The 56th sessions of SBSTA and SBI met over the period 06 to 16 June 2022. Aside from the formal negotiations on SB agendas, there were a number of additional mandated events. This paper provides a short summary of the discussions in different subject areas. To help the reader and provide a general overview, it groups together discussions around thematic areas and does not follow the official SB meeting agendas.
Adaptation related issues were discussed under the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, National adaptation plans, the Adaptation Fund and the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation.
The objective of informal consultations on the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change (NWP) was to take stock of the NWP’s operational and institutional modalities and identify ways to enhance its effectiveness in addressing knowledge needs. In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2022/L.7), the SBSTA agreed to strengthen the role of the NWP by implementing the following actions:
- enhancing country- and region-specific actions by strengthening the implementation of the modalities of the NWP, including by scaling up the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative, ensuring a regional balance, with a view to identifying and closing knowledge gaps;
- enhancing the provision of practical and relevant knowledge on specific adaptation practices;
- strengthening ties among communities of practice; and
- strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of work under the NWP.
The conclusions request the Secretariat to continue work in thematic areas, including desertification, cattle farming, fisheries and aquaculture, climate risk management, human settlements, and slow-onset events. Additional thematic areas should focus on mountains, circular economy, and adaptation possibilities in high-latitude areas and the cryosphere.
In informal consultations on national adaptation plans, parties continued consideration of information from the reports of the Adaptation Committee and the Least Developed Country Expert Group started at SB52, including on gaps and needs and the implementation of national adaptation plans. They were unable to move forward on a draft decision however. Some parties called for the inclusion of concrete measures for increasing access to finance, such as encouraging the GCF to support countries in implementing their NAPs but others felt that this should be dealt with in discussions on guidance to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism. In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2022/L.16) SBI decided to continue its consideration at SBI 57 on the basis of the draft text elements prepared by the co-facilitators at SBI 52–55, with a view to recommending a draft decision for consideration and adoption by COP27.
On matters related to the Adaptation Fund, parties discussed membership of the AF Board. Whilst all agreed that no changes to membership are currently needed, they disagreed on whether to continue with this agenda item. Some developed countries suggested that the issue of moving the AF [exclusively] from the CMP to the CMA could be discussed under the item. But developing country groups favoured postponing a discussion until the AF receives a share of proceeds from the Article 6.4 mechanism. Parties were not able to agree on a way forward and the issue will be included in the agenda for SBI 57.
The SBI also initiated the 4th review of the AF in accordance with the annex to decision 4/CMP.16 and in line with the mandate of the AF as reflected in relevant decisions of the CMP. A number of developing country parties called for a focus on the adequacy and sustainability of funding, and in preparing the AF to receive a share of proceeds from the Article 6.4 mechanism. Several also highlighted the need to identify ways the Fund can improve and scale up direct access modalities. Several parties suggested the review should consider the impact of the Fund moving soon to exclusively serve the Paris Agreement on its objectives and procedures. Parties agreed to wait for the Secretariat to complete a technical paper on the review process before they begin work on a draft CMP decision. In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2022/L.8), the SBI agreed to continue its consideration of the 4th review at SBI 57.
At COP26/CMA 3, the CMA established a two-year Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), to be carried out jointly by the SBSTA and SBI and implemented immediately after CMA 3. The work programme was initially not on the formal agenda for the SB56 session but was subsequently added following a request from Bolivia that was accepted. The first of four workshops to be held each year took place, with a focus on enhancing understanding of the goal and reviewing progress towards it. There was also an IPCC event informing the work programme on the contribution of Working Group II to its Sixth Assessment Report.
One of the difficulties around the GGA is that whilst adaptation is recognised as a global challenge it is also country and locally driven. Another important consideration is how to ensure coherence and synergy between activities under the work programme and the global stocktake, and ensure the work programme informs the GST process. Discussion on these topics, and priorities for future workshops including a focus on climate science, began in Bonn. Much time, however, was also spent on discussing the modalities for future workshops, as is reflected in the SB conclusions (FCCC/SB/2022/L.7), with parties and observers being invited to submit views, the SB chairs asked to provide a concept note and guiding questions on theme and areas for each workshop and the secretariat being requested to compile indicators, approaches, targets and metrics relevant to reviewing progress made on the GGA. On the last day a draft text was released that outlines options for modalities, themes and sequence of future workshops, inputs and capturing outputs and additional technical work.
