Summary of Glasgow Conference’s main outcomes

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Date produced: 25/01/2022

I. Introduction

On 1 – 13 November 2021, the annual climate conference under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in Glasgow. It had originally been scheduled for 2020 but was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference formally comprised:

  • The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) from 31 October to 12 November 2021;
  • The 16th session of the Conference of the Parties service as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP16) from 31 0ctober to 12 November 2021;
  • The 3rd session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA3) from 31 0ctober to 12 November 2021;
  • The 52nd to 55th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) from 31 October to 6 November 2021; and
  • The 52nd to 55th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) from 31 October to 6 November 2021.

The following summary does not aim to provide a full and comprehensive report of the negotiations and decisions taken in Glasgow but to highlight the key outcomes of the official intergovernmental process. We have, therefore, summarized the main COP and CMA decisions only (and disregarded the CMP decisions) in sections II to XV. For the time being, the text of all decisions can be found here. Additional announcements and pledges made in conjunction with the conference are briefly highlighted in section XVI.

As overarching cover decisions, COP, CMP and CMA adopted the “Glasgow Climate Pact”. It covers certain issues (such as the ambition gap) that were not formally on the agendas, reiterates and in some areas (such as loss and damage) also expands the decision text under specific agenda items. For the purpose of this briefing we have summarized the main agreements reached in Glasgow in line with the different substantive themes addressed by the Parties:

II. Mitigation

In their Pact-decisions Parties put a strong emphasis on science and urgency. They reaffirm the 1.5°C temperature goal and stress that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require accelerated action and ambition “in this critical decade”. To this end, the CMA decision:

  • Decides to establish a work programme to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation, and requests the SBs to recommend a draft decision on this matter for consideration and adoption by CMA4. This means that the need for raising ambition will be formally on the agenda of the next and potentially future CMAs too.
  • Urges Parties that have not yet communicated new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to do so in advance of CMA4; and
  • Requests Parties to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their NDCs as necessary to align them with the Paris Agreement (PA)’s temperature goal by the end of 2022, taking into account different national circumstances. This goes beyond what was agreed in Paris (where Parties agreed to update their NDCs every 5 years – with an option to do so at any time). Whilst not legally binding, this sets an expectation on Parties to enhance their pledges next year.
  • Decides to convene an annual high level ministerial roundtable meeting on pre-2030 ambition, beginning at CMA4;
  • Urges those Parties that have not yet submitted long-term low GHG development strategies to do so by CMA4 – which again goes beyond the PA where Parties “should strive to formulate and communicate” long-term strategies (Art.4.19); and
  • Calls on Parties to accelerate efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, with support for the poorest and most vulnerable and need for a just transition. While the text does not include any timelines and the wording was watered down on the last day from “phase-out” to “phasedown” it is still the first time that coal reduction has been addressed directly by the COP.
  • Invites Parties to consider further actions to reduce by 2030 non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions, including methane; and
  • Emphasizes the need to protect, conserve and restore nature and ecosystems, to achieve the PA’s temperature goal, including through forests and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems acting as GHG sinks and reservoirs and by protecting biodiversity, while ensuring social and environmental safeguards.

III. Finance

Finance was a key issue that permeated many aspects of the negotiations. The topic was discussed both in the context of meeting of the subsidiary bodies (SBs) and during political negotiations under COP and CMA.

Long-term climate finance

Under this item, Parties discussed how to address the USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 goal. Developing countries expressing deep disappointment at the failure to reach this goal within the timeframe originally set. They called for continuing discussions under this agenda item until at least 2027. They also called for a definition of climate finance to be agreed by COP28 and for the scaling up of adaptation finance.

In its decision on this agenda sub-item, the COP “notes with serious concern” the failure of developed country parties to mobilize jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020. “Deep regret” is expressed in the Pact, which further urges developed country Parties to fully deliver on the USD 100 billion goal “urgently and through to 2025”. The Pact also welcomes increased pledges made by some Parties[1] and the Climate Finance Delivery Plan published by the UK COP26 Presidency in October, which expresses confidence that the goal should be met by 2023 but it does not indicate how the shortfall for 2020-2022 will be made up.

The COP also decided to convene biennial high-level ministerial dialogues on climate finance in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and requested the COP Presidency to summarize the deliberations at the dialogues for consideration by the COP in the following year. Discussions on long-term climate finance will conclude in 2027.

