Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Brief On The Outcomes Of The 19th Session Of The Conference Of Parties To The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change Held In Warsaw, Poland 11th – 23rd November 2013




On The Outcomes Of The 19th Session Of The Conference Of Parties To The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change

Held In Warsaw, Poland

11th – 23rd November 2013


A Brief Background About the Climate Change Convention

With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States running up to 2012, the highly industrialized countries assumed legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments, most of which were not fulfilled.

In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, known as the “Doha Amendment” that extends its period and establishes the second commitment period for emissions reductions.

The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

About the Warsaw 2013 Conference

Organization of work

The UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw ended on Saturday 23rd November, keeping governments on a track towards a universal climate agreement in 2015 and including significant new decisions that will cut emissions from deforestation and on loss and damage.

The Conference attracted over 8,000 delegates from government, civil society, international observers, the church, business community, and the academia. Overall, the Warsaw Climate Change Conference concluded successfully, to a great extent, but did not succeed well in certain elements. For instance, it was difficult to make substantial progress in all agenda items due to various legitimate factors.

Agenda items negotiated under the established Convention and Kyoto Protocol Bodies

Altogether, there were 189 agenda items being discussed in five thematic bodies, as briefly highlighted below:

The 19th Conference of the Parties – finance, Green Climate Fund, Long –term finance, and key issues referred to it from the other four bodies.

The 9th Conference of the Parties also serving as meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol – emissions reduction targets, Adaptation Fund, clean development mechanism.

The Subsidiary Body for Implementation – finance, Global Environment Facility, national communications, national adaptation plans, loss and damage to impacts of climate change.

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice – scientific issues about green house gases inventories, research and systematic observation, agriculture, Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and assessments, land use, land use change and forestry, clean development mechanism, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Enhanced Action for Mitigation – pre-2020 mitigation ambition, finance.

3.0 Purpose, Objectives and Processes of COP-19/CMP-9

The Warsaw 2013 Conference was considered crucial due to the fact that the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the legal instrument for the Convention, expired on 31st December 2012, and Parties agreed to the second commitment period to run from 1st January 2013 to 31st December 2020. As such, member countries were expected to agree, and agree on fair and ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets for the second and subsequent commitment periods, beyond 2012. In addition, the Conference was expected to agree on sources and scale of long-term finance from 2013 and beyond, and also on the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund that was established at Cancun, Mexico in 2010.

The Conference sought to advance, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan agreed at CoP13 in 2007, the Cancun Agreements reached at CoP16 in 2010, the Durban Platform adopted at COP17 in South Africa in 2011, and the Doha Gateway adopted at Doha, Qatar in December 2012.

4.0 Key Decisions and Outcomes of COP-19/CMP-9

The key thematic outcomes adopted at this Conference include decisions that pave the way for future progress on:>

Further advancing the Durban Platform for enhanced action on mitigation (ADP),

Fully operationalizing the Green Climate Fund and Long-term Finance,

Establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts, and
Establishment of the Warsaw Framework for REDDplus.


Climate finance

Several decisions were taken related to climate finance, as highlighted below:

Long-term Climate Finance

The Warsaw meeting resulted in concrete announcements of forthcoming contributions of public climate finance to support developing nations’ actions. Developed countries that made the announcements included Norway, the United Kingdom, European Union, United States of America, Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden, Germany and Finland.

Green Climate Fund

Meanwhile, the Green Climate Fund Board is to commence its initial resource mobilization process as soon as possible and developed countries were asked for ambitious, timely contributions by COP 20, in December, next year, to enable an effective operationalization of the Fund.

Local level action: Stakeholders are encouraged to develop projects on adaptation and mitigation that will be submitted to the Fund once it becomes operational. The country also needs to nominate a national implementing entity for the Green Climate Fund, as required in the Instrument of the Fund.

Adaptation Fund

Developed countries such as Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland made financial contributions to the Adaptation Fund to a level of a hundred million United States dollars (US$100 million). The Adaptation Fund was established under the Convention to support developing countries implement concrete adaptation activities.

Local level action : Malawi needs to finalize the process of nominating and accrediting a national implementing entity with the Adaptation Fund Board. The entity will serve as a clearing house for adaptation projects to be submitted to the Board for consideration for funding.

“The funds listed above are important for Malawi to implements its climate change related interventions as indicated in the Climate Change Investment Plan. Over the years, the country has been able to access projects amounting to over 10 billion United States dollars (US$10 b)spread across variopus government institutions and the civil society. These projects have activities on adaptation, early warning systems, disaster risk management, capacity building, renewable energy, land management, and other focal areas “.

Fifth review of the financial mechanism

The CoP adopted the updated guidelines for the Fifth review of the financial mechanism and requested the Standing Committee on Finance to continue to provide expert input to the review, with a view to the review being finalized by the Conference of the Parties at its twentieth session (December 2014). The review will, among others, examine relevant sources, channels and means of financing, as indicated in Article 11, paragraph 5, of the Convention.

