STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR WAEL ABOULMAGD (ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT), CHAIR OF THE G77 FOR THE CLIMATE CHANGE PROCESS, AT THE JOINT OPENING PLENARY OF APA 1-6 AND THE RESUMED SBS 48-2 (Bangkok, Thailand, 4 September 2018)
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. In the interest preserving as much time as possible for negotiations on the outstanding issues, the Group has decided to use the opportunity of this general debate to make a few political and procedural remarks.
Distinguished delegates, if there is one thing, we can all agree on, it is that this session here in exciting, vibrant Bangkok is an added opportunity for us all to advance our work and to hopefully resolve the remaining outstanding issues before we go to Katowice. We have every hope that this session, if conducted efficiently and effectively will lay the foundation for a successful outcome in Katowice.
We are fully aware that this final stretch of operationalizing the PA will be a challenging one. Varying and often divergent views still persist on many of the agreement's provisions. However, we can assure you that we will continue to come to the table with an open mind and with full willingness to reach consensus. We trust that if this is the prevailing sentiment and attitude, whatever obstacles we face on the road to Katowice can be overcome.
We also recognize that despite the reasonable progress we made at the Bonn session, much remains to be done. The convening yesterday of the round table on inter-linkages was a useful exercise which highlighted the intrinsic relationship between the various tracks and various issues under consideration, and we believe that it paved the way for further coordination, in particular as it relates to achieving progress on substantive linkages on APA agenda items 3, 4 and 5. In this regard, we wish to stress the importance we attach to the linkages between all of the support-related provisions across the agenda of the APA, SBI and SBSTA, as well as the linkages between adaptation on the one hand and finance, technology, capacity building, transparency of action and support, the different items on registry and the GST on the other.
The G77 and China welcomes the Joint reflections note prepared by the Presiding Officers of APA, SBSTA and SBI and particularly as it reflected a holistic, bird's-eye view of the progress achieved, and perhaps more importantly, the areas where progress remains lacking. In this context we welcome the Presiding Officers' acknowledgement that the progress of work has been uneven, and that it remains insufficient for completing the mandated work by Katowice. With this in mind, it is incumbent upon us all to ramp up progress here in Bangkok across the board. The Group of 77 and China believes that it is vital for this progress to:
a) Ensure that operationalization of the various elements of the PA is coherent, complete and balanced in form and content, while bearing in mind the particularities of each issue, with comparable progress across the board to pave the way for enhanced ambition in both action and support, whilst ensuring differentiation and flexibility for developing countries.
b) Ensure that the level of detail in the outcome of the PAWP is sufficient to enable all mechanisms, institutions and processes under the PA to operate effectively and efficiently. Achieving this will require careful consideration as to the degree of detail needed in the outcome of each item of the PAWP.
The Group expects to achieve significant progress in this session regarding the expected form of the COP 24 outcome so as to avoid encumbering Parties in Katowice with this discussion at the last minute.
In light of time constraints, we believe that the modality of work in Bangkok should allow for a more constructive, effective and focused discussion to formulate draft negotiation texts, including through informal-informal sessions should the need arise.
Further to this, and in order to achieve greater balance between the various elements of the Paris Agreement Work Program (PAWP), the session should consider allocating more time to agenda items which have achieved relatively less progress and/or which are more complex in nature, bearing in mind the need to secure balanced progress between action and support and that many of our countries have small delegations. In this context, some items, namely adaptation communications, finance-related issues and transparency of action and support, will most likely require a greater time allocation.
Adaptation continues to be a priority for developing countries. We hope that this session will provide the opportunity to move forward, in a meaningful and substantive manner, on all aspects of adaptation included in the PAWP. In this context, the Group is prepared to advance the technical and political work on the adaptation communication, whilst underlining the centrality of support for all stages, including the process of preparation, implementation and presentation of the communication.
Moreover, we believe that progress in this area must complemented by meaningful progress on the AC Report and the Mandates of Paris to the AC and LEG with the collaboration of the SCF. We hope that the specific proposals presented by our Group at the previous session can provide a solid basis for further progress here in Bangkok.