2. LOSS AND DAMAGE
The Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD) was established at COP25 to catalyse technical assistance for loss and damage. At COP26 Parties agreed on the functions of the Network and decided that the SNLD will be provided with funds to support technical assistance for the implementation of relevant approaches to avert, minimize and address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.
Parties also decided to further develop its institutional arrangements by inviting submissions on structure, modalities and possible elements for the terms of reference for a coordinating body; organizing a technical workshop (held from 4 to 6 May 2022) and requesting the subsidiary bodies to make further recommendations at their 56th session.
In Bonn, Parties started consideration of institutional arrangements for the Network, including the role and responsibilities of a secretariat/coordinating body, the need for an advisory body, a host organisation, the role of L&D contact points and that of the ExCom and its expert groups. Although there was broad agreement on some aspects, parties could not agree on the need for an advisory body. The outcomes of the discussions in Bonn are captured in the SB Chairs’ conclusions ((FCCC/SB/2022/L.4). Parties agreed to continue consideration of this matter at SB57 based on the elements paper prepared by the co-facilitators.
At COP 26 the CMA decided to establish the Glasgow Dialogue between Parties, relevant organizations and stakeholders to discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimize and address loss and damage, to take place at the first session of each year of the SBI, concluding at its 60th session (June 2024).
The first dialogue was held in Bonn from 7 to 11 June 2022. There was disagreement on whether funding arrangements for loss and damage already exist and are sufficient to meet needs. Developed countries, led by the USA, argue that there are institutions within and outside the UNFCCC regime that address those needs; developing countries argue that existing funding sources are generally cumbersome and therefore inappropriate to deal with extreme weather events and that humanitarian aid is of no use in the case of slow onset events.
They are also deeply concerned that the Dialogue, which is not on the formal negotiating agenda, will end up being a ‘talk shop’ without any concrete outcome. In Bonn, with the support of civil society, they continued to call for this matter to be added to the formal agenda of COP27, but did not succeed.
3. MITIGATION AMBITION
COP26 saw an acknowledgement that the latest round of NDCs, even if implemented in full, are not sufficiently ambitious to keep the world within a safe warming limit and that accelerated action is needed in this “critical” decade. The CMA therefore decided (Decision 1/CMA.3, para.27) to establish a work programme to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation, and requested the SBs to recommend a draft decision on this matter for consideration and adoption by CMA4. The work programme will focus on increasing the ambition of the current round of NDCs, covering the period up to 2030.
In Bonn, Parties met in a joint contact group to discuss possible elements for the work programme, including guiding principles, objectives, outcome, scope, modalities and institutional arrangements. Their views were captured in an Informal Note. Many of them proved contentious: for example, whilst the US contended that major emitters such as China should bear a greater burden for cutting emissions before 2030, large developing economies emphasized the need to uphold the principles of the UNFCCC, including common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, thus putting a greater onus on countries – such as US and EU – with historical responsibility for climate change.
There were divergences on the scope of the work programme and what sectors of the economy would be covered as well, and on the timeline for the process, with options ranging from a one year process, a focused plan for the next 2 to 3 years to one that would run until 2030. As a result, the draft conclusions fail to ‘take note’ of the Informal Note, instead noting the ‘constructive discussions’. They invite Parties to make submissions by 30 September 2022, and request the Secretariat to organise a pre-sessional workshop before CMA 4.
Whilst finance was not on the SBs formal agendas, it permeated many of the discussions, in particular those around loss and damage and adaptation. The main finance specific event was a Technical Expert Dialogue under the Ad Hoc Work Programme on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance, which was established at COP26 for a two-year period (2022 – 2024) with four technical dialogues per year to be held as part of it. The event was the second of such dialogues, the first one having been held in March.
The objective was to enhance understanding amongst actors and identify a roadmap, milestones and approaches against the backdrop of the landscape of issues identified in the co-chairs’ reflections note from the first dialogue. The two-day event included ‘scene-setting’ presentations and break-out group discussions. Two further dialogues are to be held, one before COP27 and the other at the COP. Potential topics for discussion at those include specific thematic areas (adaptation, mitigation and means of implementation, needs and priorities and gender); sources of finance and the relationship between public and private sources; the current status of financial flows; and the relationship between Articles 9 and 2.1C PA.
The co-Chairs will prepare a reflections’ note suggesting a structure for the next two dialogues.
