By Vositha Wijeynayake
ADP stocktaking yesterday evening, (March 12) was one of the interesting sessions of negotiations in a while, thanks to the Co-Chair of the March session. During the stocktaking, Parties and co-chairs agreed to establish a contact group on Friday according to the agenda that they have been using and for both work streams. The text will be compiled from Party submissions and interventions. Among key issues highlighted was the need for a Party driven process, transparency and the need for a hastened commencing of formal process.
ADP Co-Chair. Kishan Kumarsingh advanced the elaboration of the content of 2015 agreement and highlighted that the Parties have submitted views on elements of the agreement. He added that submissions and interventions give us all a wealth of material to work with and that there has already been a start to build an understanding of nationally determined contributions.
“We have started discussing the domestic preparations of nationally determined contributions, work to prepare national contributions is clearly underway and Parties have done more work on technical options to increase emission reductions,” he said.
He further noted that this is just the start of the process and the Parties must talk to each other not at each other, and that the stocktaking meeting should develop the view to take the stocktaking meeting going forward.
G77 and China
Bolivia speaking on behalf of G77 & China presented that the 1st session in 2014 must produce elements of negotiating text, and that structured and formal mode negotiations need to begin. They further called for a balance of elements in work and text and proposed to establish a contact group on Friday at the latest.
“It is important to evaluate the progress and to align the process to the mandates and tasks from COP19, it is important that 1.CP19 request a working group on enhanced action. We need to begin a more structured and formal mode of negotiations as mandated by COPs 17, 18, 19 and to make progress on finalizing the text,” they said.
G77 & China called for outcomes that abide by the principles of the UNFCCC and a process that inspires confidence.
Ecuador on behalf of ALBA said that open discussions have helped to exchange points of view but cannot lead to a transparent, party driven process and called for a contact group on Workstream 1 to be opened in a balanced manner for all elements and for discussing in a comprehensive way the decisions in para 5 of 1.CP17.
Nauru on behalf of AOSIS highlighted the need for inclusivity of Parties. “We must ensure that every party is at the table with a chance to be heard,” said the speaker.
“We welcome the launch of the technical work-streams, we see a productive new area of work. We believe that there is room to improve the involvement of parties and we need more engagement from a broad range of stakeholders, not just panelists,” said Nauru.
The Group further called for formal mode of work, and establishment of a single contact group working according to the agreed agenda..
Pakistan said that the country is concerned about the direction of work, and that time is running out. The speaker called like many others before him for the establishment of a contact group, focussed on the Durban mandate.
The Chair of the Lease Developed Country Group said that there is need for clarification on national contributions. He further added that various expert meetings must lead to concrete actions to close the giga-tonne gap. He also highlighted the need for climate finance. “We are flexible to have more than one group if necessary,” he said.
EU expressed their satisfaction over the current mode of work and welcomed the focus on specific tasks as mandated by Warsaw. Speaking on Working Group 2 EU said, “There is massive cost effective mitigation potential in RE&EE Parties are acting on this but there are barriers to be overcome. We should consider this constructive way of working. We should consider how we can improve it and that more time should be allocated. It is important that we continue to work efficiently.”
India speaking on behalf of BASIC expressed their concern over the mode and substance of work. The speaker added that their needs to be progress in the current format on the elements as mandated by Warsaw, and that India and the Group are disappointed in the logistic arrangements. “It is time to work in a formal, focused and structured way through one contact group,” he said.
Bangladesh associates with G77 and highlighted that though progress is made that it has been slow. They further stressed on the need to move the process into a structured and formal mode which will facilitate ongoing elements of draft negotiation text in Lima.
While stating that the ADP process should ensure a balanced treatment of all issues, they highlighted the need to focus on loss and damage.
Following interventions by USA and Canada on what constitutes a contact group, the Co-Chair highlighted that the process will be party driven and that there will be no agreement that is finalised before Paris, and that the Agreement will be finalised only in COP21, in Paris. He concluded, “An agreement will happen, only on the agreement of Parties.”
Vositha Wijenayake is the Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator of CANSA and, Regional Facilitator for Asia for the Southern Voices Programme. She is a lawyer by profession and has an LLM from University College London. She specialises in International Environmental Law and Human Rights Law. She has been tracking the UNFCCC negotiations since 2009 with a legal and gender focus.