Warsaw Wrap-up!

Vositha Wijenayake

Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA)

 

COP19 came to an end, and most of us were home-bound when it did reach its end. This article is an attempt to sum-up the key elements of what was decided (or not decided) in Warsaw.

 

There were several key decisions taken at the COP in order to facilitate the implementation of the Convention.

 

  1. Mitigation Actions in the Forest Sector[1]

 

A decision was taken in order to provide for coordination of support for the implementation of activities in relation to mitigation actions in the forest sector by developing countries, and this also included institutional arrangements.

 

In this respect, interested Parties were called upon to designate a national entity or focal point to serve as a liaison with the secretariat and the relevant bodies under the Convention, in order to coordinate support for the full implementation of activities and elements referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 70, 71 and 73. This also included adopting different policy approaches, and required the secretariat to be informed accordingly. In doing so, the interested Parties were to take into account national circumstances and the principles of sovereignty and noted that these national entities or focal points of the developing country parties could nominate their entities to obtain and receive results-based payments in order to provide them with support for full implementation of the activities.

 

These national entities or focal points, Parties and the relevant entities financing the activities referred to in the decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, were encouraged to meeting on a voluntary basis, in conjunction with the first and second sessional period meetings of the subsidiary bodies. In doing so, the participants are allowed to seek input from the relevant bodies established under the Convention, international and regional organizations, the private sector, indigenous peoples and civil society and can invite representatives of these entities to participate as observers in these meetings.

 

Thereafter, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, at its forty-seventh sessions (November-December 2017) was requested to review the outcomes of these meetings, to consider the existing institutional arrangements or the need for potential governance alternatives for the coordination of support for the implementation of the activities referred to in the decision, and make recommendations on these matters to the COP at its twenty third session (November – December 2017).

 

A decision was also taken to implement a work programme on results based finance in order to progress the full implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70. [2]

 

  1. Response Measures

 

In order to deal with climate change, it is necessary to adopt adequate response measures. However, in developing countries, their priorities are social and economic development and poverty eradication, and the fact is that response measures could have negative environmental, social and economic consequences.

 

In this respect, the decision taken at the 17th Session of COP to establish a forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures to implement the work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures was reiterated.  This forum had proved useful by providing opportunities to engage in in-forum workshops, an expert meeting and valuable initial discussions by Parties to order to improve the understanding the impact of the implementation of response measures. Therefore, a decision was taken to continue the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures until 2015. Parties were invited to continue to participate in the forum and in the future, focus is to be placed on the impact of the implementation of response measures on expert input and the provision of concrete examples, case studies and practices so as to assist developing country Parties to deal with the impacts of the implementation of response measures.  The forum is to be convened by the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies to implement the updated work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures. The updated work programme is to consist of an assessment and analysis of the impacts or response measures and an overview of the progress made at various levels in conducting activities to address the adverse economic and social consequences of response measures on developing countries. In addition to this, the work programme is to also include an opportunity to exchange experience and discuss opportunities for economic diversification and transformation, and to provide a dialogue on what Parties report on actions and impacts related to the implementation of response measures, as well as to share views on the impact of response measures on gender and health. [3]

 

  1. International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts[4]

 

The Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage was adopted under the Cancun Adaptation Framework, in order to address the loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change, including extreme events and slow onset events, in particularly vulnerable developing countries.

 

In this respect, an executive committee was established and this committee is to report annually to the COP through the Subsidiary Body of Scientific Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and make recommendations as appropriate.

 

The Warsaw International Mechanism’s duties include among others, promoting the implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with adverse effects of climate change, and in doing so, will facilitate support of actions to address loss and damage, improve coordination of the relevant work of existing bodies under the Convention, convene necessary meetings and provide technical guidance and support.

 

  1. Climate Finance

 

In order to deal with the need to finance action in respect of climate change, especially in order to address the needs of developing countries in the context of mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, action was taken in order to develop a work programme on long term finance. In this respect, a decision was taken to continue deliberations on long term finance and organize in-session workshops on strategies and approaches to scale up climate finance, cooperation on enhanced enabling environments and on the need to support developing countries. Further, it was also decided to convene a biennial high level ministerial dialogue on climate finance starting in 2014 and ending in 2020. [5]

 

Further decisions in respect of climate finance were taken in respect of the report of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) submitted to the COP and guidance given to the GCF.[6] In terms of the guidance given to the GCF, this Fund was requested to balance the allocation of resources between adaptation and mitigation and ensure appropriate allocation of resources for other activities, to pursue a country-driven approach, and to take into account the urgent and immediate needs of developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, when allocating resources for adaption.