5. ARTICLE 6
5.1 Guidance on Cooperative Approaches referred to in Article 6.2
In Glasgow, the CMA (in Decision 2/CMA.3, paras.3 and 7) requested the SBSTA to develop recommendations for CMA 4 on: the Article 6 technical expert review (TER); the development of the mechanism infrastructure, including guidance for registries, the Article 6 database, and the centralized accounting and recording platform; format of reporting tables and outlines; the special circumstances of the LDCs and SIDS; elaboration of further guidance on how to apply corresponding adjustments for multi-year and single-year NDCs, and the avoidance of double counting; and consideration of whether ITMOs could include emissions avoidance.
In Bonn, parties worked through those 6 topics: discussions on the Article 6 TER, included objectives, scope, format, timing and frequency, the development of modalities for reviewing confidential information, how a party should respond to recommended actions, composition of the Article 6 TER team, and coordination of the Article 6 TER with the Article 13 TER, amongst others. It was suggested to base the guidance on that for the Article 13 expert review team, adapted to the Article 6 context as necessary.
On the scope of the TER, many developing countries were of the view that the Article 6.2 review should be mainly qualitative (focusing on consistency and completeness of information submitted) whilst the Article 6.4 review should be quantitative, with a focus on emission reductions achieved under the mechanism. But a number of developed countries thought that the Article 6 reviews should be both qualitative and quantitative.
On the issue of registries, a number of options were put forward including national registries established by all parties plus an international registry; bilateral or multilateral registries; an interconnected national registry system; and a reporting platform.
In relation to the special circumstances of the LDCs and SIDS, there was general agreement on the need for strengthening the capacity of these countries to enable them to participate in carbon markets.
With regard to corresponding adjustments, parties disagreed on whether further guidance was needed for the operationalisation of Article 6.2.
No real progress was made on the issue of whether ITMOS could include emission avoidance. Many parties oppose its inclusion.
Some views expressed by parties are reflected in an informal note. This note is intended to assist parties in advancing discussions. Therefore, it is not exhaustive, and divergence may still exist.
Parties agreed on draft conclusions. These request the secretariat to prepare a technical paper on recommendations for guidelines for the reviews, options for reporting tables and outlines, recommendations relating to infrastructure and the connection between the Article 6.4 mechanism registry and the international registry. On the issue of infrastructure, the technical paper will include a survey of parties on their choice for the type of registry. The secretariat is also tasked with organising virtual and in-person workshops over the coming months.
5.2 Rules, modalities and procedures for the Article 6.4 Mechanism
In Glasgow, the CMA (in Decision 3/CMA.3, para.7) had mandated the SBSTA to develop recommendations to operationalise the Article 6.4 mechanism. In Bonn, parties considered the eight elements identified in the Decision. Some views expressed by parties are captured in an informal note. This note is intended to assist parties in advancing discussions. Therefore, it is not exhaustive, and divergence may still exist.
Regarding the share of proceeds, it was suggested to have a global fee and then decide on how it would be allocated (between administrative expenses and adaptation). Some pointed to the usefulness of learning from the experience under the CDM. The importance of maintaining the SBSTA and Supervisory Body’s differing roles and responsibilities (to avoid duplication) was stressed.
On the processes for delivering overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE), views were shared on such issues as whether OMGE applies to both authorised and unauthorised A6.4ERs and on the necessary corresponding adjustments to be made to emission reductions to achieve OMGE.
On the transition of CDM activities to the Article 6.4 mechanism, parties discussed the rules that would apply to the transitioned activities. It was suggested that clarity was needed on a number of elements including: as to which of the Article 6.4 rules would apply (and at what point) and which would not apply to transitioned activities; situations where parties do not wish to continue applying existing CDM methodologies for transitioned activities; on the length of the crediting period of transitioned activities; and on the processes and timeline for submission by project participants of transition requests, approval of such requests by host parties and actions by the Supervisory Body and the CDM Executive Board on receipt of such requests.
On reporting by host parties of their Article 6.4 activities and emissions reductions, it was suggested to avoid unnecessary duplication of reporting requirements in order not to overburden host parties. Several suggestions were made regarding the linkages with the Article 6.2 reporting, such as using a simplified process for reporting Article 6.4 activities that are also subject to Article 6.2 reporting.
Regarding the operation of the mechanism registry, views diverged on the mandates of the SBSTA and Supervisory Body, and it was suggested that their respective roles should be clarified. Some highlighted the need to build on and learn from the experience of the CDM and other existing registries whilst others stressed the importance of taking into account the significant differences that existed between them, including on the functions of a share of proceeds for adaptation and OMGE. It was also suggested that the specific process for issuing A6.4ERs and the timing of authorisation and corresponding adjustment by host parties needs elaboration.
