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TWN Update No. 25: UNFCCC scientific body decides on key issues

TWN Update No. 25: UNFCCC scientific body decides on key issues

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Published by adoptnegotiator
Third World Network's 25th update for the June climate talks
by Hilary Chiew (17 Jun 13)
Third World Network's 25th update for the June climate talks
by Hilary Chiew (17 Jun 13)

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Published by: adoptnegotiator on Jun 28, 2013
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06/28/2013

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UNFCCC scientific body decides on key issues
Bonn, 17 June (Hilary Chiew) – The 38
th
session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) closed on 14 June with Partiesadopting conclusions on all agenda items except forthree that were stalled due to the failure of theSubsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) to launchits work caused by the impasse in adopting itsagenda item.(SBSTA and SBI are the subsidiary bodies of theUN Framework Convention on Climate Change.See TWN Bonn Climate News Update No. 17 onthe SBI paralysis: “SBI process in crisis; unable tolaunch work”.)Nineteen conclusions were adopted from work that was launched on 3 June when the SBSTA session was opened in Bonn. Some key issues which werediscussed included developed country mitigation;guidelines for domestically supported mitigationactions of developing countries; agriculture;framework for various approaches, including markets and non-market approaches; internationalaviation and maritime emissions; adaptation relatedmatters etc. The Like Minded Developing Countries in ClimateChange called on Parties to learn from the failedexperiment of carbon markets, in order to ensurethat market mechanisms do not become the focusof mitigation efforts, which shift the responsibility for reducing emissions from developed todeveloping countries.One issue that remained contentious was that of agriculture, with many developing countriesstressing that future work on this issue shouldremain focused on adaptation only and not includemitigation, as millions in the developing countriesdepend for their livelihoods on subsistenceagriculture and continue to struggle for foodsecurity, whereas in developed countries theagricultural sector is supported by heavily distortiveagricultural subsidies. Developed countries havebeen stressing the importance of agriculture onmitigation. The conclusion reached agreed to focuson agriculture in the context of adaptation.On international aviation and maritime transportemissions, developing countries expressed concernand dismay that the UNFCCC was unable toprovide guidance to the International Civil AviationOrganisation (ICAO) and International MaritimeOrganisation (IMO) on how the principles of theConvention, in particular common butdifferentiated responsibilities (CBDR), can beobserved in addressing such emissions. Three agenda items which are joined with the SBIand did not have any conclusions for adoption are:(i) coordination of support for the implementationof activities in relation to mitigation actions in theforest sector by developing countries, including institutional arrangements; (ii) forum and work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures; and (iii) the 2013-2015 Review.Developing country Parties, through the Group of 77 and China (G77 and China) expressed theirdisappointment and deep concern at the inability of the SBI to begin the work of its 38
th
session willprofoundly impact the progress of SBSTA. They called on the Chair of the SBI, relevant bodiesunder the Convention and Parties to resolve thisimpasse prior to the start of the 39
th
session of theSBI in November. The Group said Parties need to be conscious of thefact that progress of work in SBSTA is importantfor progress in the post-2020 period and for the work in the Ad Hoc Working Group on theDurban Platform on Enhanced Action under theConvention (ADP).
Fiji
speaking for the
G77 and China
drew attention to agenda items where conclusions havemandated further workshops, stressing that Partiesmust ensure to the extent possible, balancedrepresentation to ensure effective participation of developing country Parties in such workshops.
 
TWN Bonn Update No. 25
 
17 June 2013
 2
 These workshops must be opened to all Parties andscheduled to avoid undue overlaps, particularly withrespect to country group meetings. Theorganization of such workshops must provide thenecessary support to ensure effective participationof developing country Parties. The workshopsshould allow for expression of a range of views toensure that developing countries' perspectives arereflected, adding that Parties should be informedahead of time of the themes to be dealt with inthese workshops to ensure transparency, opennessand inclusiveness. The Group welcomed the reconsideration of the work areas of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP)on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climatechange. It wants a more relevant and effective work programme to be launched by moving beyondpartnerships and taking concrete adaptation actionon to the ground, so far which is missing. TheGroup also expects that after receiving Parties'submissions, technical paper and recommendationsof the Adaptation Committee, SBSTA at its 39thsession could agree on draft decisions on NWP foradoption at the COP 19 (19
th
meeting of theUNFCCC Conference of Parties) in Warsaw.On the agenda for policy approaches and policy incentives for reducing emissions fromdeforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forestsand enhancement of forest carbon stocks indeveloping countries (REDD-plus), the Group ispleased to see the progress achieved onmethodological issues and the identification of the way forward on some of its most sensitive elements.It is also pleased with the recognition that non-market-based approaches are important toimplement the REDD-plus activities.However, the failure to open the work of the SBImeant that the joint process on coordination of support and institutional arrangements for REDD-plus under agenda item 5 could not go further thana workshop, as we had hoped to, said Fiji. Thedirect consequence is that this session did notaddress properly the priorities of developing countries with regard to this matter, namely, scaling up finance and increasing the coordination of itsdelivery. This unbalance must be corrected in ourfollowing session, and we respectfully request thisto be addressed in the organization of our work in Warsaw.On Research and Systematic Observation, the G77and China reiterated its support for the researchdialogue and recognizes its contribution inenhancing communication between the sciencecommunities and policy makers, thanking the IPCC(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) andresearch organisations for their participation in therecent research dialogue. It welcomed the workshopto consider information on the technical andscientific aspects of coastal marine ecosystems. These workshops are important to discuss updatedinformation on emerging scientific findings. Itcommended the work done on the UNFCCC website in enhancing the availability and visibility of scientific information produced by the internationaland regional research programmes andorganisations under the Convention. The Group reaffirmed the importance of the forumon the impact of the implementation of responsemeasures by developed countries at the Subsidiary Bodies and its work programme to address theseimpacts. In particular, it welcomed the activities thattook place in these sessions in the areas of the work program related to the assessment of impacts; thejust transition of the workforce; economicdiversification; and modelling. In addition, asmandated by decision 1.CP/18 (decisions fromCOP 18 in Doha), the Goup also look forward tosharing views in the forum on policy issues of concern, such as unilateral measures, adding that thefocus of the next activities of the forum shouldaddress specifically how developed country Partiesare minimizing the adverse economic and socialeffects of their response measures on developing country Parties. As for agriculture, Fiji noted that the Group hasbeen so cooperative in the constructive work during this very session that led to an instrumental set of conclusions. Such conclusions reflect theparticularities of agriculture, in terms of its relationto food security and the fundamental importance of agriculture for social and economic developmentand rural development, in particular for developing countries, where a large proportion of thepopulation depends on agriculture for its livelihood.In a context of the need to feed a world growing population in the coming decades, there will be aneed to produce food in different climateconditions. To this end, it will be necessary toincrease the adaptive capacity of agriculture. Hence,the need to work on adaptation and agriculture iscrucial, a fact that needs to be reflected in theforthcoming submissions and a workshop toexplore the needs of survival and sustainabledevelopment for all related activities involving farmers in our developing countries.
 
