Developing countries for work program to close execution gap

Madrid, 6 Dec (Evelyn Teh) – Developing countries, led by the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC), called for a mandate at the UNFCCC COP 25 for a two-year work programme on closing the pre-2020 implementation gaps under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. The work programme under the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) on “pre-2020 implementation and ambition” is needed “to identify the progress and gaps on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building of the pre-2020 commitments by developed countries and to make arrangements in closing these gaps,” said China, on behalf of the LMDC.
In echoing the LMDC call, India said that “the pre-2020 stocktake cannot just be a conversation or reflection but it has to be a call for action to complete the unfinished agenda by developed country Parties on their pre-2020 commitments through a clear work programme under the SBI.”
These calls were made at the technical segment of the COP25 stocktake on ‘Pre-2020 implementation and ambition’ which took place in plenary on Dec 4.
The pre-2020 stocktake session, which was mandated by COP 23, was to take stock of action and support in the period up until 2020 by Parties under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol (KP). The stocktake is in two segments: the technical segment and the political segment, with the latter taking place on 11 Dec, involving ministers.
The 3-hour event was moderated by Robert Bradley of NDC Partnership, who said that the pre-2020 stocktake will “take a look at that period from a technical angle, and that’s with the view to preparing the political discussion which will take place next week on Wed (next week).”
When the session was opened up to Parties to provide their reflections, China on behalf of the LMDC stressed that its understanding of pre-2020 actions “is not about a timescale, but about ambition and implementation.” It explained further that this meant that “when the commitment is fulfilled, the mission of pre-2020 is accomplished.”
The LMDC also stated that “the essence of the pre-2020 stocktake should also provide a whole picture of where we are, what are the progress and gaps, and how we fully deliver our ambition in the pre-2020 period.” It also emphasised that “when we talk about post-2020 ambition, the pre-2020 serves as the real-world starting point and the basis of trust in honouring the commitments in the post-2020 areas”.
The LMDC called for a mandate for a two-year work programme under the SBI on ‘pre-2020 implementation and ambition’ to identify the progress and gaps on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building of the pre-2020 commitments by developed countries and to make arrangements in closing these gaps.
Earlier, Palestine on behalf of the G77 and China reiterated what it stated at the COP 25 plenary on the first day, emphasising that next year, Parties’ pre-2020 actions under the Convention are supposed to conclude and lay the foundation for future climate actions for Parties to the Paris Agreement (PA).
The G77 expressed disappointment that a developed country that is responsible for emitting almost one-fifth of the current annual global emissions, and one-third of the cumulative historical global emissions has chosen to withdraw from the PA (in an apparent reference to the United States), and regretted there some developed countries have decided not to ratify the second commitment period of the KP. The G77 called on these Parties to reconsider these choices.
Palestine also expressed concerns that there have been several developed countries which have not complied with their existing national reporting requirements under the Convention, leading to a lack of transparency in disclosing what they have done as regards their emissions in the pre-2020 period.
In terms of climate finance, while welcoming the USD 9.7 billion pledged by developed countries to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at its first replenishment, it underscored that this amount was significantly below the initial resource mobilization pledge of USD10.2 billion and fell far short of what developing countries need to enhance their climate actions, said the G77 further.
Emphasising the need for enhanced ambition by developed countries to fulfil their pre-2020 commitments, in particular urgently raising their ambition in relation to emission reduction targets and the provision of support to developing countries, the G77 Chair said further that “this is critical to building trust for enhancing ambition by all in the post-2020 period. Pre-2020 implementation issues are therefore important to address from this COP”.
India said that little is heard about the developed countries’ mitigation efforts on their pre-2020 commitments adding that “there are gaps in the action and support because developed countries did not deliver on their commitments”. This, said India, needs to be acknowledged and noted and the gap in the pre-2020 period cannot be transferred to the rest of the world to shoulder in the post-2020 time-frame as it would be against the principle of equity and climate justice as enshrined in the Convention, KP and PA.
“This stocktake has to provide a platform not just for analysing if the pre-2020 ambitions were met, but also to suggest the way forward and continued actions by these Parties in the post-2020 period until 2025 or 2030 to make good on those commitments,” it said further.
It concluded by saying that “the pre-2020 stocktake cannot just be a conversation or reflection but it has to be a call for action to complete the unfinished agenda by developed country Parties on their pre-2020 commitments through a clear work programme under the SBI.”
Brazil said there is a clear connection between the pre-2020 implementation and the post-2020 ambition and there is more to be done than what has been done so far. Brazil agreed with the LMDC proposal that there be a 2-year work programme under the SBI to discuss the pre-2020 implementation. Parties which have not yet done so should ratify the Doha Amendment to the KP to ensure legal certainty in having the second commitment period of the KP enforced.
At the opening of the stocktake plenary, on behalf of the COP 25 Presidency, Claudio Garrido delivered a speech stating that the pre-2020 period has been crucial for Chile in addressing its climate challenges through learning from international support to developing countries.
Ovais Sarmad, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC in his address stated that “the pre-2020 period and what was supposed to be accomplished is all about building trust and confidence in the process, among the Parties with the Secretariat, and with the people who are expecting great action to address one of the most important threats to our existence.” Saying that “we are about 2 to 3 weeks away from entering 2020”, he added that we need to step into that period with a much stronger, higher level of ambition build on that trust and confidence on what has been achieved or very transparently also recognise and acknowledge what has not been able to be accomplished during that period.
Alina Averchenkova from the Grantham Research Institute stated that the commitment made by the developed countries to raise climate finance on an annual basis of USD100 billion by the year 2020 has been an important symbol of trust.
The pre-2020 stocktake then took place in two sessions, which comprised a report back of the work done by the UNFCCC bodies in relation to the mitigation efforts up to 2020 by the Subsidiary Bodies, the Consultative Group of Experts and the Technology Executive Committee, followed by a reports on supporting enhanced implementation and ambition of climate efforts up to 2020 done by the Standing Committee on Finance, the Paris Committee on Capacity Building, the Adaptation Fund Board, the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures and the Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform.
Apart from Parties, several observers also provided their reflections.
The Youth NGO (YOUNGO) intervened by stating that there is a need to fund adaptation, and loss and damage now, with the need for greater pledges in the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environment Facility and the Adaptation Fund.
The Climate Action Network (CAN) also stated that when it came down to domestic climate action particularly from large emitters, its leaders have fundamentally failed to show the political will and courage matching the crisis we face. CAN also urged developed countries to meet the climate finance goal of USD100 billion per year by 2020 in a way that is fair and transparent, including by increasing the share of adaptation finance, and with new and additional public finance.
Climate Justice Now (CJN) also lamented that the Doha Amendment to the KP that was in place 7 years ago has yet to be ratified, adding that “this was a lost decade and we could not afford another lost decade.” It also said further that mitigation ambition has been low and there is no process to increase it, including in addressing the massive gap in the finance commitments between what is needed and what is being offered.
The moderator concluded the session stating that despite the valuable efforts, we are still failing in our attempts to steer the world onto a more sustainable path. He also stated that “with 2020 finally upon us, we are still not seeing enough action to prevent the irreversible impacts of climate change – which is a sobering assessment.” He hoped that this would get us to step up the scale and speed of action needed. – Third World Network