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UNFCCC Publishes 2013-2015 Review Submissions from the EU, Canada and Others

UNFCCC9 April 2014: The UNFCCC Secretariat has published two documents on the 2013-2015 review of the long-term global goal, containing parties' views on the future work of the structured expert dialogue (SED), including the further use of different sources of information (FCCC/SB/2014/MISC.1), and on how the review's outcomes will inform the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) (FCCC/SB/2014/MISC.2).

The two documents each contain two submissions, one from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and the US, and the other from Greece and the European Commission on behalf of the EU and its member States. The two sets of submissions were made by these parties under the agenda item on the 2013-2015 review of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).

The submission from Canada and others on the future work of the SED suggests two themes and relevant inputs. The first is the adequacy of the long-term global goal, in light of the ultimate objective of the Convention, for which the submission lists a series of guiding questions and inputs from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The second theme is the overall progress made towards achieving the long-term global goal, including a consideration of the implementation of the commitments under the Convention. The suggested inputs under this theme include IPCC sources, as well as Biennial Reports and Biennial Update Reports, National Communications from Parties, the ADP Workstream 2 technical paper 'Updated compilation of information on mitigation benefits of actions, initiatives and options to enhance ambition,' and publications from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IAE). 

In its submission, the EU considers that more opportunities should be given to parties to engage in the dialogue with experts at future SED meetings. It further states that at least as much time should be dedicated to both the IPCC Working Group (WG) II and III reports as was provided for consideration of the WGI report, and that the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report should be a key input to SED4 in December 2014. The EU suggests additional information could be sought from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the World Bank, IEA, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in relation to their understanding of the long term goal and progress towards it. The EU also notes the need to take into account information submitted by parties via National Communications, Biennial and Biennial Update Reports, requesting that the Secretariat prepare an outline analysis of what information will be available from these report to the SED for its consideration.

On informing the work of the ADP, Canada and others underline that the review should "stay abreast and informed of progress under the ADP," ensuring it "complements but does not duplicate work in other bodies," and is conducted in a timely manner. The submission also notes that the outputs of the review are available for the ADP's consideration, and that it is each party's responsibility "to be mindful of the work done by the review as they engage in the ADP process." The submission stresses that the SED needs to focus on fact-based discussion, whereas the Joint Contact Group (JCG) of SBI and SBSTA should conduct policy discussions, and that the final output from the review be comprised of a compilation of summary reports from workshops of the SED as prepared by its co-facilitators.

The EU notes that material provided by the experts during the SED process, the record of exchanges between parties and the experts, as well as the written and oral reports from the co-Facilitators are relevant inputs to the ADP. The EU also states that the JCG will need to consider the outputs of the SED, give further guidance to the SED, and assist the COP in its mandate. The EU considers that parties should provide submissions on these topics for consideration at its June 2015 meeting, and that the COP, with the assistance of the JCG, will consider the adequacy of the global goal and the overall progress towards achieving it in December 2015. [Publication: Parties' Views on the Future Work of the Structured Expert Dialogue] [Publication: Parties' Views on How the 2013-2015 Review's Outcomes will Inform the ADP's Work]