Guidance to the Global Environment Facility

The CoP requested the Global Environment Facility to give due consideration in its sixth replenishment period to funding for small island developing States and the least developed countries in order to enable them to address their urgent needs and to comply with their obligations under the Convention.

“Firewall” – In spite of the announcements made to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, developing countries, including Malawi, did express concerns caused mainly by the lack of progress on the main issues about finance, i.e. how to mobilize funds up to the already pledged US$100 billion a year by 2020, to help developing countries take climate actions. There was no agreement on a road map to mobilize the required resources between now and the 2020 deadline.

Durban Platform on Enhanced Action on pre-2020 Mitigation Ambition

Another major outcome of the Conference was a decision on how to take forward the talks in the next two years that will lead to a new climate change agreement in December 2015.

The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was established at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) at Durban, South Africa in December 2011, with a purpose to allow Parties negotiate a comprehensive climate change agreement, which will cover all countries of the world, by 2015 at the latest. Principles of equity, historical responsibility, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities will play a key role in this agreement.

Discussions under this thematic body centered on how various countries will have to “contribute” their efforts to addressing mitigation and adaptation activities, especially whether there is to be differentiation and if so what type of differentiation, and the issue of securing the support of financing and technology for developing countries.

Local level action: The country is contributing already to mitigation actions, through various programmes on renewable energy, carbon sequestration and projects under the clean development mechanism, and will continue contributing through nationally appropriate mitigation actions and projects supported through the USAID on enhancing capacity for low emissions development strategies.


The CoP welcomed progress made in the implementation of the Adaptation Committee’s three-year rolling work programme, and the establishment of a task force on national adaptation plans.

Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change

Recognizing the importance of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices, and gender-sensitive approaches and tools for adaptation to climate change, the CoP decided to continue the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and decided also that activities under the Nairobi work programme should integrate gender issues, indigenous and traditional knowledge, and the role of and impacts on ecosystems. The CoP further decided that in undertaking its work, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice should cover the following sectors, among others: Ecosystems; Human settlements; Water resources; and Health.

The Warsaw international mechanism on loss and damage associated with climate change impacts

The climate conference held in Warsaw has set up a new international mechanism to help developing countries affected by loss and damage from climate change, such as the Philippines typhoon.

The setting up of a loss and damage international mechanism was the major achievement of the 19th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP19) that ended on Saturday 23 November evening, a full day after its scheduled conclusion.

The new mechanism is tasked to provide countries with technical support, to facilitate actions and improve coordination of work inside the UN Climate Convention as well as with other organisations.

Most importantly, it will also mobilize and secure funds, technology and capacity building activities to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDDplus)

An agreement was reached on a significant set of decisions on ways to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and the degradation of forests, which account for around one fifth of all human-generated emissions. The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ is backed by pledges of 280 million dollars financing from the United States of America, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Local level action and benefit: Malawi stands to benefit from this facility once it gets accredited under the United Nations REDD Programme. In this regard, Department of Forestry is required to designate a national focal point on this facility, and also follow up on the accreditation process under the UNREDD Programme, but also expedite the development of the REDDplus strategy.

Climate Technology Centre and Network

Governments completed work on the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) so that it can immediately respond to requests from developing countries for advice and assistance on the transfer of technology.

The Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010, decided to establish a Technology Mechanism, to enhance action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation. The CTCN shall manage the process of receiving and responding to requests from developing country Parties and shall work with the Network to respond to such requests.

The CTCN is open for business and is encouraging developing countries to set up focal points to accelerate the transfer of technology.

Local level action: Malawi needs to finalize accreditation process for a national designated entity that becomes the country’s contact point, and institution responsible to undertake actions related to the development and transfer of technologies.

Issues relating to agriculture

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) acknowledged with appreciation the rich exchange of views by Parties during the in-session workshop on the current state of scientific knowledge on how to enhance the adaptation of agriculture to climate change impacts while promoting rural development, sustainable development and productivity of agricultural systems and food security in all countries, particularly in developing countries, taking into account the diversity of the agricultural systems and the differences in scale as well as possible adaptation co-benefits. The SBSTA agreed to consider at SBSTA 40 (June 2014), the report of the in-session workshop

Advancing the goal of gender balance and gender sensitive policy

The COP adopted gender conclusions released by the SBI Chair using information from submission from parties, in session gender workshop and the negotiations on options and ways to advance gender balance as mandated by decision 23/CP.18. However, parties failed to agree on concrete options

Clean development mechanism

The CoP welcomed the progress made in establishing the regional collaboration centres to promote the clean development mechanism in regions underrepresented in the mechanism and to support stakeholders at the regional and national levels; and requested the Executive Board to develop guiding tools to assist designated national authorities, upon the request of the host Party and on a voluntary basis, in monitoring the sustainable development benefits in its territory of clean development mechanism project activities and programmes of activities, recognizing that the use of such guiding tools is the prerogative of Parties and subject to the availability of funds from developed country Parties.

Bilateral meetings

In the margins of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, the Malawi delagation met with several bilateral and cooperating partners to further advance our relationships. These partners included representatives from German, Norwegian and Scotish governments, European Union, Global Environment Facility, World Bank, Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice, United Nations Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, Oxfam International and Act Alliance.

