On Monday 8 June, three days before the end of the negotiating session, the ADP contact group tasked with preparing the text that will be discussed at the COP 21 took a look at how things stand with the draft agreement, and the sessions for each party carried on.
The Joint Chairpersons to the Rescue
The arbritrations between the options and suboptions of the long text with options arising from the Geneva session are having a hard time being made. The parties have expressed their worries, and each session leads to one or more countries reacting on the methodology: some think that the secretariat could have made more progress while others think that the major themes have not been identified, several want to speed things up and talk about the agreement while others say that it is too early. Regularly during a session we hear people say “I don’t understand the exercise we are in the process of doing”. In the end the decision should consist of the 2015 agreement and the interim arrangements being adopted, the INDCs (national roadmaps), the orientations for implementing the agreement, a work plan for the period 2015-2020, the budget and administrative issues as well as the MRV (measuring, reporting and verifying) and greenhouse gas emissions accounting systems. Little progress has been made on the level of ambition to be specified before 2020. At the request of the parties confronted with a sense of urgency and a low level of progress, the joint chairpersons of the ADP are scheduled to meet with the climate convention’s secretariat and the joint facilitators so as to work out a rationalised and concise text presenting clear options to get the negotiations moving forward. The work will continue in moderate groups and a collective coherence between groups will need to be guaranteed.
The Calendar: Consensus on the Five-Year Period, Debates on the Stages
During the session on the calendar, the duration of 5 years for the cycle of commitments achieved consensus: They would be implemented over 5 years and regularly renewed. On the other hand, having or not having differentiated cycles for mitigation and adaptation is still a matter of debate.
Likewise, the text differentiates between the duration of the agreement and that of the commitments. Since the INDCs will be different between the moment of the agreement and once they have been examined and updated, what commitments should figure in the agreement and when should the calendar start from? Should teh two be dissociated? The matter remains unsettled.
Strengthening of Capabilities Under Debate
Strengthening capabilities is a heated question: The G-77, made up of the least advanced countries (LACs), the African nations and the developing countries, demanded that a capability-strengthening body tasked with analysing activities, proposing a more structured approach, monitoring the implementation of activities and making sure they are consistent, informing about funding opportunities and helping the LACs to become more resilient to climate change be set up. The United States and the European Union expressed reservations as to the capability of such a body, and called for an enquiry into why the already-existing bodies do not come up to expectations. What emerges is a need for more time to talk about all that and some room for getting together to examine the issue…