Arthur Wyns - environmental journalist

The first week of COP23 has come to an end, and an army of delegates has been negotiating the details of how to implement the Paris Agreement. The second week is kicking off with a a lot at stake, while many of the negotiating points are being delayed. With ministers arriving in Bonn, the pressure is up at the Conference of Parties to solve some of the issues that were raised at the international stage. Where are we at and what needs to happen during the second week? Here a short summary by Climate Tracker:

As you all know, this is a very technical COP. The main aim is to further advance the so called “rulebook”, which will set the guidelines for implementation of the Paris Agreement. This is negotiated under different bodies – if you are lost, Climate Tracker has created an infographic that summarizes what is negotiated where.

But what are the main negotiation points that have been discussed so far?


The week started with a discussion between developed and developing countries on the topic of pre-2020 action. Pre-2020 refers to the actions that developed countries have to take to reduce emissions before the Paris Agreement starts being implemented in 2020.

There was no pre-2020 agenda item included in the agenda, meaning it would not be discussed, although developing countries asked for it in the initial plenary. The US, Australia, Canada and the EU were against including it.

There has not been a concrete solution to this issue, although countries are discussing how and where they will address this issue and we hope to see a result this week!


Countries are discussing how to report the mitigation actions they need to fulfill under the Paris Agreement (for the freaks, under item 3 of the APA agenda). Parties have started drafting an informal note with all the issues that could be reported, but there is no agreement yet on how countries’ mitigation efforts will be reported on, and whether this process will be different for developed and developing countries.


A very similar discussion to mitigation is happening in adaptation (under APA agenda item 4). Countries are designing how “adaptation communication” would look like, and what it would have to include. This is done using an “informal note”, adding any agenda items that countries feel are relevant for communicating their adaptation efforts.

Loss and Damage

Loss and Damage is one of the main priorities of the Fijian presidency. If you are a bit lost with this concept, we have created an infographic for you to understand what is it and where we have to get in this COP.

There has been a lot of discussion during the first week on the necessity to have finance for Loss and Damage. Developed countries, including the EU and Australia, have been saying that there is “insufficient statistical evidence” to prove that concrete extreme weather events, for example, are intensified due to climate change, therefore refusing to allocate specific finance to that.


Aside from the finance discussions for Loss and Damage, there is also a discussion on how to operationalise and finance the Adaptation Fund. Germany started the COP by promising a total of $100 million to this fund, but more details are needed on where the money will come from and how to make it work. We will need the ministers to work on it this week, and give more money!

There was also a lot of discussion about the Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement, which details how and when developed countries will have to communicate how much funding they are giving.

Talanoa Dialogue

The Tanaloa Dialogue, also called Facilitative Dialogue, is also one of the major points of this COP. The dialogue will happen in 2018, and countries will revise how the mitigation actions are going, and how are we doing in terms of what we need to do to stay below 2 or 1.5 degrees.

This first “temperature check” will happen next COP, and that is why it is important to design its guidelines already. Discussions did not advance very far this week, so we hope the ministers come very motivated to discuss this highly important dialogue!

Gender Action Plan

There have been numerous discussions about the relationship between gender and climate under the UNFCCC. However, participation of women has been decreasing during the last years and little action has been taken.

That is why a Gender Action Plan (GAP) is needed this COP, to help implement the decisions that have been adopted already. The GAP was launched at the end of week 1 and will be debated on in the second week. It would look at issues like capacity building, gender balance, gender-responsible implementation, coherence, monitoring and reporting.


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