Pre-CoP23 stakeholder consultation

Event date: 
2017-10-03 (All day)

About CoP23
Overall expectations of CoP23 Bonn
Key elements of South Africa's participation
Event schedule / programme
Related links


Introduction / about CoP23 

The twenty third session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP23) to be held from 06 to 17 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany;will be led by Fiji, the first small island state to assume the responsibility. Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 sets out the overarching global goals and framework for international climate action in the post-2020 period. The Parties now need to negotiate by November 2018 most of the modalities, procedures and guidelines to operationalise the Paris Agreement (“the Paris rule-book”).


The main focus of COP23 in Bonn will be on commencing the elements off a negotiating text for the Paris rule-book, which will clarify key questions, such as, who should do what, by when, how and with what financial and other support. These includes how countries should communicate their efforts with regards to mitigation and adaptation, climate finance, transfer of technology and capacity-building, how developed countries will be held accountable for their commitments, and how collective efforts will be reviewed and assessed against the global goals in the Paris Agreement, with a view to progressively enhancing ambition and climate action over time. The process of working out these details began in earnest at COP22, in Marrakesh last November. It continued in May 2017 inter-sessional meetings, in Bonn.

The APA, SBSTA and SBI all have various tasks related to preparing for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. The APA is expected to take up issues related to providing further guidance on the features of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and their possible adaptation component and/or other adaptation communication. According to the agenda, it will also consider, inter alia, the modalities, procedures and guidelines for the enhanced transparency framework under the Agreement and the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance, as well as the inputs and modalities of the global stocktake outlined in Article 14 of the Agreement.


The rulebook negotiating track is called the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, or APA. The work of the APA continues according to an agreed agenda, with working groups for each agenda item. These include: “agenda item 3” on the contents of and accounting for nationally determined contributions (NDCs); “agenda item 4” on how parties should communicate their adaptation efforts; “agenda item 5” on how parties will transparently report on action they take and on support they give to others; “agenda item 6” on a global stocktake in 2023, where collective progress towards the Paris targets will be checked; and “agenda item 7” on how compliance with the Paris Agreement will be monitored. Agenda item 8 covers other business, including the Adaptation Fund.

The SBSTA is tasked with matters related to the new technology framework under the Paris Agreement, considering how the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will inform the global stocktake, and determining the modalities, work programme and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures, as well as modalities for accounting of public financial resources for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. In relation to the Paris Agreement, the SBI is to develop the modalities and procedures for the NDC and adaptation communication registry or registries. It will also consider the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Paris Committee on Capacity-Building.

Bonn Climate Change Conference and the period leading up to the November 2018 COP is therefore critical in laying a foundation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It is also essential to maintain a focus on the implementation of existing commitments in the pre-2020 period under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol.



Overall expectations for Bonn CoP 23


The outcome for the Bonn Climate Change Conference should:

  • Take stock of work required to fully implement the Paris Agreement and provide assurances that the political balance of the Paris Agreement is upheld and that all issues of importance to developing countries (e.g. adaptation and means of implementation) will be addressed in the rule-book to be adopted by the CMA before 2020;
  • Provide clarity on the modalities for the 2018 facilitative dialogue;
  • Focus on ensuring that commitments by developed countries in the pre-2020 period, including the provision of US$100 billion per annum in climate finance to developing countries by 2020, are honoured;
  • Clarify on the relationship between the formal UNFCCC process on the pre-2020 workstream and the “Action Agenda”, which is a parallel process for voluntary coalitions and partnerships involving state and non-state actors, increasingly being used by developed countries as a ‘substitute’ for their legal commitments under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol;
  • Advance the efforts of developing countries to ensure that the Adaptation Fund serves the Paris Agreement. Despite opposition from developed countries and a diminishing revenue stream, Parties have agreed that the Adaptation Fund, created by the Kyoto Protocol, should also serve the Paris Agreement after 2020;
  • Clarify the modalities for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, a politically significant opportunity for taking stock of collective efforts and communicated pledges ahead of 2020. While developed countries want the Facilitative Dialogue to focus only on mitigation, developing countries push for a comprehensive scope to include adaptation and means of implementation.


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Key elements of SA's proposed position for CoP 23


As a point of departure, South Africa, Africa Group of Negotiators, and other developing countries, stresses the importance of implementing the Paris Agreement to address impacts of climate change, therefore the focus should be on the elaboration of the Paris Agreement rather than on re-negotiating it.


  • Implementation of paris agreement 
  • Further guidence on adaptation communication

Our position on this is that we need to agree on minimum information that takes into account developing countries’ needs and adaptation costs according to different temperature scenarios, to enable adequate planning and enhanced implementation of adaptation actions.

