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Discussion > The Paris Accords and INDCs

Tunisia from Wikipedia:

"In ancient times, Tunisia was primarily inhabited by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC; these immigrants founded Carthage. A major mercantile power and a military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeatedby the Romans in 146 BC."

"The Romans, who would occupy Tunisia for most of the next eight hundred years, introduced Christianity and left architectural legacies like the El Djem amphitheater. "

"During the Roman period the area of what is now Tunisia enjoyed a huge development. The economy, mainly during the Empire, boomed: the prosperity of the area depended on agriculture. Called the Granary of the Empire, the area of actual Tunisia and coastal Tripolitania, according to one estimate, produced one million tons of cereals each year, one-quarter of which was exported to the Empire. Additional crops included beans, figs, grapes, and other fruits."

★This last paragraph contains some information that I "knew" at school in the 1970s. The idea that Carthage on the North Coast of Africa had been Rome's breadbasket, conflicted with what I "knew" about Rommel v Montgomery and the desert conditions they fought in★


After several attempts starting in 647, the Arabs conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottomans between 1534 and 1574. The Ottomans held sway for over three hundred years."

"The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881. Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957."

"In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by parliamentary elections."

Wikipedia has some positive comments about Energy produced, used now, and projections for the future

"The majority of the electricity used in Tunisia is produced locally, by state-owned company STEG (Société Tunisienne de l'Electricité et du Gaz). In 2008, a total of 13,747 GWhwas produced in the country."

"Oil production of Tunisia is about 97,600 barrels per day (15,520 m3/d). The main field is El Bourma."

"Oil production began in 1966 in Tunisia. Currently there are 12 oil fields."

"Tunisia had plans for two nuclear power stations, to be operational by 2019. Both facilities are projected to produce 900–1000 MW. France is set to become an important partner in Tunisia's nuclear power plans, having signed an agreement, along with other partners, to deliver training and technology. As of 2015, Tunisia has abandoned these plans. Instead, Tunisia is considering other options to diversify its energy mix, such as renewable energies, coal, shale gas, liquified natural gas and constructing a submarine power interconnection with Italy."

"According to the Tunisian Solar Plan (which is Tunisia's Renewable Energy Strategy not limited to solar, contrary to what its title may suggest, proposed by the National Agency for Energy Conservation), Tunisia's objective is to reach a share of 30% of renewable energies in the electricity mix by 2030, most of which should be accounted for by wind power and photovoltaics.[132] As of 2015, Tunisia had a total renewable capacity of 312 MW (245 MW wind, 62 MW hydropower, 15 MW photovoltaics.)"


"Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Tunisia"
"Tunisia has achieved the highest access rates to water supply and sanitation services in the Middle East and North Africa. As of 2011, access to safe drinking water became close to universal approaching 100% in urban areas and 90% in rural areas.Tunisia provides good quality drinking water throughout the year."

Tunisia's success combined with EUropeanisation and Tourism has led to it being targetted by Muslim Extremists. Global Warming seems to pose no threat, but a return to the climate of the Carthaginians and Romans might be better for food production.


Tunisia is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer. 

Aug 3, 2017 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Thanks gc, all interesting stuff.

Back to the Paris Agreement. The first thing agreed by the parties, was a load of definitions, in Article 1. Actually, Article 1 only includes a handful of new definitions:

"(a) "Convention" means the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted in New York on 9 May 1992;
(b) "Conference of the Parties" means the Conference of the Parties to the Convention;
(c) "Party" means a Party to this Agreement."

[Which is all very straightforward and calls no additional comment. But many more definitions are imported by reference:]

"For the purpose of this Agreement, the definitions contained in Article 1 of the Convention shall apply."

[So, we have to look at the definitions section of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and from it we import the following:]

"1. "Adverse effects of climate change" means changes in the physical environment or biota resulting from climate
change which have significant deleterious effects on the composition, resilience or productivity of natural and managed ecosystems or on the operation of socio-economic systems or on human health and welfare.

2. "Climate change" means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

[NB this is a definition for the purpose of the Agreement(s) - a form of useful shorthand. They are not saying that climate change is only human-made; but for the purposes of the Agreement(s), whenever the phrase "climate change" appears, it is a shorthand essentially for human-made climate change.]

3. "Climate system" means the totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions.

4. "Emissions" means the release of greenhouse gases and/or their precursors into the atmosphere over a specified
area and period of time.

5. "Greenhouse gases" means those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that
absorb and re-emit infrared radiation.

[Potentially an important definition.]

6. "Regional economic integration organization" means an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region which has competence in respect of matters governed by this Convention or its protocols and has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the instruments concerned.

7. "Reservoir" means a component or components of the climate system where a greenhouse gas or a precursor of a
greenhouse gas is stored.

8. "Sink" means any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a
greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

9. "Source" means any process or activity which releases a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse
gas into the atmosphere."

[Definitions sections are always helpful,as they enable repeated use of a shorthand phrase to repeated use of convoluted language throughout the Agreement(s). However, it's always important to bear the definitions in mind, so that when the reader sees a phrase, they know it has a particular meaning, and thus bear that meaning in mind.]

I'll finally get into the meat of the Agreement next time, with a look at Article 2.

Aug 3, 2017 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 2:

"1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate
poverty, including by:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and
(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

2. This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

[A few short comments:

1. The Paris Agreement is about ENHANCING the Convention, i.e. building on it, going further etc. But...

2. It only "AIMS to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change...". I suppose they can't guarantee it, but an aim is not a binding commitment.

3. They continue to talk about sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, on the assumption that they go hand in hand, and with no recognition that the two aims can be in conflict.

4. The temperature of pre-industrial levels is not defined, and while there is plenty (too much?) written about that already, it seems a bit of an emission not to define this. A cynic might say it's to give them some wriggle room.

5. "...recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change." Again, the view that climate change brings only risks and [adverse] impacts, with no recognition that it might also bring benefits; combined with a determined belief that by holding the increase in temperature to 1.5 - 2C, they can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce those risks and impacts. There is much wailing and gnashing about the possibility, post-Trump, of those temperature increase being missed, but if this wording is to be believed, a modest increase beyond 1.5-2C wouldn't be too bad, surely, if temperature rise in that range will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the risks and impacts? Just a thought. They seem to have tied themselves up in knots in their enthusiasm to stress the importance of 1.5-2C.

