Tuesday saw the opening ceremony of the high-level segment at COP 19 and CMP 9. As is customary, the curtain raiser began with numerous statements from a variety of heads of state and government ministers.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set out a number of key objectives for the parties in Warsaw which were substantially echoed by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. These include promoting the ratification of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, increasing ambition levels across mitigation, adaptation and finance, and paving a route forward for an agreement in 2015. Many will regard this as an unsurprising list, and questions may be asked as to how much was achieved today between the speeches and posturing.
Informal consultations, contact groups and other meetings were held under the AWG – DP, COP and CMP, discussing the report of the compliance committee and finance for REDD+, among others.
AWG – DP
Discussions continued on the draft decision text on pre-2020 ambition and post-2020 action, and while much was said, little was agreed. While many developing countries are calling loudly for a roadmap towards delivery of the pledged US$100 billion target per year, the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs), opposed suggestions to raise this financing through private investment. Many will regard this as a surprising statement, given the involvement at the conference this year, for the first time, of representatives from the commercial sector. The co-chair Runge-Metzger urged parties to identify areas of convergence in a bid to move forward.
During the informal consultations, the parties considered a draft decision by the Compliance Committee (which aims to provide advice and assistance to parties in order to promote compliance under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as assisting to determine the consequences for parties that are unable to meet their commitments). The draft text focused on amendments to the rules of procedure for the Compliance Committee and further funding for the Committee’s work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the parties were unable to reach agreement on the voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities (which generally supports capacity-building and inter-sessional workshops). The text was passed to the CMP for further discussion.
Discussions here focused on REDD+ finance. This is envisioned to be results-based, and delegates agreed in principle on the creation of an information “hub” for REDD+ finance. This is intended to be a voluntary mechanism with the aim of promoting transparency without increasing the technical burden of formal reporting obligations. Delegates also accepted the important role that the GCF should play in financing for REDD+, but concerns remain as to transparency and monitoring, reporting, and verification of results. Informal consultation will continue.
On “Gender Day” at the conference, there was a buzz of energy not just to promote the role of gender approaches on solving the climate crisis, but also to see whether greater progress can be achieved over the coming days in the high-level segment. The UN Secretary-General reiterated his invitation for political leaders to attend the 2014 Climate Change Summit in New York, but we can only hope that the delegates do not use this as an excuse to postpone difficult decisions.