In relation to specific finance for adaptation purposes, the COP decision on the issue requests developed country Parties that have not already done so to increase their efforts, including by considering doubling adaptation finance. The Pact, in stronger terms, even “urges developed country Parties to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing country Parties from 2019 levels by 2025 …”.

The Pact also calls on multilateral development banks, other financial institutions and the private sector to enhance finance mobilization in order to deliver the scale of resources needed to achieve climate plans, particularly for adaptation, and encourages Parties to continue to explore innovative approaches and instruments for mobilizing finance for adaptation from private sources.

New collective quantified goal on climate finance

Decision 1/CP.21 adopting the PA (at para.53) specifies that prior to 2025 the Parties to the Agreement “shall set a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries”. The Katowice Decision 14/CMA.1 calls for deliberations on the new quantified goal to begin at CMA.3. In Glasgow discussions focused on the establishment of a process that would lead to the setting of a new goal. The priority for developing countries was that scientific analysis of their needs should be used to inform the setting of the goal (with some suggesting that it should be at least USD 1.3 trillion), and for a stream of funding within the new goal to support loss and damage. This was resisted by developed countries, however, as was the idea of quantifying the goal at this stage.

Under the CMA decision it was decided to initiate the deliberations on setting a new collective quantified goal and conclude them in 2024, and to establish an ad hocwork programme from 2022 to 2024. As part of this work programme, four technical expert dialogues will be held per year. One will take place in conjunction with the first regular session of the SBs for the year and one in conjunction with the CMA. The two remaining dialogues will be organized in separate regions to facilitate inclusive and balanced geographical participation. In addition, high-level ministerial dialogues starting in 2022 and ending in 2024, to be informed by the reports of the technical expert dialogues, will be convened. The consideration of the new collective quantified goal will, amongst other things, include quantity, quality, scope and access features, as well as sources of funding of the goal and transparency arrangements to track progress.

Matters related to the Standing Committee on Finance

COP16 established the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) to assist the COP in relation to the Financial Mechanism of the Convention. It aims at improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing, rationalizing the Financial Mechanism, and mobilizing, measuring, and verifying support provided to developing country. At COP26, Parties considered the 2020 and 2021 reports of the SCF. Parties also discussed the fourth biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows and the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country Parties related to implementing the Convention and the PA (NDR). 

In its final decision, the COP endorses the key findings of the SCF’s fourth (2020) Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows. It notes that global climate finance flows were 16% higher in 2017–2018 than in 2015–2016, reaching an annual average of USD 775 billion. Acknowledging that there is no multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance it requests the SCF to continue its work on definitions of climate finance with a view to providing input for consideration by the COP at COP27 (November 2022) but also acknowledges the view of some Parties that a single definition on what constitutes climate finance would not be useful.

The COP decision also endorses the key findings and recommendations of the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country Parties in relation to the implementation of the Convention and PA. It highlights, in particular, the challenges faced by developing countries in assessing and costing adaptation needs, due to the limited availability of data.

The CMA decision invites Parties, operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, international financial institutions and other stakeholders in the financial sector to submit views regarding ways to achieve Article 2.1(c) Paris Agreement, including options for approaches and guidelines for implementation, by 30 April 2022. It further requests the SCF to submit a synthesis for consideration by the CMA at its next session (November 2022).

Reports of the GCF and GEF

Under agenda item 8c, Parties discussed amongst other things challenges developing countries face in accessing funding from the GCF, and how to provide guidance to the GCF.

In its decision, the COP notes the significant number of remaining policy gaps, including in relation to updating the accreditation framework or the simplified approval process, and urges the GCF Board to prioritize closing those gaps and to explore diversifying its selection of financial instruments for addressing climate risk including parametric insurance for climatic events. It also invites the Board to consider ways of improving access to the Fund for local non-governmental and private sector organizations.

The COP decision on the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) encourages the GEF to consider ways to increase the financial resources allocated for climate action as part of its eighth replenishment process. It encourages the GEF to reinforce its efforts to mobilize resources from the private sector and to consider ways to further enhance the role of national agencies and civil society organizations in the funding process. The decision also urges the GEF to enhance its support for projects that engage with stakeholders at the local level, and scale up South-South cooperation and cooperation with the TEC and the CTCN.

