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Setting the Scene: Mid-week at the Bangkok intersessionals,  delegates are cautiously reporting on overall progress made on the draft text of the Paris Rulebook.

On the sidelines, negotiators are starting to wonder what will happen with the Talanoa Dialogue. This has been a key part of the Fijian Presidency since for the last 18 months.

With COP24 approaching, and the torch being handed over from Fiji to Poland, some parties are wondering how the final stage of the Talanoa dialogue during COP24 will look like, and if sufficient attention is going towards its preparations. It has been highly praised, but yielded few tangible results, several delegates confirmed.

Background: The Talanoa dialogue brought together Negotiators and Observers for an open and inclusive dialogue to take stock of the lessons learned and progress toward the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

Yesterday: On Thursday, the Fiji Presidency proposed to limit the outcome of the Dialogue’s political future during COP24 to a Summary Report. Latin American representatives in particular were dismayed, as they believe that the Dialogue could have a far more substantial future role, perhaps with some sort of Outcome reached by Heads of State?

Today: After a meeting with the Polish presidency and the G77 + China, delegates from Fiji, Bolivia and Colombia confirmed to Climate Tracker that the Talanoa process will be limited to a High-level ministerial segment during the second week of COP24.

“The current vision of the Polish COP presidency its to include the outcome of the Talanoa process as one of the ministerial declarations planned by the Presidency,” a delegate from Fiji told Climate Tracker.

Translation: Ministers come to COP24. They make some nice speeches. They make sure to include the words “Talanoa Dialogue”, and reference some nice ideas they got over the last 18 months.

But a clear vision on what the impact of this process will be in the UNFCCC and on a national level remains to be seen.

An alternative: A delegate from AILAC  spoke to Climate Tracker empasized that a series of “Round Tables with High-Level representatives” would be key to a succesful political phase of Talanoa.

This  would provide the opportunity for negotiators to revise and increase their current NDC’s and, if they’re feeling good about it, increase their national ambition or incorporate a process for taking the insights from the discussions further.

What’s Next: A lot of uncertainty remains. Delegates are worried the Talanoa process will shuffle its focus to the upcoming climate week in New York and the pre-COP in Poland instead of COP24.

This  leaving little wiggle room for Talanoa to remain an ‘opportunity’ for progrss in Katowice. If nothing else, it would be nice to see more come out the Talanoa Dialogue, especially considering it’s sub-heading is: “For Climate Ambition”

Arthur Wyns

About Arthur Wyns

Arthur Wyns is a tropical biologist and science journalist who writes about climate change, environment and migration. He manages Programs and Partnerships for Climate Tracker since 2017.