TWN Bonn Update No. 25
 
17 June 2013
 3
 The G77 and China also stressed that the focus of discussions must remain on adaptation, which is thekey priority in developing countries in light of thelinkages of agricultural sector with livelihood of millions, food security and poverty alleviation, inline with the principles of the Convention, including CBDR. The Group reiterated the importance of supporting multilateral solutions when addressing the issue of emissions from the international maritime and civilaviation sectors working through the InternationalMaritime Organization (IMO) and InternationalCivil Aviation Organization (ICAO), respectively, while taking into account the principles andprovisions of the Convention and not on the basisof unilateral measures.On the framework for various approaches (FVA),the Group agreed that it is important that the work programme defines and clarifies the purpose of theframework and the scope of approaches to beincluded under it, and that the framework should beelaborated under the authority and guidance of theCOP. It looked forward to continue engaging constructively in the design of the FVA, new-market mechanism and non-market-basedapproaches. Also, the Group recognizes that non-market-bases approaches are means of crucialimportance to ensure the implementation of theultimate objective of the Convention, according toits principles and provisions. It emphasized that thediscussions on new market mechanism and non-market mechanisms must be framed in the contextof the FVA. These mechanisms should focus onclimate change and not become a mere source of revenue. The G77 and China appreciated the progress on theclarification of developed country Parties' emissionreduction targets as mandated in Doha, althoughthe progress is not as significant as desired as it hashigh expectation of the fulfilment of the mandate with a view to ensuring the comparability of effortsamong developed country Parties.
 Algeria
for the
Like Minded DevelopingCountries in Climate Change (LMDC)
  welcomed the reconsideration of the work underthe NWP initiated at this session as it is importantin moving the work programme towards supporting operational and concrete adaptation action indeveloping countries. On REDD-plus, the progressachieved on methodological issues and theidentification of the way forward on some of itsmost sensitive elements was welcomed. On this andon forest-related issues in general, the group,however, would like to see the process moving forward in achieving consensus on the importantrole of non-market mechanisms and on using a jointmitigation and adaptation approach for thesemechanisms.Regarding the work of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures, thegroup said the discussions on the assessment of impacts; the just transition of the workforce;economic diversification; modelling; and unilateralmeasures, were all very useful and illuminating, andshould be kept up. As this issue is of greatimportance, the forum at Warsaw and beyondshould address specifically how developed country Parties are minimizing the adverse economic andsocial effects of their response measures ondeveloping country Parties, particularly unilateralmeasures.On agriculture, Algeria said that the highimportance that the LMDC attaches to the role of agriculture in ensuring food security and social andeconomic development in our developing countries was the foundation for our active engagement onthis issue. The workshop on this issue in Warsaw must address the critical adaptation needs of developing countries in agriculture. Supporting theG77 and China, it said presenters to this workshopmust reflect the proper balance in representationbetween Annex 1 and developing countries. Itshould then result in strengthening our multilateralefforts under the Convention in addressing theseneeds effectively.It further said that the focus of our futurediscussions and negotiations on agriculture must beon ensuring that effective adaptation is supportedand takes place under the principles of theConvention, particularly CBDR, to ensure thatagricultural production, food security andlivelihoods in developing countries can be enhanceddespite climate change. Our future work on thisissue should remain focused on adaptation only andnot include mitigation as millions in the developing countries depend for their livelihoods onsubsistence agriculture and continue to struggle forfood security, whereas in developed countries theagricultural sector is supported by heavily distortiveagricultural subsidies.On international aviation and maritime transportemissions, the lack of movement on this issuedeeply concern the LMDC because the UNFCCC,through the SBSTA, is the multilateral treaty that isduly mandated to provide guidance to ICAO andIMO on how the principles and provisions of the

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