There were calls for clarifying the concept of emission avoidance and conservation enhancement activities as these are not defined under the UNFCCC or IPCC. For some parties the question of whether the Article 6.4 mechanism could include such activities was not a priority and therefore didn’t need to be considered, but others disagreed.
In relation to the use of CERs towards the first or first updated NDCs, a number of parties stressed the need for these to be clearly labelled as such or as pre-2021 emission reductions rather than as A6.4ERs. Parties disagreed on whether these CERs would be subject to OMGE or not.
In their draft conclusions, parties agreed on further inter-sessional work that includes an invitation to make submissions; technical papers to be prepared by the secretariat on the various processes discussed at the session; and virtual workshops followed by an in-person workshop.
5.3 Work programme under the framework for non-market approaches referred to in Article 6.8, PA and in Decision 4/CMA.3
At COP26, under the CMA decision on Art.6.8, a Glasgow Committee on Non-Market Approaches (NMAs) was established to take forward the development of climate cooperation under Article 6.8. The first meeting of the Committee convened in Bonn, with the objective of developing and recommending a schedule for implementing the work programme under the NMA framework for adoption at CMA4. Discussions, as captured in the Informal Note prepared by the Co-Chairs, focussed on the timeline and expected outcomes of activities under the framework, and functions, uses, target users and information to be contained in the UNFCCC web-based platform.
In their draft conclusions, parties agreed on further inter-sessional work including inviting submissions; requesting the secretariat to prepare a technical paper and organise a virtual workshop on the specifications for the UNFCCC web-based platform; and requesting the SBSTA Chair to prepare an informal document, including textual proposals, for consideration by the SBSTA in recommending a draft decision on the schedule for implementing the work programme activities and the specifications for the UNFCCC web-based platform for consideration and adoption by CMA4.
As mandated by CMA3, an in-session workshop aimed at collecting views and information relating to the work programme under the framework for NMAs also took place.
6. GLOBAL STOCKTAKE
The first technical dialogue under the global stocktake (GST) – the process to review global progress towards achieving the PA’s goals – took place in Bonn, across multiple and some innovative formats, to encourage interaction and inclusivity amongst participants. These included a world café and roundtables, structured around the three thematic areas of mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation. The dialogue also addressed efforts on response measures and loss and damage. It provided a forum for parties, non-party stakeholders and experts to engage, share their views and identify opportunities for enhanced action and support, informed by the latest science. In this context, the latest findings from the IPCC’s sixth assessment report were discussed. All written submission and discussions were captured in a summary report to be prepared by the co-facilitators.
In their conclusions, the SBs requested the co-facilitators to take into account feedback by parties and by the joint contact group when preparing the first summary report and designing the second meeting of the technical dialogue, and to submit this summary report well in advance of the second meeting; and reiterated their call for inputs by parties and non-party stakeholders ahead of this second meeting.
7. KORONIVIA JOINT WORK ON AGRICULTURE
In informal consultations, parties considered the reports on the first and second parts of an inter-sessional workshop held in 2021, on sustainable land and water management and scaling up resilient and sustainable production in agricultural systems.
In their draft conclusions, the SBs noted the importance of considering sustainable land and water management for agriculture in a systemic and integrated manner, informed by scientific, local and indigenous knowledge and taking into consideration regional, national and local circumstances; and that implementing sustainable approaches can render multiple benefits for society. They recognised the need to scale up these approaches in an inclusive and participatory way, and that scaling up implementation requires enhanced knowledge-sharing on best practices, access to finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building.
The SBs agreed to continue consideration of this matter at SB57, taking into account the informal note prepared by co-facilitators, but noting that the informal note does not reflect a consensus or all options put forward by Parties, with a view to recommending a draft decision for consideration and adoption by COP27.
8. TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER
There were three sub-items on the agenda for this matter:
8.1 Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and Financial Mechanism of the Convention
Informal consultations did not result in any conclusions. Applying rules 10(c) and 16 of the draft Rules of Procedure, the issue will be included in the agenda for SB 57.
8.2 First periodic assessment referred to in para.69 of decision 1/CP.21
In Glasgow the CMA initiated the first periodic assessment of the effectiveness and adequacy of the support provided to the Technology Mechanism in supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on matters relating to technology development and transfer; and requested the Secretariat to prepare an interim report on this for consideration at SBI 56. During informal consultations some parties expressed serious concerns with the report whilst others noted the absence of information on such issues as the role of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC). In its conclusions, the SBI requested the secretariat to consider parties’ discussions at this session, captured in a note on guiding elements, when preparing the final report (due to be considered at SBI 57).
