Major change mooted for future of climate negotiations

The International Panel on Climate Change report on the risks of global warming by 1.5 degrees would be dropped from the Conference of the Parties agenda, according to reporter Daniela De Lorenzo.

The Conference on the Parties on the Framework Convention on Climate Change (C.O.P. U.N.F.C.C.C.) is currently meeting in Bonn, Germany, for an "intersessional meeting".

It is the first international climate negotiation following COP 24 in Katowice, Poland last December, and is the opportunity to negotiate on issues not yet agreed on, before COP 25 (to be held in Chile later this year).

In Poland, parties struggled to agree on whether to “welcome” or “note” the I.P.C.C. 1.5 report, with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia and Kuwait insisting on the former – a less than enthusiastic official response to the report the C.O.P. actually commissioned. 

“This time countries are picking the thinness of language by analysing the word 'consider',” De Lorezno reports.

The report is being discussed by the negotiation’s science body, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (S.B.S.T.A.).

The U.N.F.C.C.C. has a procedural rule whereby items are automatically included in the next C.O.P. meeting agenda if they have not been fully considered.

De Lorenzo reports parties have asked for this rule (Rule 16) not to be applied in the case of the I.P.C.C. report.

“In yesterday’s meeting countries already openly welcomed the possibility that if no agreement would be reached in discussing how to include this latest science, the option to pursue would be a procedural agreement to close the discussion.”

This could mean the I.P.C.C. is not included in climate change negotiations in Paris Agreement talks. For Climate reporter De Lorenzo, this is akin to “deleting science.”

Currently there is no formal obligation for parties to heed the advice of the report in their commitments to addressing the growing climate crisis.

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