The second week of negotiations are progressing on time – supposedly. Civil society has no access to any of the negotiation spin-off groups whatsoever, so information is limited.
On Sunday the COP has split into four minister-led consultation groups to work on the cross-cutting issues of support, differentiation, pre-2020 action, and ambition. Monday nights stocktake (called the Comité de Paris) showed a degree of progress in these areas, and further spin-off groups have been added.
The Comité de Paris met again on Tuesday night and produced the following reports on:
- Acceleration of pre-2020 Action, Workstream 2 excluding pre-2020 finance,
- Adaptation and Loss & Damage
- Ambition, including long-term goals and periodic review
- Cooperative Approaches and Mechanisms
- Differentiation, in particular with regard to mitigation, finance, transparency
- Facilitating Implementation and Compliance
- Support: means of implementation (finance, technology, capacity building)
Regarding differentiated responsibilities, Parties are pushing to change the binary developing/developed UNFCCC Annex system to ‘concentric circles’ of responsibility and capacity. There is also a push to preclude backsliding (which we have seen from countries such as Australia and Japan). Pre 2020, there has been a move towards developed countries continuing to take the lead on financing support, but there is a push to expand the donor base after 2020 to including wealthy developing nations such as China. Post 2020, it is still not clear where all of the $100 billion USD annual target will be sourced from.
The implications of these simultaneous negotiations are difficult to unravel. In terms of ambition, Parties appear to be getting closer to a 1.5 degree goal (with over 100 countries now supporting it), but are still not offering specifics on how to operationalise it. There appears to be growing consensus that pre 2020 action will be crucial, otherwise the current INDCs will be locked in until 2030, leaving a very small window for the 2 degree limit, let alone 1.5. Civil society is pushing for the ambition or ratchet mechanism to begin before 2020 but whether this will be included is unclear.
Parties have reported that a new draft text will be released Wednesday afternoon. Much of this will become clearer then – sit tight for our analysis.