Biennial communications of information related to Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement 

Article 9.5 PA requires developed countries to submit biennial communications on their predicted levels of climate finance. In Glasgow, Parties considered the first submitted biennial communications and the biennial in-session workshop on information to be provided by Parties in accordance with Article 9.5, held in June 2021.

The CMA, in its decision, welcomes the biennial communications received to date but also “recognizes with concern” that not all developed country Parties have submitted a communication. It thus urges those developed country Parties that have not yet done so to submit biennial communications in 2022 and requests them to submit their second biennial communications before 31 December 2022. The Secretariat will prepare a compilation and synthesis of the biennial communications.

Parties also requested the Secretariat to organize the next biennial workshop on information to be provided by Parties in accordance with Art.9.5, to be held in 2023, and prepare a summary report on the workshop for consideration by CMA 5 (November 2023).

Seventh review of the Financial Mechanism

The Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC is subject to review every four years, to ensure its effectiveness and conformity with relevant provisions and guidance.[2] The guidelines for the seventh review of the Mechanism were supposed to be adopted (as amended) during COP26.[3] However, Parties were unable to reach agreement on whether the review (mandated by the COP) should also take into account the PA and on the role of the CMA. Applying Rule 16 of the draft rules of procedure, the issue will be placed on the agenda for COP27 next year.

IV. Article 6

Art.6 PA allows Parties to cooperate using voluntary market-based and non-market-based approaches in order to implement their NDCs. Paras. 2 – 7 of Art.6 outline two different market-based approaches. The first one involves the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) between two or more Parties (Art. 6.2 PA). The second one envisages the creation of a centrally mechanism, governed by a Supervisory Body (Art. 6.4 PA). This mechanism will enable mitigation outcomes to be generated (in a unitised form, known as Art.6.4 emission reductions or A6.4ERs) pursuant to methodologies approved by the Supervisory Body. They will then be tracked by and recorded in a centralised UN registry. Paras. 8 and 9 of Art.6 provide for a framework of non-market approaches.

At COP24 in Katowice Parties had failed to agree the operational rules for these market and non-market based mechanisms. At COP25 in Madrid, Parties addressed many issues of disagreement but failed to reach consensus on the rules for the market-based mechanisms. Finalising these rules was therefore one of the priority areas for COP26. This was ultimately achieved, with agreement being reached in what had been the following main contentious areas: (a) corresponding adjustments and double-counting; (b) use of Article 6 mechanisms for adaptation funding; (c) treatment of Kyoto-era carbon offset units; and (d) overall mitigation in global emissions.

(a) Corresponding adjustments and double counting

Under both Art.6.2 and the Art.6.4 mechanism, Parties can trade carbon credits via ITMOs. Double counting – that is counting the reduction achieved by the credit towards the NDC of more than one country (for example both the seller and the buyer of the credit) – poses a risk to the environmental integrity of carbon trading. To address this risk, it was agreed that corresponding adjustments will have to be applied under both mechanisms. Thus, the country that generates the carbon credit will have to make a corresponding adjustment by way of removing the reduction achieved by the credit from its NDC, if it decides to sell it to another country. The other country will count that credit towards its own NDC. Corresponding adjustments will also need to be applied in circumstances where the mitigation outcomes are generated in sectors outside the scope of the host country’s NDC.

(b) Use of Article 6 mechanisms for adaptation funding

Art. 6.4 PA provides that a share of the proceeds generated by carbon trading will be used to assist countries in meeting their adaptation costs, a mechanism that came to be informally referred to as an adaptation levy. The main disagreement concerned the question of whether or not this adaptation levy should also apply to credit transfers under Art.6.2. The final agreement provides for a 5% adaptation levy to be imposed on transactions under the Art.6.4 centralised system to go towards the Adaptation Fund. A monetary contribution related to the scale of the Art. 6.4 activity or to the number of A6.4ERs issued will also be set by the Supervisory Body. Bilateral and multilateral offsets under Art.6.2 will not be subject to this fee. Instead, participating Parties using cooperative approaches are strongly encouraged to contribute resources for adaptation, in particular through contributions to the Adaptation Fund.