COP 23 should begin a process of identifying the necessary methodologies and approaches that allow us to aggregate information that enables us to assess the collective progress towards achieving the Global Goal for Adaptation.

  • Loss and damage

The Paris Agreement recognizes the need to address loss and damage from climate change impacts and it incorporates the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, and calls for its strengthening. However, loss and damage remains outside the scope of the support, transparency, global stocktake, review and compliance provisions.

For COP 23, SA would like to see expeditious completion of the five-year work-plan of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism, which should take into consideration the priorities identified by developing countries to assist them in preparing and implementing plans and strategies that address current and anticipated losses and damages in the light of the agreed temperature goal, and the associated financial resources.

  • Mitigation

The Paris Agreement is about participation by all, recognising leadership by developed countries and the need to respect obligations of greenhouse gas emissions reduction and provision of financial resources. However, there is an urgent need to close the pre-2020 gap by developed countries to avoid this transfer to post-2020. Developed countries should provide enablers for the effective implementation and enhancement of nationally determined contributions.

Parties to the UNFCCC should provide information for clarity, flexibility, comprehensiveness, understanding, and information necessary for disaggregation, qualification and quantification.  Moreover, there is a need for Parties to further provide adequate information to allow the aggregation of nationally determined contributions to be undertaken by the Secretariat.

This we believe can be done by using common IPCC methodologies, for inter alia greenhouse gas inventory data; common metrics, using IPCC guidelines, which contributes to comparability and transparency and allow for the aggregation of NDC’s. Furthermore, in particular, one feature which needs to be resolved with urgency are common timeframes for NDCs, which is mandated by Article 4.10 of the PA.

  • Response measures

Response Measures Forum is a mitigation mechanism not an adaptation mechanism with respect to the impacts of the implementation of response measures. The forum has mainly been on discussion of what constitute response measures.

It is our view that the responses measure forum should move from discussions to focus on international impacts of measures taken by developed countries and their implications for poverty reduction, growth and development in developing countries, in particular South Africa and Africa. Actions should include assessments of these negative impacts which will form a basis for international cooperation to address the challenges with appropriate support.

  • Transparency

In ensuring that the work runs smoothly and efficiently, we need to build on the existing transparency framework under the Convention, for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and the importance of providing support and flexibility to developing countries, including through the Capacity – Building Initiative for Transparency, in fulfilling their obligations under the proposed enhanced transparency framework. For South Africa, the key elements that indicate “enhanced” transparency framework are: capacity building support for undertaking transparency actions for those developing countries that need it, reporting on progress in undertaking adaptation actions, reporting on adaptation needs, and flexibility for developing countries as they participate in the enhanced transparency framework.

The establishment of the enhanced transparency framework for action and support, and the development of its modalities, procedures and guidelines, to take into account flexibility, different types of commitments and the different capacities of Parties, in line with, and building on, existing transparency arrangements under the Convention, is also very crucial to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

  • Global stock-take

The purpose of the global stocktake, as defined in Article 14 (1) of the Paris Agreement, is to take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving its purpose and its long-term goals. It must be able to reflect progress in the global response to the threat of climate change and in realising the global goals on mitigation and adaptation, with the necessary financial flows and the provision of support in technology development and transfer and capacity building.

It is our view that the global stocktake must be informed by the best available science and be conducted in a manner that is comprehensive, facilitative and balanced in its assessment of the collective efforts of Parties in terms of mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, noting that this would be achieved through, inter alia, the NDC’s, clear guidance on information under the adaptation communication and means of implementation contributions by all Parties.

  • Technology framewrok

On Technology Development and Transfer we would like to see this issue addressed adequately. The climate technologies need to flow, without hiding behind the issue of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The Green Climate Fund needs to make the technology transfer possible and concrete through a dedicated window. More resources should be dedicated to enhance the efforts and operationalisation of the Climate Technology Centre and Network in accelerating the transfer of environmentally sound technologies for low carbon and climate resilient development in developing countries.

It is crucial that the operating entities of the financial mechanism support developing countries’ actions to tackle climate change, and should ensure predictable, sustainable and adequate resources for the funds that are supporting climate action, in particular the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund, the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund.

  • Registry 

On the registry, it is our view that there should be conclusion of modalities and procedures for a public registry for Adaptation and Mitigation separately.

