While the annual global climate conferences (the so called “COPs”) are extensively covered by the world’s media, the meetings of the two technical bodies – the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and for Implementation (SBI) – attract a lot less attention. They are, however, the ones where most of the substantive decisions subsequently taken at the COPs are prepared, and take place at the seat of the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn, Germany. The next, 56th, session of both bodies (the “SBs”) will take place from 6 to 16 June 2022. Some of the important items on the programme of the meetings include:
- The need to urgently scale up ambition and implementation of mitigation commitments: the Subsidiary Bodies will initiate their consideration of this matter with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption at the next meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body (CMA4) in Egypt in November 2022.
- At COP26 Parties agreed on a process that will lead to setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance from a floor of 100 billion USD per year. The first Technical Expert Dialogue under the Ad hoc Work Programme on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance took place in South Africa in March. The next expert dialogue will take place in Bonn.
- SB56 will see the launch of a work programme to operationalise the Global Goal on Adaptation, established under Article 7 of Paris Agreement to ensure an adequate adaptation response to climate change. The first in-session workshop will be conducted under the work programme.
- Progress on operational modalities and institutional arrangements for the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, set up at COP25 in Madrid to catalyse technical assistance for loss and damage. The first meeting under the Glasgow Dialogue, established at COP26 to discuss arrangements for the funding of loss and damage, will also take place. The issue is critical for many developing countries which will be pushing for some tangible outcome on this, in the form of a dedicated funding mechanism.
- While the parties in Glasgow agreed on further rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, such as common time frames for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reporting under the transparency framework and the establishment of carbon markets, some issues were deferred for further consideration in 2022. This includes options for conducting reviews of the information related to adaptation reported under the transparency framework; further guidance on cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement (e.g. whether internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, “ITMOs”, could include emission avoidance).
- The first meeting of the technical dialogue under the Global Stocktake established to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. This is the start of the second phase of the Stocktake, the technical assessment of information provided by Parties and others, such as constituted bodies, UN agencies and observer organisations.