Environmental Affairshosts stakeholder consultation during November in Pretoria ahead of CoP 22 due in Marrakech, Morocco
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted a universally legally binding agreement in December 2015. South Africa adopted the Paris Agreement and became a signatory to the Agreement on 22 April 2016. The Paris Agreement represents a turning point in global climate governance and strengthens rules-based multilateralism, as it is the first time that a comprehensive and universal agreement has been adopted under the UNFCCC, for the period from 2020 onwards. The period from the year 2016 to 2019 is critical in laying a foundation for the implementation on the Paris Agreement.
The Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP) will convene for the first time since it adopted the Paris Agreement from 7 to 18 November 2016, in Marrakesh, Morocco. In addition to the 22nd session of the COP (COP 22), the 12th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), the 45th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) and of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 45), as well as the second part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-2) will also take place. The APA, SBSTA and SBI all have various tasks related to preparing for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.
The aim of the stakeholder consultation is to solicit South Africa’s position at the upcoming COP22 and to assist the country to further develop conceptual thinking on how to facilitate implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The main objectives of the stakeholder consultations are to:
- Consolidate South Africa’s position for the climate change negotiations towards COP 22;
- Provide information and an update on status of international negotiations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
- Raise public awareness around climate change and climate change response efforts.
The twenty first Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris is universally regarded as a seminal point in the development of the international climate change regime under the UNFCCC, concluding as it did with the Paris Agreement (PA). The PA is a legal instrument that will further guide the process for universal action on climate change. The universal agreement’s main objective is to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defence line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.
The COP 21 decided that the Conference of the Parties, the supreme body of the Convention, shall serve as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). The Paris Agreement mandates the first CMA to meet during the COP session once the double trigger threshold has been fulfilled (55 Parties accounting for 55% of total global GHG emissions). Furthermore, the COP 21 decided to launch an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA). The role of the APA is to develop guidance, rules and procedures in preparation for the entry into force of the agreement, in this regard, to prepare draft decisions to be recommended through the Conference of the Parties to the CMA for consideration and adoption.
All Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change are now expected to undertake the next step to adopt the agreement within their own legal systems, through ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
From 7-18 November 2016, in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP) will convene for the first time since it adopted the Paris Agreement in December 2015. In addition to the 22nd session of the COP (COP 22), the 12th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), the 45th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) and of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 45), as well as the second part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-2) will take place during the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference.
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.
For its part, 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. The SBSTA agenda also includes cooperative approaches, non-market approaches and the sustainable development mechanism under the Paris Agreement.
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.
Other items on the SBSTA's agenda include: the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP); issues relating to agriculture; and methodological issues under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. The SBI is also anticipated to take up, among other things: reporting under the Convention; Kyoto Protocol mechanisms; matters relating to the least developed countries (LDCs); national adaptation plans (NAPs); and gender and climate change. The SBSTA and SBI also share a joint item on the impact of the implementation of response measures.
According to the COP's agenda, it will discuss preparations for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1). In addition, the COP may work on: matters related to the development and transfer of technology; the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM); capacity building; and matters related to finance.
The CMP is anticipated to take up: capacity building under the Kyoto Protocol; matters relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); matters relating to Joint Implementation (JI); matters relating to the Adaptation Fund; and reports from various bodies under the Protocol. Both the COP's and CMP's agendas also include a high-level segment.
2. Status of the negotiations
The UNFCCC held an intercessional meeting in May 2016 in Bonn, Germany. At this meeting the Subsidiary Bodies initiated draft conclusions for further discussions during COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco. The main focus of the May session was the appointment of the co-Chairs and agreeing the agenda for Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA). The first meeting of the APA agreed to have a standard agenda covering Nationally Determined Contributions, Adaptation Communication, Transparency and Global Stocktake. The APAadopted draft conclusions requesting Parties to make submissions on the agreed agenda items.
There were also two Informal meetings convened by France and Morocco as the current COP President and the in-coming COP President respectively with the aim of identifying priority issues for COP 22. In the main the following have been identified as reasonable priority issues for COP 22:
- Mandated events such as the review of Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss & Damage as well as Facilitative dialogue under pre-2020 discussions;
- Pre-2020 Action;
- Early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, and
- Rule-book for Paris Agreement
Key elements of SA proposed position for cop22
There are some critical aspects that COP 22 should deliver on, if the Paris architecture is to be realised.