6. 1 (b) is unexceptionable, save for the assumption yet again that "climate change", as defined, must impact adversely on food production and can't promote it.

7. "Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development" sounds nice, but ultimately isn't a binding commitment by anybody to anything.

8. Implementation reflecting "equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances" enables poorer countries to cop out, whilst still signing up to the Agreement, and as has been clear from the INDCs we looked at, many of them have seized that opportunity with both hands.]

Aug 3, 2017 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Interesting the "climate system" fails to mention the main driver -the Sun - and thus ignores changes brought about by Milankovitch cycles or variation in the quantity or composition of the Sun's output. So those Danish heretics can be ignored.

Aug 3, 2017 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Aug 3, 2017 at 11:12 AM | Supertroll

There is currently no mechanism for taxing sunshine, even though people generally feel happier, the more sunshine they get.

Aug 3, 2017 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Paris Agreement continued:

"Article 3

As nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change, all Parties are to undertake and communicate ambitious efforts as defined in Articles 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 13 with the view to achieving the purpose of this
Agreement as set out in Article 2. The efforts of all Parties will represent a progression over time, while recognizing the need to support developing country Parties for the effective implementation of this Agreement."

[Of course, this is where the Paris Agreement falls down. There is an obligation on the Parties to submit INDCs, which are to be ambitious - although arguably many of them fail in the ambition stakes - but only "with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement as set out in Article 2." No obligation to achieve anything, only with the view to doing so. Utterly non-binding and therefore meaningless, other than as a rallying cry.

The final words - "while recognizing the need to support developing country Parties for the effective implementation of this Agreement" - also seriously undermine the Agreement, since if the money isn't forthcoming, then developing country Parties are completely off the hook.]

Aug 3, 2017 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

By the time we reach Article 4 of the Paris Agreement, we're really starting to get into the detail - it runs to 19 separate paragraphs:

Article 4

1. In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties,
and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

[Politics is the art of the possible, and clearly the Paris Agreement took some hammering out before it was reduced to a form to which the Parties were prepared to sign up. But, however hard the lead negotiators tried, and however sincere some of the Parties were, ultimately the fact that other Parties weren't so committed meant that the Agreement had to be watered down. And it is that watering down which renders it not fit for purpose, other than as a shibboleth. The language of the paragraph above is the language of aspiration, not of meaningful binding obligation. "Parties AIM [i.e completely non-binding] to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions AS SOON AS POSSIBLE [meaningless in the absence of a specified date], recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties [cop-out for those responsible for the bulk of emissions]."

2. Each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.

[More of the same - "...contributions that it INTENDS to achieve." Not, will or must, but intends. And in the next sentence, not "ACHIEVING the objectives of such contributions" but with the AIM of doing so. These are mere exhortations. They can be used to embarrass Parties who don't play ball, but that's the extent of their use.

3. Each Party's successive nationally determined contribution will represent a progression beyond the Party's then current nationally determined contribution and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

[This is better - an attempt to ensure that successive INDCs are an improvement on the ones that go before. BUT while para 9 below provides for successive INDCs every 5 years, there is no obligation to make a definite commitment, whether in terms of percentage reductions in emissions, or with regard to timescales for emissions reductions. And again, the final words ("reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances") give many of the Parties the green light not to try very hard. They can always play the "differentiated responsibilities" and "different national circumstances" cards.]

4. Developed country Parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts, and are encouraged to move
over time towards economy-wide emission reduction or limitation targets in the light of different national circumstances.

[It's getting tiresome to keep making the point, but inevitably this is more of the same. Developed country Parties SHOULD continue taking the lead, but there is no obligation to do so - that would have involved the use of the word "shall" rather than "should". Developing country Parties again get to keep their cop-out.]

5. Support shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of this Article, in accordance with Articles 9, 10 and 11, recognizing that enhanced support for developing country Parties will allow for higher ambition in their actions.

[At last, the use of the word SHALL. However, when we take a look at Articles 9, 10 and 11, we will see that the use of SHALL here doesn't translate to a meaningful binding obligation there. And by implication, if "support" is not forthcoming, or not at the requested level, for developing country Parties, then by definition they are again let off the hook.]

6. The least developed countries and small island developing States may prepare and communicate strategies, plans and actions for low greenhouse gas emissions development reflecting their special circumstances.

[An even bigger cop-out clause!]

7. Mitigation co-benefits resulting from Parties' adaptation actions and/or economic diversification plans can contribute to mitigation outcomes under this Article.

[This seems like a watering-down of things. If the Parties were committed to robust binding commitments, I suspect this paragraph would not appear.]

8. In communicating their nationally determined contributions, all Parties shall provide the information necessary for clarity, transparency and understanding in accordance with decision 1/CP.21 and any relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[A very sensible paragraph. Unfortunately, as we have seen, many INDCs certainly don't comply with the spirit of this requirement, and some of them arguably don't comply with the letter of it either. Needless to say, I don't suppose the UN will be writing to them pointing this out and demanding that they improve offending documents.]

9. Each Party shall communicate a nationally determined contribution every five years in accordance with decision 1/CP21 and any relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement and be informed by the outcomes of the global stocktake referred to in Article 14.

[At last - I can make no criticism of this, in terms of what the Paris Agreement is supposed to be trying to achieve.]

10. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall consider common time frames for nationally determined contributions at its first session.

[Fair enough, save that it suggests that there was too much in-fighting in getting this far, so that they had to put this issue off to the next COP.]

11. A Party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[Again, fair enough, but the use of the word "may" isn't exactly an incentive to do this.]

12. Nationally determined contributions communicated by Parties shall be recorded in a public registry maintained by the secretariat.

[Sensible, and indeed access to said public registry online has enabled me to comment on them all - thank you!]

13. Parties shall account for their nationally determined contributions. In accounting for anthropogenic emissions and removals corresponding to their nationally determined contributions, Parties shall promote environmental integrity,
transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency, and ensure the avoidance of double counting, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[A very sensible paragraph, and it contains the word "shall" twice. In terms of what the Paris Agreement is supposed to achieve, this is a useful and intelligent provision.]