(c) Treatment of Kyoto-era carbon offset units 

Under the Kyoto Protocol (KP), carbon credits in the form certified emission reductions (CERs), amongst others, were traded under the Clean Development Mechanism established pursuant to the KP. The rules for the creation and trade of these units were different from the rules envisaged by the PA. As a result, an issue arose about the extent to which CERs could be used by countries to meet their NDCs under the PA. The compromise reached allows countries to use CERs created since 1 January 2013 to meet (only) their first NDCs. These units must be transferred to the Art.6.4 mechanism registry and identified as pre-2021 emissions reductions. In addition, the credit seller/host party will not be required to make a corresponding adjustment and no adaptation levy will be imposed on these CERs transfers.

Furthermore, activities registered under the CDM may transition to the Art.6.4 mechanism subject to a number of conditions, for example the participants must apply to the secretariat and host country for the project activity or programme of activity to be transitioned by 31 December 2023.In addition, such project activities and programmes of activities may continue to apply the current approved CDM methodology until the earlier of the end of their current crediting period or 31 December 2025, following which, they must apply an Art.6.4 approved methodology.O

(d) Overall mitigation in global emissions

Art.6.4 specifically provides that the aim of the new market mechanism will be to deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE). The aim is to ensure that carbon credits are not used to replace genuine mitigation efforts. It can be operationalised by, for example, gradual cancellation of carbon credits under Art.6.4. The main point of contention in the negotiations surrounded the extension of the OMGE principle to credit transfers under Art.6.2, which is silent on the subject.

 Under the agreement reached in Glasgow, 2% of issued A.6.4ERs will be transferred to a ‘cancellation account’ in the mechanism registry, where those A.6.4ERs will be cancelled (and not counted towards any party’s NDC) to achieve OMGE. Parties and other activity participants may also request that additional A6.4ERs are cancelled to ensure additional further OMGE. The cancellation will be voluntary on transfers under Art.6(2), with Parties being strongly encouraged to cancel ITMOs (that are not counted towards any party’s NDC) for the purposes of delivering OMGE.

Some issues were deferred for further consideration in 2022. Thus, the CMA decision on Art.6.2, in addition to adopting the guidance on cooperative approaches as contained in its annex, also requests the SBSTA to develop recommendations for CMA 4 on: the special circumstances of the LDCs and SIDS; elaboration
of further guidance on how to apply corresponding adjustments, in particular in relation to the issues of multi-year and single-year NDCs, and the avoidance of double counting; and consideration of whether ITMOs could include emissions avoidance.

 It also includes a number of provisions related to the development of tables and outlines for the information to be reported under the Enhanced Transparency Framework and provisions related to the development of the infrastructure required to operationalize the mechanism (international registry, Article 6 database, centralized accounting and reporting platform). Additionally, in 2028, a review will consider whether to apply additional safeguards or limits on the use of credits under Article 6.2.

The CMA decision on Art.6.4, contains the rules, modalities and procedures for the Art.6.4 mechanism in its annex. The decision further designates the “Supervisory Body” as the body that will supervise the mechanism, with its membership and rules of procedure as set out in the annex. The Supervisory Body will consist of two members from each of the five UN regional groups, one member from the LDC group and one member from SIDs. The decision further requests the Supervisory Body to develop and approve new methodologies for the mechanism; to elaborate recommendations for activities involving removals, as well as processes for implementation of the transition of activities from the CDM to Art. 6.4.

Under the CMA decision on Art.6.8, a Glasgow Committee on Non-Market Approaches is established to take forward the development of climate cooperation under Article 6.8, with the committee due to meet twice a year until at least 2027.

V. Transparency

At COP24 in Katowice, the CMA adopted the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) to operationalize the PA’s Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF). The MPGs set out the methodologies to be used by Parties in their reporting and review under the ETF. The CMA decision, however, still left some technical work to be agreed on – for example: what should be in countries’ inventory reports and progress updates and how the use of flexibility granted to those developing country Parties that need it would be indicated. As the first biennial transparency reports (BTRs) will have to be submitted by the end of 2024 at the latest, agreeing those rules was seen as key to have enough time to build the reporting software and train national experts in time for those BTRs to be prepared.

