Can you advise on how, procedurally, the issue of loss and damage (addressed in Art.8 of the Paris Agreement) could be included in the agenda of the APA?
The Conference of the Parties (COP), at the start of its first session, decided that the draft rules of procedure are to be applied by the COP and its subsidiary bodies, with the exception of draft rule 42. Rule 27 explicitly provides that:
“1. These rules shall apply mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the subsidiary bodies.”
Hence, the draft rules (with the exception of draft rule 42) also govern the procedures in the APA with the necessary modifications as appropriate.
Rules 9 to 16 govern the drafting, amending and adopting of a meeting agenda. Any Party can propose a new agenda item for inclusion in the provisional agenda (rule 12). When adopting the agenda, parties may decide to add, delete, defer or amend items. Only items which are considered urgent and important can be added at this stage (rule 13).
If parties disagree on the inclusion of a specific item, an established practice within the UNFCCC process is to hold this item “in abeyance”. This allow the rest of the agenda to be adopted and work on it to begin while discussions on the contentious agenda item continue. However, if no agreement can be reached on whether the item in abeyance should also be adopted, the item will remain in abeyance indefinitely. In practical terms, this means that without consensus, the relevant agenda item will not be discussed under the APA.
During the first part of its first session in Bonn from 16 to 26 May 2016, the APA considered a note by the Executive Secretary containing the provisional agenda and annotations (FCCC/APA/2016/1). The Co-Chairs conducted consultations on the provisional agenda and a revised provisional agenda (contained in document FCCC/APA/2016/L.1) was then adopted by the parties.
To date, this agenda has also guided the work of the parties in the APA during parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 of its first session.
Following the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the APA during the 2nd part of its first session (APA 1.2) agreed that no further work was required under the agenda sub-item “Preparing for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement”. The agenda item was deleted from the agendas for parts 3, 4 and 5 of its first session. During the same meeting (APA 1.2), the APA also agreed to consider matters relating to the Adaptation Fund under agenda item 8(a), “Preparing for the convening of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement”.
Formally, however, the next opportunity to propose a separate agenda item on loss and damage would be in advance of the 2nd session of the APA.
If, instead of asking for a separate agenda item, parties wanted loss and damage to be integrated as an additional sub-item of item 8 of the APA agenda, a similar procedure would likely apply as when the Adaptation Fund was added to matters considered under agenda item 8a: the COP (COP22, in Marrakesh) referred matters relating to the Adaptation Fund to the APA, at the invitation of the CMP. This was in application of rule 27(7) which entitles the COP to determine the matters to be considered by each subsidiary body and, if so requested by the Chairman of a subsidiary body, to adjust the allocation of work.