From 7-18 November 2016, in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP) will convene for the first time since it adopted the Paris Agreement in December 2015. In addition to the 22nd session of the COP (COP 22), the 12th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), the 45th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) and of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 45), as well as the second part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-2) will take place during the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference.
As Parties prepare to convene in Marrakesh, the UNFCCC Secretariat has released revised documents, including annotated agendas and an updated version of the progress tracker. After adopting the Paris Agreement last year, Parties will use the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference to start serious work to unfold the “rulebook” that will guide implementation of the Agreement that now entered into force enters into force. The latest ratifications, deposited on 5 October 2016, bring the total number of Parties to the UNFCCC that have ratified the Agreement to 74. As these countries represent 58.82% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more that 55 Parties ratified, the two-threshold needed for the Paris Agreement to come to force have now been met. The Paris Agreement entered into force the 4 of November 2016.
To monitor progress toward fulfilling the numerous mandates stemming from the Paris Agreement and its accompanying decision, the Secretariat created a progress tracker that clusters the mandates substantively [Progress Tracker: Work Programme Resulting from the Relevant Requests Contained in Decision 1/CP.21]. The document allows stakeholders to see which UNFCCC bodies or the Secretariat were assigned to complete which mandate, the timeline, the current status and next steps if applicable.
So far the Secretariat’s May 2016 update of the synthesis report on intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) that cover all information communicated by Parties in their INDCs, and an interim public registry in the first half of 2016 for the recording of NDCs is being released.
Many of the remaining tasks recorded in the tracker will be under discussion by the COP or the Subsidiary Bodies in Marrakesh, which is reflected in the COP 22 provisional agenda, the latest version of which includes annotations giving the background on each item to be discussed, as well as the supporting documents [COP 22 Provisional Agenda with Annotations]. The annotated agenda also provides an overview of the organization of the session, including the time management principles to be followed, and information on the high-level segment, mandated events and other meetings. The newly annotated version of the agenda for the 12th session of the Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12) was also released. [CMP 12 Provisional Agenda with Annotations].
The APA (, SBSTA and SBI all have various tasks related to preparing for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. The APA is expected to take up issues related to providing further guidance on the features of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and their possible adaptation component and/or other adaptation communication. According to the agenda, it will also consider, inter alia, the modalities, procedures and guidelines for the enhanced transparency framework under the Agreement and the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance, as well as the inputs and modalities of the global stocktake outlined in Article 14 of the Agreement.
For its part, the SBSTA is tasked with matters related to the new technology framework under the Paris Agreement, considering how the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will inform the global stocktake, and determining the modalities, work programme and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures, as well as modalities for accounting of public financial resources for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. The SBSTA agenda also includes cooperative approaches, non-market approaches and the sustainable development mechanism under the Paris Agreement.
In relation to the Paris Agreement, the SBI is to develop the modalities and procedures for the NDC and adaptation communication registry or registries. It will also consider the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Paris Committee on Capacity-building.
Other items on the SBSTA’s agenda include: the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP); issues relating to agriculture; and methodological issues under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. The SBI is also anticipated to take up, among other things: reporting under the Convention; Kyoto Protocol mechanisms; matters relating to the least developed countries (LDCs); national adaptation plans (NAPs); and gender and climate change. The SBSTA and SBI also share a joint item on the impact of the implementation of response measures.
According to the COP’s agenda, it will discuss preparations for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1). In addition, the COP may work on: matters related to the development and transfer of technology; the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM); capacity building; and matters related to finance.
The CMP is anticipated to take up: capacity building under the Kyoto Protocol; matters relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); matters relating to Joint Implementation (JI); matters relating to the Adaptation Fund; and reports from various bodies under the Protocol. Both the COP’s and CMP’s agendas also include a high-level segment.