14. In the context of their nationally determined contributions, when recognizing and implementing mitigation actions with respect to anthropogenic emissions and removals, Parties should take into account, as appropriate, existing methods and guidance under the Convention, in the light of the provisions of paragraph 13 of this Article.

[Again, a tick and pass from me.]

15. Parties shall take into consideration in the implementation of this Agreement the concerns of Parties with economies most affected by the impacts of response measures, particularly developing country Parties.

[But then this reads like another get-out of jail free card.]

16. Parties, including regional economic integration organizations and their member States, that have reached an agreement to act jointly under paragraph 2 of this Article shall notify the secretariat of the terms of that agreement, including the emission level allocated to each Party within the relevant time period, when they communicate their nationally determined contributions. The secretariat shall in turn inform the Parties and signatories to the Convention of the terms of that agreement.

[Fair enough - presumably this was inserted at the behest of the EU, to facilitate their joint INDC.]

17. Each party to such an agreement shall be responsible for its emission level as set out in the agreement referred to in paragraph 16 of this Article in accordance with paragraphs 13 and 14 of this Article and Articles 13 and 15.

[Fair enough, save that if the Parties to such an Agreement don't specify individual obligations, how can this be made to work?]

18. If Parties acting jointly do so in the framework of, and together with, a regional economic integration organization which is itself a Party to this Agreement, each member State of that regional economic integration organization individually, and together with the regional economic integration organization, shall be responsible for its emission level as set out in the agreement communicated under paragraph 16 of this Article in accordance with paragraphs 13
and 14 of this Article and Articles 13 and 15.

[Same comment as for the preceding paragraph.]

19. All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of Article 2 taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

[A final round-up paragraph, in an attempt to gee things up presumably, but they would have done better not to bother. Another "should" instead of "shall" and the cop-out clause is added for good measure.]

More in due course, but that's enough for now.

Aug 3, 2017 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

More of the Paris Agreement:

Article 5

1. Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1 (d), of the Convention, including forests.

[Of course this is an excellent idea,and one I support. But yet again, the weasel word is "should". This imposes no obligation to do so, and is merely an exhortation.]

2. Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.

[It's a pity that even an official treaty refers to carbon, when they mean CO2. And again, this paragraph is pure exhortation - not a binding obligation in sight.]

[By the by, I've noticed a major omission from the Paris Agreement, and that is a complete absence of so much as mild encouragement to the Parties to control their growing populations. If populations continue to grow exponentially, then the Paris Agreement might as well be torn up, as significant population growth renders it utterly pointless. But the UN just won't go near that inconvenient truth.]

Aug 4, 2017 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

More on the Paris Agreement:

Article 6

1. Parties recognize that some Parties choose to pursue voluntary cooperation in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions to allow for higher ambition in their mitigation and adaptation actions and to promote sustainable development and environmental integrity.

[More flag-waving. Not sure why this appears in an Agreement - more appropriate to an accompanying press release.]

2. Parties shall, where engaging on a voluntary basis in cooperative approaches that involve the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes towards nationally determined contributions, promote sustainable development and ensure environmental integrity and transparency, including in governance, and shall apply robust accounting to ensure, inter alia, the avoidance of double counting, consistent with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[At last, a binding obligation, and an important one in terms of accounting for all this effectively and honestly.]

3. The use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes to achieve nationally determined contributions under this Agreement shall be voluntary and authorized by participating Parties.

[But then, more voluntarism.]

4. A mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development is hereby established under the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement for use by Parties on a voluntary basis. It shall be supervised by a body designated by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement, and shall aim:
(a) To promote the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions while fostering sustainable development;
(b) To incentivize and facilitate participation in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions by public and private entities authorized by a Party;
(c) To contribute to the reduction of emission levels in the host Party, which will benefit from mitigation activities resulting in emission reductions that can also be used by another Party to fulfil its nationally determined contribution; and
(d) To deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions.

[Perhaps it would have been nice, to demonstrate that they were serious, if they made it an obligation of subsequent COPs that there would be no more than, say, 500 attendees. No chance!]

5. Emission reductions resulting from the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article shall not be used to demonstrate achievement of the host Party's nationally determined contribution if used by another Party to demonstrate
achievement of its nationally determined contribution.

[Good - sensible.]

6. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall ensure that a share of the proceeds from activities under the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article is used to cover administrative
expenses as well as to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.

[But they don't explain where the money is to come from.]

7. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall adopt rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article at its first session.

[Maybe that's why they don't explain it. It seems like a good idea, but they've spent so long arguing, that other issues have to be put off to the COP. At least it gives them a reason to keep meeting in holiday locations, I suppose].

8. Parties recognize the importance of integrated, holistic and balanced non-market approaches being available to Parties to assist in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a coordinated and effective manner, including through, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building, as appropriate. These approaches shall aim to:
(a) Promote mitigation and adaptation ambition;
(b) Enhance public and private sector participation in the implementation of nationally determined contributions; and
(c) Enable opportunities for coordination across instruments and relevant institutional arrangements.

[Sounds good, but they're just words. No substance here at all.]

9. A framework for non-market approaches to sustainable development is hereby defined to promote the non-market approaches referred to in paragraph 8 of this Article.

["...is hereby defined....". Where? What is it?]

Aug 4, 2017 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

More on the Paris Agreement:

Article 7

1. Parties hereby establish the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal referred to in Article 2.

[Personally I think this makes far more sense - adaptation is an intelligent response to a changing climate in my view.]

2. Parties recognize that adaptation is a global challenge faced by all with local, subnational, national, regional and international dimensions, and that it is a key component of and makes a contribution to the long-term global response to climate change to protect people, livelihoods and ecosystems, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of those developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

[An assumption of "urgent and immediate needs" is stated. Some might argue with that, but in terms of what the Paris Agreement is supposed to be about, I suppose it's unexceptionable.]

3. The adaptation efforts of developing country Parties shall be recognized, in accordance with the modalities to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement at its first session.

[Fair enough.]

