Climate Change

The Ad Hoc Working Group of the Paris Agreement and the Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

(Overview and Assessment)

May 22, 2017
Japanese

The 3rd Part of the 1st Session of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Paris Agreement (APA1-3) and the 46th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI46) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA46) took place from May 8th to 18th in Bonn, Germany. Officials from relevant Ministries participated in these meetings. They include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Japan’s involvement in these meetings, the outcome and the assessment of the conferences are as follows.

1. APA 1-3

It was decided at the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) that the work programme under the Paris Agreement will be completed in 2018. At this session, Parties worked toward developing the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) of the Paris Agreement until this deadline. There was a shift from the conceptual discussion to the technical and concrete discussion, and Parties considered the headings and the subheadings/outlines/elements of the MPGs depending on the progress on each agenda item. The further work until the next session such as the pre-sessional round table was also decided.

(1) Progress on each agenda item

The informal consultations were convened on each agenda item including on mitigation, adaptation, the transparency framework, the global stocktake, facilitating implementation and prompting compliance, and the adaptation fund. Parties discussed the basic headings and the subheadings/outlines/elements of the MPGs and the main issues to be addressed to progress the technical discussion. As the outputs of the consultations, the co-facilitators of each agenda item prepared the informal notes that capture Parties' views on the basic headings and the subheadings/outlines/elements of the MPGs, the issues to be addressed, and the convergence and the divergence of Parties' views, in order to help progress of the further work.

The Co-Chairs proposed the draft conclusions on May 16th, taking into consideration the progress on each agenda item. The draft was discussed at the contact group and agreed on May 18th, the final day of the session.

Japan contributed to the technical discussion on each agenda item through proposing the necessary headings and the subheadings/outlines/elements of the MPGs and how to progress the work on them. With a view to starting the discussion on the draft text of each MPG from the beginning of 2018 and completing the work at COP24, Japan also proposed the further work until the next session such as inviting focused submissions from Parties and convening workshops, depending on the maturity on each agenda item.

(2) Term of the Co-Chairs

The APA elected its Co-Chairs, Ms. Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia, non-Annex 1) and Ms. Jo Tyndall (New Zealand, Annex 1), at its 1st session in May 2016. While term ended at this session, it was decided that they were reelected to continuously serve as the Co-Chairs until the end of the COP24 in 2018 in order to ensure the continuity of the work.

(3) Next session

The next session of the APA will be convened from November 6th to 17th in Bonn, Germany in conjunction with COP23 (Presidency: Fiji). The pre-session round table will be convened on November 4th (the transparency framework/adaptation) and 5th (the transparency framework/the global stocktake), and the in-session round table will take place on November 6th (mitigation/ facilitating implementation and prompting compliance) as well.

2. SBI 46 and SBSTA 46

The 46th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) discussed a variety of agenda items on MPGs of the Paris Agreement, including on the matters relating to the market mechanism under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, the accounting modalities of financial resources referred to in Article 9, paragraph 7, and the technology framework under Article 10, paragraph 4. Issues on LULUCF, agriculture, the periodic review, national communications, biennial reports/biennial update reports, national adaptation plans, response measures, capacity building, and the budget of the secretariat for the biennium 2018-2019 were also discussed. On some agenda items, the draft COP decisions were prepared.

The multilateral assessment (MA) was conducted on the progress toward achieving the emission reduction targets for 2020 with regard to the Parties included in Annex I to the Convention (developed countries). 17 Parties including Japan made the presentations followed by constructive questions and answers. The MA on Japan was held on May 12th. Japan underwent the assessment through explaining and answering to the questions such as on the progress toward achieving its 2020 target, the state of the implementation of policies and measures, and the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). In addition, 10 Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention (developing countries) were subjected to the facilitative sharing of views (FSV) on the progress on their nationally appropriate mitigation actions.

3. Informal consultation on the 2018 facilitative dialogue

In accordance with Decision 1/CP.22, the bilateral consultations with each negotiating group and the first open-ended informal consultation on the 2018 facilitative dialogue (FD) defined in Decision 1/CP.21 were convened by the COP Presidency (Morocco) and the incoming COP Presidency (Fiji). Parties provided their views on objective, format and timing, level, inputs, and outcome of the FD, in order for the event to be conducted as a useful opportunity to enhance the momentum of actions against climate change. The informal consultations will be continued at the next session. At the COP23, the COP President will report back to the COP on the design of the FD building on the discussions at the consultations.

4. Bilateral meetings and other events

The delegation of Japan had meetings with the other delegations including the US, Australia, Republic of Korea, China, India, Morocco, Fiji, and Poland (COP24 Presidency). Views were exchanged on matters including those relating to the Paris Agreement such as how to progress the work on the work programme and the contents of the MPGs. Japan also had meetings with the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) partnership countries to further promote the JCM. In addition, the delegation exchanged their views with NGOs.

Japan organized a variety of related events and promoted proactively its contribution on climate change. The events include the official event on the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation, which will be established at COP23 by Japan (NIES), Government of Netherland, and UNEP.

5. Assessment

The work toward adoption of the MPGs in 2018 progressed steadily at this session. Parties iteratively stressed the need of the shift from the conceptual discussion to the technical discussion, and the consideration on the subheadings/outlines/elements of the MPGs was furthered. Decision on the further work by the next session was also the important deliverable of this session. On the other hand, there were the discussion on the conceptual issues such as the principle on the MPGs and the argument of differentiation between developed and developing countries. Some Parties emphasized the linkage between the MPGs as well. The challenge for the future session would be how to move forward the technical and complicated work constructively in the limited time.