Today the subsidiary bodies winded down in preparation for the first session of the CMA to begin tomorrow. Happily, APA discussions around transparency framework modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs); Global Stocktake; and Implementation generally ended on a high note. In particular, the APA informal meeting on transparency framework this morning left parties in good spirits.
The decision was unanimously and enthusiastically adopted by the parties. On Saturday, APA Co-Facilitators created a draft informal note that captured the Parties’ views on transparency framework developments. This note highlighted a work plan, which includes an organization scheme, tools for success, and future steps for the parties to take regarding the transparency framework.
Several components of the work plan merit highlighting. First, the countries acknowledge work should proceeding in a “balanced, holistic and logical manner.” During discussions today, the importance of this point was reiterated by several parties. In addition, the draft note states that the CMA1 will continue to build on the transparency framework during its session, so the APA’s end does not signal the conclusion of transparency discussions this week. As for the tools under the work plan, the parties intend to use workshops in advance of APA sessions, submissions before intersessional workshops, and potentially technical or synthesis papers in the future. Finally, the next steps include submissions in response to specific questions in the draft decision, and a workshop in 2017 ahead of the Bon conference in May.
Today, the parties met to discuss this draft note. Party after party exuberantly supported the note. In their statements, several parties acknowledged the fantastic cooperation among the group. In fact, China was met with a round of applause when it called for a group photo to commemorate this group’s successful negotiations. More substantively, many parties reiterated support of proceeding quickly in a balanced fashion to achieve the goals of the transparency framework.
While much work remains on the MPGs of the transparency framework, the parties’ enthusiasm for urgent and cooperative work moving forward shows much promise for Bon in May 2017 and beyond. As the backbone of the Paris Agreement, robust transparency framework will set the stage for the parties to meet their goals in other articles of the Agreement as well. These developments, therefore, are key to preventing the global temperature from rising more than 1.5–2 degrees Celsius. In the next few months, parties will begin to address the specific components of the MPGs, enhancing the transparency under the Convention, flexibility for developing countries, and more.
In addition to transparency framework, the APA also wrapped up the discussions on the global stocktake and implementation articles under the Paris Agreement. These items both leave several questions unanswered that parties will work to develop in the coming months.
The APA was scheduled to conclude its session this evening, but at the request of the parties, APA1-2 was suspended. It will resume discussions in May 2017 at Bonn.