By IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub

10 April 2018: The Co-Chairs of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) have released a reflections note on the fourth part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-4) to facilitate preparations for APA 1-5, highlighting that deliberations during APA 1-4 enabled Parties to transition from broad conceptual debates to more specific technical discussions and the elaboration of substantive elements.

APA 1-5 will convene during the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, from 30 April to 10 May 2018.

In their reflections note, the Co-Chairs underscore that the transition to more specific discussions is reflected in, inter alia: growing maturity of informal notes on APA agenda items, and more clarity on options and linkages, providing a “good, solid basis” for moving negotiations forward in 2018.

The Co-Chairs express confidence that the APA is “on track” to fulfill its mandate but acknowledge that, given the “breadth and complexity” of topics, the pace of work must be significantly increased. Thus, they call for transitioning from substantive points and elements to full textual narratives, emphasizing that 2018 is the final year of negotiations on the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP). In order to complete the APA’s work in a timely manner, the note calls for producing an agreed basis for negotiations that can be worked on, through iterations, until the end of the APA’s mandate at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.

Among other issues, the note calls for a focus on outlining clear options for further guidance on NDC features.

The Co-Chairs indicate their intent to continue using informal notes to record progress with the aim of further developing them towards texts that reflect substantive proposals and related options so that Parties can see “the full picture” and negotiate effectively.

The reflections note outlines progress made thus far on each agenda item and expectations for each at APA 1-5. On further guidance regarding the mitigation section of decision 1/CP.21 (adoption of the Paris Agreement), the note, inter alia: calls for a focus on outlining clear options for further guidance on features of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); suggests assessing how the elements within different options regarding information can be better organized and expressed more succinctly; and stresses the need for an in-depth exploration of how to operationalize accounting for NDCs.

On further guidance relating to the adaptation communication, the note states that, in developing the draft elements, Parties may wish to, inter alia, determine how to reflect requests to develop common guidance applicable to any vehicle chosen by a Party to convey its adaptation communication, as well as vehicle-specific guidance where needed. It also mentions linkages that are important for the work on adaptation communication: to the communication of information on support; to the transparency framework; and to the global stocktake (GST).

On modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG) for the transparency framework for action and support, the note explains that further progress can be made by addressing aspects such as: ensuring the legal nature of various provisions of the Paris Agreement is accurately reflected in the MPGs; discussing specific examples that could inform the development of provisions to give developing countries the flexibility they require given their capacities; and clarifying linkages to other agenda items.

On matters related to the GST, the notes explains that Parties may wish to consider developing textual elements on equity, identifying commonalities in positions and combining elements under the various building blocks, and clarifying remaining differences and expressing them as options under the building blocks.

On modalities and procedures for the effective operation of the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance, the note explains that Parties will need to, inter alia, further reflect on options for the scope of the committee’s work, and further discuss linkages, including those to support arrangements.

The note also discusses additional matters related to implementation of the Paris Agreement, including the Adaptation Fund. [APA Co-Chairs’ Reflections Note] [APA 1-5 Website]

Source:: IISD – International Negotiations

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