4. Parties recognize that the current need for adaptation is significant and that greater levels of mitigation can reduce the need for additional adaptation efforts, and that greater adaptation needs can involve greater adaptation costs.

[A statement of the blindingly obvious, but it enables them to pad the Agreement out with something uncontentious, I suppose.]

5. Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.

[Again, fair enough.]

6. Parties recognize the importance of support for and international cooperation on adaptation efforts and the importance of taking into account the needs of developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the
adverse effects of climate change.

[Fair enough.]

7. Parties should strengthen their cooperation on enhancing action on adaptation, taking into account the Cancun Adaptation Framework, including with regard to:

(a) Sharing information, good practices, experiences and lessons learned, including, as appropriate, as these relate to science, planning, policies and implementation in relation to adaptation actions;
(b) Strengthening institutional arrangements, including those under the Convention that serve this Agreement, to support the synthesis of relevant information and knowledge, and the provision of technical support and guidance to Parties;
(c) Strengthening scientific knowledge on climate, including research, systematic observation of the climate system and early warning systems, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision-making;
(d) Assisting developing country Parties in identifying effective adaptation practices, adaptation needs, priorities, support provided and received for adaptation actions and efforts, and challenges and gaps, in a manner consistent with encouraging good practices; and
(e) Improving the effectiveness and durability of adaptation actions.

[Parties adopted the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) as part of the Cancun Agreements at the 2010 Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico (COP 16/ CMP 6). In the Agreements, Parties affirmed that adaptation must be addressed with the same level of priority as mitigation. The CAF is the result of three years of negotiations on adaptation under the AWG-LCA that had followed the adoption of the Bali Action Plan at the 2007 Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia (COP 13/ CMP 3).]

8. United Nations specialized organizations and agencies are encouraged to support the efforts of Parties to implement the actions referred to in paragraph 7 of this Article, taking into account the provisions of paragraph 5 of this Article.

[I should have thought that in the context of ""urgent and immediate needs" the UN's own organisations and agencies should be tasked with supporting the efforts of the Parties, not merely encouraged to do so!]

9. Each Party shall, as appropriate, engage in adaptation planning processes and the implementation of actions, including the development or enhancement of relevant plans, policies and/or contributions, which may include:
(a) The implementation of adaptation actions, undertakings and/or efforts;
(b) The process to formulate and implement national adaptation plans;
(c) The assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability, with a view to formulating nationally determined prioritized actions, taking into account vulnerable people, places and ecosystems;
(d) Monitoring and evaluating and learning from adaptation plans, policies, programmes and actions; and
(e) Building the resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems, including through economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources.

[This paragraph contains the mandatory "shall" but mostly contains fine words of common sense rather than hard substance.]

10. Each Party should, as appropriate, submit and update periodically an adaptation communication, which may include its priorities, implementation and support needs, plans and actions, without creating any additional burden for developing country Parties.

["...should...may..." - it's weak stuff.]

11. The adaptation communication referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article shall be, as appropriate, submitted and updated periodically, as a component of or in conjunction with other communications or documents, including a national
adaptation plan, a nationally determined contribution as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 2, and/or a national communication.

["...periodically..." doesn't stipulate how often, so in terms of an obligation it's meaningless.]

12. The adaptation communications referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article shall be recorded in a public registry maintained by the secretariat.

[Sensible.]

13. Continuous and enhanced international support shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of paragraphs 7, 9, 10 and 11 of this Article, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 9, 10 and 11.

[This is obviously critical if anything is to be achieved, but again something crucial is missing - definite detail to make the imperative "shall" into a meaningful obligation. No actual amounts from each Developed country are specified, nor are dates when any money is to be handed over. By the by, I've noticed that Developed and developing countries are not defined terms. This seems to refer to Annex I and Annex II of the UNFCCC, but it strikes me as rather weak that a firm, clear and unequivocal definition was not included.]

14. The global stocktake referred to in Article 14 shall, inter alia:
(a) Recognize adaptation efforts of developing country Parties;
(b) Enhance the implementation of adaptation action taking into account the adaptation communication referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article;
(c) Review the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation and support provided for adaptation; and
(d) Review the overall progress made in achieving the global goal on adaptation referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

[This is sensible. Without means to review progress - or lack of it - it is difficult to see measures being taken to ensure that momentum is maintained.]

More tomorrow, all being well.

Aug 4, 2017 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

More on the Paris Agreement:

Article 8

1. Parties recognize the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events, and the role of sustainable
development in reducing the risk of loss and damage.

2. The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts shall be subject to the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement
and may be enhanced and strengthened, as determined by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

3. Parties should enhance understanding, action and support, including through the Warsaw International Mechanism, as appropriate, on a cooperative and facilitative basis with respect to loss and damage associated with the adverse
effects of climate change.

4. Accordingly, areas of cooperation and facilitation to enhance understanding, action and support may include:
(a) Early warning systems;
(b) Emergency preparedness;
(c) Slow onset events;
(d) Events that may involve irreversible and permanent loss and damage;
(e) Comprehensive risk assessment and management;
(f) Risk insurance facilities, climate risk pooling and other insurance solutions;
(g) Non-economic losses; and
(h) Resilience of communities, livelihoods and ecosystems.

5. The Warsaw International Mechanism shall collaborate with existing bodies and expert groups under the Agreement, as well as relevant organizations and expert bodies outside the Agreement.

[No problem with this in principle, save to note that the number of UN organisations, or UN climate -related and sponsored organisations seem to be proliferating at an alarming rate. For information, from the UN website:

At COP19 (November 2013) in Warsaw, Poland, the COP established the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (Loss and Damage Mechanism), to address loss and damage associated with impacts of climate change, including extreme events and slow onset events, in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The implementation of the functions of the Loss and Damage Mechanism will be guided by the Executive Committee under the guidance of the COP.

