Loss and Damage Mechanism – decision reached on Executive Committee makeup

We reported Wednesday that the December 5 joint SBSTA/SBI recommendation on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) contained 3 different proposals for the makeup of the permanent Executive Committee. Later that night, at the COP President’s informal stocktaking, we learned that this issue had been resolved and the SBSTA and SBI Chairs had forwarded proposed final decision language to the COP President. This morning, in the COP/CMP Plenary held to adopt Subsidiary Bodies’ conclusions and decisions already agreed to, we witnessed completion of the process.

Following today’s adoption, the permanent Executive Committee of the WIM will be comprised of 10 non-Annex I Party members and 10 Annex I Party members. Eight of the non-Annex I Party members are stipulated in the decision: two each from the African, Asia-Pacific, and the Latin American and Caribbean States, and one each from Small Island Developing Sates and Least Developed Country Parties.

The decision also calls for “taking into account the goal of gender balance pursuant to the decision 23/CP.18.”

Interestingly, the final Executive Committee makeup is a seemingly new equation for a mechanism of the UNFCCC. The related Adaptation Committee is made up of 16 members, with representatives of the 5 UN regional groups (2 each), SIDS (1), LDCs (1), Non-Annex I (2) and Annex I Parties (2).

Hallway talk on Wednesday, following release of the proposed decision, was not positive. Observers wished for greater designated LDC and AOSIS representation, even if the two unassigned non-Annex I seats could potentially go to these groups. It seems we can expect the new Executive Committee’s work to be scrutinized. At least the WIM work can begin.