News

Today at COP 22

Thursday 17 November

  • Continuation of high level statements by ministers; in preparation for the close of the COP, CMP and suspension of the CMA (likely to 2018) 

Previous Days

Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 November

  • The Ministers have now arrived here in Marrakech, including the likes of John Kerry (USA), to kick off the political decision making aspect of the COP.
  • For most of Tuesday and Wednesday, high level political statements are made signaling where nation states are with addressing climate and what they are seeking out the UNFCCC process
  • Both SBSTA and SBI completed and closed their COP 22 work programs on Tuesday - with their recommendations to be considered by the COP/CMP plenary (decidion making bodies of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol respectively) scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.
  • The Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) notes that the linkages between the technology needs assessment (TNAs) and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will be strengthened, as will engagement between the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the CTCN (UNFCCC website).
  • The new technology framework agreed that the initial key themes will be (a) innovation, (b) implementation, (c) enabling environments and capacity building, (d) collaboration and stakeholder engagement, (e) support. There will be an open submission process on these issues closing on 10 April 2017; and this item will be picked up again for discussion at the intersessional in Bonn (UNFCCC website).
    • An information document was prepared on technology projects supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF - UNFCCC website) which contains several references to CCS and specific reference to the Institute (page 36).
    • The Institute engaged in a demanding engagement schedule on Tuesday, with its UNFCCC endorsed side event in collaboration with the ISCE and e5 (international and European business councils for sustainable energy) in which it arranged for Lord Nicholas Stern to be the keynote speaker. This event also saw the launch of the Institute’s 2016 Status Report. The event was documented by IISD and the footage should be available by this Friday.
  • The Institute also held a UNFCCC joint press conference with the IEA and Lord Nicholas Stern which was well attended – for footage please refer to the UNFCCC website.
  • The Institute also engaged in two other side events on Tuesday, 14/11 with the EBRD low carbon development workshop and CPP4 side-event on enhanced oil recovery for storage.
  • The CTCN also secured an additional US$23m for its work program to scale up key climate technologies in developing countries over the next 3 years – this is additional to it's original US$10m – monies were pledged by Canada, US (US$2.5m), Switzerland, European Commission, Japan, Korea (UNFCCC website). There will also be a review of the CTCN in 2017.
  • The discussions on the formal linkages between the finance mechanism and the technology mechanism however has reached an impasse and is likely to be re-started at COP 23.
  • Listen to an inspiring speech by John Kerry (USA) on Wednesday, 16/11 via the UNFCCC website.

Monday, 14 November

  • CCS Ministerial hosted by US DOE Secretary Moniz on status of CCUS; including Minister Frydenberg (energy minister, Australia)
  • The Institute hosted a side-event on CCS and the IPCC including Jim Skea (co-Chair of IPCCC WG III), Rodolfo Lacy Tomayo (Deputy Secretary of Planning and Environmental Policy – Mexico government), Jean-François Gagné (IEA Head – Energy Technology Policy Division), Timothy Juliani (C2ES, Sr. Dir., Business Strategy and Partnerships), and Gianpiero Nacci (EBRD Head – Industrial and Business Energy Efficiency Pillar)
  • Brad Page was interviewed by the WSJ and the Climate Studio.
  • The Institute hosted a high level dinner-dialogue.
  • The SBI held its closing plenary (part II). 

Friday, 11 November and Saturday, 12 November

  • There were about 60 business organisations at the morning BINGO constituency meeting, which is up in number from the same time of the conference in previous years
  • The Institute hosted a side-event on Industrial CCS including Belinda Perriman (Teesside Collective), Trude Sundset (Gassnova), Simon Bennett (IEA), David Hone (Shell), Nicholas Walters (World Steel Association) and Mark Bonner (GCCSI)
  • All informal consultations under the subsidiary bodies (SBSTA, SBI and APA) closed
  • SBI had the first part of its closing plenary.
    • It decided that the ‘scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement’ will be further considered on the UNFCCC website
    • Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer [Agenda item 12(c)] which can be found on the UNFCCC website
  • SBSTA closed the following consultations and produced recommendations for:
    • CCS in the CDM (UNFCCC website)
    • SBSTA discussions on the Technology Framework concluded and draft text can be accessed on the UNFCCC website
  • A co-facilitators note on possible key themes and elements can also be found on the UNFCCC website
  • SBSTA discussions on the CTCN/TEC joint report concluded and draft text can be accessed on the UNFCCC website
  • The Global Action on Climate (GAC) initiative, which was hosted by the two Climate Champion’s and Rachel Kyte (CEO, SE4ALL), held an “energy” thematic in both the morning and afternoon – neither session showcased CCS or cleaner fossil energy technologies.
  • The APA (Ad hoc WG on the implementation of the Paris Agreement) chairs posted a scenario note (UNFCCC website) and the draft conclusions of the COP 22 session on the UNFCCC website
  • The APA chairs (Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement) reported to observers that Party discussions on the implementation of the Agreement are very much in conceptual mode
    • consultations have commenced on the rules for the Global Stocktake, and inputs from non-state actors as to what might be their participation in the global stocktake process are welcome
    • many of the APA related issues are complex and cross cutting – such as the issue of transparency of climate actions and pledges, which are often multi-dimensional including:
      1. reporting, expert review and multilateral consideration
      2. Mitigation and adaptation and support
      3. Temporal - ex-ante and ex-poste of transparency
  • The subsidiary bodies will conclude their business on Monday for submitting recommendations to their plenary sessions on the same day (SBI, SBSTA, APA)
  • The COP/CMP/CMA closing plenaries will commence on Thursday, 17 November after national minister’s finish giving their high-level statements over Tuesday to Wednesday; it is likely that CMA will be suspended rather than closed allowing many of its issues to be taken up and considered in 2017 (allowing countries who haven’t yet ratified the Paris Agreement to do so).
  • It is rumoured that the 2017 COP will be hosted by Fiji and held in Bonn, Germany (near the home of the UNFCCC’s headquarters). 

