STATEMENT OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA, DELIVERED BY MR. WALTER SCHULDT, DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHAIR OF THE G77 AND CHINA FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, AT THE JOINT OPENING PLENARY OF THE 23TH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES (COP23), 13TH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL (CMP13) AND SECOND PART OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE PARIS AGREEMENT (CMA1-2) (Bonn, Germany, 6 November 2017)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, the Group would like to express its gratitude to Morocco for a successful presidency of COP22 while congratulating Fiji, for taking the historic role as the first small island developing state presiding a COP. We are very proud that a former Chair of the G77 will lead us in this COP and we are sure that the Bula spirit which means inclusiveness, friendliness and solidarity and the Pacific concept of Talanoa of inclusiveness, participatory and transparent dialogue that builds empathy and leads to decision making for the collective good, and that both concepts will influence a successful outcome at the end of this two weeks and during its entire presidency.
At the same time, allow me to express our deepest sympathy and solidarity with all countries that have faced extreme weather events during this intersessional period in different parts of the world, that have endured serious human and economic losses, demonstrating that the impacts of climate change will not wait until 2020, and that we need to address urgently its growing impacts to our peoples, our development as well as our cultures, ecosystems and biodiversity. The best way to honour these victims will be to achieve concrete progress during this COP including the fulfilment of the pre-2020 agenda and the development of more effective mechanisms to address the loses and damages and the provision of sufficient financial, technology and capacity building support.
We are ready to engage constructively in the textual work that is needed for the operationalization of the Paris Agreement in a manner that reflects equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, while continuing to enhance the full implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, without any renegotiation or reinterpretation of their principles and provisions.
COP 23 must continue to advance the Work Program of the Paris Agreement, towards its completion in 2018. It also must provide clarity on the design of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue referred by the Fijian Presidency as Talanoa Dialogue.
We stress the need to fully implement Article 8 of the Paris Agreement as a matter of urgency, in order to allow a better integration of loss and damage issues into the broader ongoing work of the UNFCCC, to identify and implement concrete alternatives of support and cooperation for developing country parties that are increasingly experiencing losses and damages resulting from extreme weather events to facilitate this fully implementation. The G77 and China calls for loss and damages to be included as a permanent item on the agendas of the subsidiary bodies, with a broader and more inclusive scope of inputs from all parties that will be available at regular meetings of the subsidiary bodies, including the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage and its 5-year work program. In this regard we stress further our need for special financial resources from developed country Parties to cover activities and further actions in our countries.
As we continue being in the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement, it is crucial to preserve its delicate balance and ensure that no one will be left behind. We must ensure transparency, inclusiveness, a party-driven process on the basis of consensus and balance of all issues and across different bodies.
The Group stresses the need to enhance the pre-2020 ambition providing a strong basis for post-2020 efforts under the Paris Agreement. We would also call further for the ratification of the Doha Amendment by parties that have not yet done so, so as to enable its prompt entry into force and the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period expeditiously.
On another issue, we would expect a concrete outcome of this COP to be the confirmation that the Adaptation Fund will serve the Paris Agreement, via decisions from the CMP and the CMA so that the following sessions of the bodies of the COP and the next COP can decide on the arrangements pending for this to happen.
It is important to recognize that adaptation efforts by developing country parties contribute to combating adverse effects of global climate change. In this regard the group proposes to construct the proper way to recognize and register adaptation efforts and measures. We also emphasize the importance of the work under APA in relation to further guidance to the adaptation communication in order to enhance support for adaptation in developing countries. It is crucial that TEP-Adaptation provides a better understanding for parties to be prepared for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue.
The advances of the Committee of Adaptation reflected in the report are very welcome; however expert guidance for modalities and procedures under APA should be reviewed in a comprehensive and holistic manner.
We see with concern the flows to finance adaptation actions through specific multilateral funds, rapidly declining. Funds under the guidance of the COP are demanding additional unwarranted requirements that have not being agreed under the Convention and place an additional burden to developing countries.
We would like to stress the importance of having substantial and concrete advancement at this COP. We expect that the discussions on long term finance will help to identify the needs and priorities of developing countries, in particular on adaptation, financing, technology and capacity building, which could also assist in the establishment of a new long term financial goal, including through a new collective quantified goal beyond the already committed but yet insufficient floor of USD 100 billion per year, in line with decision 1/CP.21.
Guidance to the Green Climate Fund has to include filling the policy gaps, in particular on eligibility criteria, the start of a replenishment process, and the linkage with the UN system so as to facilitate direct access to GCF funds. The sixth review of the financial mechanism will provide the opportunity to promote coherence in the climate finance architecture.
On the provision on financial and technical support, the Group regrets to bring to your attention the increasing difficulties and conditionalities faced by several developing countries in accessing financial resources from the GEF, including through the establishment of program priorities and eligibility criteria that have not been agreed at the intergovernmental level. The Group is deeply concerned about the no response from GEF to continued communication of these parties.
The Group expresses also its deepest concern that some developed countries are unilaterally applying into the decision making processes eligibility criteria that are not agreed to and that limit the access of funding to developing countries under the GCF; such criteria is not compatible with guidance from the COP and is a clear departure from the letter and spirit of the Convention and the Paris Agreement. We also feel that the process and procedures of these institutions are creating continuous additional barriers to access financial resources for climate action, which severely undermine the level of ambition of developing countries in the global effort against climate change. Also we expect this issue to be clearly addressed in the guidance of the COP to the financial mechanism.
On response measures, the Group reaffirms the importance of giving full consideration to identify necessary actions to meet the specific needs and concerns of developing country Parties arising from the impact of the implementation of response measures and to avoid the negative economic and social consequences of response measures on developing countries. The Group welcomes the invitation to the Pre-sessional workshop on modalities, work programme and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures and looks forward to the report, inputs and recommendations from the roundtable to support the work of the improved forum. The group also emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the mandate of Decision 11/CP21 and advancing the work on the pre-2020 and post-2020 tracks on the modalities, functions and work programs for the forum under the Paris Agreement.
It is crucial to guarantee the participation of developing countries in the work of the bodies of the Convention, including the Standing Committee on Finance, Making the necessary adjustments so that the system works effectively and efficiently.
In the face of increasing number and intensity of extreme weather events, there is an urgent need for effective action on the provision of financial resources, including for technology development and transfer and capacity building to developing countries.
We recall that capacity building should be based on national needs and foster country-ownership, the process must be participatory as well as cross-cutting.
We also express our concern on negative implications resulting out of unilateral coercive economic measures for climate action in developing countries, to avoid undermining developing countries capacities to fight climate change and the rights to live of our peoples.
Finally, the G77 and China conveys its deep appreciation to you Mr. Chair, and reaffirm its commitment to continue engaging constructively under your guidance in order to achieve a successful outcome at the end of this COP.