STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE G77 AND CHINA BY MR. WALTER SCHULDT, DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHAIR OF THE G77 AND CHINA FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, AT THE CLOSING PLENARY OF COP23, CMP13 AND CMA1-2 (Bonn, Germany, 17 November 2017)
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Group would like to extend its deepest gratitude to you Honorable Prime Minister Baininarama and to the entire team of the Presidency of Fiji for all your hard work, personal commitment and engagement during these weeks, as well as for the demonstration of the Talanoa Spirit and warmth extended to all Parties.
We also thank Germany for having hosted this COP23 in partnership with Fiji and we thank the Executive Secretary for the continuous support and contribution to the successful organization of this Conference.
The Group would like to reiterate its constructive engagement in all the negotiations of the APA agenda during this past two weeks, with the responsibility of advancing the work programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the Convention, and the achievement of its purpose and objective respectively.
As we are entering into a new phase, we need to keep the political momentum and the level of political engagement that allowed the adoption and early entry into force of the Paris Agreement. In the same vain, we need to ensure that the delicate balance achieved in the Paris Agreement is maintained, in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of the different national circumstances, the provision of flexibility for developing countries in all the different tracks of the design of the work programme under the Paris Agreement, and the provision of means of implementation, especially finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building for developing countries.
All these elements should be taken into account transversally in the work programme and the level of substantive progress in the negotiations must be indeed accelerated to ensure a synergetic, coordinated and coherent progress within all the APA agenda items and the items under SBSTA, SBI and COP.
In that regard, we acknowledge the importance of tools developed by the Secretariat to provide an overview of the work that is needed and to facilitate the identification of all the linkages and interlinkages between the work of COP and the bodies, in relation to the work programme of the Paris Agreement. Nevertheless, we believe that most importantly, the way forward to advance such work programme, must be determined by the outcomes of the work of the APA, the SBI, the SBSTA and the COP on all matters related to the work programme, contained in the informal notes prepared at this session reflecting the views and proposals that we as Parties put forward at this session and in our submissions.
We look forward for the reflections note to be presented with an overview of this session and options for the way forward on the basis mentioned above, to reflect all Parties' views and options in a balanced manner.
We believe that this COP has achieved the objective of continue to advance the textual work of the work programme of the Paris Agreement, and several deliverables that are very important for developing countries and for our peoples, and that we are proud to have contributed to shape.
Among those elements of success, we want to highlight the important decision on pre-2020 implementation and ambition, that includes a stocktake on where we are, in relation to the pre2020 work, recognizing that the enhancement of pre2020 action and support in finance, technology and capacity building from developed country to developing country Parties, is the solid foundation for post2020 implementation. Pre2020 is back and we are very proud to have contributed to that. 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 for developing country Parties. This is of particular importance for our countries, including in particular 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.
Under your leadership Mr. President, we have undergone a constructive work towards the operationalization of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, coherently with the need to tackle the consequences of extreme and slow onset weather events related to climate change that have affected different regions of the world, resulting in human and economic losses. We welcome the strengthening of the five years rolling workplan of the ExCom and the call for the establishment of the Suva Expert Dialogue, as the first step to the future establishment of an expert group on action and support, and the call for mobilization of resources for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage. However, it still remains a long way to achieve the full implementation of the WIM under article 8 of the Paris Agreement.
Likewise, the Group of 77+China is also very proud that our countries were able to contribute to a longstanding aspiration of our local communities and indigenous peoples, so that no longer are they considered mere observers of climate change but have the opportunity to become real actors of the solution, including through the exchange of experiences and sharing of best practices on climate change action in a holistic and integrated manner. The establishment of the Facilitative Working Group and the development of its work-plan are fundamental and concrete steps towards for the full operationalization of the Platform.
We are also very satisfied about the progress achieved in agriculture after several years without any result. In this regard, we welcome the decision achieved, as an important first step for implementation and a synergistic work between SBSTA and SBI, including other implementation bodies, in the sector of agriculture that is one of the most vulnerable areas in our countries and one of the main basis of our food security.
Likewise, our Group share the same sentiment of pride and satisfaction with regard to the establishment of the first Gender Action Plan in relation to climate change, and several other important decisions on capacity building, education, training and public awareness, public participation and public access to information, common metrics and several other important areas of our countries.
In spite of that good part of the storytelling of this COP23, the story on financing is not necessarily a happy one. On such an important area, we have not seen progress on core elements such as in resolving the eligibility criteria adopted by the GEF through a draft decision, based on the text provided by the Standing Committee on Finance and its Appendix, and also taking 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 we have continuously been observing. We reiterate that the access to financial resources must be granted to all developing country Parties.
With relation to the discussions that were held on the Green Climate Fund, the Group reiterates its complete rejection to the usage of criteria outside of the scope of the UNFCCC or the governing instrument of the Fund in the assessment and discussion of developing countries funding proposals. Although we proposed the inclusion of language to this specific objective in guidance to the GCF, we understand that the compromise reached makes reference to requesting the Board to ensure that all developing country Parties have access to all financial instruments available through the GCF, in line with the eligibility criteria referred to in the Governing Instrument and relevant COP decisions and to ensure application of the agreed policies of the Fund, but we insist on the issue behind this decision and hope that these situations are not repeated, they are completely out of the scope of what the executive board of the GCF should do and not in line with what the GCF was created to do.
On the other hand, no attention has been given to the proposal to adopt a system of alternates so that when a member is not able to attend the meetings of the SCF, its alternate would be able to do so.
On long term finance we have identified 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.
On adaptation, work has advanced. However, we have different challenges, such as refining the skeleton, advancing on the placement of information and continuing the discussion on linkages. The G77 and China stress that adaptation communication should not be prescriptive, but should be anchored in the flexibility with a view of achieving the necessary support according to our priorities and needs.
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.
The Group reaffirms the importance of giving full consideration 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.
At the same time, we wanted to congratulate you for the successful Open Dialogue between Parties and non-Party stakeholders held last week, and we highlight that many reminded us that we have a responsibility to enhance transparency, as called for in the conclusions Parties agreed earlier this year at SBI 46, alongside openness and inclusiveness. In this regard, we believe that existing frameworks, principles and rules in other areas of the UNFCCC as well as in other organizations, can serve as good examples to promote enhanced participation while addressing the realities of the different constituencies, and specifically the capacity of some to unduly influence outcomes to serve their own vested interests.
We stress the need to preserve the delicate balance achieved in Paris and ensure that no one will be left behind. We must ensure also transparency, inclusiveness, a party-driven process on the basis of consensus and as the obligation of developed countries to provide towards its completion in 2018.
Finally, 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.
The G77 and China is pleased to reiterate its commitment to continue on your side in this journey until COP24, so that together with all the rest of the delegations, we can achieve a successful and balanced outcome. We look forward for any advanced information in relation to additional negotiation time between the 48th session of the subsidiary bodies and COP24, highlighting the importance of continue to ensure an open and inclusive, transparent, effective and Party-driven process, allowing for the participation of delegates from developing countries.
Thank you Mr. President.