Functions of the Loss and Damage Mechanism

The Loss and Damage Mechanism fulfills the role under the Convention of promoting implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, pursuant to decision 3/CP.18, in a comprehensive, integrated and coherent manner by undertaking, inter alia, the following functions:

1. Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including slow onset impacts, by facilitating and promoting:

Action to address gaps in the understanding of and expertise in approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including, inter alia, the areas outlined in decision 3/CP.18, paragraph 7(a);
Collection, sharing, management and use of relevant data and information, including gender-disaggregated data;
Provision of overviews of best practices, challenges, experiences and lessons learned in undertaking approaches to address loss and damage.

2. Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders by:

Providing leadership and coordination and, as and where appropriate, oversight under the Convention, on the assessment and implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change from extreme events and slow onset events associated with the adverse effects of climate change;
Fostering dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among all relevant stakeholders, institutions, bodies, processes and initiatives outside the Convention, with a view to promoting cooperation and collaboration across relevant work and activities at all levels.

3. Enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, so as to enable countries to undertake actions pursuant to decision 3/CP.18, paragraph 6, including by:

Providing technical support and guidance on approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, including extreme events and slow onset events;
Providing information and recommendations for consideration by the Conference of the Parties when providing guidance relevant to reducing the risks of loss and damage and, where necessary, addressing loss and damage, including to the operating entities of the financial mechanism of the Convention, as appropriate;
Facilitating the mobilization and securing of expertise, and enhancement of support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, to strengthen existing approaches and, where necessary, facilitate the development and implementation of additional approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, including extreme weather events and slow onset events.

In exercising the above functions, the Loss and Damage Mechanism will, inter alia:

Facilitate support of actions to address loss and damage;
Improve coordination of the relevant work of existing bodies under the Convention;
Convene meetings of relevant experts and stakeholders;
Promote the development of, and compile, analyse, synthesize and review information;
Provide technical guidance and support;
Make recommendations, as appropriate, on how to enhance engagement, actions and coherence under and outside the Convention, including on how to mobilize resources and expertise at different levels.

The COP will review the Loss and Damage Mechanism, including its structure, mandate and effectiveness at COP22 (2016) with a view to adopting an appropriate decision on the outcome of this review
For further details on the Loss and Damage Mechanism, please refer to decision 2/CP.19.

The Adaptation Exchange has a Facebook page, for the Facebook generation...

https://www.facebook.com/The.Adaptation.Exchange]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

More on the Paris Agreement:

Article 9

1. Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.

[Clearly this is vital to the success of the Paris Agreement, and the rare use of the mandatory "shall" is significant. Unfortunately, equally significant is the failure to specify the level of financial resources to be provided by Developed country Parties. The failure explicity to define who they are, and to rely on an implication from the UNFCCC also seems lax.]

2. Other Parties are encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily.

[Encouragement is all well and good, but in the context of encouraging countries to give money away, does anyone seriously think this will achieve anything? More gesture politics.]

3. As part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds, through a variety of actions, including supporting country-driven strategies, and taking into account the needs and priorities of developing country Parties. Such mobilization of climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts.

[More mere exhortation and nothing binding - note that "should" appears twice in this paragraph, and "shall" doesn't appear at all.]

4. The provision of scaled-up financial resources should aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation, taking into account country-driven strategies, and the priorities and needs of developing country Parties, especially
those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and have significant capacity constraints, such as the least developed countries and small island developing States, considering the need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation.

[The balance point is encouraging, as between mitigation and adaptation, though many of us would prefer emphasis on adaptation. However, again note the use of the exhortatory "should" rather than the mandatory "shall".]

5. Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information related to paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article, as applicable, including, as available, projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties. Other Parties providing resources are encouraged to communicate biennially such information on a voluntary basis.

[All well and good, but if they're contributing next to nothing, obliging countries to communicate that fact won't achieve anything. While it could give the UN the opportunity to "name and shame" it seems unlikely that they will, since to do so would involve admitting that the process was failing.]

6. The global stocktake referred to in Article 14 shall take into account the relevant information provided by developed country Parties and/or Agreement bodies on efforts related to climate finance.

[Same comment as in respect of para 5 above.]

7. Developed country Parties shall provide transparent and consistent information on support for developing country Parties provided and mobilized through public interventions biennially in accordance with the modalities, procedures and guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement, at its first session, as stipulated in Article 13, paragraph 13. Other Parties are encouraged to do so.

[Same comment as in respect of paras 5 & 6 above.]


8. The Financial Mechanism of the Convention, including its operating entities, shall serve as the financial mechanism of this Agreement.

[Sensible, to avoid unnecessary duplication and an even greater plethora of bodies. For info, from the UN website:

"The contribution of countries to climate change, and their capacity to prevent and cope with its consequences, varies enormously. The Convention and the Protocol therefore foresee financial assistance from Parties with more resources to those less endowed and more vulnerable. Developed country Parties (Annex II Parties) shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties in implementing the Convention. To facilitate this, the Convention established a Financial Mechanism to provide funds to developing country Parties.

The Convention, under its Article 11, states that the operation of the Financial Mechanism is entrusted to one or more existing international entities. The operation of the Financial Mechanism is partly entrusted to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). At COP 17 Parties decided to designate the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, in accordance with Article 11 of the Convention. The Financial Mechanism is accountable to the COP, which decides on its climate change policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for funding.

The Kyoto Protocol also recognizes, under its Article 11, the need for the Financial Mechanism to fund activities by developing country Parties.

In addition to providing guidance to the GEF, Parties have established four special funds: the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), both managed by the GEF, and the GCF under the Convention; and the Adaptation Fund (AF) under the Kyoto Protocol.
At COP 16 Parties decided to establish the Standing Committee on Finance to assist the COP in exercising its functions in relation to the Financial Mechanism of the Convention.
Launched at COP 17 and extended for one year at COP 18, the work programme on long-term finance concluded its work at COP 19 in Warsaw. COP 19, in decision 3/CP.19, included activities on long-term climate finance for the period 2014-2020. These include biennial submissions by developed country Parties on their strategies and approaches for scaling up climate finance from 2014 to 2020, in-session workshops to facilitate deliberations on long-term climate finance and biennial high level ministerial dialogues on climate finance starting in 2014. More information here.

Funding for climate change actvities is also available through bilateral, regional and multilateral channels."]

