Climate Talks, Paris Agreement

#SB44 : what are the main challenges?

This article is written by Sabrina Marquant & David Resillas Olguin.

From the 16th to the 26th of May 2016, will be held in Bonn, Germany the first and only official round of climate talks between Paris COP21 and the next Marrakech COP22. Beyond the negotiation itself, this session is of strategic importance because it will give the tempo for post-Paris Talks.

Challenge # 1 – Maintaining the Spirit of Paris


  •  The importance of keeping up the constructive dialogue within APA

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), whose mandate has been established in 2011 at COP17 in Durban, has resulted in an innovative and constructive dialogue platform for States Parties that successfully gave birth to the Paris Agreement. Indeed, ADP has developed a stable, inclusive and dynamic space of discussions and negotiations which better mirrors today’s world. ADP has also found appropriate solutions to quickly react to the lack of progress, and facilitated complex and technical discussions.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) is the newly launched dialogue platform, during COP21. Its mandate is to facilitate the talks related to the preparation for the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Its first meeting will be held in Bonn at the SB44. To keep the Spirit of Paris, this dialogue platform has to be a continuation of ADP. This could be facilitated by the fact that most of the States Parties negotiating teams haven’t changed since Paris and know each other enough to maintain constructive dialogues in these Post-Paris Talks. SB 44 will test the strength of the negotiation process and the balance found during COP 21, that lead to success in Paris.

  •  The “duty” of leaving no one behind

SB44 will be the first negotiating session for Ségolène Royal as President of COP21, for the French Climate Ambassador Laurence Tubiana as Climate Champion, and for Morocco as the COP22 upcoming Presidency, but also the last one for Ms. Christiana Figueres as the UNFCCC Executive Secretary.


The road to Paris has been well managed by Christiana Figueres and her secretariat, and by the French Presidency leading by both Laurent Fabius and Climate Ambassador Laurence Tubiana. This role of shepherd during the road to Paris has to be maintained in this Post-Paris process in spite of the faces changing in some key positions.

To maintain the spirit of Paris, SB44 will be the perfect moment for both COP21 and COP22 presidencies but also for Ms. Figueres and her successor Ms Patricia Espinosa to remind the Parties and observers that the leitmotiv of this Post-Paris talks is still to gather everyone into an inclusive, transparent and party-driven process with no one left behind. With her new position created by the Paris Agreement, Ms. Laurence Tubiana should seize the opportunity of SB44 to concretely mobilize all actors and to organize the work to accelerate action on the global shift towards a low-carbon economy.

  • The necessity of strengthening the non-state actors participation

On the road to Paris, non-state actors have played a major role in empowering UN achievements and facilitating the Paris Agreement negotiations, by pushing concretely governments to deliver stronger commitments. During the negotiation itself, they brought to Parties’ attention to technical supports and practical opportunities.  At the same time, outside from Paris to Sao Paulo, from Sydney to Beyrouth, they built an unprecedented and massive worldwide citizen mobilization by launching in particular the Global Climate March which gathered more than 600 000 people according to the Guardian.


Across the world, young people, NGOs, local authorities, etc, invested debates, launched specific events to bridge climate negotiations with the ground and climate change with other issues.

Paris brings a new narrative in which citizens, advocates, experts and governments are in a new collaboration to find more coherent solutions to better fight climate change. Their roles are still crucial in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. With this SB44 session a huge focus will be made on education and capacity building; both of them are key ingredients of the innovation that is needed to limit the rise global temperatures more than to enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement.


Challenge # 2 – Starting concrete discussions on implementing the Paris Agreement, the national contributions and enhancing ambition

On the road to Paris, countries have released their own national strategy to contribute reaching the Convention’s objective on keeping the rise of the global temperature below 2°C, which have been essential in reaching the consensus at COP21. These national contributions now need to be implemented at the national level.

However, according to the Decision 1/CP.21 and the recent synthesis report, the total of all national contributions (NDCs) as of now doesn’t guarantee that the international community will reach Paris Agreement’s objectives.

Thus, additional efforts have to be made by 2020.

In this context, SB44 must be a platform where Parties can move forward on their tasks and deliver on modalities and procedures on transparency, finance, capacity building. It must also address Parties’ NDCs, including what is to be expected of the 2018 facilitative dialogue to take stock of efforts of the Parties in relation to the “long-term goal” of the Agreement.


About the Authors :

photo_sabrina2Since 2012, Sabrina Marquant is a member of the CliMates research project on tracking the international climate negotiations. In December 2013, at the COP19, she had the opportunity to integrate the Official French Delegation as a Youth Delegate. In 2014, she was one of the two UNFCCC focal points for YOUNGO. Those two opportunities give to her a new vision and understandings of the negotiation process and youth participation at the international level. In 2015, more determined than ever to work on these issues she decided to focus her time on tracking the climate negotiations towards the COP21, analyzing potential bridges between this negotiation and other international processes (especially SDGs and Sendai Framework) and preparing the youth mobilization on the road to Paris and beyond. After attending COP21 in Paris in December 2015, she has decided to focus her expertise on the Post-Paris climate talks and especially on the ambition, capacity building and non-state actors participation issues.


photo DavidDavid is an international business engineer, native from Mexico who has been working on sustainable development initiatives since 2007. He stands for social and environmental entrepreneurship as a solution for issues like climate change. As an active member of the French Student Network for Sustainable Development (REFEDD), he takes part in the Intersessions from the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change that will be held in Bonn, Germany.

Winner of a robotics World Championship on the USA, he promoted  technology transfert between the US and Latin American countries. In 2012, he co-founded the student association EDDA, based in the French city of Montpellier to inspire people on becoming actors of sustainable development. He empowers initiatives to preserve biodiversity, facilitate newcomers life’s on a new city and IT projects linked with sustainability. In 2013 he presented the initiative « A World education on sustainability » at the International Students Week in Ilmenau, Germany and he attended the training of the Climate Reality Corps with Al gore and his team of experts.

He has evaluated the UN framework of sustainable development « Agenda 21 » of the University in Montpellier  and he has been a radio presenter for the program « Breathing on this Planet » that was difussed in Rosario, Argentina.

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