Thursday, 10 November

  • All informal consultations under the subsidiary bodies (SBSTA, SBI and APA) need to finish tomorrow (11/11) so that recommendations can be consolidated by Monday 14/11
  • There were a number of SBSTA informal consultations on technology today including the technology framework; the rules, modalities and procedures (M&P) for the Technology Mechanism; and the joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
    • Draft text of the TEC/CTCN report can be accessed on the UNFCCC website – it has retained the potential for funding considerations outside of the CTCN to assist projects. A potential issue is that the Green Climate Fund aims to service transformational technologies, while the CTCN accepts any requests for any technology.
    • Text for the technology framework hasn’t advanced since yesterday
    • The M&Ps for the Technology Mechanism review was afforded 1 informal consultation before it was decided that it should be postponed until the mid-year subsidiary meeting in 2017, so that the submission process concluding in January 2017 could inform the discussion
  • SBSTA was also due to consider the outstanding CCS issues in the CDM – transboundary movement of CO2 and establishment of a general reserve of funds – but the SBSTA chair decided on Monday 7/11, which was agreed by the Parties, to consult with interested parties and to draft the conclusions himself – this agenda item was always going to be “kicked down the negotiating road” so to speak. Essentially no formal discussion took place on these issues at COP 22.
    • Draft text of the chair’s decision to the CMP can be accessed on the UNFCCC website
    • The draft text notes that no CCS project has applied for registration to date under the CDM despite all administrative arrangements are in place to accept such requests – this is within the context that the CDM Executive Board reported that the CDM has more than 8,000 projects registered, across 111 countries with an issuance of more than 1.7 billion Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) over 15 years (each representing a tonne of CO2 abatement)
    • It is unclear how the transboundary issue will get resolved at SBSTA’s recommendation states “The CMP decided to conclude the consideration of the eligibility under the clean development mechanism of project activities consisting of carbon dioxide capture and storage in geological formations that involve the transport of carbon dioxide from one country to another or geological storage sites that are in more than one country; and the establishment of a global reserve of certified emission reduction units for carbon dioxide capture and storage in geological formations.
    • The very positive implication of this is CCS projects won’t have to surrender any portion of their CDM offsets to fund a general reserve’’ in case of unforeseen events; but it’s not clear how the transboundary issue is to be handled should such a project apply to be registered under the CDM (which essentially winds up in 2020)
  • On the issue of transparency, the APA co-chair noted that its 3 dimensions complicated its discussion; which includes:
    1. reporting, expert review and multilateral considerations
    2. mitigation, adaptation and support
    3. temporal: ex ante and ex poste 

Wednesday, 9 November

  • As was the case yesterday, many agenda items are being discussed in closed sessions
  • There’s a lot of corridor chatter between delegates on what the result of the US elections may mean for the Paris Agreement
    • While the US’ recent ratification would appear to bind it to at least 3 years as a Party to the Paris Agreement, the lead US climate negotiators futures seem uncertain given their political appointments under the Obama administration – clearly any propensity for the US to adopt decisions has slowed with a newly elected Republican President
  • SBSTA’s informal consultations on the Technology Framework met again today and released a second draft of the co-facilitator’s conclusions which can be found on the UNFCCC website.
    • This version is much the same as the 1st version, with indicative text missing for the structure and the key themes
    • As a bit of background to the thinking by Parties on the need for a new technology framework, the Paris Agreement decision basically reflects a consensus that the previous technology framework established under the Marrakech Accord back in 2001 (refer to the UNFCCC website) needed updating based on the previous 15 years experience
    • There seems to be no shortage of key themes that could potentially find their way into the framework, starting with a closer nexus between the technology and finance mechanisms to suggestions of early warning systems to avert climate caused human disasters
  • SBSTA’s informal consultations on the joint 2016 annual report of the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network met today and released a first draft of the co-facilitator’s conclusions which can be found on the UNFCCC website
    • It acknowledges a growing importance of the linkages between the technology needs assessment (TNAs), nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and national adaptation plan (NAPs) processes
    • There is also a strengthening link between Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to assist the CTCN in its work program (i.e. potentially funding projects and requests for assistance submitted to the CTCN)

