Status of non-agreed text

Legal assistance paper

All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time the advice was produced (please refer to the date produced below). However, the materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and may have been superseded by more recent developments. They do not constitute formal legal advice or create a lawyer-client relationship. You should seek legal advice to take account of your own interests. To the extent permitted any liability is excluded. Those consulting the database may wish to contact LRI for clarifications and an updated analysis.

Date produced: 11/06/2010

1. Is it correct that all non-agreed text is deleted?

2. If this is the case, what are the options for that text? For example, do Parties start from scratch? Or can Parties work with existing proposals to try and amend those? 

3. If it is not the case that the non-agreed text is deleted, what is the status of this text and where does it ‘sit’? If it is not deleted, what then are the options for Parties in relation to the non-agreed text?

If text is not agreed on by the Parties at a [session] then text is not retained and new text must be proposed at the next COP.  The item will need to be added to the agenda for the next COP in order to ensure further negotiation. The fact that negotiation has previously taken place should assist in getting the matter on the agenda at the next COP.

Unless there is a specific agreement to retain a non-agreed text for further debate at a later COP, the text is not retained. Therefore, since no consensus was reached on the text, the Parties must begin new discussions towards an agreed text at the next COP.

Parties must therefore request that the agenda item is added to the SBSTA agenda for COP 16.  It is then up to the Parties to negotiate and draft a new text. In order to input into the agenda, Parties should try and communicate with the SBSTA chair/UNFCCC secretariat to request that specific agenda items be discussed.  It will then be up to the Parties to work, as normal, on gaining support for new proposals to the text, once it is presented to the SBSTA floor.

Having a proposed text that was discussed (though not agreed) at this COP should assist in getting the matter on the agenda and in aiding towards a clear proposal to be put at the next COP.