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ADP 2-4 highlights
 
ADP 2-4 highlights Wednesday 12 March

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Image: IISD

On Wednesday, some 17 international organizations, each with specific expertise in concrete climate action and support, made presentations in Bonn on how they can assist countries in the process of arriving at their nationally determined contributions to the 2015 universal climate agreement, and how support - especially to developing countries - can be provided. This active engagement was welcomed by all countries, which now have the opportunity to continue to engage with these organizations. View webcast.

The presentations were made in response to a mandate from COP19 in Warsaw, where international organizations were invited to engage in a dialogue to foster the sharing of experience and relevant information. Also in Warsaw, countries agreed to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions, which will be included in the 2015 climate change agreement and which need to be ready by March 2015. At COP 19, governments urged and requested developed country Parties, the operating entities of the financial mechanism, and any other organizations in a position to do so, to provide support for the preparations as early as possible in 2014. The contact details of the relevant organizations are provided on the presentations page.

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One example of support offered in Bonn, by UNDP

The technical expert meeting on renewable energy wrapped up Wednesday, concluding three days of fruitful discussions. Summing up the discussion, facilitator Youba Sokona said the meeting went a long way to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to close the pre-2020 ambition gap. He pointed out that there are barriers and challenges to the deployment of renewable energy. But he also said policy and technology solutions exist to address them, bearing in mind that there is no one size fits all policy, and that different policies apply to different countries as per their national circumstances. View webcast.

Also on Wednesday, the technical expert meeting on energy efficiency kicked off. Energy efficiency is the "low hanging fruit" of climate action, covering a broad range of issues across all sectors of the economy. Overall costs of energy efficiency are generally low compared to other options, and many measures have low or negative net costs and short payback time. South Africa, Japan, Columbia and Singapore made presentations about their experiences in promoting renewable energy, with Singapore mentioning its target to green 80% of its buildings by 2030. View webcast.

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Singapore’s energy efficiency target for buildings

Meanwhile, the World Bank made a useful visual reminder, warning that climate change would roll back hard-won development gains, should the agreed goal of a maximum two degrees Celsius temperature rise not be achieved.

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ADP 2-4 highlights Tuesday 11 March

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Image: IISD

What countries intend to do in future to deal with climate change and its impacts - and to the best of their different abilities - is a critical part of the work under the ADP.

Efforts to begin defining these nationally determined contributions towards the new, 2015 Paris climate change agreement got underway in Bonn during a Tuesday workshop dedicated to this important issue. The workshop provided a space for Parties to share experiences and learn from each other on approaches, processes, constraints and challenges, including on different needs for support, in preparing their contributions. The presentations on the contributions can be found here. View webcast.

Following the workshop, Parties also continued their discussions on the nature of contributions, as well as on the information that needs to be provided when contributions are put forward before March 2015. The discussion was constructive, with Parties initiating important exchanges aimed at reaching a mutual understanding on the scope and nature of contributions. This exchange continues Wednesday.

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Image: RTCC

Parties also continued their discussions on further elaborating elements for a draft universal climate change agreement, which needs to be ready by the next major climate change conference to be held in Lima at the end of this year.

Meanwhile, crucial work continued on finding ways to raise ambition before the new climate change agreement enters into force in 2020. In Tuesday’s latest technical examination process, which will continue beyond the current session, Parties focused on renewable energy. Several Parties and multilateral agencies gave presentations on what they are doing in this area, and there was a rich discussion on the opportunities and barriers to more action. View webcast.

The International Renewable Energy organization IRENA pointed out that renewable power generation is increasingly becoming more cost competitive, and that investments in clean energy significantly increased from USD 55 billion in 2004 to USD 319 billion in 2011. IRENA pointed out that the dip in clean tech investments in 2013 was partly due to policy uncertainty and the increase in shale gas production, but also due to the fact that the costs for renewables has significantly dropped, so more can be built for the same price.

