Yesterday, the Parties reached a conclusion on the NDC registry. But it was a procedural conclusion, with the substantive discussion to take place at SBI46 in Bonn next May. Even so, it still took additional SBI informal sessions to come to agreement: the registry agenda item had been limited to three sessions, but the Parties’ disagreements on the draft conclusions led the co-facilitators to add two informal session to reach an agreement. However, don’t let the word agreement fool you. The Parties were able to agree on the text because they went back to the SBI decision adopted in Bonn for this agenda item. Thus, the agreement was on a previous agreement! Nonetheless, the Parties insisted that discussion will continue next week at the SBI Plenary on two items of disagreement: 1) whether the Parties should have one registry or two registries that deals differently with NDCs and adaptation communications, and 2) whether the text of the draft conclusion should include a call for Party submissions.
Diplomacy is indeed the art of the possible, although sometimes it seems that some negotiations will never end and the Parties will never reach a consensus. That is why I think this conference is so important. We often hear about the devastating impacts of climate change all around the world. But it is sometimes hard to understand what the respective country and their people are going through when you are not directly experiencing it. This conference puts a face on the devastating events and brings together representatives from all over the world who will fight in the negotiations for the insertion of an “a” or a “the” because that choice makes a whole lot of difference in their world.
With this blog post, my week at COP22 ends. It has been a wonderful week where I was surrounded by amazing people, and participated in exciting negotiations and side events where I learned that we are not alone in the fight against climate change.