The 20th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20)
December 15, 2014
1. Overview and evaluation
(1) The 20th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20) and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP10) took place from December 1 to 14 in Lima, Peru. Mr. Yoshio Mochizuki, Minister of the Environment, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism attended from Japan.
(2) Following working-level negotiations at the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) and two Subsidiary Body sessions, further discussions took place between ministers during the high-level segment from December 9, which ultimately resulted in the adoption of COP and CMP decisions etc., including a decision on intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) that each Party will communicate toward a post 2020 framework.
(3) Regarding the post 2020 framework, Parties adopted a COP Decision, the “Lima Call for Climate Action”, that sets out the information to be provided by all Parties communicating their intended nationally determined contributions in accordance with the invitation to do so well in advance of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so). The Decision also contains “elements for a draft negotiating text” in its annex and decides that the ADP will intensify its work with a view to making available a negotiating text for a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties before May 2015.
(4) A COP20 decision was adopted welcoming with appreciation contributions toward the initial mobilization of the Green Climate Fund that exceeded10 billion U.S. dollars during the COP20 period.
2. The Government of Japan’s activities
(1) Japan emphasized that mitigation contributions should be put at the center of INDCs, and upfront information and ex-ante consultation should ensure the clarity, transparency, understanding and comparability of the INDCs communicated by the Parties.
In addition, Japan emphasized that in the new framework, all Parties are obliged to: 1) submit their quantifiable INDCs; 2) take measures aiming to achieve their NDCs; and 3) be reviewed on the implementation of their NDCs. With regard to adaptation, Japan emphasized that the core agreement should encourage Parties to integrate adaptation into their national strategies and programme processes.
(2) At the high-level segment, Minister Mochizuki gave an address as Japan’s representative, and once again advocated the goal to reduce emissions by 50 percent at the global level and by 80 percent in the developed world by 2050, along with noting that Japan will aim to submit its INDC as early as possible, contribute to reducing emissions by utilizing Japanese technologies, and advance support for mitigation actions and adaptation by developing countries in addition to financial assistance. Furthermore, Minister Mochizuki attended the Ministerial Dialogue on the ADP and emphasized that the 2015 agreement must be applicable to all Parties rather than taking a bifurcated approach of differentiating developed and developing countries, and quantifiable mitigation contributions should be put at the center of Parties’ INDCs.
(3) Additionally, during the conference period Minister Mochizuki met with ministers of seven countries and regions, including Peru(COP20 Presidency), France(COP21 Presidency), the EU, the U.K. and China, and the heads of international organizations, including Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and confirmed the importance of cooperating to reach an agreement on a new framework. Secretary-General Ban said that he was requesting all countries to communicate their INDCs in the first quarter of next year. The EU indicated its expectation that Japan’s INDC will be communicated promptly, and France, the U.K. and other countries indicated their expectation that Japan will take the lead in combating climate change.
(4) In addition, the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) High-level Roundtable was held bringing together the 12 signatory countries to the JCM, where a joint statement welcoming the development of the JCM and expressing the shared will to make further progress in its implementation was announced.
(5) Japan communicated its pledge to contribute up to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), subject to the approval by the Diet. The Government also proactively introduced Japan’s initiatives in the adaptation field, which is of particular importance to developing countries, and assistance for vulnerable nations, including announcing a concrete examples of the “Adaptation Initiative” launched by Prime Minister Abe at the UN Climate Summit last September.
(6) The Government of Japan set up an event space, “the Japan Pavilion”, where it held a large number of events to introduce and discuss the efforts of the Government and various institutions, organizations and researchers, and showcased Japan’s contributions to climate change measures.
3. Outcomes of the conference
a. With regard to the post 2020 framework, previous decisions required that the information that Parties will provide when putting forward their INDCs to the Secretariat well in advance of the COP21 in 2015 be identified at the COP20; and that elements for a draft negotiating text of the new framework be considered in COP20 with a view to making available a negotiating text before May 2015.
b. At this conference it was decided that INDCs will be communicated toward achieving the objective of the Convention as set out in its Article 2 (to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere) and the content will represent a progression beyond current undertakings; that Parties will consider communicating their undertakings in adaptation planning or consider including an adaptation component in their INDCs; and that the information to be included in INDCs, may include the reference point (a base year etc.) , time frames and/or periods, scope, coverage etc. In addition, it was decided that the Secretariat will publish on the UNFCCC website the INDCs as communicated by Parties, and prepare by November 1, 2015 a synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the INDCs communicated by Parties. Furthermore, with regard to enhancing ambition in the pre-2020 period, it was decided that Technical Expert Meetings (TEMs) will continue in order to continue the technical examination of opportunities with high mitigation potential.
c. Where the elements for a draft negotiating text are concerned, the discussion was based on a non-paper presented by the Co-Chairs providing an overview of each party’s arguments on the respective elements of mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity- building mentioned in the COP17 decisions. The “Elements for a draft negotiating text” updating the non-paper was annexed to the above-mentioned COP decision, and it was decided that further discussion of this will be carried out in the future.
(2) There was a difference of views over the issue of climate finance, including a request by developing Parties that developed Parties further articulate the path towards the goal of mobilizing 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, but as a result of negotiations, a COP decision was adopted to enhance information on the support that developed Parties list in the biennial submissions, and to welcome with appreciation the contributions (10.2 billion U.S. dollars) toward the initial mobilization of the Green Climate Fund.
(3) The first Multilateral Assessment (MA) of the progress made by developed country Parties in implementation towards the achievement of emission reduction targets in 2020 was held. 17 Parties, including the EU and the U.S., made presentations, and questions and answers took place within a constructive atmosphere.
(4) On market mechanisms, views were exchanged on, among other issues, the prevention of double-counting at the Subsidiary Body sessions, and it was decided that the discussions would continue at the Subsidiary Body sessions in June next year.
(5) With regard to technology development and transfer, a decision on the joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology and Center Network (CTCN) was adopted that, among other things, welcomed the progress in both entities’ activities.
(6) Concerning loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, an agreement was reached on the initial two-year work plan as well as the composition of and procedures for the Executive Committee of the ‘Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage’ that the COP established at COP19 in 2013.
(7) With regard to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD +), it was decided to establish the “Lima Information Hub for REDD +” on the web platform on the UNFCCC website for publishing information based on the “Warsaw Framework for REDD +” that was agreed upon at COP19.
(8) COP21 will be held in Paris, France. Additionally, Morocco expressed its interest in relation to hosting COP22.