9. The institutions serving this Agreement, including the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, shall aim to ensure efficient access to financial resources through simplified approval procedures and enhanced readiness support for developing country Parties, in particular for the least developed countries and small island developing States, in the context of their national climate strategies and plans.

[Fair enough, but note how "shall" is watered down to "shall aim", so again, a non-binding exhortation, rather than an obligation. The failure to list China as a Developed country Party, the failure to mention population growth, and the failure to make financial obligations meaningful all guarantee that the Paris Agreement will fail in its objectives, IMO.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

More on the Paris Agreement:

Article 10

1. Parties share a long-term vision on the importance of fully realizing technology development and transfer in order to improve resilience to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

[A statement of desire, not a practical means of doing anything about it.]

2. Parties, noting the importance of technology for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions under this Agreement and recognizing existing technology deployment and dissemination efforts, shall strengthen cooperative
action on technology development and transfer.

[This is leading into practical measures, but we have to keep reading.]

3. The Technology Mechanism established under the Convention shall serve this Agreement.

[There's a glossy online brochure here about the Technology Mechanism if you're interested:

http://unfccc.int/ttclear/misc_/StaticFiles/gnwoerk_static/TEM/0e7cc25f3f9843ccb98399df4d47e219/174ad939936746b6bfad76e30a324e78.pdf]

4. A technology framework is hereby established to provide overarching guidance to the work of the Technology Mechanism in promoting and facilitating enhanced action on technology development and transfer in order to support the implementation of this Agreement, in pursuit of the long-term vision referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

[Hmm. Given the existence of the Technology Mechanism, one might have thought that was enough.]

5. Accelerating, encouraging and enabling innovation is critical for an effective, long-term global response to climate change and promoting economic growth and sustainable development. Such effort shall be, as appropriate, supported, including by the Technology Mechanism and, through financial means, by the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, for collaborative approaches to research and development, and facilitating access to technology, in particular for early stages of the technology cycle, to developing country Parties.

[OK, let's see how it works in practice.]

6. Support, including financial support, shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of this Article, including for strengthening cooperative action on technology development and transfer at different stages of the technology cycle, with a view to achieving a balance between support for mitigation and adaptation. The global stocktake referred to in Article 14 shall take into account available information on efforts related to support on technology
development and transfer for developing country Parties.

["Support, including financial support, shall be provided to developing country Parties...". Which is good, especially the mandatory "shall." The problem is, it doesn't say who is to provide the support...]

Aug 5, 2017 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 11

1. Capacity-building under this Agreement should enhance the capacity and ability of developing country Parties, in particular countries with the least capacity, such as the least developed countries, and those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, such as small island developing States, to take effective climate change action, including, inter alia, to implement adaptation and mitigation actions, and should facilitate technology development, dissemination and deployment, access to climate finance, relevant aspects of education, training and public awareness, and the transparent, timely and accurate communication of information.

[It's getting boring now, but I have to point out that's another "should" rather than a "shall".]

2. Capacity-building should be country-driven, based on and responsive to national needs, and foster country ownership of Parties, in particular, for developing country Parties, including at the national, subnational and local levels. Capacity-building should be guided by lessons learned, including those from capacity-building activities under the Convention, and should be an effective, iterative process that is participatory, cross-cutting and gender-responsive.

[Three "shoulds" in that paragraph...]

3. All Parties should cooperate to enhance the capacity of developing country Parties to implement this Agreement. Developed country Parties should enhance support for capacity-building actions in developing country Parties.

[And two "shoulds" in that paragraph.]

4. All Parties enhancing the capacity of developing country Parties to implement this Agreement, including through regional, bilateral and multilateral approaches, shall regularly communicate on these actions or measures on capacity building. Developing country Parties should regularly communicate progress made on implementing capacity-building plans, policies, actions or measures to implement this Agreement.

[Some inconsistency here - Parties enhancing the capacity of developing country Parties SHALL regularly communicate...but Developing country Parties SHOULD do so.]

5. Capacity-building activities shall be enhanced through appropriate institutional arrangements to support the implementation of this Agreement, including the appropriate institutional arrangements established under the Convention that serve this Agreement. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall, at its first session, consider and adopt a decision on the initial institutional arrangements for capacity-building.

[I suppose it gives them an excuse to keep holding Conferences of the Parties in nice locations...].

Aug 5, 2017 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 12

Parties shall cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, recognizing the importance of these steps with respect to enhancing actions under this Agreement.

[This clause is quite worrying - especially as it is one of the few to contain a mandatory "shall". The Parties are agreed that it is essential that they keep propagandising and brainwashing the public.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 13

1. In order to build mutual trust and confidence and to promote effective implementation, an enhanced transparency framework for action and support, with built-in flexibility which takes into account Parties' different capacities and builds
upon collective experience is hereby established.

[Sounds like more jargon and a few more snouts in a few more troughs.]

2. The transparency framework shall provide flexibility in the implementation of the provisions of this Article to those developing country Parties that need it in the light of their capacities. The modalities, procedures and guidelines referred to in paragraph 13 of this Article shall reflect such flexibility.

[More letting developing countries off the hook - was this needed to get them to sign up?]

3. The transparency framework shall build on and enhance the transparency arrangements under the Convention, recognizing the special circumstances of the least developed countries and small island developing States, and be implemented in a facilitative, non-intrusive, non-punitive manner, respectful of national sovereignty, and avoid placing undue burden on Parties.

[Even more letting people off the hook. Don't they understand that they cannot achieve their target WITHOUT placing an undue burden on Parties?]

4. The transparency arrangements under the Convention, including national communications, biennial reports and biennial update reports, international assessment and review and international consultation and analysis, shall form part
of the experience drawn upon for the development of the modalities, procedures and guidelines under paragraph 13 of this Article.

[Whatever...]

5. The purpose of the framework for transparency of action is to provide a clear understanding of climate change action in the light of the objective of the Convention as set out in its Article 2, including clarity and tracking of progress towards achieving Parties' individual nationally determined contributions under Article 4, and Parties' adaptation actions under Article 7, including good practices, priorities, needs and gaps, to inform the global stocktake under Article 14.

[I look forward to seeing how they get on with this. I suspect the results will be disappointing.]

