Climate Change

March 14, 2017

1. Background

Japan and Brazil, as Co-Chairs, have hosted the Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change (commonly known as the Japan-Brazil Informal Meeting) in Tokyo every year since 2002. The purpose of the meeting is to exchange candid but informal discussions among chief negotiators and other officials from various countries. The Japan-Brazil Informal Meeting is recognized as one of the major meetings on climate change that serves as a good opportunity to look back at results of COP in the previous year and kickoff each year’s discussions towards next COP.

2. Date, Venue, Co-Chairs

  • (1) Date: Thursday, March 9 - Friday, March 10
  • (2) Venue: Mita Conference Hall (Tokyo)
  • (3) Co-Chairs:
    • (Japan) Mr. Koichi Aiboshi, Ambassador, Assistant Vice-Minister and Director-General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • (Brazil) Mr. J. Antonio Marcondes, Ambassador, Vice-Minister for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

3. Participants & Observers

(1) Participants (32 Parties):

Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, European Commission, Fiji (COP23 Presidency), France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Malta, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Morocco (COP22 Presidency), New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States

(2) Observers:

APA Co-Chairs, SBI and SBSTA Chairs, UNFCCC Secretariat, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

4. Overview of the Discussion

(1) Session 1: Reflection on COP22 and Expectation for COP23

The participants, including Morocco as the COP22 Presidency and Fiji as the COP23 Presidency, exchanged their views on the results of COP22 in November 2016 and the expected outcomes of COP23 in November 2017. Most of the participants shared the view that the major achievements at COP22 was that Parties agreed on the work plans until May 2017 and the 2018 deadline for adopting the Paris rulebook. Fiji, as the incoming Presidency, explained their preparation status for COP23 and outlined the priority areas such as progress of the work programs of the Paris rulebook, preparation for the 2018 facilitative dialogue and further promotion of global climate action.

(2) Session 2: Preparing the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue

The COP Presidencies will undertake consultations in 2017 on the organization of the 2018 facilitative dialogue. This session was intended to give a first opportunity for the major countries to exchange their views on this issue before the official consultations start. There was a convergence on the view that the dialogue will be an important event to inform and help Parties in communicating or updating their NDCs in 2020 and should be facilitative by nature as its name suggests. The participants presented various views on its scope, modalities and outputs.

(3) Session 3: Formulating Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategies

The Paris Agreement provides that all Parties should strive to formulate and communicate the long-term strategies. The participants discussed the general ideas of the long-term strategies, shared their experiences and lessons learned in the process of formulating them, and compared notes on the current state of the preparation works. The participants from the countries that had already communicated their strategies explained that the process of formulating them would contribute Parties to consider their future climate actions and transition to low GHG emission economy. They also suggested that the submitted strategies would continue to be revised as “living documents”.

(4) Session 4: Advancing the Work Program under the Paris Agreement

One of the major focuses of the meeting was how to move forward the work programs this year in order to meet the 2018 deadline. There was a convergence on the view that Parties need to maintain the balance achieved in the Paris Agreement and accelerate the work programs of the Paris rulebook with keeping the potential linkages between the programs in mind. Many participants shared the view that Parties should be engaged in not only the conceptual discussions but also the text-based negotiations. The importance of maintaining the political momentum through informal meetings was also pointed out.

(5) Session 5: Maximizing the Use of Institutions related to the Climate Finance

The participants discussed the issues of climate finance including how to better coordinate various climate-related financial mechanisms under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement and other institutions, and how to utilize the climate finance more effectively. Many participants pointed out the importance of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the possible duplications and complementary nature of various institutions, and the significance of and challenges in mobilizing the private finance. Participants presented various views on the Adaptation Fund.

4. Overall Assessment of Informal Meeting

On the joint initiative of Japan and Brazil that are Annex1 and Non-Annex1 country respectively under the UNFCCC, the meeting served as a fruitful opportunity for the major developed and developing countries to present and understand their interests and concerns in order to navigate this year’s negotiations towards the 2018 deadline. There was high interest among the participants as well as from the media for the meeting since it was the first major meeting on climate change under the new U.S. administration. The meeting was convened with the continued participation of all major countries.

The participants from the major countries presented their views on the 2018 facilitative dialogue for the first time, which served as a useful opportunity for the Presidencies to prepare for consultations this year. The participants were able to share the view that they need to accelerate the work programs with keeping in mind this year’s schedules of the official negotiations and informal meetings.

Fiji, as the first Presidency from the small islands developing states, listened to the views of the participants from the major countries and engaged in the discussions on the various issues throughout the meeting. It is hoped that the input gained by Fiji through the meeting contribute Fiji to conduct COP23 smoothly and consider the possible outcomes of COP23.

Japan as Co-Chair made an effort to stimulate candid discussions among the participants at the meeting. Japan also took part in the discussions and presented its views on various issues in order to accelerate the work programs of the Paris rulebook towards COP23 in November this year.

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