 

In addition to this, a decision was also taken in respect of arrangements between the COP and the GCF  in order to set out a working relationship between COP and the GCF, to ensure that the GCF is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the COP to support projects, programmers, policies and other activities in developing country Parties. [7]

 

The Global Environment Facility also submitted a report to the COP and guidance was given to this Facility.[8] This report is submitted annually, and in this report, it included information on mitigation impacts. The duties of the Global Environment Facility was further clarified, in order to ensure that there was a clearer approach to co-financing, to ensure that there is adequate and predictable funding and facilitate funding for small island developing States and the least developed countries in order to enable them to address their urgent needs and to comply with their obligations under the Convention.

 

  1. Reporting Information on Activities under the Kyoto Protocol[9]

 

A common reporting format was adopted for the purpose of submitting information on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4. In addition to this, in providing information in respect of these categories, Parties are to apply the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, as well as IPCC 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol. Further, in providing information on wetland drainage and rewetting elected activity under Article 3, paragraph 4 of the Kyoto Protocol, the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands is to be applied.

Further, in the annual greenhouse gas inventory report due by 15 April 2015, a specific method was adopted to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions.

 

  1. Clean Development Mechanism[10]

 

The Clean Development Mechanism adopted under the Kyoto Protocol, has been responsible for 7,300 project activities being registered in over 90 countries, with over 1,500 component project activities being included in over 230 programmes of activities registered in over 60 countries.

However, it was noted that participants in the clean development mechanism were facing a difficult market situation and there was a loss of institutional capacity, which threatens the value of the clean development mechanism. In this respect, a decision was adopted to provide guidance in respect of the Clean Development Mechanism. In this respect, measures were adopted to deal with the governance mechanisms and baseline and monitoring methodologies. Further, the guidance also included measures in respect of registration of clean development mechanism project activities and issuance of certified emission reductions, as well as measures to extend the capacity of the scheme to regional and sub regional areas.

 

In addition to this, a decision was also taken to review the modalities and procedures for the clean development mechanism[11]. In doing so, a technical paper is to be prepared by 19th March 2014, on specified issues relating to possible changes to the modalities and procedures for the clean development mechanisms, including their implications, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation at its fortieth session (June 2014).

 

  1. Adaption Fund[12]

 

The Adaption Fund was established in order to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The first commitment period was funded mainly through the share of proceeds from Clean Development Mechanisms project activities, and thereafter, in Doha, in 2012, it was decided that the second commitment period, international emissions trading and joint implementation would also provide 2 percent share of proceeds.

 

The Report of the Adaption Fund Board was submitted and decisions were taken in this respect. The terms and conditions of services to be provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) as trustee for the Adaptation Fund were adopted. It was also decided that an account held in the clean development mechanism registry for the Adaptation Fund will be the recipient of the 2 per cent of proceeds levied in accordance with decision 1/CMP.8, paragraph 21.

 

  1. Implementation of  Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol[13]

 

Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol, provides for the Parties to the protocol to ensure that their aggregate anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of listed greenhouse gases do not exceed their assigned amounts. In order to implement this, Article 6 provides that any specified Party could transfer to, acquire from, any other such Party emission reduction units resulting from projects aimed at reducing anthropogenic emissions by sources or enhancing anthropogenic removals by sinks of greenhouse gases, subject to certain conditions.

 

In this respect, a decision was taken to provide guidance on the implementation of Article 6 of the Protocol.  In this decision, it stressed the need to improve the joint implementation in contributing to the achievement of the objective of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. Further, it requested the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee to submit elaborated recommendations on the accreditation system for joint implementation aligned with that of the clean development mechanism.

 

(References:  Summary on Warsaw, COP19 by Vidya Nathaniel for Sri Lankan Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN))

 
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