6. The purpose of the framework for transparency of support is to provide clarity on support provided and received by relevant individual Parties in the context of climate change actions under Articles 4, 7, 9, 10 and 11, and, to the extent possible, to provide a full overview of aggregate financial support provided, to inform the global stocktake under Article 14.

[Same comment as for para 5. Plus, all this probably wouldn't be necessary if they'd provided firm, meaningful and obligatory requirements on the Parties - but then, if they had, the Agreement wouldn't have been signed.]

7. Each Party shall regularly provide the following information:
(a) A national inventory report of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases, prepared using good practice methodologies accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and agreed upon by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement; and
(b) Information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving its nationally determined contribution under Article 4.

[Yes, there's a "shall" here, but that's undermined by the weak "regularly" used instead of a firm and definitively stated timescale.]

8. Each Party should also provide information related to climate change impacts and adaptation under Article 7, as appropriate.

["Should" rather than "shall".]

9. Developed country Parties shall, and other Parties that provide support should, provide information on financial, technology transfer and capacity-building support provided to developing country Parties under Articles 9, 10 and 11.

[A "shall" here for Developed country Parties only, and no time-frame set down.]

10. Developing country Parties should provide information on financial, technology transfer and capacity-building support needed and received under Articles 9, 10 and 11.

["Should" rather than "shall".]

11. Information submitted by each Party under paragraphs 7 and 9 of this Article shall undergo a technical expert review, in accordance with decision 1/CP.21. For those developing country Parties that need it in the light of their capacities, the
review process shall include assistance in identifying capacity-building needs. In addition, each Party shall participate in a facilitative, multilateral consideration of progress with respect to efforts under Article 9, and its respective implementation and achievement of its nationally determined contribution.

[Some "shalls" here, but no hard and fast time scale, so no meaningful obligation.]

12. The technical expert review under this paragraph shall consist of a consideration of the Party's support provided, as relevant, and its implementation and achievement of its nationally determined contribution. The review shall also identify areas of improvement for the Party, and include a review of the consistency of the information with the modalities, procedures and guidelines referred to in paragraph 13 of this Article, taking into account the flexibility accorded to the Party under paragraph 2 of this Article. The review shall pay particular attention to the respective national capabilities and circumstances of developing country Parties.

[Sensible so far as it goes.]

13. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall, at its first session, building on experience from the arrangements related to transparency under the Convention, and elaborating on the provisions in this Article, adopt common modalities, procedures and guidelines, as appropriate, for the transparency of action and support.

[Also sensible, if there's to be any chance of anything positive stemming from this Agreement.]

14. Support shall be provided to developing countries for the implementation of this Article.

[When? How much? By whom? A classic example of wishful thinking and no obligation, since the mandatory "shall" is totally undermined by the lack of meaningful detail.]

15. Support shall also be provided for the building of transparency-related capacity of developing country Parties on a continuous basis.

[Same comments as for para 14.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 14

1. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall periodically take stock of the implementation of this Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals (referred to as the "global stocktake"). It shall do so in a comprehensive and facilitative manner, considering mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best
available science.

[This makes sense, and it gives the subsequent COPs something useful to do.]

2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall undertake its first global stocktake in 2023 and every five years thereafter unless otherwise decided by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[7 or 8 years seems a long time to wait for the first one, but at least by then the position should be becoming clear.]

3. The outcome of the global stocktake shall inform Parties in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, their actions and support in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Agreement, as well as in enhancing
international cooperation for climate action.

[Another "shall", but without follow-up. OK, the result of the global stocktake "shall" inform the Parties. But it doesn't mandate specific action on their part stemming from them being put in possession of more information.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 15

1. A mechanism to facilitate implementation of and promote compliance with the provisions of this Agreement is hereby established.

[But read on...]

2. The mechanism referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall consist of a committee that shall be expert-based and facilitative in nature and function in a manner that is transparent, non-adversarial and non-punitive. The committee shall
pay particular attention to the respective national capabilities and circumstances of Parties.

[A committee of experts than can only facilitate, cannot punish, and has to make allowances for national capabilities and circumstances - thereby providing another cop-out clause.]

3. The committee shall operate under the modalities and procedures adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement at its first session and report annually to the Conference of the Parties
serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[Well, it'll give future COPs even more to talk about, but in light of the meaningless nature of the committee's remit, as established in para 2, what's the point?]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 16

1. The Conference of the Parties, the supreme body of the Convention, shall serve as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[Fine - sensible to make arrangements of this sort.]

2. Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to this Agreement may participate as observers in the proceedings of any session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement. When the
Conference of the Parties serves as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement, decisions under this Agreement shall be taken only by those that are Parties to this Agreement.

[Also sensible.]

3. When the Conference of the Parties serves as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement, any member of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties representing a Party to the Convention but, at that time, not a Party to this
Agreement, shall be replaced by an additional member to be elected by and from amongst the Parties to this Agreement.

[Again, I have no problem with this.]

4. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall keep under regular review the implementation of this Agreement and shall make, within its mandate, the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. It shall perform the functions assigned to it by this Agreement and shall:
(a) Establish such subsidiary bodies as deemed necessary for the implementation of this Agreement; and
(b) Exercise such other functions as may be required for the implementation of this Agreement.

[Oh good, more subsidiary bodies in prospect. The gravy train keeps rolling and the tentacles of UNFCCC keep growing.]

5. The rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties and the financial procedures applied under the Convention shall be applied mutatis mutandis under this Agreement, except as may be otherwise decided by consensus by the
Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[Sensible.]

6. The first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall be convened by the secretariat in conjunction with the first session of the Conference of the Parties that is scheduled after the date of entry into force of this Agreement. Subsequent ordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall be held in conjunction with ordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties, unless otherwise decided by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[It's getting boring now, but fair enough.]

7. Extraordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall be held at such other times as may be deemed necessary by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within six months of the request being communicated to the Parties by the secretariat, it is supported by at least one third of the Parties.

[Reasonable to have arrangements of this sort in place. It's just a pity that they didn't pay the same attention to the details of the substantive parts of the Agreement as they have done to the administrative sections - but then I suppose the administration of the Agreement isn't terribly controversial.]

