A ray of sun finally broke into the Chamber Hall at Bonn World Conference Center.
At the mitigation session today, Countries have finally started to discuss one of the most important tasks that will have to be addressed during the next weeks: defining what – from the Geneva negotiating text – will go into an Agreement, and what will go into a COP decision.
the Agreement (or Protocol, another legal instrument or another outcome with legal force) will likely contain the core, general, elements of the new package, which are not supposed to change shortly.
On the other hand, the COP Decision will contain the specific and more detailed points that will be able to be updated more easily, likely at an annual rate.
Although all Country negotiators welcomed the beginning of this discussion, some of them stated that this discussion is still premature. Among them, China claimed they are not yet ready for this discussion, which needs to go through “to be or not to be” dilemmas. For instance, “all elements will somehow be into the Decision, as the adoption of the Paris Agreement will be by a COP Decision.”
To this extent, the Co-facilitator replied that it is true, but it will be important to understand where, in the Decision, they will be.
So the question marks are still there, but it was extremely important get the discussion started by the end of this session, as this will allow countries to engage reflections and bilateral meetings before negotiations resume next 31 August in Bonn.
Earlier in the session, the Swiss Co-facilitator had presented to Country negotiators the outcome document he was mandated to prepare yesterday.
The “technical suggestions for a clearer section D” were elaborated with the aid of the Secretariat, mainly basing upon African Union‘s latest proposal for structuring the section.
All negotiators expressed their appreciation for the work done by the Co-facilitator, and agreed – although they needed more time to explore it – that this document can represent the basis to build the future work on. A few flags were though raised by China, India and others, indicating the need to address linkages with other sections of the text.
However, this can be considered as an overall good result.
Tomorrow, the closing sessions will take place. If the progress achieved today on mitigation will result balanced with those in other sections, the new version of the streamlined and consolidated text could represent an important step forward towards Paris, in view of key decisions to be taken on options during the next two gatherings here at the UNFCCC Headquarters: but the journey ahead is still long.