During the negotiations, the discussions centred on a number of issues. These included how and where to grant parties flexibility in their reporting; the legal status of the outlines for the BTRs, national inventory document and technical expert review reports; how the structured summary referred to in para.77 of Decision 18/CMA.1 should be presented; the inclusion of reporting on loss and damage; the review of voluntary adaptation information; and the need for capacity building on reporting under the ETF. Agreement on these issues was eventually reached. Proposals that parties would not all use the same tables and formats for reporting were ultimately abandoned. Key elements of the resulting CMA decision include:

  • Adoption of common reporting tables for the electronic reporting of the information in national inventory reports, common tabular formats for tracking NDC progress, common tabular formats for reporting on support, outlines for the BTRs, national inventory document (NID), and technical expert review report (TERR) and training programme for technical experts participating in the TERR of BTRs, contained in seven annexes to the decision;
  • Encouraging Parties to prepare their BTR and NID in accordance with the outlines contained in the relevant annexes; deciding that technical expert review teams will follow the TER report outline contained in the relevant annex;
  • Deciding that those developing country Parties that need flexibility may, when reporting on a provision for which they have a capacity constraint, choose one or more of the options provided in the decision, to reflect the application of the specific flexibility provisions included in the annex to decision 18/CMA.1. The options include, for example, using the notation key “FX” in the relevant table and providing an explanation of how the flexibility provision has been applied in the corresponding documentation box; “collapsing” rows or columns where FX is used and collapsing tables reporting on less important greenhouse gases;
  • Requesting the Secretariat to: develop reporting tools, and make available a test version by June 2023 with a view to the final version of the tools being completed by June 2024; organize regular technical training workshops (online and/or in person); provide training and advice to developing country Parties on the use of the reporting tools and to provide technical support to these countries;
  • Requesting the secretariat to establish an interactive web portal to facilitate the availability of information reported by Parties in their BTRs, to be made available by December 2025;
  • Emphasizing that each interested Party may provide information related to loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in its BTR;
  • Requesting the Secretariat to develop the training programme for technical experts participating in the technical expert review of BTRs;
  • Requesting SBSTA 56 (June 2022) to consider the options for conducting technical expert reviews of information related to climate change impacts and adaptation on a voluntary basis with a view to recommending a draft decision to CMA 4 (November 2022); and
  • Deciding to consider at CMA 4 and at each session thereafter an item on “Reporting and review pursuant to Article 13 of the Paris Agreement: provision of financial and technical support to developing country Parties for reporting and capacity-building”.

VI. Common Timeframes

At COP24 in 2018 it was agreed that all NDCs should cover a “common timeframe” from 2031, with the length of the timeframe to be decided later. Parties meeting in Madrid a year later were unable to reach agreement on what the common timeframe should be, putting forward a list of 10 options that included five-year timeframes, 10 years, a choice of either, or hybrids of the two. A lack of consistency across the time periods covered by national climate pledges would make it challenging to track, aggregate and compare targets and progress between countries, making global assessments of progress towards climate goal difficult.

During ministerial consultations in the second week of the COP the nine options put forward in the SBI chair June Informal Note were narrowed down to two: the first following the PA five year cycle, the second providing flexibility for parties not in a position to communicate in 2025 an NDC with an end date of 2035. The final decision adopted by the CMA: “Reaffirms the nationally determined nature” of NDCs; and “Encourages” Parties to communicate in 2025 a NDC with an end date of 2035, in 2030 a NDC with an end date of 2040, and so forth every five years thereafter. The decision thus retains only one option – thereby promoting consistency – but does not make it mandatory for Parties to abide by it.

VII. Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts

The WIM was established under the UNFCCC and is therefore accountable to the COP. Some Parties would like to move it under the authority of the CMA whilst others (most developing countries) would like the WIM to be governed by both COP and CMA. The issue was not resolved in Glasgow. This is noted in the decisions of both bodies and additional footnotes. The COP decision, however, simply, endorses the CMA decision and then repeats the text of that decision in quotation marks, which could suggest a trend for the future.

In Glasgow Parties first considered the 2020 and 2021 reports of the Executive Committee of the WIM, in joint meetings under the SBSTA and SBI, with a focus on the development of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD), established at COP25 to catalyse technical assistance for loss and damage (L&D). Developing country Parties’ calls for a financial mechanism on L&D were not heeded, but the need for additional resources for L&D is reflected in the decision on the WIM, which includes the following main elements:

  • It decides on the functions of the SNLD, which will include: catalysing demand-driven technical assistance by identifying, prioritizing, and communicating needs and priorities; connecting those seeking assistance with entities providing it; and facilitating the consideration of substantive issues, access to information and technical assistance;
  • Parties decided to further develop the institutional arrangements of the SNLD by inviting Party submission on structure, modalities and possible elements for the terms of reference for a coordinating body; organizing a technical workshop and requesting the subsidiary bodies to make further recommendations at their 56th session for adoption (by “the governing body at its next session or the governing bodies at their next session”);
  • It welcomes the WIM Executive Committee’s adoption of plans of action on non-economic losses, slow onset events, and action and support; and the continued progress of implementation of the plans of action of the task force on displacement and the technical expert group on comprehensive risk management;
  • The decision recognizes the urgent need for scaling-up of action and support, including finance, for loss and damage, and encourages the Executive Committee to continue engaging with the SCF and to explore potential ways to enhance collaboration with the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.

