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Bangkok Informal Sessions Address Outstanding Issues Ahead of Doha

ADP Co-Chairs Harald Dovland, Norway, and Jayant Moreshwar Mauskar, India, being congratulated by Haldor Thorgeirsson, UNFCCC Secretariat at the close of AWG-ADP.7 September 2012: The informal additional sessions of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), which convened in Bangkok, Thailand, constituted the last official negotiating sessions before the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC, scheduled to take place at the end of 2012, in Doha, Qatar.

The sessions took place at the UN Conference Centre of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), from 30 August to 5 September 2012. The AWG-KP session was devoted to resolving outstanding issues to ensure the successful completion of the group's work in Doha, by recommending an amendment to the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) for adoption. This would allow a second commitment period under the Protocol to start immediately from 1 January 2013. The AWG-KP produced an informal paper outlining the elements for a Doha decision adopting the Kyoto Protocol. Many parties welcomed progress made in Bangkok, particularly the increased clarity on options to address the transition to the second commitment period.

The AWG-LCA continued working on practical solutions to fulfill specific mandates from COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. The focus was on what outcomes might be needed to conclude the group's work in Doha, how the elements will be reflected in the final outcome of the AWG-LCA, and whether additional work might be required beyond COP 18 and, if so, identifying concrete issues and whether those issues would require technical work or political consideration. Five workshops based on Decision 2/CP.17 (outcome of the work of the AWG-LCA) also convened in Bangkok. The work of the AWG-LCA was captured in an informal overview note of the AWG-LCA Chair to help clarify further convergence. Some parties expressed concern over the lack of distinction between items mandated for further consideration in Durban and other elements of the Bali Action Plan (BAP) and the fact that the paper did not fully reflect discussions during the session.

Under the ADP, parties convened in roundtable sessions to discuss their vision and aspirations for the ADP, the desired results of its work and how these results can be achieved. Parties also discussed how to enhance ambition, the role of means of implementation and how to strengthen international cooperative initiatives, as well as the elements that could frame the ADP's work.

While some said the meeting had not achieved adequate results in the run-up to Doha, others welcomed progress made, particularly under the Kyoto Protocol discussions. [UNFCCC Press Release] [UN Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage]