On 25-26 July 2021, Kevin Conrad, CfRN Executive Director, joined more than 50 government ministers and high-ranking representatives, including the UN Deputy Secretary General and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, who met informally to discuss their expectations for UNFCCC’s annual climate summit, called the Conference of the Parties (COP26), the shape and substance of a successful outcome, and to provide guidance on outstanding negotiations issues.
The agenda consisted of five topics:
- Scaling climate adaptation measures,
- Keeping the 1.5°C temperature rise target alive,
- Climate loss and damage,
- Finalizing the Paris Agreement Rulebook with a specific focus on Article 6 of the treaty, and,
- Mobilizing finance.
Mr. Conrad participated in high level meetings with COP26 President, Mr. Alok Sharma who confirmed that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to highlight the importance of rainforests and land use at COP 26 in Glasgow.
Outcomes & Next Steps
The COP26 President Designate was grateful for the energetic and frank engagement of government ministers during a positive and constructive two-day exchange. All ministers spoke to the urgency of action and the need to act with courage and in a spirit of solidarity to ensure that the Glasgow outcome reflects the reality of the situation that the world is facing.
The impacts of the climate emergency are already being felt, particularly by the most vulnerable nations, and will continue to grow in severity and frequency. Ministers emphasized that Glasgow negotiations must keep 1.5°C in reach, addressing the ambition gaps on climate adaptation, climate mitigation, loss and damage and finance; and completing the Paris Rulebook. There is a political imperative to ensure that real and tangible progress is made across all these issues in the critical decade to 2030.
Several ministers called for the spirit of collaborative and constructive effort fostered at this meeting to be carried forward in working together towards these goals at COP26.
Finalizing the Paris Agreement Rulebook – Article 6
During this session, Mr. Conrad and a select group of ministers focused on the feasibility of possible bridging proposals on three issues within Article 6:
- How to avoid double counting of countries’ carbon reductions through the Article 6.4 mechanism,
- The use of pre-2020 carbon reductions to meet countries’ climate commitments or national determined contributions,
- How to support climate adaptation action through Article 6.
The possible bridging proposals were suggested by parties during two virtual ministerial consultations held on 7 and 12 July and shared with ministers ahead of the July ministerial meeting. This is a significant advance that will serve as a foundation for compromise at COP 26 and conclude negotiations of the Paris Rulebook.