With Global Stocktake’s expected beginning date in 2023 and pressure from the heads of the APA, there is a race for an informal working document on the Modalities Guidelines and Procedures (MPGs) of the Agenda Item 6 of the APA. Global stocktake is an effort to continuously monitor the collective progress towards achieving the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
On November 12, the APA released the “Revised building blocks for APA item 6 (GST).” These building blocks capture the key elements and commonalities of the proposals made by Parties under Agenda Item 6. This new document contains a table with headings on the left and details on the right. The building blocks contained the headings “Modalities” and “Sources of Input.” Under modalities, the overarching elements provided for “equity regarding process and themes.” However, the term “equity” is never defined in the document. Moreover, the document prescribed an overall process for the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) to implement for GST. This new method includes a preparatory phase (Activity A), a technical phase (Activity B), and a political phase (Activity C). Lastly, the new document prescribes sources of input, which is the information to provide in the GST.
While these simple building blocks were a good start, parties made clear their frustrations with the ambiguity of the text. There were three main concerns. First, individuals were concerned that the table did not reflect more of the information submitted by the parties. Parties felt since this is a working paper, the paper should reveal more of their inputs. Also, individuals wanted more reference to the Paris Agreement, specifically Articles 8 and 2. Lastly, some parties raised concerns on the silence of issues on Mitigation and Loss & Damage.
Second, the term “equity” is not defined. Some parties understood equity to mean equity in outputs and time to provide and assess resources. A lot of parties wanted equity defined or were confused on what equity was referencing. Further, there was concern about how equity was going to be integrated into the GST reporting mechanisms.
Third, the starting date of Activity A was also a concern. In the informal table, Activity A starts in 2021 or 2022 to ensure the adequate and timely consideration of the input from AR6 of the IPCC. India specifically raised concerns about the idea of kick-starting the process in 2021 because 2018 is supposed to be an assessment of what is happening pre-2020, GST is supposed to be an assessment what is happening the after 2020 period. Iran proposed options to the date requirement where there is a choice between 2021 and 2022.
Going forward, these revised building blocks have a lot of strides to go, clarity-wise to be ready for the APA chairs.