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Facilitating better climate dialogue

Lice Movono
Saturday, October 28, 2017

ONE of the main outputs expected out of COP23 and the Fijian presidency is the successful design and launch of the facilitative dialogue.

The facilitative dialogue (FD) which will take place throughout 2018 among the 197 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is basically a way to continue discussions on two major parts of the Paris Agreement.

The first being long-term warming reduction goals and the nationally determined contributions of each party.

So an important priority of this COP is that it needs to construct a facilitative dialogue which will take stock of the efforts of each country in terms of Article 2 and Article 4 of the Parist Agreement.

The agreement basically establishes a global warming goal of below 2C of pre-industrial averages.

It calls on countries to create more ambitious climate targets which are consistent with warming reductions goal of Article 2.

This means making major changes within their own economies, itself a reason for a dynamic and progressive series of dialogues between the parties which have agreed to the Paris Agreement.

Article 2 calls on each country which has agreed to the agreement to contribute to the strengthening of the global response to climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Countries are meant to do this in several ways:

* The global warming goal of below 2C;

* Improving adaptation, climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development without threatening food security; and,

* Improving climate finance flows towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

The facilitative dialogue must then ensure there is a clear pathway of discussions to ensure that in terms of the long-term temperature goal in Article 2, countries will aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.

As well, the dialogues must inform the COP in 2018 of the preparation of nationally determined contributions as per Article 4, paragraph 8 of the Paris Agreement.

"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," the agreement says.

After COP22 in Marrakech, ambassador Aziz Mekouar of Morroco, chief negotiator COP22 and our own permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva and chief negotiator to COP23, ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, were asked to lead the design of the facilitative dialogue on behalf of incoming COP23 president and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

During the May sessions held in Bonn, all parties were invited to provide input on the objective, the level of participation, the format of the discussions, timing, inputs and the outcome of the dialogue.

According to the UNFCCC, there were 13 bilateral consultations, one open ended consultation and one meeting with observers.

The outcomes of those consultations were presented to a heads of delegations meeting in Rabat, Morocco, and born was the "Talanoa Concept", a proposed design for the facilitative dialogue.

At the PreCOP, Mr Bainimamara acknowledged that many had now accepted the design as the way forward.

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