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 STOCKTAKING SESSION OF COP23, CMP13, CMA1.4, SBI47, SBSTA47 AND APA1.4 (Bonn, Germany, 11 November 2017)
Distinguished Chairs and Co-Chairs,
I have the honour to deliver the following remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, at this mid-term Stocktake session:
At the outset, the G77 and China appreciates your work Chairs and Co-Chairs as well as the efforts of the Co-Facilitators to guide us towards the concrete progress that we came here to achieve at this COP in all the agenda items.
We thank you all for your reports and we reaffirm our full support to you, while reiterating our will to continue engaging constructively in the textual work that is needed for the operationalization of the Paris Agreement and the enhancement of the full implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol.
During the opening plenaries at the beginning of this week, we reaffirmed, inter alia, the need for a balanced treatment of mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation throughout the different agenda items; the need to avoid any attempt of reinterpretation of the Convention and of the Paris Agreement; the need to respect the differentiation between developed and developing country Parties reflected in the Convention and in the Paris Agreement.
However, we regret to transmit our concern about certain procedural and substantial issues. On process, our Group thank you for the diagram as an effort to address the challenge of identifying all the interlinkages between the different tracks and components of the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the different bodies. We hope, that this tool will help us to better address the situations in which there is an un-equal treatment of certain elements within the agenda items, un-equal modalities and guidance followed by Parties in the discussions, and also different levels of engagement and preference in terms of how and when to capture the outcomes of the discussions.
The G77 and China would like also to re-emphasize the urgent need to enhance pre2020 action and support in finance, technology and capacity building from developed country to developing country Parties, as a solid foundation for post2020 implementation. In that regard we look forward for the assessment of the progress of implementation of Decision 1 C.P/19 paras 3 and 4 to accelerate the implementation of the commitments and obligations in relation to the provision of means of implementation, including technology, finance and capacity building support for developing country Parties. We stress the need to take stock of the collective progress made in implementing the pre-2020 commitments and actions and increasing ambition, in particular on the provision of support. We recognize the efforts of the Presidency of COP23 for the ongoing consultations, we remain open to exploring news options in that regard, while reaffirming the high importance that we attach to this issue, in particular in the context of the 20 Anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol and the increasing adverse impacts of climate change in our countries, that keep reminding us that we need climate action and support now, and not only after 2020.
Precisely, on Finance, the Group is greatly concerned over the lack of progress on all finance and finance-related issues, faced with the lack of political will to advance on these issues. We are also concerned over the very short time provided for negotiations of these very important agenda items. The G77 and China do not have an inter-sessional forum to discuss the preparations for the COP and can only meet during COPs. Moreover, most of us have small delegations and cannot be present at all negotiating discussions and need coordinating time. In essence, time is important, but even more important is the political will needed to advance on items related to finance as the enabler to move towards the operationalization of the Paris Agreement.
The Group also believes that one of the most important issues is the eligibility criteria for the GEF, on this vein on COP Agenda Item 10.d. the Group has presented written inputs to the Co Facilitators in the form of a draft decision, based on the text provided by the Standing Committee on Finance and its Appendix, while also having taken into consideration the important views of the Parties. It is imperative to stress that the SCF's work should not limit the discussion on the guidance to the GEF, as all parties are entitled to introduce their concerns and views for discussion, especially at the COP, which task is to provide guidance to the entity on eligibility, programming priorities and policies. The group would like to stress that access to financial resources must be granted to all developing country Parties. We look forward to having constructive discussion over this and other important matters, such as access modalities, in order to achieve a result that accommodates all Parties concerns.
On the Green Climate Fund, we reiterate our concern that the Board has started to apply categories of developing country Parties that are neither recognized by the Convention nor within the scope of the governing instrument of the Fund, these categories are in clear violation of the eligibility criteria of the Fund and cannot be the basis for the Secretariat giving guidance to Parties suggesting they do not apply for grants or concessional financing for climate change. We will insist this be solved in GCF guidance and reject this type of behavior.
On the review of the functions of the SCF, we recognize that the committee has made great efforts to enhance participation of observers and that it has a key role in assisting the COP in all finance related issues. However, due to the difficulties related to climate change extreme weather events, and other economic and political shocks, developing country members have not been able to guarantee their participation for every session, and for this reason our Group had proposed a system of alternates so that when a member is not able to attend the meetings, its alternate would be able to do so. This proposal has no budgetary implications whatsoever and nonetheless it has been objected by developed country Parties without a clear argument, which demonstrates that there is no real interest in ensuring a full participation of developing countries in the Committee.
On COP agenda item 10(f) on the process to identify the information that developed countries will present under article 9.5 of the PA, we note the willingness of our partners to limit discussions on the types of information already being reported under biennial reports and under biennial submissions, on strategies and approaches to mobilize climate finance. However, we see the lack of will to discuss modalities to report that information, which was a proposal of our Group presented under APA agenda item 8. Without these modalities, like common formats, definitions, underlying assumptions and methodologies, the information that will be presented on expected levels of financial support will be rendered incomparable, impossible to aggregate and useless to have a global picture of climate finance to be provided, which limits developing countries planning on their implementation of the Paris Agreement and their NDCs.
On the Adaptation Fund serving the Paris Agreement, we regret to see lack of will to have a decision saying the Fund shall serve the Agreement. We are stuck in discussions on the strategic role of the Fund within the broader climate finance panorama, or on the conditions to engage in these discussions, like the definition of every detail and arrangement for the Fund to serve the Agreement, when these arrangements can be developed until 2020. We urge developed country Parties to demonstrate their political will for a decision at this COP, particularly taking into account the importance of this Fund to developing countries and SIDS in particular.