Some of the partners have on-going programmes in Malawi, hence they offfered to continue providing support for climate change related activities in Malawi, whereas the others pledged their willingness to support the country in mitigation and adaptation actions.

During these meetings, and at a side event that we organized, we showcased our national best practicies on climate change and shared with the international community the recently developed National Climate Change Investment Plan, and other efforts which will lead to sustainable development in the country.

Some of the areas include development of National Adaptation Plans, National Appropriate Mitigation Actions, REDDplus strategy and other programmes related to technology and capacity building.

Annex 1:
Programmes Funded Through Initiatives In The Climate Change Negotiations


Climate Adaptation for Rural Livelihoods and Agriculture - US$3million (is under full implementation in Karonga, Dedza and Chikwawa) – from the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environment Facility through the African Development Bank.

Climate proofing local development gains in rural and urban areas of Machinga and Mangochi Districts – being finalized, funds from the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environment Facility through UNDP - $5.3m (Approved).

Strengthening Climate Information And Early Warning Systems In Eastern And Southern Africa For Climate Resilient Development And Adaptation To Climate Change – from the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environment Facility through the UNDP - $4m, implementation to start soon next year).

Implementing urgent adaptation priorities through strengthened decentralized and national development plans – from the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environment Facility through UNDP- $4.5m (being finalized.)

The Shire River Basin Management, under full implementation with the World Bank with a contribution of US$5million from the Least Developed Countries Fund.

Climate smart Agriculture project in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security through the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Projects At Different Stages Of Development With The GEF And Its Agencies

Pesticides Risk Reduction in Malawi, Project Information Form (PIF) submitted on 14th August 2012 through the Food and Agriculture Organization to a tune of US$ 3,000,000- UNIDO - approved.

Frameworks for the Prevention of Management of Biological Invasions in Malawi, Project Identification Form (PIF) submitted on 4th October 2012 through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to a tune of US$1.1 million – approved.

Establishment of a National Regulatory Framework for Access and Benefit Sharing in Malawi, PIF submitted on 5th October 2012 through UNEP to a tune of US$1 million

Building Climate Resilience in the Fisheries sector in Malawi, PIF submitted on 18th December 2012 through the FAO to a tune of US$6,138,000 million – approved.

Endorsement for Increasing Access to Clean and Affordable Decentralized Energy Services in Selected Vulnerable Areas of Malawi- PIF submitted through UNDP on 18th April 2013 to a tune of US$2million pending.

Requests Still Under Consideration

Technical support from UNEP and UNDP under the GEF Global Support Programme for Malawi to engage on the roadmap for formulation of National Adaptation Plans

UNEP and UNDP have teamed up together to assist Malawi. We will engage a national consultant to work with a team of national experts in this exercise. The National Climate Change Programme may provide some resources to support the exercise.

The need: an expedited approach since Malawi is also being featured as a case study in this process by the LDCs Adaptation nit at the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Request to GEF through UNEP for Malawi to develop its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) – request was addressed to Dr Maryam Niamir-Fuller on 24th July 2013

Dr George Manful at the UNEP has been assigned to work with Malawi, as such what is needed is an expedited approach.

The country has engaged on “A Road Towards a Low Carbon Emissions Development Pathway” whose purpose is to develop a low carbon growth path for Malawi. By undertaking this task, Government will engage in a Green Economy Pathway through implementation of sustainable low carbon emissions technologies. Pursuant to the decisions taken in Copenhagen and Durban, Malawi has developed its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) Concept note, as attached.

In order to develop a complete NAMA and develop an MRV Framework, Malawi has requested for financing of US$2,000,000 (two million United States dollars) from our GEF-5 System for Transparent Allocation (STAR) climate change allocation.

Request to the GEF through the UNEP for Malawi’s Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – sent on 24th July 2013 to Dr Maryam Niamir-Fuller

In response to the decisions taken at the sixteenth session (COP 16) and the seventeenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for the preparation of biennial update reports by non-Annex I Parties, Malawi submitted this request for financing in order to prepare its biennial update report.

It is the wish of Government that we should be able to complete and submit our first biennial update report by December 2014, as a stand-alone update report.

Malawi is ready and willing to work with the UNEP in this project using the current enabling activities template. The total financing that was requested for this project from GEF-5 funds is US$352, 000 (three hundred fifty two thousand United States Dollars).

Request to the GEF for financing for review of Malawi’s National Capacity Self-Assessment and Capacity Development for Implementation of the three Rio Conventions – request was specifically submitted through Mr William Ehlers on 24th July 2013

Malawi developed its National Capacity Self Assessment Report in 2007, and officially submitted it to the GEF in 2012. The Report established that, in the implementation of the three Rio Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Combat Desertification, a number of individual, institutional and systemic gaps exist.

In order to address some of the inadequacies that were identified in the Report, a request was made for financing of US$500,000 (five hundred thousand United States dollars) from the GEF- Capacity Development Window for developing countries. In this regard, Malawi has requested the UNEP to assist in the preparation of a Project Identification Form (PIF) to enable us access the resources.

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