Today marked the closing of the Subsidiary Bodies through plenaries. However, limited progress was evident on several key deliverables, which rang some bells before we move into the second week of COP28 for political engagament.
The focus for the day was on cities, communities, and multi-level action. A ministerial meeting on urbanization and climate change attracted several speakers working toward locally-tailored solutions. The “Buildings Breakthrough” launched as a platform for international collaboration to accelerate climate action on buildings, led by France and Morocco, was joined by over 25 countries.
On the Global Stocktake, while it was meant to be a first look at collective progress on climate action under the Paris Agreement with gaps remaining, many of the debates and disagreements were centered on its forward-looking aspects.
The Global Goal on Adaptation also remains at a stalemate. After a week, the GGA talks still have not turned to substance and have no agreeable text. Negotiators could not agree to forward any text, not even one that compiles all views and sets out the options for ministers. Discussions during the first week of the meeting were procedural. Political engagement will have to set a direction and a sense of urgency for these discussions. One negotiator worried about the further consequences if the GGA “crashes and burns,” namely, that there would be a hole in the GST text, where the GGA outcomes were supposed to fit.
While many conclusions, decisions, and reports were adopted, a lot of the other items have been pushed to the provisional agendas of the Bonn Conference in June 2024 or COP29 in November 2024.
Closing statements revealed a general dissatisfaction with the state of negotiations on several issues such as the lack of constructive engagement by some parties, draft texts not adequetly representing inputs and submissions. Many parties expressed their disappointment and dissatisfaction with this proposed mode of work, questioning why they spent so much time consulting and providing their inputs if such inputs were not captured in the text.
President Al Jaber indicated he will convene a plenary on the morning of Friday, 8 December, after the day of rest, to outline the proposed organization of work for the second week. He noted he would invoke different modes of work, pointing to continued technical negotiations, minister-led consultations, and consultations among heads of delegations.
Al Jaber highlighted the Global Stocktake (GST) and Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) as issues that need further work. He expressed his hope for a meaningful outcome that lays the ground for a just and equitable energy transition, in line with science and the 1.5°C target, and invited bridging proposals on fossil fuels, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
Source: IISD ENB