The Glasgow Climate Pact reiterates and expands on some of these issues: it welcomes the SNLD further operationalization, including agreement on its functions and process for further developing its institutional arrangements. It decides 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 and that the modalities for the management of funds and the terms for their disbursement, including the body responsible for administering the funds, will be determined by the process set out in paragraph 10 of the CMA decision on the WIM (decision -/CMA.3).

The proposal (by AOSIS with support from G77 and China) to set up a new finance facility to support loss and damage did not get through, as mentioned above. Instead, the Pact decides 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) and requests the SBI to organise the Glasgow Dialogue in cooperation with the Executive Committee of the WIM.

VIII. Global Goal on Adaptation

The global goal on adaptation (GGA) was established under Article 7.1 PA to ensure an adequate adaptation response in the context of the global temperature goal referred to in Article 2 PA. The Katowice Climate Package did not elaborate on the GGA, however, and as a result a number of developing countries (African nations under the AGN primarily) have been pushing for a quantitative and qualitative goal and ways to make it operational.

For the first time the GGA was added to the agenda – thereby ensuring that it is part of the CMA formal agenda going forward. The resulting decision includes the following elements:

  • It establishes and launches a comprehensive two-year Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the GGA, to be carried out jointly by the SBSTA and SBI and implemented immediately after CMA 3;
  • The work programme aims to:
    • Enable the full and sustained implementation of the Paris Agreement, with a view to enhancing adaptation action and support;
    • Enhance the understanding of the GGA and review progress towards it;
    • Enhance national planning and implementation of adaptation actions;
    • Enable Parties to better communicate their adaptation priorities, needs, plans, actions;
    • Facilitate the establishment of robust, nationally appropriate systems for monitoring and evaluating adaptation actions; and
    • Strengthen implementation of adaptation actions in vulnerable developing countries.
  • The work programme should reflect the country driven nature of adaptation, avoid creating any additional burden for developing country Parties, and draw on a variety of inputs including Indigenous and local knowledge systems.
  • Four workshops will be conducted per year, under the Work Programme, and the Secretariat will prepare a synthesis of submissions for consideration at the workshops, then prepare a single annual report on the workshops for consideration by the SBSTA and SBI, which will then report annually to the CMA on progress in implementing the work programme.

The COP and CMA also adopted decisions on the report of the Adaptation Committee. The COP decision welcomed the work of the Committee in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and its flexible work plan for 2022-2024. It invited CMA 4 to participate in the review of the Committee’s progress, effectiveness, and performance as it relates to the Paris Agreement, and invited Parties to submit views no later than three months before COP27.

IX. Report of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures

Much of the discussions on this item focused on how to implement the 6-year work plan of the Katowice Committee on Impacts (KCI), which had been disrupted because of the pandemic. The COP decision acknowledges the limited progress on implementation and the exceptional circumstances, and requests the secretariat to hold a 2-day workshop in conjunction with SB56 (June 2022) to further advance implementation of activities 3,4 and 11 of the work plan.

It contains recommendations on activity one of the work plan, contained in Annex I of the decision (exploring approaches to inform the development and implementation of climate change mitigation strategies, plans and policies that maximise the positive and minimize the negative impacts of response measures), and the revised rules of procedure of the KCI contained in Annex II. It requests the Forum, at SB56, to consider ways to promote actions on the recommendations in Annex I. In addition, it requests the Secretariat to organize a regional workshop on activity three of the work plan (facilitate modelling and assessing the impacts of response measures) to address regional needs. Finally, it invites Parties and observers to submit, by April 2022, their views on the elements of the midterm review of the work plan and requests the Secretariat to prepare a summary to inform discussion on the midterm review at SB56.

The CMA decision, for its part, encourages Parties to submit their views on response measures for input into the global stocktake, and requests the KCI to prepare a synthesis report as an input to the technical assessment component of the stocktake by February 2022.

