Ministerial meeting on climate action: chair’s summary 2018

20 to 21 June, Brussels

From June 20 to 21st 2018, Ministers and representatives from 36 governments from all the world's regions and from many of the world's largest economies, met in Brussels for the second Ministerial meeting on Climate Action (MoCA) convened by the European Union, Canada and China, and hosted, this time, by the EU.  As part of an informal process that in no way replaces or prejudges the formal UN negotiations, this meeting was designed to help ensure the success of the 24th UN Climate Change Conference this year in Katowice, Poland.

Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, Special Representative Xie Zhenhua and Minister Catherine McKenna would like to express their deepest appreciation to Ministers and colleagues for their active engagement in this second MoCA.  They are also very grateful for the attendance and leadership of His Excellency Laurent Fabius, President of COP21, His Excellency Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, President of COP23 and His Excellency Minister Michał Kurtyka, incoming President of COP24; as well as for the participation of the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Presiding Officers.

Ministers confirmed that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and is not to be renegotiated, and stressed the importance of multilateralism.  They reiterated their commitment to concluding the negotiations on the Paris Agreement Work Programme at COP24/CMA1, Ministers spoke passionately about the importance of building momentum on climate action and support, including through the stocktake on pre-2020 ambition, the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance, and the Talanoa Dialogue.

General expectations for COP24

There is a wide appreciation of the need to conclude, in the limited time available, a balanced, comprehensive, pragmatic, robust and operational set of implementation guidance in Katowice, consistent with the principles and provisions agreed in Paris. Ministers called for an acceleration of the pace of the negotiations and instructed negotiators to use the Bangkok session, with the help of the Presiding Officers, to produce a text that provides the basis for concluding our negotiations.  The repeated calls by Ministers to be true to the letter and spirit of what was agreed in Paris, also helps reassure us that these goals will be reached.

Regarding the upcoming High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance.  Ministers consistently highlighted the need and the willingness to continue to demonstrate progress in achieving the collective goal of mobilising USD 100 billion a year by 2020. Ministers also heard of the need to place this goal in the context of the trillions of public and private investment that will be necessary, together with the involvement of relevant non-Party stakeholders, including businesses, philanthropists and other investors, to achieve the Paris targets and goals. Ministers underlined the importance of support for implementation and ambition in both the pre-2020 and post-2020 period, and of honouring commitments to provide such support.

On pre-2020 ambition, a number of ministers mentioned progress they are making, as well as challenges they are facing, in meeting the pledges made before Paris.  Ministers registered the need to provide reassurances that countries are taking actions and following through on commitments, including, for example, by bringing the Doha Amendment into force.   As 2020 approaches Ministers noted that it will be essential to learn from the past while continuing to build trust and focusing on the future.

On the Talanoa Dialogue, many Ministers stressed the importance of maintaining the constructive spirit with which the Dialogue was launched in Bonn.  Ministers stressed the importance of coming to Katowice to focus on how they can best prepare, individually and collectively, to enhance ambition for the transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient development.

Our more detailed discussions focused on a subset of issues being negotiated under the Paris Agreement Work Programme.  In this context, Ministers had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of some of the unresolved technical and political issues and the areas of convergence and divergence regarding the guidance on action, and on support.  

Once again, Ministers expressed the view that their negotiators should be able to make urgent progress if they follow the spirit and letter of what was agreed in Paris.  Many of the solutions can be reached by technical discussions on an element-by-element basis.

In concluding the MOCA, the three convening ministers from the EU, Canada and China called on all Ministers to:

  • reaffirm our support to the Paris Agreement, and to ensuring what we agreed in Paris forms the basis for the implementing guidance to be agreed at COP24, while also maintaining momentum on global climate action and support
  • encourage the development of technical solutions wherever possible, so as to ensure that the text that emerges after the Bangkok session leaves as few issues of political importance as possible, for Ministers to resolve
  • direct our negotiators to ensure we meet the goal of agreeing to comprehensive guidelines at COP24
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