8.3 Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer
In its conclusions, the SBI invited the TEC and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) to consider experiences and lessons learned from the implementation of GEF projects in preparing future work; invited the TEC to consider how developing countries can be supported in updating their technology needs assessments and implementing their technology action plans; invited the TEC and CTCN to support developing countries in overcoming technology-specific barriers; and requested the Secretariat to prepare an information note with updated information on the status and successes of, challenges and lessons learned from projects undertaken through regional climate technology transfer and finance centres for consideration at SBI 57.
9. CAPACITY BUILDING
Informal consultations were held during which parties discussed the synthesis reports by the Secretariat on the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries established under decision 2/CP.7 and on the capacity-building work of bodies established under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. The 11th Durban Forum on capacity building, on strengthening capacity for integrating implementation of NDCs into national sustainable recovery plans, also took place during the session.
In its conclusions on matters related to capacity-building under the Convention and in those under the Kyoto Protocol, the SBI noted that needs and gaps remain in addressing priority issues for capacity building in developing countries, particularly as they relate to LDCs and SIDS, and that further efforts are needed to address capacity-building needs and gaps related to implementing the Paris Agreement in developing countries that are outside the current scope of the capacity-building framework under the Convention; and underlined the importance of the capacity-building portal and the Durban Forum on capacity building as a means of sharing information, good practices, and lessons.
10. RESPONSE MEASURES
In Bonn, the SBs continued their consideration of the first annual report of the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI), for 2019 and started their consideration of the midterm review of the workplan of the Forum, with a view to enhancing its effectiveness. The discussions were informed by a summary report of submissions prepared by the secretariat. The SBs also initiated their consideration of the preparation of information related to the impacts of the implementation of response measures as an input for the technical assessment component of the global stocktake. Discussions and submissions were captured in an informal note prepared by the Co-chairs. In addition a 2-day workshop was held to further advance implementation of activities 3, 4 and 11 of the work plan of the forum, and a separate one on activity 9.
In their conclusions, the SBs agreed to continue consideration of these matters at SB 57;
requested the Secretariat to update the compilation of submissions from parties and observers on efforts related to addressing the social and economic consequences and impacts of response measures; requested the KCI to prepare a synthesis report reflecting the relevant work of the forum and its KCI as input to the GST’s technical assessment component; and requested the Secretariat to organize a regional workshop on activity 3 of the work plan (facilitate development and use of tools and methodologies for modelling and assessing the impacts of the implementation of response measures) before SB 57.
In Bonn, parties kicked off the intermediate review of the progress of implementation of the activities contained in the gender action plan (GAP) of the enhanced Lima work programme on gender and considered draft decision text prepared by the co-facilitators. In its conclusions, the SBI agreed to continue consideration of this matter at 57th session taking note of the informal note prepared by the co-facilitators with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption by COP27.
12. ACTION FOR CLIMATE EMPOWERMENT
In Glasgow, the COP and CMA adopted a new 10-year Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), which requested the SBI to develop an action plan at SBI 56 focusing on immediate action through short-term, clear and time-bound activities, guided by the priority areas set out in the Glasgow work programme (policy coherence, coordinated action, tools and support, and monitoring, evaluation and reporting) with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption by COP 27 and CMA 4. Thus discussions in Bonn focussed on developing an action plan, based on draft decision text.
As mandated in Glasgow, the SBI also held the first in-session dialogue on ACE and a technical workshop for to help inform parties’ development of an action plan. In its conclusions, the SBI agreed to continue discussion of this matter at its 57th session taking into account the informal note prepared by the co-facilitators.
13. ARTICLE 13 – TRANSPARENCY
Under the Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) adopted in Katowice, the technical expert review (TER) process centres on the mandatory elements of the information provided in the Biennial Transparency Reports, i.e. inventories and information related to tracking progress in implementing and achieving the mitigation part of a country’s NDC and information on support provided. Information on climate change impacts and adaptation is currently not subject to review. In Glasgow, developing countries called for this information to be included in the TERs on a voluntary basis. Reporting this information will help track adaptation action and assess financial support needed. It was thus agreed that the SBSTA would consider this matter at its 56th session.
In Bonn, parties exchanged views on the role, scope and objectives of voluntary reviews and the training courses needed to facilitate these reviews. There was disagreement on whether the TERs should cover all elements or whether parties can choose which elements are subject to review. The objective of facilitating improved reporting over time was highlighted.
 Please note that this summary is partially based on the summary report of the Bonn conference published by IISD/Earth Negotiations Bulletin