBI and SBSTA. On the procedural aspects, the discussions proved contentious on a number of areas.
South Africa for the African Group took a strong stand saying that operationalizing Article 9.5 was an obligation of developed countries and they would not agree to notions of encouraging developing countries to provide information. South Africa also said that the information should be housed in a registry and not on the UNFCCC website and that a synthesis report be prepared, following the communication of the information. “This (the provisions under Paris Agreement for providing upfront information on climate finance) does not apply to developing countries. This deadline is not for us. This deadline is you. There is no going back on Paris agreement. This is a red line for us - we will not be party to any decision that lumps us together again. We are not going to renegotiate Paris Agreement.” Said South Africa which also demanded that a link to the review of information must remain. Ecuador for the LMDC, China and India supported the Africa Group’s intervention.
Brazil stressed the need for having a starting date for the provision of information and agreed with South Africa that 2020 would be a good starting date, adding that the information provision was linked to the issue of ambition from developing countries. “More ambition on finance means more ambition on climate action,” it said adding that a separate website to house the information would be helpful as the UNFCCC website was a “confusing hub of information”. Brazil also said that the information should be compiled and synthesized and it saw a role for the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) in the synthesis of the information.
Switzerland and Australia said any review of the information was a “red line” for them and Peru for the Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC) said they did not see any link between ex ante communication of information and ex post review of that information.
The US said that discussion beyond the start date and location of information was not needed. The EU said that information should be submitted to the UNFCCC website and that their preference for the timing of the first reporting was 2020, but were open to discussing the date. It also said it did not see the role of the SCF in any form.
In relation to the information, disagreements arose when developed countries said they were opposed to providing detailed information on the channels of funding, including that for ‘loss and damage’ in the elaboration of purposes and types of sectors to be supported and information on baseline reference to facilitate an overview of trends over time. The co-facilitators aimed to capture the views expressed by Parties and an iteration of the text is expected to be out.
New collective goal on finance
Developing countries have been calling for the initiation of a process of setting a new collective quantified goal on finance, that takes into account their needs and priorities from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, as mandated by a decision agreed to by Parties in Paris in 2015. Developed countries led by US, Canada, EU, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and Australia refused to determine a process for setting a new collective goal on finance, claiming that it was too early in the process to deal with this.
(Under paragraph 53 of the Paris decision 1/CP.21, Parties agreed that “…in accordance with Article 9.3 of the Agreement… prior to 2025 the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the PA [CMA] shall set a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries”).
Developed countries further said that they did not see the issue as being part of the PAWP package to be agreed to in COP 24. In response, Egypt for the G77 and China clarified that they were not discussing the goal itself but a process to discuss the goal and that it was rather surprised that the developed countries did not think it was part of the PAWP package. “Implementation of the PAWP and the new goal go hand in hand. We would like to know what is the signal we are sending to the global community when we are saying that we are serious about climate change but we are not even serious about a process to set a goal,” stressed Egypt.
China suggested that the issue be dealt with at the HOD level since Parties had already spent a lot of time on the issue but were still miles away from reaching any agreement.
The Developing countries are very clear on what they want from their counterparts in the North and that is new, additional scaled-up financing for climate Action that is grant-based.
In negotiations on the Technology Transfer, developed countries led by the Umbrella Group of countries seemed to be diluting provisions of the PA by removing references to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and bracketing provisions related to the issue of the provision of support in the draft text.
According to an African negotiator familiar with the issue, developed countries are also saying “the PA does not assign support responsibility to developed countries.” The negotiator lamented that developed countries had a different view of Article 10.6 of the PA which reads: “Support, including financial support, shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of this Article…,” by suggesting that the article did not specify who is to provide the support. This position by the developed countries is being countered by the developing countries, led by the G77 and China.
Nationally Determined contributions (NDCs)
A nine-page first draft was issued and delegations during the informal consultations began giving their preliminary reflections on the draft, with a number of countries expressing their interest in using the document as a starting point for discussions, but also noted various concerns. Parties continue to provide their views on the document.
Several Parties including Egypt, Brazil and the EU have begun to raise their concerns around paragraph 6 of the proposed text which relates to how developed and developing countries are to be treated in the provision of information related to their NDCs. The proposal now has options that says that developed countries shall provide information related to their NDCs and the same appears to be the case for developing countries.
Egypt in its preliminary comments said that this was a departure from the mandate provided in Article 4.4 of the PA, which makes clear that developed and developing countries are treated differently (on the type of mitigation actions to be undertaken). It was concerned that having the same treatment for developed and developing countries was a departure from the mandate.
Similar concerns were raised by Brazil speaking also for Argentina and Uruguay and said that the differentiation between Parties in relation to their NDCs is “in the implementation of their NDCs” and therefore, there was no need for a differentiated approach in the provision of information as each Party should provide the information needed that is applicable to its NDC.
The EU supported Brazil and said that the NDC itself decides what information should be provided and this cannot be discretionary (and left to Parties to decide what information they want to communicate).
Global Stock-take (GST)
In the informal consultations on the GST, developing country negotiators continued to express frustration that developed countries do not want to discuss how equity is to be operationalized in the conduct of the stock-take. (The PA stipulates that the GST, which is an assessment of the collective progress of Parties towards achieving the purpose of the PA and its long-term goals), has to be carried out in light science and equity and will take place in 2023.)
Developing countries led by the G77 and China have made proposals for equity to be reflected, by proposing several indicators to measure equity, such as historical responsibility, equitable access to sustainable development and carbon space, among others.
Developed countries especially from the Umbrella Group of countries which includes the US, are deeply opposed to this approach and according to one developing country negotiator, they have expressed that “they do not understand what equity means, despite all the explanation provided and are refusing to allow the operationalisation of equity in the GST process.”
While the above has been happening in the mainstream of the meetings, PACJA’s representatives continued to engage both in formal side events as well in informal discussions contributing not only to the major decisions but also to the PACJA agenda of advancing climate justice for the African continent. The conference continues into the second week.
Africa Day,a joint initiative of the African Development Bank, African Union Commission UN Economic Commission for Africa and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), was organized, this year, around the theme, “The Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Hub: Going further and faster with NDC implementation in support of Agenda 2063.“
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