X. Action for Climate Empowerment

At COP25 the COP requested the SBI, at its 52nd session, to launch the review of the implementation of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention (education, training and public awareness raising), and to consider future work to enhance the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 PA.

In Glasgow, the COP and CMA adopted a new 10-year work programme, now renamed Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), contained in the annex to the decision. The decision invites Parties and other stakeholders to support its implementation, including by developing a national strategy that covers all six elements of the ACE and facilitates broad cross-sectoral coordination. It also invites multilateral and bilateral institutions, including the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, to provide financial support; and requests the Secretariat to promote partnerships with other organizations, the private sector, and donors to support implementation.

The decision also tasks the SBI to hold an annual in-session ACE dialogue at its first regular session of each year, with the first in-session dialogue to be held at SBI 56 (June 2022), to focus on the engagement of children and youth in implementation of the four priority areas of the Glasgow work programme (policy coherence, coordinated action, tools and support, and monitoring evaluation and reporting). The SBI is also requested to develop an action plan at SBI 56 and to convene at the same session a technical workshop for Parties on how the priority areas can guide implementation of the six elements of the ACE through a short term action plan. Finally the SBI is to undertake a midterm review of progress at SBI 64 (2026) and a final review of progress at SBI 74 (2031).

XI. Gender and climate change

Gender has been integrated in the UNFCCC through the 2014 Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWP) and the 2017 Gender Action Plan (GAP). The first phase of implementing the LWP and GAP was reviewed at COP25 in Madrid and led to the adoption of the Enhanced LWP and GAP for the period 2020-2024. The Enhanced LWP and GAP establishes systems and processes for knowledge exchange and capacity building for implementation, and outlines the continued need for mainstreaming gender across “all relevant targets and goals in activities under the Convention” to increase effectiveness, fairness, and sustainability.

In its decision, the COP recalls that the intermediate review of the progress of implementation of GAP activities is due at SBI 56 (June 2022), and invites Parties and observers to make submissions by 31 March 2022. It also invites the International Labour Organization to prepare a technical paper exploring linkages between gender-responsive climate action and just transition for promoting inclusive opportunities for all in a low-emission economy.

The COP takes note of the annual reports on gender composition of constituted bodies and Party delegations. The report highlighted the persistent lack of progress in in-person participation; the challenges identified in promoting women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in virtual forums; and the urgent need for improving the representation and leadership of women in Party delegations and in all bodies established under the Convention, KP and PA. The decision makes several references to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and “its deepening of pre-existing inequalities”.

XII. Public Registries

Discussions on these sub-items focussed on the prototypes developed by the Secretariat on a public registry for NDCs and one for adaptation communications, and possible amendments to these.

In its resulting decisions, the CMA requests the Secretariat to adopt the prototypes as the public registries for NDCs and adaptation communications respectively, and finalize their implementation so as to make them available for use by 1 June 2022.

XIII. Compliance Committee

In Glasgow, Parties adopted the rules of procedure related to the institutional arrangements of the Committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance, which are contained in the annex to the decision. The decision also encourages the Committee to start its substantive work and to continue developing the remaining rules and modalities for its effective operation with a view to recommending them for adoption at CMA4 (November 2022). These include, for example, the rules related to the reasoning in the Committee’s decisions.

XIV. Technology Development and Transfer

A number of topics were addressed, and decisions adopted, under this agenda item. These included:

  • Considering the joint annual reports of the TEC and CTCN for 2020 and 2021 (COP and CMA);
  • Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism (COP);
  • Review of the constitution of the Advisory Board of the CTCN. As a result, the COP decided to change the number of government representatives from 16 to 18 to ensure equitable representation of UN groups; add representatives for Indigenous peoples’ organisations, Women and gender, and YOUNGOs; and increases the max term of board members from 1 to 2 years;
  • Second review of the CTCN, as a result of which the COP decided to renew the MoU between the COP and UNEP regarding the hosting of the CTCN and noted some of the challenges faced by the CTCN including insufficient financial resources for implementing its mandate;
  • Alignment between processes pertaining to the review of 
the CTCN and the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism: the CMA agreed to align the periodicity of the periodic assessment of the TEC and the independent review of the CTCN; and requested the SBI to initiate, at its 62nd session (2025), consideration of matters relating to the alignment between review processes with a view to recommending a decision for adoption by CMA8 (2026); and
  • First periodic assessment referred to in para.69 of decision 1/CP.21: 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 SBI56 (June 2022).

