ADP2-8: Avoiding BAU?

IMG_6372“No one will say that this text is not your text.”

With that comment, new ADP Co-Chair Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria closed this morning’s session of the ADP.  On time.  Having completed the planned review of the entire draft text of the 2015 agreement one day ahead of schedule. Djoghlaf and his Co-Chair, Daniel Reifsnyder of the United States, celebrated the parties’ hard work and discipline, and previewed the work to start this afternoon.  This feat in and of itself is one form of avoiding business-as-usual or BAU.  For the ADP has chronically fallen behind in its work and then raced to produce tepid work product at the last moment.

So what has changed in the ADP’s negotiation process (some of which you can watch here)?  Most obviously is the style of these new co-chairs, who were elected to their positions at the end of COP20 in Lima.  Both of them are seasoned in multilateral environmental agreements, but are relatively new to the UNFCCC negotiations. They bring a fresh perspective, experience in other complex treaIMG_6373ties, and little baggage (think Copenhagen).  In their approach to leading the ADP discussions, simple things matter.  Since Sunday morning, the clear rules of engagement have included starting on time, reminding parties to stay on topic, and not brooking delay tactics. The goal of the last 2.5 days has been to hear new additions to the Lima text, both orally in session before all 196 parties and via written submission emailed to the Secretariat for scribing ease. Because of both, revisions of the new agreement’s draft provisions have appeared on the UNFCCC site later the day of negotiation or early the next. Parties – and, importantly, all of civil society, including you! – may read how the text is changing from that adopted in Lima.  Co-Chair Djoghlaf annouced this morning that the draft agreement had grown from 36 to 83 pages, with now more than 300 paragraphs (up from 103). Of course, adding text is different from resolving disagreement about it.  That’s on the docket for this afternoon.  Stay tuned.

I’ll come back with more substantive comments on what I see – for example in the language of differentiation being used throughout the provisions, calls for treating loss and damage separately from adaptation, inclusion of a human rights and gender focus. In the meantime, IISD’s daily ENBs have captured the WS 1 conversations very well.  Here also are TWN’s views, and well as CAN’s daily take in the ECO.