8. The United Nations and its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State member thereof or observers thereto not party to the Convention, may be represented at sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement as observers. Any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which is qualified in matters covered by this Agreement and which has informed the secretariat of its wish to be represented at a session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement as an observer, may be so admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present object. The admission and participation of observers shall be subject to the rules of procedure referred to
in paragraph 5 of this Article.

[Will this make it easier for them to exclude people who don't support their objectives from future COPs?

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 17

1. The secretariat established by Article 8 of the Convention shall serve as the secretariat of this Agreement.

[Sensible - at least they're avoiding unnecessary duplication.]

2. Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Convention on the functions of the secretariat, and Article 8, paragraph 3, of the Convention, on the arrangements made for the functioning of the secretariat, shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement. The secretariat shall, in addition, exercise the functions assigned to it under this Agreement and by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.

[Also sensible to make these housekeeping arrangements clear. But we're into the housekeeping now, all right. Any substance in the Agreement seems to be behind us.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 18

1. The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation established by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention shall serve, respectively, as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of this Agreement. The provisions of the Convention relating to the functioning of these two bodies shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement. Sessions of the meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of this Agreement shall be held in conjunction with the meetings of, respectively, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of the Convention.

[For info, from the UN website:

"The SBSTA is one of two permanent subsidiary bodies to the Convention established by the COP/CMP. It supports the work of the COP, the CMP and the CMA through the provision of timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters as they relate to the Convention, its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement."

"More Background on the SBSTA

Key areas of work for the SBSTA include the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, promoting the development and transfer of environmentally-sound technologies and conducting technical work to improve the guidelines for preparing and reviewing greenhouse gas emission inventories from Annex I Parties. The SBSTA carries out methodological work under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, and promotes collaboration in the field of research and systematic observation of the climate system.

In addition, the SBSTA plays an important role as the link between the scientific information provided by expert sources such as the IPCC on the one hand, and the policy-oriented needs of the COP on the other hand. It works closely with the IPCC, sometimes requesting specific information or reports from it, and also collaborates with other relevant international organizations that share the common objective of sustainable development.

The SBSTA and SBI work together on cross-cutting issues that touch on both their areas of expertise. These include the vulnerability of developing countries to climate change and response measures, discussions under the Technology Mechanism, the Adaptation Committee and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts.

The SBSTA and the SBI have traditionally met in parallel, twice a year. When they are not meeting in conjunction with the COP, the subsidiary bodies usually convene at the seat of the secretariat in Bonn, Germany."]

2. Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to this Agreement may participate as observers in the proceedings of any session of the subsidiary bodies. When the subsidiary bodies serve as the subsidiary bodies of this Agreement,
decisions under this Agreement shall be taken only by those that are Parties to this Agreement.

[Sensible housekeeping.]

3. When the subsidiary bodies established by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention exercise their functions with regard to matters concerning this Agreement, any member of the bureaux of those subsidiary bodies representing a Party to the Convention but, at that time, not a Party to this Agreement, shall be replaced by an additional member to be elected by and from amongst the Parties to this Agreement.

[This replicates a similar provision above and is a sensible and careful arrangement.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 19

1. Subsidiary bodies or other institutional arrangements established by or under the Convention, other than those referred to in this Agreement, shall serve this Agreement upon a decision of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement shall specify the functions to be exercised by such subsidiary bodies or arrangements.

2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement may provide further guidance to such subsidiary bodies and institutional arrangements.

[It's safe to say we're into admin now...]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 20

1. This Agreement shall be open for signature and subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Convention. It shall be open for signature at the United
Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. Thereafter, this Agreement shall be open for accession from the day following the date on which it is closed for signature. Instruments of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

[Self-explanatory.]

2. Any regional economic integration organization that becomes a Party to this Agreement without any of its member States being a Party shall be bound by all the obligations under this Agreement. In the case of regional economic integration organizations with one or more member States that are Parties to this Agreement, the organization and its member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under this Agreement. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under this Agreement concurrently.

[I suppose this covers situations such as the collective EU signing-up to the Agreement.]

3. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, regional economic integration organizations shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by this Agreement. These
organizations shall also inform the Depositary, who shall in turn inform the Parties, of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 21

1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited
their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

2. Solely for the limited purpose of paragraph 1 of this Article, "total global greenhouse gas emissions" means the most up-to-date amount communicated on or before the date of adoption of this Agreement by the Parties to the Convention.

3. For each State or regional economic integration organization that ratifies, accepts or approves this Agreement or accedes thereto after the conditions set out in paragraph 1 of this Article for entry into force have been fulfilled, this
Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

4. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Article, any instrument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by its member States.

[From the UN website:

"158 Parties have ratified of 197 Parties to the Convention

On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016. The first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) took place in Marrakech, Morocco from 15-18 November 2016."]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 22

The provisions of Article 15 of the Convention on the adoption of amendments to the Convention shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.

[For info,I set out below Article 15 of the Convention:

"Article 15

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION

1. Any Party may propose amendments to the Convention.

2. Amendments to the Convention shall be adopted at an ordinary session of the Conference of the Parties. The text of any proposed amendment to the Convention shall be communicated to the Parties by the secretariat at least six months before the meeting at which it is proposed for adoption. The secretariat shall also communicate proposed amendments to the signatories to the Convention and, for information, to the Depositary.

3. The Parties shall make every effort to reach agreement on any proposed amendment to the Convention by consensus. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment shall as a last resort be adopted by a three-fourths majority vote of the Parties present and voting at the meeting. The adopted amendment shall be communicated by the secretariat to the Depositary, who shall circulate it to all Parties for their acceptance.

4. Instruments of acceptance in respect of an amendment shall be deposited with the Depositary. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 above shall enter into force for those Parties having accepted it on the ninetieth day after the date of receipt by the Depositary of an instrument of acceptance by at least three fourths of the Parties to the Convention.

5. The amendment shall enter into force for any other Party on the ninetieth day after the date on which that Party deposits with the Depositary its instrument of acceptance of the said amendment.

6. For the purposes of this Article, “Parties present and voting” means Parties present and casting an affirmative or negative vote."]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson