Flexibility for small developing countries in reporting NDC progress: Vanuatu

Climate Change Director Waiwai articipating in a panel discussing the Climate Strategy for Vanuatu with MSG countries at the UNFCCC Intercession in Germany

Vanuatu has voiced its concern on the issue of reporting national determined contributions (NDCs) by parties under the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Intercession Meeting, which recently ended in Germany.

A delegation consisting of the Director of Climate Change Department, Mike Waiwai, Strategic Manager of the National Advisory Board, Anna Bule, Expenditure Analyst at the Ministry of Finance, Tony Kaltong and Project Manager of VAN-KIRAP Project, Moirah Yerta, have represented and negotiated on behalf of the Vanuatu Government during this year’s intercessional meetings.

Vanuatu, as a member of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) underlined the importance of giving flexibility to small developing countries with capacity constraints to report on the progress of actions taken as part of their NDCs to reduce emissions.

Regarding the time frame for NDCs, Vanuatu and the rest of the Pacific island countries continue to advocate for a five-year time frame.

The understanding among the Pacific countries is that a five-year time frame is most suitable to avoid the issue of locking in a time frame that is longer but not ambitious enough to meet the 1.5C global warming limit.

However, other AOSIS members preferred other options.

A common time frame was not agreed during the Subsidiary Body of Implementation (SBI) informal. It was concluded that the agenda is moved to the next session (COP25) for a decision to be made.

The Transparency Framework is an agenda of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) that was brought forward from COP24.

Other items that Vanuatu followed in SBI and SBSTA were the 2019 review of the Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts, Nairobi Work Program (NWP) a mechanism on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, common tabular formats for tracking progress towards NDCs and the proposed budget for UNFCCC for 2020 to 2021.

UNFCCC Intersession Meetings are usually held prior to COP meetings every year. As part of the intercession, SBI and SBSTA meet to review COP24 outcomes and ways to move forward for different agenda items.

A large number of decisions negotiated at the sessions will be further considered for adoption at COP25, which is scheduled for December 2 to 13 in Santiago de Chile.

Vanuatu has been vocal about climate change and its impacts at various events leading up to the Intercessional meetings and has been and will continue to doing so at various regional and international events leading up to COP25.

Events include the Climate Action Pacific Partnership, Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting and the UN Climate Action Summit occurring in September.

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