COP 22 Marrakesh, Has It Fulfilled Its Mandate To Be an Action-Oriented COP?

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In the wake of the political momentum generated by the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol – COP21/CMP11 UNFCCC, in Paris, as well as a historic moment regarding the speed of the ‘entry into force’ of the Paris Agreement, delegates reconvened at COP 22 / CMP 12 in Marrakech, Morocco, with the main mandate on technical issues as the basis for accelerated preparation modalities, procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

At the same time, this was also the first session on the implementation of the Conference of Parties serving as a Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1).

Adaptation

The issue of adaptation itself was discussed under several agendas at the session, both where it was fully included at the technical and scientific level (under the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies), and also in the stage of articulating the political framework of the Paris Agreement to the implementation level, under the agenda of the  Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA).

The Group of 77 (G77) and China, of which Indonesia is a member, proposed an approach to discuss the Adaptation Communication agenda into groups, consisting of: i) objectives; ii) the elements (information that needs to be delivered); iii) potential issues and linkages with other arrangements under the Convention; iv) the mechanisms/instruments and submission period; and v) the articulation of the principle, including the flexibility, which would then be agreed upon as a framework for the formulation of the Informal Note by the APA facilitator, laid as a basis for the next session discussion. Indonesia itself conveyed some of its positions, including:

  1. One of the main objectives of the Adaptation Communication is to promote and ensure recognition from international community for adaptation initiatives undertaken by developing countries, as contributions to climate action
  2. Flexibility and country-driven processes are basic principles of adaptation communication

For Adaptation Communication, Parties left COP 22 with homework,as they needed to formulate submission of topics that would be determined later based on the Information Paper drafted by the UNFCCC Secretariat on the commonalities of the existing guide and elements delivered from each mechanism/instrument for communication adaptation. The discussion under this agenda will be continued in the form of a technical workshop at the upcoming session.

Adaptation Fund

Another thing that emerged was the Adaptation Fund (AF). As a funding mechanism developed under the mandate of the Kyoto Protocol, AF is expected to remain an instrument under the framework of the Paris Agreement. Legal, procedural and institutional issues will have to be resolved in the near future.

While we need to welcome the roadmap for the USD 100 billion in funding that has been achieved, and which exceeding the target of USD 80 billion, to support the process and implementation of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPS), increased capacity, and large-scale investment from the private sector, developing country Partiesre-emphasized the fact that the Adaptation Fund issue is not only about the amount of funding for adaptation measures, which can be facilitated under other financial mechanism under the Convention, but ensuring that the AF will serve the Paris Agreement represents a positive signal for grant-based adaptation funding and ease of direct access.

Loss and Damage

Meanwhile, the issue of Loss and Damage resulted in a significant milestone in the recent session as Parties agreed on the five year framework of the Executive Committee for the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM Excomm) and acknowledgement on the importance of there being a strategic workstream specifically for guiding the implementation of the WIM’s function on regards to the enhancing  actions and support for Loss and Damage.

Another important milestone reached was an agreement that there be periodic review of the WIM, which is supported by the G77+China. Indonesia also highlight the importance of the periodic review, andshould have a balance of backward-looking and forward-looking components to ensure WIM can implement its mandate and functions. These periodic review are important in terms of the mandate given to WIM and will then operate under the framework of the Paris Agreement.

To ensure that WIM will continue to carry out its functions according to the modality of the Paris Agreement, Indonesia stressed that WIM will remain under the guidance of the COP and and shall continue under its existing composition and procedures, until the CMA provide further guidance.

Conclusion

Perhaps there were many parties that were hoping that COP22/CMP12 could produce more significant progress, especially considering the ineffectiveness of the session in the second week. However, another reasonable viewpoint is that this discussion process should not be rushed, bearing in mind the different context and understanding of basic nature of the Paris Agreement regime, which is different from the Kyoto Protocol’s, and will required sufficient time in building common understanding and agreement on that particular context, which in some cases are highly political. In addition, some issues of a ‘constructive ambiguity’ nature, such as those pertaining to the differentiation between Parties under the Paris Agreement, also require time and prudence in order to be articulated at the technical level.

An important lesson learned from this COP was this: what is considered to be a technical issue, sometimes, especially under this new regime, is often heavily laden with political context. With heightened expectations, due to the rapid ‘entry into force’ of the Paris Agreement, as well as the extent to which it will be affected by political circumstances in the U.S., the Parties are being quite ambitious by setting themselves a deadline of two years to complete the whole rulebook and modalities for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

(Originally posted by ACCCRN.net)

 

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