For successful implementation of the Paris Agreement, issues frustrating developing and developed nations must be resolved; political trade-offs may provide an answer
Over 1600 delegates representing 177 Party countries, 140 observer organisations (including UN secretariat, civil society/think-tanks) and 16 media organizations took part in the Bangkok inter-sessional (4 to 9 September) , in order to ‘advance the work’ and demystify implementation guidelines under the Paris Agreement (PA). The package hoped for Katowice includes the PA Work Program (PAWP) and an outcome for the Talanoa Dialogue process. While all sessions started off with a constructive spirit, some rapidly got bogged down in extreme negotiating dynamics, with finance and NDCs in particular falling prey. It can be questioned whether this is a true attempt of renegotiation of the PA by some, or if this is just play on the ambiguity contained in the PA.
Key Takeaways from the Bangkok Inter-sessional
- We are not on track to deliver a robust Paris rulebook in Katowice.
- It is reasonable to conclude that the talks are stuck on issues of finance, with increasing frustration from developed countries which has spilled over to other issues of importance to developed countries, in particular the NDC guidelines and their scope.
- In the transparency track, Parties converged to strengthen, but not replace, the existing reporting and communication agreements. Other discussion areas included 'differentiation', GHG gases reporting, and reporting requirements for support.
- Regarding market and non-market mechanisms (Article 6), few elements saw some progress in structure under the draft text, and Party views diverged. Issues on transition of Kyoto Mechanisms remained unresolved.
- The Presiding Officers received the mandate to make "textual proposals that would be helpful for advancing Parties' deliberations"; but a robust completion of the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) will depend partly on how bold the Presiding Officers are in proposing possible landing zones and compromises.
- A surge in leadership from the incoming COP Presidency would help to highlight those issues that must be raised for ministerial attention in order to find political trade-offs necessary for completion of the work.
- Draft texts on SBSTA agenda items 4, 5, 9(b), 12(a-c) and 13, SBI agenda items 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14(a), 15 and 17(b), and APA agenda items 3-8 were produced on the 9th of September.