  • Adaptation Fund and the Paris Agreement

The Adaptation Fund (AF) is important to provide adaptation finance to developing country Parties. Therefore, Parties need to develop the governance and institutional arrangements, safeguards and operating modalities of the AF to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (PA), with the view of ensuring that the AF serves this Agreement; through a clear decision in COP 23 that AF shall serve PA.

Although, securing Adaptation Fund benefits from existing projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was important. There is a concern with the financial status of the Adaptation Fund, as such, developed countries are urged to provide adequate resources to help the Fund reaches its fund raising goal.


  • Pre-2020 implementation


  • Doha amendment

Delivery of pre-2020 actions is important in building trust among parties for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The process still seems to have been severely neglected. It is important that Annex1 Parties who have not ratified Doha Amendment which establish the second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol are urged to deliver on this.

  • Finance 

Developed countries must honour their commitments and accelerate the provision of $100 billion in climate finance per annum, as well as technology transfer and capacity building to developing countries. A significant increase on adaptation support is required to during the period going to 2020 to address immediate needs of developing countries.


  • The 2018 facilitative dialogue


  • Purpose

The purpose of the dialogue is to raise ambition, create a positive momentum, and build trust as a foundation for the implementation of NDCs from 2020 as well as to inform Parties in the context of preparing their future NDCs.

  • Inputs

The dialogue should address mitigation in the context of other indivisible global goals set in the Paris Agreement, including progress under the pre-2020 Agenda, especially with respect to the honouring of Kyoto mitigation commitments and the provision of means of implementation to developing countries.

At minimum, the Facilitative Dialogue should be premised on information that would need to be ready well ahead of COP24, which include:

  • Science, which is based on relevant IPCC reports, including the Special Report on 1.5 degrees.
  • Collective progress against the Cancun Pledges by Parties for the period 2020 from information contained in the current MRV system. This can form part of an updated synthesis report by the Secretariat on aggregate effect of the current NDCs.
  • Summary for policymakers by the Secretariat and in consultation with the climate champions, on specific policies, practices and actions as discussed in the technical expert processes.
  • UNEP Adaptation gap report to provide an understanding of the implications of mitigation commitments and implications on temperature, adaptation needs, and the required investments for adaptation.

Other inputs may include other relevant information, such as Summary Reports of the Research Dialogues carried out under UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies and Committees, as well as other UN Agencies.

  • Outputs

Two types of outcomes:

  • The first being announcement of facilities or cooperative initiatives by developed countries to support the closing of this gap. Such facilities and initiatives and their progress shall be documented and tracked even beyond 2020 until a point where the gap has been closed.
  • The second being information that will inform Parties on updating their NDCs.

In our view, where we are, is not only where the NDCs take us, it is also how to keep momentum through immediate action such that we avoid locking-in the emissions gap.


  • CoP 23 decision on 2018 FD

COP 23 should adopt conclusions outlining the work that the secretariat should undertake in the coming year.


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Event schedule / programme


Date Time Item Lead
03 October 2017 8:00 - 9:00 Registration & tea  
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome, Introductions and Purpose of the Meeting Mr. Tlou Ramaru: Acting DDG Climate Change and Air Quality
9:10 – 10:00

High Level Address
Question and Answer session

Minister Molewa: Department of Environmental Affairs
10:00-11:00 Overview Presentation on Status of Negotiations. Discussion, Clarification Questions and Answer Session. Mr. Maesela Kekana: Chief Director - International Climate Change Relations & Negotiations
11:00 - 11:10 Tea break  

Paris Agreement and Political Dynamics
Discussion, Clarification Questions and Answer Session.

Mr. Simon Cardy: Director – Climate Change (DIRCO)
11:30 – 11:45 SA Pavilion at COP 23 Mr. Steve Nicholls - NBI
11:50 -12:30 Climate Change Actions, Perspective on Paris Agreement and Implications, COP23 Expectations.

1.Ms. Telly Chauke
2. Youth –   Ms. Ditebogo Lebea
3.Gender - Ms Ndivile Mokoena
4.SACAN – Ms Janet Kachinga
5.Labour – Ms. Hameda Deedat

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:35 – 15:10 Breakaway Sessions:
30 minutes per table and 10 minutes report back
Means of Implementation
Cooperative Approaches and Response Measures
Transparency, Compliance and Global stocktake


Mr. Vhalinavho Khavhagali
Ms. Deborah Ramalope
Ms. Pemy Gasela
Mr. Mkhuthazi Steleki
Mr. Cornelius Scholtz

15:10 – 15:30 Way-Forward Mr. Tlou Ramaru: Acting DDG Climate Change and Air Quality
15:30 Closing DEA


Related links / sources 


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)
CoP23 Fiji - Bonn 2017


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