On adaptation, we reiterate the high priority that our countries assign to adaptation, particularly in the current context of the increasing occurrence and severity of extreme weather events and the costs involved. Therefore, our Group has worked hard in this session to continue having a common position on adaptation and especially with regard to adaptation communication. We have reached a document that attempts to advance aspects of the guidance of adaptation communication in the understanding that this is the time to generate substantive progress. One of the key points of this guidance is the support needed from developed to developing country Parties, in order to implement article 7.13 of the Paris Agreement, considering the need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation under article 9.4. We hope that this session will result in a skeleton where headings, subheadings and textual inputs are clearly identified in the informal consultations based on the submissions or proposals from country Parties.
On National Adaptation Plans, we would like to reiterate that, addressing medium and long-term adaptation challenges in developing country Parties are extremely important. There are still multiple challenges that developing country Parties face in accessing financial support for the development and implementation of NAPs from the Green Climate Fund and would therefore call for easy and simplified procedures by the GCF for the NAPs readiness and implementation facilities.
With regard to Loss and Damage, our Group has confirmed with great concern how extreme weather events unprecedentedly affects our countries in a more frequent and destructive manner than ever before, while there´s not either an effective approach to address the loss and damage associated with slow onset events related to climate change. For those reasons we call for the full implementation of Article 8 of the Paris Agreement and relevant decisions of the UNFCCC. Special financial resources from developed country Parties for activities and actions in developing countries need to be provided urgently. Loss and Damage requires a permanent item on the agendas of the SBs, in order to count on a more inclusive space of negotiations that allows all parties to express their approaches in relation to the full operationalization of the Warsaw International Mechanism. Relevant mandates of this Convention need to be urgently undertaken in order to provide the support developing countries need as a matter of survival.
With regard to agriculture, our Group has been working hard for several years in the objective of reaching an agreement that allows the implementation in agriculture. However, the SBSTA work on this agenda item is only meaningful if it feeds SBI and other implementation bodies under the Convention. For this, we want to achieve a COP decision that opens the door for implementation and a synergistic work between SBSTA and SBI, including other implementation bodies. We also need to renew our work in SBSTA with new topics to fulfill our mandate. Until now we have progressed a lot in that direction, but difficulties still remain, due to the resistance of Annex I Parties to accept a COP decision that includes SBI. Tomorrow is the last day we have for this and our partners are still reluctant. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that an agreement can be found and the Group has shown a great flexibility for this. Not arriving to any outcome again, would be a very bad sign, being agriculture the most vulnerable sector and the basis of food security.
On the Article 15 Committee, the G77 and China believes that in general all elements and provisions of the Paris Agreement shall be covered by the work of the committee, while the scope may differ in respect to the function of facilitating implementation and promoting compliance. The Group is also the view that establishing linkage with supporting mechanism is critical for fulfilling the facilitative role of the committee. In addition, the Committee shall pay particular attention to the respective national capabilities and circumstances of Parties both in procedures and outcomes of the Committee.
On Transparency, our Group recognizes the progress made in the development of the modalities procedures and guidelines for the transparency framework on action and support. We participate on the basis of the mandate given in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement which clearly provides different purposes for transparency of actions and support, in accordance with the relevant articles of the Paris Agreement. We have stated that enhanced support enables enhanced action and that enhanced action requires enhanced support. Both must progress in a balanced manner.
On Global Stocktake, our Group emphasizes the need for a clear idea of the landing zone that we will arrive at, when this COP23 ends. The Group feels that we need to move this process forward in a way that will enable us to arrive at a draft negotiating text for the CMA decision on the GST. The use of the revised template containing various possible building blocks for the GST modalities and other issues is useful, but there are other elements that should also be included such as context, coverage, principles, sources of inputs, modalities including activities to be undertaken, institutional arrangements, form of the output, and nature of the outcome. Equally important is reflecting equity, in an operational manner, in the GST. The group appreciates the substantial time that has been allotted at this session for Parties to focus on equity and its reflection in the GST and expects that similar attention will be provided to this issue specifically as negotiations progress. Other issues such as loss and damage and impacts of response measures are also important to highlight in this context. The Group feels that to move our process forward and accelerate our work, it would help to be clearer about what we are trying to design, capture the diversity as well as convergence of views and options presented by Parties, and conclude at this session with a clear general structured outline for the various elements for the mandate, coverage, principles, process, institutional arrangements, inputs and activity modalities, and results of the GST.
On response measures, the group reaffirms the importance of giving full consideration to identifying 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 also emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the mandate of Decision 11/CP.21 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. The group welcomes the progress made in this session, and looks forward to progressing with this momentum.
On Capacity Building the Group welcomes the synthesis report prepared to facilitate the annual monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries established under decision 2/CP7, and the summary report of the 6th meeting of the Durban Forum on capacity building. However, there are still gaps with regards to strengthening work on capacity building priority areas as outlined in the framework for capacity building in developing countries and other emerging areas from the Paris Agreement. We would like to register our disappointment with lack of progress in finalizing textual proposals, with some parties seeming to block progress. The current resource constraints have an effect on the mandate of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) to fully implement its work plan, aimed at achieving the goals as set out in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement.
On common metrics, our Group acknowledges the draft conclusions agreed on SBSTA agenda item "Common metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of greenhouse gases" and reiterates its acknowledgement of the relevance of common metrics to climate change policy.
Finally, our Group wants to reaffirm the spirit of openness to further explore innovative ways to move forward, and in that regard we welcome the continuation of your regular internal coordination, the allocation of two hour slots, we accept the extension of hours of negotiation, but one component is still missing, not from you, but from our developed country Parties, and that is the political will to engage constructively towards the highest priority of ensuring a balanced progress in all agenda items.