09
Jun

A WAY TOO SMOOTH NEGOTIATION

The first week of intersessional negotiations in preparation for COP27 is taking place in Bonn, Germany. While the works continue, observers have noted a different, more relaxed atmosphere than in recent years. It is clear even from the scheduling of works and official sessions, rarer than ever. Yesterday, June 8, almost nothing, if not interesting side events organized by civil society and some governments. This, however, should not mislead us. 

On the one hand, most of the inconvenient technical events that remained pending from Katowice 2018 (transparency, reporting, lifespan of the NDCs) were then solved in subsequent conferences in Madrid and in particular in Glasgow; on the other hand, the main issues such as political issues at the level of global governance, the never solved problem of climate finance and the even more thorny and nebulous one of loss and damage ( of which we recently talked about here) still remain to be discussed. 

On loss and damage, two out of three days of facilitated dialogue have already been staged here in Bonn, as decided in Glasgow, but with little results in political terms – we talked about it yesterday on our website here. Meanwhile, on climate finance, it seems that, at least for now, there is no change. intersessional negotiations are probably not the best forum for discussions that require strong pre-concerted political input, but the burn of the COP26 finale is still on the minds of the many delegates and certainly of us civil society representatives. Experienced delegates, whom we have intercepted, tell us that the relevant conversations are going on away from the screens, bilaterally or in small informal groups. 

Therefore, the intersessional negotiation sessions are proceeding slowly and without any particular acceleration on the most important issues. It should be noted that today will take place an interesting dialogue on the so-called Global Stocktake, i.e. on defining new criteria and identifying good practices on how, collectively, countries can report the progress made on their mitigation and adaptation actions. It seems that this dialogue will constitute a real conversation rather than mere declarations of intents. Activities continued within the Glasgow – Sharm El Sheik Action Plan on Adaptation, which aims to identify a new global objective on adaptation finance. On the one hand, developing countries have followed the now well-known script of denouncing the reduced time window of opportunity to intervene in what the UNFCCC Secretary-General, Patricia Espinosa, called “the forgotten piece of the equation climate”; on the other hand, they underlined the financial needs of the most fragile countries that have fewer investment capacities. Even on this occasion, China participates in the conversation together with the G77, a group of developing countries, according to the outdated division between rich and poor countries within the UNFCCC, dating back to 1992. 

It’s important to underline some interesting developments in the participation of non-state actors in climate-related matters. On June 8, as part of an event organized by the two High-Level Champions appointed by the United Nations, the UNFCCC Secretariat announced that the current Global Climate Action Portal online platform (formerly known as NAZCA), will be transformed. Currently, this platform collects data on tens of thousands of climate initiatives by almost 30,000 private actors, movements, associations, trade unions, local authorities, funds, and international partnerships and it will be developed from a mere collection of data instruments to real monitoring of actions tool. To this end, an ad hoc working group called “Climate Action Data 2.0” will be launched, to develop criteria and metrics to build the necessary tools for monitoring.

The Italian Climate Network team will continue to monitor the developments of this negotiation, which seems sufficiently quietly, as previously mentioned. 

We will discuss this from Bonn as part of the official side event organized by Italian Climate Network together with the UK Youth Climate Coalition and Greener Impact International, in collaboration with the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition and as part of the European Spark project, entitled “Evaluating Policies in Uncertain Times: Pledges and Politics between COP26 and COP27“.

You can attend the event on the UNFCCC YouTube channel on Saturday 11 June at 3 p.m., which will be live-streamed, or in the Bonn room for those who will participate in the negotiations in person. We are waiting for you! 

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