XV. Global Stocktake

With the first global stocktake due to take place in 2023 and the first round of technical dialogues to begin in early 2022, there was pressure to finalize outstanding elements so as to allow work to start in 2022. Most of the modalities for the GST had been agreed at COP24 in Katowice (Decision 19/CMA.1), and the outstanding elements related to the sources of input to the GST and whether to complement the lists already agreed in Katowice. Whilst some developed country Parties saw no need to add to the lists given their non-exhaustive nature, several developing country Party groups suggested additions and a clear process to seek civil society inputs.

In Glasgow the parties did not take further decisions on the GST. The CMA Pact decision only mentions the need for comprehensive input and welcomes its formal start.The SBSTA in its draft conclusions, agreed that the non-exhaustive lists will serve as a basis for the sources and types of information for the first GST; that further sources and types of information may inform the technical assessment component; and notes that relevant constituted bodies and forums and other institutional arrangements under or serving the Paris Agreement and/or the Convention can prepare synthesis reports on information relating to their areas of expertise for the technical assessment of the first GST.

XVI. Other outcomes

Aside from the formal negotiations a large number of pledges were made by different groups of countries and other stakeholders throughout the conference. Some of the key ones are highlighted below:

Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use: participating countries (141) commit to “working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030” through, amongst others, the conservation and restoration of forests and other terrestrial ecosystems, the promotion of sustainable development and commodity production and consumption through trade and development policies, and the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation.

Global Forest Finance Pledge: 12 countries pledged to provide USD 12 billion of climate finance between 2021 and 2025 for the protection, restoration and sustainable management of forests. Separately 11 countries and the Bezos Earth Fund pledged at least USD 1.5 billion to support the protection and sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests.

The COP26 FACT Dialogue aims to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable trade between commodity producing and consuming countries. It was signed by 28 countries representing 75% of global trade in key commodities that contribute to deforestation. A roadmap for action identifies key areas of work: trade and market development, smallholder support, traceability and transparency, and research, development and innovation.

Global Methane Pledge: over 100 countries representing half the global methane emissions pledged to reduce methane emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. Some of the major emitters, such as China, Russia, India and Australia, did not join the pledge, however.

Breakthrough Agenda: sees a commitment by over 40 endorsing countries to work together in this decade to accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies and sustainable solutions. As a first step they launched the Glasgow Breakthroughs – global goals that aim to make clean technologies the most affordable, accessible and attractive option in each emitting sector (power, road transport, steel, agriculture and hydrogen) globally before 2030. Each target has its own metrics for measuring progress and identifies other global initiatives with which to collaborate. 

Fossil fuel financing: over 30 countries and financial institutions pledged to “end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022, except in limited and clearly defined circumstances that are consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement”.

International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition: participating countries (23) pledged to work together to advance ambitious actions to reduce aviation CO2 emissions at a rate consistent with efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C; support the adoption by ICAO of an ambitious long-term aspirational goal consistent with 1.5°C, and in view of the industry’s commitments towards net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The declaration also sets out ways to ensure the effectiveness of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Clydebank Declaration for green shipping corridors: signatories (22 countries) support the establishment of green shipping corridors, ie zero-emission maritime routes between two or more ports. They aim to establish at least 6 such corridors by 2025 and many more by 2030.

Zero-emission cars: signatories that include countries, cities, car manufacturers and other organisations pledged to “work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission … globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets.” Germany, the US and China did not sign up, however, nor did BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan or Renault.

US-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s: the two countries commit to engage in a number of actions and cooperative activities set out in the declaration in this decade to meet the PA goals.

Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero: over 450 firms across 45 countries representing over USD 130 trillion of private capital committed to manage their assets in line with achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

All statements and declarations made during the course of the conference can be accessed here.

[1] Amongst new commitments made at the Leaders Summit, the US pledged to quadruple climate finance by 2024 and made their first ever federal contribution to the Adaptation Fund. Germany committed to increasing climate finance to EUR 6 billion per year by 2025 and Japan pledged an extra USD 10 billion in climate finance in the next five years.

[2] UNFCCC Article 11.4 and subsequent COP decisions, including 3/CP.4, 6/CP.13, 9/CP.20.

[3] COP decision 11/CP.23, 18 November 2017.