 

Tuesday, 8 November

  • Japan ratified the Paris Agreement today bringing the total number of countries to 103
  • Most agenda items being discussed are now in closed sessions including Technology Framework; or restricted sessions (ie 2 representatives from each constituency) such as Ad-hoc WG on the Paris Agreement (APA)
  • Release of draft co-facilitator’s conclusions for Technology Framework can be found on the UNFCCC website
  • Release of SBSTA information paper mapping climate technology development to transfer activities and initiatives under and outside the Convention can be accessed on the UNFCCC website
  • Article 6 paragraphs 2 (cooperative approaches involving the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes) and paragraph 8 (non-market approaches) continued work on identifying key issues for the guidance they have to prepare for the CMA (the decision making body for the Paris Agreement)
  • In the Australian delegation briefing, the head delegation referred to CCUS as being an essential mitigation option that will require active private sector engagement and investment; and that no 2 degree C scenario can be achieved without it
  • It appears for the two outstanding CCS in the CDM issues (transboundary movement of CO2 and the establishment of a general reserve) that the SBSTA chair’s decision to “consult with interested parties and prepare draft conclusions” basically means that a recommendation will be made to formally consider it at a later date (a previous COP decision identified this meeting as the meeting for it be resolved)
  • The core task for COP 22 is developing and implementing the rules to underpin Paris Agreement (ie. transparency, carbon markets, NDCs) – but it appears that delegates prefer to have ‘adequate’ time to consider many of the work items under the APA; this essentially means that issues such as guidance for NDCs in terms of upfront information requirements and accounting (among others) will be discussed in informal consultations as opposed to formal contact groups to (a) allow for ideas to be considered and (b) allow more time for the other 90 countries that need to ratify the Agreement to do so (it seems likely the 1st session of the CMA will remain suspended until 2018 – as many issues were adopted in Paris on the basis of their settlement by the end of the 1st CMA)
  • There are 3 agenda items that are likely be concluded at COP 22 – including establishing the capacity building committee; launch of the US$100B finance roadmap (pledges of develop country funding commitments); and a review of Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage  

 

Monday, 7 November

  • Opening ceremony - COP 21 President Ségolène Royal 
    • 100 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement as of today – appealed to the remaining countries to ratify before the end of this year;
    • Re-emphasised the need for countries to build on their low carbon strategies;
      • Emphasis on ‘climate justice’ for Africa – noting that COP 22 is the “African COP”; as well as mobilising finance for the transfer of technologies;
      • Described the climate challenge as a “A race with time”.
    • A Head of State Climate Summit has been scheduled on Wednesday, 16 November, to be moderated by the King of Morocco;
    • Announced that the President of COP 22 is Salaheddine Mezouar (Morocco); and
    • Stressed that “we don't want to repeat the mistakes of predatory polluting resources”.
  • Hoesung Lee (IPCC chair) observed that this COP needs to be a “COP of action” (ie. implementation) and committed the IPCC work program to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement (ie. Special Report and Sixth Assessment Report);
  • The Article 6 group (various approaches, markets and non-markets) started informal consultations – they have 6 hours of negotiations until they are to deliver a report to the Co-chairs. The co-facilitators set out a work program leading up to the 49th Subsidiary Body (SB-49) meeting (this is SB-45). There was little push back from Parties and the meeting began to reflect on substantive issues rather than process. 
  • The SBSTA agenda was adopted with: 
    • The Technology Framework (Agenda Item 6b) to have completed draft conclusions by 14 November; and
    • The Chair to draft the conclusions for CCS in the CDM (Agenda Item 11b) with “interested parties”, also due 14 November and forwarding conclusions to CMP-12; no contact group was established.
  • The CTCN reported that:
    • Some 150 requests had been received from 67 countries, with 10 requests completed;
    • There are now 250 Network members with equal distribution from Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countries;
    • Requests for assistance need to be consistent with national development objectives as stated in vehicles like INDCs (to receive priority assistance);
    • US$31M has been mobilised from voluntary contributions by Annex 1 countries – but this is well below the $100M required to complete the program approved in 2013; and
    • Due to financial shortfalls, ‘balancing criteria’ has been imposed on requests and so some requests are not being prioritised or implemented.
  • The Article 10 group (technology transfer and diffusion) started informal consultations on the technology framework – draft conclusions will be completed by then end of this week for presenting to the CPA on 14 November. The co-facilitators sought consensus from Parties on the elements of the Framework which includes:
    • The purpose of the framework (largely agreed upon) which is “to provide overarching guidance to the work of the Technology Mechanism”;
    • The characteristics of the framework (ie. should be short, concise, balanced and flexible);
    • The structure of the framework (components could be purpose; key elements/themes, technology cycle); and
    • Key themes (ie. supporting implementation of Paris Agreement and TNAs, technology capacity building; and
  • Other issues on technology development will also be considered by this group but in other dedicated meetings such as the Annual Report of TEC/CTCN; Scope and Modalities of Technology Mechanism  assessment, linkages between Technology and Finance Mechanism’s.