With renewable energy, developing countries can also achieve their sustainable development objectives. The UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative presented its platform to harmonize the many initiatives that are already on the ground. It also mentioned the need to scale up renewable energy investment through public-private partnerships. Several other agencies, including the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, showcased what they are already doing to boost renewable energy. See all the presentations here.

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Image: GEF

Local governments are instrumental in getting climate action going on the ground through various city initiatives, many of them voluntary. ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) presented the world's largest global database of local climate action. ICLEI underlined the need for central policy effort to match direction to local effort, noting that there are limits to what most cities can achieve on their own because they, for example, often do not have the mandate for setting energy policy.

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Image: ICLEI

Several Parties and organizations pointed to the need for more tools that help countries prepare bankable proposals to access financing for renewable energies. IRENA is currently designing a Project Navigator to help facilitate this effort, and the UNFCCC secretariat will in the future play a more active role in collecting information and presenting relevant information. Interested Parties and organizations have begun uploading relevant material for the technical expert meetings on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and uploaded material can be found at a virtual expo on the UNFCCC website.

Wednesday sees the launch of the second part of this technical examination process that aims to assist Parties in raising ambition before 2020 through increased energy efficiency measures.

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ADP 2-4 highlights Monday 10 March


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Photo by IISD

The ADP successfully opened in the morning of March 10, with countries eager to make progress on advancing understanding on the elements of the 2015 agreement, as well as on contributions to the 2015 agreement.

In her pdf-icon opening address to the plenary, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres spoke of 2014 as a year with much promise and potential, and stressed that it must be a year of greater action and ambition to check the advance of climate change and set the ground for a successful, global climate agreement in Paris.

She drew attention to the groundswell of action among many different stakeholder groups, including investor groups and the business community, cities and sub-national governments, military forces, as well as youth, faith and environmental groups. A recurring message during conversations she has held with many of these groups is: "climate action is the best way to minimize risk and capture rewards."

Ms Figueres highlighted the fact that these stakeholder groups are taking responsibility and acting themselves, while putting wind in the sails of the international negotiation process.

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Photo by IISD

A technical expert meeting process was launched by ADP Co-Chair Artur Runge-Metzger on 10 March. The process kicked off with a focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and will turn to other topics with a high emission reduction potential during the course of 2014, such as avoiding deforestation. At the opening of the first meeting of the process, ADP Co-Chair Artur Runge-Metzger gave a strong message about the need for this process to showcase concrete results at COP 20 in Lima.

"By the end of the year at COP, we should be able to see tangible results – new and strong national and international initiatives, governments adopting new policies and taking on bankable and implementable actions, and the mobilization of resources needed to make this happen," Artur Runge-Metzger said.

The purpose of the technical expert meeting on renewables is to begin a process to unlock opportunities to curb emissions, involving all relevant stakeholders. Artur Runge-Metzger also said that greater visibility of the outcomes of the technical examination process was necessary to inspire all stakeholders to take the necessary action.

The International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA highlighted that the global renewable energy share can reach and exceed 30% by 2030, and that together with energy efficiency, renewables can play a central role in helping the world stay below the agreed maximum two degrees Celsius temperature rise.

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Already today, around half of all new electricity generation worldwide is based on renewable energy, which is increasingly becoming a job creation machine. IRENA also pointed to the fact that whilst there is a considerable potential for renewable costs to fall, fossil fuel subsidies are still disrupting the market (See more details in the IRENA's Renewable Energy Roadmap).

The US, China, Kenya and Marshall Islands gave presentations about efforts they are making nationally to deploy renewables, and what challenges they have had to overcome, or barriers they continue to face. Delegates spoke about challenges associated with deploying renewables, for example around cost, access to technology, supply and demand imbalance.

On Tuesday, delegates will discuss how the challenges and barriers can be addressed and how the UNFCCC process can assist Parties in realizing their ambition in deploying renewables.