The Regular Meeting of the Directors General/Directors on Climate Change, January 18-19, the National Palace of Culture, Sofia.
On 18-19 January 2018, a regular meeting of the Directors General/Directors on Climate Change took place in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. The lead negotiators and experts on climate change of the EU team were present at the meeting, and the team of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU working on the international aspects of climate change was presented. As part of the so-called trio of presidencies, which includes three consecutive presidencies of the Council of the EU, the Bulgarian experts will be supported during the next six months by their colleagues from Estonia and Austria. Experts from the UK, Poland and Latvia will support the Bulgarian team on a voluntary basis.
„A lot of work has been done during the past year. And here I would like to thank our Estonian colleagues and to congratulate them for reaching an agreement with the European Parliament on the important files ETS, LULUCF and ESR - the milestones for the implementation of our collective goal of reaching at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030“, said Atanaska Nikolova, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water in her welcome speech.
During the meeting, the Bulgarian Presidency presented its main priorities in the area of climate change, together with the most important topics for the upcoming climate change negotiations. The priorities include:
• Making progress on the work programme under the Paris Agreement;
• Submitting 14 documents to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the first half of 2018. The documents will be elaborated within the expert and issue working groups to the Working Party on International Environmental Issues;
• Preparing and organising the negotiating session in Bonn in May 2018;
In view of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland, at the end of the year, the Directors General/Directors on Climate Change held a strategic discussion on challenges and priorities.
A focus of discussion at the meeting was the organisation of the Facilitative Dialogue 2018, also known as Talanoa Dialogue. The Dialogue addresses three basic questions on the results and envisaged future achievements in the fight against climate change: “Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?”. It also addresses other details, such as the decision to receive contributions from non-governmental stakeholders like businesses, non-governmental organisations and local authorities, and the creation of an online platform for publishing these contributions.
The participants at the meeting furthermore discussed the EU’s commitment to provide financial support for climate actions to developing countries that are Parties to the UNFCCC. The developed countries have committed to provide, by 2020, 100 billion USD annually to help developing countries implement measures of mitigation and adaptation to climate change, as well as for transparency and other actions of support. Negotiations on the long-term planning of the financial flows from developed to developing Parties (Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement) will continue during COP24 in Katowice. Another key issue in terms of financing is related to the decision taken at COP23 in Bonn to prolong the work of the Adaptation Fund , which will serve the Paris Agreement after the end of the commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. The main uncertainties in this regard concern the financial sources for the Adaptation Fund.
A working meeting of the Issue Leads and the EU Lead Negotiators for the international climate negotiations took place within the framework of the meeting of Director Generals/Directors on Climate Change.