Summary and overview of ADP 2-4

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Date produced: 01/04/2014

Please provide a brief summary and overview of the negotiations at the fourth part of the second session of the ADP.

Summary: The fourth part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-4) was held in Bonn, Germany from 10-14 March 2014. ADP 2-4 was suspended at the end of the session and a fifth part of the second session of the ADP will be held in June 2014.

At COP 19 (Warsaw), the parties agreed to accelerate work under both ADP workstreams beginning at ADP 2-4. Under workstream 1, open-ended consultations were held on the elements of the 2015 agreement. Under workstream 2, technical expert meetings were convened to discuss renewable energy opportunities for unlocking mitigation potential for raising pre-2020 ambition.

The key ADP 2-4 outcome was the establishment of a contact group to move development of draft text for the 2015 agreement into more formal negotiations at the next ADP meeting.

The parties also decided that a second additional ADP session was required before COP 20 (Lima).

Advice

The fourth part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-4) was held in Bonn, Germany from 10-14 March 2014.

At COP 19 (Warsaw), the parties agreed to accelerate work under both ADP workstreams beginning at ADP 2-4.[1]

Workstream 1

Under workstream 1, open-ended consultations were held on the elements of the 2015 agreement with wide agreement that the 2015 agreement will be applicable to all Parties, that it will be under the Convention and that it will be guided by its objective and principles, including equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Discussions on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) dominated the ADP 2-4 session since this was the first opportunity parties have had to define what constitutes NDCs. The ADP co-Chairs also sought to facilitate domestic preparations for parties’ intended NDCs with a workshop where a number of parties presented their experiences and domestic preparations for submitting NDCs.

The main contentions were around the scope and nature of NDCs. Developing country parties generally stressed that NDCs should cover all the pillars of the agreement,[2] including information by developed country parties on support, and that NDCs from developing country parties would depend on that support. Developed country parties on the other hand were of the view that NDCs should only cover mitigation and not adaptation[3] or support, that all parties should have mitigation pledges and that NDCs from developing country parties shouldn’t be contingent on support although those parties could indicate additional actions they could take with support.

Many developed and developing country parties suggested that the temperature goal wouldn’t be reached without all parties contributing to mitigation efforts. And while there was also general consensus that NDCs would need to be differentiated there was the usual divergence on the rationale for differentiation. Some parties reiterated the expression of differentiation in the Convention annexes (implicitly factoring in historical responsibility and the binary developed/developing country distinction) while others stressed capacity and capability as the main bases of differentiation.

Parties also began to consider issues of transparency, accounting and compliance. There was general agreement that the 2015 agreement should build on existing accounting rules and needs both ex ante and ex post reviews of contributions to ensure that NDCs were fair and that aggregate contributions were ambitious enough to meet the Convention objective. Some parties underscored the need to go “beyond transparency” and to establish a compliance system to hold parties accountable with legally binding “commitments” rather than “contributions”.

As the parties agreed to establish a contact group to begin developing draft text on the elements of the 2015 agreement, there were debates about whether the elaboration of the elements of the agreement and the accounting rules should come before NDCs are prepared and shared. Particularly vulnerable country parties cautioned against holding off on commitments until accounting rules are agreed while some parties felt it was counterproductive to elaborate contributions without knowing what they would need to contain or how they’d be assessed.

Workstream 2

In parallel with the open-ended consultations on elements of the 2015 agreement, technical expert meetings were held with a focus on opportunities regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency in order to unlock opportunities for pre-2020 ambition. The goal was to examine opportunities for actions with high mitigation potential, including those with adaptation and sustainable development co-benefits, with a focus on the implementation of policies, practices and technologies.

Further technical expert meetings are planned on mitigation from land use and urbanisation. These meetings will be held at upcoming ADP sessions in 2014.

Conclusion

High-level discussion on NDCs brought out a number of unresolved issues, including: what NDCs should cover; which parties should submit them; whether they’d be internationally legally binding; how they would be differentiated; and how to assess and review them and their individual and aggregate adequacy.

A contact group was established to move development of draft text for the 2015 agreement into more formal negotiations. The first meeting of the contact group will be during the June ADP session.

The parties also decided that a second additional ADP session was required before COP 20 (Lima).

ADP 2-4 was suspended at the end of the session and a fifth part of the second session of the ADP will be held during the June 2014 inter-sessional.


[1] Decision 1/CP.19.

[2] The pillars of the 2015 agreement: mitigation; ambition; finance; technology development and transfer; and capacity-building and transparency of action and support.

[3] Developed country parties expressed that adaptation will be an important element of the 2015 agreement but that it wasn’t appropriate for NDCs since adaptation is site-specific and difficult to operationalise as a global adaptation goal.