On the topic of finance, we note with deep concern the US$ 3 billion shortfall of resources at the Green Climate Fund. In this regard, we stress the urgency of initiating a replenishment process guided by the relevant arrangements between the COP and the GCF, particularly paragraphs 17 (a) and (b). We further stress the need to move towards draft negotiating text as soon as possible on the finance issues, and we believe that the draft text submitted by the G77 on article 9.7 provides a reasonable and balanced basis for negotiations at this session.
We also believe that it is important for us to begin preparations here in Bangkok aimed at reaching an agreement in Katowice on the process and modalities for the establishment of a new global goal on finance. Delaying this process further may jeopardize the level of confidence in the financing framework of the Paris Agreement.
We are also concerned by the application of unilateral coercive economic measures that affect the capacities of developing countries to finance their efforts in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
The Group also wishes to recall the importance of ensuring the legitimate right of all developing country parties to access available financial resources through different financing mechanisms including but not limited to GEF, GCF and others
On NDCs, the Group reaffirms the importance of maintaining the comprehensive full scope of NDCs, as agreed in Paris, not exclusively focusing on mitigation. Thus, NDCs should include mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation (finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building) components as per article 3 of the Paris Agreement. The Group stresses the importance of maintaining the nationally determined nature of NDCs in light of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of national circumstances. In this context, we believe parties should be free to determine whether the adaptation communication is part of their NDC. The Group recalls that Nationally Determined Contributions communicated by parties shall be recorded in a public registry, referred to in Article 4.12, maintained by the Secretariat and that art. 7.12 establishes the same provision for the adaptation communications.
For the GST within the modalities and the identification of the sources of input, it is important that these are further elaborated to appropriately reflect the activities to be undertaken, institutional arrangements, form of the output, and nature of the outcome, as well as the importance of reflecting equity. Furthermore, there are other elements that need to be considered such as context, coverage and principles.
On transparency, the Group welcomes the progress made in the new version of agenda item 5 tool that was developed for the Bangkok session. However, we wish to stress the importance of both transparency of action, which has achieved significant progress, and transparency of support, which still continues to lag behind. The transparency framework should reflect the realities of national circumstances and limited capacities of developing country parties compared to those of developed countries. Therefore, the new framework should aim at reporting requirements that are implementable and must afford sufficient time and support to developing countries to increase their capacities to implement the enhanced transparency framework over time.
As for response measures, the Group highlights the importance of identifying the necessary actions to meet the specific needs and concerns of developing countries arising from the impact of the implementation of response measures. To this end the Group hopes to leave Bangkok with a draft text on work program, functions and modalities on the forum serving the Paris Agreement which would be the basis for negotiation in Katowice.
As we are all aware, actual negotiating time will be extremely limited at Katowice. With this in mind, the Group believes that it is necessary that the APA Co-Chairs, guided by Parties' discussions and based on Parties' inputs and submissions where available, and of course with the assistance of the co-facilitators, strive to prepare at least two iterations of all the texts of the PAWP during this session, covering all the elements of the PAWP, with the aim of mainstreaming ideas and reflecting clear options on points of divergence. We believe this would be the practical manifestation of the assertion made by the Presiding Officers in their reflections note that the outcome of Bangkok should present
"clear and streamlined" options. This should, of course, be done while ensuring that no idea is left out, that no Party is left behind and no issue left un-addressed.
Moreover, we see value in allocating a time slot at the Bangkok session to discuss the format of the outcome of COP24 without prejudice to its progress in substance. A formal space to discuss how the different PAWP elements will be structured, and whether the Katowice outcome will take the form of a single "omnibus" decision or multiple decisions may help the presiding officers advance the work to ensure that we arrive in Katowice with a party owned draft negotiation text.
As I wrap up, it would be remiss of me not to share a brief thought regarding pre-2020 issues. While the G77 and China recognizes that this session is focused on operationalizing the PA it is vital to reiterate that enhanced post-2020 ambition and action are inextricably linked to enhanced pre-2020 ambition and actions. There remains a pressing need to enhance pre-2020 action, as well as provision of support in terms of finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building in order to pave the way for enhanced ambition, and in any event, we must ensure that the burden of unfulfilled commitments should not be passed on to developing countries.
To conclude, allow me to assure you that the G77 and China will continue to engage constructively, actively and tirelessly in all the negotiating tracks here in Bangkok, recognizing our shared responsibility in advancing the PAWP whilst remaining faithful to the Convention, its purpose and principles.