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Chronology - The 2013-2015 review

As requested by the SBSTA and SBI at their 39th sessions, the third meeting of the SED (SED 3) took place in conjunction with SB 40, in Bonn, Germany. SED 3 advanced the work of the SED by considering the two themes of the review in a balanced manner, with a special focus on the contribution of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 WGII) and the contribution of Working Group III to the AR5 (AR5 WGIII). The consideration of both themes involved outreach presentations made by experts and a discussion between Parties and experts. On the AR5 WGII, topics addressed included: observed impacts and projected risks associated with various levels of warming, including warming to 2 °C/1.5 °C; human interference with the climate system; the link between socioeconomic pathways and climate change risks; adaptation options, needs, opportunities and associated costs; and climate-resilient pathways, and the link between adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development.

On the AR5 WGIII, topics addressed included: transformation pathways and limiting warming to 2 °C/1.5 °C; sectoral and cross-sectoral mitigation pathways; trends in the stocks and flows of greenhouse gas emissions and their drivers; international cooperation on mitigation; policy, socioeconomic, equity and ethical aspects of climate change; and cross-cutting mitigation investment and finance issues. Relevant materials for SED 3 are available here.

See conclusions FCCC/SBSTA/2014/2, paragraphs 69-80, and FCCC/SBI/2014/8, paragraphs 187–199.

Also pursuant to the mandate from SB 39, the fourth meeting of the SED (SED 4) will take place on 2-3 December 2014, in Lima, Peru, in conjunction with SB 41. More information will be available in due course.

At SB 40, Parties agreed the following issues:
  • The SBs requested the SED co-facilitators to convene an additional SED meeting  after SB 41, in conjunction with a ADP meeting and prior to SB 42;
  • They requested the secretariat to prepare a note containing an indicative, descriptive identification of what information will be available and by when regarding information from Parties for consideration by the SED;
  • They also requested the SED co-facilitators to identify potential additional inputs, taking into account information from UN, international and regional agencies and information gap;
  • They invited Parties to submit their views on additional inputs to the SED, on how to conclude the review and on the final reporting of the SBs to COP 21;
  • Parties are encouraged to continue to take note of the information from the review as they engage in the ADP process.

The first SED meeting on the 2013–2015 review was held on 5 June 2013 in Bonn, Germany. The summary report and relevant documents, including agenda and presentations, can be found here.

The second SED meeting was held on 12 and 13 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. During the meeting, experts from IPCC, TEC, CTCN, SCF and GEF made presentations. The issues addressed included: relationships between emissions and changes in the climate system; implications of multiple targets; insights on the long-term aspects of climate change; irreversible changes; uncertainties; and progress in the area of finance and technology transfer. Relevant materials for the second meeting are available here

SBSTA 39 and SBI 39 requested the SED co-facilitators to organize SED meetings in 2014 in conjunction with SB 40 and SB 41, and to assess the need for additional meetings. They also invited Parties to submit their views on (i) the future work of the SED, including the further use of different sources of information and (ii) how the outcomes of the review will inform the work of the ADP. Those submissions were compiled into miscellaneous documents  (FCCC/SB/2014/MISC.1, FCCC/SB/2014/MISC.1/Add.1, FCCC/SB/2014/MISC.2 and FCCC/SB/2014/MISC.2/Add.1). One additional submission was received in June 2014 and posted here.

The SED facilitators also submitted the report of the SED to the COP (FCCC/SB/2013/INF.12: ''Report of the structured expert dialogue of the 2013–2015 review for 2013 Note by the co-facilitators of the structured expert dialogue”).

See conclusions FCCC/SBSTA/2013/5 (paragraphs 127-138) and FCCC/SBI/2013/20 (paragraphs 161-172).

The COP agreed that the 2013-2015 review will periodically assess (a) The adequacy of the long-term global goal in the light of the ultimate objective of the Convention; and (b) Overall progress made towards achieving the long-term global goal, including a consideration of the implementation of the commitments under the Convention.

In addition, regarding the “expert consideration of the inputs”, the COP decided to establish a structured expert dialogue to ensure the scientific integrity of the review. Under the guidance of the subsidiary bodies, the structured expert dialogue will consider available material through regular scientific workshops and expert meetings. The dialogue will be facilitated by two co-facilitators, one from Annex I and one from non-Annex I, and they will report on work done by the structured expert dialogue to the COP.

Parties also agreed on a prompt start of the review and requested the SB to take the steps necessary in 2013 to start the consideration of inputs without delay at SB38.  They also invited SB to gather and compile information relevant for conducting the review.

See decision 1/CP.18 (pages 15-16, para 79-91).

Parties continued to discuss the scope of the 2013-2015 review under the AWG-LCA.  In Durban, the COP decided to consider its further definition of the scope with a view to taking a decision at COP18.

The COP agreed that it will conduct the review with the assistance of the SBSTA and the SBI, and the work will be supported by expert consideration of the inputs. The COP further agreed that it will define the “expert consideration of the inputs” to provide technical support to the review.

In addition, it agreed that the review will be conducted based on various information, including; IPCC reports, national information, reports from UN agencies and observed impacts from regional agencies.

See decision 2/CP.17 (pages 28-29, para 157-167).


The issue of the 2013-2015 review has been negotiated under the agenda of a shared vision for a long-term cooperative action of the AWG-LCA. In Cancun, the COP agreed to reduce global GHG emissions to hold the increase in the global average temperature below 2°C above preindustrial levels (so called, the 2°C goal), and recognized the need to consider strengthening the long-term global goal on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge, including in relation to a global average temperature rise of 1.5°C, in the first review.

See decision 1/CP.16 (page 3, para 4).

A stand-alone chapter for the review was included in the same decision. In this chapter, the COP decided to periodically review the adequacy of the long-term global goal and overall progress towards achieving it, starting in 2013 and concluding by 2015. It also decided to consider strengthening the goal i.e., 1.5 degree temperature rise.

The COP will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the review in 2015.

See decision 1/CP.16 (pages 23-24, para 138-140).

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