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Shaping the 2015 Climate Agreement: Outcomes of the ADP 2-1 in Bonn

June 26, 2013

This article was first published by the CliMates Blog on 6 June 2013, and has been edited to incorporate viewpoints from ADP 2-2 held from 3-14 June 2013 also in Bonn, Germany on the sidelines of the meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies.

The Durban Platform emerged from the agreements at last year’s talks in South Africa in an effort to engage negotiators in discussing mitigation, adaptation and increased targets for carbon reduction for all countries who have signed on to the current climate treaty. The working group charged with implementing this is the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action or ADP for short.

The ADP 2-1 convened in Bonn, Germany from 29 April – 3 May 2013 in order to make progress towards a more focused mode of work and discussing the main contours and central elements of a 2015 agreement and a practical and results-oriented approach to increasing pre-2020 ambition.


The ADP convened from 29 April – 3 May 2013 in Bonn, Germany. (Source: Melissa Low)

As the meeting convened, Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC noted that there was a heightened sense of concern given that the Mauna Loa observatory, the oldest continuous carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement station in the world, is the primary global benchmark site for monitoring the increase of this potent heat-trapping gas, had earlier in the week confirmed that the world was just about the cross the 400ppm CO2concentration threshold. Independent measurements made by both NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have also been approaching this level.

This closes the gap toward reaching the 2°C trajectory to prevent runaway climate change, particularly as a third of the time allocated for the ADP has been used up, and Parties now need to use time more wisely towards developing an ambitious agreement with universal participation that would mobilize all stakeholders in a continued sense of trust of cooperation.

ADP 2-1 was co-chaired by Mr. Jayant Mauskar (India) and Mr. Harald Dovland (Norway), who agreed that the 2015 agreement must exhibit durability and have built-in flexibility.

All 195 Parties to the Convention agreed to cooperate, taking into account national circumstances, and to be guided by the principles of the Convention, which will underpin the 2015 agreement.

The agreement should enable the participation of all Parties so as to account for 100 per cent of emissions and ensure environmental integrity, to be done through differential treatment and a variety of nationally determined actions under a multilateral rules-based system guided by principles of the Convention.

The United States and Australia advocated a process and period of consulting and adjusting of mitigation efforts and others also identified transparency and accountability for delivery of actions as important aspects of the new agreement (also called “Pledge and Review”).

Parties are eager to know what others are able to do, when and why, and how bottom-up and top-down elements can be combined in an effective way. The ADP 2-2 session in June will address the notion of a variety of enhanced actions including various types of commitments and questions including bottom-up (nationally determined actions, pledge and review) and top-down approaches (assigned emission reduction commitments e.g. QELROs) proposed by Parties under workstream 1.

Despite the fair degree of convergence on many aspects of the ADP 2-1 negotiations, Singapore, together with the Group of 77 and China, expressed support for nationally determined actions and the need for a balanced set of internationally agreed rules. Developing country Parties noted that ratcheting up of existing commitments by Annex I Parties will provide an indication for continued action.

In a final attempt to focus the discussions on indicative measures to mitigation commitment, Uganda proposed to revisit the Brazilian Proposal, advocating an approach for distributing the burden of emission reductions among Annex I countries based on cumulative historical emissions (since 1840) on the global average surface air temperature. This was supported by Bernarditas Muller of the Philippines and representatives of Malaysia, Timor Leste, Tanzania, China and Swaziland (on behalf of the African Group).

Parties convened in Bonn from 3 – 14 June 2013 to start preparing deliverables for the Warsaw Conference of Parties (COP19). Parties worked at their positions and to find areas of convergence, keeping in mind that existing arrangements continue also to evolve and mature until the 2015 agreement is adopted. The Draft Decisions adopted at ADP 2-2 include:

  1. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) recalled decisions 1/CP.17 and 2/CP.18.
  2. The ADP recalled its conclusions at the second part of its first session[1] and agreed on the need to convene at least one session in 2014 in addition to the sessions to be held in conjunction with the sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice as well as the Conference of the Parties and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and further agreed to return to the need for further sessions during the third part of its second session.
  3. The ADP requested the secretariat to secure a suitable venue for an additional session in the first half of 2014 and to explore possible options for the second half of 2014. It acknowledged that such bookings may result in cancellation fees.
  4. Under workstream 1, the ADP invited Parties and observer organizations to make further submissions, by 1 September 2013, building on the conclusions of the ADP at the second part of its first session.[2]
  5. Under workstream 2, the ADP invited Parties and observer organizations to make further submissions to the secretariat, by 1 September 2013, in relation to the conclusions of the ADP at the second part of its first session[3] and on further activities for its plan of work in 2014.
  6. In their submissions referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 above, Parties may wish to further explore and elaborate specific ideas and proposals. The ADP requested the secretariat to make these submissions available on the UNFCCC website.
  7. Recalling the conclusions of the ADP at the second part of its first session,[4] the ADP invited the incoming Co-Chairs to propose, drawing upon submissions by Parties and observer organizations, a balanced, focused and more formal mode of work for consideration by the ADP at its meeting to be held in Warsaw, Poland, in November 2013.
  8. The ADP requested the secretariat to prepare, and to make available by 30 October 2013, taking into account submissions, the following two technical papers to inform the work of the ADP:
  • A second version of the technical paper[5] requested by the conclusions of the ADP at the second part of its first session;[6]
  • A first version of a technical paper synthesizing submissions on the costs, benefits and opportunities for adaptation based on different drivers of climate change impacts, including the relationship between adaptation and mitigation

The ADP further requested the secretariat to prepare an overview of the mandates, as well as the progress of work under institutions, mechanisms and arrangements under the Convention, to inform the work of the ADP, including on linkages.

The ADP invited the Co-Chairs to prepare, based on the discussions at the first and second parts of the second session of the ADP and under their own responsibility, a note on progress, and to make this note available to Parties for their information.

The ADP took note of the estimated budgetary implications of the activities to be undertaken by the secretariat pursuant to the provisions contained in paragraphs 2, 3, 8 and 9 above. The ADP invited Parties in a position to do so to provide supplementary funding for the actions of the secretariat called for in these conclusions, which are to be undertaken subject to the availability of financial resources.

In closing of the Bonn intersessionals, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres announced Friday that Peru will host the 2014 ministerial-level talks. France will stage the 2015 event.

More information can be found at the UNFCCC website.

[1] FCCC/ADP/2012/3, paragraph 21

[2] FCCC/ADP/2012/3, paragraph 29

[3] FCCC/ADP/2012/3, paragraph 31

[4] FCCC/ADP/2012/3, paragraphs 24, 28, 30 and 32

[5] FCCC/TP/2013/4

[6] FCCC/ADP/2012/3, paragraphs 31 and 33

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