The ADP2.11 session that took place from 19th October – 23rd October was supposed to have consisted of line by line negotiations based on a streamlined non-paper of the ADP2.10 text.
Instead, ADP2.11 was dominated by two things:
- The new negotiating text was readable but lacking in substance.
- The exclusion of civil society observers from the spin off groups.
Co-chairs streamlined version of the text
Although the co-chairs had done well in reducing the 80+ document that came out of ADP2.10 into a 20 page streamlined text, many parties believed they had gone too far in the shortening the text, some thinking that this ‘gamble’ might have set back negotiations back to the point they were at in Geneva earlier this year.
The core complaint was that the text was minimalist and while it was certainly readable, it failed to adequately capture parties’ inputs and views from the previous sessions. This meant that the first day of sessions was used to re-introduce parties “must-haves” in an effort to get to a text that was party-owned and one that could be used as the basis of negotiations going forward.
Although all parties agreed that the text needed to be enhanced, there was disagreement on what the best way to do this would be. Notably, there was an obvious concern amongst the developing country states that their views would be included into the new text and that they would have to “justify” themselves. On the other side of the coin, UMBRELLA and EU parties expressed concerns about additions to the text ballooning into another bloated text.
Civil Society Exclusion
At the ADP contact group session on the morning of the 2nd day, Spin Off Groups were announced and co-chairs advised that observers would not be admitted into those negotiating sessions, but instead “additional briefings for observers would be scheduled.”
What this meant was that civil society had effectively travelled all the way to Germany to sit in the corridors waiting for information from the limited few who were able to have bilateral’s delegates or the daily stock takes at the end of the day.
As a result, we have limited intel on what was discussed and less of a feel for the pace of the negotiations within the spin off groups. The IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports does however contain some details on those sessions which are useful.
The rest of the week
The negotiations took place over 9 different spin off groups and progress varied amongst the different groups. Textual insertions continued to be made throughout the week and the resulting text that was released on Friday afternoon was full of brackets and had ballooned up to 55 pages.
The lack of progress during the week was evident and many parties expressed frustration and there was a feeling of having taken “one step forward, two steps back,” and some even suggesting that discussions were going backwards with countries reverting to positions instead of negotiating.
There is a feeling that the resulting ADP 2-11 text is party-owned and that it is reflective of parties views, but according to the incoming COP21 Presidency and many delegates, it is far from what they wanted to take into Paris. So, the Secretariat has been tasked to prepare a technical paper that would identify duplications and streamlining opportunities ahead of Paris, but how much of an impact this will make remains to be seen.
Yong Ly | Image by UNclimatechange