US surprised about Cop troika 'vision' on finance, NDCs

  • Market: Emissions
  • 21/03/24

The US said today that some of the wording in the "vision" set out by the Cop presidencies Troika — comprising the UN Cop 28, 29 and 30 climate summit hosts the UAE, Azerbaijan and Brazil — could be "highly prejudicial" to ongoing negotiations on a new global finance goal for developing countries.

US deputy special envoy for climate Sue Biniaz, taking part in the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial today, said she was "quite surprised" with some aspects of the letter, setting out the "vision", sent by the group of three presidencies to all parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The troika was created earlier this year and has been welcomed by countries in the Cop process to push forward crucial issues such as setting more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) — climate goals — for 2025 and climate financing.

"We don't agree with what the letter calls the 'reframing of ambition', and we don't think it's true to the Paris Agreement or to the UAE Consensus [the outcome of Cop 28]," the US delegate said today. She added that the letter suggests that this year's "focus on NDCs should be all about support, and maybe even that support is a pre-condition to NDCs" and "defines 'high ambition NDC' for developed countries as one that includes finance for developing countries". She said that this was "inconsistent with the Paris agreement".

The vision published today is centered on an "aim to raise and reframe ambition for the development process of the next round of NDCs", focusing on supporting parties, mobilising technical and financial resources to "stimulate ambitions" and "utilising existing mechanisms, processes and stakeholders, within and outside the UN system, to channel... finance".

The letter also said that "high ambition NDCs should include ambition in finance, technology and capacity-building resources to developing countries, in the case of NDCs from developed country-parties". Finance, technology and capacity-building are often referred to as 'means of implementation' in the UNFCCC process.

Belgium's climate minister Zakia Khattabi, representing the EU at the opening of the ministerial, expressed similar concerns, saying that the bloc does not support "reframing NDCs as vehicles for the provision of means of implementation".

This comes as a new climate finance goal — the NCQG — following on from the $100bn/yr goal by 2025 must be decided at Cop 29 in November.

"We appreciate the efforts of the Troika and encourage you to focus on delivering the UAE consensus. We strongly believe that it must be delivered, not reinterpreted, fulfilled, not renegotiated," UK energy security and net zero minister Graham Stuart said.

Cop 28 president Sultan al-Jaber told delegates at the ministerial that the letter advocates "strongly for early submission of high ambition NDCs" and that the UAE, Azerbaijan and Brazil committed to submit NDCs aligned with the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris agreement by 2025.

The US delegate also pointed out that the letter "omits the key paragraph of the UAE consensus" on economy-wide NDCs including all greenhouse gases (GHG). But al-Jaber reiterated today that NDCs should include these elements, adding that countries should put policies in place to deliver emission reductions of 60pc compared with 2019 levels, before 2035.

It has a commitment from troika countries to submit their own 1.5°C-aligned NDCs by early 2025. The three Cop hosts said they will convene high-level meetings focusing "on the quantity and quality of support needed by parties to ensure NDCs can deliver 1.5°C-aligned just climate transitions."

Developing countries have long called for meaningful climate finance to allow them to implement their emissions reduction plans, but disagreement over funding sources could continue to hinder negotiations going into Cop 29.


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