- COP should make progress on the features and information contained in the mitigation component of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), including the consideration of common timeframes for NDCs. Solutions to the dichotomy of 5 and 10 year timeframe are possible, South Africa and Brazil submitted a 5+5 NDC, which enables an effective global stocktake
- The definition of minimum information and features for the adaptation component of NDCs is central to the call by a number of developing countries, particularly Africa, for a balanced treatment of mitigation and adaptation, and we believe the Agreement is instructive in that, such should address at least, vulnerability, priorities, plans and actions, implementation and support needs, adaptation efforts for recognition in case of developing countries.
COP 22, amongst others is mandated to start the discussion on information to be provided by developed countries in their Biennial Communications of Indicative Support (BCIS) envisaged in Article 9.5. This is an important assurance in the view of developing countries, as public finance communicated in the BCIS is tangible, as such important in trust building. It would be amiss of Marrakech not to address this APA mandate.
On global stocktake:
- The Global Stocktake agreed in Paris is probably the most innovative aspect of the Paris Agreement in that it is essentially an ambition mechanism to asses both the progress in the implementation, as well as measure up the sum total of ‘undertakings’ on mitigation, finance, adaptation against what science tells us. Progress on the modalities of the stocktake should be made in Marrakech.
On Capacity Building:
- The COP should adopt the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB), and proceed in the PCCB to developing a work plan.
On Early Entry into force:
- COP 22 should built on the spirit of universality and inclusivity fostered in Paris. This spirit is evident in the speed with which the Agreement has entered into force, and as a result, the first session of the Meeting of Parties of the Paris Agreement (CMA) will hold its first meeting in Marrakech.
- In the meantime, given both the work still to be done, and also the importance of including all Parties, the CMA1 should therefore mandate the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) to continue its work,
- Empower the COP to take stock of progress on issues which are critical for post-2020 implementation, and especially on issues which are not necessarily currently mapped out under the APA’s work programme.
- Following this, the CMA should suspend its activities until 2018, by which time all Parties should have ratified.
On Pre-2020 agenda:
- The High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Financing should deliver on adaptation finance. The dialogue should result in scaled-up funding for, and greater emphasis on, adaptation, as part of pre-2020 action, particularly as we are already experiencing the harsh effects of climate change. The Dialogue will give clear, positive direction on the future of the Adaptation Fund, and there is a need for the COP and the CMP to finalise their recommendations on this. Finally, we expect developed country Parties to table a clear pathway to realising the $100 billion of climate finance per annum by 2020 (scaled up thereafter) and on the provision of technology and capacity building.
Format of Event
A banquet style breakfast event to cater for ±150 delegates, including members of the media who, it is proposed, are invited to afford the necessary publicity for DEA’s achievement in consolidating a national INDC for South Africa.
The stakeholder consultation is envisaged to take place as follows:
Date: 01 November 2016.
|8:00 – 9:00||Registration and tea|
|9:00 – 9:10||Welcome, introductions and purpose of the meeting||Ms. Judy Beaumont: DDG: Climate Change and Air Quality|
|9:10 – 10:00||
High Level Address
Question and Answer session
|Minister Molewa: Department of Environmental Affairs|
Overview presentation on status of negotiations.
Discussion, Clarification questions and Answer session.
|Mr. Maesela Kekana: CD: International Climate Change Relations & Negotiations|
|11:00 - 11:10||Tea|
|11:10-11:30||Core political elements of the Paris Agreement Discussion, Clarification questions and Answer session.||Mr. Simon Cardy: Director - Climate Change, DIRCO|
|11:30 -12:30||Climate Change Actions, perspective on Paris Agreement and implications, COP22 expectations||
|12:30 – 13:30||Lunch|
|13:30-13: 35||Introduction of World Café Method||Ms. Pemy Gasela|
|13:35 – 15:10||
20 minutes per table and 10 minutes report back
Mr. Vhalinavho Khavhagali
|15:10 – 15:30||Way-forward||Ms. Judy Beaumont|