Days 4-5: negotiations heating up

The Saturday deadline for the ADP negotiators looms and the most draft text (which includes bridging proposals from the chair) is still a complex, bracketed document. Negotiations are moving slowly, emotions are running high and the Chairs have expressed frustration at Parties simply stating and restating their positions.

Press is unable to enter the negotiations at this point but two New Zealand observers on the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute delegation been hailed by international media as “unlikely heroes” for spending most of their time camped out in an overflow room just outside where the negotiations are taking place and maintaining a constantly updated Google doc that is “likely the only publicly accessible, nearly comprehensive record of the current negotiations.”

Key developments from these last two days include:

  • Intergenerational equity has been removed from the operative part of the text
  • Climate finance continues to stall negotiations. Pre 2020 finance, there is still a large gap between what has been committed and the 100 billion dollar target, and there is still concern it may be ‘reshuffled’ aid money . Post 2020, the EU has recognised that the 100 billion dollar target is a floor rather than a static amount, but Japan and the US require new contributors to accept this (which may require South South investment).
  • Adaptation is being weakened, and the option for a 50/50 split in finance towards adaptation has been removed. It is still unclear who will be providing support to whom.
  • Parties such as the France and Germany have come out in favour of a binding 1.5 degree target; India and Saudi Arabia have rejected it (and have rejected adopting the substance of a 2013-2015 IPCC review that concludes 2 degrees is not ‘safe’).
  • Norway is leading the efforts to block recognition of human rights, gender and indigenous rights in the operational part of the text. Compared to the preamble, the operational Articles will carry legal obligation that can be utilised in domestic legal action and policy.
  • Loss and Damage appears likely to be in the final deal, but without reference to compensation and liability. The Least Developing Country group have stated many times that without Loss and Damage, there will be no deal.
  • The whole of Article 2 (purpose) is at risk. Some Parties such as Canada want to remove legally binding wording like ‘shall’, others such as the USA want it removed entirely (as they consider mitigation long term goals, and financing goals enough).

On Friday morning, two new texts were released; a compilation text (streamlining the agreement by 3 pages) and a text containing the co-chair’s ‘bridging’ (ie compromise) suggestions which further reduces it by 4 pages. Read out analysis here.

The Deconstructing Paris team | photo by UNclimatechange

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