With all the sessions going on at the same time, it is not surprising that I found myself attending two opening plenary back-to-back. Shortly after the APA opening plenary, I stayed on in New York room to attend the Conference of Parties (COP) Opening Plenary.

Yes, it’s the same place I’ve been heading to, there aren’t that many rooms around big enough for opening plenaries.

Several developing countries reiterated their strong stance in being in line with the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and leaving no one behind. Most of the developing country blocs have stated that they align with the G77 and China Bloc. Palestine, in particular, has brought up the issue of clashing meetings. It was complaining about how the coordination meetings clashes with the plenary, and coordination meetings were also clashing other coordination meetings. Palestine also mentioned that it managed to deliver its first Nationally Determined Contributions and National Action Plan even though they are facing a hard time with the Israeli occupation. It declared that it will stand in solidarity with the rest of the world.

The chair then gave a brief summary of the consultations that were being held before the plenary, and that is was generally on the acceleration of pre-2020 commitments and increasing post-2020 ambitions. As the plenary session proceeds, the floor moves into agenda 2 on the organization of work. The chair brought up the issue of the hosting of COP25, but no response was received from the floor so the chair decides to leave the agenda for the informal consultations.

Agenda 10

After that, the chair continued onto agenda 10 of matters relating to finance.  Morocco highlighted that finance is the roadmap of COP22 and that it will continue on its work on the major progress achieved in the high-level ministerial meeting in 2016, the adaptation fund. It also mentioned its achievement in putting many mechanisms in place to increase green finance initiatives. Morocco also stressed the importance of continuing the triangular and south-south cooperation in order to boost the capacity of all countries. It also called for greater identification of new capacity within the funding sector. I think it is good to see how Morocco is holding itself accountable for last year’s outcome and continues to build on it locally. Morocco’s involvement was highly praised by the co-chair of the standing committee on finance (SCF). The SCF mentioned that the committee looks forward to improving the efficiency of itself.

On the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the co-chair mentioned that it is seeking to enhance GCF support for technology through tech incubator and accelerator. The board is looking to strengthen its operational framework in order to address gaps in its policies as well as agreeing on new guidelines to generate high-quality investment proposal in developing countries. This objective aims to help build national and institutional capacity for the realization of low carbon development. Throughout this COP, the board also aims to streamline its funding proposal consideration and improve its risk management framework. From what I have heard from some of the fund applications, the current proposal consideration process is very lengthy and somewhat cumbersome to the extent that it is counterintuitive. This should be a clear indication of the need for the streamlining of the process. I am glad the co-chairs are aware of the problem and are putting in efforts to solve it.

Written and Photos by Xiandi

Edited by Varun